Ashes of Asgard
Myrkvold - The Black Forest
Region: The Black Forest is known for being the most savage region of the Horn. Sure, the mountains of Valcanisp are littered with the frozen corpses of unprepared fools, and many are those who have been carried far adrift by the winds around Skevania. But the Black Forest doesn’t wear upon a man’s endurance, so much as simply swallows him whole in one sudden, unexpected bite. Under the dark tangled canopy of Oaks and Ironwoods, wild beasts stalk unwary travelers, hives of bloodsucking insects, stand ready to spring like traps, and some say that the trees themselves are alive and watching. Considering the deadly power and immense influence held by the members of the Oleander Coterie (the only people who seem to walk the woods without any semblance of fear), this may not be too far from the truth. Though the largest, most well-guarded cities of the Myrkvold are built on the ground, and secured within thick walls, the majority of clan villages are built high above ground, affording them safety from the majority of threats.
Capital City: Thornroot Hold – Heavily fortified, and nearly impossible to find without the guidance of a Myrkish native, the Hold is a hub of safety at the center of a dozen treacherous forest paths. Completely enclosed by a fence of thick pointed logs and iron-reinforced gates, no one is getting into Thornroot Hold without the permission of its inhabitants. The Hold is not a very residential city, as most Myrkish live spread out amongst forest villages and encampments. The Hold is a trading center, an embassy, and a place of learning for new members of the Oleander Coterie. The city is known for its quiet – its people speak in hushed, private tones that meld with the whisperings of leaves rustling above. Its rarely broken peace is a cherished commodity for the residents of this dangerous land.
Ruler: Rustle – The Jarl of Thornroot Hold is a quiet and contemplative man, though no less ruthless than his equals in Skevania and the Cauldron. He is devoted to the people of Myrkvold, to the strict exclusion of everyone else, and has been known to break alliances and treaties on a whim if it brings benefit the Myrkish. An agile hunter and tracker, he has only recently came into power after the death of his brother, Cedarhelm – known as the last Named Man in the Horn to truly follow the Old Ways – the traditions passed down by the ancient forefathers that dictate what is and is not honorable.
Clan Name: Clan Wolpaw
Banner Colors: Brown, Black, earthen green. Insignia of a tree entangled between a vine and a serpent.
Governing Body: Though the Clan Wolpaw maintains a firm grip of power in the Hold, the Myrkish see themselves as a very independent people, and most people live in villages spread far throughout the Black Forest. Decisions are ultimately made by the leader of the dominant Clan Wolpaw, but keeping in tradition with Cedarhelm’s legacy, Rustle makes it a point to keep many advisers on hand. He relies on a counsel of village elder who on rare occasions will travel to Thornroot Hold to consult with the Jarl, as well as archdruids from the Oleander Coterie, who tend to reside permanently in the hold after they reach old age.
Winterlocke, a Coterie druid, is said to be Rustle’s right hand woman and closest adviser. Rustle, who never expected to take Cedarhelm’s place, never bothered to marry, and since his rise to power, has received many offers from a number of clan Elders who wish to pair him with their daughters. However, Rustle’s closeness with Winterlocke has many Elders concerned that the bond between the two will see the secretive Coterie gaining more formal power in the Myrkvold than it already wields.
Patrons: The Oleander Coterie, The Eternal Keg, The Rune Totem, The Lady of Storms
Skevania: Friendly – Enjoy a lucrative trade alliance
Valcanisp: Neutral – Respectful
Kettelrick: Tense – Oleander Coterie is wary of the Bloodfire Pact, but unsure whether to act on it. Hells-Eye Hrogaar killed Cedarhelm, and only prudence is stopping Rustle from avenging his brother’s death.
Suttermark: Tense – No violence, but Suttermark resents Myrkvold for allying with Skevania.