The Ymir and his children, the Jotun, are the rulers of the Jotunbrud. But beneath their gaze and amongst their feet, various factions and powers bicker amongst themselves for power. And then there are the Wodenson Reclaimers that seek to destroy Ymir and unseat him from his Frozen Throne.
“All hail the Herald of Winter! All heed the Lord of Lies!”
Basic: The Lukdrassil are the bearers of his holy Word and the enforcers of his holy Will.
Symbol: A Human Skull with the Rune of Lucca at its brow
History: Long ago, when Woden was still worshipped by men, there was a powerful Clan of humans who took the wolf as their symbol and called themselves the Vinterborn. Unlike the other Clans and Warbands of their people, the Vinterborn was unique in their fanatical devotion to the bastard god, Lucca. Declared as heretics by their own Kingdom, they claimed that their Herald of Winter was cheated of his birthright and that the reckoning of the Gods was to come.
It is known among the Vinterborn that their greatest Priests journeyed through the Dead Mountains to the north and to the edge of the world. Generations of Vinterborn passed and were spent in carving the necessary runes and to collecting the necessary components. But in the end, they were successful: they brought Ymir and his children into Midworld.
The Vintersblood was the first of many to assist the Jotun in their destruction of Woden and his followers. And to this day, they take the utmost of pleasures and care in the systematic destruction of any who worship the children of Woden.
The greatest moment of their victory was the desecration of Woden’s gigantic tree, Wodrassil and its use in the empowerment of their seat of power. They dubbed their new temple the Lukdrassil and placed it above their ancient relic, the Well of Lucca. To guard it, they summoned the three children of Lucca from the Underworld, despite the daily sacrifice that these monstrosities required.
Despite repeated attempts by the Wodensons to destroy it, the Lukdrassil continues to stand strong, awaiting the end of days and the coming of the final winter.
Current: The relationship between the Jotun and the Luccari has cooled as of late. The Jotun offer little to no help in defending Luccari holdings from the attacks of Reclaimers or other dangers. Similarly, the Luccari no longer offer the same vigor in helping the Chainers or the Yig-Ymir as they used to.
Adding to this division between the power groups was a massive raid upon the Luccari temple. Reclaimers, possibly aided by foreigners, struck a deadly blow upon the Creed of Lucca. In the wake of this attack, fortifications were razed, farmland was salted and Vallnir was defeated and slain. While Lucca’s monstrous child is slowly recuperating from its own demise, the brutal assault rippled across the entirety of Jotunbrud – the hunt for the Wodenson Reclaimers has only intensified, stoked by the sacrifice of over a hundred captured Wodensons the week afterward.
Leadership: Sigwyn Vintersdotter is the current Pack-lord of Lucca and the leader of Lukdrassil. She is as cunning as she is ruthless, feared and revered despite only knowing 25 years of winter. Considered to be the most powerful human in all of Jotunbrud, she is afforded respect equal to a Jotun. Even Ymir grants her audience when she requests it, following an ancient accord between himself and the Vinterborn.
The Pack-lord is usually found beside the Well of Lucca, listening to the inaudible whispers of her God. Of late, however, she is found in the Halls of Lukdrassil, awaiting news from her spies and her scouts. Only when a Reclaimer settlement is found can her vigil be broken; it is immediately followed by the march of the Luccari with the Pack-lord at their vanguard.
“…We’ll spill your blood and chain your sons! The Jotunbrud are here!”
Basic: The Chainers are the heart and soul of the Jotunbrud, those who have crawled their way up from the ranks of the lowest and the meanest; the mightiest men of Jotunbrud.
Symbol: A ring made of spiked chains
History: When the Jotun crushed Woden and his followers, the human survivors of their initial onslaught were divided into two categories: those who surrendered when they saw their doom approach and those who had impressed the Jotun with their ferocity. Those who swore loyalty to Ymir and those fit to serve His Frozen Majesty became bound to the King’s service.
