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 Post subject: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:52 am 
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On this day of feasting and celebration (hey Seith and Sword is happening!) I wanted to tap into the fans and get your opinion on a few things I've been mulling around since Christmas/Yule. Denizens of the North blew away everyone's expectations, including mine, in respect to how big it ended up. Lords of the Ash is even more ambitious, because it tackles more than just Midgard, it tackles Asgard, Vanagard, Muspelheim, Jotunheim, Nidavellir and Niflheim. So far my Lords of the Ash manuscript is introducing more player archetypes than Denizens of the North along with at least 2 new magic systems... Angel of Death, Missionary, Orlog, Voelva and Godi are the new archetypes and Godi is going to scale per divine being so we're looking at 50+ flavours of Godi. Those of you that own the non-Ragnarok Fate of the Norns books know what you can expect. The new magic systems belong to the Orlog and Godi archetypes and I am on the fence whether the Voelva powers are their own kind of magic. With all of this in the book, including maps etc, it became a necessity to break out the stories about the gods, jotuns and dvergar into another book. So the Illuminated Edda was born.

Since Fate of the Norns works in harmony with actual history and myth, all of the Edda content in canon for the Fate of the Norns universe. I own both the poetic and prose Eddas and they are the books I have referenced the most in the last 25 years. I want to publish an homage to those two very-special books. Their content relates directly to the content within Lords of the Ash. As such the Illuminated Edda must be a prequel and companion book to Lords of the Ash. The conundrum I have been mulling over for the past month or so is whether to add FOTN canon into the Illuminated Edda, if so, how. Will backers want the pure undiluted experience of the Eddas as they are, or will they appreciate some inserted chapters that fill in the gaps using FOTN canon? If I do insert FOTN canon, I'd want it to be separated from pure Edda stuff (separated and clearly marked chapters?), this way, non-gamers who buy the book for the literary Edda experience can disregard FOTN "embellishment".

Examples of FOTN canon include the origins of the Muspeli Jotuns and Vanir. Their origins are never mentioned and they are critical to a complete Viking cosmology. An example of contradictions and ambiguities are the Svart Alfar. Are they a race apart or are they the same as the Dvergar? there are arguments for both, and looking at evidence, I may personally lean towards them being the same, but having them as different races enriches the FOTN cosmos so much- so in FOTN they are different species. How about the Norns? Who are they? How many are there? Also Valkyries, how did they come into being? So much of this is covered in my FOTN canon. So my question to you the fans: how do you think the Edda content and FOTN canon be presented in the next 2 books?

I humbly await your opinions on the matter. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:46 pm 
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Well, 53 views, and no responses. I'll be the first.

I'd like the FOTN canon and the Edda material woven together. My reasons amount to essentially that I have the prose and poetic eddas. I don't NEED separate callouts to those stories. What would be useful for me is to have woven with the FOTN canon so the canon has context. I don't expect a historical treatise, and quite frankly, if I don't like it, I can ignore it just fine, or change it to suit my tastes. I don't need it split up into special chapters for each kind.

Honestly, I think if a non-gamer is looking at this stuff, they are going to pick up the prose and poetic eddas, or pick up Saga of the icelanders like they are doing on Saga Thing. I doubt very much they are going to pull a book from a gaming like for this.


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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:22 pm 
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My original thought was to have the Edda martial separate and then add the FOTN as if they were a secret Edda, that references the Edda material in the book. Sort of a secret lore cache of the Eyes of Loki or some other secret society.

However, Raleel makes a good point. His way would make the illustrated Edda much easier to use in FOTN games.

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:29 am 
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I do think there should be some seperation between game and non game source material. It doesn't need to be huge or intrusive. As the Illuminated Edda is a resource for FotN, definitely include the FotN material, and not just shoved into an appendix at the back.

I think that a subtle distinct border design or chapter heading should be enough to call out which pieces are from the Eddas and which are from FotN. As Raleel says this is not a scholarly work on the Eddas so it should hang together as a cohesive whole. I want it to feel like the version of the Eddas that people in FotN would be familiar with. They certainly aren't going to pause in midstream and say "But in the game Snorri only had 3 Destiny..."

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:10 am 
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Thanks for the feedback so far. :)

Let me add a little more context on what's been running through my mind. After resolving that we need to handle the gods and giants in 2 or more books, I looked at the best ways to separate the subject matter. 6 realm books? 1 per realm we want to cover? That seemed like overkill and what would we do with the stuff that fits into all of them (ie Orlog)? So after much deliberation I figured that narrative story in one book and game materials in another would be a good blend. We can target the story book to a wider audience (non-gamer as well as FOTN gamer) the question was will the wider audience care about FOTN lore? Who are the wider audience? Plus I *do* want those who own the Eddas to get *more* out of the Illuminated Edda. I think you guys make a good point, scholars will get the academic books, but those that just want a really good set of stories about the gods and giants won't care too much about FOTN cannon infused in the Eddas. So long as we represent Edda content faithfully, they will be happy to have read the Edda content (and bonus material) in a contemporary language along with some amazing illustrations. A sub-set of FOTN players find the old literary works too stuffy to read, so I want to be inclusive of that demographic as well.

