01 Legacy of the Golden Halls

Betta the Golden once ruled a large area of land, larger than most Jarls could dream of. Her people honored her by putting aside their differences and building the Golden Hall, a massive, gold-leafed meadhall. All nine of the warrior clans united in this effort, and they each contributed to its annual upkeep. There was peace.

Betta had only two children, twins named Astled and Freyja. Both were as beloved by their people as their mother was. However, as they grew, it became clear that neither of them individually were able to rule as she had. It was too much land, too many people, and too much work for any one person. Privately, they wondered to each other how their mother had done it, each knowing that they would have to find a way to treat her legacy with respect.

On Betta’s passing, a Thing was held to determine the next Jarl. As Betta had aged and her children had taken on more responsibility, others began to see what the twins already knew: even combined, they did not have what their mother had possessed. In an unprecedented decision, the people chose both to rule, as that would be their best hope of staying unified. For their part, the twins chose to divide, but carefully.

As the sun set over the ocean, Astled and Freyja divided their mother’s lands. The area known as the Golden Halls became known as Ritlund and Letlund, the Right and the Left. The twins would each rule half of the area their mother has controlled, staying unified through trade and joint rule of law. Freyja in Ritlund, the more fertile farming area, and Astled in Letlund, to maintain the Golden Halls, and the iron mine nearby.

Years passed, and peace was maintained. Even in the face of the rising dwarven attacks and the signs of Ragnarok, the two holdfasts remained united, the twins bound to each other through ties of blood and trade. However, one fateful day, an overeager group of Hammer Clan traders was overrun by a Dwarven attack during their passage from Letlund to Ritlund. They were to have been guarded by a contingent of berserkers from the Dragon Clan. Each clan blamed the other, the Hammers claiming the berserkers committed to attacking, rather than retreating when the battle was lost. The Dragons claimed that the Hammers had been greedy, overloading their wagons so the caravan was bogged down, an easy target.

dragon hammer

A rift began to form. Arms merchants from the Hammer clan came to Astled demanding repayment for the lost caravan. They had been promised safe passage up the coast. Astled put them off, more worried about saving face than keeping his word. While the Jarl of Letlund stalled, the division between the clans grew, old jealousies flaring up. The unity ended entirely when dwarves attacked the Sparrowdeath Mines, closing Letlund off from its greatest financial resource.

The luster of the Golden Halls began to dim.

Meanwhile, little word has come from Ritlund. The roads are unsafe, dwarven patrols making passage difficult. The last report was that Freyja was expecting her first child, but the pregnancy was proving difficult. A midwife living in Letlund had planned to journey to Ritlund to assist, but the attacks stalled that plan. Now Astled broods in his mother’s Golden Hall, trying to plan a way to help his sister and perhaps save his holdfast in the process.

Hooks

  • Investigate the site of the original dwarven attack
  • Travel with the midwife from Ritlund to Letlund to help Freyja
  • Seek to heal the rift between the Hammer and Dragon clans
  • Clear the Sparrowdeath Mines of the dwarves
  • Placate the arms merchants who are hounding Astled for an answer in the wake of the attacks

Next Thorsday: Characters and NPCs for Ritlund and Letlund

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