- 1 Overview
- 2 Halls of Hahnmark
- 2.1 Ashenhall
- 2.2 Byrchenhal
- 2.3 Dunhearth Hall
- 2.4 Eagles Rest
- 2.5 Eira Spire
- 2.6 Fellowship of the Broken Willow
- 2.7 Grimm Dawn
- 2.8 Haddis Hall
- 2.9 Hendal Hearth
- 2.10 Hounds of Fortune
- 2.11 Hyrst Hall
- 2.12 New Ausland
- 2.13 Oxenguard
- 2.14 Renweard
- 2.15 Rune-sworn Quills
- 2.16 Sherard Hunters
- 2.17 Sigehold
- 2.18 Stenstorp
- 2.19 Stormspire
- 2.20 Wyverns' Watch
- 2.21 Yrhara
- 3 Halls of Kallavesa
- 4 Halls of Sermersuaq
- 5 Halls of Skarsind
- 6 Other
- 7 Prominent Halls in Play
There are many halls in Wintermark, but only a comparative handful are involved in the affairs of the Empire (that is, attend the seasonal summits at Anvil. The influence of a hall can wax and wane, and involvement in Imperial affairs is not always a reflection of their influence within the nation itself.
This list was compiled by stormcrow Jorma Steelhail, shortly before the Autumn Equinox 381YE. Original text provided by Michael Durrant
Halls of Hahnmark
What is now the town of Ashenhall has been through several tumultuous changes in recent history. For a great many years it was a Skarsind settlement known as Steinhall, founded by the legendary Thane Torstein. This changed when the occupation of Skarsind by the Thule began in 373YE. During the initial attacks, many of the town's residents fell defending the town and Steinhall itself was burned to the ground. Under Thane Cadarn the survivors spent the next four years evading the occupying Thule forces, operating mostly out of a nearby mine. When Skarsind was liberated in 377YE, the people of Steinhall returned to the site of their town and founded a new settlement: Ashenhall.
When, in 379YE, the Skarsind Motion was ratified and the territory gifted to the Imperial Orcs, Ashenhall's Thane Cadarn voted in favour of this motion. Following his example, the folk of Ashenhall made the decision to relocate once more. Ashenhall is now situated in Hahnmark near Southridge, south of Kalpaheim. Cadarn's successor, Thane Hellä, oversaw a new construction on the site of a reclaimed Imperial watchtower.
Ashenhall is a growing trading town built on foundations of diversity and hospitality. The people of the town remember what it is like to lose their home and to have to build it up again from nothing, and as a result they are a hardy folk, tempered in flames. With the guidance of Thane Jag, they strive to live forward-looking and virtuous lives, and to bring the same dedication to those values with them to Anvil.
In very southern Southridge in the hills there was a copse of birch trees on a high hill. It was here in 259YE that Eldrea, later named The Safeguard held her people against the marauding Feni that had burned their former homes far to the north. Eldrea for her actions was named the first thane and that very same hill is where Byrchenhal now stands, constructed from those very birch trees.
Now over a hundred-and-twenty years after those events - and three generations of hard work - the hall and its people prosper once more, becoming rich in resources provided by the land and people from all three traditions of Wintermark. In 381YE Lucan Leofsson was made the newest thane. An ambitious man, he led Byrchenhal into wider Imperial affairs and there they have remained to this day.
All who are raised in the hall are raised upon tales of Vigilance, Courage, and Loyalty - symbolised by the three runes displayed upon the hall's banner. These runes are lasting reminders of their ancestors who - perhaps - weren't as rich in those virtues as their descendants. Byrchenhal counts scops, stormcrows, artisans, and mystics among their number but all are ready to stand under the banner when the time comes to defend their home, Wintermark, and the Empire."
Traditions: Mostly Steinr, both Suaq and Kallavesi are not uncommon
Located on the southern border of Hahnmark, the Dunnings are a grand family, collectively led by the Thane of Dunhearth Hall. This familial connection is paramount, a kinship that has existed in times of legend long before the Empire and even Wintermark itself. Their progenitors, The Great Dun and the mighty Kára Æxm?r, came to this world with Vard and Stein. The following tumultuous era saw great sacrifice; both Kára and their daughter Nál fell during a fateful raid against the trolls. Their other daughter Áma founded the Redfeldr, the red cloaks, with the many war orphans the family adopted. This has been the family’s military core since; the Dunnings’ eagle banner leading their descendants through history. The Dun himself carries on as a figure in the family’s oral legend, variously as a gregarious operator, cunning warrior and spiritual guardian until he leaves for the north, passing his authority to whomever the family appoints.
