Deep in the interior, there is a great freshwater sea called Chigaming by the Ojibwe natives, and Lake Superior by the Frankish voyageurs and the Nordic settlers who have followed them.
Along the Northern Shore of the lake are the Whitefish, Loon, Serpent, Great Bear, and Thunderbird clans of Ojibwe.
Along the Southern Shore: the Black Bear, Deer, Crane, Moose, Duck, and Frog clans.
The are other inhabitants of the Great Lake, too - the deadly maymaygweshi, who raid from caves and tunnels and dine on human flesh. The little ice devils, which sink ships that attempt a lake crossing in the fall or winter. The giants of the west, and the Wendigo cannibal spirits of the far northern shore.Our story begins in the southeastern corner of the lake, in a sheltered harbor called New Brevik by the Nordic settlers that call it home. Established 20 years ago (and already burnt to the ground once by a force of Cree warriors working in league with giants and a white dragon), New Brevik is the westernmost projection of the power of King Hrothgar II of Nordland, back in the old country.
A grizzled old bastard of a Viking, Hrothgar has been king of Trondheim and the surrounding country for 30 years, and governs with a simple rule: those that pay tribute find favor and advance in stature, and those that don't fall by the wayside - or worse.
The ambitious young Jarl Karl Onstad came to New Brevik almost three years ago with a vision of obtaining wealth for himself and his king: timber, gems, copper, silver, even rumored Skraeling gold and artifacts for the taking. One year ago, he fell short on his first bi-annual tribute of 1,000 gold pieces, and another Jarl, the king's cousin Dag Dalby, came from overseas to "help" with the effort.
Where Onstad has negotiated treaties with Ojibwe clans in order to obtain mining and fishing rights, Dalby has pushed for more aggressive expansion into the region, taking according to the old Viking code. Recent council meetings have been tense.
This is the world into which you have entered, in search of fortune, power, smoked fish, and other distractions. As bondsmen of Karl Onstad - or Ojibwe of the Whitefish or Black Bear Clans - you must negotiate a challenging northern wilderness rife with ancient secrets, powerful spirits, feuding clans, and an uneasy balance of power that could shift in an instant.