Here is a bit of info on the game.
Norsgard is a tabletop wargame set in the cold realm of Isbran - a land of ice and fire. The players in this game play out the skirmishes of small bands of warriors led into battle by heroes.
The devoted templars of the Order of the Ram fulfill an ancient oath and protect the lands from evil. On the mountain passes they fight alone against the barbarians of the Tribe of Mork, barbarians who long ago sold their souls to demons. From their towers the orcs of the Order of the Ram also keep a sharp eye for the Ice Elves and Wulfkins armies lurking just beyond the mountains.
The barbarians of the Egir Tribe travel the cold oceans. They venture further and further north of their city-states, their fates written by wind and sea. These hardy sailors and warriors take no heed of ancient prophecies.
Deep in the mountains live the Dwarves. Insensitive to the affair of the land above, they fight their battles with the creatures from below. They do not expect anyone's help, and they will lend none themselves...
Never again will you have to depend on a single dice roll - in this game you literally roll a handful. Watch as they shape the fate of your warriors and thanks to simple, easy-to-learn mechanics you will be able to concentrate on your strategy instead of trying to remember an obscure rules technicality.
Isbran – the lands of legend, from the jagged mountains of Ram Skallen to the Dragontongue Coast forever bound in eternal ice. After a thousand years of peace, once again a shadow of a terrible war looms. From the darkness of the Far North the forces of the undead emerge and only the Templars are there to stand against them. The dark secret buried deep within the dungeons of their fortress makes them face the crisis alone. Yet without the aid of others they will fall, and without them the rest of Isbran will follow. A time of difficult choices approaches, a time of winter storms…
A Day Like Any Other, part 1
"The clash of weapons would have been deafening anywhere, but in the main courtyard of Madrhem, home of the Order of the Ram, it was constant. Templars squared off against each other and against the younger orcs hoping to one day be called templars, with the occasional heavy crash of a heavily-armored body striking the dirt floor sounding whenever one orc managed to get the better of another.
The courtyard itself was impressive enough. The walled fortress had been built with the singular purpose of enclosing this area, leaving the ground as dirt, with only a few cobbles laid to mark off each separate little sparring arena. As huge as the open area was, most of it was dominated by wood; a massive tree trunk rising up through the center of the fortress, leaving the sparring arenas shaded even at midday. The Order of the Ram could not have asked for a more fitting home than Ysil, the Worldwood. It helped keep the new recruits properly in awe during their early training, at least.
A crow flew from one of the windows in the stone walls surrounding the yard, flitting down to land on the ground before one particularly finely-armored orc. The ram's skull built into his helmet and curving horns engraved on his pauldrons had the nicks and scratches of dozens of battles on them, but the orc wearing the proud armor had few scars to show for his experience. He rose silently, the crow taking that as the sign its message was understood and flitting back through the window as the orc turned and strode through the nearest doorway.
The halls inside Ysilheim were slightly cooler than was comfortable, but deliberately so to keep the orcs slightly on-edge at all times, ready to react instantly to trouble. The orc moved through the stone passages with the casual ease that came from years of familiarity. He ventured lower and lower through the stronghold, occasionally passing one of Ysil's great roots where it had grown and dislodged the stone walls that the Order had built around and between them.
He heard voices coming from ahead before he reached his goal, stepping into a room lit by brightly-burning torches, the walls made entirely of the wood of Ysil's roots where they'd naturally grown to create the dozen square feet of open space.
A quartet of orcs turned to face him as he entered, two of them in armor, the other pair in much lighter attire. It was one of the armored orcs who addressed him first, speaking in a heavily guttural voice.
"Welcome Varkof, eitar of the Ram."
Varkof bent his upper body forward a bit as he was addressed by his formal title, eyes remaining open and alert, as was tradition in the Order. His own voice was unusually high in pitch for an orc of his stature, though it was still deep by any other standard.
"Thank you Elrek, herto of the Ram. There is a task that the Order requires my services for?"
One of the unarmored orcs stepped forward then. He was older, a spokesperson for one of the groups of the less militant orcs who supported the Order.
"The most recent shipment we attempted to send to Borojheim never arrived. The messenger they sent to inform us also never made it back to Borojheim. We have all agreed that there is someone waylaying them along the way."
Varkof narrowed his gaze.
"The Tribe of Mork has been getting brave."
Elrek nodded his head, his stern expression matching Varkof's.
"They have. You will take your warriors and remind them to fear earning our ire. Go to Borojheim. Kill any you find waiting on the path."
The eitar gave another open-eyed bow before turning and striding silently from the room."
A Day Like Any Other, part 2
The road to Borojhem was ancient. The stones set in the ground were worn and weathered, but only along the short stretch Varkof was traveling were they also occasionally broken, bent upwards by a particularly aggressive root from the nearby trees.
The eitar tightened his grip on the heavy hammer held in his hand. The road was clear with little cover to either side over most of its length. This one segment of the trail dipped close enough to the treeline to be at risk. He heard the orcs following him grow quiet. Even his aviar's crow had stopped cawing, though the crowmaster himself was usually quiet.
