Rjurik Highlands » The Northlands » Hogunmark


Hogunmark
|
Status
Recommended

Capital
210,000
Government
Kingdom (13 provinces, 6 jarldoms)
Emerald Spiral (State Religion), Erik

Imports
foreign spices, precious metals, dyes and artwork
Exports
small quantities of lumber, furs, artwork and weapons
GB Income
10GB
RP Income
22

Treasury
15GB

(Province Level N, )

[top]Introduction

Hogunmark is a vast realm of wind-swept taiga and thick forests, largely inhabited by nomadic Rjurik. Though it is the largest Rjurik realm, much of its area remains unsettled and completely untamed.
Those who live in Hogunmark sometimes think of their realm as two lands: one of winter and one of summer, one of tundra and one of taiga, one of darkness and one of light. A true Hogun, it is said, finds beauty in all seasons and all places.

[top]Life and Society

[top]The Land

Hogunmark currently comprises 13 provinces, some more developed than the others. Most permanent settlements lie in forest provinces, while the tundra is primarily home to seasonal trappers, hunters, fishers, and nomadic clans.

[top]Climate

At its northernmost point, Hogunmark lies about 5 degrees south of Aebrynis?s arctic circle, or at approximately 60 degrees north latitude. Because of its proximity to the north pole, the land receives about five hours of daylight at winter solstice and 20 hours of daylight at summer solstice.
Hogunmark generally experiences pleasant summers and frigid winters. Summer temperatures can climb as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the forest, but usually hover in the high 50?s right along the coast. Winter temperatures throughout the domain can stay below zero ? and feel even colder due to strong northern winds ? for many weeks at a time. Precipitation ranges from 50 to 200 inches annually, falling most heavily in the coastal provinces. Higher amounts are not unusual; Roykenskapa has been known to receive 400 inches of snow during particularly brutal winters.

[top]Flora and Fauna

[top]Aldrud (0/7)

The province of Aldrud lies at the tip of the Roykenskapa peninsula. It has no permanent human settlements; the nomadic Gautrakka clan occupies it during summer months.

[top]Bjarkheim (1/6)

Bjarkheim is home to two nomadic clans, the Jarnkasspel and the Halskorrik, during the winter. Both clans always leave a few permanent structures behind - along with elderly or infirm clan members and a few caretakers - when they migrate in spring. The Jarnkasspel camps are nearly impossible to find for someone not of the clan.

[top]Djaalfund (4/3)

The province of Djaalfund supports Hogunmark's largest city, Aaldvika. It also has three small towns: Birchaard, Ojyren, and Ynavik. For centuries the Yngvi clan has made their home here.

[top]Fjoltyr (1/6)


Fjoltyr is the summer home of the Jarnkasspel clan. Its camps are so well hidden, however, that none but the clan itself can find them. This province is also the home of Thorjak the Green. The ancient druid receives many visitors to his grove at all times of the year.
The town of Jarls Crossing, home of the Jarvyll clan, also lies within the province.

[top]Gundviir (4/3)

Nestled in Jarlskap Hills of Gundviir lies Hogunmark's capital, Veikanger. The province also supports two towns: Wjulfsdatter, named for Hogunmark's first queen, and Riversmark, on the bank of Hjarring River.

[top]Hjolgrun (2/5)

Hjolgrun contains the town Eagle Roost. It is also home of the Heimdjor clan. Few people live near Narikja Glacier out of fear of ice trolls.

[top]Horvliik (1/6)

Horvliik has recently seen Icewatch, a small settlement of fishers and trappers, recently spring up. Selkie island, off the coast of Horvliik, has no human inhabitants; legend populates it with the magical creatures for whom it is named.

[top]Jarnborg (0/7)

Jarnborg hosts many summer fishing camps during salmon spawning season, but no longer has any permanent settlements. A small village, Jarniik, was destroyed by forces of the White Witch about ten years ago.

