Friday, 1 February 2013

Somewhere North: The Vaeltaja

The Vaeltaja are nomads on the snowy plains. They wander on the snow and ice, and settle in their groups for the true winter. Where else is there to go? To the city of Zelman? Ha! They care not for the cities, nor for the towns. If pressed and in need they will go to a village or hamlet to trade, but even these are strange places for some of them.

They know where to fish, where to hunt, where to hide - and they know WHEN to do all of these things too. They travel in large groups, deer and ice ponies pulling great covered sleds - caravans of men, women and children - hunters and fishers, makers and leaders, warriors and mystics. Each large group is one great extended family. Groups meet and trade (resources, rumours) from time to time. Some of them are open to travellers stopping with them, especially if they would brave the snow in true winter.

Nomad Family
There are 10d20 people in a group. Each group will have a patriarch and matriarch and this "first family" has 2+d6 members.
For every 10 people rounded up, one will be a hunter (leather armour, dagger, sword, shield, bow) and will have some responsibility for finding meat. In two-thirds of Vaeltaja families they will have people adept at fishing, and the group will have made camp around a water source. In these cases there will be one fisherman for every 15 people in the family.
There are 2d4 spiritual/clerical people in a group. They will worship either the spirit of the open plain or a particular family spirit.
Many others in the family will be craftsmen, makers, food-gatherers, bards, ostlers and armourers. They share responsibility for the community and while they do have large extended families the "family" is more of a collective than one bonded truly by blood.
Everyone over the age of 4 will carry a weapon of some kind.

What determines the family's outlook? Roll a d12.

1. Family are wary of outsiders. 7. Family speak a bizarre language.
2. Family worship an ancient spirit. 8. Family are well-armed and warriors.
3. Family possess a Dwarven treasure. 9. Family are wealthy.
4. Family rob travellers. 10. Family are keeping a monster.
5. Family have a rivalry with another group. 11. Family are poor scavengers.
6. Family recently suffered an attack on them. 12. Family are at war with a band of pugs.

How is the favourite son of the family known? Roll a d20.

1. Great Axe 6. Pathfinder 11. Firstborn 16. Knifeman
2. Singer 7. Mead-drinker 12. The Runt 17. Spirit-friend
3. Pug-slayer 8. Bastard sword 13. Mutant 18. Monster-slayer
4. One-arm 9. Farseer 14. Wolf-slayer 19. The Fast
5. Fisherman 10. Future-sight 15. Goatherd 20. The Mute

There are 111 people in the Hentunen family, a group known for being well-skilled as warriors. Arto and Liisi are the head people in the group, and they have two young daughters. An organised band of twelve hunters keeps the family in wild deer and shaggy pig flesh, and a small but skilled group of fishermen bore holes in the ice over lakes to find prized fish. Half a dozen clerics worship Kalevi, the protector of travellers. Kimi the Mead-drinker is the favourite son of the clan, known for his exploits in drinking contests.

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