Iron & Blood  is a fictional setting based on the culture, mythos, and technology of 10th Century Scandinavia and Europe.

Iron & Blood is a fictional setting based on the culture, mythos, and technology of dark age Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon Europe.


OVERVIEW

Iron & Blood is a viking-age fantasy setting.

The years 793–1066 CE marked the viking age in Scandinavia and Britain in our world and, although Iron & Blood is a fantasy setting, it does use this timeframe as a backdrop. Because of this, many things in I&B mimic this era. The technology level, for example, is almost the same, with the longship being the engineering marvel of the time.

There are seven unique cultures in I&B: Venbria, Jernmark, Crannland, Hofland, Flodmark, Nordhjem, and Breen. Within each of these countries can be found peoples of all classes and professions, though one's birth does not determine one's status in life; for exceeding wit or skill in battle or divine intervention can raise anyone to great power.

The pantheon consists of seven major deities, commonly referred to as the Earda. They are: Ylothae, Eala, Varg, Bjoern, Rocas, Carria, and Ulwel. Most people revere the Earda, though they do not typically invoke their names for fear of insulting them and bringing their wrath down upon themselves. An ancient order of priests, or druids, train from a young age to speak to the Earda and to learn how to manage the ways of the spirit world.

Magic exists in I&B. Both very strong magic that comes from the Earda and subtle magic that lives in the earth itself. Some druids have learned to use runic magic to imbue weapons, armor, and jewelry with magical properties. But no matter what kind of magic is used, it always comes at a price. Women show a greater propensity towards magic than men, causing a good deal of superstition and fearful respect of women.

The known world is spread out over three continents divided by two seas. Each of the seven countries are built and formed around their environment, and while many of the cultures share similar customs, superstitions, and fashion they are all unique in their own right. The Hoflanders, with their vast meadows, have taken to the life of husbanders and are considered the greatest horseman. While in Nordhjem where the mountainous terrain and many fjords have shaped many independent communities and homesteads.

And over all this is the natural world and its inhabitants. Some foul, some fair. Monsters of the sea and air and earth. Treacherous spirits and powerful wights prowl the hinterlands and harry wayward travelers, while others spirits grant unexpected protection and guidance in times of need.

This is the world of Iron & Blood...

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Core Assumptions

Gods Oversee the World. The gods are real and embody different aspects of life and death in the world. Some can be seen in physical form walking the earth, a manifestation of their will that can be challenged or even destroyed for a time. But their power is not of the world and the gods are not subject to it. All believe the gods are real, though not all choose to honor them.

Much of the World Is Wild. Untamed wilderness encroaches on civilization across the world. People know the area they live in well. The skalds have told them what lies beyond their borders, but very few travel to discover the truth for themselves. Many of the inhabitants of the deep woods or great seas or in the roots of the mountains have yet to be named.

The World is Infused With Power. In every corner of the world a deep power lay hidden. The brooding will of a mountain, strange and nameless creatures lurking in the wilds, and the spirits that dwell in every forest are all examples of the world's power. The common farmer may live out his whole life and never encounter such powers, but they are there nonetheless. It is those who face such powers that the skalds turn into legends.

The World Is Ancient. The world is rich with places of adventure and mystery, left behind by the ancient past of the surviving kingdoms. Signs of the gods once walking the earth are hidden across the world, as well as the ruins of conquered peoples. Individuals believe that the legends of by-gone heroes, the crafts of their ancestors, and the power of the gods cannot be matched today.

Conflict Shapes History. Powerful individuals strive to make their mark on the world, and armies of men flock to their banners in hopes of glory and wealth. Others seek only to defend what is theirs by right. Some men seek renown in the wilds where the slaying of a terrible beast will be sung for ages. The gods themselves war on earth at times in order to maintain the balance of life. No matter the goals, conflict inevitably shapes the world's fate.

Magic Is Rare. Practitioners of magic are very few in number, and their ways are secretive and feared. The use of magic—however simple the task—comes at a high price, sometimes costing years from a practitioner's life. Trinkets enchanted with rune-magic are rare and not always useful, though an enchanted weapon can make all the difference in battle and bring renown. No matter the effects, magic items are all priceless and honored.

Monsters Are Uncommon. Monsters rarely trouble people's daily lives and the sight of them is terrifying. But even though a man may go his whole life never seeing a monster, he would never deny their existence. In the wilds, monsters and strange creatures can be found, though the encounter is likely to be deadly.

Honor is the Way Of Life. Bravery, nobility, generosity, respect for others, the strength to do what is right, and a sense of personal honor are all virtues that individuals strive for. Upstanding character and self-control are more important than physical bravery, which most men already possess. Individuals go through great lengths to protect their good name, including legal proceedings, personal duels, or reprisal attacks.

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Last updated on 10/01/2018 by Ruben Ramos.