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Midgard Monday: Wolfmark Rebels and Spies

Midgard Monday: Wolfmark Rebels and Spies

It’s Midgard Monday! Each week, we visit a corner of the wide world of Midgard. Look for standalone content you can drop into your campaign—whether it’s in Midgard or your own homebrew. Find new inspiration each Midgard Monday!

In the Northlands, a cold war chills between two unusual foes: vampires and berserker dwarves. See some of the players in this war, and how your players can get involved!

Dwarves vs Vampire

Ten years ago, the Ghost Knights and Darakhul (ghoul) allies of vampire King Lucan of Morgau captured the capital of the Electoral Kingdom of Krakovar. They subdued its small army and created the Greater Duchy of Morgau.

The only populations to resist the undead armies for more than a day were the fortified towns of Skogarholm and Jozht. And their fall to the vampire Ghost Knights seemed inevitable . . . until Jarl Skuti, a reaver dwarf princeling, landed on the northern tip of the Jozht peninsula with 800 longships and over 10,000 reaver dwarf raiders.

Rather than plunder the coastline and leave, Skuti and his berserker armies captured the smaller settlements in the area. They took control of the peninsula north of Jozht and Skogarholm, and the fortified towns themselves.

He then proclaimed the region, “The Jarldom and Protectorate of the Wolfmark” with Skogarholm as capital. He reinforced the walls and defenses of both towns and built an enormous fortress longhouse in the middle of Skogarholm.

The vampire lords and the dwarven reavers settled into an uneasy standoff at the base of the peninsula. The dwarven longships currently own the seas around Krakova, protecting merchant convoys and ships from Jozht and Skogarholm to and from nearby kingdoms.

Below are some of the important figures and locations in this Northlands cold war.

Arpad Ruszlik, Little Father

Ruszlik is a dwarven vampire spy and ringleader serving King Lucan. He has been recruiting spies and saboteurs among the reaver dwarves, converting many into his vampire spawn.

Ruszlik wants to get spies into Jarl Skuti’s longhouse councils in Skogarholm, but has had little success . . . until recently. He seduced and “embraced” Skuti’s niece, Linnea Makja, a reaver dwarf shield maiden, as one of his spawn. Now he is trying to get her invited into Skuti’s longhouse in Skogarholm to spy on the dwarven defense plans.

Arpad’s current lair and base of operations is a small, sandy cave system concealed in the hills east of Skogarholm. He recently discovered that Ioanela is sniffing around the edges of his spy network, and is looking for someone (perhaps the PCs?) to eliminate the healer before she uncovers his spy network. If the PCs succeed in the assassination job, he immediately attempts to slay them afterward.

Beldric Elnzin, the Ashen

Elnzin is an elderly and frail dwarf, an envoy from the exiled court of Queen Urzula of Krakova. Until recently, he was cowering in the nearby elven kingdom, Dornig, but has been sent to treat with Skuti’s longhouse “court.”

Beldric has not had much success securing Skuti’s help in freeing the Queen’s homeland, as the fierce reaver dwarves see him as a weak non-warrior. Arpad and Linnea have targeted him for seduction and conversion. Then he can invite Linnea into Skuti’s longhouse to spy upon them.

The PCs could help Beldric in his political efforts by distinguishing themselves in combat or reaver contests (drinking, fishing, pole-tossing) and then recommending Beldric to Jarl Skuti as a liaison to Krakova and Dornig, both useful allies. They could defend the ambassador against the machinations of Little Father or betray him to the vampire spymaster.

Nils Ludvigson, The Duke

Nils is a larger than life human merchant of Jozht, the foremost and wealthiest of all the merchants and traders in Jozht peninsula. Known for leading his own trading convoys, he is a classic swashbuckler who personally fights off pirates and battles bandits with sword and pistol.

He is also now a trusted advisor to Jarl Skuti. The dwarven ruler respects his bravery, martial prowess, and drinking skills (which are legendary and prodigious). Skuti uses him as his liaison with some non-dwarven, non-vampire kingdoms nearby, where Nils has many contacts.

The PCs might rescue Nils from an assassination attempt from Little Father’s spy network, thereby gaining entrance into the war councils of Jarl Skuti.  They may also become involved with Ludvigson by being hired to guard one of his convoys or cargo ships, or retrieving some of his trade goods stolen by vampiric raiders.

Ioanela, the Kind

Ioanela is a famed local healer in Jozht. It is said there is no disease or ailment she cannot heal. From her modest hut on the outskirts of Jozht, she cares for a constant stream of diseased locals and injured veterans.

What no one knows (although Arpad has his suspicions), is that Ionela is actually a vila (see Tome of Beasts 1), and a servant of Baba Yaga, named Inessa. She was sent to monitor the struggle by Baba Yaga herself. To what end or purpose, not even Inessa can say.

Inessa has been here for several years, with no further contact from her “mother.” She has begun to take pity on the wounded soldiers in her care, seeing the grievous wounds inflicted by their undead enemies. She secretly grants worthy and brave soldiers subtle magical boons of enhanced strength, fortitude, and bravery.

She hopes taking sides (something she was forbidden to do) will not call down Baba Yaga’s wrath. She has also begun to unravel the intrigues of Arpad, and may be a source of information on Little Father and/or a quest-giver for the PCs.

Find more information on Morgau, Ghost Knight, Darakhul, reaver dwarves, vila, and even Baba Yaga in the pages of the Midgard Worldbook!

about Adam W. Roy

Adam has been playing TTRPGs for almost forty years, and has been a freelance game writer and editor for decades. He has written for Kobold Press, Paizo, White Wolf, and others. He is also a full-time father, husband, and e-commerce guru…. He manages all of this by avoiding sleep altogether.

1 thought on “Midgard Monday: Wolfmark Rebels and Spies”

  1. I’ve been running a campaign from Jozht and these are some solid NPCs with some juicy intrigue. Thanks for sharing!

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