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Created By: Nanna
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Lore Type: Group and Culture
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The Ulfhednar

Sculpted from the ice and sea in the Jolvatin Strands, the Ulfhednar has grown through the centuries to become a known force within the Alreider Pirates, as their Badger insignia closely follow the Boar. They call Idavold their home, a settlement nestled between the mountains in a small fjord called Freke on the north side of the Strands. The only way to reach the place is by sea. 

A commonly shared belief amongst the Ulfhednar is that everything has it’s place and should be respected, even animals and other races. Since a majority of them are barren, they do not believe that Dragons should be hunted for their magic or that the Fae is more or less worth than humans. Despite this, they do take sides when it’s needed, but only for as long as it serves their community. When the prize is too low, they lower their swords and take their ships elsewhere.

The Settlement of Idavold
Houses are traditionally build from stone and moss, with grass over the timber roof. All of them consists of two rooms - one living space and one that works as a big hallway and storage. This is to keep the cold from going into the main living room and to have a place to store food for a long period of time, as well as outerwear and weapons. The open fire is situated in the middle of the room, giving light and warmth as well as a cooking area. Whole families usually share a house, as new homes takes time to build. The big communal hall is located in the center of the settlement, while a few small houses are scattered along the outside of the area, providing shelter to the livestock and horses during storms, as they all walk freely at any time. Only the Hogne badgers are kept indoors.

Family life
Being born as a Ulfhednar means a tough childhood, but a loving one too. They are closely knit and as parents go out to sea, it is normal to leave the children with the older family members or the women that have not taken to the sword. Boys usually follow their fathers out at the age of 15, the girls somewhat later, around 20. There is little difference between the sexes, as women have the same rights as the men. Being mostly known as warriors and pirates, it is important to take notice of their work with leather and wood too. They believe that everyone has a place and a purpose, even the sick can be useful is their own way. Therefore they are open to other races and has been known to mix their blood, even though it does not happen often. Everyone born in Idavold, inherits the right to bear the name.

As Warriors
The Ulfhednar makes their presence known in battle by banging on their shields with their swords and growling. Their fighting style is somewhat brutal, as there is honor in dying in battle. Weapons usually consists of broadswords, bow and arrow, and knives for close combat. Their fighting is not only restricted to the sea, as they show good horsemanship and riding abilities on their Sahrimner horses, especially in rugged terrain. 

As Pirates
The necessity for goods and food turned the Ulfhednar from respectable merchants to pirates, as the divide between human and fae grew. They have always been good barters and saw an opportunity with the pirates of the Alreider Sea, which they are a part of today. Due to the weather, they are mostly active on sea during Spretta, Sumra and Falla, with downtime during Ventra.

The Ships
The Ulfhednar ships are not the biggest one in the fleet, but are smaller, shorter and faster, perfect for navigating the treacherous sea of the Jolvatin Strands. What they lack in size, they make up in numbers. There are usually between two and three decks so wares and horses can be sheltered from the rough weather. The ships are usually made from dark wood, their sails black with a white badger in the middle. Due to the ice in the Strands, their ships have been reinforced at the bow, making it possible to sail through the ice whenever the fjord freezes over completely during ventra.

The Utgard Ceremony
In the middle of Sumra each year, the Utgard Ceremony is held to honor all those who have died during the year, animals and humans alike. Since every part of an animal is used, including the Hogne Badger and the Sahrimner horses, the hearts of the dead animals are kept and burned on a bonfire alongside the bodies of the Ulfhednar that has passed. To keep the corpses from decomposing during the year, the dead are embalmed and kept in cold crypts carved into the mountain. As the fire burns, people eat and drink gere until sunrise, celebrating the lives of those lost.

Gere is a traditional drink made from gisl roots found in the soil around Freke. Specially bred white badgers (called hogne) are trained to dig these roots out, so it can be fermented for a year with herbs, milk and bread to become the strong alcoholic drink. During this time it’s stored in big clay pots in a cave not far from Idavold. This has been done since the first people settled in the area, so Gere has a big place in the Ulfhednar society, as it is used both on festive occasions and as medicine.

The Sahrimner Horse
Looking like a cross between a baroque friesian and an icelandic horse, the Sahrimner horses are both hardy and elegant, ranging from 15hh to 16.1hh. They are easily distinguishable from other breeds by their mane and tail which is cut short (mane looks like that of a Fjord horse), while the forelocks are kept long, as well as the modest feathering on their feet. They come in all coat colors, but solid colors with no marks are more sought after. Due to their breeding, they have kept the tolt and the kneehigh trot from their ancestors. 

Hogne Badgers
Sharing the size and build of the European Badger, the Hogne Badgers of Freke are a beloved part of the Idavold settlement and the Ulfhednar families. These local omnivores always have white fur with no markings and are seen as more than pets than anything else. Some are used to find gisl roots, but most are kept indoors to keep mouse and rats away, as well as eating leftovers. At the end of Falla they go into hibernation in special boxes kept under the beds and sleep until the start of Spretta, when the birthing season begins. 

Hierarchy & Positions

There are no clear hierarchy within the Ulfhednar, as every grown man and woman has an equal right to have their voice heard.

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8/8/19 This is an extremely well-developed lore, and it definitely had my muse flowing! I may just have to join this awesome group (who says I have too many characters!?). I like the idea of having a slightly less bloodthirsty faction of the Alreider Pirates. Great job!
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