[top]Njorldar (0/7)

Njorldar, just south of Aldrud, also supports no permanent human settlements. The Gautrakka clan retreat here during winter months, living in ice shelters and surviving on food gathered during warmer months or caught through ice fishing. In summer, the Aegilsgaard clan occupies this province.

[top]Oelfrun (0/7)

The province of Oelfrun supports no permanent settlements, although a few trappers' cabins dot the tundra.

[top]Sehaka (1/6)

In the southern region of Sehaka lies the village of Hjarsik, home of the Hjarni clan.

[top]Sjaruud (1/4)

Sjaruud is the year-round home of the Rolulf clan, as well as the site of several fish camps during salmon spawning season. This province supports one permanent village: Kingspawn.

[top]Valkheim (1/6)

Valkheim sees the annual return of the Aegilsgaard clan traditionally each winter. The province also supports one small village, Eriksgaard. Ancient burial mounds dot the southwestern corner of Valkheim. The remains of many of Hogunmark's rulers rest there, including those of Wjulf and his daughter Breyana.

[top]Council Grove

Just outside the city of Veikanger sits Council Grove, a small stand of trees historically important to Hogunmark. Here, Wjulf was named the domain's first king: later on this site, the land itself chose Breyana to succeed him.
Though to be place of ancient magic, the grove never suffers the ravages that winter inflicts on surrounding terrain. Though snow falls and temperatures drop, individuals standing within the grove remain safe from the fury of storms and the predatorial instincts of starving wolves.
The jarls once convened annually in Council Grove, but have long since moved their meetings within Veikanger's walls. During the Sorcerer's reign, Hogunmark's jarls felt uncomfortable gathering in a a place touched by magic; that distrust lingers to this day.

[top]History

Hogunmark did not exist prior to the Battle at Mount Deismaar. After that event, when the Blood was bestowed upon the Rjurik and compelled their leader to the greatness, the nomadic clans of Hogunmark united to form a nation and selected one of their blooded leaders, the jarl Wjulf, to lead them.
The nation thus created existed largely for mutual defense and patriotic identity; the Hoguns wished to avoid the fate of the southern regions, which had spent long centuries sparring against Anuirean domination. The clansmen retained a deep, typical Rjurik streak of independence, obeying the king or queen only when their orders made sense, and occasionally even displacing an unpopular monarch and electing a new leader.
  • 549 Ma, 34 HC, -939 MR - Hogunmark founded; Wjulf chosen as first king
  • 568 Ma, 53 HC, -920 MR - King Wjulf of Hogunmark dies; his daughter Breyana ascends as queen
  • 576 Ma, 61 HC, -912 MR - Cities of Aaldvika and Veikanger founded in Hogunmark
  • 1196-1223 Ma, 681-708 HC, -292 to -265 MR - Clan Wars (civil war) in Hogunmark
  • 1488 Ma, 973 HC, 0 MR - Death of Michael Roele, end of Anuirean Empire; the Sorcerer appears in northern Rjurik and begins carving out what is now the Realm of the White Witch from Hogunmark and Lluabraight
  • 1547 Ma, 1032 HC, 59 MR - Halskapa and the remaining Rjurik realms declare independence from the Empire
  • 1993 Ma, 1478 HC, 505 MR - Gunnar overthrows the Sorcerer to wrest control of what is now the Realm of the White Witch

[top]Political

[top]Army

Though Hogunmark is not presently at war with the Blood Skull Barony or the Realm of the White Witch, they pose a constant threat. Even Rjuvik can be a sinister neighbor at times. The domain supports a standing army because it can't afford to be caught unprepared.
Hogunmark's army comprises the following forces:
2 units of Rjurik archers, 2 units of Rjurik infantry, 1 unit of Rjurik cavalry, 1 unit of Rjurik scouts and 1 unit of Hogunmark dragons. Navy: 1 Longship.
The two infantry units are stationed in Aaldvika and Veikanger to defend those cities and nearby settlements.
The archers are headquartered in Bjarkheim and Fjoltyr, though they sometimes move to Valkheim and Hjolgrun to maintain a presence there.
The cavalry is stationed in Gundviir, near the capital.
The unit of scouts patrols the domain's borders from Jarnborg to Hjolgrun, especially alert for incursions from the White Witch or the Scarlet Baron's minions. The official headquarters of these Pine Walkers is in Valkheim. The Hogunmark Dragons are the ruler's personal guard; this unit travels wherever the regent does.
These 7 units cost a total of 8 Gold Bars in maintenance each domain turn.
If the domain goes into a state of war, the clans will come forward to defend their land. Each nomadic clan can provide one unit of irregulars; the settled clans, which are larger, can each provide two units of irregulars.

