Ashes of Asgard
Valcanisp - The White Maw
“You cannot hide from the past. The mountain always remembers, my child.”
Region: The White Maw is an vast and unforgiving snow-capped mountain range on the east side of the Horn. So hostile is its climate that it has sealed the Horn off from the rest of the mainland, preventing expansions of clan territories, as well as incursions from the Maltirian Empire. It is a land of high, sharp peaks, and home to ancient beasts both above and below-ground, many of which are now extinct in more settled parts of the Horn. Labyrinthine caverns hold secrets of fallen races and clans, and legends tell of slumbering dragons who still reside in fiery lairs deep below the surface. Its people use rune and stone to carve their stories into the mountain, that their glory, sacrifices, and warnings may never be forgotten. This, combined with a rich tradition of oral storytelling, make Valcani elders uncommonly wise in matters of clan history. However, due to their ability to remain insulated, Valcani rarely care much for the intrigues and affairs of the men outside the Maw.
Traditionally, they are known as slow to rise to action, seeing little to gain in going to war abroad, and trusting the harsh climate of their land to take care of any invaders. However, it is said that no one holds a grudge more fiercely than a Valcani. Some oaths of vengeance transcend generations, well after the offended parties have died off. After all, the mountain never forgets.
Capital City: Krennak’s Forge – Carved into the western side of a high peak, Krennak’s Forge is a near-impossible city to march upon. On clear days, the western side of the city affords its residents with a gorgeous vista of the Horn, and allows sharp-eyed surveyors (usually Shamans of the Eagle Rune) to see the movements of armies across the plains of the Cauldron and the lower parts of the mountain range. Though most Valcani are simple people, the vast majority of men who call Krennak’s Forge home are members of Guild Lodges where they become experts in their craft. Miners, smiths, glass blowers, skaalds, and stonemasons all wield some measure of influence in Krennak’s Forge. The Forge is perhaps the most commercial city in the Horn, as it is actually rather easy to approach from a narrow western mountain passage. However, the guilds all pay respect to the Guild of Rune Shamans, who are instrumental in maintaining the loyalty of the tribes of the Maw.
Ruler: She-Bear – Known also as the Mountain Bitch by the men of the Horn, she is an old, hot-tempered, sharp-tongued woman of unbelievable endurance. The mystical Elder of Tribe Bloodtusk is a pragmatic and fiercely protective matron with a deep respect for the five animal spirits of the Maw (Eagle, Salmon, Ram, Leopard, and Raven), having been a Rune Shaman before being called back to her tribe’s village to rule. She is known to ruffle feathers among the other leaders of the Horn, both for the simple offense of being a female leader, and for her disrespectful brazen condescension towards the Jarls of other nations – whom she sees as little more than shortsighted bickering children. She-bear is unmarried, though many claim to have been her lovers in a past age. She considers all the people of the mountain her children, and insists that when her time of death comes, the Spirits will make her successor known to all in their own time.
Clan Name: Bloodtusk Tribe
Banner Colors: Black, Silver, Red
Insignia: A curved mammoth tusk – sometimes portrayed with a man impaled across it.
Governing Body: There is little need for a central government among the people of Valcanisp. Wars between clans are too short for any political force to intervene, and those who would wage war recklessly in the Maw are quickly consumed. Life in the Maw is a constant struggle for survival, and most clans tend to mind their own business and receive strangers amicably so long as they are willing to pull their weight. She-Bear is the most respected voice among the Shaman Elders of the Maw, but hardly a final authority.
Patrons: The Rune Totem, The Eternal Keg, The Bloodfire Pact, The Oleander Coterie
Myrkvold: Neutral – Respectful towards one another. Wary of Oleander Coterie, but not enough to make an issue of it
Skevania: Neutral – Too distant to care much about each other
Kettelrick: Tense – Bloodfire Pact scares Valcanisp, but Maltirian Empire is scarier, and the North might need Kettelrick to drive away Empire
Suttermark: Tense – Not fond of Empire connections, but waiting for someone else to act on it before diving into a conflict.