The Ebon Empire
The Frostmarch Player's Guide
Yrstagg is the cold and beautiful land of the Jotnar, a race of Giants. The territory is under the control of King Ymghirr, Jarl of all Yrstagg, an evil tyrant who rules Yrstagg with an iron fist. People who wish to make it in Yrstagg must parley with the Giants and hope the local Jarl doesn’t just kill them on sight.
The land of the Jotnar is a forbidding place with massive mountains and forests. Huge trees hide megafauna and monsters of legend.
Humans and their allies have created small communities on the costs, focused on trade via the vast seas and rivers of the area. As such the humanoids have developed a prowess at shipbuilding and seafaring. This, and the relatively small size of their communities have kept their activities from the attention of the Jotnar, who would no doubt see such communities as a threat to destroy.
Skapta kull The north western region of yrstagg is a frozen wasteland know as Skapta Kull. Covered in glaciers and Ice, the land is treacherous. Ice storms blow in from the frigid sea suddenly and can take unwary travelers by surprise.
Mor the north eastern region of yrstagg starts at the northern end of the Narfasker mountains and ends at the Ovalin ocean. Snow drifts hundreds of feet tall move around the frozen flats of the region. During a windstorm these drifts can move literally hundreds of feet, possibly covering a community overnight in hundreds of feet of snow.
Narfasker The South eastern region of yrstagg is a land of ice and geothermic activity. Volcanoes, steam vents, and tarns hide amongst flowing mountains and glaciers.
Gil a chain of islands in the sea of ghosts each island is home to a mountain and many natural ports. Plentiful fishing in the area is made slightly more dangerous by the ever present fog. This fog can get so thick it prevents people on one side of a ship from being able to see the other side
Husavik the South Western region of yrstagg is another mountainous region. The mountains are older, covered in more vegetation and generally warmer than any part of yrstagg except gil. Great beasts inhabit the forests of this region.
Skalafell an island to the north of yrstagg in the Ovalin ocean, skalafel is known as a land of death. Ruled by an insane Jotnar Jarl, the island is supposedly inhabited by the dead. Ringed by mountains that are nearly impossible to cross, only a few natural ports allow access.
342: Humans arrive in Yrstagg
825: The Grand aurora causes magical energy to storm across the North. These magical tempests mutated life and warped the environment. The storms ravaged Skapta Kull, Mor and Skala Fel for 20 years. By the time the storms abated those regions were transformed forever.
826: A great war between the peoples of the Hellr is started when a Dokkalfr Prince is murdered by his mistress. She had been made to do so by the machinations of her clan. The original civil war blossomed into full fledged conflict when the rebels gained the aid of Hellir Dvergar. The capital Mereval was besieged and conquered repeatedly by both factions. The last battle for Mereval collapsed the cavern system it was enclosed within. Most of those trapped inside perished, and the rebels were victorious. And a faction led by Migin Doomheart was forced to the surface to continue the war.
889: The Great Jotnar war.
907: The stygian conflict spills out of Hellr. And the Doomheart faction of Dokkalfr has been forced to the surface where they have been in a two way war with the Liosalfr
1071: The Return of the Norns has thrown the entire world into disarray. But in Yrstagg the Norns have become a source of great knowledge and power. Especially when it comes to weapons in the war with giants
1102: The Sul’dusan war. A massive warband of sakkadan’s lead by Voq’mas made an incursion into Husavik. The Sakkadan horse was almost unstoppable, crushing the small communities and loose confederations of towns in south Husavik. Their rampage tore apart communities of men, firbolg, Liosalfar, and Hill Dvergar. After 10 years of fighting, with the sakkadans reaching almost to Alfheimer. At this point, a great shield maiden of Aesa named Myrgjol Blackcrusher lead a coalition of the people of Husavik. She turned the tide with a phyrric victory at the Battle of Blackvolg and after another 7 years managed to completely eject the Sakkadans from Husavik.
1155: Ragnar is the great warrior who founded Eyjafjoll. He crossed the sea of ghosts to find a harbor that he could use to set up as a base of operations for raiding. Common raid targets includes towns along the coast of the sea of ghosts, usually Sakkadan towns, but some raids have gone as far as The Rain Archipelago and Decia.
1178 modern day
The home of the Jotnar king. Skapta keep is marked by the Dragon skull gate. The skull of the linnorm Lyrath hangs above, reminding visitors that the king of Yrstagg is a dangerous foe if he is not your loyal friend.
A mountain upon which sits Skapta keep. The pinnacle used to be the home of a linnorm now its cavern complex is home to myriad monsters, and bandits.
The Skapta pinnacle is also the home of the great forest known add the Skaptholt. Firbolgs
The Kodgunsblut Pantheon The story of the Immortals worshiped by the mortals of Yrstagg.
