The Saxalings

Originally published at: https://www.torchbearerrpg.com/?p=880

Atilla and his Hordes Overrun Italy and the Arts (detail), between 1843 and 1847, Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix

(xposted with Bridge of the Damned update)

Hello friends!

In a past series of posts, we looked at two Middarmark clans, the Ageirings and the Tualings, along with their ættir.

I’ve been working on The Bridge of the Damned adventure and figured I would give the clans involved in that adventure a similar treatment. This week we’re taking a look at the Saxalings, whom we previously learned a little about in Adventure Design: Robber’s Bridge (Part VIII) and Life in a Ruined Village.

The Saxalings

The Saxalings are a Gott clan in the Gottmark. They owe fealty to Tancred the Fair, greve of the Southern March. During the conquest of the Gottmark 20 years ago, Hincmar was chieftain of the Saxalings. He and his warriors seized lands along the northern bank of the Vimur River that belonged to the Bjorning clan known as the Runungs.

Among those lands was Kviholl, the hall of Grima, chieftain of the Runungs. Grima and his household were caught unaware by the rapidity of the Saxaling advance through their lands. Not only were Grima and many of his huskarls slain when the Saxalings burned Kviholl, the Saxalings also captured the shrine to Runa the Battle-wise, ættir (ancestral spirit) of the Runungs. As a result, several pieces of the Runung clan regalia fell into Saxaling hands. Some were destroyed, but one, a buckle of finely beaten gold in the shape of a falcon, caught Hincmar’s eye. He incorporated it into his own clan’s regalia.

Today, Ishildis, daughter of Hincmar, is chieftain of the Saxalings. She rules from her hall at Skyholl, erected in the very spot where Kviholl once stood. Ishildis is guided by Saxa Horsekiller, ættir of the Saxaling clan.

Saxa Horsekiller

Nature 5* Might 5
Binding and Cursing, Protecting, Prophesying
Belief: Blood must be paid for any and all slights against me and mine.
Instinct: Protect my bloodline. Type: Spirit

Special Rules: The ættir is the embodiment of her bloodline and can speak to those who share her blood in dreams. She lives in the clan’s regalia—a banner, piece of jewelry, weapon, article of clothing or relic of some sort—and can communicate with the bearer directly.

Hit Points

Banish
5
Convince
6
Battle
9
Weapon Conflict A D F M
Bound to Clan Banish
Capture
+2D
Fed with Regular
Sacrifice
Banish
Capture
+2D
Matriarchal Convince +2D
Prophetic Visions Battle
Capture
Convince
+1D +1s

Note: Before the Bjorning raid, Saxa was Nature 6. Her current Nature 5 reflects the loss of the Falcon Buckle. Should the buckle be returned and rededicated, her Nature will be restored to 6.

Saxa Horsekiller Description

Saxa is a warlike spirit, eager for conquest and increase in her descendants’ power and prestige, while merciless against foes of her house. In the Otherworld she generally appears astride a great white stallion, clad in gleaming mail and helmet with a lance in hand.

She has grown restless over the past two decades. The curse of the Vimur River has prevented her clan from expanding south and “friendly” clans box the Saxalings in to the north. She has begun agitating for her clan to feud with those neighbors in the hopes of seizing their lands. While enraged by the impudence of the raiders that stole her Falcon Buckle, part of her exults: If they could cross the cursed river to mount an attack, her people can do the same.

Contrary to her deed-name, she was known in life to care deeply for horses, lavishing her steeds with love and affection. She earned the name by riding one of her beloved horses to death to warn her family of a surprise attack by a supposedly allied clan during one of the frequent brushfire wars that consume the old country of Gottland.

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