"We are an ancient tree With fresh blossoms Towards the sun we stretch Forward to grow Listen! Far down in the root and in the cycles of years Chant the old Listen! Far down in the root and in the cycles of years In the bark lay wounds They attest of honor They attest of misdeed"
The Harsh enviroment on the lands of the Black Flame has grown hardy people.The Norsemen are tall , fair-haired and pale skinned .They are enthusiastic warriors, and act as soldiers, mercenaries , merchants and blacksmiths all over Aeonia. Eager to augment their martial skills beyond the traditional methods of the North, they excel in all manners of warfare. Above all else in Norse culture is the quest for honor and glory, and a great emphasis is placed on family values and comunnity.
Farmland is scarce and crops are poor compared to other regions making Farms a valuable comodity and Farmers privileged landowners... and such were the Mangarm Familly rumored to be descendands of the Alfather (Father Sun) himself...
In recent events the Mangarm familly older sons Ragnar and Yon returned from their participation in the Cult of the Dark Sun .Upon returning they find their Farm burned their parents in poverty and one of their sisters dead ... A conflict between the Mangarm familly and Earl Borg of the Black Flame led to the first in ruins and the latter with more lands. Ragnar and Yon gathered old friends and thirsty for glory young men and in a single night overcame with cunning, speed and violence of action the Longhouse of the Earl . Ragnar proceeded to execute the ritual of the Blood Eagle upon Earl Borg in front of every man, woman and child. In a very short time the infamy of the Raiders under the raven black banner of Ragnar Mangarm claimed them an Alliance with the Empire of the Silver Phoenix after the death toll from the incursions soon made both sides realize the benefits of such an agreement .Having access to the Imperial Armory and to all sea shores some say Ragnar killed more men than the scourge itself in its last outbreak and whispers say his shadow is darker still . The smirking raider keeps growing both in Infamy and suporters since more and more come to raid under the raven Black Banner from all the corners of Aeonia. So the Notorious Earl Ragnar ushered a new era of chaos, calamity , tragedy and death
They thrive in the cold, reminiscent of their native land, and are known as a militant people by their neighbors. Norsemen are also naturally superior at sea, and have benefited from nautical trade since their first raids and travels . They captain and crew the merchant fleets of many regions, and may be found all along Aeonians coasts. In their warband you often see people from all the lands joining in their infamous raids ... Often described as Savages because of their violent incursions to other lands and their honesty and pragmatism.The Norse can read and write and use a non-standardized alphabet, called runor, built upon sound values they have a diverse culture that spreads across multiple aspects, such as music, food, the arts, education, festivals and holidays, architecture and infrastructure, and religion..
Facilitated by advanced seafaring skills, and characterised by the longship: Longships are intended for warfare and exploration, designed for speed and agility, and are equipped with oars to complement the sail, making navigation possible independently of the wind. The longship has a long, narrow hull and shallow draught to facilitate landings and troop deployments in shallow water. Ships are an integral part of the Norse culture. They facilitated everyday transportation across seas and waterways, exploration of new lands, raids, conquests, and trade with neighbouring cultures. They also hold a major religious importance. People with high status are sometimes buried in a ship along with animal sacrifices, weapons, provisions and other items.
Following extended phases of (primarily sea- or river-borne) exploration, expansion and settlement, Norse communities and polities were established in diverse areas .This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while simultaneously introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Black Flame itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions.
The Norse society was divided into the three socio-economic classes of Thralls, Karls and Earls.
Thralls are the lowest ranking class and are slaves. Slavery is of vital importance to Norsemen society, for everyday chores and large scale construction and also to trade and the economy. Thralls are used as servants and workers in the farms and larger households of the Karls and Earls, and they were used for constructing fortresses, fortifications, ramps, canals, mounds, roads and similar hard work projects. , Thralls are despised and looked down upon. New thralls are supplied by either the sons and daughters of thralls or they are captured abroad. The Vikings often deliberately capture many people on their raids in Aeonia, enslaving and making them into thralls. The new thralls are then brought back home to Black Flame by boat, used on location or in newer settlements to build needed structures or sold.
