Archive for Fate of the Norns

Coming Soon – Vanagard!

Posted in Fantasy, Publishing, Roleplaying Games, Uncategorized, Vanagard with tags , , , , , , on August 13, 2017 by Chall

 

Vanagard Kickstarter

This bear, this rabbit, they share a story or two.

This is a story about beginnings. Yggdrasil, the World Tree, is young, vibrant and grows between eight worlds. The ninth, our world of Midgard, doesn’t exist yet. There is no Thor or Jormungand. Odin is a young man who just befriended the mischievous Loki. The future is bright and stretches forth with endless possibility.

 
This game is about the Van-Folk, the familiars of the goddess Freya. She is a powerful witch who holds sway over beginnings and endings. The Van-Folk are her people, born out of her dreams and will. They live like normal folk; in halls, working hard and then feasting with fun, family, and music. Freya mostly leaves them to their own lives but, when needed, she calls upon her children to be her eyes, ears, and voice.

Vanagard is a story game suitable for both family and friends. The players tell a story, drawing upon runes and cards for inspiration. Each story takes an hour or so to tell, a single session can have up to five stories. At the end of the game, the characters are tucked away, waiting for the next session of Vanagard to go on more adventures. 

 

A long time I worked as a camp counselor in Jungle Cat World in Orono. Back then, I was very much into storytelling as an art and I relished the chance to perform it for young campers. As such, I wove a little mythology involving wizards by the name of Lady Night, Lord Morning, Lady Rain, and Lord Wind. Dealing with their machinations was a society of animal people, the focus was on a rat named Renn. Over the course my first summer at Jungle Cat World, I crafted a 12 story cycle of this mythology, weaving tales of this little trickster for my camper audience. I shared with them Renn’s life; as a young rat freeing his people from the tyranny of lions, to a sneaky thief who had a wonderful time winning infamy, to an old rat full of both wisdom and regret.  They cycle ended well, with peace amongst the wizards, though not without sacrifice.

The campers loved listening to these stories and I loved telling them.

In Vanagard I’m trying to capture this magic again.

If I’ve done my job right Vanagard will help families and friends can craft their own mythologies within a Norse framework. Vanagard will allow them, with little to no prep, to hold an evening of storytelling that weaves consecutive tales of a close group of Van-Folk heroes. These stories can be as dark and meaningful as what you’d find in the Eddas, or as light and heartwarming as you’d find in a Miyazaki film. The rules are simple but also allow for character growth. At the end of a Vanagard cycle, you’ll have a number of heroes, on whose cards are chronicled a great adventure.

If you want a taste of what kind of story I’m going for, feel free to check out my Vanagard Playlist.

The Kickstarter will be up very soon, in the next day or two at the latest. I hope I’ll have your support.

Seith and Sword – A Novel of Vengeance In Eastern Midgard

Posted in Fate of the Norns, Fiction, Norse, Publishing, Roleplaying Games, RPG with tags , , , , on July 22, 2015 by Chall

Four months ago I put this blog on hiatus while I worked on a new novel. Said novel is finished, so I now proudly present Seith and Sword. It has been very gratifying to write, especially since it has allowed me to utilize my knowledge of Norse mythology, the Sagas, the Eddas and add my own particular little twist to FoTN setting. I’d like to thank Andrew Valkauskas, who is a most accommodating publisher, he allowed this story to remain under my control with only a few, minor, caveats. I’d like to thank my significant other Jenny Doleman, who put up with long nights of me using her as a sounding board and nipping away in the evenings to write for hours on end. I’d like to thank all my friends who were very patient with my madness. I’d like to thank our backers, without their support this novel would have never been written.

Cooking awesomeness.

Do you smell what the Chall is cooking?
He’s cooking awesomeness.

What will you find in Seith and Sword? Primarily it’s written to show what kind of adventures one could have FoTN. Think of it as a whirlwind tour of eastern Midgard peppered with adventure, joy and loss. I kept the stakes desperate but small. That way I could avoid solving the major plot points of the setting. I did this on purpose, it has always aggravated me when RPG setting novels change the game landscape so drastically that it wipes out everything the player characters could have done.

