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 The Nine Runeworlds: Norse Mythology at its best

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PostSubject: The Nine Runeworlds: Norse Mythology at its best   Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:35 am

In the beginning there were three things... Ginungagap, the endless void; Muspelheim, the primordial fire; and Niflheim, the Primordial Ice. As the flames of Muspelheim melted the ice of Niflheim, and the ice doused the flames, the two mixed together in Ginungagap to form the first beings: Ymir, father of the giants, and Aumdumla, the primordial cow whose power brought forth the first gods. The Gods defeated Ymir, and drowned most of his brood in the Ginungagap, and used Ymir's body to build the nine worlds and the creatures in it. Muspelheim and Niflheim remained, with Helheim forming between them as the realm of the dead and home to the undead Draugr. The next level up found Nidavellir, the underground world of the Dwarves, with Midgard, the mortal world above it and Jotunheim, the land of the Jotuns above that. And the third level supported Alfheim, home of the Alfar (winged light elves); Vanaheim, home of the agricultural Vanir gods, above which rested Asgard, the citadel of the powerful Aesir gods. Connecting the worlds was Yggdrasil, the world tree, whose roots linked to each of the lower worlds, whose trunk supported the middle worlds, and whose branches extended to the upper worlds. All was well, with the Vanir fighting the Aesir, the Aesir fighting the Jotuns, the Jotuns fighting the Humans, the Humans fighting the Dwarves, the Dwarves fighting the Alfar, and the Alfar fighting the Draugr, the Draugr fighting whomever they pleased, and all of them living happily and belligerently apart from one another. But unknown to them all, there were nine artifacts, runes that were empowered by ancient forces that would decide the destiny of the nine worlds, each rune hidden in one of the nine worlds. Because the worlds were all built on the death of Ymir, the portents predicted Ragnarok, the End of the Worlds, but someone who could master the nine artifacts would be able to change that Destiny. Unfortunately, each rune was hopelessly lost and hidden, and so the Aesir decided that there was only one thing to do... use their rune, Ansuz, the rune of War, to sever the roots and branches and trunk of Yggdrasil, separating each of the nine worlds and preventing the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok from occurring. You can't fight what you can't reach, after all. This turned out to be short-sighted, though, for Yggdrasil was still alive, and it began to grow back. Centuries passed, however, and Ansuz was lost somewhere in the heavenly city of Asgard, so no one knew how to prevent the worlds from colliding again... and now they are all connected so tightly that people from one world are falling into another. Many of the runes have begun appearing in odd places, and in the hands of those who might not necessarily mean well. Surtur, lord of the Fire Giants and King of Muspelheim, has plans to lead his fiery minions to burn and destroy the other worlds, while Bergelmir, Ymir's grandson, leads the forces of Niflheim to freeze the tender realms in eternal winter, and the half-dead queen Hel has released her Draugr into the living worlds. The Jotuns begin sending in their own monstrous forces, and the Dwarves are conquering other lands with their science and magic. The Alfar have split into two groups, the true Alfar and Svartalfar, dark elves who lost their wings in exchange for horns, claws, dark skin, other, strange mutations, and the latter have invaded Nidavellir. The Vanir have retreated to their farms, and the Aesir have started leading vast raiding parties into all the other realms, intending to take their runes by force, no matter who dies in the process. Ragnarok is closer than everyone thinks, but in each world there are people who set off in search of the runes in order to prevent Ragnarok and save the nine worlds.

To play, you will need to post your character's...
NAME:
CLAN: (Aesir, Vanir, Alfar, Human, Jotun, Dwarf, Fire Giant, Frost Giant, Druagr, etc)
CALLING: Warrior, Viking, Seer, Thief, Skald, Healer, Shaman, Wizard, Sorcerer, Inventor, Artist, Farmer, Noble, Servant, Sailor, Merchant, etc.
APPEARANCE: (including equipment and clothes)
ABILITIES: (Skills, magic, technology, natural powers, etc)
HISTORY: (Who are you and how did you get to this point in life and why are you seeking the nine runes?

OOC - I come up with these things mostly by reading a lot, and picking and choosing details that I think would work well together. This rpg mostly comes from a comic book series (the transformative runes), the alchemical devision of the elements along the wet/dry/cold/hot theme, Beowulf, the 13th Warrior, and actual mythology (which you should read).

Some issues that I didn't cover...

A ) This setting is mostly Norse (even for the Dwarves, with their high tech) and medieval at best. Therefore, if you can't picture a viking or priestess or troll wearing or being named whatever you're thinking of, it probably isn't quite there yet.