The configurations that ran through my mind were:
- FOTN lore in LotA and only true Edda lore in tIE
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, clearly separated by a mid-point in the book
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, segmented by intermingled chapters called out by border or some sub-header
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, completely fused together

The first one helps us balance page count, but probably not nearly enough as needed
The second one may make for a very jarring experience but you have a strong separation of concerns
Third is where my mind has been at recently- seems like a good middle ground, but I want more opinions
Fourth is one that seems popular, but so far it's a tiny sample size

Maybe there's another config I haven't considered yet. The manuscript is progressing nicely while I mull this over. Share your opinions please.

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:18 am 
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andrew wrote:
Thanks for the feedback so far. :)

Let me add a little more context on what's been running through my mind. After resolving that we need to handle the gods and giants in 2 or more books, I looked at the best ways to separate the subject matter. 6 realm books? 1 per realm we want to cover? That seemed like overkill and what would we do with the stuff that fits into all of them (ie Orlog)?


I agree. that's probably overkill.

andrew wrote:
So after much deliberation I figured that narrative story in one book and game materials in another would be a good blend. We can target the story book to a wider audience (non-gamer as well as FOTN gamer) the question was will the wider audience care about FOTN lore? Who are the wider audience?


that is a good question. who is the wider audience? My experience has been if you are a gamer and like this stuff, you probably will dig into the game material. if not, then you will be getting a scholarly work.

andrew wrote:
Plus I *do* want those who own the Eddas to get *more* out of the Illuminated Edda. I think you guys make a good point, scholars will get the academic books, but those that just want a really good set of stories about the gods and giants won't care too much about FOTN cannon infused in the Eddas. So long as we represent Edda content faithfully, they will be happy to have read the Edda content (and bonus material) in a contemporary language along with some amazing illustrations. A sub-set of FOTN players find the old literary works too stuffy to read, so I want to be inclusive of that demographic as well.

The configurations that ran through my mind were:
- FOTN lore in LotA and only true Edda lore in tIE
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, clearly separated by a mid-point in the book
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, segmented by intermingled chapters called out by border or some sub-header
- FOTN and Edda lore in tIE, completely fused together

The first one helps us balance page count, but probably not nearly enough as needed
The second one may make for a very jarring experience but you have a strong separation of concerns
Third is where my mind has been at recently- seems like a good middle ground, but I want more opinions
Fourth is one that seems popular, but so far it's a tiny sample size

Maybe there's another config I haven't considered yet. The manuscript is progressing nicely while I mull this over. Share your opinions please.


can you give examples of the third type? I tend to think of them as chapters alternating, but I could see a side bar or a callout section in the text that references the original edda (or FOTN I suppose). something like the "one size fits" and "magic items that advance with you" sections from this picture.

Image

you could even do something like on the left side, right above "Chakras" with a little icon of this guy

Image


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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:30 pm 
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I think a contemporary language version of the Eddas, with or without illustration and FotN content, would find an audience among fantasy and historical fiction fans Bernard Cornwell's Viking and Saxon series appeal to the same sort of reader I expect.

Option Three is my pick, but if it ends up making for smoother flow then go with option 4. I really don't like the idea of option two, too much flipping back and forth. I see this as a popular work, not a scholarly text.

As for how many books, well, there are nine worlds on Ygdrasil...

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:51 am 
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I'm good with option 3 as well. Less flipping around would be handy from a game perspective.

Either way, from a non-game perspective, I believe this'll be a great reference for those who are interested in the Eddas but might never have read them.

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:38 am 
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I'd have to add my voice to option 3.
It worked fine in Burning Wheel and plenty of other products.

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 Post subject: Re: The Illuminated Edda
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:53 am 
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For option #3 I am thinking much less intrusive. I don't want the layout to break the reader out of the ancient storybook experience. After all, we're redoing the Eddas in a contemporary language so as to ensure they don't feel stuffy/academic. I'd say, rather than sidebars, it flows like an uninterrupted story, but I organize the plot so that Edda lore can be presented as a cohesive chapter, and then the next chapter inserts critical FOTN canon that gives more context to the preceding chapter, before we resume with more Edda lore in the following chapter. So it reads like a book, appears like a story book and the only differentiators are the page borders that frame the text. In the intro I would explain the significance of the borders, but if you skip/ignore that, you'd get a non-stop Viking epic. Thoughts?

DavetheLost wrote:
As for how many books, well, there are nine worlds on Ygdrasil...


Oh boy! Good thing you're not my boss, you'd work me to the bone! ;)

Kidding aside, I need to get the Ragnarok Saga Trilogy as well as War of Shadow done in 2016 so The Illuminated Edda and Lords of the Ash be completed in 2015. On Facebook Søren Aske Hjorth asked me about duration of LotA BETA... hard to tell, not sure yet. It really depends on the Godi. How I handle divine magic and the Godi will determine this. BETA will also include full sized boards for the Einherjar and Sons of Muspel, including the second "Void Rune" which will be the Valknutt rune found on the FOTN metal rune sets. They will keep their Void rune binding from their mortal lives, but will also bind an immortal specialization to the Valknutt rune (3 for Einherjar and 3 for Sons of Muspel).

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