The High Clans of Vistaghast
The Althing has been called at the high kings hall and all of the great clans have gathered. You note the fair hair of the Hakonsens, the wide nosed hairy faces of the Bjornstroms, the wolfish gaze of an Ulfborg passes your way but it is no where as unsettling as the appraising glance of a Volkastad prince who reads the room with expert skill. They and many others are the high clans of Vistaghast, families of power, wealth and honored heritage. Long have they had ties and kin in these cold harsh lands. Unlike the weak decadent kings of softer realms they have all been forged with blood steel and frost. Barbarian they call them, savage, raider and worse in other lands but few who met them would dare utter such words in their presence. Their ancestors slew giant slavers to earn the freedom of their people. They have earned their thrones against giants, trolls and worse beasts who haunt the wilds of the north. Here in this hall sit not the bickering petty nobles of some mincing weak willed land but the hardened rulers of the North.
The High Clans of Vistaghast The High Clans of Vistaghast are made up of the largest and strongest extended families in the region, each rules their own kingdom and in turn vote for the high king of the realm. The high king has the power to call up united armies from all of the provinces in times of conflict and acts a tie breaker in all votes and edicts regarding the nation as a whole. Dunsgaard Symbol: Charging Boar Colors:Pale Yellow Words:”Die with Glory” Leader Name: Var "Wide Shoulders" Borison Race: Skinwalker (Rageborn) Class: Barbarian (Moon Touched) Traits: Moody, Prideful Rumors: Var is jealous of Hakons combat prowess and bitter about Hakon breaking his winning streak. Secrets: Var is not a man for secrets nor are most of his kin. Other: Var clings to a bitter grudge against the Ulfborg Clan for the death of his father and has nearly broken Hakons peace by trying to settle it. Siblings: (Tripplets) Gaut (Deceased-Combat), Hallvard (Deceased-Honour Duel) Wife: Arnbjorg Children: Katla, Thorfast Bastards: Ingrid (Legitimised) Bjornstrom Symbol:Twin Roaring brown bears Colors: Deep Brown Words:”Relent not to adversity” Leader Name: Skallagrim "Thick Head" Audgislisson Race: Skinwalker (Coldborn) Class: Shifter (Weretouched) Traits: Headstrong, Trusting Rumors: Skallgrim was Hakons right hand during his civil war and is the high Kings Oath Brother. Secrets: Bjornstrom may appear to be dull witted and simple but this is a time honoured trick of the clan to cause others to underestimate their wits. Other: Skallgrim rather enjoys scented beeswax candles, a delicate taste he tends to keep to himself. Siblings: (Older Sisters) Arnbjorg, Torgard, Thorgerd, Freydis, Solveig. Matilda Wife: Thyri Children: None Ulfborg Symbol: Howling white wolf Colors: White & Grey Words:”To live among wolves is to become one” Leader Name: Ulfrost "Snow Wolf" Eilifsson Race: Skinwalker (Witch Wolf) Class: Bloodrager Traits: Loyal, Bold Rumors: Ulfrost was Hakons Left hand Durring Hakons War and many say he longs to wed to Hakons Sister. Secrets: Ulfrost has a dangerous love of his lupine kin, going so far as to show a lack in judgement when dealing with dangerous werewolves, worgs and winterwolves. Other: Ulfrost in spite of his large extended family and countless canine companions has been seeking a wife worthy of being his wolf queen. Siblings: Younger Brother (Ulfren) Wife:None Children: None Bastards: Ulfrid, Ulfhild (Acknowledged) Hakonsen Symbol: Ice Linnorm Impaled on a Sword Colors: Steel & Royal Blue Words:”The justice and valor of your deeds will remain long after the body and spirit pass” Leader Name: Hakkon "The Brave" Thoraldson Race: Human Class: Fighter (Viking) Traits: Brave, Kind Rumors: Hakkon is slow to choose a wife, some say he has no want for sharing his crown, others that he is far too picky and nothing short of a woman as well bred as he will suffice. Secrets: As well and good as he is known, Hakkon's war for his crown and the darker aspects of rulership wear away at his good nature. Some say he fears that he too will become cold of heart out of necessity. Other: Hakkon has a fondness for blueberry Jam and the castle is always well provisioned with it. Siblings: (Older Brother) Thorwulf (Deceased-Execution) (Twin Sister) Sigrid Wife: None Children: None Jensen Symbol: Reindeer against a Forest Color: Forest Green Words: ”Not all crowns are made of gold” Leader Name: Knut "Sap-beard" Sigbrandson Race: Human Class: Hunter Traits: Introspective, Cautious Rumors: They say the Jensen family have been secretly training war beasts in large number but refuse to say for whom or for what purpose. Secrets: The Jensen Family have little love for corrupt or weak kings and will be among the first to ride to Hakons side if civil war