The game begins in the coastal town of Vastervik, a western colony of Gotland on the Swedish coast. The people of Vastervik answer to the Jarl of Visby, a center of sea-trade famed for, among other things, a guild of craftsmen who are able to produce crystal lenses that are useful for navigation.

Vastervik is a human settlement of perhaps a thousand people. Alfar, dvergar and huldufolk are not unheard-of, but they are far from common, tending to stay in their own settlements in hard-to-reach places. The alfar are said to have come from the sky, while the dvergar and huldufolk are known to live underground. Some people speak with them and even trade with them, but they are not at all human.

Vastervik is a small town with a chaotic good feel to it. The Thane who rules Vastervik, Fathir of Vastervik, is somewhat of a mismatch for the town in some ways. He is a stickler for tradition, and insists on plenty of courtesy as well as deference. As a result, Vastervik is a place with little crime and is generally a prosperous town.

A local named Sibbe is Fathir’s foil in many ways. She is helmingalfar – half-elven, an outsider, and also unpredictable. She is reluctant to offer too much courtesy, and in addition seems to be able to get her hands on all manner of items. Due to their regular clashes, she remains for the most part on her own homestead outside of town on a rocky, barely-arable spit of land. Her income comes in trade – she is not the sort of person to sow.

Vastervik is currently locked in a protracted struggle over who will control the rich local resources. The town happens to be near an alfar settlement in the heart of a forest of huge trees perfect for shipbuilding, a dvergar delving near a rich source of bog iron, and a network of huldufolk mounds situated in rich river valleys where winter’s hand is gentle. Thane Fathir is trying to find a way to control these resources, or at least retain access to them.


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