Of Iron Hearts
Of Iron Hearts is an Ironsworn solo game being played and written by myself. Ironsworn is a low-fantasy setting of vaguely Scandinavian descent; characters are the second or third generation after their ancestors were forced to flee from their good and gentle homelands. Now they are in the harsh, unforgiving Ironlands and must struggle and quest to survive.
Using the tools provided with the game, I've built a randomly-generated version of the Ironlands for this story. It is slightly different from the one you'll built; that's not bad, just different.
The Ironlands are harsh and cold, a place of windswept scrublands and rocky coastline, of steep fjords and rivers that get ice on them year-round. There is nowhere that is easy or pleasant or inviting. It is all as hard and unforgiving as iron.
No one lives in the Ironlands by choice; the people who are here were forced to flee their homes from the Skulde, a scourge of corruption and violence that sprang up among them seemingly from nowhere. Some claimed it was divine retribution; others claimed it was the result of evil sorcery. Whatever the truth, the Skulde killed those who resisted them and enslaved the rest. Whatever the truth, those who could escape did and sailed to the Ironlands.
They were not the first, though. Strange, smooth iron pillars dot the land, placed seemingly at random and untouched by the elements or human artifice. At certain places are tribes of violent, feral humans, forced back to an animal-like existence no better than the beasts of the land. Most communities view such people as nothing but a danger, and fear falling prey to the same fate.
The weather and the savages are not the only dangers, though. Animals stalk the land, bears and cougars and wolves that haven't learned to be afraid of humans and their iron weapons. Stranger still are various monsters, basilisks and wyverns and lindwurms and kobolds, who either actively attack settlements or destroy them casually as they move through the region.
Villages and towns protect themselves with stout walls and suspicion, but places are not entirely isolated. Merchants trade iron from the mountain for wood from the forests and grain from the farms and fish and salt from the coasts. Wardens forsake the bonds of family and hearth to walk the roads and wander the wilderness in the name of protecting the people who live there. Monster-hunters ply their trade from settlement to settlement, moving on a wide migration as they seek the next job and the next thrill. People find new gods and new beliefs; the Iron Priests believe that contemplation of the pillars will give them the proper mindset and resilience to thrive. Meanwhile scholars and mendicants study the strange beasts of this land and extract useful tinctures and reagents from their bodies, to heal and reinforce the health of people.
The Ironlands give up nothing easily, but the people who live here are harder than steel, sharper than a razor's edge, and not inclined to give up. They gave up their home but kept their heroes and stories; and in this land they will forge a new destiny and new heroes.
There are three main characters we are following in this story
Alongside them will be an ever-growing cast of characters, NPCs, and locations that will be generated and discovered as we explore these Ironlands.
No group vow as yet.
Major NPCs encountered thus far.
- Herehild, grandmother of Aehlid and leader of Shieldbridge.
- Grimwine, brother of Aehlid and heir apparent of Shieldbridge.
The major locations our intrepid band has visited in the Ironlands.
- Shieldbridge, home and hearth to our heroes. A major settlement laying along the confluence of two rivers, Shieldbridge has a dozen or so families who lives in it and a dozen more who live in the outlying lands who bring grain, mutton, wool, and other goods to market.