Ivinia and Ivinians

IviniaIvinia is the large rugged, fjord-lined land that lies northeast of Hârn, on the other side of the Sea of Ivae. Its habitants are Ivinians.

Ivinians are the Vikings of Hârn and Lythia. With their longships and war-skill, they cross deep oceans and sail up rivers, trading and raiding throughout western Lythia. They have conquered several other lands, establishing kingdoms in them. The kingdom of Orbaal, in northern Hârn, is one such conquest. In Orbaal, Ivinian conquerors rule over the native Jarin population.

MenglanaMore info on Ivinians and Ivinian culture can be found in the Ivinia boxed set, the Orbaal Kingdom Module, and the Menglana Kingdom module published by Columbia Games (all currently all out of print).

A highly-detailed map of Ivinia is also available.

Ivinian Lifepaths

Ivinian HuscarlThe Lifepaths of Man in Burning Wheel Gold are ideal for creating characters from a high medieval feudal society, but they do not work quite as well for representing the Viking-like Ivinian culture.

This is not to say that one cannot use BWG's Lifepaths of Man to burn up Ivinian characters. In terms of skills, it certainly is possible to create an Ivinian warrior/viking through a combination of lifepaths from the Villager and Seafaring settings, supplemented by a few LPs from the Professional Soldier Sub-Setting (for fighting skills/traits) or the Outcast Sub-Setting (e.g. the Pirate lifepath to represent viking/raiding).

However, the way the lifepaths, leads, and resources are set up in the Character Burner don't necessarily reflect how various activities are viewed in Ivinian culture. For example, going viking and raiding is an honored and respected way to gain wealth among Ivinians— not something that makes one an outcast.

For creating Ivinian characters, therefore, it is preferable to use a different set of lifepaths, that reflects their unique culture. Happily, a very nice set of Ivinian-appropriate lifepathscan be found among the Nordheimer setting lifepaths on the Burning Wheel wiki (no longer available online, but still accessible through Wayback Machine).

The Nordheimer Lifepaths from the Wiki

The Nordheimer setting lifepaths from the Wiki can be used to create Ivinian characters with minimal adaptation. The lifepaths in the Clan Nobles Setting would be appropriate for Ivinian greatclans— those that rule over a major settlement and receive tribute from lesser clans. Those in the Clan Commoners Setting would make sense for members of minor Ivinian clans.

Some modification of the Nordheimer lifepath names may be desired to reflect slight differences between Ivinian and real-world Viking culture and titles. For example, the Nordheimer Chieftain lifepath could conceivably be re-labeled to Valhakar, or the like.

Where appropriate, and at GM/group discretion, these Nordheimer lifepaths can be supplemented with Villager and/or Noble Court Lifepaths from the Lifepaths of Man.

Expanding Upon the Nordheimer Lifepaths

Although the Nordheimer setting lifepaths on the wiki provide many Ivinian-appropriate lifepaths, there are some unique aspects of Ivinian culture (as presented in the Hârn publications) that may require more culture-specific lifepaths. Some possiblities for new lifepaths might include:

Unique lifepaths for members of Sarajiinan clerical clans, separate from the regular church lifepaths, may also be desirable.

Anyone who develops further Ivinian-specific lifepaths for Hârn is encouraged to submit them to jim [at] burning-harn [dot] net.