Karls are free men. They own farms, land and cattle and engage in daily chores like ploughing the fields, milking the cattle, building houses and wagons, but employe thralls to make ends meet.
The Earls are the aristocracy of the Norsemen society. They are wealthy and own large estates with huge longhouses, horses and many thralls. The thralls or servants take care of most of the daily chores, while the Earls engaged in administration, politics, hunting, sports, paid visits to other Earls or are abroad on expeditions. When a Earl diea and is buried, his household thralls are sometimes sacrificially killed and buried next to him.
Women have a relatively free status in the lands of the Black Flame .The paternal aunt, paternal niece and paternal granddaughter, referred to as odalkvinna, all have the right to inherit property from a deceased man. In the absence of male relatives, an unmarried woman with no son can inherit not only property but also the position as head of the family from a deceased father or brother. Such a woman is referred to as Baugrygr, and she exercised all the rights afforded to the head of a family clan, such as the right to demand and receive fines for the slaughter of a family member, until she marries, by which her rights are transferred to her husband. After the age of 20, an unmarried woman, is referred to as maer and mey, reaching legal majority and have the right to decide of her place of residence and is regarded as her own person before the law. ] Widows enjoyed the same independent status as unmarried women. A married woman could divorce her husband and remarry. It is also socially acceptable for a free woman to cohabit with a man and have children with him without marrying him, even if that man is married; a woman in such a position was called frilla. There was no distinction made between children born inside or outside of marriage: both have the right to inherit property after their parents, and there are no "legitimate" or "illegitimate" children. Women have religious authority and are active as priestesses (gydja) and oracles (sejdkvinna). They are active within art as poets (skalder) and rune masters, and as merchants and medicine women.
The three classes are easily recognisable by their appearances. Men and women of the Earls are well groomed with neat hairstyles and express their wealth and status by wearing expensive clothes (often silk) and well crafted jewellery like brooches, belt buckles, necklaces and arm rings. Almost all of the jewellery is crafted in specific designs unique to the Norse . Most Karls express similar tastes and hygiene, but in a more relaxed and inexpensive way.
Sports and Entertainment
Sports are widely practiced and encouraged by the Norsemen. Sports that involve weapons training and developing combat skills are popular. This includes spear and stone throwing, building and testing physical strength through wrestling, fist fighting, and stone lifting. In areas with mountains, mountain climbing is practised as a sport. Agility and balance were built and tested by running and jumping for sport, and there is a sport that involves jumping from oar to oar on the outside of a ship's railing as it is being rowed. Swimming is a popular sport with three types: diving, long-distance swimming and a contest in which two swimmers try to duck one another. Children often participate in some of the sport disciplines and women also. King Olaf Tryggvason was hailed as a master of both mountain climbing and oar-jumping, and was said to have excelled in the art of knife juggling as well.
Skiing and ice skating are the primary winter sports of the Norse, although skiing is also used as everyday means of transport in winter time and in the colder regions of the north.
Hunting, as a sport, is limited it is not regarded as an important occupation. Birds, deer, hares and foxes are hunted with bow and spear . The techniques are stalking, snare and traps and par force hunting with dog packs.
Board games and dice games are played as a popular pastime at all levels of society. Game boards made of easily available materials like wood, with game pieces manufactured from stone, wood or bone, including elaborately carved boards and game pieces of glass, amber, antler or walrus tusk, together with materials of foreign origin, such as ivory. The Norse play several types of tafl games; hnefatafl, nitavl (Nine Men's Morris) and the less common kvatrutafl. Hnefatafl is a war game, in which the object is to capture the king piece—a large hostile army threatens and the king's men have to protect the king. It is played on a board with squares using black and white pieces, with moves made according to dice rolls.
On festive occasions storytelling, skaldic poetry, music and alcoholic drinks, like beer and mead, contribute to the atmosphere. Music is considered an art form and music proficiency as fitting for a cultivated man, instruments include harps, fiddles, lyres and lutes.
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