So I’ve been writing about this thing for a long time, but my opener has for years just looked like this:
“The many atmosphere processing plants have mysteriously shut down, and without them, the air of Midgard is quickly becoming colder. In the past, the gods or their representatives would have arrived to repair the ancient mechanisms in short order.
None have arrived this time.
The age of the Fimbulwinter has come. The gods have grown quiet, and the world of Midgard begins to grow cold.
Once again, the air of winter has dragged into spring, with little sign of any warming. Crops have perished in short order, and reserves continue to run lower and lower. The various Jarls have made war upon each other for several cold summers, but with no outcome save minor trinkets and long, petty feuds.
Now the people of Sigurdsheim have elected some of their number to investigate the nearest of the atmosphere processors and report their findings back to the Jarl.”
I’m happy enough with it, but I’m also not sure how happy. I’m sure I can do better, expand it out a bit. So here’s my attempt:
“They gods have grown quiet, the sky is dark, all but empty and entirely unreachable. The cold air of Midgard grows ever colder, and the blue ice of the seas grows ever denser, and continues to be found further south than ever before.
The age of Fimbulwinter has begun.
The magic of the gods that made Midgard a garden world has begun to fail. The great godswrought structures built into the mountains are cold and silent, no longer functioning to warm the air. The artificially-circulated warm currents of the seas have stopped to flow, and the waters are now choked by ice.
In ages past, it was not unknown for some of these to falter, but a representative of the gods would always arrive in due time to fix these failures.
None have arrived this time.
The Ginnungagap, the space between worlds, is not entirely without movement. Some small craft still flit along the ring of the Jormungandr, the great dragon that loops about the world. Occasional debris falls from the sky, usually entirely unsalvageable.
The great ships of the ancestors are long disappeared. Legends say they were all taken by crews seeking the gods, or else going aviking to the other worlds.
But none of the small movements of the skies above affects those still trapped on the surface of Midgard.
Once again, the air of winter has dragged into spring, with little sign of any warming. Crops perish in short order, and reserves continue to run lower and lower. Only the ancient machines that once sustained the world now keep it tenuously surviving.
The various Jarls have made war upon each other for several cold summers, but with no outcome save minor trinkets and long, petty feuds.
The Jarl of Sigurdsheim has once again called on volunteers to muster for an important duty, but rumour has it that this is no simple assault on one of his rivals.“