B ) ANYONE of ANY CLAN can use ANY RUNE... that is why the Runes are so powerful and dangerous in the wrong hands. Nobody wants their worst enemy to become a supernatural being who can become a rampaging monster at any moment.

C ) The pervading feeling is rather grim... it is like being in the middle of a war zone and trying to live your life anyway, except that armies that were one day amassing in another reality can suddenly shift and appear in your backyard... err... farmyard, whatever. Raiders from all the worlds and the fools who try and take advantage of the chaos are everywhere... you might keep that in mind when designing your characters.


Last edited by Joy&RaptorsUnrest on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Nine Runeworlds: Norse Mythology at its best   Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:36 am

Asgard:
Native Race: Aesir. The Aesir are larger than humans, but not as large as giants, and all of them are immortal and regenerate from damage thanks to the magical apples of the goddess Idunn. They also possess many artifacts that grant them magical powers, and ships or chariots pulled by any sort of animals they desire that carry them through the air. They can become invisible and intangible, but they rarely do so, because they can't interact with the world. They are gods of war, but they are also honorable and noble, superhumanly attractive and strong.

Ruler: Odin, god of battles, poetry, wisdom, mystery, courage and magic, is a wise but obsessed old man, who, though a powerful warrior and creator of the world, is terrified at the thought of Ragnarok, especially since he and most of his people are fated to die. He is also somewhat prejudiced and demeaning towards other races, and though he is a cunning trickster, he isn't very good at keeping his own people's interpersonal dramas under control.

World Description: Asgard is an endless city of the gods of battle and honor and war and power. An endless realm that consists entirely of a fantastic medieval city, it is always expanding and built of gold, silver, delicate wood, and precious materials, while defended by an indestructible stone wall.

Rune: The rune of Asgard is Ansuz, the Rune of War, which controls all forces of conflict and destruction in the nine worlds, and which enables the bearer to shift into the form of the eight-legged flying horse, Sleipnir, made out of the roiling psychic energies of War as an unstoppable force. The rune was last seen set in the hilt of a spear, but it has since been lost in the urban sprawl of Asgard, collecting dust.


Vanaheim:
Native Race: Vanir. The Vanir practice nature magic, often focusing on plants and healing, as well as some power over the weather to ensure good crops and safe sailing. They can also turn invisible and intangible, and they can sense emotions of all living creatures, and they are as large and handsome as the Aesir, but they loathe combat and conflict, and seek peace.

Ruler: Njord, the god of the seashore and sailing, is a gentle, fatherly figure, uninterested in politics as long as his children and people are safe and happy. To that end, he has been manipulating the weather across Vanaheim, trying to defend the realm against any and all intrusion, while using his son Freyr's hunting skills and his daughter Freya's magic to watch for any weakness in the boundaries of the world.

World Description: Vanaheim is a vast, pastoral farmland, and seashore, eternally plentiful and abundant. All manner of fruit, vegetables, tame animals, fish, birds, and plants may be found there, perfectly raised and cultivated.

Rune: Their rune is Jera, the Rune of Peace, which controls all order and creative forces in the nine worlds, while taking on the soothing energy form of the Audumla, the bovine being who brought the first life to the universe and becoming indestructible and incredibly strong, with all the powers of creation. Its gemstone was set in the top of a magic mirror, and is believed to be buried beneath the fertile soil of Vanaheim.


Alfheim:
Native Race: Alfar, or Light Elves. The Alfar have pointy ears, fair, glittering skin, oddly-colored hair, insect wings growing from their backs, iridescent eyes and delicate antennae, and they are slightly shorter and slimmer than humans. Many of them glow with phosphorescence when they fly, hence the name "light elves." They are very beautiful, but fragile-seeming. Still, they have a natural connection with magic, and can merge themselves with different elements of the natural world simply by touching it. Many can also teleport and communicate telepathically.

Ruler: Volund, the smith-king, is a master sculptor and inventor and user of magic, who was once kidnapped by humans and forced to make jewelry for a mortal king after having his legs crippled and his wings torn out. He took his revenge by crafting a pair of goblets for the king and queen... each made out of the skulls of their sons. When the King demanded that his guards seize Volund, the smith laughed and raised his arms, where he had constructed feather wings, and flapped off into the night, where he returned to take up his throne. Since then, he has been adamantly anti-human, and insists that all of his people who do any travel in the middle and lower worlds do so cloaked in illusion or, preferably, invisible. This policy grated on some of his people, who wanted freedom to manipulate humans and take their own vengeance on them, and so many of them have left Alfheim and transformed themselves in to the Svartalfar. Volund would dearly love to reunite the elves under his banner again, but he refuses to leave Alfheim for any reason.

