Notable Nobles of Glimring

While there are numerous noble families that control various elements of government in the Edeldale, Glimring holds the highest number of titled families. Each of these families holds some sort of sway through investment, influence or in some cases, intimidation. The major families are “bannered” and have served in fealty to the Royal cause. Other notable names either were granted title or lands for services rendered to the crown.

The Banner of Hawksblood
“Strike With Certainty”
Hawksblood is one of the oldest families to remain at the forefront of Nobility. In the earliest days of the Herassian reign, Edold Hawksblood proved a capable military leader and was promoted to Commander of the First Armies. While his descendants no longer hold that title, many of them are knights in service to the crown or are financiers of military affairs. The current Lord Hawksblood resides in his secondary estate in Glimring, but the family castle is nestled in the foothills of Low Hollow.

The Banner of Boarheart
“We never back down.”
Another old legacy, the Boarhearts are descended from a bastard son of Gorrin Stronghand. They are considered influential in they hold much of the lands of Briarwood, which is prime hunting territory. All royal hunting edicts are managed through them and they retain a quarter share of all fees associated with hunting across the kingdom. The current Boarhearts still live in Briarwood, but there are a pair of younger sons that reside in Glimring.

The Banner of Lightstrung
“Defense against the Darkness”
When Ovandra abdicated in 342 H.E., a group of loyal knights provided her with the security she required. These knights, mostly descended from a single family, were granted title by the Davanic church, thus the Lightstrungs are often found funding pursuits related to that faith. They hold a special manor off Watcher’s Walk, which also serves as the compound for the High Priest of Dava. The family considers itself above political gain, but the connection to the church often brings them in conflict with this desire.

The Banner of Bellsweight
“Balance is our favor”
Once a great house of the Guilds, it’s now considered a failing house with only a handful of the Bellsweights remain in Glimring. The oldest member of the family is rarely seen in the machinations of the court, preferring to spend his time squandering his family’s fortune on the arts (and some say disreputable dancing girls.) A young member of the Bellsweight family pursues his career as a bard, serving as an agent of the Bard’s Guild, which could be a ploy to put them in contact with information to greater, hidden riches.

The Banner of Swansbreath
“All Action, Thoughtful”
Swansbreath is one of the few lines of nobility which draws upon elven heritage. Many of the males in this house take Elven wives and they too are major contributors to the arts. Their prime position though is to provide the crown with diplomats. Graceful and well spoken, Swansbreath House strongly emphasizes its lineage to pursue advanced education. So you may find them in such pursuits as arcana or engineering. The very first aqueducts of the realm were the product of Swansbreath architects and it was their innovation that created Moonhold.

The Banner of Markand
“We see the horizon”
House Markand is a relatively new house, whose family was granted lands after their support of King Valen II’s failed war against Drench. They are a quiet house with a small presence in Glimring, preferring to stay in their native lands by Strongwater Bay. Their current castle, a shell keep known as Grayfinger, is responsible for the security of the Western Coast. The current Lord Markand is in his early 30s and has only recently assumed power after the untimely death of his father, Bekket Markand.

The Banner of Hammerflung
“The Hammer rings true”
The original smiths of the ancient kingdoms, holding the knowledge of fire and steel gave them great power. Some believe they stole this from their first contact with Dwarves, but Hammerflung will laugh and tell you this is nonsense. An arrogant house, they hold many contracts with the Armorers and Hammerers guilds. So much so, that if they pulled support, they could presumably collapse the local economy. Thus, they retain a great amount of power over the Court. The current Lord Hammerflung has many offspring overseeing the businesses in Glimring and beyond and he resides close to the Moonhold.

The Banner of Bowsprit
“At Any Cost”
There is a great controversy about how the House Bowsprit grew to such power, but the current Lord Longbridge is actually of Bowsprit decent. Many assumed them to be thieves and murderers, living at the edges of society (the original Bowsprit was a robber Baron who’d terrorized the Tanglewood during the reign of King Taron). Eventually, they were able to secure their place along the western edges of the kingdom with legitimate business and were granted the lands south of the Hills of Howling. They currently are embroiled in the rebellion of Longbridge and have lost many of their troops, the Bowsprit Blades to barbarian rebel forces. Their position in the court is tenuous since they have amassed great debt while overseeing the former Longbridge.

Other noble names which hold no house but are recognized for some great deed or service are as follows:

Gambridge – Considered to be the most brave knights
A Gambridge to the Front!”

