Welcome to the Far North
The Far North is known as the “Realm of Immortals” throughout Frall even though that description is a misnomer. The Heifnar, as the people of the region are referred to, don’t die from old age, nor do they perish from the wounds they suffer, no matter how bad they are. This divine protection only affects a Heifnar once they´ve reached maturity and as long as they are within the borders of their homelands. Though, outside of the region, the Heifnar age and die from their injuries like any other folk, which is why only well-trained or foolish Heifnar leave their native land lightly, while they use their homes as training grounds.
This safeguard and longevity are granted to the Heifnar by the Celestial Constellations, who govern over the Far North, giving the Heifnar all the time they need before they embark on their last journey, trying to return to the Celestials, on which they become vulnerable once more. First, a Heifnar has to cross the treacherous Unknown Sea, sailing out of the Far North, towards the Immortal Ice. Once they have reached the Immortal Ice, a gruelling expedition starts, searching for the Celestial Gate, which is well hidden between enormous glaciers and endless snow-mountains. Finding the Celestial Gate is the only way for a Heifnar to return to the stars, reuniting with their beloved Celestials.
The Heifnar have very few clues to work off to complete this journey, having to rely only on their companions, their instincts, and most importantly, on the lessons that they’ve learned after facing the Celestial Trials back in Heifnar. Each Celestial has devised a divine challenge, placed throughout the Far North to prepare the Heifnar for their last, often lethal, voyage, testing a particular skill representing that Celestial best. Completing a Trial will grant the participants a blessing from that Celestial. Failing to meet a challenge will often leave the participants marked and scarred for life while having gained crucial knowledge for completing the journey to the Celestial Gate.
Thus, only the most daring, durable, and resourceful Heifnar are able to complete this journey and rejoin their Celestials, becoming once more a star among their ancestors, guiding future generations to the same destination that they reached when they were only mere mortals.
What to expect from this setting
Heifnar is a setting designed to explore and push two essential core premises of Open Legend to their most extreme: “The player succeeds with a twist” and “The player fails, but the story progresses”, instead of straight-up failure. Taking away the threat of death and character loss, for the first few chapters of a party’s story, and instead, replacing those consequences with injuries should allow the players to grow their characters, develop their PCs’ skills, and build relationships before they are confronted with the lethal aspects of the adventure. Thus, the campaign setting lends itself to newcomers to the system, who might need a couple of levels to get acclimated to Open Legend before their characters face lethal dangers head-on. On the other hand, experienced groups might also enjoy this premise, as it might be a way to play a “hard-mode” version of Open Legend, with characters deteriorating when failing challenges instead of fully recovering. GMs can go more often for the jugular when running a campaign in this setting, as the default consequences won’t be the end of a character, the group, or the campaign, as the characters will recover in a weakened state.