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The Clan Domain of Romalandby Jacob Skytte
Romaland is situated in the northwestern part of the southern tip of Noslo Island in the Kingdom of Ostland. It has access to Zea Bay. It consists of two hexes of light forest and three clear hexes. The land is mostly sheltered from the elements and is used for farming, yielding fair crops. Some fishing also takes place here. The domain is supplied with wood from the neighbouring domain of Steingard. Foreigners are not allowed outside of Shipton, but are tolerated there if they have business in the town. Clan Romaland often raids Ylaruam and Heldann, and are known for sacking temples.
Head of Domain: Jarl Hygelac the Doubter is the ruler of this domain. His great hall lies in the town of Shipton.
Population: 3500 people live in Romaland. 900 of these are thralls, 1800 are non-warrior freemen, and 800 are warriors. 1500 people carry weapons and are ready if threatened or attacked.
The town of Shipton (2000 inhabitants) also houses the jarl's great hall of Shipton. Shipton Town is a large, bustling place, housing more than half of the domain's inhabitants. Shipton trades with both other Ostlanders and with some foreigners. The only temples in the town are those of Odin and Thor, and those only because the law decrees their presence. The jarl personally oversees the destruction of any other would-be religions in the domain.
Beneath the town of Shipton lies a hidden temple of Hel. It is located in an icy cavern, kept unnaturally cold by magic. The temple is carved out of ice and stone, and houses a small number of a secret cult known as the Servants of Hel, assassins who try to further the cause of Hel. The temperature in the temple is always freezing. A number of evil creatures live here and guard the temple, including a Colddrake (known as Vigfus the Short in dwarf form), a Hydrax (10 HD), three Wereseals, and a number of undead. The Hydrax is responsible for building most of the temple.
Hygelac the Doubter
Chaotic 17th level Fighter (Str 16, Int 9, Wis 10, Dex 11, Con 13, Cha 14, AC 0, hp 65)
Personality traits: Reverent/Godless 2/18, Trusting/Suspicious 5/15, Dogmatic/Open-minded 16/4
44 years old, Reddish grey hair, Green eyes
Hygelac was delivered to this world a month early by Caesarean operation, which killed his mother. He grew up often scolded and chastised by his father, Erling Isleifson, and the household godi. His father blamed him for his mother's death, while the godi taught him that it was the will of the Gods.
Over the years Hygelac turned inwards with ponderings of how the world worked, and who was at fault. Then one day, 25 years ago, he met a maiden. They talked there in the fields near Shipton. Hygelac found hidden meanings in what the girl had to say to him, and over a few weeks he found the strength, he had always lacked. He went to his father and told him that he had had enough of being blamed with his mother's death. Erling was enraged, and when Hygelac suggested that Erling might in fact be responsible, he lost his temper and attacked his son. Hygelac drew his own sword and in one clean swipe separated Erling's head from his body. He was proclaimed the new jarl later that day. Hygelac publicly denounced his ancestry, and proclaimed that no Gods ruled his fate, or for that matter the fate of any man. The household godi rose up to protest, but in that very instant was gripped by a sudden seizure, and fell to the floor, dead. This impressive event lent great weight to Hygelac's words.
Later that same year Hygelac married the mysterious girl, Bera the Pale. Since then, Hygelac has ruled Romaland as his own private playground, always following the letter of the king's laws, though hardly the spirit. He misses no opportunity to ridicule priests and religions, and when given the opportunity slays or imprisons those who preach their beliefs.
When fighting, Hygelac wears a chain mail+2 and carries a sword+3; slicing called simply "Død" (Death) and a shield+2; cure wounds called "Livets Kys" (the Kiss of Life).
Hygelac is married to Bera the Pale. Their "son" is Skamkel Frost-Eyes, ruler of Steingard. He has no other children that he knows of.
Bera the Pale
Chaotic 22nd level Cleric of Hel (Str 9, Int 16, Wis 17, Dex 8, Con 11, Cha 9, AC 10, hp 46)
Personality Traits: Cautious/Rash 18/2, Reverent/Godless 17/3, Forgiving/Vengeful 4/16, Honest/Deceitful 3/17
68 years old (appears to be 40), White hair, Pale grey eyes
The "maiden" Hygelac met in the fields was actually an experienced priestess of Hel, over 40 years old, who had consumed potions of longevity as part of her plots. Bera was at that time an ambitious member of the Servants of Hel. These assassins and plotters had cause to believe that Hygelac was in fact a reincarnation of Rorik the Skull, a particularly evil and vile warrior, who had died very close to Hygelac's birth.
Bera volunteered to approach Hygelac and attempt to discern if this was true. During their talk she was unable to confirm this, but she did find that she could manipulate Hygelac subtly with her words and body. Whether Hygelac's personality can be attributed to Bera, Rorik or his upbringing is not easy to say. The fact remains that Hygelac listened closely to Bera and decided to act on her words. She was the one who killed the household godi, giving him a poison that caused a stroke when he became agitated during Hygelac's denouncement of the Gods. Hygelac married her later that same year.
Since then, Bera has remained with Hygelac, advising him on all matters. Bera is now the highest-ranking Servant of Hel in Ostland. She leads the secret temple of Hel lying beneath Shipton. Under no circumstances will Bera engage others in combat. She is a plotter; always working behind the scenes, and always lets others do her dirty work. If forced into battle she will flee, using her spells to escape, then strike back later utilising ambushes and poison. Bera knows Rune Magic and has the Isar (Ice) rune inscribed on a medallion she carries. When activated this rune freezes solid a 10' x 10' area of surface water.
Bera knew that she had to bear Hygelac an heir, but she became barren as part of her initiation into the priesthood of Hel. With the help of other Servants of Hel she created her "son" Skamkel, a Spawn of Hel, carried him in her womb, and gave birth to him. She has secretly used these same rituals to create three daughters: Grima (22), Hildigunn (20) and Tovi (19). The three sisters live in the secret temple of Hel, where they have been raised to become faithful Servants of Hel. They all have the abilities/vulnerabilities of the Spawn of Hel.
Grima (Chaotic C5 of Hel; Cautious/Rash 14/6, Modest/Proud 3/17, Reverent/Godless 16/4) adores her mother, and is eternally grateful for her very existence. She is a quick learner, and is devoted to Hel's cause.
Hildigunn (Neutral T4; Cautious/Rash 15/5, Generous/Greedy 6/14, Loyal/Unreliable 5/15) is less enthusiastic about promoting the goddess of death. She is often sent to spy on others in Shipton, and she is seriously considering leaving the country on one of these missions.
Tovi (Chaotic C3 of Hel; Cautious/Rash 4/16, Peaceful/Violent 3/17, Forgiving/Vengeful 3/17) is a sadistic psychopath. She thrives on pain and suffering, and wants to send the world screaming into utter chaos and destruction. The Servants of Hel keep her on a tight leash for now, since she is none too subtle.