Rjurik » Taelshore » Halskapa
Halskapa is a productive, prosperous realm specializing in metals, fishing, timber, and animal products. The people are honest and hardworking, and retain those values out of a strong sense of community survival. Individual greed is thought to put everyone at risk. Halskapans are acutely aware of what they have created and are careful not to allow it to be lost foolishly. The people are wary of wars, political ambitions, and quarreling. A central theme in the history of Halskapa, a theme dear to the hearts of the people, is organizing for the common good.
Halskapa's climate is cold most of the year, with a short summer. The Sea of Storms lives up to its reputation on the western coastal waters. The high winds and driving storms that strike the country are known as the wailing wind.
The traditional clans are settled in winter, and nomadic in summer. Most find themselves returning to ancestral hunting grounds to feed their families in the old style as soon as the winter breaks. Their leaders are usually bold, always confident, and are known to lead by example.
Those who are settled all year long are called the settlers. Many innovations in farming have come to the land, and the virtues of farming are becoming more widespread every year.
The traditional clans hold that the settlers have abandoned Erik, but the settlers reply that they hold his teachings all the dearer, because if they are not good to the land, they will starve. The druids say only that Erik loves all Rjurik who respect the land, while carefully choosing not to officially define the term "respect".
Even though the guilders, called aaolfers among the Halskapans, fell into decline, the wealth of the country grew. Trade initially declined without the specialized and secretive crafts of the aaolfers though soon the demand for goods moved the more innovated and open craftsmen to learn a new trade. Soon, the new craftsmen lead a kind of renissance in their chosen fields as innovations abound. Some advocate for a return of the aaolfer system to push Halskapa's economy forward and stimulate a renaissance such as that seen in Anuire or Khinasi.
In theory, the clans of a province will elect for themselves a provincial jarl. This jarl will typically hold court in a longhall and are tasked with the job to settle clan disputes as well as maintain and uphold the law and will of the King of Halskapa who, himself, holds court in the capital.
The sad reality, however, is where the king once commanded loyalty from the seven jarls and their provinces, he now commands almost no one, and his reign continues on inertia and tradition. The king is old, weak, and increasingly irrational. Even Bervinig's most fervent apologists admit he has passed his prime and that the land is in want of a new ruler. Unfortunately, Bervinig failed to produce an heir to succeed him, and a great succession struggle brews beneath his dotage. The seven Great Jarls and many clan leaders all can put forth claims of descent, ability, and/or merit, and most are willing to fight for his claim thus no agreement regarding succession seems likely. Given Bervinig's poor state of mind, even the voice of the king would count for nothing in this dispute.
The law has slipped from Bervinnig's grasp and is now controlled almost entirely by the feuding jarls except for the city of Skapa Hjarring which still answers to Bervinig - in his lucid moments.
When the Rjuven first settled the Iron Cape, they did not find it empty. In addition to the elves and goblins, the land was also the home to a strange race of giants called "Firbolg" in their own tongue. When Hjarring encountered this dying tribe, he forged an alliance that has stood the test of time. Today, the giants still occupy the highlands of Dvasviik, Helkstraad and the Siren's realm, staunch allies of the realm but fiercely protective of their own independence. Legally and socially, they are treated as a physically distinct nomadic tribe.
The western portion of Halskapa is given over to the highlands. These weather-worn mountains leave a large gray cliff face along the coast known as the "Iron Cape" which is where Halskapa, the name for iron cape in old Rjuven, derives its name. The coast is buffeted by both wind and rain throughout the year but the mountains themselves provide a wealth of metals making mining the main industry. Game is always plentiful if one knows where to look. Further inland, protected from the storms but not the cold, the mountains give way to gentle hills that green over early in the spring. It is here the best grazing land can be found and the soil is often rich enough to support the growing of crops as well. The plains of northeastern Halskapa are lightly populated with trees of mostly pine. Though lightly frozen for seven months out of the year, the thaws in spring and summer soften the earth lending aid to the Halspakan farmers, the majority of which call the plains their home making the plains the bread basket of the nation. But the winter months are harsh and can see snow drifts as high as a man's waste which is why this is also the realm of the great Rjurik draft horses. Though not as fast as Anuirean mounts, these have thicker hides and can pull loads of two to three times that of the southern horses. Still, with animals to feed and rough winters, not much is left unconsumed of the inhabitant's stores when the weather breaks so there is little to trade for coin and goods.
The great Hjarring River runs along the northern border of the land and is the most powerful river in the domain while the second largest, the Aandvjor River (or Vika River) creates the eastern border. Replete with salmon and trout, fishermen have no trouble feeding themselves and catching enough to trade in Skapa Hjarring or Leivika. Still the true wealth of Halskapa is in the bounty of the ocean. The whaling industry in the Tael Firth and Miere Rhuann are just as renowned as the swords and armors that come out of the great furnaces and forges in the highlands. Even as the fishermen pull in huge bounties of cod and herring, they remain mindful of the ways of Erik, never over taxing nor over taking from the land even though most are followers of Nesirie, the goddess of the sea.
