Stoic, the studio of former BioWare devs is now planning to release its viking-themed RPG The Banner Saga by mid-2013, but until then, we can try out the standalone multiplayer component (demo) The Banner Saga: Factions.
A recent forum post announced that this week marks the beginning of early access for backers and, well, a few other lucky folks, all the way through Sunday, February 24. Starting February 25, everyone will get to try Factions out themselves.
As of now, the game is already live, though access is limited. Characters, stats, and rankins have all been wiped for the last time, and a full tutorial is now included with Factions. A tournament for backers will be held later this week.
Stoic notes that this is the first major milestone in The Banner Saga's development, and once Factions is out of the way, all focus will return to the single-player campaign.