Cold Throne Clans
Home skills: Hunting, Morale, Etiquette, Shields, Persuasion
The Clan of the once unifying King of the Northmen, Bearhide has always been a tribe that has borne incredible respect. Originally known for their hunting skills, they now have been given the command of many of the armies of the Cold Throne. Their nascent nobility and knights have been given ever increasing responsibility, and are looked to as the liaison between the clans of the Cold Throne and the rest of the powers of the Empire.
The current Jarl Vidar Overturner, in following his grandfather’s tradition, supports the Cold Throne entirely and speaks often of how his people have prospered. Maintaining a close alliance with King Einsland and the court at Vissvind has granted him an Earldom and knighthoods to many of his Theigns and Branded. In addition to being allied to the King of Njordir, the Bearhide clan trades with Shadowhall for the best weapons, and has performed joint raids with the Markgraf Hoherfels.
Not all is well within the Clan Bearhide, though. The young and the unBranded struggle for identity while their leaders take on honors given by their Gothic overlords. Many wear prominent bear claw tattoos, bearhide cloaks and bear-themed jewelry and tell stories of the Bear King and old glories as they try to rebuild their culture among the dour, disapproving Gothic peasantry. Taverns and mead halls see drunken and dangerous boasts from the dissatisfied clan youth, often leading to brawling in Vissvind’s streets, arrests, and rising tension with the Gothic law keepers.
Earl Vidar Overturner’s own reputation is also divisive among the new nobles. Some among the Clan celebrate him for his cunning betrayal of the Sea Wolves and drowning of the Dire Bear, but others who are trying to find the meaning of their clan’s honor quietly disapprove.
The animosity of the Bearhide clan has risen among the other clans of the Cold Throne who have embraced the Gothic way of life and accept the Throne means accepting their way of living. Cold Throne clans have placed the responsibility for any failures in Gothic leadership and protection on the Bearhide clan. This has proven increasingly divisive as raids attack established farms and the needed supplies for armies make rationing necessary. Clan Stonehearth has been particularly outspoken about the Bearhides failures in the recent Rimeland push and spread rumors that perhaps they are not deserving of the responsibility that has been awarded to so many of them. Captured Rimelanders also place the blame on the Bearhides for the deaths of their families and prosecution of the war by the Throne.
Natural Leader (2) You are looked to as a leader among your people and even some Gothic smallfolk acknowledge your authority. If you are the Leader of the entire Team for a Trial, everyone on the Team gains one more rank of Morale for the duration of the Trial
Honorbound (-2) A man is his deeds and the deeds of the dishonorable should be known to all. You gain the Belief: “Always call out sins when you see them committed” This includes sins of both Heresy and Cowardice, regardless of your own faith, as you struggle to create a personal code of honor.
Home skills: Farming, Zeal, Provocation, Light Weapons, Apothecary
Outside of their notable religious leanings the Blood Eagles are known for their food. Their gamalost, a cheese made from the milk of their aurochs, and lutefisk, a type of preserved fish, are famous through the north. The Blood Eagles take pride in preparing these items in new and interesting ways. While most foreign palates are not accustomed to the strong taste and texture, Blood Eagle dishes are a staple of any Njordic feast and not having any will be loudly noted by drunken guests.
The Blood Eagles continue to accumulate exiles from other Clans even today. Refugees from the Rime Clans are quickly adopted and indoctrinated into the Clan when they are found. While this integration is lauded by the Gothic Melandihim, there have been recent signs that these exiles may have brought some strange beliefs with them. In the wake of Blood Eagle bands, settlers and nomads find leonine shrines where corpses kneel frozen in the snow, their backs ripped open and hearts removed as if in sacrifice to White Benalus.
Fervent Rant (3) Everyone should know the truth just as you feel it in your bones! Once per day, you may rant loudly in public about your Devotion for five minutes in order to become Devoted til the end of the next scene.
Ancestral Shame (-2) You feel the shame of your exile from your previous clan and take the Belief “Never issue or accept a challenge”
Home skills: Mercantile, Survival, Sincerity, Carpentry, Streetwise
One of the northernmost clans of the Cold Throne, the Frost Raven clan was formed when two brothers fought a Thing for control of the clan. The losing brother, following the instructions of a man, some say Aufvaldr, followed the premonition of a raven, white as snow. For several days he and his followers were led by the raven until they came to the outlet of a river and a secluded natural harbor. Here they established the small trading port of Hrafnvik–Raven’s Creek. Much prosperity and trade has made this a bustling town, and raiders and traders alike often stop for supplies and news from the North or South.
