Fate of the Norns

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 Post subject: Surt and the white god
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:38 pm 
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So, i am in the process of preparing for my first FOTN campaign, and something struck me when i read the prophecies in the beginning of the book: Is Surt the same entity as the white god?

In the description of the ages of ragnarok (p. 22 in the core book) the language used to describe Surt and his actions sound very "christian", saying that surt will "baptize the cosmic tree yggdrasil in holy flame" - much like the crusaders, who seek to spread their religion (baptize) and to destroy the viking culture (yggdrasil) in the name of the white god.

In this scenario Surt has deceived the church (or parts of it at least), sending them on bloody crusades against Midgård to weaken the influence of the gods upon the world. This gives the templars a much more integrated role in the mythology of FOTN, and allows you to draw on christian "legends" as part of a campaign, making them lies or illusions created by Surt. I for example, am thinking of running an arc of sagas where the crusaders seek "the holy grail", which is actually the blood of Kvasir, so as to please their "god", but in reality so that Surt can get hold of the insanely powerful substance and use it for himself.

Is this theory far fetched or does it hold up to any degree?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:26 am 
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From some of the FOTN canon I remember reading, the crusaders are truly not worshiping any of the Norse gods. I don't think it's explicitly stated but it seems to be clearly implied based on their reactions to everything. Additionally, crusaders & missionaries would have converted people away from both the gods and giants if possible. Surely this would have had as much of an impact on Norse souls not making it to Muspelheim, as it would on souls not getting to Asgard. So I don't think Surt would be doing this. Perhaps Loki, who is the trickster. But he's imprisoned.

As far as terms like "baptize", "holy", etc. they aren't unique to Christianity. They weren't even invented by Christians. Norse paganism would have had things that were considered holy within it. Baptize comes from a Greek word meaning "immerse". So, while I'm sure the exact word itself was new to the Norse people, the concept of immersion could have easily already existed within some of their religious rituals.

For me, the connection seems to far fetched and not really needed in order to do what you're wanting to. It is a fictional world, however. So you can do whatever you want with the story and "reality" of the version your group adventures in.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:14 pm 
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That is true.

As for the words, of course they are not exclusive, but their connection to christianity is established in the minds of most people. I just found it peculiar when i read the entries right after one another.

Is the white god an actual being then? For the crusaders have powers that suggests the existence of a divine power behind them. Does this being exist outside yggdrassil? Is it omnipotent like in the abrahamic religions, or more like the norse gods/jotuns?

The whole invasion thing is just a really nice event to build up around, it gives the apocalypse a sorely needed element of human evil, as opposed to nature just going to hell.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:50 am 
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Hmm. I'm not sure which way I would go. On one hand, having God existing here could present a cool dynamic in the heavens. There would be two versions of the heavens and plenty of interesting things to tie in. Like the crusaders trying to stop what they view as an artificial pagan armageddon. I could see lots of fun stuff unfolding here. Maybe the Viking players encounter God in someway. They could even convert if they wanted. Oh! Maybe the party some how winds up in purgatory and has to find a way out or be forever damned because they're Vikings and not Christians.

On the other hand, having their powers come from some portion of the Viking mythology could also present lots of cool story points. I'd explain it by saying power from Yggradsil is seeping into our world and the Christian's faith has allowed them to access it. Of coarse, they don't know this. I would go so far as to say no one knows this. Even the players.

Both situations would present some fun role playing moments of them trying to reconcile their believe that their gods are the only ones with the powers the Christians are obviously in possession of.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:57 am 
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MagicMead wrote:
So, i am in the process of preparing for my first FOTN campaign, and something struck me when i read the prophecies in the beginning of the book: Is Surt the same entity as the white god?

In the description of the ages of ragnarok (p. 22 in the core book) the language used to describe Surt and his actions sound very "christian", saying that surt will "baptize the cosmic tree yggdrasil in holy flame" - much like the crusaders, who seek to spread their religion (baptize) and to destroy the viking culture (yggdrasil) in the name of the white god.

In this scenario Surt has deceived the church (or parts of it at least), sending them on bloody crusades against Midgård to weaken the influence of the gods upon the world. This gives the templars a much more integrated role in the mythology of FOTN, and allows you to draw on christian "legends" as part of a campaign, making them lies or illusions created by Surt. I for example, am thinking of running an arc of sagas where the crusaders seek "the holy grail", which is actually the blood of Kvasir, so as to please their "god", but in reality so that Surt can get hold of the insanely powerful substance and use it for himself.

Is this theory far fetched or does it hold up to any degree?


That wasn't the intent, but that's a cool idea and food for thought. There will be a few stretch goals for The Illuminated Edda as well as Lords of the Ash where we may get the opportunity to fold in Celtic myths from the emerald isle (Fir Bolg anyone?) as well as bonus material on Baltic and Skraeling spirits. Missionaries and crusaders will tap into the White God powers in Lords of the Ash and a possible bonus stretch goal could be a Hibernian Clansman player archetype and we'd tie in the powers of the Celtic gods/giants into there. But this weekend is full-throttle prep for Horn of the Kraken! ;)

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