breaks out against him. Other: Knut is a man of few words himself but often shows preference for those who speak or sing verse well. Siblings: (Older Sister) Erika Wife: Kaatrina Children: Torfi Volkastaad Symbol: Kraken rising under a Longship Color: Dark Blue & Black Words:”Guile and Strength will always bring victory” Leader Name: Hemming "The Sly" Skurson Race: Human Class: Investigator (Mastermind) Traits: Calm, Sly Rumors: They say nothing happens in Volkastaad lands without old man Hemming knowing. Secrets: Hemming is a wealthy man because he controls both the law and the law breakers in his kingdom. Other: Hemming may be ruthless but holds family in very high regard. He hates being forced to punish errant family members. Siblings: (Older Brothers) Kelbjorn (Decased-Natural Causes), Heath (Deceased-Murder) Wives: Armod (deceased-Murdered), Isgerd (deceased-Treason), Hallfrid (deceased-Childbirth), Asgerd (deceased-Acidental Death), Ulfheid (deceased-Murder), Aladis Children (By Wife Number): 1: Saski, Luta, 2: None, 3:Savfir, Narfi, 4: Vindis, 5: Aelof, Joradis 6: None Grand Children: Frida, Gyda, Halla, Arnora, Asleif, Tryggvi, Arnljot, Ottar, Isi, Synloti, Oleif Adopted Children: Tore, Leona. Maria Sigridslund Symbol: Narwhal profile Colors: Aquamarine Words:”In battle go boldly” Leader Name: Joruuna "The Blue" Dagmardottir Race: Human Class: Barbarian (Sea Reaver) Traits: Honest, Brash Rumors: Joruuna, Uuna to her friends bitterly opposed centralization of government and her family has no love for the Hakonsen Clan. If anyone would be eager to see Hakon voted out of the crown of high king it is her. Secrets: Joruuna would never admit it openly but many suspect she lusts for Hakon drawn to his good looks, physique and strength of will. Other: Joruuna loves the sea and enjoys collecting rare treasures from the ocean depths. Siblings: Hala “The Quick” (Younger Sister) Husband: Tharain (Deceased-Combat) Children: None Brynsvalt Symbol: Raven perched on a rune etched skull Colors: Black & White Words:”Purpose only comes with Wisdom and knowledge” Leader Name: Ingrid "Storm-mane" Glamadottir Race:Human Class: Skald (Dragon Skald) Traits: Stern, Logical Rumors: The Brynsvalt clan claim neutrality but in truth tend to side with the winners of most conflicts. Secrets: Ingrid and her clan have covertly committed some degree of theft or harm to nearly every noble house in the nation for the good of the balance between the real and unreal world. Other: Ingrid has a fondness for intricate puzzles and riddles. Siblings: (Older Sister) Ketla “Black Fingers” (Deceased-Executed for use of black magic) Husbands: Ingholf (Deceased-Combat), Harald Children: 1:None, 2. Skapti, Thorfast, Hrefna Karlsen Symbol: Eagle soaring across a sunburst Colors: Grey & Black Words:”Strike when your prey is clearly seen” Leader Name: Snori "Thrice-Blind" Aegirson Race: Human Class: Slayer (Woodland Sniper) Traits: Decisive, Practical Rumors: Snori received his nickname because when half blinded by his cheating cousin he still was keen enough of a shot to score three bullseyes in a row during an archery contest. Secrets: Stroma "The Hawk" was the bastard daughter of the Karlsen Clan and they have been looking into the full extent of the lands she ruled. Other: Snori may disdain close combat and duels but his foes fear the ranged death his bow brings on the hunt or in war. Siblings: (Younger Siblings) Ashild, Tonna, Hedinfrid, Alfeid, Grani, Hiorvard, Bjarni, Hedin Wife: Sygni Children: Ollin, Jon Ragnarsen Symbol: Crossed Axes under a helmet Color: Indigo Words:”Trust not a Mages words, a diplomats flattery nor hidden steel” Leader Name: Thorkatla "Brothers-Bane" Thorstarsdottir Race: Human Class: Ranger (Skirmisher) Traits: Romantic, Curious Rumors: Thorkatla is a known kinslayer, she slew her brother in an honour duel when she was 13 and he 16 after he attempted to force her to marry him in a mad attempt to keep the family line pure. Secrets: Thorkatla may not like hags, witches, wizards or most magic users but secretly longs to understand them and their power. Other: Thorkatla is a bit of a romantic and finds most of the men in her region unable to satisfy her longing for romantic poems and verse. Siblings: Dunfjel (Older Brother-deceased-Honour Duel), (Younger Brothers) Bjarki, Svein, Grim, Osvald, Hroald Husband: None Children: None Thorasberg Symbol: Bloodied Spears across a shield Colors: Red & Steel Blue Words:”Battle is our test, War is our Trial, Eternal Glory our reward” Leader Name: Kelgrim "Iron-Spine" Svenson Race: Human Class: Warpriest of Tartorus (Divine Commander) Traits: Ambitious, Observant Rumors: Kelgrim seeks a legendary Hammer called Thunderfall and pays handsomely for any information on it. Secrets: The Thorasburg Family have long supported changing Vistaghast to a Theocracy and