[top]Navy

The domain of Hogunmark has more miles of coastline than any other realm west of Brechtür, yet its status as a sea power is nearly nonexistent. The realm's navy comprises a single longship; the only other craft leaving its shores are small fishing and whaling boats.
The ship, Prophecy, anchors in Aaldvika but makes a regular tours in warmer months to patrol the domain's coastline.

[top]Important Figures

[top]Rumors, Secrets and Plots

Rumors
Even in the dead of winter, tales manage to travel among Hogunmark?s cities and settlements.
Final prophecy
Each year on Midwinter Night, Hoguns in Veikanger and surrounding areas gather in the palace to hear the skald Halder Alvisson tell Wjulf?s Saga, the story of Hogunmark?s history. The telling takes all night: The story is told in parts, beginning with the Tale of the Seven Prophecies at sundown (about 3 P.M.) and concluding with Kelden?s Tale as the sun rises the next morning (about 10 A.M.), with all manner of feasting and merriment interspersed. After Halder tells each part of the saga, his audience delights in identifying how the tale fulfills one of King Wjulf ?s prophecies. Inevitably, at the conclusion of the saga, a young listener will ask, But what about the seventh prophecy? How did it come true? And Halder always responds, That tale has yet to unfold.
At Queen Freila?s last Festival of Midwinter Night, those who sat nearest her say that at Halder?s response, the ruler inhaled sharply and exchanged a glance with her seer. She then rose silently and left the room; Njorna followed. When the queen returned to the great hall an hour later, alone, she seemed perfectly composed. It was then that she announced her intention to depart the following day to pursue a vision quest. No one knows what Freila sought to accomplish on her mission. But did Wjulf?s final prophecy inspire it?
Lost clan
In the past six months, several visitors to Veikanger have reported a strange occurrence in western Bjarkheim. As they passed through the easten part of the province, each encountered the encampment of a small nomadic clan. The clan members welcomed each traveler into their camp, fed him, and saw to other needs (such as binding wounds or replenishing supplies), and offered him shelter for the night. The visitors say that the clan members spoke strangely (often using archaic words in their speech) and lived more primitively than Hogunmark?s other nomadic clans, but were friendly and hospitable. The next morning, each traveler awoke under the open sky, with no sign of the clan remaining. The clan members never identified themselves to the visitors. One traveler says that several of his hosts resembled his grandmother, whose ancestry traced back to the Kjarr clan. But the Kjarr died out over 800 years ago during the Clan Wars. Or did they?
Secrets
The transfer of power from Queen Freila to your PC was rushed and incomplete, but the outgoing ruler did have an opportunity to share a few regal secrets before she departed.
Sunken treasure
Queen Freila?s fledgling salvage interests in Oelfrun have already yielded one interesting find from a shipwreck in the Thaelasian Passage: a silver chain from which hangs a single emerald, an inch and a half long by an inch wide, in a simple silver setting. The necklace now lies in a locked chest in the regent?s private quarters. At first, the queen merely admired the necklace for its beauty. She began to suspect something unusual about it, however, when she showed it to Thorjak the Green and the gem glowed at his touch. The queen had no idea why it responded in such manner.
Wjulf?s sword
Safely stored within the palace complex in Veikanger lies Shadowstrike, the ancient weapon wielded by Hogunmark?s first king during the War of Shadow. Skalds sing that Wjulf, then a young man, fought hundreds of Azrai?s minions at the foot of Mount Deismaar without suffering even a scratch himself. The ghastly shadow creatures could withstand few blows meted out by the sword. The weapon is said to have come from Aduria, brought by the escaping Rjuven during the Flight from Shadow. Forged of a metal not native to Cerilia, it exhibits a slightly purple hue. Since Wjulf?s death, no one has been bold enough to brandish this mighty sword: It occupies too legendary a place in history, and no one considers himself worthy of it. For fifteen centuries, the sword has been kept out of public view, lying on a cushioned table in a corner of the treasury room. It is said that over the years, some of Hogunmark?s rulers have drawn courage from it in times of crisis simply by resting a hand on its hilt. The last to do so was Queen Freila, who sought such strength twice: once during Hogunmark?s last war with the White Witch, and once before she left on her vision quest. The second time, she noticed something unusual about the weapon: It vibrated slightly beneath her hand. Shadowstrike continues to vibrate, and also to emit a faint hum. No one has been able to determine the cause of this unusual activity.
