Would anybody object to me working over the lore for Stonehelm, I'd like to make a big-ole wiki page 'bout it with history, recent or otherwise and other little tidbits.
Despite the image, Knut really is supposed to have only one eye.
Name: Knut Erikson Anzari “One-Eye”
Title: Chieftain of Ravenkrak/Shaman-Lord of the Far North
Ethnic Origins: Nordic
Equipment: He wears the ragged furs that mark him as a shaman in the North. The bunch of raven feathers tied to his arm serves as well as any coat-of-arms. If battle demands it, he will also wear a chain hauberk. His weapons of choice are his war ax and dagger, both etched with magical runes. The axe is enchanted to wound the Stav of men, even those who are not trained for magic. The dagger serves as a conduit for his Stav. Its primary use is rituals but on the battlefield he can use it to last out and stun opponents with visions of madness. His belt is covered with packs containing ingredients useful for alchemy and sorcery in the field.
Bio: Knut was born a rather insignificant boy in the small Anzari clan. His father didn’t even own land and had become a freeman only by marrying his mother. He likely would have remained a poor farmer in the hinterlands of the North had the local shaman not taken him on as an apprentice at age 6. From him he learned the secrets of the Stav, the methods a magical crafting, and how to fight as a proper Nord. After spending 11 years with his master he returned to his clan and sought a position in the warrior’s longhouse. Once there he was quickly swept under the spell of a lovely and daring young shield maiden. Sigrid, for that was her name, was planning an expedition to a dwarvish ruin in the north. Knut joined the moment he heard she was looking for “a shaman worth his salt”. While she was initially unimpressed with his advances, he got a chance to prove his worth. While exploring the ruin they were attacked by a bandit warlord. He was an outlawed thane from the south who had over the years amassed a horde of outlaws and exiles. Sigrid and a few of the others held out deep within the ruins, but Knut and the majority of the group were caught outside. Despite the overwhelming numbers he led the others to lure out small groups of the bandits and ambush them. Then they launched an all out assault on the bandits where it was said that Knut fought like a demon-possessed. The undisciplined criminals ran in a mass panic and Knut led a small force into the ruins to save Sigrid. He challenged the leader to single combat and killed him by freezing his heart to solid ice.
Knut returned with the treasure, renown, the respect of his comrades, and most importantly the girl. The group swore to forever stand at each other’s sides, and under Kunt’s and Sigrid’s leadership they began their time as adventures. They traveled the Nordic Empire, but especially Ravenkrak, is search of wealth and glory. Eventually they built up a local reputation as mercenary peacekeepers, solving disputes between clans and hunting outlaws. After winning a fine estate in one of their adeventures, Knut and Sigrid decided to settle down for a time. They were married and after the celebration the company parted ways, vowing to join forces again in the future. The couple soon celebrated the birth of their daughter and all seemed right in the world. But that would change. Knut had spent the years expanding his magical talents and knowledge. He had a fascination for the strange and occult. Most of what he learned was useful and no more dangerous than typical magic, but he began to take an interest in demons. He didn’t intend to summon one at first, merely study them and better understand the world. But he eventually tried a dangerous experiment. He summoned the powerful shape-shifting demon Ygdrask to see if the barrier he created could hold it back. Well aware of the risk, he had waited until Sigrid had left to visit her family and taken Dagna with her. But they returned a day early. Sigrid had put Dagna to bed and entered his study just in time to break his concentration and let the demon move freely. Some demons might have slain or possessed their summoner, but this demon had a crueler idea. It killed Sigrid and stole her face, mocking Knut as it returned to its world. From that day on Knut was a changed man.
He swore revenge on the demon and vowed never to let this mistake happen again. He left young Daga with his sister-law’s family for a time and studied more than ever. He made every preparation, found any information on fighting demons, fought lesser demons in his travels, and poured everything into making himself the ultimate weapon against Ygdrask. He even sacrificed his eye to gain more power and the blessings of the gods. When at last he could find nothing more, he lured the demon again; this time sending both his spirit and the demon to a small pocket of reality, a place between two worlds. There the demon once again took the face of his beloved and they clashed. They struggled for what seemed like an eternity. What appeared to be physical combat was an extension of their wills. The demon was an immense and alien mind, but Knut’s Stav would not give in. At last he slew the demon and returned to his own body. His great purpose had been fulfilled and he could finally stay with his daughter for more than a few days, but he still mourned Sigrid. His life felt empty and restless. Thus he gathered his old comrades for another task. They gathered more warriors to themselves and became the ultimate law in the Far North. They commanded respect from the people, but more importantly they were the toughest and most ruthless people in the mountains. Anyone who breaks the peace, hurts others, or defies Knut’s will I hunted and killed. The Moot elected him Chieftain of the North unanimously.
Personality: For a Nord he is very cool and calculating. In fact, when speaking of his personality it is impossible avoid referencing how the northern ice seems to flow through his veins. Even among family and friends he rarely shows any warmth. It was not always so, before the death of his wife he was cheerful and carefree. But now he is serious and taciturn.
Other: Do not let his one eye fool you. Loss of depth perception is meaningless to one who can truly see through the Stav.