World Description: This realm is of spectacular, but ethereal beauty, with no construction or artifice, instead an endless expanse that shifts from underseas to forests to caverns to plains to clouds to starry skies by blending into one another. All homes are built into the landscape, sculpted from plants or water or coral or stone or cloud, and held in shape by magic.

Rune: Their rune is Dagaz, the Rune of Light, which controls all forms of energy and radiance and illusion, and allows the wielder to take on the form of Hamingja, the great archangel, garbed with weapons and armor of pure and devastating light and flying on thunderous wings of raw energy. It was set in a crown, and was hidden by an ancient magic that locked it away in a stony henge until the sun, moon, and stars aligned properly.


Midgard:
Native Race: Humans. Humans are numerous and courageous, and their spirits are unmatched in any of the other worlds. As such, they are also better at whatever calling they possess than those who must learn the skills of their clans as well. Their world is almost in the middle of all the others, and so they are being the most threatened by the invaders from the other eight worlds.

Ruler: Humans are each led by their own kings, warlords, clan leaders, and priests, each with their own alliances, policies, and beliefs about the other worlds and their peoples.

World Description: This world is set in the time of the Vikings, and is rich and fertile, green and wild, and shows more variety than any of the other worlds.

Rune: Their rune is Algiz, the Rune of Balance, which connects, protects, and transforms all things, places, and times, and empowers the user to become the glorious Hraesvelgr, the mighty eagle who perched on the top of Yggdrasil and fought to protect it. It was set in a sword's hilt, and passed down through the generations, until the bearer's ship was attacked by raiders and it was taken in the spoils, along with the other treasure.

Jotunheim:
Native Race: Jotuns. The largest of all races, many of whom can shapeshift, breathe underwater, or change sizes. The Jotuns range from giants twice the size of a Fire or Frost giant and three times that of an Aesir or Vanir, four times the size of a human and so on, to delicate mermaids and disgusting trolls, to cunning shapeshifters, great beauties, and withered elders. They dislike the Aesir, Alfar, Vanir, and Humans immensely.

Ruler: King Aegir and Queen Ran. Aegir handles foreign policy and ambassadors, alliances, and the like, while Ran handles the affairs of their realm, and their nine beautiful nymph-like daughters serve as spies in each of the other worlds. Aegir is allied with the Aesir, and frequently invites them to feasts, but Ran is more closely connected with the other giants, and hunts for shipwrecked and drowned human sailors to drag away with her.

World Description: The realm is cold and wet, torn between the mountains and the seas, frequently stormy and overcast and dismal.

Rune: Their rune is Laguz, the Rune of Wetness, and it controls all water in any state or form, allowing them to take on the form of Jormungandr, the great sea serpent made of water and poison and mist. In a battle with the Aesir, it was set in the blade of a battleaxe, but in combat the blade was split in two, right along the stone. One half of it was then frozen in a glacier by the Aesir, who proceeded to send a storm to sink the ship in which the Jotun bearing the other piece fled. The glacier's location is common knowledge, but one must get through the thick ice to reach the half of the axe.
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PostSubject: Re: The Nine Runeworlds: Norse Mythology at its best   Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:37 am

Nidavellir:
Native Race: Dwarves. The dwarves are only about three feet tall, short even compared to the Alfar, but their bodies are entirely muscle, stout and strong, and their hair is thick and luxurious. Dwarves can burrow through solid stone and metal at high speed thanks to their magic, and they move incredibly fast, whether running or constructive something.

Ruler: Dvalinn is perhaps the canniest of all the rulers of the nine worlds. Many times have his people been abused by the other races, and he is a very, very, very old dwarf with an extremely long memory. He is cautiously open to alliances with the Aesir (who are arrogant and not always true to their word, especially when it comes to paying for dwarfwork devices) and to the Fire Giants (who are very useful in the forge, if belligerent and unpredictable) and to the Jotun (who pay very well, but have unsavory appetites), as well as the occasional human. However, Dvalinn's biggest problem is the invading Dark Elves, who are trying to invade his land in such great numbers and already renaming it "Svartalfheim." Dvalinn, henceforth, is not a happy camper, and therefore there are no end to the vast numbers of war machines and fantastic (and devastating) devices produces in his forges.

