Volsungr

Viking.jpgLiving in the fjords and uplands of the Northlands, the Volsungr (individually called a Volsung) claim descent from the god Kord sometime during the Second Age. While the truth is not known (and some scholars hotly dispute this claim), it is known that the Volsungr are among the most ancient of northern peoples.

The composition of the Volsungr community is as follows:

The major Volsungr kingdoms are Torness, Normark and Valinor.

Culture

While not exactly a primitive people, the Volsungr have little knowledge of the Arcane sphere, being comfortable with Martial, Primitive and Divine. They are experts in cold weather survival, shipbuilding, shieldwork and exploration. Much of what is known of the world came originally from foolhardy Volsungr expeditions to other lands.

The Volsungr believe strongly in Fate, that one is bound to die at a certain unknown time. Thus, living life fully, showing bravery in battle and adversity and honesty to one’s kinsmen are highly valued, said to earn one a place in the meadhalls of the gods. Paradoxically, cleverness and audacity are widely admired, particularly when dealing with outsiders or adversaries.

Diet, Dress and Faith

Poor croplands and rocky uplands ensures that only hearty, tough crops are grown for foods, and this often means oats and barley. Porridge and oatcakes are common fare, along with some game meats, but the real staple is fish. Some farmers and carls do keep bees, so honey is plentiful, which also supplies mead to the benches.

Dress is typically plain and utilitarian for men, including leather, furs and thick buckram garments, usually in earth colors. Women often dress in longer, flowing gowns, generally in layers, of finer cloth and in brighter colors. It is often enhanced with brooches, cloak pins or other forms of jewelry.

The most common gods venerated by the Volsungr include Volmar, Sehanine, Melora and Avandris, but equally common are clan or settlement-based ancestor worship.

Technology

mead_hall_merriment_22087.jpgBuildings and settlements tend to be rough and utilitarian, the exceptions being chieftains’ Great Halls (sometimes called Meadhalls) and the occasional ring fort, being a ditch surrounding a steep embankment, usually topped with a wooden palisade.

Spears.jpgSimilarly, arms and armor tend toward the simple, with scale armor being the most advanced available (outside of foreign trade), with hide leather being the most common. Spears, swords, shields and axes tend to by the most common weapons, and yet they also tend to be more decorated than the more utilitarian southern weapons. Indeed, smithing among the Volsungr is a highly-prized art.

Language and Relations

The language of the Volsungr is a dialect called Volsaxi, a descendant of the southern Elurian tongue. The dwarven Davek script is most commonly used for written records, but some merchants may use alternative scripts to encrypt their notes.

Cultural Backgrounds

The Volsungr people live in the Northlands, particularly in Normark, Torness and Valinor. Any player character coming from a Volsungr background may select one of the following benefits:

Geography
Forest (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)
Mountains (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)
Thunderpeaks (Primal Power, p. 132)
Wetlands (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)

Society
Disgraced (Primal Power, p. 133)
Failed Thane (Primal Power, p. 133)
Isolated (Primal Power, p. 133)
Noble (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)
Poor (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)
Wealthy (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 178)

Birth
Among Another Race (Player’s Handbook 2, pp. 178-179)
Blessed (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Cursed (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Found in the Wild (Primal Power, p. 133)
Omen (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Primal Omen (Primal Power, p. 133)
Prophecy (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Refugee (Primal Power, p. 134)

Occupation
Artisan (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Criminal (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Entertainer (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Farmer (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 179)
Mariner (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 180)
Merchant (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 180)
Renegade (Primal Power, p. 134)
Revered Elder (Primal Power, p. 134)
Sage (Primal Power, p. 134)
Wild Hunter (Primal Power, p. 134)

Racial Backgrounds
Elf, Fey Ally (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 181)
Elf, Wild Elf (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 181)
Half-Elf or Half-Orc (Primal Power, p. 135)
Half-Elf, Outcast (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 182)
Half-Elf, Wanderer (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 182)
Half-Orc, First Generation (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 183)
Half-Orc, Orc Birth (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 182)
Half-Orc, Stormtouched (Player’s Handbook 2, pp. 182-183)
Human, Heir of the Forgotten Gods (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 183)
Shifter, Moonspeaker (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 183)
Shifter, Persecution (Player’s Handbook 2, p. 183)

Divine Backgrounds
Convert (Divine Power, p. 128)
Disbeliever (Divine Power, p. 128)
Family Tradition (Divine Power, p. 128)
Missionary Life (Divine Power, p. 129)

Cultural Bonus: Caste Tattoo

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Volsungr

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