Varkof's eyes suddenly caught movement, homing in on a man, a human man, standing with crossed arms beside one of the trees. The tone of the furs covering his bulky form and his general stillness had made him hard to see until his shoulders had given a shake. The man's arms unfolded, each holding a heavy axe.
"The tribe of Mork is here. Turn and ready." The templars needed only a moment to reallign themselves with spearpoints facing the treeline. The human seemed to be in no rush, waiting until the Order's warriors had turned to face him before he tilted his head back and gave a howling scream into the air, long and loud.
The barbarian took a step forward as more of his kind stepped from behind the trees around him, including a massive two-headed wolf, the spines rising from its back bristling as it tensed in eagerness. Varkof's eyes widened as he took in the number of barbarians. He raised his hammer high, bellowing into the air as he charged forward, his brethren taking up the cheer and following along at his side. The barbarians likewise howled into the air and charged forward, the canine beast outpacing them.
Varkof gripped at his hammer with both hands as he turned to meet that wolf, the realization that his band was outnumbered lending his steps urgent speed. Something struck his shoulder as he ran, a shaft of wood standing rigid in his shoulder. Varkof growled and tore the projectile free, ignoring the pain and using it to push himself harder and faster towards his foe.
His aviar's crow reached his target a moment before he did, swooping at the beast's eyes long enough to distract one of its heads just as Varkof's hammer swung towards it. He struck it squarely in the side, the orc smiling in satisfaction at the feel of ribs breaking under his heavy blow. His smile faded as the beast twisted, not even losing its balance as one of its heads snapped at him, the teeth missing only for the deadly-sharp blades he could only just now see strapped to the sides of the creature's heads to scrape along his armor.
Before he could draw back for another swing a rush of air washed outwards from the canine monster, unbelievably foul in both stench and humor, the eitar only able to backpedal to keep from retching. The beast bounded away, it's legs carrying it around behind the barbarians already engaged with his templars, moving to flank his soldiers.
Varkof gave a nod to his aviar as the dour orc rushed through the space the beast had occupied, an arrow thudding into his arm even as he passed the eitar, the crowmaster's eyes on the barbarian firing them.
Varkof turned his gaze to the nearest of the barbarians, a man even less well-groomed than the others, clad only in dirty furs and mud.
He rushed the man with a steadily-growing growl. The ram engraved into his hammer slammed its head into the human's chest with a satisfying crunch, the blow lifting the man from his feet and throwing both him and the notched sword he'd been drawing back to swing into the tree behind him. Varkof did not need to check to be sure he would not rise again.
Another primal scream pulled his attention away from the kill, the man he had seen first shaking his shoulders, what Varkof now recognized as having been laughter, howling as he barreled into the templars nearest to Varkof. The orc's eyes could see the tell-tale waver in the stance his templars held as the fearsome human kept his scream even as his weapons danced among the orcs. Both found their mark, dropping the templar closer to Varkof even as that massive wolf turned towards the remaining one.
Varkof raised his hammer high as he charged into the fray, the monstrous beast mimicking him on the other side of it. His templar turned to the wolf, his arm sure even with his obvious terror as he jabbed forwards, his spearpoint finding its mark and sinking into one of the wolf's mouths, the great beast stopping as if having hit a wall and simply crumpling at his feet. The eitar himself brought his hammer around in an arc to mirror the one he'd just dropped the bestial barbarian with, striking the howling human with another satisfying crunch of breaking bones, cutting his howl short.
The orc's eyes widened as the man, impossibly, remained on his feet. A wide grin split his expression, the barbarian of the Mork tribe's eyes glowing an unholy scarlet as both of his axes struck out, Varkof only just managing to turn the blow aimed for himself to the side sufficient to be a scratch only, even that enough for him to feel a burning poison on the blade. The templar took the axeblade aimed for him in the chest, his heavy plate armor splitting like a log as he fell silently.
With a snarl, Varkof struck again, the man still laughing until that hammer struck again to silence him.
Another sharp burst of pain erupted in Varkof's shoulder, a glance showing another of those wooden shafts in his arm. He looked up to see the barbarian who'd shot him already standing over the body of his aviar, a pair of the shafts in his chest alongside the human's sword. Varkof gritted his teeth and rushed, ignoring the painful shaft throbbing in his arm, ignoring the next one he felt strike him in the leg, ignoring the human's attempt to pull his sword from the dead crowmaster as that hammer fell on his head without slowing.
Varkof turned without hesitating, eyes searching for enemies. Everything was still. The barbarians were lain low, each of them a broken heap on the hard ground. The eitar could not savor the victory. The humans were dead. His orcs, too, were strewn amongst the barbarians. There had been more than expected, and at least the beast and leader had both carried demons within them.
The eitar hefted his hammer, finally letting himself feel his wounds as he began to make his way back to the road. Borojhem would have bandages to mend his wounds."
A Day Like Any Other, part 3
"The barren ground between the trees and the orcish road was a charnel house in sight and the heavy slaughterhouse scent filling the air thick enough to choke on. Dead orcs and barbarians alike lay sprawled across each other where they'd fallen, some literally leaning against each other where they had died before falling into the very foe who'd killed them. Some of the orcs only had the smallest of scratches with not nearly enough of their blood spilled to leave them cold. The Tribe of Mork's poisons did their work well.