Plots
The plots that most concern your PC at present are no doubt those that affect his chances to emerge as Hogunmark?s
new sovereign. Well-placed informants could alert him to several possible schemes-in progress.
Wicked witch of the east
The White Witch poses a continual threat to Hogunmark, which has already lost three provinces to its aggressive awnsheghlien neighbor. Scouts now report increasing troop activity along the western border of the Realm of the White Witch ? so much activity, in fact, that invasion looks imminent. The awnshegh appears well-prepared to exploit Hogunmark?s current state of political chaos by sweeping in before the leaderless domain can organize itself. In fact, the witch seems a little too well prepared, as if she knew Queen Freila?s plans and fate in advance. The awnshegh has magical means ? such as quest spells ? available that would enable her to compel Freila to undertake such a mission. Did the White Witch herself orchestrate Freila?s death?
Missing funds
Shortly after Njorna informed the court of Queen Freila?s death, Hruthwulf reported that money and goods amounting to 5 Gold Bars ? a third of the treasury ? had disappeared from the treasury room. No one was seen entering the room since Freila left; the lock on the door appears undisturbed and the room has no windows. Your PC and Hruthwulf hold the only keys. Hruthwulf, who already harbored doubts about your character?s motives, is beginning to become more vocal about his suspicions ? and people are listening.
Whispering campaign
Your PC is not the only jarl with an eye toward succeeding Queen Freila as Hogunmark?s ruler. Several other jarls consider themselves more suitable candidates, and one of them has begun an anonymous slander campaign aimed at discrediting your PC by the time the Jarls Council meets three months from now. Already, some of the other jarls and their clans believe your PC conspired with Njorna to secure Freila?s investiture before a successor was lawfully chosen, or to falsely declare the queen dead and enact an overthrow in her absence. Even if the transfer of power was legitimate, the unknown opponent is calling into question your PC?s leadership ability and integrity by criticizing past decisions and making disparaging remarks about age, experience, or any other attribute that could be made to look like a weakness.
Seizing power
If you intend to assert your claim to rule Hogunmark, you must spend the next three months in careful diplomacy and skillful negotiation. The decisions you make during this single domain turn will be crucial to the success of your bid for the throne.
Uncover the truth
To exculpate yourself from allegations of treason, you need to determine exactly what happened to Queen Freila. You, Njorna, various jarls, and the White Witch have all been named as possible conspirators in speculations floating around the domain. Find out the truth ? before one of your rivals begins circulating his own version of it. Organize a team (perhaps composed of members of several clans and led or accompanied by a neutral party such as Halder Alvisson) to confirm Freila?s death and determine how it happened. Not only will such an investigation repair your own reputation, it could save your neck. After all, if someone did conspire to kill Freila, you could be next. While the investigation is underway, you must neutralize Hruthwulf: Freila?s loyal lieutenant is now your snarling watchdog. Motivated by grief and suspicion, Hruthwulf will shadow your every move, seeking proof of your guilt. You must find a way to either convince him of your innocence or safely remove him from power ? you cannot afford to rely on someone who bears you so much ill will.
Cultivate allies
Just because Freila invested you with the regency of her holdings doesn?t mean that the throne is yours. Kings have been deposed before ? kings who came to power under less suspicious circumstances than you. Before the Jarls Council, you must secure a majority of jarl?s votes. Do whatever it takes ? strike bargains, lay to rest old hostilities ? so long as you later honor any promises you make. Don?t forget to solicit the good will of the four nomadic jarls ? though they have no voting power, their voices wield influence. Three months is a short time, especially when winter weather makes travel slow and dangerous. Prove that you have the diplomacy and negotiation skills of a true king.

