Religion among the Jotunbrud is divided into the dominant Creed of Lucca and the minor Creeds of the Wodensons: Valder, Kyras and Mjordir. Lucca’s Creed presides over the spiritual needs of most of the Chained Kingdom, answering questions of morality, officiating over important societal rites and guiding the people to Ymir’s leadership.Those who follow the Wodensons are the persecuted minority, obliterated whenever they are caught by the Jotun and their Chainer servitors. Their beliefs and practices are similar to that of the Creed of Lucca, having evolved from the same spiritual progenitor.With the influence of the Jotun upon the Chained Kingdom, however, most Jotunbrud are not an introspective people. They are soldiers and raiders and warriors with their minds bent entirely to battle and the glories therein. The different Creeds will speak of afterlives and fortunes and fates, but the average Jotunbrud will not care, so long as they have iron in hand, blood pumping through their veins and drink to be had. This is not to say that they are irreverent and impious – a life of war nurtures questions of spirit and faith. Suffice to say, the folk of the Chained Kingdom are a people of immediacy, giving to faith what needs giving and giving to war and song their entire being.
The Jotunbrud believe that the world was wrought by the god Woden from the corpse of a massive dragon named Wyrm. The battle took seven eternities but in the end, Woden drove his spear through scale and flesh and bone into Wyrm’s heart. With the runes that he kept, the Oak Father gathered Wyrm’s final breath and wrought the lands and the seas Midworld according to his design. Woden married Ioun, who was the Wyrm’s daughter, who bore him two children: Valder and Kyras. Woden also had a brief dalliance with Grypha, Ioun’s sister, who bore him a bastard son, Lucca. The Sons of Wyrm, who called themselves the Jotun, were displeased by Woden’s actions, but he did not want to spill Wyrm’s blood any further. Thus did he appease them by giving Lucca up as a hostage. While they did not want to accept Woden’s bastard at first, he told them of Lucca’s wisdom and cunning. The Jotun chief, Ymir, first born of Wyrm, reluctantly accepted and gave Woden his youngest son, Mjordir in exchange.
The Storming of Wodenheim
This alliance held for many an age until Lucca convinced Ymir to storm the citadel of Woden and to slay his half-kinsmen. With Lucca’s counsel, they succeeded and Woden was speared and impaled upon an oak, his followers stamped out and his children slain or bound. Valder had already been slain by Lucca before the war. Mjordir survived but was captured; they bound him and forced him to drink from a lake made of poison which caused him great pain, blackened his teeth and withered his tongue and made his eyes fall out. Kyras bore Lucca three accursed, monstrous children: a spider, a nightmare and a worg. Afterward, she was tortured, maimed and slain. To those that follow the Jotun and Lucca, the tale ends there. But to those who follow the Wodensons, those who wish to unseat the Jotun from their stolen thrones, the tale continues.
The Return of Valder
As Woden choked upon the blood of his heart’s final throbbing, he used the breath of Wyrm that he had kept in the runes of his flesh and placed it upon the spear which impaled him. The spear became a snake and went to the tree that grew atop Valder’s grave. It burrowed among the roots of the sacred oak until it reached Valder’s corpse, breathing unto him the last whisper of Wyrm.
In this manner did Valder return to the world of the living, made wise by his stay in the Underworld and strong by the final breathe of Midworld. He set about with purpose to rouse what remained of his father’s children, raising Kyras from the realms of the dead and freeing Mjordir from his bindings. The three scions of Woden now seek to end the reign of Ymir and Lucca, rallying those they have Chosen to do the same.
Afterlife: The Jotunbrud are of two minds in the matter of the afterlife. The Chainers, those who follow the Jotun, believe that an afterlife of eternal battle awaits them in the Underworld, fighting demonic forces as well as the servants of the remaining children of Woden. A similar afterlife awaits the Reclaimers of the Wodensons; they believe that those who show great valor in battle will join the Wodensons in the final wars of the world’s end, when Valder avenges his father and remakes the world anew from Ymir’s flesh, bone and blood.
