Norndrassel: The Jarldoms
Norndrassel is a land spread across a number of islands. Each of these islands is a harsh and bleak place to live, with limited farm land, high mountain peaks and deep fjords. Due to the lack of farm land, the human inhabitants of these Islands have become skilled sailors and ruthless seaborn raiders. Clans send out raiding parties that venture far and wide, raiding up and down the mainland coasts. The people of the islands are a hardy folk and still firmly believe in the old Pantheon of Gods that created the Mortal Realm. However, it is not just humans inhabiting these islands, for there are also hulking Trolls in the mountains and low lands. After centuries of cohabitation (and conflict), these large creatures are now often seen working and living amongst the Norndrassel, and is some cases, even raiding with them.
Norndrassel Clans are lead by mighty warriors and leaders known as Jarls, these chieftains will often have a number of settlements under their control and will call upon its members to form raiding parties during the winter months. Not all Jarldoms will have one Jarl. Some, such as the Jarldom of Foehelda which can be found on the main Island of Norndrassel, has four Jarls. Three of these answer to Sven Blackheart, the older brother. To become a Jarl, is not always by what blood you have but sometime how daring you are and if you are able to kill the Jarl and take his place. Many a Thane has attempted to become a Jarl this way.
Clan Warriors make up the bulk of any raiding party, When these warriors are not raiding some un-expecting coastal settlement, they will often farm the limited land, fish and trade with other Jarldoms or even at other faction’s settlements. Each warrior is skilled with an axe and shield and spend most of their adult lives fighting along side their brothers in the shield wall. Some may favour using two axes or even a large two handed axe, but regardless of how they like to fight, these warriors will always seek a glorious warriors death.
Some Clan Warriors before a raid or a battle will drink a brew of mead, known as Oxen mead. This drink fills the warrior with visions of the Gods and makes them all but impervious to damage, at least in the warriors mind. In reality the Warrior is filled with a berserk rage and will keep fighting until every enemy before them is slain or until they are killed. If the warrior survives the battle and the effects of the mead ware off, it can sometimes lead them along the path of the Berserker Cult, a brutal group that believe that the Berserker way is the only real way for a warrior to enter the afterlife.
Wildsmen are skilled archers and scouts, and most Jarls will use these warriors to cover their flanks or to range far ahead of their main force. Some groups of Wildsmen have a strong bond with the Trolls of the islands and have been known to hunt alongside these creatures, though not the large Snow Trolls as these brutes are just too big to hunt with. The Wildsmen make use of the much smaller but still deadly Cave Trolls.