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Midgard: Alseid Hunter

Alseid Deer Centaur by Allison Theus (c) 2010 Open DesignThe Midgard patrons are converting new creatures for the AGE System, like this one originally written for Tales of the Old Margreve and Pathfinder RPG. The Midgard campaign setting may be acquiring an AGE System bestiary if this keeps up!

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Alseid are the graceful woodland cousins to centaurs. Because they are rarely seen far from the wooded glades they call home, they are sometimes called “grove nymphs,” despite being more closely related to elves than nymphs.

Alseid see the forest as an individual and a friend. They are suspicious of outsiders who do not share this view. Lost travelers who demonstrate deep respect for the forest may spot a distant alseid’s white tail and chase after it as it bounces toward a road that leads out of the forest. Disrespectful strangers may follow the same tail to their doom.

Male alseid have antlers growing from their foreheads. Antlers grow very slowly, branching every 10 years for the first century of life. Further points only develop with the blessings of the forest. No 14-point imperial alseid are known to exist, but many tribes are governed by princes with 13 points. Because antlers signify status, alseid never use them in combat. Cutting an alseid’s antlers is one of the direst punishments an alseid can receive. Elf rangers have reported a lone alseid exile, wandering the Margreve, its antlers sawn off near the scalp.

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Midgard: the Gnomes of Niemheim

Gnome of Niemheim with Skull and ScrollsSome creatures of Midgard are gentle, loving, and brave. The gnomes of Niemheim are none of these things. They are servants of Hell.

It was not always so. The gnomes lived among the people of Krakova for many years as friends and allies, teaching humans the arts of fey sorcery, weaving, and gardening. They were a kindly people, always eager to discuss the finer points of pottery, alchemy, tanning, and the illumination of manuscripts. Their hats and noses were sources of mirth, but their wisdom was valued and respected.

Then, 200 years ago, a gnomish prince betrayed a promise made to Baba Yaga. A blood oath of loyalty and service was foresworn. The prince died swiftly, but his people’s suffering was slow.

Ever since, it is said, she has sought to use their beards for her pillow-stuffing. The gnomes lived in fear of night-haunts, strigoi, the ala hags and the psoglav demon-dogs— all servants of Baba Yaga. The gnomes lived in perpetual pants-wetting terror, knowing their children would be grist for Baba Yaga’s mortar, and their villages kindling for her fire and her hunting drakes. Village by village, the gnomes disappeared.

Until one day, a devil of the Eleven Hells made the King of the Gnomes an offer. A generous offer, kind and yet sly…

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Midgard Progress, Week 3: Smack-Talkin’ Interviews

Priestess of Rava
It’s been moderately busy in Midgard, with the first — draft-level, not final! — Dragon Age RPG content delivered as part of my Prince of Midgard interview with the Oracle: the Triolan Corsair background.

The Stargazer’s World interview expands on that with a short history and discussion of the future plans for the setting. Throw in this terrific sketch of a priestess of Rava by Aaron Miller and the recent Declaration of Principles, and I’d say not a bad week.

Funding News
The real news, of course, is that the project is closing in on funding goal! We’re looking at a launch into the first design stage in early February, or possibly sooner if a handful more patrons join us.

Mechanics for the Setting
As noted in week 1 report, the Pathfinder RPG and the Dragon AGE System seem to be the mechanics of choice. Not sure where the 4th Edition support has gone, but perhaps the fact that 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons has 3 official campaign settings at last count—where Pathfinder and Dragon Age have one each—may have something to do with the varying levels of support….

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