You are in the lands known as the Jarnlonds, or Ironlands. It is a Old Norse inspired iron-age world of small villages struggling to survive against raiders and dangerous beasts that prowl the land at night. The people of this land work together to make a living, helping their village to survive the harsh winters and thrive during the short summers. Those that refuse to cooperate are forced to find their own way in the wild lands beyond the villages. The ironsworn are those that hold true to their word, swearing on iron, binding their will to a vow.
The Jarnlonds setting is a variation of the setting of the Ironsworn RPG.
The Old World: The Old World could no longer sustain us. We were too large in number. We had felled the forests. Our crops withered in the barren ground. The cities and villages overflowed with desperate, hungry people. Petty kings battled for scraps. We cast our fate to the sea and found the Ironlands. A new world. A fresh start.
Iron: The weather is bleak. Rain and wind sweep in from the ocean. The winters are long and bitter. One of the first settlers complained, “Only those made of iron dare live in this foul place”—and thus our land was named. The imposing hills and mountains of the Ironlands are also rich in iron ore. Most prized of all is the star-forged black iron.
Legacies: Before the Ironlanders, another people lived here. Their ancient ruins are found throughout the Ironlands. But all that is left of them are a savage, feral people we call the broken.
Communities: We are few in number in this accursed land. Most rarely have contact with anyone outside our own small steading or village, and strangers are viewed with deep suspicion. Along the fjords of the Skilja Bakkar (Split Coast) and the Dalars (Dalelands) larger villages are connected by roads and trade routes.
Leaders: Leadership is as varied as the people. Some communities are governed by the head of a powerful family. Or, they have a council of elders who make decisions and settle disputes. In others, the priests hold sway. For some, it is duels in the circle that decide. There are no kings or regional leaders.
Defense: The wardens are our soldiers, guards, and militia. They serve their communities by standing sentry, patrolling surrounding lands, and organizing defenses in times of crisis. Most have strong ties to their community. Others, called free wardens, are wandering mercenaries who hire on to serve a community or protect caravans.
Mysticism: Some still find comfort in the old ways. They call on mystics to divine the fortune of their newborn, or ask them to perform rituals to invoke a bountiful harvest. Others act out of fear against those who they suspect of having power. Magic is rare and dangerous, but those few who actually wield the power are truly gifted.
Religion: The people honor old gods and new. In this harsh land, a prayer is a simple but powerful comfort.
Firstborn: The firstborn have passed into legend. Some say the remnants of the old tribes still dwell in deep forests or high mountains. Most believe they were never anything more than myth.
Beasts: Monstrous beasts stalk the wild areas of the Ironlands.
Horrors: We are wary of dark forests and deep waterways, for monsters lurk in those places. In the depths of the long-night, when all is wreathed in darkness, only fools venture beyond their homes.