From the early days of the Annexation to the present day, the trade port of Hrafnvik has gone from a small village with a dock to a bustling port that most Cold Throne traders funnel goods through on the way to Vissvind and the greater Throne. Being a clan with no strong warrior tradition, the Frost Raven’s have eschewed much of that pretense and taken to building ships and moving cargo. The Frost Raven settlement of Hrafnvik has been the seat of power for Markgraf Saenger even before King Einsland forced all of the Markgrafs out of Vissvind.
Markgraf Saenger has declared public support for Clan Frost Raven and has declared Hrafnvik under his protection, which has prevented it from being occupied by other Gothic overlords. While he maintains a presence of soldiers there, they are rarely seen outside of their fort near his own private docks, which remain as busy as any other in the town. Because of their close association and lack of martial tradition, the Frost Ravens are viewed as subservient by many other Njords, especially the Grey Wolves, who see them as little more than thralls to House Saenger. The Frost Ravens in turn consider the Grey Wolves to be barbaric heathens, little better than Rimelanders.
One of the primary exports of Hrafnvik in recent years has become information. With boats from both north and south frequenting the port, the meadhalls have become the permanent haunts of various spies and opportunists. Disappearances are common and many speculate which of those who vanish have been slain and which have switched sides or are laying low.
Very recently the docks of Hrafnvik have been decimated in an attack by Rimelanders. Sea Wolf raiding ships drew Frost Raven guards away from their posts and a small group of warriors and earth mages attacked the shipping yard. Shipping has all but ceased after the attack and the procurement of lumber has been slow due to raids inland.
Exceptional Wealth (1) Frost Ravens acquire wealth easily and it is strange to see a member of this Clan that isn’t well off. You start play with 20 extra silver and may purchase goods at character creation using this money. This perk may only be taken once, but explicitly does stack with Wealth and Leverage.
Forgotten Songs (-3) Your clan’s focus on trade and early adoption of mercantilism has led to a loss of traditional songs and stories among your people. You grieve more deeply than others that your songs will be lost to the ages and this makes it difficult for you to find enjoyment in the arts. You may not benefit from the Performance skill or artwork.
Home skills: Arming Weapons, Zeal, Hunting, Morale, Vigilance
The Greywolf clan has a warrior tradition that venerates the wolf. They perform sacred hunts and use the harrying tactics of wolfpacks. In their ancient days, even before those who became Njords migrated from the South, their finest warriors would gain a wolven spirit, able to take on the powers of their sacred beast. Jorg, the Wolf Mother, was said to be their special patron and favor them alone while all others were consumed.
In the last generations, they have adopted the ways of the Church with surprising vigor, and have new traditions of hunting the terrors of the Night as members of the Templar and Sacrosanctum orders. Their ultimate goal is to hunt and kill the Old Gods themselves. Their use of vicious small unit tactics stands out among the Templars, but some fear their success is darker in origin.
Despite their shared adherence to the White Church, the Greywolves have an open feud with the Blood Eagles. The Eagles’ open door policy to the outcasts of other clans has led to a significant criminal element in the Greywolves’ estimation and skirmishes often break out between the Clans when they are in the same territory. This has been aggravated even further by the theft of the Fenris Bracer- a cuff that has been passed down for generations to the Jarl of the Greywolves. It disappeared at a Thing between the two clans and resulted in the death of Branded Men on both sides of the ensuing Challenge.
Five years ago, Jarl Viggo Nightseer began sending skalds to train with the Runespeaker Clan. He believed they may have hidden secrets in the sagas about how the Old Gods can be hunted and slain and was willing to send his wisest and most promising minds to make inroads and learn. By his command, Clan Greywolf treats Clan Runespeaker as honored guests and allies whenever they may meet. Their interest in the Old Gods has been noticed by the Throne and church. Pressure mounts questioning if Viggo is actually a Rimeland sympathizer conspiring to bring the Old Gods to power rather than kill them.
