Esben Whitecloak

Oaken Grove of Erik » Esben Whitecloak

Rjuvik » Esben Whitecloak
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Esben WhitecloakEsben Whitecloak

Male Rjurik Druid

Archdruid of Rjuvik

Esben Whitecloak has the unenviable duty of keeping the Oaken Grove together in Rjuvik. Interestingly, the role of the druids run the full spectrum. Some druids hate Fulgar and supported the traditional order. Some druids feel that Fulgar's policies are favorable to the natural world, since it focuses on inter-human parasitism rather than trying to make nature yield a greater bounty. Farmland acreage has declined under Fulgar and forestry is ignored (the foresters were on their own, without guild or royal support). Some druids take no interest in what should be (should Rjuvik be aristocratic or should Rjuvik be less intrusive to nature) and just go about their business as things are. The Oaken Grove control temples, while the Emerald Spiral is weak in Rjuvik and only holds a few temples.
The skalds have kept the old aristocratic ethos alive in song and poem. The young nobles, born during the reign of Fulgar have been inspired by these tales of purpose and nobility. The young Dryten have sometimes form counter-bandit hirds (warrior bands) and hunt the bandits. When they have too much success and retributions begin, sometimes they just lay low for a while, but they often go to other Rjurik realms to serve in honorable households as huskarlar (housecarls) where they are seeing the Rjurik traditions in full flower.
Meanwhile, Fulgar has made an arrangement with two foreign wizards who practice the arcane arts that are anathema to the Rjurik. Erik does not teach against magic, for indeed his wife, Avani, is a patron of the arcane. So Esben looks the other way, but knows that it is an affront to the traditions of his people. Wizards are rejected not because of Erik, but because of the pernicious role that they have played in the history of the Rjurik.
Esben's son, Joran Esbensson is a skald who teaches the old ways and rejects the compromise that Esben has made with Fulgar's reign. Joran respects his father and the two get along well, but Esben and Joran differ on the role of the temple with regard to Fulgar and his bandits.

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