Gone were the divisive tribes and rival clans of old Wodenbrud. Instead, Ymir forged these bickersome, war-like people into an engine of battle. Each true Chainer bound to a specific Warband. And each Warband is under the direct command of one of Ymir’s children. It is believed that as one ascends the ranks of command, elemental powers are granted to the bloodiest and most loyal of Chainers, mirroring the Jotun that direct them.
Current: The Chainers are the armies of the Jotun, destined to march at the end of the World against all who stand against the Frost King. To that end, one of their main purposes has been the building of their power base and the preparation for war.
Thus, the Chainers have extended their operations across the face of Midworld, both in the taking of slaves and in the claiming of resources. Because they are forbidden from provoking war by the Treaty of Freehold, Chainers typically strike upon targets of opportunity or upon Free Tribes and other groups not covered by the Treaty. Sometimes, Chainers will even work with other groups such as outlaws. Grellken or the Labyrinthium to accomplish their tasks.
The other task of the Chainers lies in the guardianship of their Kingdom. To that end, Warbands heavily patrol the frost-bitten landscapes of the Chained Kingdom. Border skirmishes with neighboring Kingdoms are also a common happenstance with “unsanctioned” raids and vengeance raids upon Fir’bolg and the Stone Clans. The Gohrimm Clan of Fir’bolg and Stormgrimm Clan of the Stone Dwarves are especially reviled and commonly targeted for raiding.
Leadership: Hundreds of Warbands comprise the Chainers of Jotunbrud but three are of the greatest prominence.
Gjallanir who Feeds upon Runes, is the wisest of His Frozen Majesty’s children. Known for his gargantuan girth and his treacherous cunning, his hunger for souls and lost magics is rivaled only by the power of his spellcraft. He has two favored Warbands: the “Rune-Eaters” and the “Horn-Keepers”. The Rune Eaters is at the forefront of retrieving slaves and lore for the Chained Kingdom from across Midworld. The “Horn-Keepers” are the wardens of Jotunbrud’s border with Fir’bolg. Unlike most Warbands,
Gjallanir’s minions feature spellcasters in leadership positions and considers duels of magic as fair measures of strength.
Thrymdul, the Furnace that Walks is a walking force of devastation and known for his capricious and destructive nature. Thrymdul appears as a burning Jotun clad in char-black plate and ruinous wrath. His favored Warbands are the Flame-Walkers and the Burned-Men, feared for their berserk rages, mad revels and for their affinity for burning buildings. The Flame-Walkers are at the forefront of the War against the Wodenson Reclaimers and while the Burned-Men are the wardens of Jotunbrud’s eastern border.
Hellas, the Laughter beneath the Waves, is one of His Frozen Majesty’s favored daughters. She appears as a titanic shadow clad in seaweed and storm clouds, with tentacles for arms. It is believed that she has control over the seas of Jotunbrud, that storms and maelstroms churn at her unholy will. She has two favored Warbands, the Laughers and the Wave-striders. The first conducts raids against any sea-side or water-borne targets of opportunity, retrieving slaves and treasure for His Frozen Majesty. The Wave-striders are more neutral in their operations, serving as the reconnaissance and mercantile corps of Hellas.
Yig-Ymir (the Gaze of Ymir)
“Even more than the hunger of Ymir, beware His Gaze”
Basic: Elite soldiers and spies that have proven themselves to the Frost-King and are granted rank and power according to his Frozen Majesty’s will.
Symbol: An armored, closed fist with an eye carved into its wrist.
History: As Ymir’s stranglehold upon Jotunbrud crushed the greatest resistance in the land, there were those men and women who began to look upon His Frozen Majesty as a god. They worshipped him and revered him and paid him the highest of deference.
At first, Ymir paid these mortals little mind. They were as insects to the Frost King and their reverence was no flattery to him. As their ranks only grew, they began to sacrifice to him and pay holy tribute to him. Unworthy sons and daughters were offered to the Frozen Throne, slaves were taken from across the world to feed the hunger of their Jotun King. They made feast days of Ymir’s greatest triumphs and burned effigies of his fallen enemies.
