Looking down upon the frozen lands of Irrisen Though some of his thanes objected, the great love and respect the ailing King Ethered had won over his many years ruling Raemerrund carried the day. And so his eldest son, scholarly, introspective, and decidedly unmartial, would assume the Elkhorn Crown, despite possessing neither the prowess nor the intent to slay the linnorms that gave those rough lands their name. Jarguut was clever and sensible, said the old king, and he would lead Raemerrund with wisdom. But fifteen years later, the evil crone Baba Yaga, marching down from the windswept glaciers of the north with her monstrous army, met a kingdom ruled by a Linnorm King who had never earned that title-a king now known as Jarguut the Weak, Jarguut the Unready, and Jarguut the Last. In under a month, Baba Yaga conquered two independent kingdoms that had stood for centuries and remade them into the nation of Irrisen, a land swathed forever in bitter, supernatural winter.
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Tuesday, 12 February Irrisen, Land of Eternal Winter As I mentioned in my recent review of People of the North , my favourite campaign supplements tend to be the regional sourcebooks. As great as race books, monster books, organization books, etc. These are the books that let a GM breathe life into the game—a game where the PCs can feel that they are truly part of a much larger world. When it comes to regional sourcebooks, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line has a couple of advantages over the Pathfinder Player Companion line.
First, by being longer books 64 pages instead of 32 , there is room for more detail. She set up a new country called Irrisen where it remained supernaturally winter all year round. She then left Golarion, leaving one of her daughters as queen of Irrisen.
That imminent return of Baba Yaga is perhaps the only problematic aspect of the setting. It means that many of the characters and their personal plots detailed in Irrisen, Land of Eternal Winter will very soon be gone, to be replaced by completely different characters and plots.
It only allows for less than a year of game time before the gamemaster needs to almost completely re-invent the setting as the book gives no information on who the next queen will be. The book opens with a history of Irrisen, including a detailed timeline and a list of all fourteen queens of Irrisen.
After the history section, there is a detailed look at each of the six provinces that make up Irrisen. These sections are what take up the bulk of the book. Each province gets six pages. There are also occasional sidebars covering things like holidays or the organization called the Cold Sisters kind of like the secret police of Irrisen. About the only thing missing are a few landscape illustrations to help get a visual feel for the setting, but this is a general problem in all the Campaign Setting books.
I came away from this chapter feeling like I know more about Irrisen than I do about virtually anywhere else on Golarion. It gives details on several adventure sites and plot seeds that GMs can use in their games. Most of these are old areas of strange magic and monsters that are independent of the politics of the setting. As such, they can continue to provide adventure opportunity even after Baba Yaga replaces Elvanna with her next daughter.
All three are unique fey chosen by Baba Yaga. As she chooses new riders every time, the ones presented here are specifically the ones who will appear for her upcoming arrival.
There are also generic stats for baronesses and Cold Sisters. As such, these stats are only really useful for unnamed baronesses in other towns not detailed in the book. GMs wishing to have their PCs encounter one or more of the named baronesses such as Frederyka or Wilimina will either have to build their own stats, advance the stats given in the Bestiary, or simply change the stated levels of those NPCs.
Nonetheless, the baroness stats provide GMs with useful stats for any fifth-level witch the PCs encounter, not just baronesses. Alas, this chapter does not have stats for Baba Yaga herself. Overall, Irrisen, Land of Eternal Winter is a fabulous book, jam-packed with information that will bring alive any campaign set in the region. Even campaigns set near Irrisen will benefit heavily from the information in this book as the White Witches provide great villains for games set in the Linnorm Kingdoms or the Realm of the Mammoth Lords.
I highly recommend it. Posted by.