As a nation, the Winterfolk are expert craftsmen, who take immense pride in their work and treat complex runic sigil-work as a necessary part of every piece they make. They are perfectionists, who value quality over mass production.

Winterfolk art tends to be intricate and detailed. Stone, metal and wood are carved with runes, and often painted, coloured or enamelled, so craftsmen can show off their skills.

The people of the Wintemark use bright scarlet for things like banners, because they can be seen for miles through snow and atop mountainsides. Runes feature heavily in decoration.

The Winterfolk are a blend of three subcultures, each with a unique style.



Think of Lapp reindeer herders and Inuit. Independent scounts and hunters


Furs and hides, ivory, Scrimshaw carved bone items.


Light, washed out tones of cream, ivory, taupe, pale grey


A long tight coat of animal skin (skin side out, fur side in) emblazoned with drawings and symbols of powerful creatures. In warmer climates the coat is exchanged for lighter versions of leather, linen or canvas.


Primarily heavy furs that offer protection against the cold.


Uncommon, but possibly leather stretched over wood


Hunting weapons, bows, spears, staves for crossing treacherous ice.




Rohirrim, Tolkien’s Dwarves, Beowulf (2005), Saxons, Skyrim, the Starks of Game of Thrones


Metals, furs, leather, stone, woollen cloth, richer fabrics may be appropriate for high status Thanes.


Dark shades of green, blue and brown, also dark metals – iron, coppers, bronze


Plain coloured woollen thigh length tunics, close fitting trousers, often with wrappings ankle to knee. Women wear the same or a close fitting dress. Viking apron dress exists but is considered very old fashioned. Higher status people have more decoration at the neck and hemlines.


Heavy, layered armour (chain with tooled heavy leather armour worn over it), intricately decorated and personalised so each person’s kit looks different.


Ideally tear-drop shaped kite shields, round shields are a good alternative.


Long swords, spears, Dane axes - heavy and practical, decorated with runes



Finland, Kallevala, the Crannogmen from Game of Thrones. Bog-dwelling shamans.


Wooden items, woven basketwork, leathers, rough woven woollens, linens, polished stones (semiprecious).


Greys, duns, moss, smoke, occcasional bright flashes of colour, dark feathers


Heavy cloaks decorated with feathers, bones, animal skins and furs worn over typical Wintermark tunics in rougher woven fabrics.


Light leathers and furs


Rare, but possibly small wicker bucklers


They carry axes, staves, fishing spears and gutting knives.


Iron, hard, firm, strong, unmoving, earnest, craftsman, perfectionist, pragmatic (Steinr and Suaq), dreamer (Kallavesi), individual

Icons and important Images

Runes. (The Wintermark runes system is currently under development by PD.)

Birds are important, as are their feathers. Designs of birds are common as personal emblems, and as devices on a Thane's banner. The Kallavesi in particular make extensive use of feathers.

The Three Tears is the national symbol, usually shown on a brilliant red background.

The Winterfolk prefer bright colourful banners that can be seen well from a distance. A banner is a glorious shout or a challenge to the enemies of the Winterfolk, rather than a logistical aid to coordinate troop movements. Anyone on the battlefield that does not have a banner is treated with some suspicion, the implication being that they might wish to leave the battlefield without being seen. No true warrior skulks about.

Stringed instruments are traditional in Wintermark, meant to be played while the user sings or recites poetry, but trade with the Empire has made other instruments popular. Perversely only cheap or simple instruments are rune-marked, with traditional runic marks being kept for covers and bags in which the instruments are stored. It is claimed this is because the magic of the runes subtly interferes with the magic of the instrument. See Wintermark Music.


Steinr Warriors

The Rohirrim in Lord of the Rings epitomise the Steinr warriors. Layered armour, leather or less commonplace plate over mail, but with the armour intricately tooled and embellished. The armour shown bottom right is made by Idiom Productions.

Film: Lord of the Rings

Suaq & KallavesI WarrIors

Kallavesi and Suaq warriors wear fur over mail or simply leather or fur by itself. The Kallavesi decorate their armour with feathers and beads while the Suaq paint their armour with symbolic designs of animals.


Steinr Clothing

Steinr tunics may be layered to show off hems that are decorated with a constrasting fabric or braid. Theoden’s costume from Lord of the Rings shows the sort of outfit a wealthy and powerful Thane, might wear to display their prosperity - the tunic is made from a rich fabric that is intricately embroidered.

Kallavesi Clothing

Kallavesi clothing is the standard Wintermark tunic over trousers, often in a rougher woven fabric and embellished with furs and feathers. The Kallavesi wear furs with the fur side out. The Stormcrow mystic wears the traditional ragged but heavy cloak and a costume adorned with tatters of material and fetishes. Feathers in particular are important to the Kallavesi and the Kallavesi shamans in particular.



The heavy coats of the Suaq protect them against the cold. Reindeer and seal skins are turned fur side in for warmth. Ideally the heavy fur coats should be richly decorated with important symbols — designs of animals and enemies the warrior has killed. In warmer climates the coats may be leather and in the imperial heartland in summer they may chose to wear linen or canvas versions

The brown fur shaman costume is made by Denise Piggin.

Shamans & Icewalkers

Kallavesi Shamans are practiced seers and mystics. Most supplement the normal Kallavesi dress with an animal headdress decorated with feathers and fur.

Suaq Icewalkers use their magic to complement their wits. They wear traditional Suaq clothing but supplemented with jewellery and amulets.


Images to avoid - DO NOT USE THESE

A LRP setting is defined as much by what you leave out as by what you include. In defining the Wintermark look we have actively chosen to exclude some elements. Please do not use any of the images or looks seen in this section.

Things to Avoid

  • Inappropriate Viking imagery such as longships and Thors hammers
  • Horned helmets
  • Celtic knotwork
  • Baggy 'hero' pants

Thor’s Hammer - DO NOT USE THESE

Thor’s Hammers have become as evocative and iconic as a crucifix. They are irrevocably associated with Thor, a deity which does not exist in the Empire game setting, so please avoid this specific piece of jewellery.