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The forest in the east was not always united under the major clan that it is now. In the past the forest was home to a multitude of warring clans. Raids, wars, stories of battles that are still sung today were what made up the lives of the forest dwelling clans. Origins of the smaller clans and tribes that settled in the dimensionally confusing forest of frosted ash are difficult to find. Theories are numerous and difficult to prove, the members of the modern clan believing they are descendants of an ancient breed of elk that migrated to the north after pony settlements arrived in the land that would one day be called Equestria. Wherever they hailed from, in the past these ancient tribes made their homes in multiple settlements across the forest. As any Skald will tell you, caribou will find reason to fight. In a place like the forest those reasons were mostly out of pragmatism. In the woods coming by certain resources was very difficult. As per usual for many clans raiding was a solution. A war had been raging in the trees of forest, one with little steel for blades and a great deal of time to learn efficient ways of fighting one another without steel or iron. Eventually though there came a time when the fighting needed to stop. Clan Stokkr: a clan of woodworkers, after the dethroning of it's old chieftain had offered to have a meeting between of the heads of the warring forest clans. This meeting was lead by Heigi who had come into possession of a powerful sword. After pointing out the various losses they had suffered and how together they could be stronger than any of the clans outside the forest... the heads of the smaller clans agreed to merge their clans as one over the ages. Upon deciding what to call themselves, one of the chiefs suggested why not after the very trees that they took shelter in: the Aska tree. Over time, the Askr Clan came into being. While this clan is definitely looking to the future ahead, it has not forgotten its roots. Events of the past have shaped this clan into the fearsome forest dwellers that they are and have made them both enemies and admirers throughout Whitescar's history. Like all caribou clans, Calves are taught to fight at a very young age. At first they are taught a variant of the martial art native to Whitescar: Glima. But after their calfhood is over and experiences are taught they are taught another way of fighting that the clan called Rodhovar: A rather brutal style of fighting that could only have been born from a culture so deeply wrought in conflict.The style of fighting is used exclusively for war and focuses heavily on attacking vulnerable areas on the body: Knees, hooves, Sides, hind legs and very often the head.It also teaches grappling, disarmament and use of terrain to fight. It's not uncommon among the caribou to see every cow, bull, and calf willing to take up a weapon in defense of their homes. In the Askr hold it is almost unthinkable to not be without an axe at your side if you’re an adult or a wooden sword if you're a calf. Due to the region's previously mentioned lack of easily locatable ore on the surface, Raiding parties and expeditions into Cave troll dwellings are often performed in order to retrieve ore for the crafting of armor, weapons, and other things, alongside raids of clans outside the forest. Like some other more 'civilized' clans in Whitescar, Askr is one where most every member has been a viking at some point in their lives. For some it was to prove their mettle as a warrior, explorer, or a merchant: As these are all things that are attributed to the clan's definition of “Viking”. Unlike some outsider believe though, being a viking is something the majority of this clan does for the entirety of their lives. Many of the older caribou along with the younger who have made a name for themselves have actually gone on to become farmers, woodworkers, skalds, or merchants. Social classes still exist in Askr as it does in most other clans. Karls are the commoner class of caribou. Smiths, merchants, explorers, warriors: a karl could be any of them. Above the karls, are the jarls: Clan Nobility. Jarls are wealthy, owner larger areas of land and territory then Karls do. Typically better equipped to handle conflicts and owning their own ships, but the most important part to becoming a jarl in any clan is the confidence and good graces of the caribou beneath him. If the popular opinion of any jarl crumbles, soon everything they own is sure to follow. When a jarl perishes it is usual that their oldest kin would inherit their estate, however if a karl has gained a great following in the community then they very well could supplant the jarl's son and inheriting their estate and responsibilities. The third and final social rank is the singular position of the Chieftain. The seat of Chieftain is a position of great importance to any clan, among large and powerful clans such ask Askr they are almost comparable to kings or queens in their own right if there is no High-King above them. Much like jarls, A chieftain is subject to the will of their clan: Usually worries and ills are relayed to them through the Jarls beneath the chieftain due to the difficulty managing the various settlements in the forests. Perhaps to facilitate bonds and a sense of unity in the clan, Karls and jarls alike will often have their offspring live among friendly clans or fellow members of the forest dwellers. Around middle adolescence a calf is to be shared with another in the clan or a close friend in order to gain new skills and be exposed to different approaches to problems. The effect of this practice seems to have made the clan very connected with each other, for all the good and bad that may bring. Despite the gentler side of caribou that Askr exhibits, certain insults to personal honor will have usually two outcomes: Apology and an agreed compensation, or a duel to either settle the score or decide who is in the right. Historically the clan has more than a few enemies beyond the wild lands they call home. Remnants of reclusive clans who dwell in the forest