Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The World of Eave; The Barony of Ysigdal and the V'tar Clans


To the north of the frozen plains and marches of the western edges of the Eavelan Continent is a land of fjords and icy forests is where that the Barony of Ysigdal lies.  It is strange mix of the old and new as when the age of Nerath ruled the land.  Nerath was in battle with the V'tar barbarians of Ysigdal for generations, ever since they first encountered one another.  Nerath conquered the barbarians and settled in its place a baron to rule over the people. 

Well over two-hundred years ago, well after Nerath's pinnacle of power, Rosilar Ulsham was a commander of a Nerathian Legion who was getting seriously beat by V'taran barbarians.  After the Battle of The Andian Plains, she was the highest ranking officer left alive, so she spent the next several months doing a holding action to save herself and her men from being destroyed for reinforcements were not coming for Nerath was busy with other wars at the time.  But they were trapped and she spent nearly a year hiding her forces in the mountains and forests of the north.  It was then Rosilar and the remains her legions came across the remains of a barbarian village of the Rime Owls, that still had the attackers within it.  The attackers were V'taran warriors who feel under the sway of things not of Eave.  One of the survivors was Klee Frostfox, a novice V'taran Witch and from her Rosilar had learned that the barbarians were using Witches in a vile ritual to make them nearly unbeatable.  A peace was brokered between the Nerath and the Free Peoples of the V'tar.

The barbarians were not always this way, fighting together and warlike.  For many years before the coming of power of Horgriss and Morth, the Empire of Nerath and the V'tar barbarians fought in battles that usually ended in stalemates.  However when Horgriss Wyrmslayer, the Butcher of Khomr'dum, Wolfskinner and High King of Wyrm and V'taran people, was advised by a an incredibly powerful shaman by the name Morth.  Morth was a powerful shaman who became corrupted when he uncovered what he called an ancient ritual that would grant them the power to crush their enemies.  What is in truth he uncovered was a ritual in which infused part of Far Realms magics onto the noble warriors of the V'tar.  It took away their fear, their conscience and made them into ravening beasts slaved to their basest of hearts desire and evil thoughts.  They took to doing depraved things, marking their flesh with the marks of the Far Realms beasts, mutilating themselves, raping, maiming, torturing, butchering and engaging in cannibalism.  The V'tar lands became a vast abattoir of their evil deeds, the worst that can come of these once proud people.  If it wasn’t for the incredible strength and charisma of Horgriss, the V'tar warriors would have turned on themselves and ripped themselves apart.  The V'tar Witches recognized the coming of the Xioi.  For they are terrible beasts for the Witches were the ones who first drove it back to the darkness in which it came.  Morth took great delight in hunting down and destroying any Witch that he found.  It was only due to the actions of Commander Rosilar, the Witch Klee and their solid companions did they kill Morth and Horgriss and put an end to Xioi's machinations.

The Lodge of the Wyrm were the High Kings of the V'tar people, but ever since the defeat of Horgriss, there hasn’t been a High King.  When Nerath was in power, they had an Emperor, but now they have a Baron/Baroness.  The Thanes of the Tribes nominate or by contest of arms (that usually don’t end up so deadly) chose an Ur-Thane to make the decisions for the Clan on the whole.  They hold council in the city of Wynterfrost where the Baroness, bound by law when the Barony was created, breaks all ties.  The Baroness also can mobilize the V'taran people for war and provides for the general defense of the Clans, a mighty feat considering an integrated army of all Clansmen.  The Baroness only has to remind the Clans to uphold the honor of the V'tar and the Compact with the now defunct Nerath.  Many of the warriors that are in the Ysigdal army are female, for they are the most loyal to command.  Unfortunately that makes them handling certain Clans and Tribes rather hard. 

