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Ideas for Niflheim

by Ville Lähde

In my older Mystaran campaign (OD&D) the PCs are about to travel to Niflheim. They are searching for Ragnar the Stout, the former leader of Soderfjord, who has been hiding the Thyatian occupation army in the Great Marsh. Yup, in my campaign Thyatis invaded Soderfjord in the aftermath of the Nomad War. Tension between Alphatia and Thyatis has been growing. Alphatia annexed Helskir and Oceansend, and Thyatis has gained Ylaruam and Soderfjord. Due to the intervention of one PC the Thyatian army failed to catch Ragnar who started a guerrilla campaign against the invaders. But he was forced to retreat into the Marsh.

During the winter he was lured into Niflheim by the Witch Queen - on a mission to look for her missing elven spouse.

The PCs know that Ragnar is in Niflheim, but don't know much else. One of the PCs is his blood brother and has been having nightmares about Ragnar lost in a blizzard.

Ragnar has been captured by a powerful Frost Giant king who originally took him in as a quest. But after having learned about Ragnar's powerful allies he decided to lure them into his court and blackmail them into doing him a favour.

I'm yet to come up with a good story here. Who is the Giant king up against? Why are humans essential for him? What about the lost elven spouse?

I want to switch the genre for this one. Usually our Mystara is pretty "realistic" in the sense that we focus on politics and economies, the grey areas of real life. But in this case - it is another world after all - I want to go to epics. The solutions to the problems should follow the logic of epic sagas: challenges, tests, mysteries... the PCs must learn to live in a story.

Any ideas? Has anyone else been writing adventures in Niflheim? How about you Vikings over there?

(Funny thing is, the giants were supposed to come from Finland in some versions of the myth. I should have the home field advantage. But perhaps the Jotun are sleeping here.)