The Village of Astfanginn

The council of the seven

This council runs Astfanginn and decides which new villager who will follow what völva. As individuals they might follow different traditions but as a whole and officially the Council follow the tradition of the Norns.

There are 7 characters in this group but one of them dies in the beginning. This group has less camaraderie and more under the wraps in fighting than the other völic groups but they also weild an almost absolute power over both Asfanginn and the visitors. This group fits those who want to be both regal and dirty, feared and loved.
The highest three are called “The Council of the Three” and these run most meeting without calling the rest of the council, this is for days when it’s mostly day to day buisness that needs to be attended to.
The Highest five is “The Council of the Five” and is for those times when more minds are needed.

The whole of the council is the Council of the Seven and they are called when the village is in danger, when new arrivals apply for more complicated seidr or a new arrival asks to stay with the village, knows seidr and needs to be assigned a Völva.

The followers of Järngerd act as their defence and enforcers.

The Thralls of Astfanginn

Nine thralls. All the way from the high status thrall that serves the first of the council to the lowest two thralls that serves, and is abused by the whole village. Orphans, foreigners and murderers who knows no seidr but serves seidr and völic power. This group is a fit for those who enjoy working at larps and to play on great power differences.

Followers of Järngerd

Järngerd and her followers follows the godesses Gefjon and Gríðr. Their magic increase physical strength and they put this before all. They love to wrestle each other and others. And to also fight against physical constraints such as chains. Their magics also center on giving or taking away strength, often invested in external objects such as belts, or making potions to be drunk by  the person who bought their services. This is a high status group that the council is heavily invested in, often using them as the muscles to their plans. When a group of Völvas could be used as a physical honor guard this is it.
This group fits those that love to rough house, restrain and be restrained. You are high status in the way an elite guard has high status. This group is both magical and physical.

Followers of Ljot

Their magic who works with the tradition of the god Njörðr. Wards against drowning and shipwrecks. Brings the bounty of the sea and can bring back what has been lost to the sea. They work by part drowning themselves and the ones that ask for help.
“The sea takes everything, and it gives everything”
The majority of the group is a triad of lovers who now are making their moves on their newcome, who also is their leader Ljots ward.
This group is a good fit if you like being dreamy, weird while also foretelling what was and what will be and you might have a penchant for very drowned gods and men. You will probably have a lot of play with the crew of the Eyrgjafa. When Ljot travels it is to help those who can pay with issues of the sea, the past and the future. She is paid and then brings the payment back to Astfanginn.

Followers of Freygerd

Follows Frey and Freya. Seidr mostly used for beauty, battle, fertility and sexual love. Most of them are former Shieldmaidens who had their reasons to escape to Astfanginn and learn to spin the battle from yarn and seidr instead. The group lost a member who left them for the Followers of Ljot and their lesbian triad.
They can spin fortune in battle into those who come to them for help, but also beauty and sexual prowess.
This group is a good fit for those who usually love the Amazone trope. This is mainly women who love women, battle readiness, beauty and charisma. Others will see you as charming and enticing. When The troupe travels it is to help to spin the fate of battle or to help in a difficult pregnancy and childbirth, for those who can pay.

Followers of gyrid

Their Seidr is connected to Idunn with the golden apples. Gyrid and her followers mostly concentrate their seidr on youth and healing. The healing needs to be connected to eating and/or drinking, being handfed from the völvas or from special cups or similar objects that the followers keeps with them. Gyrid and her followers have some yet slim chanses of bringing characters back from the brink of death, but can also be robbed of their power, which is invested in objects.
This group is a good fit for those who enjoy playing with their food and taking really good care of other characters, although there is also a menacing part of what has been given can be taken away. Characters will literally eat from your hands.
When Gyrid travels it is to help the sons and daughters of the rich who have been severly wounded or to prolong an old Jarls life.

Followers of Skade

The followers of Skade are a small but morbid crew of four who follow Hel – the daughter of Loki and ruler of Hel. They have a tendency of suggesting death (preferably a male death) as a solution for most problems and can either go far to get their vengeance if slighted or suddenly let it go.
They have sex with whomever they want, get high whenever they want and are also prone to hand to hand violence, prefering to not use weapons. The members Skade and Odindis has most likely killed their husbands before escaping to Ástfanginn , while Ingegärd killed a lover. Despite all this they have a hell of a lot of charisma and can really bring their best to a feast. This is a good fit for all those gothic weirdos out there.

