Forsilvra :: Winds of Change
Old 03-28-2013, 06:15 PM
  #1
Jager Brabant
The Jagermeister
 
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Posts: 350
Adamsama
Character
Twenty-Four
Arbrecht
Betrothed
Coralie

Default [04.5] Ernsaw

ERNSAW


Close up of Ernsaw Region


THE BASICS
City: Ernsaw
Ruler: House Brabant
Current Lord: Jager Brabant
Date Founded:
Motto: “Survive and Strive”
Vassal Houses:
  • Clan Blackglenn
  • Clan Stonebrooks
  • Clan Tintalle
  • Clan Vali

ABOUT ERNSAW


House Alinar

House Alinar was initially a vassal house of the Blanchards. A political struggle emerged the Alinars and Blanchards as Alinars attempted to usurp their overlords. Blanchards manage to win the battle of political intrigue and exiled the Alinars from Mid-Arbrecht . In 422 BF, House Alinar pushed their way into the north. For the next several decades, the Alinar and their supports fought to gain control over the clans, and managed to succeed in conquering a plot of land among the coast. In 350 BF, the construction of the North Gate was finished. In the same year, the Alinars officially established the city of Ernsaw in the shadows of their new castle. At the time, the city was nothing more than a glorified trade post. The Alinars claimed themselves as the Kings of Northern Arbrecht and attempted to exert their rule over the clans in the area. Their power at this time was enough to force the clans to unite underneath the Alinar banner and the Alinars raised supporters as vassals.

Not even half of a century had passed before the Alinar’s former political enemies, the Blanchards, noticed the newfound power of the Alinars. Threatened by the Alinar presence and offended by their styling as kings, the Blanchards move swiftly in against the Alinar. In this conflict, the founder of the Brabant Household, Alexander Brabant, lead Blanchard troops against the Alinar in a triumphant victory, completely devastating the military of the Alinars. As a result, a knightly order was established, and the war began the history of the Brabants. In 310 BF, House Alinar bent a knee to the Blanchards, swearing their fealty in return for the right to retain the North Gate and the Holding.

The defeat of House Alinar by Blanchard land led to the dissolution of strong Alinar control over the holding. The ruling family constantly adapted, learning to be cunning more than simply strong fisted against the clans. No generation have lived without a rebellion from vassal clan. Time after time, raiding clans from the North, rebelling clans within the holding, saw Alinar’s proper vassal houses fall one-by-one to that of the clans. Eventually, in every conflict, Alinar discovered a way to remain the rulers of the region, but found they to hold the title often in name only, rarely de facto. Ernsaw suffered through a number of sacks, either by raiders from the North or by a rebelling clan. Each time, Alinar and their allies managed to take Ernsaw back but with only scars to show.

As a result of this constant state of struggle, Ernsaw never progressed as many of the other holdings in Arbrecht. The population is meager, the culture and technology outdated outside the city. Weakened by the plague that struck Ernsaw first, Alinar’s powerbase became very vulnerable. They took steps to repair and recover but it was not enough. Finally in August 241, House Alinar was overthrown by a combination of Brabant and Storm forces. Tancen, the last lord of the Alinars, perished in battle by the hands of Ryker Brabant. The sole remaining survivor of the Alinar is a girl named Aessa, taken in as a ward of the Brabants.

Ernsaw

Ernsaw is a small city, never able to expand and become more populous due to its history of sacking. Founded in 350BF outside the newly established North Gate, Ernsaw severed primarily as a trade station. Over the first fifty years of its existence, Ernsaw expanded rapidly. Stonewalls were constructed, a harbor carved out, among other advancements. The city was largest and most profitable at this point of time. Vassal lords of the Alinars came to Ernsaw as a retreat from the countryside, populated by their vassal clans. However, when the Blanchards conquered Northern Arbrecht, this all changed.

Time after time, rebel clans and raiders sack the city time after time. Each time, the city would rebuild, but fewer citizens would remain. Eventually Alinars remained as the only true noble house in the land, having watched many of the vassals eradicated by their vassal clans and the raiders from the North. Ernsaw as a resurgence in importance when the Alinars and several allied clans reasserted Alinar rule over the land. The creation of the Thing occurred, and thus became an honored tradition among the clans of Ernsaw. Every other year, all the clans ascend upon the city in order to discuss trade agreements and diplomatic solutions to conflicts. The Thing opened up the gates of the city once again for trade as clans opened their interest in dealing with the city.

Nevertheless, time after time, the city still saw raids and attacks.