The first Hall was simply a tatty command tent that eventually settled in south Hahnmark during the war with the trolls. The town of Arnburh later grew from that first tent, founded by Gangr?dan the first Thane of Dunhearth Hall. Once the trolls were defeated the Dunnings protected the southern border of the Kingdom of Wintermark against orc and human alike. Recently, the Dunnings were forced to relocate when Dunhearth Hall was swallowed by a terrible sinkhole leading to the foundation of New Dunhall shortly before the Autumn Equinox 381YE.
The modern family is one of incorporation, the strength of its legacy, and the skills and experience of those who are married and adopted in. This history has lead to many familial lines but all politely refer to each other as ‘cousin’. The hall is notable for its warriors, scops, and artisans. Sitting on a major trade route from the Marches, its prosperity has been ever fed into military support for the Empire. Likewise its brightest have served widely in the various Imperial institutions (although never the Throne).
After the collapse of The Two Houses, House Vartija struck out alone. Their home town of Turelva, and surrogate home of The Crows Teeth, gave them somewhere to think about the future. Orin, Vartijas grandfather, owned The Crows Teeth and offered it to the house as a place to rest after assisting in the war in Skarsind. Vartijas crest was a blue eagle head on a black and green field. The hall Eagles Rest was born from the embers of The Two Houses in respect of what Orin and The Crows Teeth had given them after Skarsind. Eagles Rest aim to prosper in the Empire and specialise in dealing with the ridiculous and dangerous.
Traditions: Steinr, Kallavesi, Suaq
Eira Spire is a Hall of Wintermarkers of every tradition living in the icy cold tundra of the northspires in the Provence of Hahnmark. The proud settlement was first founded at a time before recorded history by Orvarin Lurask and his wife Madelyn and 30 of their bannermen and women. They were the original founders and discoverers of the ancient Troll cave that would become Eira Spire.
Eira Spire has traditionally been an isolationist group, preferring to keep to themselves as much as possible, while they are known to trade and communicate with nearby halls and towns as well as rally to the aid of Wintermark and The Empire. Despite their isolationist tendencies they would never turn a stranger in need away but preferring he move on as soon as he is able.
A defining event for Eira Spire was the invasion of Sermersuaq which deeply effected the suaq members of the hall and cause a renewed look inward at the halls military capabilities and tradition of isolation and opting eventually to abandon it and travel to anvil.
The halls traditions prefer to take a positive outlook on life, celebrating a members passing with laughs and moments of their lives instead of tears and with Thane Orvar Lurask taking the position of thane, the hall has begun to focus more and more on cooperation between wintermark and with the other nations of the empire.
Fellowship of the Broken Willow
When Skarsind fell, many of its inhabitants were left without homes. The chaos that engulfed them also brought out some of the worst of many halls; families were torn apart and old wounds reopened. In response a wise and proud Steinr woman, Lora Windeltreow, resolved to form her own hall, one without any landed home, partially as a matter of practicality and partially as a small act of protest. The "hall" formed around a traveling caravan and they journeyed throughout Wintermark, trading for what was needed, accepting any and all - outcasts, lost teenagers, and vagrants - so long as they needed a new place to call their own.
Lora’s natural charisma drew many under her banner, and even those who had only intended to stay for a few short seasons found themselves compelled to stay longer. Lora passed away due to illness shortly before the 380YE Winter Solstice, a fact which left the rest of the hall reeling, and struggling to recover. After the Spring Equinox, Lora was committed to the marshes of Kallavesa. Her successor was the group’s head grimnir, as the hall has a number devoted to that art.
Several members own property in Hahnmark, and there are numerous debates among members as to whether or not the hall should settle there permanently. Since Skarsind was given to the Imperial Orcs, these questions are becoming more prominent.
The Grimm Dawn are frayed. They are a hall for the broken, those who feel they have lost their way. They see themselves as "unfavourable" - those who have lost their ways and decided to find them again, to gain the ways their past action have caused them to lose. Members strive for a heroic life and an even more heroic death in honor of the Empire and all it stands for. Members of Grimm Dawn are willing to do what many will not in their pursuit of redemption. They are martially inclined, commonly acting as shock and harassment troops, although they also work to recover the fallen on the field of battle. Outside of battle, they still seek to offer aid to others, trading and healing with those who will deal with them.
Haddis Hall is a young hall built up by Steinr merchants looking to bring prosperity to themselves and to Wintermark. Members of Haddis Hall work together for a common goal of growing the hall and improving their nation wherever they can. Although the hall was founded by merchants, they welcome members of many other professions among their number especially capable healers and magicians.
Hendal Hearth Hall was founded by Winterfolk who left Skarsind following the Skarsind Motion in 379YE. They came from several halls, united by a decision to make a fresh start in Wood Heath. Many of Hendal Hearth still bear grudges over Skarsind, believing a trail of broken promises have followed in its wake - oaths not kept and weregild not paid.
Hendal Hearth itself was founded by the late thane, Bjarne, known as the Faithful Defender. The hall is known both for its extensive herb gardens, and for being home to the Winterforge Armouries.
While all three tribes are part of Hendal Hearth, by tradition a Kallavesi can never be thane. Instead, the Kallavesi choose the thanes and serve as advisors. They have chosen their most recent thane after the death of the founder.
Hounds of Fortune
Hall Banner: Blood hound with runes on either side
Traditions: Mixed The Hounds of Fortune represent a hall in Hahnmark, gathering together members from all over Wintermark. The group was formed in 381YE at Anvil during the Winter Solstice after two smaller halls - The Brothers Drunk and Storm Glade - united with the purpose bringing prosperity to Wintermark and the Empire. The group is very militaristic, always willing to fight for Wintermark on battles or skirmishes. They pride themselves on their resolve on the battlefield and will fight to the death to protect their own. The hall is always welcoming of new members who can provide useful skills.
Traditions: Steinr, Kallavesi
Hyrst hall was built upon a wooded hill. Tall dark oak trees surround the small, fortlike settlement. There were Ravens who also made their home there - they would alert the people of dangers and in return the locals hung small glittering trinkets from the trees as gifts for the birds.
Very much a merchant hall with proud traditions of trade and supporting military concerns.
A hall re-discovered on two age old families.
Traditions: Steinr, Kallavesi, Suaq
Situated on the border between Hahnmark and Sermersuaq the settlement of Ausland was once lively and relatively prosperous. Unfortunately a recent attack by the Jotun wiped out much of the population and stole their wealth.
The remaining villagers sought refuge at Eagle's Rest. One day when a merchant visited the hall and upon hearing their tale she vowed to help. The remaining villagers were simple folk who had enjoyed their previously quiet life so they quickly bestowed the title of Thane upon the merchant, who led them further to the border between Hahnmark and Kallavesa to found a new settlement where they could begin their lives again.
Thus the hall of New Ausland was formed under the leadership of Thane Kaarina Starborn. Now they seeks to rebuild the settlement both in popularity and prosperity.
Traditions: Steinr, Kallavesi, Suaq
On the northern western boarder of Hahnmark made up of 3 small hamlets, each with in walking distance of each other. In the year 150YE a soldier coming back from fighting barbarians, raised the coin out of his own pocket to build a mead hall in the biggest of the hamlets.
The current day aim of the hall is to rebuild after losing a great many members in 376YE fighting alongside Empress Britta.
Hall Banner: White horse on a green background
Renweard is made up of three halls - Tyrshalt, White Oak, and Ætheling - working together for the good of Wintermark and the Empire. They have been around since the death of Empress Britta and helped reclaim two Crowns for the Empire so far. They form part of the Iron Bastards. Eukenbrand, champion of the people is part of this hall. They strive to help Wintermark fight well on the field, in the Imperial Senate and other places of power.
Little is known about the original Rune-sworn Quills, other than the fact that their words and songs were said to have the power to shape history itself. On the day that Empress Britta died, the Rune-sworn were among the first to spill blood for the Empire and those that survived that day were the first to sing of Britta's heroism.
In 380YE, the Rune-sworn Quills were re-formed by a scop and a runesmith in the hopes of one day bringing the group back to its former greatness. Though the original were mostly warriors, those who today join the ranks of the Rune-sworn are just as likely to be heroic warriors as they are solemn scops, artful artisans or fearless physics. Being a Rune-sworn Quill is as much an oath of comradeship as it is a desire for wisdom, freedom, and truth.
As their name suggests, the Rune-sworn, like many from Wintermark, regard runes with much importance. Of all the runes, the Rune-sworn hold four with utmost importance. These are: Evrom, the Rune of Beginning, Sular, the Rune of Discovery, Jotra, the Rune of Battle, and Ophis, the Rune of Revelation.
Traditions: Predominantly Steinr
Situated near the base of the Fingers in a fertile, wooded valley, Sherard Hall was founded around 270 YE by 'Old' Sherard The Hunter. Starting as little more than a shack but soon blossoming into a thriving homestead, it is used as a staging area for hunts in the surrounding countryside, including into Varushka, where people from all around can try and earn a name for themselves in an attempt to bring in some monstrous quarry from those haunted realms just over the border. As a result of this hub atmosphere, many potential hunters decided to stay and, although predominantly Steinr, members also follow the Suaq and Kallavesi traditions.
The main hall itself is magnificent, long and comfortable, with a fire always burning in the hearth. In the hall, high on the wall above the main seat hangs a great skull of a direwolf and anybody interested can ask for the exciting story of this beast which is tied to the hall's origins. All manner of people visit the Hunters for their famed hospitality and stories, healing ability and prowess in the realm of Spring magic, especially since their performance of an empire wide enchantment during the Spring Equinox 380YE.
They revel in assisting others on small or large scales and it is perhaps this that gives them their motto: “Heart and Hearth”, which has never been forgotten in the hundred years since Old Sherard placed the first foundations.
Traditions: Predominantly Steinr
Originally established in Skarsind, after the territory was given to the Imperial Orcs, the Sigehold established a new hall on the Kallavesa border, in Valasmark. Before they left, the stormcrows of Sigehold gathered their Hall’s diverse traditions in a book to be given to the Skywise with whom there is a continued friendship.
The original Sigehold Hall was founded by Striking Ardith (first Warden of the Mark) after her band of resistance fighters had aided in the successful taking of Skarsind. It was formed of those of diverse fallen halls who had come together to fight against the Thule after the Fall.
The banner of Sigehold continues to be used to rally the Heart of the Mark in battle and Sigehold prides itself on its friendship with the smaller halls stemming from its history of being a home for those broken, dispossessed and needing refuge from the Fall. Hospitality in Sigehold is linked closely with food and especially Sigehold Gravlax from their salmon farm. The current Thane is Iron Osric.
Hall Banner: Face of Sten Rockbeard in gold on a blood red background.
Stenstorp hall was founded by Sten Rockbeard and his companions after a legendary encounter with the troll Toothcutter, chief of the Rotting Tooth Tribe. Having driven the trolls from the lost Vale of Kivikylma, Sten established a settlement there, which flourished. After a long period of relative peace, barbarian orcs attacked the settlement - and if the tales are to be believed, they were accompanied by a returned Toothcutter himself. They came in such numbers that survivors were forced to flee the Vale of Kivikylma.
Following Sten's eventual passing, successive thanes and generations have sought for The Vale of Kivikylma in vain. Following the recent tragic death of Thane Algar, Stenstorp Hall adopted Sverrir Hordson, an experienced armourer and weapon smith whom they had spent time with in Anvil, as thane.
Currently Stenstorp Hall is based at Sverrir's mining settlement and workshops, Malmurheim, in Hahnmark. It is not clear why the histories transmitted have not allowed Stenstorp Hall to find the Vale of Kivikylma. It is unlikely that the Hall will lose hope of one day returning to their original home.
Traditions: Mostly Steinr, with some Suaq and Kallavesi
Built atop the tallest peak of the Northspires in Hahnmark, the Stormspire has a commanding view over all of Wintermark and beyond. Their scouts watch the borders for Thule aggression, a duty they take no less seriously for peace treaties. Should the signal be received the great beacon atop Stormspire is lit, followed swiftly by the others in the network; in this way all of Wintermark is warned of trouble.
As much a garrison as a true hall, their commander is known as the Eyes of the North; a title currently held by Thane Raknar Ravenstorm. Though known mostly for their warriors and scouts, they embrace all of Wintermark’s traditions with enthusiasm. Among their number they count many famous scops, runesmiths, icewalkers and more; their head grimnir, Lofyn Bloodbathed, is known across the Mark for her work to restore the Bloodcloaks. Likewise, they watch the roads of the Northern trade network, and their caravan patrols attract numerous traders to the spire. Many of their number were once refugees from Skarsind and elsewhere, Stormspire being both fortified and close to the border of that war-torn land.
It is the warrior tradition for which they are most famed. Their scouts travel the most inhospitable reaches of the 'Mark, and support the spy network on Verthandi. Their warriors strike out in heavy armour, wielding spear and sword to cut down threats they find. Since the death of Empress Britta they have fought in all of the Empire’s major engagements. Their warriors personally recovered the Young Empress’ headless body from the Thule. They reclaimed Winter’s Fury, the banner of Queen Ilsin, from the vallornspawn of Deer’s Folly at a terrible cost. They fought and died at the Battle of Ikka’s Tears, helped recover both the Crown of Three Tears and the Imperial Crown, and were the first to breach the walls of Urith Barath, the great Druj citadel in Reikos.
Located amidst the snow-capped Northspires of Hahnmark, the Wyverns' Watch is a hall of warriors and hunters dedicated to protecting the citizens of the Empire from its many threats, particularly beasts, monsters and malignant spirits. Imperial citizens of every nation have been tormented by such creatures since the founding of the Empire and constantly seek aid. It is the ancient charge of the Wyverns' Watch to stand against such perils and lend their support to the Imperial Army by facing these creatures on the battlefield.
Each member of the Watch is blood-sworn by sacred oath to fight and lay down their lives to protect their comrades, the nation of Wintermark and ultimately, the Empire.
Three formations of the Wyverns' Watch have since passed, the old watches did their job well by eradicating numerous beasts from the north and were eventually disbanded.
The Watch's pledge is a declaration to keep constantly vigilant for all dangers but none more so than the infamous and legendary beast; The Wyvern. Called the Great Enemy, the Watch considers these creatures its mightiest foe and there would be no greater test of skill, courage and power for the hall to hunt down one of these menacing beasts and surpass the heroism of their ancient predecessors.
A young hall with an old name, the hall welcomes all souls to prove their worth and add their names to the historic roster of hunters.
Traditions:Steinr, Kallavesi, Suaq
"My labour and life for Yrhara, to forge the heroes yet to come. Let the virtues of the hara guide the way, for the hall is hungry and has many mouths to feed."
After their home of Skarsind was ceded to the Imperial Orcs in 379YE, the people (who would go on to become the Yrhara) scattered west to Hahnmark. After traversing the harsh lands of Hercynia they eventually rallied to a new hall founded by a Thane, said to have been shown the way to their new home in a vision of a horned mountain hare, completing their journey the hall was named after the spirit animal to which they owed their home.
The hall strives to pave the way for the next generation of heroes.
Halls of Kallavesa
The Æsclings are a hall based out of kallavesa, formed of mostly Steinr. With strong, traditional values of hospitality, storytellling and heroism.
After the Troll wars and the conflicts that followed, the traditionally martial Æsclings hall found little need for their spear work in the lands of wintermark. The Thane, Wealthwearer Wæcla, made the historic and unconventional decision to take the halls battle prowess further afield. Sailing out from the westmere, the Æsclings offered their swords in foreign conflicts, both near and far, to great prosperity.
Since that time the hall has upheld a strong mercenary tradition, fighting alongside the other imperial nations in their conflicts, as well as with foreign nations in theirs. However they do not forget their homeland, and return to kalavesa regularly, both in leisure and at times when the lands of wintermark are under threat.
In addition, due to their extensive travel, the Æsclings also have many adept traders amongst their number, with some members running the white wing trading company, which can often be found selling wares around anvil.
Hall Banner: Side profile of boar on black background
Traditions: Steinr and Kallavesi
Situated in the swamps of Kallavesa lit by the drifting will o’ the wisps and the twisted, snaking forms of the ghosts of Imperial heroes is the settlement of Greyholm. Pallid mud clings to the stilted walkways and jetties that connect the lonely huts and buildings propped up over the generations to ensure the living don’t join the departed before the end of their skeins. Peat moss grows in clumps alongside the undersides of windowsills and doorways and hanging lichen stretches its ghostly fingers off quaysides and into the waters of Kallavesa. These faded shades the only indication of colour in the marsh other than the Greys of the wood used in the settlements construction. Mired in the rituals and hearth magic of Wintermark, Greyholm is a well know destination for the dead who will soon rest in the Sovevann.
Greyholm is a shelter to the disillusioned, its numbers swollen by refugees driven from their homes for whom it provides a tranquil sanctuary. With the increased number of casualties among the people of Wintermark, the need for grave keepers has also risen. Due to this many of the inhabitants of Greyholm have taken up this solemn duty of interning the heroes of the 'Mark in their final resting place. Many of the members of Greyholm are mystics, grimnir, or stormcrows who understand the importance for the preservation of life but also the need for a skein to end.
Halls of Sermersuaq
Traditions: Mixed Eldfjall Hall is a small settlement on the edges of the Hot Springs of Taniki in Tanikipari. The land around the hot springs is particularly fertile, allowing Eldfjall to cultivate crops and raise small herds. Several springs are dotted near the Hall and are used for healing arts.
Hall Banner: Blue three tailed fox on a field of white
Traditions: Primarily Suaq with some Steinr and Kallevesi
Fjellreven Hall has existed in in some form since before the formation of Wintermark as a nation. It was originally a Suaq hall but with the joining of the tribes a greater diversity appeared. The oldest surviving records have the Hall settled in the Silver Peaks near a mountain pass into Skarsind. However with the Silverpeaks being ceded to the Thule the Hall has moved south to East Floes and now sits between the lakes Big Sister and Little Brother just across the water from Wreck.
The Hall has a strong tradition of Icewalkers, artisans and grimnir and has taken great pride in being a centre for the medicinal arts.
Rangers of Nanuk
Hall Banner: Jotra, Verys, Tykonus, Yorn, and Ophis, surmounting a white Nanuk bear on a blue field
The Hall of the Rangers of Nanuk provides a last offering of warmth and comfort to travellers in the far north of Sermersuaq, a final light before the endless blizzards of Sydanjaa. Originally established by a group of Suaq hunters, the Rangers of Nanuk tasked themselves with guardianship of the north, each Ranger vowing to safeguard the south from the dire beasts that populate the edge of the eternal storm, and to share their knowledge with those who sought to enter it.
Despite their long and proud history, the Rangers first rose to full prominence after the invasion of Skarsind by the Thule empire, where their skill as scouts and couriers delivered vital information and supplies to Skarsind resistance fighters. When, with their assistance, Skarsind was freed of Thule influence, the veterans of that long service returned to the north, and now form the core of the hall's members.
Today, whilst the Suaq tradition is still prominent, the hall has only been strengthened by its inclusion of the Kallavesi and Steinr, where they remain famed for their hospitality and dedication to their duty. Any imperial citizen is welcome around a Ranger fire, where Courage, Loyalty, and ready hospitality are always to be found.
Hall Banner: There is no specific symbol that represent the Saker, but the iconography used is largely of the Saker falcon.
Traditions: An even mix
The Saker are a semi-nomadic collection of families (or 'hearths') who all band together under the Saker Mother, who as of Spring 380YE is Rheged Redspear. The Saker have lived in Sermersuaq (and occasionally outside it) for longer than even their story traditions recall. Since the death of Britta the Young, the Saker have come to Anvil in force and have been active in a variety of institutions of the Empire.
Hall Banner: A black sword on a blue background with four lightning bolts on each corner
Steelstorm Hall is a relative newcomer to the politics of Anvil, and is slowly finding their feet. They are primarily compose of skirmishing warriors supported by a handful of magicians and crafters but are actively looking for new recruits to expand their numbers.
Close to the border with Skarsind, the Sussivari hall rests on the trod running from the Stonefield Ice Caves across the border past the old site of Pakaanen’s tower. An old hall founded long ago by the Steinr Oystein Korpis, it has endured since before the creation of the Empire.
It is made up of a full mix of the traditions; members of the hall live and work together at the hall or, in the case of several of the Suaq, nearby in one of the small seasonal hunting settlements. A large number of the hall died fighting alongside Empress Britta whilst trying to defend Skarsind. Loyalty to their fallen kin inspired the new generation of the hall to make the journey to Anvil to take part in Imperial politics and warfare.