World Description: This realm is mysterious and wonderful and beautiful and dark, for it is entirely underground. Their are vast caves so large that the crystals growing from the ceiling look like stars, and instead of trees there are great stalagmites and stalactites that grow to tremendous heights. Gemstones, precious metals, magma, and minerals of all sorts provide ever-reflected illumination, and strange moss and lichens and pumice-like minerals provide food, along with subterranean beasts and animals. Nidavellir has the most advanced technology of the nine worlds, with elevators, computers, robots, trains, explosives, firearms, and construction of all sort, while the rest of the worlds are considerably more medieval or earlier.

Rune: Their rune is Fehu, the rune of Darkness, which controls all shadows and mysteries and emptiness, and allows the user to become the darkness demon, Gullinbursti, a powerful being of ever-shifting shadows, teeth, talons, spikes, blades, horns, wings, tails, and the like. The rune was set in a ring, which was stolen away for a lindwurm's (slithery, underground dragonlike creature) hoard, and has not been recovered.


Muspellheim:
Native Race: Fire Giants. The Fire Giants are taller than the Aesir and Vanir, but not as tall as the Jotun, but their hair and bears and eyes are constantly burning. Their skin ranges from shades of white, red, orange, yellow, blue, gray and black, depending on their personal energies, and they are immune to all heat and flames (and cold as well, given their inner furnaces). They can burn anything with a glance or a touch.

Ruler: Surtur hates everything. Or wants to destroy everything. Either way, he's not exactly safe to be around. He is immeasurably old, perhaps older than the gods, but appears young and strong and fierce as ever. He comes from a time when the only foes he had were the creatures of frozen Niflheim, and dislikes having so many other forces to muddle the waters. He wants to simplify his battles so that he can concentrate on destroying all that is cold and dark, and with so many other people in his way, each serves as a irritation that builds up until he is in a berserk rage. Consequently, it is far better to deal with the lesser Fire Giants than with their leader.

World Description: This realm is an endless expanse of flame, magma, smoke, and ash. For all that, it is incredibly beautiful, but incredibly deadly as well.

Rune: Their rune is Purisaz, the Rune of Heat, which controls all warmth, fire, and summer throughout the worlds, and enables the wearer to become Fafnir, the great dragon, riding on wings of flame and leaving a scorching tail in its wake burning away all opposition with a breath and searing them with its claws. It was set into a medallion, to be worn around the neck, but the last Fafnir fled into a lava cave and died before she could pass it on, and it sank into the molten stone.


Niflheim:
Native Race: Frost Giants. These people are visually impressive, flawlessly beautiful and carved from ice and snow, with pale skin, hair and gleaming eyes, standing taller than the gods, immune to cold (and heat) and able to freeze even the air itself on a whim, they are fearsome foes.

Ruler: Bergelmir is the grandson of Ymir, and a cousin of Loki. He is currently working to turn the attentions of each of the forces of the other worlds against one another, largely so that he can move in and take over, or at least keep them from taking over. Unlike Surtur, Bergelmir is younger and doesn't particularly care for an idea of icy supremacy... he just wants to further his own interests and ensure his safety. Another faction among the Frost Giants seeks peaceful coexistence and contemplation, and they are led by the icily beautiful Gerd, wife of Freyr, of the Vanir. They have allies among the Vanir, Aesir, Alfar, Jotun, and Dwarves, and are a powerful force in their own right.

World Description: This realm is one cold, dark, bleak land of frozen seas, glittering forests covered in ice, barren tundra, and endless glacier.

Rune: Their rune is Isaz, the Rune of Cold, controlling all cold, ice, snow, and winter in every world, and allowing the wielder to take on the form of Fenrir, the great and terrible wolf, made of whirling, slashing snow and ice, unable to be held by any cage or chains and as strong as a glacier, fierce as the north wind, and terrible as the depth of winter. It was set in a chalice, as a plot to kill a mortal king by freezing his drink as it slid down his throat, but it was instead bought by a merchant, who traded it, and it has since passed around through Midgard, the only rune lost outside its own realm.


Helheim:
Native Race: Draugr. The Draugr are perhaps the most dangerous clan out there, for they are incredibly strong and fast, agile and able to turn themselves into mist, cold-skinned but capable of appearing beautiful and human and seductive, and frequently combined with the remains of animals, such as bats or wolves or rats or snakes, giving them retractable animal features. They feed off of the blood, fear, or lifeforce of other living creatures, especially Humans, Dwarves, Alfar, and Jotuns, and feeding refreshes them, giving them greater power and the ability to appear alive and healthy. Draugr can only be killed if it is absolutely destroyed, with no trace remaining.