View of Magic: In the Chained Kingdom, most magic is allowed, although Witches and Priests of Lucca are especially revered by the dominant powers of the land. The Witches practice ancient elemental magics that the Jotun themselves innately utilize, although they freely ally with Jotun or Wodenson. Likewise, the Frost-King begrudgingly allows the Creed of Lucca to practice their rites and custom, if only because of the pact between the Herald of Winter and the Frost-King. Furthermore, because Lucca himself consorted with demons, shadows and death, Sorcery is tolerated among the Jotunbrud.
Priests of other religions, especially that of the Wodensons, would do well to keep secret their faith- Ymir does not take kindly to the reverence of any god, for he despises all gods and non-elemental spirits. Suspected Wodensons are captured, tortured, and slain, their maimed remains displayed as a warning to those who would defy the Frost-King.
The Creed of Valder
The first-born of Woden is a god of spring, of fertility, of beauty and of magic. He is also called the Herald of Spring, the Reborn, the Son of the Oak, the King of Serpents, and the Speared God. Valder was once so beautiful that Lucca’s heart was overgrown with jealousy, moving him to slay his half-brother with a spear wrought from mistletoe (whom everyone, including Ioun, thought was harmless). Valder’s beauty has diminished since his rebirth, dimmed by the shadows of death and by the wisdom he now must bear in his father’s place.
He is often depicted as a handsome, well-built, bearded man with a serpent wrapped around his neck, his torso and left arm and a spear in his right hand. It is written in the Valderion runes of prophecy than Valder will slay Ymir at the end of the world and remake Midworld anew.
Valder commands his followers to:
o Revere and keep well the old ways of the Wodenbrud
o Hinder the plans of the Jotun and destroy them when possible
o Protect and propagate beauty wherever you find it
o Inspire the Jotunbrud to rebel against their masters
Symbol and Colors: A serpent wrapped around an oak whose bare limbs grasp a sun. The colors of Valder’s Creed are brown, rust, dark green and light gold.
Spells: Valder’s Priests inflict fire damage with their divine spells.
Sphere Access: Priests of Valder may choose one of these Spheres for the Acolyte of Faith ability they gain at first level. Furthermore, they may learn the Servitor skill for the other listed Spheres.
Clergy: Those who follow Valder, the Valderion, must keep secret their faith, lest the Jotun and their Chainer henchmen find them and torture the secrets of the Oaken Creed from their ruined forms. Among the Wodensons, Valder’s Creed are leaders, speakers and lorekeepers. Just as Woden gave unto Valder the secrets he had carried, so too must Valder’s Priests bear and sow the knowledges of the world.
In the strongholds and enclaves of the Reclaimers, the Valderion serve as sages, envoys and councilors. They bless marriages with fertility, newborns with good fortune and sowings with prosperity. They are regarded well by all who meet them, as their aspects are undour and their words charmed.
The Creed of Valder is organized into two orders:
The Dawn-Bearers go out into the world in secret, inspiring rebellion among the Jotunbrud, aiding Wodensons when they can and looking for allies against Ymir.
The Oak-Brothers are the protectors of the enclaves and strongholds of the Wodensons, engaging in all aspects of guardianship. They are also the keepers of Valderion lore and spiritual guides of the populace.
The leader of Valder’s Creed is called the Consort of Valder and is said to speak for the Herald of Spring. The current Consort is Freja Oaksdotter, a woman of great beauty and wisdom.
The Creed of Kyras
The Goddess Kyras is Woden’s daughter, called also the Herald of Autumn, the Taker of the Fallen, the Holder of Fates and the Queen of Harpies. She was once a beautiful goddess, radiant with beauty and majesty. But the brutality she suffered at the hands of the Jotun and her half-brother has taken all of that away from her. All that remains is the rage and the pain and the power.
After she was forced to birth forbidden monstrosities from her womb, Kyras was maimed and decapitated by her brother. In order to bring her back to life, Valder and Mjordir had to retrieve her body parts and re-attach them to her – of these quests, the hardest was finding her head, which they had to sew upon Kyras. Gone forever was the loving daughter of Woden and in its place is a deity more dead than alive, driven almost wholly by her passions: her wrath, her sorrow and her hatred.
