Tag Archives: Norn

Norn

Hard, Tough, Implacable, Forthright, Pragmatic, Individualist, Industrious

Be sure to check out the Brittanis Pinterest page for the Norn HERE!!

Abilities

  • Racial Traits: Hero, Human, Norn.
  • Adaptable:+ 10 bonus Starting Points at character creation.
  • Dual Background: Humans can qualify for 2 Backgrounds with an approved History.
  • Cultural Weapons: Norn characters pay 1 less CP for all Axe and Spear skills.
  • Shield Training: Norn characters gain the Buckler skill for free, and pay 1 less CP for the Shield skill.
  • Race Band: White with Red Stripe

Optional Racial Skills

Weapon of Choice (2, 2, 2 CP, 1 Stamina, Battle) When wielding a weapon from the Cultural Weapon list, a Norn character may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “[Tier+1]  Damage,” · 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/battle · 3rd Purchase: [Tier+2] Damage

Four Things to Remember About the Norn

  • Shaped by the Land. Orkenay, Lyonesse, and Malagant have the largest populations of Norn, and they are the toughest, most rugged lands in Brittanis. The Norn thrive here by being even more stubborn and tenacious than the lands that spawned them.
  • A Good Day To Die. In the lands where the Norn dwell, death is an ever-present specter. Even in during the reign of the Empire, the badlands and frozen north were still home to the monsters and dangers that the legions could not eradicate. Thus, every Norn knows that this dawn may be her last, and they strive to make their ends worthy of song and useful to their clans.
  • The Land Does Not Bleed. The Norn are as implacable and unwavering as the land that they call home. The only thing that stops them is death-- not injury, not age, not any circumstance whatsoever.
  • Deeds, Not Words. Liars are the worst kind of blasphemers-- they speak against the truth of the Great Tapestry, and the skein of each man's life. Likewise, a man's value is determined not by what he says or the promises he speaks, but by the deeds of his life and the actions he chooses to do. Do not suffer a liar or a deceiver; cast them out into the Land.

What Norn are NOT

  • Vikings. While the Norn are inspired by Scandinavian and German cultures, as well as the nation of Rohan from Lord of the Rings, they are NOT "Vikings". Viking is a term referring to the actions of going raiding and plundering the coastline by sea. Norn do not wear horned helmets, they have no longships, and they are are not seafaring raiders. They have their own stories.
  • Pagans. Brittanis is its own world with its own gods, history and spirituality. DO NOT bring any real life religion or spirituality into game. It is not appropriate in any way, or for any reason. Symbols (Thor's hammer, pentacle, etc), in-character beliefs, etc incorporating those themes or ideas are not acceptable for use in Brittanis.
In the frigid, sea-swept coasts of the north and the rocky, infertile plateaus of the south, the Norn flourish and rule. To survive the harsh environments they have chosen they must stand shoulder to shoulder, men and women alike holding steadfast. These are a people who rejoice in battle, facing every threat with their heads held high. They face every challenge and every foe with undaunted courage, for their people have faced far worse and come through the other side. The Norn are as hard as the lands that have formed them, testing their blades and courage against all comers.
The Norn are technically a split people, with large population centers in both the north of Brittanis and the south. The initial migrations from the continent of Caledor to the distant east brought the ancestors of the Norn in great ships that landed on the eastern coasts of Brittanis. Some ended up in the north, and others in the south, but all have maintained their enduring tenacity and culture.
There are three castes in Norn society-- from lowest to highest: soldat (soul-dat), or warrior caste; every single Norn without the skills to raise up into one of the other classes is of the soldat, trained to bear arms in the defense of the people in time of need. Most of the jarls and thanes of the Norn folk come from this caste. fyerna (fee-ER-nah), or magic caste; those with the ability to cast spells--arcane and primal casters,specifically-- become fyerna.
These powerful folk are advisers and councilors to the rulers of the Norn, but their magic makes them incapable of actually ruling. mester (MESS-ter), or priestly caste, make up the third caste. They, along with the fyerna, make up the Moot, the advising body of the clans, and their advice is taken with great weight, coming as it does from the Otherworld.
The lands that the Norn inhabit are harsh-- the frozen north and the rocky south are no place for the weak of heart. Such an unforgiving land, however, does not mean that the Norn share those traits. They love riddles and song as well as the epic tales of the skalds and poets of their history and deeds. Everything a Norn wears or carries has some kind of ornamentation-- when your life may be cut short in an instant, you want to go to your death looking your best. The traditions of weregild, blood debt, and duels of honor run deep in the Norn, and these customs have bound the clans together since long before the Tiberian Empire came to the shores of Brittanis.

