Hrafnir

From World of Charun

The Northlands are a harsh and inhospitable region due to the everlasting winter and freezing temperatures. Survival is hard and the Hrafnir can often be seen sailing southward to plunder and pillage in order to provide for their families and gaining wealth.

Art by rhia474 - rhia474.deviantart.com
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Art by rhia474 - rhia474.deviantart.com

Contents

Origins and History

Hrafnir
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Hrafnir

The Hrafnir share the same ancestry with the Northmen of today. Northmen used to live in many small tribes across the eastern and central parts of the Northlands, until a mighty warrior in one of these tribes rose and gathered many of them under his banner. The sagas name him Berse Veleifson, chieftain of the Ulv Tribe, later King of the Ulv Tribe that by then consisted of more than half of all the Northmen. The tribes that hadn't chosen to follow King Berse's path would soon thereafter form a great gathering themselves, that was given the name Hrafnir.

The sagas further tell that the Ulv and Hrafnir tribes lived in peace, trading with eachother and joining forces against common foes - until a wedge was driven in between them in the form of the Clandur. As the Clandur disembarked from their ships and set foot on the shores of the Northlands, they first encountered the Hrafnir tribe, who forced them to move further inland to the territory of the Ulv Tribe. The Clandur engaged the Ulv Tribe in battle and drove them from their homes. The Ulv Tribe later founded Ulvhavn on the eastern shore. The Clandur remained in the land they had conquered, which today is known as Clandurmark.

There are no written records of these events, and thus it is not known what exactly took place, or when, but the tales told amongst the Hrafnir and Ulvhavians conform the arrival of the Clandur and the skirmishes taking place inbetween the tribes.


Culture and Society

The Hrafnir live in Hrafnirheim located on the shores of the Sea of Ice. They are by far the most warlike of all the Northmen, and sailing south to plunder is considered a way of life amongst them. The Hrafnir have no larger towns or settlements - they live in several small villages that unite under the same monarch known as the High King. The king's village holds his "keep" - a large, wooden building protected by a tall pallisade wall. It is well enough protected by warriors to keep any attackers at bay.

The most famous and legendary High King is Runar Blodtand, a war-loving barbarian who was known to gather his fleet of ships and launch large scale attacks on well protected merchant ship convoys. Most High Kings have since Blodtand's rule followed his lead, making their kin feared by merchant ships all the way down to the Sea of Sharks.

The Hrafnir, and their cousins the Northmen, are by far the most skilled sailors and navigators of Chaurn and they are the only ones with the knowledge and courage to face the perils of the Fierce Sea. Alongside with Kurashi Pirates and the Buccaneers, the Hrafnir Marauders are the greatest danger facing peaceful ships on the seas surrounding the Western Lands. Many of the former marauders take a liking to the lifestyle and stay in the south, either as outlaws of the sea or as mercenaries offering their services across the realms.

In the 350s IV a few Hrafnir started to experiment with the very odd notion of exchanging goods for goods, rather than goods for axe-blows. This very odd custom has by no means spread throughout Hrafnir society, but it still manages to completely startle some foreign merchants expecting a more traditional Hrafnir greeting.

More about: Runar Blodtand | Hrafnirheim | Hrafnir Marauders


Hrafnir Marauders
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Hrafnir Marauders

Armour and Weapons

The Hrafnir wear mail shirts and leather armour into battle, wielding axes and broadswords, often with a shield. Those who can afford it often invest in a mail hauberk, or even full mail. Their items of war are decorated with ornamentations and carvings, both for beauty and blessing.

They have a fair share of skilled smiths, but none quite reach the craftmanship of the Northmen smiths found in Ulvhavn.


Customs

When a Hrafnir reaches adulthood he is excepted to make both a name for himself and acquire enough of gold to pay the dowry of his future wife. This alongside with a lust to seek out adventure makes many of the youngsters board a ship and head south to pillage and loot. Sometimes they are joined by equally fierce women on their journeys across the seas.

Death is unavoidable, and when it happens a burial ritual takes place where deceased is placed in a specially built ship along with all their possessions. After the ceremony the ship is torched and it is believed that the person's soul, along with all his earthly possessions is sent to the realm of the dead.


Hrafnir warrior
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Hrafnir warrior

Appearance

The Hrafnir have blonde hair and blue or grey eyes with pale skin that burns easily in the southern sun. The men favour beards, while the women wear their long hair in braids. Northmen are tall, probably the tallest of all human races on Charun. They are not of a weak build though, despite their length. They have deep chests and broad shoulders, with big feet and hands. Some of the warriors are known to tattoo protective symbols onto their bodies.

Jewellery and decorated garments are rare. Both men and women dress in long wool tunics and cloaks, as well as in leather and furs. The clothing is practical, easily repaired and replaced if need.


Religion

The old faiths have been forgotten among the Hrafnir in favour for new ones. Drakfar, the Father of the Fallen has gained many followers – among them. Ferael is another god that has a rather large group of followers. The “priests” of the new gods are known as “Sejd”. They are sorcerer-priests communicating the deities’ wishes and will to the followers.

Dryws are rare but they do exist. Often choosing solitary lives out in the wild, they are seldom encountered - unless they wish it to happen.


Non-Player Characters

RACIAL FEATURES:

  • Northerner: +1 Strength / -1 Dexterity

Northerners are a naturally tall and strong race. They are used to wearing armour combined with heavy clothing and furs to protect them from the freezing temperature. Thus the typical Northern fighting style resolves around hoping to outlast one's opponent, striking heavier blows and trusting to sheer strength to defeat him, rather than dodging his attacks.


CULTURAL FEATURES:

  • Reputed Raiders: Skill Bonus: Intimidate +2, Spot +2

The Hranfir of the North rank among some of the best sailors of Charun, as well as some of the fiercest. Given to bloody raids and piracy, their love of war has made their name known to any who would think to sail the seas.


LANGUAGES:

  • Given Languages: Common, Nordska
  • Secondary Language List: Clandur, Giron

The Hrafnir have an opportunity to learn the languages of surrounding cultures of the Northlands.


Statistics

Location in Charun: Hrafnirheim

Population: 50.000

Settlements:

Army: Varies, there are Hrafnir 1000 professional warriors serving the king

Government form: Barbarian Monarchy

Ruler: High King Harald Myrkrauga


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