Rothgaar’s Guide to the Frostfell (History and Houserules)
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Most of the great races have come to accept their lot – Nomads, Exiles, Survivors, they carve out life for themselves in the livably warm climes of the southern valleys. The mighty elves and the stalwart dwarves, the tenacious halflings and secretive gnomes, not to mention the adaptable humans, found themselves unable to cross the line of frost that climbs ever southward, consuming the other continents. While others wait for the inevitable icing-over of their world, the selfish seek personal power, wealth, and to sate their personal gluttony, most people are too busy surviving the harsh world outside. Yet there are bright stars, good folk who have come to see that there is more that can be done – Adventurers and Heroes who have all, for one reason or another, found the strength to try and change things.
Small Gods dominate the valleys, serving where agents of the Frostfell gods have yet to reach. They are Fey, Magical Beasts, or other beings beyond mortal ken who earn the reverence of the great races through feigned benevolence or unmatched ferocity. While most will accept one of these ‘gods’, they also know the cautionary tales of the Frost Folk, terrible creatures who sold themselves to an archfiend for protection from the cold.
Frightened worshipers revere Auril of the Dread Cold, hoping to placate the cruel mistress of ice. People in search of power revere the wild gods of Vatun and Telchur, rival ice gods who spread raiding and gloom respectively across the snows. Cults of the frostlord Thrym, and cultists of Iborighu threaten to expedite the spread of the ice across the world, while a handful of loyal worshippers of Hleid seek to restore their bitter and vengeful goddess to her proper place in the world.
Normal folk of the Survivor’s Vale would never be able to survive the harsh and terrible winters of the Frostfell – Especially given the indifferent and even hostile nature of the Frostfell Pantheon. Instead, these adventurers have better than a fireball-in-Stygia’s chance because of one simple fact – they’re Heroes.
The Heroic nature of these adventurers is represented with a couple of house rules and systems. You can read the Design Concepts page, f you really want to know why I made these choices, or read about the specific systems below: