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The main character in The Frostrune is Liv, a 13-year-old girl. You hardly notice this in the game, because we want the players to experience everything from a first person perspective. Still, the story is important. In this trailer video you are introduced to Liv as a very old woman, a woman who has experienced it all, who has been through numerous adventures, lived through Ragnarok, and then made a family and started her new life in the new world. These trailers are her stories to her grandchildren or great grandchildren, who knows. We are only allowed a few snippets here and there.
In this first trailer Liv is telling about runes, how they came to be and how they are used. We have had to cut out a poem because of the time constraints - but I want to include it here:
“I know that I hung
On the wind-blasted tree
All of nights nine,
Pierced by my spear
And given to Odin,
Myself sacrificed to myself
On that pole
Of which none know
Where its roots run.
No aid I received,
Not even a sip from the horn.
Peering down,I took up the runes
–Screaming I grasped them
–Then I fell back from there.
So, we have Yggdrasil, the world tree. The 9 worlds are all placed in the branches and roots of this tree. Under this tree is the well of Urd, destiny and knowledge. Here you find the Norns, the maidens of destiny, Urd, Verdandi and Skuld, past present and future (roughly). And you find the runes, meaning secret. They only reveal themselves to the worthy.So, Odin, the king of gods, mister worthy himself you might think, has to stab himself with his spear and hang himself from the branches of that tree. He refuses any help from anyone, he only hangs there, on the brink of his life, and stares into that well. After 9 days and 9 nights, the secret runes reveal themselves to him. True story.Now Odin goes ahead and teaches these runes to everyone. Well, a lot of people at least. He teaches them to us humans, and the aesir and vanir and jotnir and dwarves and so on all figure them out, so he is not keeping them secret any more.
This one says "Kiss me"[/caption]
As a tool for writing down words they seem to be relatively readily available to most during the Viking age. We wrote mainly on wooden sticks, and there are loads of finds of those sticks. A lot of accounting and IOU’s, a lot of messages, bunches of love letters and quite a few of insults are recorded. One of the most famous was found in Bergen and just say “Kus mik” - “kiss me”.
This one also says "Kiss me"[/caption]
There are also quite a few rune stones, especially in Sweden, usually saying something like “Olav made this stone in memory of his sons who died on an adventure in Russia” or something like that.
Knife scabbard mount with several runes and bind runes[/caption]
Then we have the more magical purposes. The most common was, maybe, bind runes. 2 or more runes are combined into one, with magical properties. This rune could then be carved into objects, or painted or whatever. This kind of rune magic started long before Viking age and continued long after the Viking age ended, some of them were in use in the 19th century, or even later. We are mostly talking about a bind rune written on the box you store butter in, to make sure it doesn’t go bad. Or one carved above the door to the barn, to keep bad spirits away. These bind runes work as they are, if you know what they look like you should be alright. You can teach them to your children or others. Perhaps there are some rituals involved, but they aren't a big deal.We are, however, also talking about strong cool bind runes giving you extra powers in war etc. Probably custom made, or with more hefty rituals, which makes them a more exclusive product. Some of these are pretty intricate, several runes carved together with a single stem.
Bind rune with several runes sharing the same stem
Unfortunately, in the late 19th century, spiritualists and nationalists took an interest in runes. They created rune magic in many different ways. They made an effort to make this look as authentic as possible, and they are still fooling people today. It has been hard to navigate through real and fake sources, making sure that all our puzzles and objects are clean from this junk. I hope we have managed
Rune stick from Bergen saying "Gyda says you have to go home now"[/caption]
This was written by Executive Producer, Audun Refsdal, on the Grimnir blog August 31, 2016: http://www.grimnirmedia.no/premiere-of-our-first-trailer/
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