It took a couple more years and due to the compact between Nerath and the V'tar barbarians, it was all formalized into the Barony of Ysigdal.  In the glory days of Nerath all the V'tar belonged to and were under sway of the Emperor.  They follow the Barony, because it is not unlike following a High King, though the Barony does not place as much  In the current days, it is not so, as the Barony has shrunk.  The barbarians who live there don’t mind.  Once every five years during the Interim Day they have a grand moot.  Held on the Island of Vi'kel a short distance from shore; it is a sacred island.  No permanent settlements are there on Vi'kel.  It is a heavily wooded island and rife with caves and every five years the island comes alive with merriment, food, challenges, contests and sacred rites are performed by the shamans.  The Witches come down from Ysigdal on their Witchboats to confer with the clan shamans.  The Moot last for week but that doesn’t stop people coming in months in advance.  At the Moot, the next Clan is chosen to host the Moot and it is a great honor to be chosen by a cavalcade of shamans.  All the Clans make an attendance to the Moot, even the Snow Lions come from far away.  These days, the Moot is the only thing that keeps the Clans together.

Rosilar and Klee were lovers and by magics (an easy enough thing to do), Rosilar gave birth to children.   The Barony has been matriarchical due to the war and Clan Snowstorm Fox.  The Baroness if advised by a council of Witches as well as the Ur-Thanes of the other clans.  The current Baroness is Isandral Ulsham, once a powerful warrior, but now looking to retire.  She has two female children.  The older one is Aerkal, and she follows the way of Snowstorm Fox and is a powerful warrior.  Ekidhal, not out of her teens and she has a touch of magic that runs strong in her blood.  They have two brothers, the eldest of the four is a man named  Rümnar and the youngest of the four is young man still in his teens named Abulard.  Both of the young men are growing up to be fine warriors though Abulard is something of a musician as well.  Rümnar is in second in charge of the guard for Wynterfrost.  The main person in charge is a tall woman by the name of Vrianith Whitebear from Clan Ice Bear.  With a patch over her left eye, she came to Wynterfrost because of the freedoms she finds here.  She has lead the Baronial army for several years now and is well liked and well feared for her prowess in battle. 

The Nathal Forest is the great forest and forested hills of the North and it lies across the river from Wynterfrost.  It is home to the Rime Owl and holds Ysigdal itself.  Ysigdal is the spiritual heart of the V'tar people.  It is shielded from those who do not revere the ancient Primal Spirits and that is why try as he might, Horgriss was not able to strike at the heart of Ysigdal and destroy it during the war for great Ysigdal could not be seen because of the magicks so wielded by the Witches of the time.  Ysigdal is a great tree, the only one of its kind.  The thing is, Ysigdal is depicted as this glorious, ancient tree but in reality, it looks to be nothing more than a sapling of alien origin that the witches tend to diligently, for the strange and nutty fruits that it gives. 

The ancient fjords and great water of Rimedal, the great North Sea is no longer connected to Adarac Ocean for there is a great glacier that in times past blocked the way to the sea.  Called Morth's Curse, strange evils lurk in the snowy fields and the clans are fearful to tread there.  Morth's Curse lays over the lands of the Wyrm Clan and the Winter Wolves stand guard, their hatred of Horgriss knows no bounds.  Morth's Curse is one of the few things that frightens a harded V'tar warrior.  Due to Morth's Curse blocking off the way to the sea (and putting to rest the many fears of a V'tar raid), Rimedal has seen a great increase of its water level and many of the coastal flats have flooded.  About half of the Baronies arable land was flooded and the food that was grown was lost causing famine.  One of the first duties that Rosilar had to do in the early years of her rule was to ship in much grain from the storehouses of Nerath.  Proving herself yet again to the V'taran people.

Ysigdal is still a violent and bloody place but it still holds such beauty and mystery.  As such, there are many dangers that hold the prospects of fame and glory.  

  • The son the V'taran Thane belonging the Flurry Ram Elsgarth Ramsbottom, is engaged to a mighty storm giantess princess Charhetta Stormbringer.  This was made by the Thanes from both sides to cement a lofty goals of both sides.
  • Khrogan Wolfstrider of Clan Winter Wolf, comes from a long line of great heroes and Thanes.  He was leading a scouting party on Morth's Curse and as such found the remains of one of the foul shaman's totems.  Khrogan was the only one who came out, weaponless and half-dead claiming of strange beasts that killed him and his men.  The next day he was found dead even though he should have survived from his wounds.
  • There is growing consensus among some of the Ur-Thanes that they don’t need the Barony.  They are somewhat angry or just fed up with the peace and prosperity that has come over the land.  They are somewhat split as they are still others that see Barony as a good thing for the V'tar.  Houldun of the Clan of the Frost Tiger is the leader of the V'tar who wish to leave.