I have this weird idea for integrating Mythic Europe with Norse mythology, and I'd appreciate some feedback.
Okay, the start of the idea is that Odin is a reincarnating title. Someone who can use the runes(that is to say, all the Elder Futhark, to some reasonably high level) goes through the nine days' hanging to be enlightened, then finds the correct regio to sacrifice an eye and gains a high-end version of Ways of the Norse-lands. After that he goes around binding the Jotun to his authority. He also gains a warping point every year.
Hermetics check for Twilight. Odin checks for Twilight of the Gods. His version of "failing the check at Twilight 10" is Ragnarok, and everything he has bound is released. He dies soon after, but generally not without a fight.
After that, someone eventually completes the ascension ritual and becomes the new Odin.
Enter the Order of Hermes.
Viking raids hit Europe and the British Isles in the late 8th century, and continue on through the 9th. The Order is young, and presumably the 2nd and 3rd generation magi aren't very powerful, since the high-quality books are mostly yet-to-be-written. Mature viktir warriors could overawe the relatively weak magi, leaving a deep impression about the "order of Odin". Eventually a group with good spirit magic get together and kill Odin and his coterie, winning both magic items and vis.
Except that by claiming the relics and the vis, they pretty much blocked Odin from reincarnating into the next lucky viktir. And so the runes faded to where you have to be Gifted to use them, but the Jotun are still bound. And they aren't happy about it. The next Ragnarok is going to be a nasty one, if they can ever get free.
I like the idea, I like the flavour.
A couple of concerns:
- it sounds like a campaign ideally set around 1050-1100, to coincide with the Normans conquering England and then Sicily. 1200 is a bit late. In my opinion.
- how do you intend it all to interact with the Dominion? If you go with the canon setting, where the Jotnar are basically magic beings and the Norse pantheon are faeries, then I find them to be a bit too weak to be the main drivers of a full campaign. Plus the faerie nature would tend to add (several versions of) faeries to take the roles of everyone involved, rendering the whole 'no Odin available' part null and void.
[I personally dislike the down-grading of the possible 'gods' in 5th ed, yet I love the current version of faeries. In one campaign setting I made, I had the 'God of the Dominion' be just one source of 'divine power' (who had replaced the earlier 'God of Miracles' - an idea taken from the 'Lion of the North' tribunal book, where the Celtic Church didn't have a dominion aura, instead the priests could perform miracles; this church being replaced by the Catholic Church led by the Pope, and changing the auras), and made the various pagan gods be of a similar ilk.]
Hmmm . . . in my ideal Mythic Europe, I think Magic auras would be the only "natural" ones. "Faerie" would happen when unregulated folklore taints neighboring auras. Dominion refers to human dominion - ie they are a representation of the spiritual aggregate of the community. "Pagan" dominion auras act as a powerful supernatural tether, with the bonus/penalty based on what the local supernatural bigshot approves and disapproves of. The three Abrahamic faiths enjoy low-level, reluctant Divine sanction(all three meaning well enough, but also all three having cast aside the prophets in favor of scholarly hairsplitting, and thus being technically apostate), and Infernal auras most easily manifest as lacunae within a dominion aura or the corruption of an entire aura(such as tempering an aura with wrath to ensure that invaders commit atrocities).
That leaves most Powers as being with a high Magic Might - including, I think, the Tuatha De Danann(who are also the Sidhe and the Alfar). Because the faeries are what happen when magical entities are trapped by folklore, ie nearby humans making up s**t about them. (Idea for a Mythic Companion - a minstrel who can try to taint Magic beings into Faerie, and who can reprogram Faeries.)
This idea gets a high "cool factor". it also explains the huge fear factor of the OoH in front of the OoOdin as the boogie man.
I agree that it would fit better somewhat earlier in the history of the Order. Translating the OoH to 1100 is extremely easy (read: you do not need change anything) so I would play in that time period.
Killing Odin - and blocking the reincarnation cycle - should probably happen around 900 or so, because after that Christian missionaries start having more success in the Norse countries.
For something in the 1220 setting, the interesting question is, what happens when scouting Mongol shamans start poking at the situation?
So the mongols might release Odin by taking back its regalia to a Magic aura after sacking a covenant (for example)? That is an interesting twist indeed.