Kyras is often depicted as a slight, slim woman. Sometimes, she is grave-gaunt and deathly pale, miscolored eyes burning with hellish fervor. Other illustrations show her as more ethereal than physical, a winged form with a hauntingly beautiful aspect. She is usually wearing mail of some kind and in her hands are her twin blades – forged by Mjordir from the bones of her Jotun captors and to which she bound their souls into. It is written in the runes of prophecy that Kyras will slay the abominations that she has birthed and put Lucca himself to the sword.
Kyras commands her followers to:
o Let no wrong upon you go unavenged
o Never bring up what you cannot put down, finish what you start.
o Respect the dead, give them the rest and the reverence they deserve.
Symbol and colors: A pair of wing-guarded swords, crossed together facing downward. Her clergy usually wears attire that bears stone grey, grave brown, bloody scarlet and rust red – all colors of the grave. Many of them wear colors or scarves, usually red in coloration, just as their goddess wears one around her neck to hide the stitches that bind her head to her body.
Spell: Kyras’ Priests inflict silver damage with their damaging divine spells.
Sphere Access: Priests of Kyras may choose one of these Spheres for the Acolyte of Faith ability they gain at first level. Furthermore, they may learn the Servitor skill for the other listed Spheres.
Clergy: The Priests of Kyras, who call themselves the Kyrasar, are Priests of vengeance, of prophecy and of death. When oaths of vengeance, prophetic readings and funerary rites require officiating, the Kyrasar’s presence is often requested – for such things are in the dominion of their goddess. Likewise, the Wodensons give thanks to her when a good harvest is granted to them and when they have resolved a long-standing grudge.
Unlike the other Wodenson Creeds, the Kyrasar associates freely with Sorcerers. The dark dealings of such personages are familiar to the Jotunbrud goddess of death, who had made allies and pacts during her time in Underworld.
The Creed of Kyrasar do not have the rank structure or organization, although they have a hierarch that leads the Creed and speaks for the goddess. Avenger Sif is the Goddess’ voice upon Midworld and she leads her Creed in lightning fast raids upon the Jotunbrud that reveal at least a hundred corpses in the dawning light.
The Creed of Mjordir
Mjordir is also called the Herald of Summer, the Son of Thunder, Bearer of the Hammer and Strangler of Giants. When the folk of Jotunbrud think of honor and loyalty, they think of Mjordir – who was a master craftsman and a master warrior. From Woden did he learn the art of creation, fusing his Jotun skill with the magic that Woden taught him to create artifacts of immense power. He took to Woden’s side for the sake of honor, fighting against the Jotun despite his heritage.
So mighty was he that he slew all who assailed him with a single stroke of Wrath, his storm-hammer. The only way the Jotun defeated him was bringing forth ancient Ymir. Mjordir snapped out of his rage and refused to raise his hand against his own blood father. In this way did the Son of Thunder let himself be captured and tortured for nigh eternity.
Mjordir is depicted as a broad-shouldered man with a great white beard. His scarred iron helm masks his ruined features and its horns lends his silent visage a fearsome aspect. Always in his hands is Wrath, whom he had himself had made. When it was taken from him during his capture, it is said that he strangled a Jotun Thane with his bare hands to reclaim it. It is written in the runes of prophecy that Mjordir will be slain by Lucca, but only after laying waste to almost all of his Jotun brethren.
Mjordir commands his followers to:
o Remember and keep sacred all oaths and bonds
o Work toward the ruin of the Jotun, but do not forsake your kin in your conflict
o Exercise the patience of the storm, build up slowly and release your wrath when necessary.
Symbol and colors: A gigantic hammer wrought of lightning is the symbol of Mjordir’s Creed. The colors of the storm (cloud grey, lightning blue, frost white) are associated with him and his Chosen.
Spells: Mjordir’s Priests inflict lightning damage with their divine spells.
nd enclaves. Their handywork seems rough and weathered, but displays the utility far beyond their savage appearances – a trait that can easily be said about the Mjorda.The Mjorda are divided into two orders, each with their own responsibilies.The Hammers of Mjordir: are avengers and destroyers in the name of the Son of Thunder. There are known for their prowess in battle and for the blood-curdling howls that escape their lips in the heat of combat.
