Discussing the North

There has been discussion of the North scattered about. The current adventure at Wadanzee, the concept behind IBT's character, the idea of a hidden vault, and whatnot. So I wanted to discuss how we as a troupe want to handle Nordic elements that may appear in this saga. Scandinavia and Ultima Thule play a part in Carmen's Background. A few years of self discovery taking place after her gauntlet and return to Andorra. Who else? Constantius of Jerbition of Bellaquin, and the Quaesitor/Seeker Cornelius of Bonisagus. They were both part of Herot and attempted (and failed) to form an Ultima Thule Tribunal in 1228.
That is all there has been defined in this saga, and even this is pretty loose and can be changed as we see fit.

Relevant books I own include Hedge Magic, HMRE, Mythic Seas, and Land of Fire & Ice, I used to have Ultima Thule, but it has been lost. I also have an extensive collection of The Mighty Thor. Do not mock me. Some of them are really really good and delve deep into Norse myth and mysticism. I am also influence by ideas Alan More expressed in Promethea and LoEG: The Black Dossier.

I've got almost all the 3e & 4e books including Ultima Thule, love a good Thor book, and am a member of the Wagner opera society down here because of the Ring Cycle. That said, Wikipedia and a few old mythology books is how I research.

I'll buy into whichever flavour and themes the group wants, I'm the new guy and it's better that way anyway.

I'd be happy to write up a brief summary of the elements, magics, special rule sets from the older Ars material as a starting point if that will have value? Then we all add/hack it to bits?

I ran a cool Ultima Thule saga for a while, and it was just at its peak when ArM5 came out. And even then it was an extension of Andorra. The PC's were set up in Denmark and had problems with the wild Flambeau magi trying to settle the frontier. One of those was Carmen.
I lost that book, and I do not have Hermetic Rivals. But I do have Fire and Ice and Iclandic Wars and all the cool stats on Pan Caudrax :smiley:

I want to talk about Magic and Faerie. The Aesir are Magic, at least it seems more proper that way to me. Odin is the god of magic. The vitkir are not using faerie powers. The Aesir are more closely related to giants than to elves. The Norns/Fates/Faeries are an esoteric challenge to them.

I like it better like this. The Aesir are Magic beings highly affected by the Fae. But magic, sentient, objective beings. Odin has a plan. He is a survivalist.

There is a lot of metaphysics theory I need to brood upon here...

Yep, agree. They seem very magical in nature. I'd dislike a Fae or divine view.

Rival magic defines the Aesir as faerie and the Jotun as magic, and includes Muspelli magic with a Norse basis.

Aye, in 5th edition, there's a trend of 'did it demand / expect worship? It's faerie!' - on the assumption that magical creatures don't care about any followers they might accrue. You see the same split between the Titans and the Olympians (former, magic and the latter, faerie).

Of course, that's not to say that both don't exist after a fashion. The Norse deities that interact with mortals could well be faeries aping the grand existences of magical beings that don't visit our mortal world all that often. A lot of Nordic mythology doesn't seem to concern humans at all (right?), so that might be an interesting way of looking at it.

Don't forget Gunnvara!

The "official cannon" puts the current gods as Faerie as silveroak has said. When I worked up Vara I was assuming the current gods were Faerie and the magical titans are all bound. But there are ways to work around that if we want Odin and co. to be magic. Off the top of my head they could be "traitors" who sided against the Titans or they could be pretenders who have stolen the identities of the real Odin and co.

Titans are Greek/Roman, not Norse. None of the tales in the Eddas I have read seems to indicate the Aesir desire or even care about being worshiped. Also, Snorri Sturlason, who is contemporary with this era (and about to get killed in a few years), and who wrote the most widely accepted collection of these tales, had an alternative view. The Aesir were (once) mortal men, refugees from Troy.
Looking at just the Norse, leaving off aside the Green/Roman/others. Faeries seem to be an outside force in the lives of the Aesir. Norns, Alfar, etcetera.
Now, mind you, I am not concerned so much with Rival Magic. I do not have it though it is on my list. I am also not that worried about cannon. This saga is already somewhat off the standard path of cannon. I am more concerned about what works for this saga and what interpretation is most satisfying to the troupe.
I will admit though, I have never been satisfied with the concept of Faeries as philosophical zombies.

They are. I brought them up because the Titan/Olympian split is the same split 5e cannon has used for the Norse deities too. But like you, I also said that the split doesn't seem to work as well for the Norse ones as it does for the Greek ones. Hence my musing that even if there are faerie versions of the Norse Gods (who gain power from worship et al), they might just be aping the Magical Realm entities who are the 'real' Norse Gods.

Jebric said something like that in the forums discussing Folk Christianity. I like that idea, for there could in theory be a Faerie version of just about anything. Faerie Hermes wears a mustache and Faerie Jesus throws a peace sign.

For what it's worth:

This is veeeeery much 4th edition thinking, where Faeries = modern view of Celtic Faeries. Which is limited and limiting, IMO
5th explicitely doesn't work like this, and, in it, not only are the Nordic Gods Faerie beings, this is made explicit in Rival Magic.
I may see 2 blurring the line:

  • Odin, which, through his initiation, managed to tap into the power of the magic realm to increase his own.
  • Loki, through his ascendency.

Do the Aesir are primal, raw forces of nature, unconcerned by mankind, or are they akin to us, with loves and rivalries, and relationship with us (whatever they may be)? Is Tyr War, or the god of War?
In the nibbelung saga, Odin clearly interferes in the lives of mortals. A 5th Ed magic god wouldn't care about this. A faerie one? Very much.

Funnily, this is even reflected in the comics, a lot.
Whereas the Hulk just wants to be left alone, and doesn't care about humanity, Thor, from the onset, is curious about humans, and meddles with them. Some stories made it so that Odin changed him into Don Blake, not to teach him humility, but rather to remind humanity of the Old Gods. And don't get me started about Earth X, where asgardians are almost more 5th-ed faeries than the faeries themselves. There are also comics in which the rapport of asgardians to stories is explicitely laid bare, even going as far as to obviously stating that there have been multiple ragnaroks, multiple beginning and ends.

This... By 5th edition standards
A magic god wouldn't care about all this. He wouldn't need a plan, being safe in the twilight void or such. Who cares if no human remembers him?
A faerie god, otoh, would very much need one, and wouldn't like much if his worship dwinkled or such.