[top]Strategy And Advice

Retaining power
Once you have secured your political position, you must work to keep and strengthen it.
Make regency mean something
Political power in Hogunmark is spread too thinly. The six landed jarls can scarcely agree on anything, and traditionally the ruler hasn?t made many moves without their approval. As a result, enemies such as the Sorcerer and the White Witch have been able to gradually chip away at the realm, province by province. If Hogunmark is ever to become a significant political force in Rjurik, more power must rest in the hands of the regent. Through slow, careful diplomacy, work to make the domain a unified entity instead of a collection of loosely allied independent provinces. Establishing law holdings controlled by the king in each province would be a good start.
Draw on all your resources
Set aside superstition and hire a court wizard to exploit the domain?s magic potential before someone else does. To all appearances, the Scarlet Baron is already exploring the use of wizardly magic in warfare through his alliance with Darkon. The White Witch, while a priestess, rules a realm long known for its magical power ? should she wish to tap it, she?ll have little trouble finding someone to do so. If either of these powers gains a foothold in Hogunmark by controlling its mebhaighl, they could wreak devastation before the clans knew what hit them. And by then, it will be too late to find a magical ally to cultivate the sources. Seers and prophecies are woven into the very fabric of Hogunmark?s history. Perhaps you can use this tradition to convince the domain?s jarls and other leaders to accept the use of true magic in the realm?s defense.

[top]Domain Holding Table


Domain Table: Hogunmark
ProvinceLawTempleGuildSource
Aldrud (0/7)----
Bjarkheim (1/6)FY (1)ES (1)Ul (1)-
Djaalfund (4/3)Yn (1)ES (1)Yn (1)-
Fjoltyr (1/6)Ja (1)ES (1)Ja (1)-
Gundviir (4/3)FY (3)OE (1)RH (3)-
-ES(2)--
Hjolgrun (2/5)He (1)ES (2)He (2)-
Horvliik (1/6)FY (1)ES (1)In (1)-
Jarnborg (0/7)-ES (0)--
Njorldar (0/7)Ot (0)---
Oelfrun (0/7)-ES (0)RH (0)-
Sehaka (1/6)Hj (1)---
Sjaruud (1/4)Ro (1)ES (1)Ro (1)-
Valkheim (1/6)FY (1)---
Abbreviations: FY = Freila Yngvi (Hogunmark); Yn = Kelda Yngvi; Ro = Gunnbjorn Rolulf; Ul = Ulfdan Torvaldson; He = Leidolf Heimdjor; Ja = Audun Jarvyll; Hj = Vaetild Hjarni; Ot = Hromund Otryff; In = Ingdar Einarson; ES = Emerald Spiral (Gretta Seligsdotter); OE = Oaken Grove of Erik (Günther Brandt).

Tags for this Page

Similar Pages

  1. Domain:Hogunmark
    By BRadmin in forum Category
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 06-11-2007, 08:50 PM
  2. Hogunmark.png
    By BRadmin in forum Image
    Comments: 0
    Last Post: 05-26-2007, 04:05 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

Posting Permissions
  • You may not create new articles
  • You may not edit articles
  • You may not protect articles
  • You may not post comments
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your comments
BIRTHRIGHT, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the BIRTHRIGHT logo, and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. ©2002-2010 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.