Barony of Grimmwald
|Barony of Grimmwald|
The Waldrians of Ynslee are a people who are so culturally foreign from the Waldrians of Reyn that they may as well be different peoples. The history of the Ynslean Waldrians predates Calamity, to when the Wiccan tribes dominated the human landscape. The Westhealf tribe had been conquered by their rivals and although they had largely assimilated into the tribe of their new overlords, a resistant few migrated west to the lands where their ancestors landed, the isle of Ynslee. The remaining Westhealfs led by Thiudan, King Angluf’s most favoured general settled south on the island of Ynslee where they made their home. The new tribe was so small that their settlement constituted a town at best, numbering only a thousand people in total.
One of Thiudan’s first acts was to disassociate the new tribe from his traitorous kinsmen who had simply bent the knee to the usurpers and so in all his self-glorified vain, he named the tribe after himself, the Thiudans. Where their rival cousins, the Wiccans began to evolve through avid seamanship, horsemanship and trade, the Thiudans retained their culture. The Thiudans remained isolationist in nature and did not go on to become a dominant power within the realms of squabbling human lords. It wasn’t until after the calamity had occurred that the remaining Thiudans who had fled through the portals reemerged and travelled to their historic homeland. They established Theuburg, a wooden castle that perched itself on the highest hill of southern Ynslee and continued their act of isolation as they built up a settlement to preserve their civilisation.
After the death of King Eadwine I, the Thiudans were forced to bend the knee by the expansive Waldrians who had claimed as many lands as their hands could reach. King Richard I had exercised his military might to claim the entire territory of the Kingdom of Ynslee proper and by extension the subjugation of the Thiudans. The balance of power had shifted in the realm since the calamity, and the Wiccans who the Thiudans considered their rival-cousins had too, been subjugated under the Nornish boot. The Thiudans quickly became a minority in their own realm when a foreign Nornmen named Cristof inherited the suzerainty of the foreign peoples. He was a storyteller who had acted as chief counsel to Adelmar, Graf of the Thiudans and had also married his daughter, Viktoria. Adelmar died of old age and in the event of no clear successor, Cristof ascended to the position of Graf, ruling as a foreign lord over completely distant peoples.
Cristof was not by any means in a threatening or dire situation, like many Waldrians, he had great connections and influence and invited fellow Waldrians to Theuberg to serve in his personal retinue or council in return for land, title and coin. It was clear however, that despite the martial prowess of the Nornish nobility who had slowly become the elite, that conflict would arise from their foreign occupation. The Thiudan had a history of resisting invaders, and although Cristof inherited the position through the rule of law, the succession laws which ruled the Thiudans for thousands of years, he was considered by many an enemy. In lieu of this, he was convinced by his wife Viktoria to undertake a cultural baptism. He took on a Thiudanized name and went by Kristoph of the House of Mannhardt, a twist on his Nornish name Coerfort.
As a result of this cultural baptism, the Nornish elite joined Kristoph to ensure a homogenous society. Various retainers such as Henry de Lyonnais and William the Grotesque also underwent the cultural baptism, taking on Thiudanized names such as Heimrich von Lugh and Willhelm. The shift in culture from Nornish to Thiudisk was not swift or whole by any means, the Waldrians still practiced the tenets of horse, lance and bow. The pre-existing Thiudisk elite who were significantly smaller than the converted Waldrians also took on tenets of Nornish culture such as taming a horse, becoming an expert rider and learning to fight on top of it. The town of Aldburg, which was the settlement built at the base of the Castle of Theuburg had developed itself into a settlement worthy of a large growing civilization.
The reputation of the Nornized Thiudan was largely unknown, however, even the courts of the King’s of Westholm were oblivious to the growing settlement and remained disconnected from any diplomatic envoys which came from southern Ynslee. The only occurrence of a person descending from the Thiudans and the town of Altstadt was a man known as Charles Altstadt who left the settlement following the Nornish takeover. He ended up journeying to the new settlement of his rival-cousins, the Wiccans and the Shire of Barwic. There he became instrumental as a lawspeaker and introduced a large swathe of laws to the people of Barwic, eventually becoming an Ealdorman of the Shire as a result of his growing popularity.
History | The Return of the Ynslean Waldrians
It wasn’t until the beginning of Queen Meredith I’s reign nearly twenty years later did a sole knight from the lands appear, Karl von Mannhardt, the grandson of the Nornmen Kristoph. His father Oscar was years from inheriting his father's land when the young knight set out on a mission of wanderlust. He entered into the service of Meredith and was quickly knighted for performing acts of bravery. He spent most of his service under Meredith fighting the Wiccans under King Harold I, and after she was defeated he swore allegiance to the new King of Westholm, Richard II of Myrfeld. Karl’s legacy in Richard’s kingdom was immortalized through his diplomatic charm and daring ability on a battlefield. He served as a leader of a small retinue in service of King Richard II during the Great Enarion War and was later granted a fiefdom by his grandson King Eadwulf I decades later.
