"Enough talk!" -Tabra Maghas Cadwynnia, Queen of Eald, to a Warlock
The humans of Eald are the descendents of exiles from Asgardia, and ruled by clan chieftains. During my trip through their territories, known as the "Lands of Eald", I was challenged to no less than a dozen duels by the men! Apparently, women are not thought of as warriors there. After twelve easy victories, one of which was nearly fatal to my opponent, they backed off. Still, they were wary of my companions and I for the most part.
They call themselves "Ealdsmen".
The humans of Eald are as about as tall as Asgardians, but tend to have slighter builds. Skin is usually ruddy near the south and paler near the north. I've noticed that red hair is fairly common in both sides, though dark and blonde hair predominate. Eyes are almost always blue.
The Men of Eald are known for their tempers and general unease towards outsiders. Still, like anybody else, they generally won't mistreat somebody who presents and proves themselves a friend.
The people of Eald tend to wear heavier clothing north of the Giant's Mound while those to the south wear lighter attire. Chieftains and their immediate families tend to wear the more colorful and better-cut clothing. All males wear torcs, as do warrior females.
The Lands of Eald are mostly hilly, with mountains separating the northern part from the south. Many of En's rivers issue from these high peaks, and it is said that one elven settlement is present here.
Tabra's Crossing: This path is named for the great heroine Tabra Maghas Cadwynnia, as it is the one she used to chase a mighty sorcerer from the eastern parts of the Lands of Eald all the way to the western end. There are many taverns built along it.
Wallasia: Named for a mighty chieftain named Wallace, this is the ruin of the keep that he and his men built. It is said to be haunted by his ghost. I did not see this keep, but one panicked old man said that there were things far more troublesome than ghosts inhabiting the halls. He spoke of a coven of warlocks and hags who lived there.
'Bridge of Alexander': This was a bridge built over a particularly troublesome river that has long since dried out. It is named for the engineer who ordered its construction, and is in the southern parts of the Lands of Eald.
Bog of Hags: Located near Calgaria, this was the site of a great battle between the people of Eald and the people of Calgaria. According to legend, both sides lost when hags rose from the deeps and attacked them. It is now filled with undead, and there is a temple there that apparently predates the earliest human settlements.
- Bab'Shka's House: This is the name of the temple located in the Bog of Hags. It is called "Bab'Shka's House" by the hags who live there, and those who enter seldom return. I have also heard that there is a great complex beneath it.
The people of Eald are a warrior culture like their Asgardian forebearers, and almost everything that they do has something to do with fighting, or getting better at fighting. Even those who can read say that learning teaches them how to fight better, though the same person who told me this was reading some horrible romance novel written by Capa of Ivria. Woodcutting is a favored past-time of the old, as well as women and lame men. In some parts, horses are raised.
Men do most of the fighting, though some (one of the ten that I visited) clans allow women to take up arms and even ascend to the status of chieftain. Still, women seem to be largely confined to the house and saddled with making and caring for babies. Women who do "manly" things are somewhat frowned upon. Oh, and a special heads-up to anyone who can cast spells? Keep it hidden unless you want to be chased out. Very few clans are tolerant to magic, though I've heard that they will tolerate those who make them enchanted arms and armor or heal their sick somewhat better than those who do not.
One ancient sport of theirs, called "cricket", has made it to other lands.
The people of Eald do not trust the gods, instead putting their faith in the Titans. Their reasons for this are very unclear, and there are many stories about this. Perhaps someday, I'll write a book with all of these myths.
The people of Eald are ruled by chieftains, and nine out of the ten clanholds that I visited were ruled by male chieftains. The one ruled by a woman was much more welcoming towards me. In any case, these chieftains are considered the highest authority in the clan and I've heard that long ago they used to abuse their rights. Some of the settlements to the south and east have cities with actual written laws. Still, rule seems to be passed down from the chieftains to their children, though bloody successions are also possible..
The Lands of Eald tend to produce Fighters more than anything. Thieves and spellcasters are seen as "trouble", and avoided. Even divine magic is seen as "trouble", and most Clerics and Magic-Users either keep their craft a secret, and learn it elsewhere. Some more open-minded clanholds are more welcoming towards those who practice the "dark arts".
Magic-Users from the Lands of Eald are known as "Wærlogan", or "Oath-Breakers". A simplified version of this term is "Warlock".
Noteworthy Individuals Edit
- Tabra Maghas Cadwynnia was a warrior from the southern tribes born five hundred years ago and drove most of the Wærlogan out of the Lands of Eald. Of course, back then most of the spellcasters that came out of the Lands of Eald deserved to be driven out...
- Tyria was the first and only daughter of the heroine Tabra Maghas Cadwynnia, and is said to have subdued a dragon who terrorized Zelamis. She is also remembered for being one of two half-elves throughout history to have been a birth parent to triplets -- no small task.
- Golphar the Grand is a famed warrior who has allegedly trained a bear to act as his war-mount. Of course, he also claims to have won a staring contest with a medusa, bedded five Titanesses, and crushed coins with his eyelids. If you ask me, he looks scrawny.
- Fergus was born in an eastern settlement, and moved to Padan with his family at an early age. He is now the Archmage at one of its greatest academies.