The woman crouched at the edge of the battlefield gave the fallen from both sides a dismissive, rude gesture. The leader of this group had no excuse for having died here. The woman crouched patiently behind her voiced the obvious question. "How could they be dead? They had demons but are still dead. How?"
The woman she addressed curled a lip in disdain. "He was overconfident and foolish. Orcs are godless fools. They are godless fools who have survived. They are strong despite the lack of faith they have."
She moved over the rough ground, stepping across bodies silently, her subordinate following close behind with near the same amount of stealth. They stopped when they reached what was left of the raiding party's leader, his head an unidentifiable pulp, only the talisman on his belt allowing them to identify the once- proud man.
"Gharven had a weakness for his brother. It is good that he sent him to find glory or death." She took the talisman from the fallen warrior's belt, examining it closely while her companion watched. "It is good that he found death if this is how foolish he was."
Her companion tensed at the woman's laugh, her voice cutting sharp in the otherwise quiet clearing. "I think Gharven would be unhappy at your tone."
The words were barely free from her lips before she found a blade against her throat, pressed firmly enough to just barely start to cut skin as she hissed in shock. "Gharven is no fool. His brother was. Gharven has no need of fools. The Tribe of Mork has no need of fools. A fool questions letting a fool die. Are you questioning?"
She did not wait for an answer, lowering the weapon as soon as her words were done so that her subordinate could gasp for breath. "Gharven will want to know."
The two women turned back towards the trees, jogging with a tireless stamina that both took for granted."
The mountain air was cool with morning, the sun still too low in the sky to have warmed it even to the elevation's normal chill. The valkyries gathered amidst the sparse trees needed all their discipline to keep from shivering. Eigrid Godstrider was patient, but the Order of the Ram had insisted on meeting the valkyries at dawn, and she could not afford to antagonize them by making them wait.
A touch at her side drew her attention down to the massive snow leopard nosing at her hip. She spared a rare smile for the beast, setting a hand atop his head to pet her fingers lightly through the fur behind his ears.
Eigrid's gaze rose back up at the word, focusing on the trio of orcs that had just appeared striding through the trees. They held themselves tall, pushing through the lowest branches of the conifers rather than walking around them, and came to a halt twenty feet away from the valkyries.
The leopard at Eigrid's side growled quietly, prompting her to press her digits more firmly into his fur. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with the Temple of Storms, warriors of the Order of the Ram."
The central orc spoke in answer, his voice gruff, expression neutral. "The Order of the Ram did not agree to meet the Temple of Storms, we agreed to meet with you, Eigrid Godstrider. The Temple has done nothing for the Order to aid in our struggles, you have at least suggested that we share enemies. You are given one chance to speak what your Temple sent you to, and we will take your words back for the Order to decide if we will honor the Temple more than the Temple has honored us these many years."
Several of Eigrid's battle-sisters bristled at those words, but Eigrid kept her own distaste from her voice. "Dark times are approaching. Ancient enemies arise once again. Against these enemies none can stand alone, be they orc or valkyrie or any other race. The Temple of Storms seeks alliance. We would join forces with all who stand and fight to see this ancient foe destroyed."
A growl interrupted her. Her leopard was baring his teeth, fur standing on end. Eigrid tensed to settle the beast back down, then stopped as she saw the branches above the orcs shake. "Above you!"
The tree shook, branches snapping as a fur-clad woman dropped to the ground directly behind the three orcs. She looked thin and filthy, but Eigrid's eyes widened in recognition of the bestial tooth-bladed scythe she carried. She swung the weapon in a blur, spinning with the attack and neatly removing the orc leader's head from his shoulders in the time it took his hand to reach the sword at his hip.
The other two orcs stepped backwards, both drawing their weapons as the hlle viltajess vaulted over the falling body of their comrade. Eigrid's blade sang free of its sheathe, she and her cat both charging forward with desperate haste. One of the orcs brought his blade into place to parry the barbarian assassin's scythe only to fall back gasping around the bone-hilted dagger protruding from his throat. The barbarian's scythe blurred towards the last orc again and again, his paired blades parrying it aside narrowly each time.
The viltajess screamed with impossible volume, leaving Eigrid hearing only high-pitched ringing. She could see the orc's face twisted in pain as blood poured from his ears, his next parry moving a hair too slow to prevent that wicked scythe from cutting into his shoulder. Eigrid hurled her blade to cross those last few feet and watched it sail through the air as her hearing returned to her, the razor-sharp weapon striking home and neatly impaling the barbarian woman a heartbeat after her scythe tore off the last orc's face.
Eigrid stared down at the orcs, the battle maiden refusing to turn away until her sisters caught up to her.
"We need to tell the Order what happened to their envoy."
The Godstrider's voice was quiet with suppressed fury. "They sent us an envoy, and that envoy is dead."
One hand gave an almost dismissive wave, gesturing to the corpses. "Give them full rites. The orcs do not care for such ritual any longer, but we will need the practice once they find out what has happened."
by Brian Nelms