Lowencamp – Owners of many great historical texts
“There is power in knowledge”

Verenfield –  Great hunters; first rangers of the GreenHands
“The Old Ways serve us”

Kinstain – Violent, capable fighters of the Black Hold. Split allegiance (Suthicans)
“Defeat is for the dead”

Cloudwell – Magical family of Highspire; owed a blood debt by the Royal family.
“Our honor remains”

Maresworth – Legendary horsemen who provide the King’s stallions.
“Sturdy as a steed”

Oren – Long serving sages who were originally with Herras’s court.
“We are bound by oath”

There are many others among the kingdoms, but these are likely the most encountered in the region.

 

 

 

The Gods of the North

While many of the Southern gods have made their way into the Northlands, near the edges of the Angrelid, the peoples still follow the path of the original gods. These are the couple, Ustig and Silstig (first mother and first father). As legend has it, Ustig gave birth to the world and followed by bestowing it with 9 fair sons (Vanik, Orstag, Gessig, Urdag, Vorig, Kostan, Yeln, Tura and Grod). Silstig, jealous and bitter over the worship Ustig received, slew Grod who was the youngest and was cast from the Great Glacier by the other 8 sons. He landed in the lowest lands where great beasts tore his arms and legs from him; being a god of sorts, he escaped by taking the shape of a drake and slithered into the long passages of the Gallendaag. The spirit of Grod returned, but since he could no longer walk the path of the Great Glacier, he roamed the lands to guide the dead back to safety.

Ustig – FirstMother
Domains: Life, Ice
Polytheists

She is the mother of all things. Her cult primarily consists of females clerics and doulas, though men are not forbidden to serve. She’s the primary goddess when anyone prays or gives thanks. Her sons are considered demigods, each with his own special trait, but there are few clerics at all that still serve the sons. Her priestesses dress in loose animal skins and ritually paint their faces. Her holy symbol is a silver dagger in the shape of an icicle. (NG)

(Note: Some scholars believe Ustig and Aerthas are the same goddess in a different aspect, But neither religion would admit to such a thing.)

Son Servants – Followers of the Eight
Domains: Varies
Polytheists

Typically, there are Soncults surrounding nearly every church or community. While they do NOT have any organized clergy, some talented individuals can call on the power of the eight if it serves the right purpose. The Eight remaining sons of Ustig each have a nickname that gives some idea as to what their influence is:

Vanik the Shieldbearer, Orstag the Runner, Gessig the Lover, Urdag the Brute, Vorig the Voice, Kostan the Trickster, Yeln the Puzzler, Turak the Archer. 

Since there is no organized church, there is no central worship site or temple for the Eight. Nor are there any sort of vestments. What passes for a holy symbol among their believers are small totemic representations of the sons, usually carved from some sort of animal bone. (No alignment affiliation)


Grod – The Ever Wandering
Domains: Death, Travel
Polytheists

Grod’s death is a tragic story, especially knowing that his spirit has no rest. His worshippers and clerics are a very somber lot. They typically handle the dead in the issuance of last rites. They paint themselves in ice and dress in white skins to honor Grod’s ever journey across the ice. The hold a round stone as their holy symbol, eternally rolling and never sitting still. They also consider the followers of Silstig their mortal enemies. (N)


Silssstig – The One Who Crawls Below

Domains: Trickery, War
Polytheists

There are a number of Northers who not only reject the teachings of Ustig as weak, but they embrace Silssstig, which they perceive to be a survivor. One may notice in the old texts that his name was extended to emulate the hissing of his eternal form. He is represented as a snake, naga-like, who’s skin is hard as stone. His clerics seek only power and to dominate those around them, driving their conquests into servitude. They dress in deep green robes and are adorned with many images of snakes. As a matter of rank, they are tattooed with images of serpents – the more tattoos, the more dangerous they will be.  The holy symbol of Silssstig’s followers is a stone snake. (NE)


The Old Gods – Those Who Whisper Beyond

Domains: Magic, Knowledge
Polytheists

There are still some who follow the whispers in the darkness, whom they believe to be the Original Gods; formless, twisting shadows who gave form to Ulstig herself. The followers of the Old Gods are pragmatic and can be secretive. It’s unlikely one would ever see a cleric of the Old Gods, because they believe blending in is the most important sacrament. While some would call their worship pagan and barbaric, with blood sacrifice and little regard for life, the followers understand that these sacrifices keep the balance of all things.

It’s thought that the original followers of the Old Gods who pushed South were corrupted by the Spearfolk and it gave birth to the cult of Shta’Nodaen. While this could be true, there is little actual proof, save the similarity in the theme of dark tentacles.