Lahragrunr: The Ancient god of the Jotnar, who seeks to destroy the world.
Jotnar the Giants who inhabit Yrstagg
Jormungandr: a massive sea serpent said to reside deep IV the ocean around Yrstagg. Its tossing and turning is said to be the reason for waves.
Trolls: Uglier, less intelligent, smaller, cousins of the jotnar. Frequently raid mortal settlements.
Pesta a small, ugly man who brings pestilence and death in his wake.
Grim a creature who resides within waterfalls
Draugr the bodies of the dead returned to the world of the living.
Huldra: a beautiful woman with a fox tail who lives in the woods and seeks to lure brave warriors away from a life of adventure to sire children.
Mare: a spirit that enters the room of a sleeping person to steal food dreams and replace them with terrors.
Character Creation Guide
This section contains the rules for PC creation. The races and classes listed are the only ones available to play. However, you can use any background available in the PHB (that make sense).
Feats will be used for this campaign, however, alternate humans will not get a feat at level one.
15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 is the starting array.
Aasimar (Valkyrkunnr): Sometimes a Valkyrie will shirk her responsibilities and fall in love with a powerful warrior. Those descended of Valkyrie blood are known as “Valkyrkunnr” and are exceedingly rare. Some adventure to redeem the prestige and honor of their ancestor, and most believe themselves to be blessed by the gods. Sometimes, when they are the only ones left in bright and gleaming armor after an epic battle, it does seem like they are indeed so blessed.
Devan (Norn): After the arrival of the Black Moon, many Norn communities appeared overnight, scattered around Yrstagg. Within months, most of these communities were destroyed. Their inhabitants slaughtered. SInce then, the Norn have gone into hiding. Using a combination of mystic arts, subterfuge, and mobility, the Norn have hidden their communities. Tracking a tribe of Norns is next to impossible.
Dragonborn (Drekikunnr): The proud, majestic peoples of the Drekikunnr are descendants of dragons. Skilled warriors of the highest caliber, the Drekikunnr roam as nomads over the ice flats of Skapta. The inhospitable terrain has made the Drekikunnr into some of the finest survivalists in Yrstagg
Drow (Dokkalfr): The Dokkalfr are denizens of the caves beneath Narfaskar. The warriors of the dark elf nation of Akklbuskr are renowned for their extreme competence in the military arts. Those venturing into Dokkalfr caves are risking death. But their smiths are renowned for their skill. And a trip to Hel to procure exotic arms and armor may prove worthwhile.
Duergar (Hellir Dvergar): The underground Dvergar who live in eternal darkness refer to themselves as “Hellir”. Believing themselves to be denizens of “Hel” these Dvergar are less than amicable to other races. Often killing those who wander into their underground lairs. Entering a cave in Hellir territory is risky, but the treasures deep within the mountains can sometimes make that risk worth it.
Evar (Einherjar): The Einherjar of yrstagg live amongst humans on the Gil islands. Believed by many to be spiritually possessed by ancient warriors, sent back to the material world to continue training to fight. The Einherjar are prophesied to be the frontline combatants in the war against the Jotnar.
Firbolg: The firbolg are the men of the fey. Crossed over in part from the first world, they make their homes in the forests of Husavik. They are kind to strangers if found, but extremely reclusive. Finding a Firbolg community is hard, but seen as a good sign. Because if a firbolg welcomes you, he appreciates some aspect of your personality.
Goliath (Jotnarkunnr): the Jotnarkunnr of Yrstagg are a despised race. Their mixed parentage of human and Jotnar make them reviled by other humans and Jotnar alike. Some Jotnarkunnr are raised in human communities, but most are hermits, secluding themselves in the wilds of Yrstagg.
Humans (Gileans): The fair-skinned, blonde, and blue-eyed humans of Gil control the only region of Yrstagg not directly ruled by the Jotnar. Gileans are natural shipbuilders and seafarers. By an early age, they become masters of the open water and are so skilled they make even the mighty Jotnar wary of the sea. Humans control many of the ports in the Gil region and are very open to trade from other nations. It is because of this that Gil has a reputation for diversity.
High elves, (Liosalfr): the Liosalfr live in the Husavik jarldom. Specifically making their homes in the wooded areas. Using the dark woods to stay beneath the notice of the Jotnar. They are known for mastering the mystic arts. And mortals often brave the woods of Husavik to gain access to their aid. Their ancestral home is Alfheimer, a hidden city locked in a forest hidden within the craggy peaks of the Husavik mountains. Liosalfr despise dokkalfr
Hill Dwarf (Haugr Dvergar): The Dvergar of Husavik refer to themselves as “Haugr Dvergar” or “Haugr” and live in the hills on the northern end of Husavik. Their forts are generally wooden and concealed in the dense forests of Husavik. These Haugr are capable forest folk.
