Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Odin Encounters, Part III

Quests of Odin
Wherever the worlds take you, Odin will be there too. Roll 1d12.

1-2. Wisdom: A battle is occurring between 4d3 vikings and 2d2 ulfhednar (see Volume I for details for both). A random one of their number is quite wise and a party member knows it. Odin sends a sign that they must assist that viking or ulfhedinn, preserving his wisdom and perhaps gaining some of their own in the process.

3-4. Death: With a gasp, a beautiful woman is spotted by a random party member. None other can see her, but there is a sense of a very familiar, unshakeable bond. Whether a fylgja or valkyrie, it is a sign of the party member's impending death, though if a follower of Odin, it will be seen as a glorious impending of Valhalla.

5-6. Insight: The next one to make a save begins to grasp that this life and this world are not all that can be perceived. The one so affected gains the use of the Odinnic Way (see Volume I) or variant mystery of Odin for the next 24 hours, clear-minded, but not one for idle chatter. If already one of his followers, then the one affected gains a temporary mystic level during that time instead.

7-8. The Runes: Rumors say that a middling runecaster (see Part I) has made a breakthrough, allowing a way to make deadly runes more reliably. Many would like to learn this secret, so much so that he will reliably make himself scarce for the foreseeable future, for fear such might be used upon him.

9. Ravens: Cawing, cawing they circle the sky. Warning the party of any impending danger when outside for the next 1d3 days. Those who are appreciative might be even left a small gift by the ravens at the end; those who are not will instead receive it upon their heads.

10. Wolves: With evidence of many vicious murders, a cult of Fenrir (link) is shown to be in the area. Followers of Odin are put on notice to put a stop to it, for it might sully their own honoring of the great wolves Freki and Geri.

11. The Worlds (Sleipnir), Seidr: A portal to many realms is discovered, leading to places all along Yggdrasil (the World Tree), as does Odin's steed. Practitioners of seidr may assist with navigating it. See Manannan in Volume II for ideas of where it might go, or see Sleipnir Ride below as well.

12. True Rulership: The kingdom is being betrayed, with nobles turning upon their own people in some mad scheme to replace them with goblins and orcs. That this will destroy the nobles' ability to rule effectively or have true prosperity has eluded them. Disciples of Odin would see this situation remedied, and ultimate punishment brought against the perpetrators.

13. Grimness: A traveler is encountered, rumored to be a bringer of woe. He is either in fact an agent of misfortune, sent to test the mettle of Odin's faithful, or else is in fact Odin himself, disguised so as to teach that all is not that it seems to be. There's an equal chance of either being the case.


Sleipnir Ride
Whether via an Odin's hof (such as the one detailed in Part II), a node, or some other portal, the party can slide (sleipnir) to another realm. And though such transition might not be so obvious at first, it will likely become more apparent the further they go as they come to realize that they aren't in Midgard anymore.

Roll 1d9
1. Asgard: The feeling of confidence is strong here for all goodly folk and followers of the gods. They gain a +1 bonus to all rolls, while dark and evil ones suffer the reverse, with the modifiers compounding the deeper one ventures. Sights are breathtaking, and high adventure, heroic battle, and feasting are common to complement. And as home of the Aesir, valkyrie, einhreriar, and even the Aesir themselves may be encountered in such a quintessential, noble place.

2. Vanaheim: Great bounty, beauty, comfort, and pleasures abound here. All who correspond with such things will find theirs boosted 1d30%, with each 5% increment allowing a boost of 1 to Charisma and related scores, even moreso the further one gets in the place. Those who do not appreciate such things will instead become hopelessly lost, unable to journey further, and their only hope to return to the portal through which they ventured here. Welcome visitors instead will find valkyrie, landvaettir, and even Vanir too amongst all the abundance. 

3. Alfheim: Thought, whimsy, and light radiate this realm. Those who can stand it (save vs. spell/ Will save DC 15, made 1 easier per Intelligence score above 13) can reroll and pick which result they wish to use when using any actions that's related, while those who don't instead must reroll and take the worse. As fey land of the alfar (Norse elves), such beings will be commonplace, being abstract at times, while resembling that of the ancestors of visitors other times too. Dark and evil beings will soon find the full might of Alfheim to be made against them. For more ideas on alfar see here (link) or the upcoming Volume V (as well as for giants, dwarf-kind, orcs, and goblins too).

4. Midgard: One of many worlds, this what is most familiar to most. Whereas the other realms each have a potent way, it is these middle earths that remain more as neutral grounds for which mortals to set their roots and seek their purpose. Venturing to such places can return travelers to their own, or even to a similar, parallel one, where only a few (but notable) things are different in each. As to what the difference is, another roll on this table may show, for a more Asgardian Midgard would be more heroic and striking, while a more Helheimian one, more dire and dim.

5. Jotunheim: Infused with hard challenge and potent craving, such a rugged land is home to all manner of giant, oversized beast, and danger. If the hazards, such as crevasses and mighty storms, don't make visitors think again- all damage rolls are rolled twice and the one that's used is greater. The denizens are 1d10+1 times in size, HD, and damage as that on Midgard. Many jotun have magical ability too (a base 33% chance), being able to change size and form within only 1d6 rounds with ease, often into forms like that of the megafauna so prevalent in the realm. 

6. Muspelheim: Hot and fiery, such is the domain of the fire giants, as well as lots of smoke and boiling. Tempers rise easily here, causing all to save vs. spell/ make a Will save DC 15 or engage in argument or worse, along with weakness to cold attacks, taking +3 effect. All that is angry and/or fiery instead receives a +3 to their effect, though the giants, dragons, elementals, demons, and other native races are normally immune to the latter.

7. Niflheim: Cold and icy, such is the place where frost giants dwell. Spine-tingling nerve can be found too or even frozen emotion, making all fear rolls +3 more potent 50% of the time, while heartlessness the rest. Cold damage gains a +3 modifier all the time, although local giants, huge beasts, elementals, demons, and savages are likely impervious. The reverse too, bravery and fire effects, are reduced -3.

8. Nidavellir/ Svartalfheim: A place of eternal darkness, where many dwarves and dock alfar dwell, it is unclear who the realm is named for. Both sides fight it out, along with a multitude of other underdark folk, with all too many orcs and goblins fighting them, as well as more reasonable gnomes, bizarre fishmen, and even stranger things.

9. Helheim: Domain of the Goddess of Death, it is generally a doomed place, where inhabitants are more often  covered or bound in some manner. Still, not is all terrible, for brighter pockets can be found- those dead who, although not courageous or bountiful enough for Valhalla or Folkvang, can still find pleasant afterlives to enjoy eternity until either they're reborn or some enterprising mortals comes to visit.

Next week: our series on divinity encounters continues with Pan!