The People

The three castes that make up Norn culture exist in a balance, each supporting the others and working for the good of the clan. Having even the tiniest skill in the required area is enough to become part of the caste-- those incredible folk with the ability to use the magic of both castes must choose when the time comes.
Many Norn believe that the Three Sisters wove the skein of each person's life into a thread and wove that thread into the Great Tapestry, and each person's life is predestined from start to finish. Thus, when making a decision it is best to go fully committed into the decision, for going back on the skein of your own life and choices is dishonoring to the gods. When the Norn hunt a dangerous beast, they track it until they corner and kill the creature; when a craftsman makes a sword or a suit of armor, it is the absolute best it can be; when pursuing a romance or other personal goal, a Norn will chase his target until the very end.
Norn believe that the deeds a person performs in their lifetime determines their worth-- after all, would you sing song and tell tales about a coward or a drunk or a thief? Thus, deception, trickery, and lies are the worst kind of crime for Norn to commit; being called an oathbreaker or a liar is often enough to be called out in challenge for the holmgang. The mark of a true hero is taking personal responsibility for their failures, but sharing the glory of victory with all who deserve it. The tale of a battle might be told by a skald, recounting the deeds of this hero or that-- but every warrior who was there will share in the pride of that telling equally.
Because their lifestyle is constantly embroiled in conflict (especially now that the Fomorians have invaded), the typical Norn crafter is assumed to be a weaponsmith or an armorer; though these artisans are numerous, Norn craftspeople also make beautiful jewelry, adornments and other wares, and their engineers are unmatched in the design of mighty, impregnable fortresses. If a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.
The look of the Norn strives to show the character's prowess and individuality while maintaining practicality first and always. As a people, the Norn are immensely proud of their craftsmanship, and it shows in all of their items. Even the tiniest tool has some runic or script engraving, to allow the craftsman to show off her skill.

Costume Inspiration

Rohirrim, Skyrim, Saxons, German Celts, Medieval Scandinavians Movies: Lord of the Rings (Two Towers esp.), Beowulf & Grendel (2005), Beowulf (2007), How To Train Your Dragon,
  • Forest Greens, Mustard Yellows, Dusty Blues, and Deep Reds. Cream and Pale versions of above colors for under garments. Ornamentation, embroidery, fabric trim, etc is key.
  • FUR-- Norn costume isn't complete without a bit of fur somewhere. Leather, Metal, Wool. For higher-status characters, thick-pile velvet and heavy brocades are appropriate.
  • A long, thigh-length tunic is the most common garment for Norn, whether working or fighting. This is worn over fitted trousers or hose, usually with high boots to fend off the terrain. Sometimes an undershirt of linen or cotton will be worn. Embroidery on the collar and cuffs is very common, even for Norn of modest means.
    • For more leisurely occasions, formal meetings or festivities, women often wear fitted floor-length dresses with wide sleeves. Intricate rope or chain belts are often worn at the hips, and medallion belts are common for the upper classes. Decorative aprons are frequently worn over the primary gown,and are likewise decorated and embroidered and embellished.
    • Formal wear for men is largely the same as work-wear, but crafted from higher-quality materials and with far more ornamentation. Tunic length often goes past the knees, and soft shoes can be worn instead of boots.
Armor There are two distinct modes of Norn Armor, depending on the wearer's function in battle. Heavy troops wear scalemail over a full hauberk of chain, or metal plates strategically placed and reinforced with leather to maintain flexibility. Lighter troops wear leather armor in scale or reinforced designs.
Weapons & Shields Bearded axes and short-headed spears are the most common weapons among the Norn, and their wielders are deadly efficient in their craft. Upper class warrior and heavy troops often wield wide-bladed broadswords as well, suitable for cleaving through mail and shearing the thick hides of monsters. Blunt weapons are rare, but Norn are famous for their use of vicious spiked maces and morningstars.
Archers are valued among the Norn, but usually the lighter skirmishing troops use those weapons. Shields are thick, round, and fast, suitable for both horseback and ground fighting. Made of aged and treated wood with a metal rim, Norn shields are often decorated with animal motifs or in the colors of their clan.
Norn Names Norn names tend to sound Anglo-Saxon in style, but are typically made up of a combination of a distinct set of sounds. Two syllables is most common, but thanes and highborn families sometimes use more than two. Sample names and resources can be found in Appendix A.
Homeland The Norn people originally hail from the high, rocky plains of far southeastern Brittanis as well as the northern quarter of the continent along the frozen shore. In the last few generations, and especially under the leadership of the hero Morzan the Thunderer, they have expanded their cultural influence greatly, migrating by ship to the southern heartlands and settling the eastern coast and southern peninsula. Norn influence there is strong, and many young adventurers of Norn descent come from that area. Norn of southern heritage are considered by many to be more civilized, though no less fierce when their anger is roused.
Religion The White Court has a foothold in Malagant, but only due to the diligent efforts of the priests of Dagmar, Emrys, and Ghorn whose temperament matches that of the Norn well. Many of the Norn from the southern region pray to one of these three gods due to the strong influence of the Court in the heartland.While it may seem that worship of Sarai would be common in such a wild and untamed region, the Norn have a long-standing tradition of worshipping Rhaine, the goddess of Fate and Death. Her name is a common battle cry amongst Norn warriors who embrace the inevitability of her touch, and the vast majority of Norn, particularly those from Orkenay and Lyonesse pay their respects to her.
Many Norn clans also pay homage to the Primal Spirits, represented by a Druid, Shaman, or other member of the fyerna allied with them. These liaisons between the spirits and the mortal world serve in the same role as tribal priests for the clans who follow those traditions. The Norn see the gods, fae, demons and primal spirits as all the same, and believe that during the creation of the world they all created the Tapestry of Fate together.
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Rendayn