The Vikings

Managarm – the burning ship

5 vikings 3 shieldmaidens, 3 thralls.

The remains of a ship that burnt on the beach (death by fire) of a foreign land. It used be run by Æinridi Arnulfrsson, but he died in his sleep in the fire.
The ship Managarm got burned because of treachery from a thrall. It was vengeance for ill deeds members of the second ship (Eyrgjafa) had done, but the locals who burned it didn’t care about what viking ship they burned. The Managarm was basically a moral Viking ship, as far as those go, and they paid for the crimes of others.

The Hövding of Managarm Æinridi Arnulfrsson had taken one of the shieldmaidens as frilla, Sif Hreindottir. As long as he was alive, she was his second in command. She is one of the surviving shieldmaidens but after he died she has no power any more and once they all make it home to their home village she will have to tell his wife what happened to him. Managarm had a lot of the loot taken from the sacked villages and religious building on board, most of that was saved by surviving vikings after the ship was clearly lost to the flames.

A joint memory for these people is the Managarm burning on the beach, they themselves covered in soot and smoke, the thralls huddled to their owners and where they stood on the beach when Sif came out from the flames and announced that she had been unable to wake Æinridi and that their Hövding was dead.

This is a good fit for those who wan’t to play a character who originally came from a good place in their heart, and has no horrible secrets but who will probably die mainly innocent.

Eyrgjafa – the sinking ship

6 vikings, 2 shieldmaidens, 2 thralls

This is the remains of the crew of the ship that sunk in a storm (death by water) sailing back home from a foreign land. These men and women had a blood thirsty and cold leader when it came to the enemy, but he was a man with a lot of love for his crew. They took many thralls, but they treated their fellow shieldmaidens with respect. After the Managarm burned, they took most of the vikings from the that ship onboard and it is possible this overloading led to them sinking. Their Hövding Leif went down with Eyrgjafa and left his son Skadulf without a father. 

But all full members of Eyrgjafa lost a father figure when their Hövding Leif drowned, many come from starving families and were given the possibility of a lifetime when he accepted them to sail to the isles with him. Both members of Eyrgjafa and the remains of Managarm say they yet again experienced horrible nightmares before Eyrgjafa sank in the storm, saying they failed to wake some of those who were asleep when the ship took in water. This is the same scenario described by Sif of the Managarm the night that ship burned.

Many pity the shieldmaidens of Eyrgjafa, as they assume they are constantly under barrage of groping hands, sexual jokes and denigration of their skill as warriors. A shieldmaiden of Eyrgjafa, would instead speak of the inclusion of the group that the Eyrgjafa offered. Their Hövding Leif would include all his warriors in his plans and when they drank and celbrated they did so toghether.

Captured thralls from The British Islands – taken by violence. The warriors of Eyrgjafa grabbed and carried whomever they saw and fancied. These men and women were entertainment for now, someone to sell later. On the Eyrgjafa most of the thralls are personal property.

This is a good fit for players who want to portray dirty, horrible, unrepentant physical vikings who still share camaraderie and love for each other. Everything is to be shared.

Móðguðr – the ship that came back

(Modgudr, “Furious Battler”)

6 vikings, 3 shieldmaidens, 1 thrall

What remains of the crew of the still sailing ship. The members of this ship still have their Hövding Hrapp alive and he has taken over the other crews after Leif and Æinridi died. Hrapp is very invested in being seen as  a man of honor and he has sworn to Leif of the Eyrgjafa that he would get Leifs son Skadulf and his blood brothers home to their mothers. Before he can do that he brings the all to the Völvic village of Astfanginn in the hope of getting help.
These vikings first took some of the members of Managarm on board before they left the isles. At this first choosing they choose the men they respected and ignored the shieldmaidens and the thralls.

Later when Eyrgjafa sunk in the storm, they could not be as picky. Some onboard the Modgudr even choose to risk it all and jumped into the sea to save the lives of anyone they could make their way to and swim them back to Modgudr. These people pride themself on doing the right thing. 

Members of Modgud come from priviliged Jarl or Karl homes and could have choosen to do anything with their lives and choose to follow Hrapp Skidisson for different reasons. Even Hrapps adult daughter is on board. Modgud has not taken heavy losses, but was a more expensive ship running with a smaller crew from the beginning. However not much is what it seems at first glance.

This is a good ship for those who enjoy doing the two faced snake and ask your character “how much of what happened is my fault”.