The plague struck the city hard as well as the outlying areas. In the wake, the Alinars rushed to rebuild and prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. With the help of several loyal clans, the Alinars managed to begin a public works project, allowing for proper sewage and the creation of bathhouses within the city. The Alinars completed the project shortly before the Brabant-Storm attack upon the city. The city walls and other defensives are currently in dire condition, as seen by the ease of the Brabant-Storm alliance taking of the city. Even after the change of owners, the city has reopened to trade amongst outside merchants and the clans of the holding.

The North Gate

The North Gate used to be a proud structure, symbol of the Alinar might. There was a day trading ships would sail into the harbor and see the stone behemoth watch over from the North. After years of countless assaults, the castle has turned into ruins for the most part. The northern battlements and outer walls are more rumble than structure. While it is a large stone complex, only a small portion of the castle is habitable. The keep has been the only structure in the complex maintained, though hasn't been renovated in decades. Several wood structures have been built within the pitiful inner walls. While they might hold out attacks from clans, any modern army would find the inner walls easily taken. Inside, old tapestries and other decorations gather dust and mold. The North Gate represents what Ernsaw has become: outdated and meager.

Vassal Houses


The vassasls of Ernsaw constists entirely of the clans in the region. The power and stock of each raise and fall, there is never a group that takes front stage for that long. However, several clans have emerged in recent times as major players in the region. The political arrangements between houses change often. All of this relates to the belief that the most powerful should rule, while the weak obey in order to survive. Constant conflicts emerge as clans attempt to usurp their overlords and turn them into their own vassals. In general, it is just a complex network of overlords and vassals.

The Blackglenns of the Netherham is by fast far the strongest clan of the South. Their strength isn’t just devised in their military prowess as much as their production of honey and mead. They always have had strong presence in Ernsaw. However, their lack of care towards the ruling lords at the North Gate is often display, shown by several rebellions over the years.

Their rivals, the Stonebrooks of Evermoor , constantly contest the influence of the Blackglenns. Conflicts arise often as they jostle for the position over the lesser clans in the southern area of the region. Their strengths are found in their military, adapting many aspects of modern warfare. They were once notorious for their clashes with House Alinar, but recently married into the Alinar household and ever since they have been one of the most loyal to the banner lords.

The Tintalles of Icedale are the powerhouse clan of the North. Their relationship in the past with the Alinar showed their power. Time after time, have been bribed by the Alinars to remain peaceful towards their overlords. Their strength is in their fearless aggression in battle. They are ruthless to their vassals, often crushing any hopes of escaping their political hegemony in the Northern limits of the region. They profit greatly from the fur trade, but also is known to raid the small villages and towns of the clans in the Northernlands. They are skilled hunters and as well as daring warriors. They are proud in the ways of Old Arbrecht.

On the North Eastern shores, the Vali of Blackhaven, are the current rulers of the settlement farthest north. Several times this clan has appeared in Ernsaw, raiding and invading. Time after time again they are casted out by another clan to seize control of this small harbor. Many in the region believe the Valis are the harbingers of the plague that shook the entirety of Forsilvra. They have close ties with several of the war bands of the Northrenlands and are believed to be the source of some piracy in the region.

Major Settlements

Netherham is a town nestled in the Iron Hills, the stronghold of the Blackglenn Clan. The village is styled like a typical Arbrecht village, a sign of Blackglenn’s willingness to change. Still, overlooking the hall, is Ernsaw’s grandest meadhall. The meadhall at Netherham is several stories high, carved into the hillside, it is a stone structure that extends underground. In the front of the meadhall, statues of most famous ancestors of the Blackglenn is carved.

The Blackglenn used to be one of the staunchest opponents of the House Alinar. Upon finding wealth in bring their famed mead to market as well as the trade of iron to the Stormlands, Blackglenn’s resistance to the new ways vanished quickly. The valleys nearby the town are filled with wild bee colonies. The majority of the regular mead and acerglyn (mead made with honey and syrup) production is produced within the town. The Blackglenns did away with elections for a successor; instead, they allow for the chieftains the right to choose their successor.

Evermoor is village located upon the edge of the expansive Moors of Ernsaw. They are a combination of hunters and farmers, depending on the season. In the late autumn and early spring, they depend on the migrating aurochs and mule deer for subsistence. Evermoor is located firmly around its clan’s meadhall. The meadhall is a beautifully carved wooden structure, with lumber brought in from the Evenflow Forest. The meadhall was their attempt to keep up with their neighboring rivals, the Blackglenns. The namesake stream flows through the town, during the spring thaws is used travel downstream to the Old Divide, then to Ernsaw for trading purposes.