still attempt to make attacks on the hold every once in awhile, Troll raids and small scale invasions are still common in the more rural areas, and since the recent events of a group of outsiders they have had to deal with a plague that is still being examined. While Askr clansbou are not willing to ever attack their neighbors to the Northeast in Neighpon: they are far from fond of them. Oral Histories told by the skalds state that this could be due to the clan's history with the island nations. In the genesis of the clan's formation some of the clan's closest to the shoreline would make regular raids on neighponese vessels. In retaliation, the Neighponese waged war on the raiding clans, beginning a long series of conflicts with each side taking revenge for the previous attack and vice versa. One weakened nation against a newly formed united clan of the forest. Finally the fighting stopped when both a new chieftain and a young shogun realized that neither said was gaining any ground and both were only losing kin, and so a peace was reached. Even with the peace, it is hard to find a caribou among the Askr who doesn't have a story of how one of their ancestors fought and fell in that affair. Much like the merchant based warrior clan of Breen, the caribou of Askr put a great deal of value on personal appearance. Grooming, bathing, and dressing well is considered very important to both bulls and cows alike, with certain perfumes or colognes added to their coats. Typically all members of the clan own at least one article of clothing or an accessory that is the color green and bears their clan’s symbol. For upper class of Jarls it is common custom to come to peace-talks with enemy clans without cloth or armor to show that they are entirely unarmed in good faith. Seers can be found in any clan, but few are as valued as the ones who reside in Clan Askr. This change can likely be attributed to the skills that the shaman here have branched out into. Normally practitioners of Seidr might be more like hermits out in the wilds trying to meditate in order to peer into the vast tapestry of fate. Seers in Askr are more akin to medical shaman, working to mend the minds and bodies of those who have been wounded or taken ill. While they are not able to wield healing spells like some more magically gifted nations, it seems that they have taken a page from Zebra tribe-like methods of potion mixing. While they still practice Seidr and make their vague prophecies, the more mystical aspect has taken something of a backseat to the practical: To be used in times of emergency. Seers however do tend to be devout believers of the major deities to the clan: Hreinn, Tuktu, and Qalipu. Celebrations are very important to these Caribou, seemingly as a way to keep up morale and promote the sense of togetherness that has bound this clan as one so tightly with no threat of division in sight. Mead Halls are usually filled well and musical accompaniment is always to be expected. Dance lines are common occurrences along with instances of good natured flyting: A series of Insult said in verse along to the beat of the song of the moment. One of the traits among members of the clan that seems to exist in some capacity in everybou born in these forests is and unnaturally good sense of direction and spatial awareness. Historians native to Whitescar believe that this trait may have emerged from them in response to the Forest of Frosted Ash’s unusual dimensional properties. It has made them the perfect guides to any traveler in these woods and it seems difficult for them to lose track of where they are in the forest even if they try. One of the most well known thing about the Askr Clan to the world beyond Whitescar is their production of and mastery of Woodworking and carpentry of trees that share their name. The wood from these trees has the uncanny ability to absorb, dissipate, or outright nullify any magical induced energies: a trait that has confounded even the best minds of Neighpon and Equestria alike. To any Caribou Blacksmith who wishes for the best of anti magic inlays for their armor, they must come to Askr. If a clan wishes for the best designed Flying warship or longboat that can withstand almost any magical attack, they must come to Askr. With the abundance of wood in their region and their experiences with it, growing new trees and crafting them into great exploratory vessels and merchant ships has made the clan quite a living now. The warships of theirs that has ever fallen into rebel hooves are known to be a thorn in the side of any culture that relies heavily on magic, usually proving strong enough to withstand and dissipate magical attacks from some of the best magitech defenses and offenses. With their skill as fighters, craftsmanship, and close bonds among their kin, the Askr clan are a powerful force in Whitescar. Between their regular battles with the Rebel clans to the south-east and their home territories natural harshness, it is no surprise that they proof a fearsome foe to their enemies and a true friend to any ally who has earned their goodwill. Traveler’s Guide to Whitescar: Clans of Note Eydis Hildusdottir, Skald and Historian of Clan Hakon
Call of Clan Askr Hi, Everyone! I’ve been kinda sad lately after realizing how few Whitescar based OCs there are. I’d also noticed there was a bit of aversion to the idea of the viking caribou when they were first released (and I admit they could have had a better first outing), but I’d been kind of hoping more of our user-base might find some interest in playing the native creatures of Whitescar. I can’t speak for the other clans in the region but I started my own a while ago. Clan Askr is a very open and rather progressive clan. Moose, Caribou, pony, griffin, etc. All are welcome but for certain reasons those born on Whitescar land typically are the most prominent if only because those who have weathered the land’s harsh conditions are likely to work well in them. Outsiders are still permitted to join the clan but they have a bit more to prove. If you have any questions about the groups listed or positions I should elaborate