Far to the north in the land of Thaele lies Hoekstraad, a lone colony of Halskapa. Though rich in minerals, timber, and animal life, the winters are far too long and harsh to have much impact on Halskapa. However, the short summers do see a an absolute frenzy of activity from the hunters of otter and seal to miners of iron and occasionally gold.
Several provinces have winter settlements. These are places where large several clans gather to wait for the weather to warm. They can be considered a town in the winter months, but are mostly deserted in the spring and summer.
This plains province is not far removed politically from Skapa Hjarring. It remains the most loyal follower of the king save for the province of Skapa Hjarring itself. The province is lead by a council of elders who reluctantly took their positions when it became obvious the king could no longer settle disputes in their territory. The council consists of the five most powerful clans in the province: two farming, one fishing, one herding, and one hunting. The title of Jarl-Protector belongs to Sketa (LN female Rjurik Wizard 4 Bloodline: Masela 24) who is the only one in the province with a chance of obtaining the throne though many young hotheads and boastful nobles would argue.
Furvelk - Winter settlement situated in the middle of the province.
Lead by their dwarven jarl, Kahlor (LG male Dwarf Noble 1/Fighter 2 Bloodline: Andviras 26) this hill province is the preferred place to winter in Halskapa and boasts three settlements.
Courden - A proper town that is located across the Aandvjor River (aka Vika River) from the city of Leivika which is the capital city of neighboring Svinik.
Firthenor - A coastal fishing village located in the middle of the southern coast.
Clatereden - Located near the borders of Aandvjor and Dvasviik, this village is the home of the province's shepard clans.
Home to famous city of Odemark, this land is ruled somewhat as a theocracy by the druid Rjanik (NG male Rjurik Druid 4 Bloodline: Reynir 15)
Odemark City - Ringed by druidic circle, this city is set atop a forested hill. Worshipers of Erik as far away as Vosgaard have journeyed to this holy city which is the center temple of the Oaken Grove of Erik
Toolenon - Not far from the great road to Skapa Hjarring, this quaint peaceful village is found on the border of the highlands of Helkstraad.
This highland province is ruled by Jarl Kjessen (LE male Rjurik Noble 1/Fighter 4 Bloodline: Reynir (tainted) 14) by something just short of an iron fist. It contains some of the tallest mountains in Halskapa as well as some of the heaviest taxed guilds to fund Kjessen's war chest. Though not in outright rebellion yet, his stance is well known and most consider it only a matter of time before Kjessen marches to take Halskapa by force. It is a future that noblemen throughout the realm fear.
Sriethein - Located near the border of Dvasviik and Selkhauske and not far from the main road to the capital, this is by far the largest mining town in the province.
Fing Zjulor - Though primarily a whaling village whose numbers are depleted during the warmer months, many here also spend their time hunting narwhals in much closer waters.
Jarl Dherg Wir (LE male Rjurik Noble 6/Ranger 5 Bloodline: Anduiras 15) runs his highland province efficiently and fairly maintaining the good will of the people. Recently some of his resourceful Rjurik have begun terracing works to create farmland in the province. The result is an ability to grow the hardy crops of barley, oats, rye and root crops such as carrots and potatoes.
Har Ferbing - This is one of the largest mining towns in Halskapa. Here, the forges burn around the clock year round from their location just south of the northern cape.
Home to the capital city bearing the same name, this highland province is officially ruled over by King Bervinig of Halskapa (NG male Rjurik Noble 6/Fighter 4 Bloodline: Reynir 28) though with increasing frequency by the court skald Sir Jalkvar. As the king's closest advisor, Sir Jalkvar (NG male Rjurik Noble 2/Bard 3) has had his hands full keeping the appearance of Bervinig's viability alive while the realm awaits a new king. Still, not all is confined to the capital city as there are many miners and herders to be found in the surrounding land.
Skapa Hjarring City - Conveniently located at the mouth of the Hjarring river where it empties into a large bay before washing out to the ocean of the Miere Rhuann, Skapa Hjarring is the largest city north of Dhoesone and one of the busiest ports of all western Cerilia. During the fall as all manner of goods flood into the city before winter, this center of Rjurik trade erupts in a large bazaar full of clan representatives. Most sea-faring clans make the capital their base of operations and conduct their business from special longboats called skonning. Because of this, the shipbuilding industry in the city remains strong.
This plains province is ruled by the pompous, boorish, and villianish Jarl Laefr (CE male Rjurik Noble 1/Rogue 1 Bloodline: Azari 33).
Hjarring Hjoltar - Winter settlement located on the Hjarring River.
Jarl Thaenjra (CG female Rjurik Noble 1/Fighter 2 Bloodline: Brenna 16) rules this plains province in a conservative manner.
Kinet Knolling - Winter settlement located in the south central heart of the province.
When the Shadow drove the five tribes out of Aduria, the Rjuven took to their longboats and travelled the great salt road until they arrived in what is now Halskapa. Tired, weak, and in a strange land, the Rjuven clustered together for security.
