Barbarian Lore

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Chronicle Barbarian

Mighty warriors renowned for their strength and inhuman stamina, barbarians often wander far from their homelands, hoping to heap glory on their names through brave deeds and feats of arms. Some are grim and silent, some jovial and friendly, others crude, gruff and arrogant. All barbarians see themselves as superior to the other men of the world, the rightful owners of anything they can take by force, and bound to a destiny written down before time began. Coupled with their physical toughness, their belief in predestination leaves them unafraid of death, and thus all the more fearsome in battle.

Narrative

Stop crying like a woman, I've said I'll not kill you. Not this day, at least. Cease also your "sorry-ing", for I am not offended. You fear the Northman, this needs no apology. Stop hiding - stand tall, with your face in the sun, as a man should stand. My kinsmen and I have a bloody business farther south, and we save our strength and our blades for our enemies. Once we have enough food for the journey, we'll trouble you no more. You Southlanders, with your walls and your letters, you shall always amaze me. Your hands take to craft, but your arms and hearts have withered. Your lives are so easy and your bellies so full you have forgotten the first gift the All-Father gave you: strength, and will like iron. I am a Northman, born in the lands of savage cold. We cannot forget, or we would surely die. The ice in the North never sleeps, and the Joten and Aurochmengr - as you would say, Giants and the Minotaurs, do not take prisoners. Be glad that we do.

I am a Northman, and I have given you my oath I would not kill you. I will not break my word, for if I did my strength would fail, and the wood in my shield would become as rotten as my liar's heart, and fail me in my next fight, leaving me to be cleaved. I am a Northman, and I do not lie. You call us "barbarians," you fat men of the South, and yet I've never met a one of you who wouldn't lie to save his skin. This is why none of you can stand before our axes and our blades, why we raid you like wolves. Yes, we are like wolves, for our homeland makes us so. In the utter North, when the winters are cold and black, only the wolves are strong and cunning enough to survive to the spring. Long ago we learned their ways, and now we are as wolves among the Sons of Men. Here in your warm, safe lands, you Southlanders have become as cows, fat and simple. You mock us because we have no great cathedrals, because we know nothing of reading or writing and wear no silken finery, and eat with our hands like animals. And I say you have forgotten what it is to live as men did in the early ages of the World. Our strength and our fortitude endures from that time, unabated. For working or warring, the least of my kin is worth ten of you. We take what we need, for any who are weaker than us have no right to it.

I am a karl, a warrior, an axe-swinger and wound-giver. For a dozen years I have faithfully served the great jarl and Storm Lord Gunnar Gutthormsson, following him to raid and battle, bending my sword and my blade to his will. My axe has cleaved the heads of a full three score men, and I stopped counting pukjet, your Grobolds, long ago. My armor was a gift from my uncle, Hjorolf Half-Handed, and I wear three rings given to me by my jarl. All that any Northman owns, was either made by his hands or paid for with iron - taken as a prize in raid or battle. We need no taxes, no coins with king's faces on them. Is your life so honest? Someday, if it is so written for me, I shall take wealth enough to build a Hall, and have karls of my own to serve me, and I shall be a river of gold to my people. Or perhaps I shall end up poor and unmarried, with no songs to remember me. The tale of my life and yours was written before the first dawning, and it will not change. You Southlanders with your Kings and Churches have forgotten this wisdom, but our bards remember it. I long for the day when this upside-down world fades, when the sun flares bright again and men may truly die, so that they can join the All-Father's chosen in Valhalla and fight the Dragon at the World's Ending. That time may come soon, but such things are not for me to see. For now, I'll hone my strength and temper my bravery for a dozen lives if need be.

Ah, here is my brother Egil Flat-Nosed. I thank you for your generous gifts of food and drink, they will sustain us long in our raiding. And now, little man, so you may not warn our prey, it is time for you to die. What's that? I am no oathbreaker, you pasty-faced sow's whelp! I gave my oath I would not kill you, but Egil never did. Take heart! Egil is a strong one - you'll be done quick, and without much pain.

Promotion Narrative

You don't need that blade, for I'll not kill you. Not this day, at least. These Southlanders, with their walls and their letters, they shall always amaze me. Their hands take to craft, but their arms and hearts have withered. Their lives are so easy and bellies so full they have forgotten the first gift the All-Father gave all men: strength, and will like iron. The Invorri remember. I am a Northman, born in the lands of savage cold. We cannot forget, or we would surely die. The ice in the North never sleeps, and the Joten and Aurochmenger -- as you would say, Giants and the Minotaurs, do not take prisoners.

I am a Northman, and I have given you my oath I would not kill you. I will not break my word, for if I did my strength would fail, and the wood in my shield would become as rotten as my liar's heart, and fail me in my next fight, leaving me to be cleaved. I am a Northman, and I do not lie. They call us "barbarians," the wicked Elves and fat men of the South, and yet I've never met a one of them who wouldn't lie to save his skin. This is why they cannot stand before our axes and our blades, why we raid them like wolves. The Southlanders mock us because we have no great cathedrals, because we know nothing of reading or writing and wear no silken finery, and eat with our hands like animals. And I say they have forgotten what it is to live as men did in the early ages of the World. Our strength and our fortitude endures from that time, unabated. For working or warring, the least of my kin is worth ten of them! We take what we need, for any who are weaker than us have no right to it.

I am a karl, a warrior, an axe-swinger and wound-giver. My axe has cleaved the heads of a full three score men, and I stopped counting pukjet, your Grobolds, long ago. My armor was a gift from my uncle, Hjorolf Hanf-Handed, and I wear three rings given to me by my jarl. All that any Northman owns, was either made by his hands or paid for with iron -- taken as a prize in a raid or battle.

Someday, if it is so written for me, I shall take wealth enough to build a Hall, and have karls of my own to serve me, and I shall be a river of gold to my people. Or perhaps I shall end up poor and unmarried, with no songs to remember me. The tale of my life and yours was written before the first dawning, and it will not change. I long for the day when this upside-down world fades, when the sun flares bright again and men may truly die, so that they can join the All-Father's chosen in Valhalla and fight the Dragon at the World's Ending. That time may come soon, but such things are not for me to see. Sou you would live as we do, and learn true strength? The blood of the North may flow in your heart, let us see if we can awaken it there.

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