The only holy symbol for worshippers of the Old Gods is some token taken from nature and blessed by a prayer; a special twig, a phial of dark water, etc. It varies from believer to believer. However, all of them believe in the idea of sacrifice, even if it means to lose one’s self.  (N)

 

 

The Ethrenic Birthchart

Every birth date has omens and auspicious signs associated with it. The Ethrenic culture is no different as they believe each birth date can tell something about the being.

Below is a rough guide for determining a character’s birthday and how it might shape their personality (or at least how they may be perceived by others.). For this reason, many hide their birth dates, treating them as special and magical, shared with only a few trusted friends.

While these are general guidelines, certain high holy days, festivals and astrological events could cause a shift or heighten certain characteristics.

Month (d12)

1          Chant   –  Born to bring change
2          Dew     –  Will have many offspring
3          Graze  –  Stubborn but true
4          Song    –  Soft spoken as the Elves
5          Sun      –  At home in the elements
6          Breath –  Always considering
7          Fields  –  Stout of body or mind
8          Reap    –  Ready to work
9          Wind   –  Loyal to a fault
10        Dark     –  Prone to dark deeds
11        Ice       –  Untrustworthy
12        Thaw   –  Can see the truth

Week (d20)

1-4       First week – Achievers, brash, bold
5-8       Second week – Intelligent, thoughtful, patient
9-12     Third week – Fair, balanced, just, stable
13-16   Fourth week – Prone to travel, restless, adventurous
17-20   Last week – Curious, questioning, magical

Day (d6)

1          Mansday – Servant to all
2          Toolsday – Skilled at their trade
3          Whimsday – Great sense of humor
4          Chorseday – Will need to work hard
5          Fieldsday – Practical minded
6          Settlesday – Given to folly

 

The Northern Lands

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The Northern Lands as seen through the eyes of the Falsduran run from the Great Ice (aka Angrelid) all the way down to the Edeldale (known to the Falsdurans as “The Six Kingdoms of the Lie”). Their perception of the lower central kingdoms is based on their belief of dragons. They reject that Herras was the vanquisher of all dragons, since there is an ancient white dragon living in the Angrelid, who’s breath continues to push the ice south.

While there are not actually any “nation states”, each Jarl running their own village, there are two distinct regions populated by men: The Falsdur and the Gamhald. The Falsdur consists of mostly farms and agrarian Northmen, while the Gamhald is a bit wilder and incorporates the fishermen of the West Coast.

Beyond there are the great mountains of the Gallendaag, where Hill, Stone, Cloud and Storm giants roam as well as communities of Goliaths. Beneath, in the deep earth, are the Fire giants. The most trouble comes from bands of raiding Hill giants, errant groups of Stone giants and occasionally the Fire giants who brave the surface.

Farther East is the Huldvastan, where wild men and elves roam. Further still are the Rastlud, magical islands where a number of warlocks have carved out as their own territory.

Lesser Known Dieties

There are several dieties found throughout the known worlds; several have risen in popularity and worship during the time of Herrasian Era. These represent a few of the more common ones encountered by the players:


Talhannin – The Minstrel
Domains : Good, Healing, Music
ANIMISM

In many tales of Famil Dandurrin, there is a gnomish bard that is mentioned. Talhannin, a fair faced and light hearted companion is usually there to help bail Famil out or heal him when he is hurt. While he is most often described as a handsome grinning, sandy haired gnome, he sometimes appears as music on the wind, as a kind halfling farmer with a distinctive whistle, or a very clever finch. Those who follow him are usually bards, skalds or poets and serving him as a cleric requires that you know at least one instrument to mastery.  There is no set pattern of dress or worship, but nearly ever cleric of Talhannin wears a holy symbol in the shape of a lyre with a small bird sitting on it.   (NG)


Haggach – The Werewolf
Domains : Evil, Strength, Transformation
MONTHEISTS

A smattering of purist humans have associated themselves with this cult, believing in the superiority of Lycanthropes, representing themselves as stewards to those undergoing the change. Typically, any race of lycanthrope is allowed to join the cult (except elves), but the positions of power are still held by humans alone. The majority of members hold other positions in society and the clergy disguise themselves as something else. They tend to meet in old Elven temples or consecrated sites which they immediately profane. When in ritual state, they wear grey robes and are often tattooed with the image of Haggach, a Werewolf with two outstretched knives. They are the sworn enemies of Eadowyn, who’s wiles in the form of the shapeless moon cause them to lose control.   (CE)