The climate was cold and the land was inhabited by barbaric humanoids, gnolls, goblins, and orogs. During the beginnings of the great war with the humanoids around -450 HC, the humanoids held the upper hand with superior weapons and a better knowledge of the land. According to the tales, a hero named Hjarring heard about giants far to the east. He gathered a group of men and found the giants in what is now The Giantdowns. After a good deal of council (and some godly intervention), several giants ventured back with Hjarring to help the Rjuven in their war against the humanoids. By -310 HC with the aid of the giants and the elves, the land was free from the monstrous humanoids and the Rjuven were free to battle the cold and each other.
And war with each other they did as the Rjuven split into nomadic clans forsaking their ancient self sufficiency for increasing clan specializations. The harsh climate and the lack of well rounded skills within the clans served to ensure that even when one clan was victorious over another, often both died out not having lost important knowledge and manpower. Fortunately, druids were still held in high regard and as such wielded much power, and they soon banded together to create a temple at Odemark in -249 HC. Here they created the Code of Championship wherein druids would act as mediators between the clans. Should no suitable conclusion be reached, each clan would send forth one warrior to champion their clan's cause and the two would duel to determine the winner.
Being nomadic, it took until -200 for the first permanent city of any size to be formed. It turned out to be the capital city of Skapa Hjarring. The deed was finalized in -192 HC when the Rjuven clans elected a man named Aethl to be the first Jarl to oversee the city and surrounding lands as well as establish a legal system. The civilization of the Rjuven had begun.
It was less than fifteen years later that, following the lead of Skapa Hjarring, the land was split up into provinces by the clans with each clan taking a province and electing a jarl according to their specialization. Aethl found himself to be the first king of a nation known as Halskapa.
The rise of the gheallie Sidhe was followed with much less fervor against the Rjurik who respected the land. Still many were hunted down in time leading up to the battle at Mount Deismarr. Halskapa sent many of its finest warriors to battle the hosts of Azari, some of whom found their way back with the blood of the gods in their veins.
By 1100 HC, the Empire had fallen out of Rjurik completely, and Halskapa accepted its kinsmen back into the fold. It remains one of the cultural and economic hubs of the northern lands. With the ascendance of King Bervinig to the throne, the land thrived. Berving solidified the hold he held on the law of the land and used the clans' specialities of craftsmanship and resources to advance the economic power of his capital city and the nation as a whole. Now in his twilight years with no heir apparent, the power he wielded is dispersed through the land to jarls both competent and corrupt while the economic future of the entire nation remains in doubt.
- Bervinig, King of Halskapa
- Herrn Jarkvar of Halskapa, High Skald
- Thaenjra of Taelrhud, Jarlless of Taelrhud
- Laefr of Stjolvar, Jarl of Stjolvar
- Dherg Wir of Selkhauske, Jarl of Selkhauske
- Kjessen of Helkstraad, Jarl of Helkstraad
- Rjanik of Dvasviik, Archdruid of Halskapa
- Kahlor of Dalmsrhuud, Jarl of Dalmsrhuud
- Sketa of Aandvjor, Jarlless of Aandvjor
Encounter detail (Halskapa)
- 1 Nomadic Hunters: one Ranger and two Warriors
- 2 Bandit: bandits demand tolls
- 3 Patrol: one Fighter and two Warriors
- 4 Animal: deer, elk, or moose
- 5 Traveler: various; druid, skald, merchant
- 6 Special: rare encounters
|Aandvjor (1/4)||Sk (1)||GB (1)||Sk (1)||-|
|Dalmsrhuud (2/5)||Kh (1)||GB (1)||Kh (2)||-|
|Dvasviik (4/1)||Rj (2)||GB (2)||Rj (2)||-|
|Helkstraad (2/5)||Kj (2)||GB (2)||Kj (2)||-|
|Selkhauske (2/5)||DW (1)||GB (1)||DW (2)||-|
|Skapa Hjarring (4/3)||Be (3)||GB (2)||Be (2)||-|
|LN (1)||WW (2)|
|Stjolvar (1/4)||La (1)||GB (1)||LA (1)||-|
|Taelrhud (2/3)||Th (2)||GB (2)||Th (1)||-|
|Abbreviations: Sk=Sketa of Aandvjor; Kh=Kahlor of Dalmsrhuud; Rj=Rjanik of Dvasviik; Kj=Kjessen of Helkstraad; DW=Dherg Wir of Selkhauske; Be=Bervinig of Halskapa; La=Laefr of Stjolvar; Th=Thaenjra of Taelrhud; GB=Günther Brandt (Oaken Grove of Erik); WW=White Witch; DT=Daffyd Tamaere (Peaceful Seas of Narikja); LN=Larra Nielems (Northern Reformed Church of Sarimie).|
- Law: The jarls are the law in their provinces, though their hold is not seccure.
- Temples: The Oaken Grove of Erik is the exclusive temple in most places.
- Guilds: The jarls control trade in their provinces, even more than the law.
- Source: The sources are not controlled in Halskapa.
, 07-26-2008 at 07:59 AM|
Last edited by , 01-02-2016 at 03:46 PM
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