The Stonebrooks keep their strength through their warrior. They appear to be in constant struggle, ever honing their skills. The other clans joke how they breed like rabbits in order to keep their size sustainable due to the constant stream of causalities in their fights. They are the check to the Blackglenns, preventing the Blackglenns from assert complete control over the Southern Clans. They have adapted much military tactics typical with the rest of Arbrecht. They have done so more than any other clan. Stonebrooks Clann is one of the few clans to host a formal cavalry unit.

Icedale is a village, serving as a trade outpost, located on the banks of the Iceflow. The town isn’t as large as most the rest of the holds in the Ernsaw area, but houses perhaps the most powerful clan, the Tintalles. The architecture featured a preference towards fewer longhouses than many smaller structures. The longhouses are built into the ground, using the earth as isolation against the extremely brutal winter months. The economy is dependent on hunting the wooly rhinos, the mule deer and aurochs, the fur trade, and raiding.

The Tintalles have been one of the most antagonistic forces towards the House Alinar. Eventually, the Alinars learnt to bribe the Tintalles with political favors and bribes. However, occasionally throughout the history of the Alinar rule, Tintalles move on towards Ernsaw, raiding and pillaging the land. For the most part, Tintalle’s barbaric tendency towards raiding is turned towards the clans outside of Forsilvra in the Northlands. They are one of the clans that act as a deterrent towards the clans of the North. They are perhaps one of the most hardy set of warriors due to their ability to handle the extreme colds of the north and the every meager food supply.

Blackhaven is a small harbor on the edge of Ernsaw’s control. The small port is only accessible during the summer months and is used for light trading and fishing. Blackhaven was once known as Whitehaven, but the name changed due to the number of times the port changed rulers. The town’s economy is focused upon fishing. The current rulers are the Vali Clan, a group that arrived from the North several decades ago and refused to forgo ownership of the harbor. They used their recent holding as an opportunity to trade and deal with the clans of Ernsaw, and only swear their fealty in order to meet such ends. At the moment, Ernsaw do not have de facto control over the port. The Vali don’t provide any assistance to their ‘overlords’.

It is widely rumored that the plague started in Blackhaven and was brought by the Vali. Though there isn’t much evidence to support, the Vali and Blackhaven was hit heavy by the plague, weakening their powerbase. As of yet, their weakening power has not had dire consequences as one would expect.

Geography

’The Moors’ or the Moors of Ernsaw, is moorlands that is predominant in most of the area around Ernsaw. It is not very well suited for farming. The animals of the North tend to migrate up and down the moors during the year due to the seasons.

The Old Divide is a small river that runs from the Iron Hills through Ernsaw into the sea. It is said by many of Ernsaw’s inhabitants the river plays the dividing line between the new blood of Arbhrecht and the old.

The Iron Hills is a small chain of mountains and hills that overlooks the Iceflow and the Evenflow forests. Iron is found in these hills as well as forest valleys.

The Stone Tusk is a series of small dormant volcanoes that jut into the sea. The area is filled with old myths and lore. The forest surrounding the chain is dense and there are many stories about how the forest is haunted.

Widow’s Bay is a shallow bay that spans across most of the northeastern coastline of the region. During certain months, majority of the bay is frozen over. It is known for jagged rocks that appear in the middle of nowhere that sink fishing boats as well as the storms that wash sailors away.

CULTURE
Social Customs:

Survival of the fittest is the term coined by its people. Tribal customs rule everyday life. Clans elect the strongest from their corp. It is continuously an everlasting competition among the clans that populate, jostling for position of superiority over each other. Groups raise and fall within generations as the idea of ‘de jure’ rule isn’t widely accepted. Yet due to this constant struggle, they are hardy people who can endure much. The rivalries create stronger family ties except for the potential candidates for chieftains. Brother might murder brother over the right to rule. The clan does not see foul in crimes such as fratricides in political circumstances.

In the city walls Ernsaw, differences are generally set aside. Every two years, a meeting called the North Thing, all the clans meet together in an oddly diplomatic method in an attempt to settle issues and discuss legal punishments those for who commit the few taboos in the society. During the month, long gathering, any hostile acts are not acceptable. Brawls are occasionally are forgiven, the aggressor forced to pay a tribute to the injured party, but murder is forbidden. It is not unheard of that temperamental chieftains murdered by their own kin for violating this sacred tradition. Even armed conflicts between rival clans are halted in order to attend the Thing in hopes for an end to the bloodshed.