The Anvils of Mjordir: are builders, makers and craftsmen in the service of the Herald of Summer. They keep safe the sacred places of the Mjorda and the secrets of the Creed.The leader of Mjordir’s Creed is a battle-priest who simply calls himself Dal. It is said that he was once a master craftsman in service of the Jotunbrud but was almost slain by those he once considered masters and friends. Despite his potent spiritual powers, Dal refuses to use them to reattach his severed right hand. He refers to his reticence as “a memory”, possibly alluding to the idyllic life he once had and could no longer regain.
The Creed of Lucca
Lucca is also called the Herald of Winter, the Father of Wolves and the Lord of Lies. Despite being the bastard son of Woden, Lucca was still his father’s son: he was possessed of great wisdom, high knowledge and powerful magics. He also possessed the cunning and the guile that Woden for which was known and feared. However, what was lauded and feared in Woden, was reviled and disdained in Lucca. Thus, it was to Lucca’s surprise that he was given the Heraldry of Winter and sent as a hostage among the Jotun.
In the end, Woden, who had mastered Wyrm, was mastered by his own base-born son. At Lucca’s side was Ymir, who only accomplished victory through the wisdom of the Herald of Winter. Thus it was that Lucca, who had slain his mother in his birth, slew his father as well, completing Woden’s prophecy. But Lucca does not rule the Jotun – it is Ymir who is Frost-King of Jotunbrud, not Lucca….for now…
Lucca is often depicted as a powerfully built, bald man with a dark, silver-streaked beard and skin covered in runic tattoos. He is often clad in dark and grey furs, bearing a rune-etched skull and beside one of his monstrous children: Vallir Blood-drinker, Kallnir the Tireless and Senrel the Devourer.
Lucca commands his followers to:
o Destroy the other Wodensons wherever they are found
o Learn all the secrets and magic that you can and bring these to Lucca
o Never show weakness unless it is to your advantage
Symbol and Colors: Lucca’s symbol is of a skull with a rune etched upon its brow, his most powerful artifact wrought from his father’s corpse. The colors associated with this Creed are bone yellow, ash brown, charcoal brown and sky grey.
Sphere Access: Priests of Lucca may choose one of these Spheres for the Acolyte of Faith ability they gain at first level. Furthermore, they may learn the Servitor skill for the other listed Spheres.
Spells: The Creed of Lucca inflicts ice-type damage with its damaging spells.
Clergy: The Luccari, the Priest of Lucca, are soothsayers, sellswords, scholars, explorers and thieves. They traffic in services and wares mundane, restricted and forbidden, keeping them in their vaults or selling them to the highest bidder.
They are a big part of the Chained Kingdom, providing spiritual direction and guidance for the Chainers of Jotunbrud. It is they that preside over mournings and victories, funerals and feasts. The Luccari are there to make certain the Herald of Winter looks over all things and misses nothing.
Their other significant responsibility is the finding and the destruction the other Wodensons. In this matter, the Luccari have devoted significant resources to locating the insurgents. The Creed itself often leaves the act of destruction to Chainers and Jotun, who are practically unstoppable in great numbers. Woe be to the Wodenson who is found by a Luccari – they have rituals and spells on hand that can wrest secrets from one’s very soul in brutal sacrifice to Lucca.
Lucca’s Creed is organized into three orders:
The Hounds of Lucca: are tasked with locating the enemies of the Luccari, be they Wodenson or otherwise. They are also tasked with ferreting out secrets, magic and information in Lucca’s name.
The Wolves of Lucca: are battle-priests chosen for their prowess, their tenacity and their cruelty. They are often distinguished by the wolf-skull helms that they proudly wear.
The Worgs of Lucca: are seers and prophets, the face of the Luccari. It is they that deal with the general populace and assist them with healing, blessings, wisdom and other forms of spiritual aid.
Sigwyn Vintersdotter is the current Pack-lord of Lucca. She is the leader of the Luccari and the speaker for the Herald of Winter. Though she has hair spun of gold and sky-blue eyes, she is responsible for the deaths of at least a hundred Wodensons and is fond of feasts that include the slaughter of captured Wodensons as sacrifice to Lucca.