Name: Dagna Sigridsdotter Anzari
Ethnic Origins: Nordic
Equipment: Dagna wears simple and practical clothing. Plain dresses in the town, or tunic and breaches in the wilds. Her bow, which she made herself, her knife, and satchels needs for both pelts and herbs are often all she takes with her.
Bio: Dagna spent her earliest years in her aunt and uncle’s household. She couldn’t remember her mother and rarely if ever saw her father, so they became in many ways the parents she never had. Their children were brothers an sisters to her. When his vendetta ended and he took her to live with him, he was a terrifying and strange man. He tried to help her in his own way. When he wasn’t busy bringing order to Ravenkrak he taught her everything he knew. She learned well, especially the alchemical side of magic. But he remained distant and reserved. She began fitting into the life of a chieftain’s daughter and was never really rejected by anyone. But often she felt as though she would never truly be one of the other children. It was the outdoor that truly called to her. Hunting and tracking became her great passion. At 19, she is unusually not married yet. Her father doesn’t seem concerned by this, and it may never be known whether this is the reason. She has tried to live up to his example as best she can. Partially out of genuine pride, partially out of a desire to make him proud, and partially as a defiant gesture of one-upance. Such is the life of youth.
Personality: Dagna wears different faces for different people. To her father and to the world at large she is just as serious, logical, and proud as she sees him. To her close friends she is just as enthusiastic as her mother was. Both are masks and the “real” her to some extent.
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I read the other Character Sheets and thought to myself, "I need to have pictures like the cool kids!"
There was only the small problem of no pictures on the internet fitting my image of the characters properly.
@ Sinistred Awesome I wanted to get a good feel of the type of character you were going for as I built my inquisitor. Will you be elaborating on Borktsvo as in the land and culture? I am trying to form a history and it always takes the longest.
I'll set about uploading Estradeen characters and culture in a bit, though I haven't found any photos of the characters- I can never find what I see in my head.
I also think we really need to change the demographics, because they are waaayyyy too big.
Populations of 16 million in nations would not be reached until the enlightenmennt era. England, a very prosperous and powerful kingdom in the medieval period had a population of about 2 million, and London (one of Europe's largest cities) would have possesed some 60,000 people. A less populated and wild kingdom, like Scotland or Norway, would have literally had populations as small as 300,000 maybe, sometimes less.
Even with a much bigger landmass, there wouldn't be more people. In both the Roman and Medieval periods ;large swathes of land lay effectually uninhabited, Europe was too big for the population it supported, and much was wilderness. If we double the size of the continent, all that would mean realisitcally is longer travel times- smaller armies because of increased attrition, and less outposts of civilisation.
Thats just my 2 cents at the end of the day. I think we should make the game world smaller, and populations smaller also. Most nations (when assembling their armies) could maybe muster at very most 20,000 in levies plus standing armies. 20,000 is a hellavah lot of men. Major battles like Crecy in medieval times never had more than 30,000 men on the field (thats both sides).
I will start fleshing out a wiki-article for Borkstvo, including population centres and such.
Which brings me to the demographical issue. I agree with Rocket here. Personally I think we should work with things we know, it's far easier that way.
For example, take western Europe as a size reference.
We should figure out how large a force every kingdom or region can muster. Typically that would be 10-15% (max.) of your total population. Not sure if we're true to medieval mechanics, but if so that means at least half of such an army would consist of levies made out of peasants and militia. Depending if we're basing ourselves on early or late medieval times the armies contain less or more professional soldiers and less or more knights. There are two systems I like to use in cases such as these.
In both systems, the GM attributes the total number of military men, basing himself on the size and nature (tradition, culture, prosperity) of the land/region. He then also states some strong suits and weaknesses of every nation. A mountainous area for example (Stonehelm) would have little to no cavalry, while a large nation with rolling hills would have a rather large contingent of mounted troops. Rich regions obviously can field better equipped armies and cavalry, while rough regions would provide a strong infantry type. Players are granted a lot of freedom in fleshing out their military, which -from personal experience- has sometimes led to weird combinations and attempt of OP'ing.
The second system is as follows. The GM states a fixed number troops - a unit cap for example 40,000. Next he gives a horse to foot ratio (again based on the nature of the nation/region) - for example 1/4. That means 10,000 of said 40,000 can be mounted soldiers. The same goes with naval forces, which I assume also have an important role in this rp. Again the GM decides on a total count of ships of varying type. For example, the Northlands would have many many ships, but they would be smaller in size than the southern navies. I would assume the norhtern regions employ raiding vessels such as longboats with a few larger exceptions for flagships, while the south's mainstay of vessels would be galleys.
I propose a hybrid of the two systems. In the roleplays I've run, I gave players something to base their armies off on (which is also the case here I believe), together with a total troop count of their standing armed forces and a foot to horse ratio. Lastly I provided them with a number of levies they can muster, but these consist of light troop types or militia troop types.
Not sure if it helps you or not, but figured I'd rather share so it might be of some use .
Really sorry to do this but finding time to work on my dissertation is getting much tougher now and deadlines are bearing on me so regretfully I'm going to have to pull out of this before I become too invested. At this stage its more like cancelling a reservation but apologies all the same, if anyone wants to adopt that character concept then I'm more than happy for them to do so.