The mead hall is the center of the political life in the clans. This is where the chieftains and clan leaders gather in order to discuss important issues. This is also used for many of the social occasions in the clans (feasts, weddings, funerals, etc) as well as an informal court of law. The more powerful the clan, the larger and more impressive the mead hall tends to be. There is a natural rivalry in the construction of mead halls, as chieftains try to outdo their neighbors as well as their predecessors. Mead is the preferred drink of any clansmen of Ernsaw, and the producers also engage in a rivalry over whose mead is the best.

Religion:

The clans which inhabit the Northern portions of the hold carry with them an ancient religion, which has come to be named the Blood Faith. Passed down over thousands of years, this religion is strongly connected to the belief that everything possess a spirit. Everything is an animate object. The spirits might be very different from another. Each spirit contains specific characteristics and representations. Elemental spirits are basic. Animal spirits are complicated. There are several discrepancies from tribe to tribe in what represents what.

The most important of the spirits of the essence of blood. The clans believe blood is a separate entity from a human. It is a gift given to them by the Creator, a divine entity which many believe to live upon the peaks of the Stone Tusk. The blood is what allow human to be so powerful and to be truly alive. This traditionally enforced the clans' tendency towards violence. Many believe if they bathe in their enemies blood, they are stronger and more healthier. In the far most northern clans, it is believe they still practice rituals in which they drink human blood. However, many within the Holding has abandoned such practices as it has been long banned by the Alinars.

Shamans exists in the clans which has still a zealous attachment to the Blood Faith as coined by outsiders. The Southern clans has adopted many features of the Arbechtian religion, curtailing major parts of the Blood Faith. Nevertheless, they do have a less zealous belief in the spirits. Typically this belief comes out during the festival at the Summer Solace.

Economics:

The city of Ernsaw is the only tangible place of trade between the northern clans and the rest of Forsilvra. Located upon the easternmost shores, the city is the northernmost warm water port. Ernsaw is known for producing two exports in the finest quality and the largest quantity, fur and honey. Every clan has its hand in the fur trade, as the clansmen are excellent hunters and the lands support much hairy wildlife. The more southern of the clans are masters of the honeycomb and creators of mead. On the coast, other clans seek to survive off fishing. Other exports of Ernsaw includes iron, leather, and walrus ivory. Compare to the larger cities of Arbrecht, Ernsaw is small economy with little growth. Many believe the cause is due to the constant stoppages in productions that come from the tribal wars.


Military & Weaponry:

The war bands are known for their fearlessness and that’s about it. Outdated are their tactics and weapons, the clans lack considerable military might compare to the more formal forces of the typical noble house. The true numbers of their size is debatable as even upon the call to arms, some clans do not answer due to their current perception of their ruling lords. Many clans appear to prefer an axe over a sword. Many clans still use leather armor and primitive equipment. Several of the more powerful clans have evolved into the use of more modern equipment such as chain mail and steel blades. Tactics differ from clan to clan. Some are known to be experts in guerrilla warfare, using the harsh lay of the land as their most dangerous weapons. There is no sense of unity, they are relatively a divided land in that aspect.

Since the demise of the House Alinar by the hands of the Brabants and Storms, Ernsaw’s official military forces consists primarily of the men from the Brabant holdings around Roseherst Keep to the South. The Brabants hosts an abnormally large group of knights for a house its size, considered elite. They, however, have little to none support of the populace. As a result, the military might of Ernsaw is weak in comparison to the rest of Arbrecht.

Last edited by Adamsama; 09-16-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:16 PM
  #2
Jager Brabant
The Jagermeister
 
Jager Brabant's Avatar
 
Posts: 350
Adamsama
Character
Twenty-Four
Arbrecht
Betrothed
Coralie

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HOUSE GENEALOGY
  • Ivan 'The Mountain' Brabant -- Spouse
    • Bartholomeus ‘The Black Bear’ Brabant -- Spouse
      • Jager Brabant (24)
      • Dirk Brabant (23)
      • Ryker Brabant (21)
      • Rianne Brabant (18)
      • Aleydis Brabant (17)
        -- Cecilie Tanguy Brabant (37)
      • Madelief Brabant (13)
      • Boye Brabant (12)
    • Rikhart Brabant -- Elspeth Cambridge Brabant
    • Sophie Brabant Blanchard
    • Hubrecht Brabant -- Spouse
      • Erik Brabant (20) (twin)
      • Lisanne Brabant (20)(twin)
    • Ser Falco Brabant
  • Ser Zaan ‘The Blind’ Brabant -- Spouse
  • Aessa Alinar (Ward)

Last edited by Adamsama; 01-28-2014 at 12:29 AM.
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