Fearless Hunter (3) Your mind is guarded against the corruptive influence of the Night. Gain a Discipline that may be used against any Hideous Obey call
Pack Animal (-2) You are used to working as a group and are distressed by change. Gain Despair whenever you leave a Morale Team. Even if you overcome this Despair, you are incurably Miserable until you join a Team once more.
Home skills: Academics, Performance, Provocation, Needlework, Firearms
The Runespeakers gained their glory in the first days of the Sagas. Alone and desperate for aid, they beseeched the Dwarves for succor, and impressed them with their courage and honesty. The Dvurgursagan that they wrote of the tale was one of the first passed and given to the rest of the clans, and it was done so using the runes the Dwarves taught them. Since then the Runespeakers have been the memory of the clans, starting the traditions of the Skálds and the runestones. Upon becoming an adult at age fifteen, each member of the clan has the runes cast for them by an elder and receives a prophecy, living their life by it from thereafter.
Seeking to preserve their history, the Runespeakers have been teaching the Melandihim to understand the Njord people and record their stories on paper pages. Unfortunately, this has led to particularly vicious raids by Rimelanders who follow the Old Ways and see their stories being recorded in Gothic and Aldersabin as the ultimate blasphemy. To the Wise Ones of the Old Ways, the destruction of the Runespeakers is viewed as paramount to stopping the Throne from destroying Njordr. Raids on Runespeaker settlements have scattered the clan across the Cold Throne and the loss of the ability to gather is a grave wound upon the clan. Elders fear that being unable to share stories with the younger generation of the clan surely means the loss of their Skalds and way of sharing history.
The mounting terrors and conflict from the warfront have also stirred the dwarves from their hidden mountain fortresses. At first they approached the Runespeakers about the conflict being too close to their territories and demanded their allies put a stop to it. When the Runespeakers explained that they couldn’t, however, the dwarves retreated back into the mountains and have since met any approach to their outposts with extreme hostility.
Dwarven Gift (5) The Runespeakers have traditionally had a strong relationship with the Dwarves of Njordr. You’ve received an heirloom, passed down through your family, that your ancestor received as a gift. You start play with a rifle, a firearm that requires two hands but can target someone at Shouting range, and twenty shots of black powder. You also have contact with a local member of the clan that can sell you more for one silver per shot. Purchasing shots is a Task and you’ll receive your shots by the beginning of the next Action Cycle.
Doomed (-3) When the runes were cast for you upon reaching adulthood, they foretold a ignominious doom, which is now well known among the Clan. You can never become Branded and you are unable to resist any call with the Hideous Quality.
Home skills: Mercantilism, Heavy Weapons, Blacksmithing, Mining, Engineering
The Shadowhall clan makes their home an ancient Jötunn mansion called Myrkur. Though once a glorious home to the giants that they slew, it has degraded and is now rumored to be merely a shelter for their mining operations. In ancient times the giants had dug deep, deep within the mountain, and the Njords that dwelt there found ancient caves of shimmering iron in the depths. The Shadowhall clan has capitalized on their discovery and has specialized in the production of the finest weapons in Njordr. Clans journey far up to their peaks to barter for weapons produced by Shadowhall. Since the coming of the Throne, they have built a small town among the cliffs, Svartheim, where they do business for their wares with nearby towns.
The clan does not let outsiders into their mountain home and few clans have ever attempted to invade the walled peaks of the Shadowhall clan. Their isolationist nature is likely to keep the vastness of their mines and fortifications a secret, but there is a whisper among other clans of something more sinister that lies within Myrkur, and Shadowhall’s seclusion is an effort to keep it hidden.
Under the cover of a winter blizzard some years ago, the White Eyes made history as the only clan to who have successfully assaulted Myrkur. For their transgression of entering the mansion the Shadowhall have refused to sell weapons to anyone of the White Eyes clan. Their Jarl has declared that until every warrior who laid foot inside Myrkur is killed the insult will not be forgiven.
As of today the Shadowhall clan is led by a Jarl by the name of Demir “Forges the Darkness”, as the iron he forges always takes on a dark hue of the night. There is a rumor that his weaponry has never been able to be sundered in battle. Demir has pushed for more trade within recent years and views the Throne as a potential opportunity to supply the weaponry it needs in the coming conflict.
The Bearhide and Shadowhall clan have become close allies since armies have begun arriving from the Throne. The Bearhide’s ever increasing responsibility for commanding the armies of the Cold Throne has made them reliable trade partners for the Shadowhall for armaments. There are whispers of a faction that believes the Shadowhall could become their own military force and are better suited to lead the armies they outfit and the Cold Throne once it is unified.
