Vaesen takes place in a mythical nineteenth-century Scandinavia. This version of Scandinavia is not historically accurate, but an alternate world where events may correspond more or less to our reality. As such, the stories do not take place in any specific period of the 1800s – the Mythic North combines phenomena from the entire century. Steamboats, trains, as well as political and philosophical movements from the end of the nineteenth century may well be mixed with earlier phenomena. That said, you would do well to draw inspiration from historical events – much that happened in the 1800s would make excellent starting points for creating exciting mysteries.
Vaesen takes place in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark – in a version of our world that is entirely its own. It is a time and place that mixes events, cultural expressions, and conflicts from the entire 19th century, in a way that will be unique for each gaming group. Together, the players, and particularly the Gamemaster, get to decide what their version of Scandinavia will be like.
Use what you know, or think you know, about the 19th century, or whatever fantasies you might have about the era, to create a setting that highlights your player characters and stories.
The 19th Century starts (basically) with the French Revolution (and yes that affected Scandinavia too), proceeded right into the Napoleonic Era (which affected the whole continent) and ended with the Victorian Era...it was quite a century. Sweden, for example, declared neutrality after the 7th Coalition war but were very active in European affairs prior to this; Denmark had a couple of territory wars with Germany (who was in the process of unifying); entire philosophical, literary, and even religious styles came into vogue and went out of fashion.I would say that Vaesen starts and ends in the nineteenth-century but not necessarily in chronological order. I won't be more specific than the nineteenth-century to my gaming group. Vaesen is simply not supposed to take place in a specific year or decade. That's a part of the allure in the world of Vaesen.
I get that it's a fantasy version but anachronisms drive me mad regardless.
Translation by Johannes Andersson and Lisa Yannucci.It is a late Saturday night and all the young people in Hårga have gathered to dance in a barn. Suddenly in the middle of the dance, the music gets interrupted and a new fiddler steps forward from the shadows. He had a large dark hat on his head and you could see a pair of 'burning' eyes. The fiddler lifted the violin to his chin and began to play a song that had never been heard before. All the young people immediately began to dance to the new tune. But once they entered the dance, they could not stop dancing. The dance continued throughout the night and when dawn arrived the fiddler left the barn. After him came all the dancers, following him in a line. They couldn't stop dancing. The sound of the violin fueled the dancers will to move their feet. When the church bells rang for service, the dancers disappeared with the fiddler. A girl remained laying on the dance floor in the lodge. No one had listened to her when she warned them about the fiddler, and no one noticed the fiddlers hooves in the midst of the wildest dance they've ever been through.
The legend continues, saying that the fiddler led the dancers to Hårgaberget (Hårga Mountain) where they danced until only their bones were left. Some even say that you can still see the marks from the ring dance at Hårgaberget, and if you are so brave to venture out on a night of the full moon, it is said that you can hear the music that the devil once played for those who died.