Ruler: Hel, who is always half beautifully alive and half dead, though she can choose which half is which. She is the daughter of Loki, a giant with Aesir blood, and Angrboda, a giantess, and so she is also an honorary god and giantess herself. Her siblings are Jormungandr and Fenrir, however, and so she is very interested in collecting the runes which they empower, in hopes of becoming even greater than they. It is she who chooses who among the spirits of the dead is able to cross the boundaries of the worlds and become Draugr, and she frequently chooses those who were beautiful and hideous, handsome, athletic, frail, and ugly... never anyone plain or moderate. She has, however, been separated from her mother and father and brothers, and at times feels like a lonely little girl, caught in the body of both a beautiful woman and a foul corpse. She is one of the only rulers of the realms who is not particularly interested in increasing her power, largely because she doesn't need to. All things die, in the end, and they will come to her realm, those not chosen as heroes, at least. And really, what are a few heroes compared to the power of millions? However, Hel also seeks the power of the Aesir rune, Ansuz, because the force of Niddhogr within her has bled into her perspective, and with the power of War, along with that of her brothers, she might be able to destroy Yggdrasil, permanently, pulling everyone who lives along it down into her gray realm.

World Description: In this realm, all is gray, misty, disintegrated, and dead... plants, animals, people... there is not a single living thing in this entire world, with the possible (half) exception of Hel, herself. Most buildings are built out of bones, and even they do not last long down there.

Rune: Their rune is Naudiz, the Rune of Dryness, which absorbs all liquids and leaves all things dry and dessicated, and controlling dry earth and stone. This lets the finder become Niddhogr, the great Wyvern who gnawed at the roots of Yggdrasil, a terribly creature of famine, blight, and death whose ghostly form allows it to steal away the souls of all things in the area. Everyone knows where it is kept... Hel swallowed it whole, and keeps it next to her heart at all times.


Lesser "Clans": you might consider include the Svartalfar, who have horns instead of antennae and dark skin, claws, and animal features instead of insect wings, Storm Giants (the children of a Jotun and either a Fire or Frost Giant), Half-Elves (an alfar or svartalfar and human hybrid), a Gnome (Alfar or Svartalfar and Dwarf hybrid), Orir (Aesir/Vanir hybrid), Jotir (Aesir or Vanir and Jotun or Fire Giant or Frost Giant hybrid) or Fylgia (Alfar or Svartalfar and Jotun hybrid).


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PostSubject: Re: The Nine Runeworlds: Norse Mythology at its best   Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:53 am

NAME: Magni

CLAN: Jotir. Magni is the son of the Aesir god, Thor, and a giantess of mixed heritage (Jotun, Fire, and Frost) named Jarnsaxa. He takes after his mother (who is twice the size of his father).

CALLING: Warrior/Skald

APPEARANCE: Magni is short for a Jotun, which means he's roughly the size of a Giant from Muspellheim or Niflheim, and still towers over most people at a good 13.5 feet tall. His hair is a mixture of brown and red, and his eyes are a warm gold. He is impressively built, and has superhuman strength (his name even means "Mighty") since he was 3 days old and lifted the dead body of drunk Jotun off his father, when none of the Aesir had been able to. He has a farmboy air about him, but frequently stares off into space, playing with words in his mind and assembling poems. He wears chainmail and has a helmet with wings on either side of it, and he bears two small hammers that he carries in his belt.

ABILITIES: Magni is unbelievably strong, even for someone of his heritage. He is also a skilled warrior, trained by the best Asgardian and Jotun forces. He is resistant (though not immune) to extreme heat and cold and though he cannot breathe underwater, he can hold his breath for hours on end. He has an Asgardian chariot pulled by flying dolphins. As a Skald, he also possesses the ability to entrance someone with amazingly accurate and important stories, poems, and morals. Each of his hammers can burn with fire or chill with ice, and he can generate and channel electricity through his body thanks to being the son of the god of Thunder. He is also possibly unkillable, due to a prophecy about his role after Ragnarok.

HISTORY: Magni is one of the many illegitimate children of Thor, this time with a giantess. Magni has one full-blooded brother and sister, Modi ("Angry") and Pruor ("Strength"). Despite that (and some grumbling on the part of Odin about "fraternizing with the enemy") Thor loved and cared for his giant-born children... until the worlds were severed. During that time, Magni wandered, trained, and listened to stories, while working on finding his own voice. Now that the worlds are connected (or even colliding) again, Magni is eagerly awaiting word from his long-absent father and seeking out the runes in hopes of finding a way to link the worlds without the threat of Ragnarok, so that his family can be reunited. This is important for him, because it is prophecized that Magni and Modi will be among the few survivors of Ragnarok, and that they will bear Thor's hammer, Mjollnir.
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