The Matter of the North is set in the legendary heroic past of the Northern lands, a time of great warriors and cunning schemers, of beleaguered kingdoms and threatening empires, of lore and sorcery. Old civilizations and upstart barbarian peoples struggle for the mastery of the North, while noble and common folk alike simply strive to maintain the arts, trades, and amusements they hold dear.

For the intrepid adventurer, this time and place affords many opportunities—and dangers! With their wits and good fortune to speed their way, a clever rogue or wandering bard may find themselves seated on thrones. A fearsome-looking dragon, when reasoned with, can become a useful ally. But beware! The stratagems of the Northern nobles are woven tightly; disturb one string and the discord that follows may swallow you whole. Play with the fundamental powers of the world and you may find yourself on the wrong side of a portal—or a god. Even the petty crones who dispense wisdom and medicine may seek to add you to their collections.