Hird

From World of Charun

The Northmen don't have one force of men, but several, due they have three dozen kings and twice as many chieftains - all with a host of their own, known as a 'Hird'.

More about: Northman


Description

Housecarls ready for battle
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Housecarls ready for battle

Each Northman settlement is ruled by a chieftain called 'Hovthegn', while larger territories are usually ruled by Kings. The more successful the ruler, the more men usually joins his cause, which leads to a larger territory.

A Hovthegn would be in charge of anything between a few farms and longhouses, to a village with up to 250 warriors, known as 'Housecarls' in his service. This host is known as a 'Hird'. In order to increase his number of warriors, the Hovtheng would have to generate a greater income, which would require a larger population and territory. When those conditions are met, the Hovding is usually seen as a King. The King of Ulvhavn, for an example, commands a Hird of more than 3.000 warriors.

A Hovthegn usually has a few champions amongst his Housecarls who act as officers. Such a champion is known as 'Thegn'. A Thegn has proven himself through several battles, showing both courage and tactical skills. However, most importantly they are respected and liked by their brothers in arms, and able to inspire them to great deeds.

A Northman King has a larger hird, but it is structured in the same manner as a Hovthegn's. If the kingdom is too large for the King to govern it efficiently, a Thegn is usually promoted to a 'Jarl', which is a higher rank. The Jarl is allowed to have a Hird of his own, and he is set to rule a part of the kingdom in the King's stead. However, he and his Hird ultimately still answer to the King. Jarl's tend not to be allowed to grow too powerful, since they could eventually pose a threat and aspire for the throne.

Some Kings with territories along the coastline have fleets of Longships, known as a 'Lith'. In order to be called a Lith, the fleet has to include at least five Longships. These ships are vital for both trade and in battle. They are, however, costly and far from every King can afford a Lith.


Structure

KING:
A Northman chieftain claiming a large territory, with a large number of Housecarls in his Hird.


HOVTHEGN:
A Northman chieftain ruling everything in between a few farms and longhouses to a small hamlet. He usually has no more than 250 Housecarls in his Hird.


JARL:
A high ranking Northman officer serving under a King. He is authorised to have a Hird of his own, which is sedlom allowed to reach more than 100 Housecarls in number. The Jarl rules a part of the kingdom in the King's stead.


THEGN:
A champion acting as an officer in the Hird.


HUSCARL:
A professional warrior serving in a Hird.


HIRD:
The Northman host serving a King, a Hovthegn or a Jarl.


LITH:
A fleet of minimum 5 Longships owned by a King.


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