Ransharna – The Master of Djinn
Domains : Magic, Weather, War
POLYTHEISM

In the far south there is a legend of a great warrior who defeated a Rakshasa Prince and retreated to his magical keep, which gave him eternal life and a mastery over magic in the realms of deserts. He rules a court of Djinn who serve him and carry out his will on the material plane. His clergy are almost all from the southern desert, though his popularity is on the rise. Clerics of Ransharna are required to carry a scimitar and lose proficiency in simple weapons to favor only that one.  They are identified by ritual tattoos under their eyes and the most powerful are accompanied by a Djinni. (N)


Shuttaret – The Whirlwind
Domains : Law, Wind, Tenacity
POLYTHEISM

Sister to Ransharna, Shuttaret left her home in search of her brother when he disappeared into the Dry Realms. Her determination is legendary, as she walked every inch of the desert to find him. So driven was she, that she gave up the need for food or drink. After not finding him, she sat and meditated until she became sand. Only then was she able travel anywhere on the wind and finally came to settle around her brother’s palace. Her clergy pride themselves on feats of endurance. They are most often identified by their covered faces and wearing a cloth tunic belted with a long sling (“Thundersling”) which makes the noise of a desert wind when twirled.   (LN)

Datakha – The Thieving Serpent
Domains : Trickery, Knowledge, Revenge
POLYTHEISM

Jealous of the power Ransharna and Shuttaret achieved, Datakha was once a Naga that vowed to find the Hidden Palace and take it from Ransharna. In several stories he fashions a plan to infiltrate the Dry Realms, but is somehow thwarted by Shuttaret’s sand and wind. Datakha represents vengeance and most clerics of the Snake take a vow of vengeance against a people or government (in game terms, they gain a favored enemy as a Ranger in lieu of Destroy Undead). Datakha is accompanied in his dealings of the material world by mummies of fallen priests.  His active clergy carry snake like staffs and wear a headband fashioned to appear as a striking Naga. (NE)


Mamaranda – Mother of the Jungle
Domains : Good, Plant, Healing, Animal
ANIMISM

In the jungles, there are few gods or clerical practitioners, many following the path of the druid or medicine woman. However, there are a group of believers that ascribe the birth of the deep jungle to Mamaranda. Her skin is a dark as the night sky, but her eyes burn green like the jungle itself. She is kind, but not gullible; stern but never cruel. Her servants wear a torc of bone and vine. Little else is known about them, but travelers to the southern jungles have sworn her followers can transform into many shapes which have provided them protection.   (CG)

The Breaking of Longbridge

LongbridgeBroken.jpg

It had been a year of treacherous deeds. Under the Reeve of Longbridge the people suffered and with no answer from the King came all out rebellion.

There need be no retelling of the terrible tale that set off the revolt. Everyone is painfully familiar with the destruction of the bridge. By late 633 arrows and spellfires have stopped raining across the river and there is a tense quiet gripping the two sister cities, so close and yet so spiritually apart.

The Northwest bank has become High Hold, a new enclave of power for the barbarians of the Spearfolk. Ejected are the new religions and customs replaced by the more animist tradition of the many clans. And the folk of the far bank have embraced this new alliance.

On the side of Glimring, Southbank, seized and secured by the wealth and power of Bannon Bowsprit are the wealthy. His cousin, now guard captain, has bullied remnants of the King’s Guard to serve him, though few understand how.

Powerful magic was expended to carve two great walls around each of the remaining pieces. What remains to be seen is the influence of royal power and the reach of Glimring on this once loyal asset.

Clatterton

clattertonannotated
At the intersection of the middle kingdom sits the village of Clatterton, so named for the great amount of hoofed traffic passing through and around it. It boasts the most extensive collection of horse trading (the Hoofmarket) and is home to the southern tournament grounds used by many knights in the region. However, it’s claim to fame is the Cistern Citadel, a stone keep surrounding a massive fountain, which magically produces fresh water for its inhabitants. Surrounding the village proper is a large, high wooden fortification, encircled by a number of farms.

The villagers of Clatterton are generally happy and friendly, seeing much of the kingdom’s traffic pass through it’s gates. There are number of local services and business, but nothing comparing to the capital. Conducting any other sort of business in the village requires a pass coin from the appropriate guild, who watches over the Guildmarket with a heavy hand.

Most unusual is it’s government structure; a warden of Clatterton, appointed by the King’s Court, but answering to a pair of crotchety old mages (one a wizard and the other a sorcerer) who’s machinations have subtly altered the village over the years. Each has his own tower and they rarely interact, except in the most dire of consequences. The Warden himself usually stays out their affairs, busying himself with the day to day troubles of keeping a village safe and clean. He employees a number of guardians (village constabulary) known as the Pallisade Watchmen who dutifully mind the gates day and night.