While the hall has always counted warriors, icewalkers, mystics, artisans and stormcrows among its number, it has developed a particularly strong arcane tradition in recent years with many members now practicing ritual magic of one form or another. Similarly, since the beginning of the Interregnum and now up to the present day, the hall has provided a high number of stormcrows that are active both within Wintermark and the Imperial Synod.
Halls of Skarsind
OOC Note: Skarsind is not a Wintermark territory; it is the homeland of the Imperial Orcs. As such any character with a personal resource in the territory suffers a penalty to their production. Following the conclusion of the Dogri Thulebane incident in 381YE, Profound Decisions will assume that there is no remaining significant population of Winterfolk in Skarsind. There remain some player character halls, but they are isolated and exceptional and it is our assumption that their numbers will slowly dwindle. It is no longer possible for new Wintermark players to start with their resources in Skarsind.
Traditions: Steinr and Suaq Founded during the winter of 377YE by the former huscarl of the Hel-brethren Resistance, the Blackwatch settled itself around a former watch tower bordering the Glen of Shadows in Hercynia that had been used by their now thane and his blood brother during the occupation war against the Thule. Initially a purely Steinr hall, they were soon joined by a number of Suaq over the following year as the hall grew into a small town. With the ceding of Skarsind to the Imperial Orcs the Blackwatch remained and now live alongside members of the Imperial orcs of the Legion Protectorate and the Stormcrows.
The Blackwatch pride themselves on their abilities in handling the Frayed, with the hall dedicating their time to searching them out and putting them on the right path by one of the oldest rites of Wintermark; regaining one's skein through the fire of battle under the watchful eye of the hall’s thane and their guard.
The Holt Hyrde are nomadic. The term Holt stems back from the earliest days of the Kallavesi. It originally referred to a small copse of trees ideal as a place to lay camp. Over time it variously became known as a word for home, house, hall of lords, and the place close to my heart that I consider my home. It has also often been used symbolically to represent the kingdom of Wintermark.
The Holt Hyrde are protectors of the borders of Wintermark. They seek not glory, and to lead others into glory. They do not seek fame, though the names of others will be sung because of them. They do not seek victory, though the Wintermark will see glory through their actions. They watch over the dark places beyond their homes, walk among the long shadows that threaten to reach out and take their precious lands from them. They learn of the ways of their enemies and seek to understand them, for through knowledge comes victory.
They count among their people the wise, the thoughtful, and the considered. The hunter, the mystic, and the crafter. They task themselves with guiding the stories of the great heroes of Wintermark. They take care in ensuring that heroic tales run longer than they otherwise might. They take pride that the songs or heroes ring with rousing choruses of victory. They take satisfaction in the splintering of the bones of their foes beneath their boots.
Hall Banner: The Levy carries a long banner in Green, Gold and Red with flashes of Black. The banner displays the Hall's name, as well the Dire Cow Bessy that decimated the founder's former Hall. A woodsman axe crosses with a sword, along with a Raven's skull. The three symbolise the joining of three halls, as well as paying homage to one of the founding members. The Gold and Green represent Prosperity while the surrounding red represents the blood shed for it.
"A name is earned, the Levy lives on." The Levy was born from tragedy, the Hall in which the first two members was wiped out by what was claimed to be a Dire Cow. The survivors, now calling themselves the Levy were trying to make a name for themselves when they encountered Hall Asher and a Kallavesi Banner with no name. The three halls joined together, as one seed could grow a tree but many would grow a forest.
The Levy can be considered unorthodox, simple and disorganised from an outsider's view. But they strive to be prosperous, to grow their hall and to earn a name for themselves in battle. Acting Thanes are voted in upon the former's death or stepping down.
Prominent Halls in Play
This list is by no means exhaustive; efforts are made to keep it up to date but due to the sheer amount of work involved the onus lies with the Wintermark players to ensure the information is correct and current.
The majority of halls listed here represent player-character groups. It should go without saying that you should not create a character who is part of one of these halls, or has personal history with one of them, without first clearing it with the appropriate players. You should also check before including other players' houses in your background. The background team are unlikely to approve a background that significantly impacts or involves another player character household without their permission.
Included above are a handful of prominent NPC halls - you may be able to create a character associated with one of these halls but the situation will depend very much on your background and the house in question. It is unlikely that a player character will receive additional benefits for belonging to an NPC hall, and may find their game limited - the thanes of these halls are likely to remain NPCs for example, and are unlikely to give player characters much attention.