Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ideas for a nordic world

So continuing on with my theme of designing a post Ragnarok god-pocalypse world (a term that I may use in the game material I knock up for the players should the campaign get off the ground) i've started looking at the Norse creation mythos and diagrams of the nordic mythological cosmology.

Creation Mythos

A brief description of norse mythology can be found here:

Since my idea is not going to be a strict duplication of norse mythology, I am going to select elements from it for inclusion in the game, thus far i'm looking at the following as possible aspects for incorporation:

  • Prior to the creation of the world there exists a void between the lands of Muspelheim (realm of fire) and Nifelheim (realm of ice).
  • The fire and ice meet, the ice melts forming Ymir the first of the giants.
  • Ymir reproduces asexually, his sweat forming the first race of giants.
  • As the frost continues to melt it reveals the cow Audhumbla who nourishes Ymir with her milk and licks the ice for nourishment.
  • Audhumblas licking of the ice uncovers the first of the Aesir gods.
  • The Aesir, lead by Odin slay Ymir and form the world from his corpse, the oceans are made of his blood, the soil from skin and muscles, vegetation from his hair, clouds from his brains and the sky from his skull.
  • Four dwarves at each cardinal point hold up the sky.
  • Dwarves originate at maggots in the body of Ymir.

Cosmology

Below is a diagram showing the nine worlds of the nordic cosmology:


I've started jotting down a few ideas for how the worlds/elements may look in my campaign world after the apocalypse:

  • Asgard: Following the deaths the gods their golden halls and their dwellings crashed to earth in a night known as the 'night of burning stars.'
  • Midgard: The main setting of the game, following the apocalypse Midgard is reduced to a frozen wasteland where only the strongest survive against the predation of the Jotun and the Fenrir.
  • Jotunheim: When the final winter was unleashed in the aftermath of the apocalypse, Niflheim surged forward, engulfing Jotunheim and bringing winter in it's wake.
  • Svartalheim: The land of dark elves, a realm of tunnels and darkness lies below the ground, hidden from the eyes of most, unwary travellers occasional find hidden entrances - few return.
  • Hel: With the demise of the Goddess of Death, her realm ceased to exist, meaning that the spirits of the dead have nowhere to go after their death and often return to haunt the living.
  • Muspelheim: Exists beneath the realm of Svartalheim, providing some heat to the centre of the world; it is rumoured that the following the aftermath of the apocalypse the last dwarves retreating into such deep realms and were not seen again.
  • Yggdrasil: The scorched and shattered trunks of the world tree lies in the centre of the world, small twinkling fragments of Asgard that did not fall orbit around the unobtainable upper reaches, forming the only stars in the night sky.
  • Rainbow Bridge/Bifrost: Destroyed at Ragnarok, the Bifrost shattered and fell to earth as tiny scattered glittering shards, these shards contain dim flickerings of godly magic and are jealously horded/guarded by those who possess them.
  • Midgard Serpent: Slain in the apocalypse the giant skeleton of the Midgard Serpent can be seen poking through the soil in various places of the earth, the bones are often scavenged to make equipment or dwellings.