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From The Citadel
Jarnfell is a purposeful blend of the Iron Islands and Winterfell from Game of Thrones, wrapped in the traditions of both the Anglo-Saxons of Northumbria and the Brenton people of Britony. The Brenton of Elder Scrolls are similar, though their inclusion was not intentional.
Jarnfell is situated in the far north-western corner of Essealas among the rocks, crags, and low fjords. Jarnfell runs along the coastline with expansive wharves crested by high heavily carved wooden structures built over stone foundations. The traditional late medieval construction borrows heavily from Valgard's Stave Temple style and utilizes the carved knotwork common to the region.
Bretons are fishers, farmers, herdsmen, and raiders. So while the Bretons have a pretty varied diet, they by necessity preserve most of their food for lengthy ship travel, so fresh food is not the norm -- nearly everything harvested or acquired fresh is immediately prepared for storage.
The Bretons are in a word ... uncompromising. This nature of theirs comes about both in a highly developed sense of personal and cultural honor, as well as a fierce rugged individuality. Where it not for the diplomatic skills of the Alfarians, and the more genial nature of both the Frem and Rus, the Bretons would have few allies on Essealas. Luckily they are fierce warriors on both land and sea. And if they are occasionally barred from diplomatic missions, no one, not even the Bretons themselves would blame them.
They organize themselves in a number of ways, often juggling multiple commitments and duties as they participate in summer raiding crews, winter mercenary work, social works, building projects, militia brigades, and so forth. They are not particularly skilled in spycraft for they are a people who keep their word in all things, be it to have your back or ruin your day -- permanently.
On the whole, Bretons have one primary focus when it comes to the political map -- to have the freedom to do as they wish. They will join an alliance only to break up up a larger one. They are uneasy allies with both the Frem and Alfarians as they share some cultural traits with both city-states. They have a grudging respect for the Halstiens and can't stand the Dyrlings who they consider busybodies.
Brentons have earned the nickname "Greybeards" as they are known for their ashen hair colors. While most Bretons have a wide range of medium hair colors, almost all Bretons have ash undertones or outright grey in their hair. Breton men's beards go grey early, and Breton women often have strands of grey or even entire locks of silver. Otherwise they are medium tall with athletic builds and grey, or grey-blue eyes.
They prefer warm comfortable clothing and have little interest in fashion. At best, they keep one or two court outfits for rare occasions. Leather, fur, wool, pants, knee-high boots -- both soft and hard, and warm cloaks serve the Brentons just fine. They have no preference for bright colors and generally choose muted colors.
The Brenton's beleive that once, a great hero known as Dana lept from the bow of his ship and dove deep into the sea. He swam for three days before he arrived at a high peak overlooking the sea and crawled from the frigid waters until he reached a great oak tree atop the highest point. At which point, he commanded his very confused crew to tie him by means of sturdy rope to the great tree. He took no food, and no drink, until on the three day the ropes broke and he fell to the earth. It is said that when he arose he claimed to have all the knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. His crew, now convinced that he was as mad as they come left him there with his wild ravings. Twenty years later, Dana walked out of the moors and brought with him the Ogham script.
The Brenton's would gain a written language, a form of divination, a spiritual connection to the earth, and a religion. The religion of Dana comprises a complex relationship between astronomy, astrology, alchemy and mathmatics. The priests of Dana would call themselves Druids, and they are the ones who understand the movement of the stars, the turn of the seasons, the lore of the trees and herbs, and many other things most Brentons have enough sense not to ask about -- for asking is a sure sign one might get recruited to the priesthood.
Brentons are primarily concerned with their personal luck and honor. If a man died of an unlucky event he would be buried at sea so that he might get a second chance with better results. If he died an honorable death, his corpse would be tied to a tree overlooking the sea so that he might gain a greater position in his next life. Most Brentons will consult a Druid if they see knowledge, or if they are concerned with their luck. Druids traditionally place a geas on the petitioner by means of granting better luck. Such a geas might include never to enter a new building by the front door, to always step on a ship with their left foot, or never to bed a red-haired woman. Brentons who do not wish to gain a geas are known to leave offerings at nearby rune stones and forego the whole Druid thing altogether.
Small Council NPCs
|King Burhtred is a tall whip of a man with silver grey hair and storm grey eyes. He is austere by demeanor and cautious by nature. Under his rulership the Bretons have successfully recovered from the poor handling of the kingdom by the previous small council and the rulership of his brother, Ecgfrith. He's been king for about a dozen years now and has only finally allowed his small council to take more aggressive actions with other city-states.|
|Bertrade, wife of Wiglac
|Bertrade is the wife of Wiglac the previous Diplomat. She bears her name with savage pride, for all know it was she who turned her husband into the current king and unearthed a treasonous plot that nearly destroyed the merchant and noble families within Jarnfell. She earned the current kings respect and admiration for her devotion to the people. Wife of Wiglac is a handsome woman in her late 50s with ash blonde hair shot thru to silver and a sensuous smile.|
|Nothwulf and Aegenwulf are the "two wolves of Jarnfell" and have been close friends with the current king since boyhood. All three saw battle together in their youth and it was an obvious appointment for the king to place one as his warlord and the other as his spymaster. Northwulf is dark haired with the familiar threads of ash and warm brown eyes. He is the more jovial of the three and enjoys good red wines and handsome men. Like Burhtred, Nothwolf is a cautious man when it comes to battle and tactics.|
|Ealda of Caerfirth
|Ealda of Caerfirth has 15 children and could squeeze a rooster cock out of a gold nugget with her bare hands. She use to be Burhtred's nanny when he was a boy. It was quite an unexpected appointment when he made her coinmaster as she has no formal training with estate management. Yet her no nonsense approach to money and spending has re-established a nearly stable economy in the kingdom.|
|Aegenwulf the Hunter
|Aegenwulf is the prettiest of the boyhood friends, and the least friendly. He's a hard man who's seen tragedy in his life and is devoted to the current king. He manages his spy network with a firm hand, and often goes out into the field to oversee individual agents and information lines.|
- On the rocks
- Means not getting along with the group, or to have been left behind, as in beached on the rocks.
- Under Dana's Eye
- Is a common farewell and wishes the person good luck.
- May you be buried at sea
- To hope some has bad luck
- Kissing the stone
- Means to ask for good luck, usually at one of the runestones around the lands. Can also be used as "He's off to kiss the stone", meaning to try and get a romantic encounter.
Terms and phrases associated with this city-state will develop during role-play. If you would like to submit a phrase you use regularly please DM Branwyn.Emerald