Realm of Fey Magic

  • Capital: Rendayn City
  • Ethnic Majority: Erin’Tar (Sun/High Elves)
  • Significant Minorities: Humans (all)
  • Major Religions: Old Faith ( Eldrea )
  • Ruled By: The Council of Five: House Shalasara the house of the Primus,   House Jhyrennstar house of the Secondus, Saelethil house of the Third, Ondathel House of the Fourth, Ulondarr house of the Fifth
  • Nobles Houses: There are an additional 12 Noble houses known as houses of the founding.
The most educated minds in Brittanis all have one thing in common—they have all studied at the Arcanum in Rendayn City and garnered knowledge and power from their time in its hallowed halls. Above all, intelligence and magical ability are valued in Rendayn, and the mightiest adepts of the age have learned and practiced their art there. Rendayn was founded at roughly the same time as Seridane, when groups of Erin’Tar—called eladrin by the humans— banded together for mutual protection after their exile from the realm of Faerie. They scattered to the four winds, but one group consulted the oracles and sought out the rocky islands that would one day become a homeland for the Sun Elves. The First Council --a group of three allied Houses--oversees both the administration of the Arcanum (the citadel where the art of magic is taught) and the day to day duties of a huge City Council. They also provide as Rendayn’s judges, and each Councilor supervises one of the schools of magic taught at the Arcanum—Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. Fae creatures are commonplace here, as the Erin’Tar have intentionally made the boundary between Faerie and the natural world thinner here than elsewhere—the High Elves keenly feel the loss of their people’s exile and while they may never be welcomed back, they can invite those creatures willing to do so into our realm. Of course, this means that many creatures of ill intent make it through the barrier, and many eladrin warrior-adepts are trained at hunting the darker kinds of fae. Recent History Character Ideas Left the Arcanum: you have just recently left the Arcanum and are now on your own, in pursuit of... what? What did you study at the Arcanum; history, rhetoric, medicine and many other topics can be learned there-- not just magic. Did you graduate? What were the circumstances of your leave-taking? Arcanum Dropout: as above, but your leave-taking was for less than positive reasons.

Lyonesse

Young Queen, Old Enemies Capital: Redwall Castle Heraldry: Lion on a field of Burnt Orange Ethnic Majority: Brittanic, Norn Significant Minorities: Free Dwarves Major Religions: White Court (Aenryia, Aureus, Ghorn ), Old Faith ( Eldrea ) Ruled By: Queen Rosalind MacGregor Other Noble Families: Kathstein, Tremayne, Morrigen Lyonesse is a nation that could have fallen into ruin, but the resilience and ability of its royal family has surprised many. King Connor MacGregor, crowned just three years ago, was barely turned 19 years old when he took the throne. On his 18th birthday both his grandfather the old king and his father the prince were assassinated by unknown attackers. Suddenly thrust into leading a nation, Connor took the throne and led people into relative prosperity. Orkenay and the Fomorians both have designs on the mountain valleys of Lyonesse, but King Connor proved an able ruler, expanding his kingdom into the formerly lawless lands to the south. He has bound several of his grandfather’s loyalists to him by giving them lands or by marrying them into the royal house. Thus the nobility that might have faded away to other lands stayed and fought with renewed vigor for their new king. Sadly, this was only a peaceful interlude in the troubled history of Lyonesse. This past spring saw an attack by a large Fomorian force farther inland than had ever been seen before. King Connor rallied his vassals to fight the invaders and eventually prevailed, but lost a hand in the battle due to grievous injury. Only the intervention of a group of adventurers saved the kingdom from a grisly assault by the Fomorians. Later that year, King Connor, too, was assassinated at the castle of one of his own nobles. Lord Cedric Tremayne is suspected of being the assassin, but no proof to exonerate him or conclude his guilt has been found, and the man himself disappeared immediately after. Lyonesse is a mountainous land, filled with valleys and forests and natural resources. Its warriors are used to working in such rugged territory, and are known throughout Brittanis as foes of implacable endurance and stamina. Marching up and down mountain passes, through ancient woodlands and fighting battles on mountainsides makes the fighters of Lyonesse both incredibly adaptable and very difficult to wear down in a prolonged fight. King Connor’s elder sister Rosalind MacGregor—passed over for the throne when her father and grandfather were murdered in favor of her younger warrior brother— now sits upon the throne of Lyonesse with a country on the verge of civil war and both Siluria and the savage Kairn looming like vultures. It remains to be seen if the young Queen will be able to save her kingdom from ruin. Recent History Character Ideas