Ymir finally paid attention when they attacked their own kind and executed those whom they deemed disloyal to the Frost King. These folk had broken the Frost King’s laws to attack the “traitors”, but they willingly offered their own lives to the chopping block in order to strengthen the loyalty of their fellows. The small band of 50 warriors slew over a thousand of their countrymen, warrior and non-combatant, man and woman, before confronted by the Jotun – to whom they surrendered willingly.
His Frozen Majesty commanded them to slay one another for their crimes, these folk did so with gusto. And only when a handful remained did Ymir tell them to stop. These were the strongest and most devious of the zealots and he bade them worthy of serving the Frozen Throne.
Thus was founded the most hated and most devout Warband of Jotunbrud, the Yig-Ymir.
Current: Only those who have passed the deadly tests and secret trials of the Yig-Ymir are allowed into this fearsome Warband. Founded by a handful of fanatical Jotunbrud, the Yig-Ymir now number in the hundreds, comprised of different operational cells and squads, each led by a Jarl.
Known by the Eye Tattoos on their wrists, the Yig-Ymir evoke immense fear and intense hate unto the rest of the Jotunbrud. They are untouchable – to strike one of the “Yig” is treason (and painful, tortured death) and they are infused with the power of the Frost King himself. The Yig are tasked with finding and destroying treason and disloyalty among the Jotunbrud. That they do their duties with such relish and devotion only generates greater hatred for them.
Leadership: Garm Beornson is the Thane of Yig-Ymir. A quiet man, it is said that Garm is as cold and calculating as Ymir himself. As a testament to his guile, he succeeded the previous Thane by besting him in a duel; Thane Grimmdul died shortly afterward of sickness.
Garm’s methods are as effective as they are brutal. His purges are legendary and he has ordered the destruction of entire warbands without warning. Under him, the Yig-Ymir are feared more than ever.
At the moment, Garm is organizing the pursuit of several wayward Warbands who have absconded with Jotunbrud relics. The fact that these Warbands are currently in foreign lands does not deter him in the least. He has personally seen to the torture and execution of two of them already.
The Reclaimers of Woden
“What has died can come back to life. What has been lost can be reclaimed”
Basic: The Reclaimers are the faithful of Woden’s children and the rebels who seek to cast aside the tyranny of the Jotun.
History: After the destruction of Wodenheim, the followers of the old ways were scattered and divided. The strength of the Wodenbrud had been broken and all of Woden’s Priests and Chosen were slain. Headless and leaderless, they had no hope of even resisting the conquest of the Jotun.
In this time of darkness came the Valderion, reformed Priests of the resurrected god Valder. They rallied the remainder of the Wodenbrud and the Priests of the remaining gods to their side. They crafted new faiths from the old, just as Valder rose from his grave. These Gods gave might and hope to the remaining Wodenbrud, even against the overwhelming power of the Jotun.
Current: The war continues to favor the Jotun, the Luccari and the Chainers, but the Reclaimers cling doggedly to their cause. The atrocities done against them have only hardened their resistance and they have adapted new ways to continue their struggle.
They rely heavily from Reclaimer aid from outside Jotunbrud, utilizing foreign help and remote Reclaimer cell to expand their operations. To that end, they maintain their constant disruption of Jotunbrud supply lines and exploitation of any vulnerabilities. The recent raid upon Lukdrassil was a major undertaking, but it is believed that it is only a feint in a massive operation to come. Even now, the Reclaimers are said to be hoarding resources and gathering forces for a massive assault.
Leadership: The Reclaimers are led by Freja Oaksdotter, the high priestesss of the Valderion and the Consort of Valder. Freja is responsible for the solidarity among the Reclaimers, a daunting task when one considers the stormy Mjorda and the cold Kyrasar. Freja is beloved of her people, leading with compassion and wisdom worthy of her God. It is believed that the blizzards themselves soften and fade in her presence.
Freja’s current concern is in dealing with foreigners for aid against the Jotunbrud. She and her flock spend much time on the coasts, treating with smugglers and rogue traders for the supplies that the Reclaimers need to survive.