Master’s Gift (5) You’ve earned the favor of one of the notable crafters of Clan Shadowhall and been gifted with one of their famous masterworks. Gain one Masterwork Weapon or Shield at character creation.
Isolated (-2) You are used to the tight knit community of your Clan and gain the Belief “Never eat or sleep with someone you don’t have a Bond with” as you struggle to associate with those you aren’t close with.
Home skills: Farming, Hunting, Archery, Survival, Grit
More than any other Clan of the Cold Throne, the Snow Lions work the earth for their survival. Skilled hunters, they rely on the large amount of wild game that Njordr provides. Uniquely, Clan Snow Lion has taken advantage of horses more than most clans. While they do not have vast herds, as the climate could not support such numbers, Snow Lion cavalry and mounted archers are some of the finest troops in the Cold Throne.
Clan Snow Lion is semi-nomadic, with summer and winter villages. During the summer, they venture into the central Cold Throne. There, along the banks of the Lievni River, a small tributary of the mighty Kaltina, they grow tubers and root vegetables, and take advantage of the reindeer and elk migrations. In early autumn, the Lievni fills with salmon, and the Snow Lions use great weirs and nets to harvest the bounty of Ormhildr. Fish are either smoked or brined quickly before the Clan returns south to help gain respite from the harshness of the northern winter.
The Snow Lions possess a propensity for gathering from and working with the land, and thus the agents of the Cold Throne have found them to be excellent prospects for integration. As the influence of the Throne has spread northward, it is the Snow Lions knowledge that has allowed the larger settlements like Runeheim to continue to provide for themselves, and thus the clan has found itself with relatively good status amongst their current occupiers.
Despite this, some friction still exists between the Snow Lions and the Throne. The Clans nomadic lifestyle doesn’t fit well with the Gothic ideal of structures and settlements, and works hard towards encouraging them to give up their ways and settle down, much to the chagrin of the elders and traditionalists.
TIn recent years, the Rime Clans have taken to finding Snow Lion settlements in the north and razing them to the ground in the spring before their return. Villagers return after long migrations to find nothing of their homes and unable to do more than subsist and rebuild for weeks. In the first year this was a hardship but not insurmountable. As attacks continue some Snow Lions refuse to leave their villages closer to the civilization of the southern Cold Throne for fear of freezing to death like others have.
The Snow Lions and the Shadowhalls share opposing strategies for survival, one choosing a nomadic lifestyle while the other preferring the safety of the Jötunn mansion, Myrkur. The Lions engage in friendly ribbing whenever they meet, and these occasionally devolve into drunken fights and yelling matches. In recent days some of the younger Snow Lions have begun petitioning Shadowhall to make an exception to allow them to enter Myrkur to establish homes, but this has caused friction with elders of both Clans.
More traditional Snow Lions think the clan should leave the Cold Throne and rejoin their Rimeland allies, the Stone Antlers. As long-time allies, the Stone Antlers provided meat and furs in exchange for the Snow Lions’ farmed vegetables and medicine. Both tribes share nomadic traditions and have found the other to be like-minded and agreeable, and they had good relations even despite the ongoing conflict, until very recently. The Snow Lions mourned for the great losses that their kindred suffered at the hands of plague, almost as much as the Stone Antlers themselves, and had taken to sending small parties north of the Kaltlina to offer aid and protection whenever they could. However, these last goodwill efforts were met with the return of the severed heads of those who ventured north. Now Snow Lion elders whisper of the dark fate of the Stone Antlers while the zealous Blood Eagles watch the clan carefully for signs of corruption and treason.
Strong Back (3) You are used to working hard and efficiently through the day. Add three to the amount of gathered items you can carry. (Four total without a bag)
Idle Hands (-3) You cannot stand to be idle and struggle to sleep well when you could be working for your people. When you wake up, you are Miserable until you find and pick up at least one gathered item (node or scavenged item)
Home skills: Mercantilism, Mining, Sincerity, Finesse, Stealth
The Stonehearth clan was a rarity among the Njords for being one of the few that settled and built a walled city long before the Throne arrived. Originally hailing from Grys, a small, rocky and easily defended island off the shore, they built ships to come to the mainland for supplies, ending up trading with the other clans more than raiding. They finally built Vißvind on the southern coast with stones mined from their island as a mainland trade depot, which quickly grew much larger than their original settlements.
