Hello friends! It’s been a few months since we touched on the Ageirings and the Tualings, the warring Bjorning and Græling clans that occupy the uplands of Sudstrond near the Gull Pass in the Middarmark. If you play In the Shadow of the Horns, the adventure included in the Middarmark Gazetteer, Jarl Stigand of Castle Valborg will have a vested interest in control of the hidden Græling armory that is Svana Goldnose’s ultimate objective.
To catch you up on previous entries in this series:
This wooden motte-and-bailey keep and village controls the western end of the Gull Pass through the Trollfjells, connecting Jeilirdal with Sudstrond. Stigand, last scion of the Ageiring jarls of Sudstrond, has established his court here—a handful of aging but loyal huskarls and their families. The folk of Stigand’s court are Bjornings, while most of those who work the land are Grælings. The uplands of Sudstrond are festooned with ancient ruins from the days of the Græling-Sakki wars, abandoned steadings and the lairs of many monsters from the Trollfjells.
Skills: Armorer, Carpenter, Weaver
Traits: Loyal, Proud
Haggling: Ob 3
Telling Tales: Ob 2
Forge, Home (equivalent to Flophouse), Keep (equivalent to Inn), Market (This market is held once a month. Roll 2d6 when entering town; market is available on roll of 9-12.), Shrine, Stables, Street, Tavern, Workshop
Staying at a home or the keep requires family connections or the Rites of Hospitality. The forge and workshop provide the Use Facilities function of a guild hall, but only for certain skills. Forge: Armorer. Workshop: Carpenter, Cook, Peasant and Weaver. Using the forge requires the hospitality of the keep, while the workshop requires the hospitality of a home or the keep.
Castle Valborg Laws
- Cooperation with Scefings is a criminal act. Punishable by execution.
- Denying Jarl Stigand’s right to rule Sudstrond is a criminal act. Punishable by public humiliation.
- Murder is a criminal act. Punishable by weregild or outlawry.
Characters of Note
Stigand, Jarl of Sudstrond
The Jarl of Sudstrond is a serious young man, driven by the need to win back his ancestral holdings and gain revenge for the slaughter of his family nine years ago at the Battle of Sølvfjord. He was only 10 when a handful of loyal huskarls fled Stortmarke with him in the wake of that disastrous battle. They spent several years in hiding before establishing a new court at Valborg. Stigand’s ultimate ambition is to retake his family seat at Stortmarke, but he is in desperate need of resources to draw and maintain a warband fit for the task. For now, he seeks to establish control of the Gull Pass that he might tax trade flowing along the Sølvveien between Jeilirdal and Sudstrond. The rebellious Tualing clan has other plans: They want nothing less than to destroy Stigand’s clan and reclaim their ancestral lands.
Solveig, the Raven Witch
The elderly and blind Solveig is Stigand’s great aunt, priestess of the Ageiring ættir and a terrifying witch known for her gift of foresight. Even Gorm, master of Svarttårn, is said to covet her gift of prophecy. The gift has failed her only once: on the day of the Battle of Sølvfjord, the vision of blood and fire did not come to her until the Ageiring fleet had already set sail. Solveig is frequently attended by her raven familiar, Gobbet, and her apprentice, Afrid. While Stigand turns his attention to reclaiming what has been lost, Solveig is consumed with bringing about the end of the Tualings. She knows that the Ageiring clan won’t prosper until the Tualings have been dealt with once and for all.
Frode, the Champion
Frode is Stigand’s champion and the leader of his few huskarls. It was Frode that brought Stigand and Solveig out of Stortmarke when the city fell. He remains the young jarl’s most stalwart supporter. The aging Frode’s sword arm is not as strong as it once was, and he privately worries that Stigand’s ambitions will lead the clan to its ultimate destruction. Frode’s son, Hall, will soon take his place among Stigand’s huskarls, and his daughter, Afrid, serves as Solveig’s apprentice.
Mullen, the Animal Physicker
Mullen, bent and gray, is a thrall. The people of Valborg say he comes from Svanland across the sea. The fey old man is mute, but he is possessed of a rare gift: Animals of all sorts seem to understand his strange whistles, and he, in turn, seems to understand them. It is certain that ill and injured animals, domestic or wild, seek him out and flourish back to health under his care. The people of Valborg say he is beloved of the Lord of Beasts.