Midgard: Years of the Long Night
Midgard, world of the living and the last vestiges of civilization. This world rests atop Yggdrasil, the fallen World Tree, upon whose many crumbling branches hang also the two Supernal and two Infernal worlds, and at whose uprooted base shines forth the Endworld, Valhalla, from which all life comes and to which all life must return.
Ancient lore holds that after the great battle of Ragnarok, the World Tree fell and the Vanished Gods, Wotan, Ziu, Donar, and Frouwa, left the void of the Old Realm, forging a new world from salvage taken from its blasted ruins. They shaped this world into three New Realms after the greatest kingdoms of the Old: Vanaheim, the Upper Realm, Midgard, the Central Realm, and Jotunheim, the Lower Realm. With their power they scored the land with rivers and seas, surrounded the world with air and clouds, and hung in the sky the new sun, moon, and stars.
The years that passed became known as the New Age and the gods watched over all, ruling the refugee masses through three elevated Curator Races: the Aelf of Vanaheim, the Humans of Midgard, and the Giants of Jotunheim. Thus lived the descendants of the people of the Old Realm in relative peace for many centuries.
The end of the New Age came in a terrible and silent flash. Suddenly, without explanation, the people realized that their gods were gone. To where, none could say, but divine governance and peace became only memories along with the Vanished Gods themselves. Thus began a “Nameless Age” of brutal strife.
The Nameless Age was, as such must be, a time of turmoil and destruction, as the orphaned children of the Vanished Gods fought amongst each other without hope or reason. In the blood and ash of that chaos came the New Gods, who galvanized the races, using faith and divine service as further justifications for war. In this time of destruction it is said that the moon itself was cut down from the sky and fell to Midgard, consuming the greatest remaining empires in an unparalleled conflagration. At this ultimate horror, the New Gods and their followers were scattered, wounded, and frightened by their own power and sins, and in the many declining years that followed, the survivors attempted to put aside their differences, various clusters of races banding together against the charred and wild new world their rage had wrought.
But in the aftermath of the Moonfall, the three New Realms are cut off from one another, the old methods of passage forgotten or destroyed. A terrible and enigmatic force known as the Wilding spreads from ravaged continent of Svalbard, bringing madness and death to all it touches. Cold and darkness have spread across the wilderness and the wastes. One by one, the stars have begun to dim and go out. The sun’s light seems weaker and shorter each day, each winter bitter and slow.
These are the Years of the Long Night.