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Snippet #2821542

located in Great Ellarian Forest, a part of The Multiverse, one of the many universes on RPG.

Great Ellarian Forest

The Immense Great Forest of Ellaria, home to a diverse population of flora and tree outcroppings. Many civilizations find home here in the forest which takes up much of the continent.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: Hermann der Cherusker
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A long time ago, or so it was told, there lived a very brave man who had fought selflessly for his king. His deeds were immortalized in skaldic poems and stories. One song recounts how he lost an eye at the Battle of Bravellir, before single-handedly killing nine of King Harald Wartooth's devoted kinsmen. His name was Are the One-Eyed, and he hailed from the House of Sigurd Hring in Iskjerne Bay, carrying a flagpole bearing the white banner with a black raven logo as he rode his white maned three socked grey horse deep into the forest, long long ago or so it is said. Indeed the Iskjerne Vikings had ventured far and wide, expanding beyond the Weargtooth Mountains and even adventuring to other moons and planets.

Some of the Iskjerne Vikings had broken off from the original tribes and intermingled with races from other cultures, as such that they took on entirely different neo-cultures of their own, practicing different religions and even speaking different languages over time. One group of about 12 individuals stemming from Are the One-Eyed's second expedition had returned at some point and migrated south, going through the Great Ellarian Forest and settling on the open Plainsland, where they setup a small farming village along the edge of the treeline just between the forest and the plains, since the land there was fertile with rich soil, and the area itself was rather uneventful, allowing the Iskjerne Vikings there to be productive and enjoy a sense of peace with good harvests on the southside of the Weargtooth Mountains, far from the Viking Civil Wars in their northern homeland. Are the One-Eyed's third son Sigred the Strong became the Jarl of the Bituin Plains, and the Bituin Vikings who lived there were said to be friendly and peaceful farmers known for their carpentry and woodworking skills whose main export was potatoes and corn.

Sigred the Strong had saved his money wisely over the course of many summer raids, having served in the Svinfylking war unit for nine years under different kings. He established the first Viking settlement on the Bituin Plains along with 11 other individuals by creating a small farming village and building 6 small wooden cabins for all of their families to lodge in. It was a tiny and cozy little village with domesticated horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs, pheasants, dogs, cats and even prarie rabbits. The Vikings of the Bituin Plains had apple trees, grapevines, cornfields and open meadows of strawberries and elderberries, potatoes, pumpkin patches and beehives. The entire village was encompassed by a very basic and very simple makeshift wooden fence that stood waistline around the whole perimeter, offering little in the way of protection, but it was enough to keep the horses and cows from escaping.

The Vikings were a large and tough, masculine people who liked to have the biggest things in life, from large drinking horns to large women, long ships and long beards, heavy swords and bulging muscles. This was reflected in their livestock as well, as Sigred the Strong's village had only the fattest, strongest and largest breeds of animals available to the Iskjerne Vikings at that time. But even the Vikings were not prepared for the giants that were about to rain hell itself down upon them. For lurking nearby in the deep dark forest was a band of nightmarish warriors painted like human skeletons, clad in all black from head to toe. Some of them wore deer antlers on their heads, while others wore different animal pelts and mantles made from black wolves or black bear. All of them were half-naked dawning simple skirts and trousers, apart from one Equestrian on horseback who instead wore Roman armor and a full-visored helmet with a metal facemask bearing an eerily nonchalant or emotionless expression which concealed their identity. Over the top of his or her Roman metal armor and bright crimson robe they also wore a mantle and pelt made from a giant black mountain wolf, whose head and eye holes draped down over the top of his or her helmet forming a hood, similar to the mantles worn by the Ulfhednar of long ago before the Viking Age.

