Iron Stories: Forbidden Lands - Session 01

Jarneyna, the Ironlands. The last home for humankind after their exodus from the mainland. An island in the vast seas of Midgard. A land full of new opportunities and hope, but also danger and hardship. It is here a precious metal is found - Iron. First used to forge tools to help shape the land to the needs of the people, but later forged into weapons, turned against themselves.

It has been 163 years since the first people set foot on the island, the First Landing. For the last 100 of those years, the land was under the grip of a mysterious mist, making travel, especially at night, a dangerous endeavor. The mist would consume mind and body of anyone daring to enter it, leaving an empty husk. Terrorizing those still left alive.

A few years ago, the mists receded. The years of isolation changed the people. Communities drifted apart, mannerisms tightened and different politics dividing the land even more than the mists ever could.

Check out the Introduction to get started if you didn't read it already.


Amidst the Ironlands stand the Jarnfjöll, the Iron Mountains, splitting the land into two parts. Our story begins in the northern part of these two halves, the Norðurland. Harsher and colder than its southern brother, it accomodates those brave or stubborn enough. Although the crops don't grow as plentiful up there, the fish do bite extensively.

In the shadow of the big mountains, nestled alongside a forest, lies Uglaheim. Like many other forest villages, the townsfolk thrive on woodworking, hunting and leatherworking. In this rare case, the village also houses a strange healer. Or housed, as they passed away only a few days ago.

Njord had lived with his master for all of his life. Or at least that is what he remembers. The old man took him in when nobody else would. Having no parents, that he knew of, Njord was treated as an outsider. A baby grown from the mists themselves, the villagers would whisper behind his back. But now that the healer and the mist were gone, he feared that the village would no longer tolerate him.

It was on this day, that Njord decided he had to leave. The world was no longer held captive by the mist. It was safe to travel, to explore. Part of him also feared what the villager would do, now that his old master was gone, no longer protecting him. Although they would probably not openly fight him, his life would no longer be the same.

With determination he returned from his morning walk in the forest, to the small cabin, just outside of the village. Its door ajar.

Njord could hear a noise from inside. It didn't sound like an animal had lost its way into his home. Besides it would have needed to open the door. Although it wasn't locked, he was sure that he had closed it. A person was inside, that much Njord was sure, but he didn't know who.

In this first session I want to introduce both characters I will be playing: Njord and Hilda Ivorsdottir. Instead of having them already be a party, I use this opportunity to give a little backstory on how they actually met.

Hilda will be played as a companion to Njord, meaning that I will mostly roll for Njord and she will only try to help in his rolls, to keep the bookkeeping at a minimum. This is also recommended in the official solo rules as outlined in the Book of Beasts.

The first roll will be actually an opposed roll between Njord and Hilda. Njord tries to sneak up on the intruder (which he doesn't yet know to be Hilda).

🎲 Njord - Stealth

🎲 Hilda - Scouting

Hilda wins here with one success over Njord.

The door creaked as Njord pushed it slightly open to enter the house. He just got a glimpse of the other person, sifting through his belongings right in front of him. Before he could realize, they jumped up from the noise, drew their weapon and with a quick step and motion were right in front of him and pointed a sword against his throat.

Before him stood a young woman, maybe just a few years younger then himself. She wore a studded leather armor over a cream colored shirt with a matching pair of trousers. They were dirty and showed quite some wear and tear. The armor had seen better days as well, markings of slashes all over it. Her curly short hair was disheveled and almost as dirty as her clothes. But the sword was almost impeccable, clean and so polished Njord could see his reflection in it.

"Where is it?", she snarled.

Never leave your weapon at home.

The words of his old master echoed in his mind. He took a quick glance to the corner of the house were his staff leaned against the wall. He could reach to his dagger, fixed to his belt. But would he be fast enough before the blade pierced his throat? Njord decided for a different approach.

Another opposed roll. This time Njord tries to deescalate the situation.

🎲 Njord - Manipulation

So close to a success three times in a row. I gave Njord here an additional die, because he has a higher reputation than Hilda. It is a bit of a stretch, because Hilda probably does not know Njord.

Njord is also desperate so I think he will try as much as possible to succeed at this, so I will push with him. I already rolled a one so I know he will suffer some damage, but lets hope it stays with that.

So overall he took one damage in Empathy but he also gained a Willpower.

🎲 Hilda - Insight

Hilda isn't able to "resist" Njord, but she should still have the upper hand in the situation.

The blade was close, so close, he could see it shaking in the hands of his opponent. She clearly didn't had the experience for these situations and acted on impulse. She felt unsure and insecure.

"Put the sword down and then we can talk." Njord spoke in a soft, calm voice. The woman took a step back and lowered her weapon, but still kept in a ready position. She shifted her position into a more defensive stance and kept close attention to Njord.

"Where is it?", she asked again.

"Believe me, when I say, that I have no idea what you are talking about." Njord continued using a calm voice, trying to deescalate the situation. "Why don't you tell me what you are searching and maybe I can help you."

She took a good look at Njord, trying to assess him. He remained calm, as calm as he could be standing next to an armed intruder without a good way of defending himself. She pointed him to a stool. Njord understood and slowly moved to it and sat down.

"Alright, listen closely. I will only tell it once."