Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Your Village

Most starting characters in Fimbulwinter are assumed to come from the settlement called Skalafell, which lies in the southern part of Scandza near the border with the Walchos.  The inhabitants of Skalafell come almost entirely from the tribe of the Daggermen, descendants from Wodanaz's mortal son Gautaz.

Skalafell happens to lie near the crater-lake that marks where Wodanaz fell from the Bifrost when it collapsed.  As such, the people of Skalafell believe it is their duty to safeguard his body until the day when the gods reawaken and the Sun and the Moon again show in the sky.  However, Wodanaz is not the only god revered in Skalafell.  Most notably, the village would not be able to survive without the priestesses of Saewelo whose magics can fool the crops into thinking there is still a Sun and who can also tell time.  These priestesses have made Skalafell a pilgrimage site for other Daggermen.  there is also a small enclave of warriors dedicated to Tiwaz,

A number of the settlement's most important inhabitants are described below.

Grettir Fairhair
Grettir is the Big Man of the village.  When the Sun and Moon still shone, he might have been an earl or even a king, but in this age of winter his authority is greatly diminished.  Still, he commands the loyalty of a number of fierce warriors, and his words are respected throughout Skalafell.

One should not take this to mean that Grettir is a clever man.  He is a fierce warrior and charismatic in his own way, but his methods are blunt.  He is well known to rely on his killers to solve most of the settlement's problems.

Grettir is known for swinging his strange, black sword in battle.  Called Deathsinger, the warriors of the village claim he took it from a dead Walchaz during a raid in the south.

Groa is Grettir's wife and the chief priestess of Saewelo in the settlement.  While her husband's descent from Wodanaz and fierce killers might keep order in the community, it is the magic of her and her sisters that keeps everyone alive.  Without her the crops do not grow.

There is a sadness about Groa.  Whether this is because of her domineering husband or the weight of her responsibilities in the community is difficult to say.  She is seldom seen outside her chambers in the main hall except during the rites needed to keep the village going.

Geirfrithur  Grettirsdaughter
Grettir and Groa's daughter Geirfrithur would be the most marriageable woman in the settlement if she wasn't so stubborn.  Many have tried to take her hand in an attempt to set themselves up as the next Big Man, but she has yet to accept any suitor.  Recently she has been most fervently pursued by Haukur, whose nose she broke with the butt of a stave.

Her magical affinities are closer to those of her mother, but Alfifa thinks she may be even more powerful.  Her dark hair gives her a mysterious beauty, but has led some to question whether Grettir is truly her father.

Alfifa is Grettir's rune caster and bone witch.  A descendant of Wodanaz, she knows the strange form of sorcery that is now lost among the people of Scandza since the Sun and Moon were devoured.  She is the only woman allowed in the hall during certain councils.  During these, she often cuts flesh from Grettir's back and "reads" the blood as it flows in rivulets to the floor.  Grettir's warriors find this very disturbing.  At other times she spends hours, even days, in a cave outside the village the fumes from which are said to give her dreams.

It is rumored that she is seeking someone to learn her art lest it die from the world.  Many believe she has her eye on Geirfrithur, but why she has not acted yet is unknown.

Kolskeggar the Black
Grettir is able to maintain his tenuous control of the village because he has the loyalty of men like Kolskeggar.  A great bear of a man, Kolskeggar is a fierce warrior and descendant of Tiwaz.  Grettir has called on him many times to act as his champion in single combat or to lead raids against the Spear People to the west.  Though still formidable, it is difficult not to see that Kolskeggar is growing old as his head loses the last of its hair and his black beard turns to grey.

Kolskeggar's ax has a head so large that other men would have to wield it two handed.  Its name, Calfsplitter, makes the men of the village wince and clutch their legs when uttered.

Birna was once a great shield maiden, but those days are behind her.  She is no fan of Grettir and some of the men think she fancies his position.  She spends most of her days teaching the youths of the village to hunt.

Haukur is a young man of the line of Gautaz and the most likely candidate to replace Grettir when he dies.  It is for this end that he pursues Geirfithur; however, his passion for her seems to have dulled since she broke his nose.

It is an ill kept secret that Grettir hates Haukur and Haukur isn't fond of him either.  The warriors at Haukur's side, though smaller in number, often mete out their own justice, much to the chagrin of Grettir.

Svartur is a Dweargaz from the north who was captured by Grettir's grandfather when the Sun and Moon still shone.  He serves the village as a smith, and though few know where he finds his metal - he never seems to leave the village to trade or mine for it - he has crafted many wondrously beautiful items for Grettir and his warriors.

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