Mountain Dwarf (Uro Dvergar): The Dvergar of Narfasker are a hardier breed, Making their fortresses of unyielding stone, high up in the mountains. These Dvergar thumb their noses at Jotnar superiority and openly wage war on the giants. Retreating to their mountain citadels when defeat appears costly.
Classes and archetypes can be any from the player’s handbook except wizard, and any additional classes or archetypes specifically mentioned here.
Barbarian: The great berserker warriors of Yrstagg are renowned for their ferocity, and unflinching bravery. Their great rage powers unthinkable brutality and fierce resistance to pain, exhaustion, and fear. There may be only one man in each warband capable of “Berserkergang” Humans are most often capable of such fury, but some Einherjar, and JotnarKunnr take to the craft as well. Drekikunnr and Dvergar of all types look upon such rage as weakness, and tend to despise members of their communities who practice it unless they become Dragon Shaman.
Bard: Skalds are the great storytellers of Yrstagg. Inspiring acts of bravery, self-sacrifice, strength, and cunning with the legends they weave. Skalds rarely play instruments in Yrstagg, instead relying on the written and spoken word, crafting great epic poems and legends, and speaking of the great mythology of the gods and heroes. Any race can be a skald, Einherjar skalds are most often college of Valor, and Liosalfr and Dokkenalfr skalds are more often College of lore skalds.
Cleric: Most gods of Yrstagg have a healthy appreciation of combat, and as such, so do their acolytes. The Warrior priests of the Kodgunsblut pantheon preach the stories of valor of their patrons, often from the frontlines of combat.
Druid: Skiptahamr are the wildmen at the edges of civilization. Hidden deep within the untamed wilderness of Yrstagg, these shapechangers are known for their ability to become animals. But they are also known for their wisdom. In fact it is not uncommon for them to be sought out for aid in problems of health or of community. Liosalfr, Firbolg, Norn, and Haugr Skiptahamr generally belong to the circle of the land. Einherjar, Jotnarkunnr, and Drekinunnr tend towards circle of the moon.
Fighter: Rekkrs are amongst the most common adventurers in Yrstagg. well prepared, well trained and well equipped, every community has a few Rekkrs who can protect its interests.
Monk: Monks are not trained in monasteries in Yrstagg, they learn to fight from a young age in the streets and in bar rooms. as such there are no “Way of the four elements” monks in Yrstagg. Those who master the Open fist are brawlers of the first order. those who master the way of shadow are considered “treacherous” and often distrusted.
Paladin: Warriors with a grand cause are rare in Yrstagg, but occasionally, one blessed by the gods takes up arms and becomes a warrior of legend. Einherjar and Valkyrkunnr often aspire to become these holy warriors, but few actually feel the calling.
Ranger: Rangers most often call the wilds of Husavik their home as it offers the best game. Liosalfr and Firbolg rangers most often become beast masters. We’ll be using the The Unearthed Arcana Ranger for this
Runepriest: Warriors and priests, preaching the power of the word. Utilizing runes of power to affect the battlefield and empower allies, these armored priests carve runes into their weapons and onto scraps of paper and small stones to call upon the power of the words of the gods. Some say the runes existed even before the gods themselves. Dvergar appreciate the craftsmanship of the runes, and other races feel the call of the runes as sources of great power. Norn are never Runepriests.
Sorcerer: Sorcerers are generally seen as cowards by the brave and strong warriors of Yrstagg, hiding from the front lines and practicing “witchcraft”. Sorceresses are more accepted but still not trusted very well. Norns and Dokkenalfr become sorcerers quite often.
Warden: Wardens are the protectors of Holy sites, specifically the great Rune stones that are hidden in the wilderness of Yrstagg. Wardens are most often Firbolgs, but many Jotnarkunnr and Dvergar appreciate the power derived from the earth,
Warlock: Practitioners of the arcane the “Hex” are rarely accepted in most communities in Yrstagg. The norn appreciate Warlocks, but few other mortals do. As such, most practitioners of these dark arts hide their craft. Others who are found out are forced to flee or face death by fire. Most are wandering vagabonds or hermits hiding in the wilderness.
Backgrounds can be any from the player’s handbook or the following:
Merchant: Merchants and traders of Yrstagg are well known for their skill.
Viking Raiders who ride the waves to conquer distant shores.
Wiseman Leaders of the community or distant hermit
Shieldmaiden Women who walk into battle for their god
Honor Cards For this campaign we’ll be using Honor Cards
Leveling We will be using a “Milestone” leveling system rather than an XP based one to help encourage the idea that fighting is not always going to be the best survival mechanism. Basically, every 3 adventures gets you another level. Missing a session will merely cost you an Honor card, not a level.