Stonehearth took quickly to the trade opportunities presented by the Throne, and Gothic lords established their primary seat of power in Vißvind. The tribe has been punished several times for continuing to trade in secret with the Rime Clans, and it eventually became clear that many had planned to double-cross the Throne in favor of their brethren north of the Kaltlina, although their younger members have been quick to distance themselves from the conspiracies of their elders.
After the recent purge of their elders, the younger generation of Stonehearths have adapted by becoming proficient at working with, and around, Throne mercantile law. Most know that the clan still deals in some sort of illicit trade, but they are rarely caught. Even when they are, Stonehearth clan members have never revealed anything further than their own personal wrongdoing, a fact that the clan takes significant pride in internally. Despite this, the hard lesson of their elders is still strong- the Stonehearth Clan does no business with the Rime Clans or any other group that openly opposes the Throne.
Others among the clan choose to focus on less legal, but more exotic, tradecraft. Clan Stonehearth has made numerous agreements near and far and created a more stable market for spice, black powder, and cosmetics than anyone else in Njordr. This has naturally put them at odds with foreign traders, but the north is a dangerous place and Shariqyn and Hestrali entrepreneurs seem particularly unlucky on the snowy paths between settlements.
Exotic Connections (4) You have made all the right friends in the clan and built off existing agreements to gain access to Exotic Goods. You will receive a list of Exotic Goods available at check-in. You may spend an Action to purchase any number of them for the listed prices.
Hard Lessons (-2) It is said that the last generation fell because they gave up their actions and allies by inches. You are determined to not suffer the same fate. Take the belief “Never admit wrongdoing.”
Home skills: Arming Weapons, Intimidation, Courage, Survival, Forestry
Named for Torro White-Eyes, the woman who killed Manfred von Gram, the Gothic nobleman leading the first raids into Njordr by the Throne more than a century ago, the White Eyes clan is the only clan that accepts female Jarls, and only ever has. The White Eyes clan brands women as well as men with no special distinction, and is known for the prowess of its warriors. While it is seen as exceptional and even incredible for women to become branded men in other Clans, White Eyes women do not see it as such, though they do understand their clan is unusual.
The White Eyes clan, especially its men, venerate their clan’s Disir, the ancestral ghosts of their female branded who watch over them, and even before the annexation had begun flaunting the Old Gods in the face of their protection. This incited outrage from other clans, but with the coming of the Throne, the Priests assured the White Eyes that they could retain their traditions, and even encouraged them to do so to better reflect the Throne’s ideals.
In present time the White Eyes are led by Inga Volkasdottir, branded ‘Shade Speaker’. Named for her unique ability to call the counsel of the Disir, Inga leads the White Eyes with the words and wishes of their foremothers. Rumors have circulated for sometime about the origins of this gift; some would say she is chosen by the Disir, some that her words are hers alone- and some who whisper darker, older powers call the spirits of the revered dead to the side of this formidable woman.
Within the Cold Throne members of this clan have found the seat of their power in alliances with the Markgrafs and Earls of Gotha. The southerners share their views on gender equality and are more willing to seek the support of the powerful women and men of this clan. Members of the White eyes clan can be found in service or partnership with those they once viewed as invaders. A member of the White Eyes clan is established in Runeheim, in service to Grafin Dragomir- Dame Yrsa Ivansdottir, branded ‘Tongue Splitter’.
The clan calls the Forests of Skogr their home, considering themselves its steward. The White Eyes and the Fire mages of the throne have conflicted over large portions of the lands considered theirs having been devastated by callousness of war mages. Centuries old trees lost to the warfront will surely bring change to the White Eye’s way of living.
Ancestral Veneration (2) You hold strong connections to the Disir of your clan calling on their strength when needed. Once per game, you may honor the Disir in a public way by calling upon their name and mentioning their glorious deeds as they relate to the current scene in order to become Inspired.
Firebrand (-3) You are uncompromising when it comes to your ideals, and passionate in making your visions of the future reality. When an action is proposed within your hearing that contradicts one of your Beliefs, you must spend a Discipline or immediately show them the error of their ways with a passionate speech.