have themselves sparked at least two major civil wars to attempt a coup. The other lords are so disdainful of this idea that Thorasburg has not been voted high king in six generations. Other: Kelgrim has spent no small fortune on buying gifts to make his half-elven bride happy. Siblings: (Younger Brother) Volkbjorn , (Younger Sister) Helkatla Wife: Geirhield "The Wiser" Children: Runa Agnarsfjord Symbol: Body of a Blood Eagle victim Colors:Crimson Words:“Forgive no wrong, but measure all justice with an even hand” Leader Name: Kadrin "The Sleepless" Aronson Race: Half-elf Class: Cavalier (Circuit Judge) Traits: Courteous, Risk Taking Rumors: Kadrin is is utterly tireless in the pursuit of justice, he earned his name after going without rest for days to prevent a murderer from getting an advantage of escape time. Secrets: Kadrin often disappears for prolonged periods from his courtly duties and keeps many personal secrets in his castle's hidden chambers. Other: Kadrin likes to collect torture and execution devices from around the world a hobby common among his family, they often display famous ones. Siblings: Edgar "Iron Hand" (Younger Brother) Wife: Astrid "The Silent" Children: Skuldir Dokk Alflar Symbol: A sword across a full moon Colors: Silver and Night Blue Words: "In the hands of the Just a sword is more than just a weapon" Leader Name: Sabune "Our lady Chosen of the Moon" Kenlyl Race: Dusk Elf Class: Oracle Traits: Calm, Cunning Rumors: They say all Dusk Elves owe their ultimate loyalty to their queen whose beauty is of legend. Secrets: Sabune feigned disinterest in most affairs but is in fact very keenly knowledgeable on them. Other: Soon after the Dusk Elves Arrived in Vistaghast they concluded that to avoid mistreatment at the hands of others they would require political power and thus formed their own official kingdom ruled by its most powerful Divine Spell caster. Even remote Dusk Elf Communities pay homage to this Holy king or Queen gaining them distrust from many human lords who demand their fealty. Hamerstein Symbol: A Hammer striking a boulder and splintering it Colors: Gold and Silver Words: "With both feet on the ground" Leader Name: Grumna "Iron-Bitch" Hamerstein Race: Dwarf Class: Fighter (Titan Fighter) Traits: Stubborn, Stern Rumors: Gruma is a blood relative to the leader of the Hill Dwarven Nation of Thordukar to the south and threatened rebellion when Olaf the Fat wanted to plunder Thordukar and its treasures. To this day she is not well trusted for her loyalty is first to the high king of the dwarves and second to Vistaghast. Secrets: Gruma Dislikes most of the human lords, except Hakon and may side with him even if wisdom dictates otherwise. Other: The Hamersteins were founded by the dwarven guilds of Vistaghast as to have a vote on national matters and to force the high King of the time to legally recognize that no dwarven citizen who is of a law abiding nature may be owned as a Thrall or Serf thusly all Dwarves who are in good standing with the law are freemen. This was enforced when the dwarven guilds across the nation refused to trade anything unless it was agreed upon. The Hamerstein always put dwarves' interests first much to the annoyance of other Clans. As of late they have also taken to upholding the rights of their gnomish allies and more then a few gnomes now stand with the Hamersteins and it may only be a matter of time before one of their kin forms a high clan. Ljoss Alflar Symbol: Rising Dawn Burst Colors: Orange and Sky Blue Words: "So long as the sun rises there is hope to see darkness vanquished" Leader Name: Nilyan "Leaf on the wind" Yilandson Race: Elf Class: Magus (Blade Dancer) Traits: Haughty, Passionate Rumors: The Light Elves of Vistaghast hold secrets and knowledge of days before men and giants claimed the island. Secrets: Nilyan may appear Haughty and Aloof but this is a means to gauge the reactions of others. Other: The Elven Folk of Vistaghast have been here since the age of ice though their numbers are few and they stick to their own kind. The few lords who have crossed them in the past learned the price is too high to make it worth their while. Nilyan himself is a feared warrior king who in spite of his beauty and grace has never lost a duel nor even been scared by a foe.
The history of the eldest high clans and the rule of High King is as old as Vistaghast itself when their ancestors drove off the frost and fire giants who had enslaved them the tribes agreed on a system of rulership where they would keep their freedoms and rule their own domains as they pleased while answering to a high king they selected to ensure fairness and that matters would not end up deadlocked. Though the system has been refined and grown since the first days it is still in essence the same.
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