It was now by this point that his father Oscar sent word for Karl to return home to take up his lands because he was dying of a debilitating illness which was thought to be mallurgy, although the desperation of time could not afford a study of it. Karl had just returned from yet another campaign against the Elves in the Ascara-Westholm War, which saw the Elves subjugated under the Holy Sun. He had established a living for himself in a foreign land, had acquired a fiefdom, a stone castle, a retinue of Wiccans, Waldrians and Vlachs and was considered largely an influential lord in the realm. He was stuck in between a rock and a hard place, give up his hard fought for legacy or continue the legacy of his grandfather? He chose the honourable choice, that he could still continue his legacy in southern Ynslee and so he returned his fief to the crown and journeyed to his homeland. There he was welcomed by the populace as he brought with him what would seem to most a host of men that nearly outnumbered the townsfolk in number. In the ensuing days of his arrival, his father passed away and Karl ascended as Baron of Grimmwald.
The War of Teeth and Wheat
The People of Grimmwald
he term used to describe the humans of Ynslee is the word Waldrian, which derives itself from the woodlands that have come to flourish on the northern half of Ynslee. By consequence, it is the reason why the barony itself has been referred to as Grimmwald, as related to the famed name of legends: Castle Grimm. Most denizens of Grimmwald hail to the descendants of the Thiudans and Waldrians, with the former making up most of the original ancestors to those who have settled in the Ynslee region. Despite the descendants of the Old Blood making up a minority in population, the simplicity and cultures of the community has sustained itself rather well since the Calamity had occurred.
When the Waldrians intermixed with the Thiudans, they brought with them innovative ideas such as carpentry, stone masonry, and new methods of smithing which saw great improvements from the ‘impoverished’ atmosphere that they had been living in. While the Norns became adaptive to the culture, the Thiudans acquired knowledge from their more civilized kin. Wooden walls would be replaced with brick, and scale armor would be gradually replaced by chainmail later, warriors would adopt brigandine and bits of plate to their style of armor as well.
The men and women frequently partake in the traditional roles, with the exception of that either are expected to take up arms as necessary. Men, on top of their jobs within the community, are held to a standard so that in times of strife and necessity they may defend their home and their families. It is considered shameful to be incapable of defending one’s homeland, and dishonorable to be incapable of defending a family. Part of this is because of the low population, which is why adoption does not occur.
It would be perfectly sensible for a sergeant-at-arms within the levy or even one knighted to be tending to his garden, his fields, and his families.
Appearance of the Waldrians
The Waldrians of Ynslee are predominantly humans with light-brown, blonde and rarely black hair. Their skin is most often white, and varies from being gently tanned to pale, with the former being the majority of the direct descendants of the Thiudans themselves.
Eye color will often vary, with shades of brown being the primary out of all colors. However, some Waldrians will come to multiple shades of blue, brandish hazel and even green eyes. Any other color is unheard of, and is viewed as a sign of a foreign influence.
As far as attire goes, Waldrians frequently favor simplicity. Tunics are often draped over chain hauberks or steel cuirass, and helms vary from the traditional Thiudian Sallet to the Nornish Sugarloaf. Men wear trousers, shirts with tight-fitting sleeves, and if necessary for warmth they will don hats and cloaks. Taking the idea from the Norns of Reyn, Waldrians wear leg wraps around their calves and leather boots. Traditionally for women, they are seen in layers of tunics: linen under woolen overtunics, sometimes kept in place at the shoulders with decorative brooches. Colors vary throughout the shades of red, white, gray, and black being the primary colors, with gold and blue sometimes being the secondary. However, much of this is interchangeable to suit the interests of utility.
When it comes to hair, it is not uncommon for a Waldrian woman to have her hair up and braided, just the same as it is considered the standard for Waldrian men to seek either a clean-shaven face or a full beard. Despite the simple life of the natives of Grimmwald, an effort is put in for orderliness, often instilled by grandparents. Men usually have either shaven heads (especially if they are blacksmiths), or hair which goes down just by their ears.
The Barony of Grimmwald is situated on the isle of Ynslee, which is located off the western shores of Enarion. It is notable for being the landing sight of the first human settlers on the continent. For this reason, it was a place of special importance to the myriad human kingdoms before the Calamity. Despite its cultural significance, however, the island was sparsely inhabited and the pre-Calamity Kingdom of Ynslee was known as a poor backwater.