Seith and Sword avoids two of the most prominent fantasy meta-plots. The crux of the story is not the retrieval or destruction of a powerful magic item. Nor is t a war story. Instead it’s a tale of a family feud, Nibelung VS Volsung, rekindled. It is a quest for vengeance but told from the perspective of those who are fleeing it. It’s a terribly dark story with little breaks of music, laughter and light, just to remind the reader why those fleeing still struggle not to succumb to their ever growing list of powerful foes.

There are no clear cut good guys or bad guys in this novel. No generic Orcs or evil magicians, just good people struggling for survival and doing terrible things. Morality in this novel is messy. What drives the Volsung is a desire for a life of freedom. What drives the Nibelung is glory, anguish, and rumor. I play a lot with rumor in this book. In fact, if you took the rumor as truth then would Seith and Sword would become a tale of good vs. evil. Which is apt, since such stark contrasts tend to break down upon under deep scrutiny.

If this type of story rocks your fancy,  I suggest checking my novel out. You can purchase it in the link above. If you’re a backer or you’ve already purchased this, thank you. Please tell me what you loved and/pr hated about it. I live for your feedback.

Seith and Sword Is Funded – I’ll Be Incognito For A Bit

Posted in Fate of the Norns, Roleplaying Games, Writing with tags , , , , on March 23, 2015 by Chall

So, good news,

Seith and Sword is fully funded.

A big thanks to my backers, my friends and family. I am very excited to write this novel for this particular game setting. Fate of the Norns is the truest rpg to the Eddas that I’ve encountered. Furthermore, as I discovered while writing the kickstarter blogs, their take on Norse Mythology is pretty much my own. I’ve got the novel all planned out and the rough draft is already a quarter of the way done. I’m so looking forward to getting this novel to my backers. They won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be very busy. While my daily word count is manageable I want to blow away my deadlines. The earlier I finish the more time I’ll have to refine. I’m putting my all into Seith and Sword, and as such, until it’s done, I’ll have less time for blogging. So if you don’t hear from me for a while, this is why.

When Sieth and Sword is complete, you will hear about it, trust me.

"The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani" by John Charles Dollman - Guerber, H. A. (Hélène Adeline) (1909). Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas.

I hope to have Seith and Sword done well before Ragnarok.

What I’ve Been Up To Lately – Fate of the Norns Novel: Seith and Sword

Posted in Fantasy, Fate of the Norns, Publishing, Roleplaying Games with tags , , , , on February 27, 2015 by Chall

So, it’s been a while, lemme explain.

Last Phantasm I had the pleasure of playing Fate of the Norns: Ragnarok. It’s a Norse Saga RPG that takes place during the twilight of the gods. It uses Elder Futhark runes in it’s resolution system. The rule book is absolutely gorgeous and a mere 5 minutes after playing I bought the hardcover and a bag of their metal runes.

Given that I’ve been working on and off on The Childe Hel, given that I’ve been stewing in constant Norse Mythology, I rolled the idea that I might be a good person to write something for Fate of the Norns sometime. Andrew Valkauskas, who’d been demoing the game, suggested I roll a submission Pendlehaven’s way.

I did, and, well… this:  

For the past moth or so I’ve been submitting synopses, pitches, character bios, the whole 9 yards. I now have a solid story that I’m very excited to write about. I just need backers.

Seith and Sword is the story of two Volsung siblings fleeing the wrath of a Nibelung hero in the last golden days of Harald Fairhair’s reign. The feud will drag in the likes of Louhi Mistress of Pohjola, Bjorn Eriksson, Gorm the Old and Vargeisa the Fire Wolf. A dark tale of vengeance, survival and family.

Right up my ally really.

So, if you like what I’ve written on this blog and would  like to read an awesome Norse saga, please back! The investment is sound; I’ve already started on the rough draft and have no plans on stopping until the novel’s done.

Since my focus will be 100% on this I’m putting my other projects on hold. This doesn’t mean they’re done, It’s just that I’ve agreed to work on Seith and Sword until it’s complete. I’m tackling an agressive timeline and can’t afford to be distracted.

Still…the payoff will be an awesome Norse Saga that’ll be complete before the end of the year.