The equite in the metal facemask was accompanied by 11 other riders on horseback, and all of their horses were pitch black from nose to tail, painted with ashes to look like equestrian skeletons similar to the half-naked warriors on foot, as if they were some kind of primitive ghost army. Among those who lurked in the forest were the Harii, or an offshoot of the Harii tribe, similar to the ghost warriors who had once served Sigurd Hring, only this branch was different and spoke a different language, stemming from an unrelated older Harii tribe of nightmares who also painted their bodies and weapons black, looking very similar to the Iskjerne Harii sub-tribe but speaking a different language, one that was older and more archaic. These were nomads, not settlers. But the army lurking in the forest was not a single tribe, rather a coalition of several neighboring Germanic tribes who shared a similar culture and language. Among them were not just the archaic Harii, but also the Chatti, Marsi, Suebi, Cherusci, Bructeri and other tribes who had long predated the Vikings, and who had banded together as a single horde of nomadic raiders and Germanic forest tribes under a single war chieftain who freed them from the tyranny of Roman rule.

The Germanic tribes were known to be fierce and savage. The Iskjerne Vikings didn't even know what hit them. They waited for the first fog after the rainstorm and then struck like lightning as a dozen black horsemen descended from the treeline, followed by fifty or more Germanic warriors in animal skins as they rushed into the Viking farm village, quickly and silently without even announcing their presence. As they moved through the fog, they quickly spread confusion and chaos by attacking randomly without organized formations, setting fire to the Nordic people's tiny wooden houses whose straw rooftops ignited with ease. They attacked mercilessly, armed with spears and javelins rather than with the bows and axes that the Vikings were most accustomed to and known for. The style of the Germanic tribes was also quite unique, involving a lot of twirling movements and spinning or acrobatics unlike what the Vikings were used to. Because they lacked shields or heavy armor, the nomadic raiders were more flexible and capable of adjusting more quickly. They were also terrifying to look at and used their hellish ghostly appearances to instill fear and shock to their totally surprised and unbeknownst audience. But that was only the beginning of what was to come.

For reasons unknown, the Germanic tribes began to slaughter and destroy everything. Apart from tearing down the wooden fences and setting the houses ablaze, they also proceeded to kill the livestock and burn the cornfields as well. This was something of a taboo nature that even the Iskjerne Vikings would never do, as corn and livestock was considered expensive and highly valuable. But the Germanic raiders killed everything and everyone without bias or prejudice. Men, women, children, even dogs and pets were not spared from the painful and gruesome death. Everything was laid to waste within a matter of minutes, and soon there were about thirty dead bodies laying in the charred smokey fields where the Viking's farming village had once stood. Burning flesh, dead flowers and ashes filled the air as the raiders gathered water from the wishing well and stole a few horses, collecting the metal pots and pans or whatever else they deemed valuable enough to take with them. But they left many things behind that other farming communities might find valuable, such as the wheel carts and wagons, and the bags of grain. These things had no use to the hunter-gathering nomadic tribes who lived in the Great Ellarian Forest, whose main concern was accumulating war horses and metal for their spears.

After a while, the person in the Roman armor would notice a wounded Viking tradesmith crawling away on his stomach, peirced in the back by a javelin that had not quite managed to finish him off. It was the local jarl, Sigred the Strong, who had lived up to his name. The enigmatic figure in the metal facemask dismounted their black horse and approached Sigred, looking down at him silently from behind the emotionless human-faced Roman visor. Sigred the Strong would reach his hand out and grasp the Roman figure's sandal, gazing up at the character who stood before him while wincing in pain from the javelin that was still imbedded in his back. Sigred was confused, having no idea what his village had done to merit such a brutal and vicious attack.

"Who are you? What do you want? Please, spare my wife and children, I'll do anything!" the Viking nobleman pleaded in agony, hoping that the person in the metal facemask would have some sympathy, at least for his family.

But the mysterious warlord said nothing, simply unsheathing the Roman spatha sword from their belt and thrusting it into Sigred's throat, putting him out of his misery before casually walking away, as if they had done this a million times before. There seemed to be no empathy, no rhyme or reason for the Germanic leader's onslaught. The massacre had been unprovoked, and for what? A few horses and some cooking pans? It was as if the tribes were just sending a message, or making a bold statement. But they left no clues or answers behind as to why they had raided the village. Instead, after the barbarians made sure that everything was completely and utterly destroyed, they got back on their horses and ascended once again back into the deep dark forest from whence they came, leaving only the ravens, buzzards and mountain wolves behind to pick at the corpses and clean up the mess they had left behind.