on please feel free to ask. ---The Clan Itself and its Positions--- In northeastern most territory of Whitescar there is a Hold the size of a city surrounded on all sides by a sea of resilient trees. The caribou who live there follow many paths, a great deal of them them artisans, but all of them fight for what they love against the things that encroach on their lives: Be they the threat of the monsters who stray too far from the serpent's spine, or the rebel allied clans who push at their borders. Since their clan first came to be, Askr Caribou have been the more calm tempered and hard working members of the species, but also some of the better ranks of their kind to brave the harsh wilderness of their homeland. To other clans in the lands of Whitescar: Askr is a group composed of inventive minds and well trained warriors, most of them follow a pantheon of gods headed by the two deities Tuktu and Qalipu. With the clan's current rise to prominence, and their willingness to accept members of other species and develop new ways to fight battles for their land, They have become one of the most powerful clans in the current Whitescar scene: Now headed by a chieftain who is adamant in the shared vision of a unified homeland and a brighter future for the caribou. Karls Karls are a low rung in the clan's hierarchy, but still massively important. Composed of merchants, farmers, and craftsbou of varying professions: these citizens make up the backbone of Askr as a whole. As the clan was founded by artisans such as them, they are some of the more knowledgeable and more experienced members of their trade in caribou-kind. While all are taught how to fight and protect themselves their knack for the production of the most iconic imagery for the viking aesthetic of their species has not dulled and to this day it is hard to match the speed and strength of one of their longboats of the sky, or the potency of their magic nullifying inlays. Recently a group of the most skilled members of their caste have joined together and began working directly with the forces of the clan's military to produce some of the more unusual but unique weapons that the high ranking caribou tend to wield. Typically these items are weapons that can change form or function using engineering techniques from other countries. Example, A large axe that can extend into a halberd. Through a good deal of hardwork, loyalty, and the blessings of the citizen's goodwill: A Karl can actually become a Jarl. Jarls Jarls are similar to nobles, they are wealthy, own more land or typically are in charge of the land that a Karl owns. Unlike the nobility of Equestria, the offspring of the Jarl will not inherit his position as the title is given to those who show exceptional ability or strength in any form. Service as a warrior is not required but it is an immense boon. When a Jarl is chosen they usually wind up living in a larger house or more fortified home inside of a hold (usually the one they lived in) and are in charge of settling matters among the community within it, acting as a judge might and dispensing justice that suits the situation. Jarls can appoint advisors and have guards of their own and tend to command smaller armies. as a part of the Askr clan some of the newer additions to this rank are former chieftains to older clans who have joined in alliance to Sigrun's own. Many important topics dealt with by the clan are done with feedback from all available Jarls and are regularly voted on. Chieftain of the Clan Jarls after some time serving and pulling of particularly noteworthy deeds have a chance to be the Chieftain over their entire clan. The chieftain hold a good deal of the wealth and determines may important decisions of the clan. When we go to war with another clan, when states of emergency are declared, when food stores are low and monsters begin to grow too close to settlements: All of these are things that the Chieftain must deal with, as well as worry protect their own family and keep the morale of the clan high. As of now the clan is lead by Chieftain Sigrun. The Seidr (Translation:The Seers) Titles: Seidkonur (Female) Seidmenn (Males) Perhaps due to the less aggressive nature of the clan's inception, the practice of Seidr: The shamanistic practice of the caribou, has gained more notoriety among the citizenry. Trances, visions, medicine, potion making, are all practices that many Seers learn. These caribou and creatures tend to be somewhat more introverted than many of their rowdy and outwardly inclined kin and more prone to studying books instead of swinging a sword. Many of them carry staffs at their side and carry a plethora of salves and potions to aid the ailing and sick. It is also not uncommon for Seers to bond with a certain animal at their side, this creature usually being intelligent enough to assist in medical aid. Some of their ranks even have learned to cook food for starving warriors and are usually trained to be a soothing presence to any warrior who did not get the end they had been hoping for. The Seers are led by by the Highseer Ylva, sister of the current chieftain although due to the current increased demand for Seers in the service of medical needs for the armies she has saw fit to share her position with a fellow seer and together have founded the group in the clan known as the Hooves of Qalipu: The askr clan's goddess of the aurora. Being one of the least magically blessed species, the caribou’s mystics do not have any innate magic to use. The sorcery that they speak of is based around visions and trying to untangle and understand the web of destiny. If one cannot respect them for the practice of what little mystic options are open to the caribou, perhaps one can appreciate they’re regular acts of charity. Skalds Poets and historians: The skalds of the Askr clan have gone through changes not unlike the clan's seers. Rather than focus on the mysticism and shamanistic practice of the seers, the Skalds began becoming a more official and respected group of caribou who wove wonderful poems and sang inspiring songs of the heroes in the past. Most Skalds of the askr clan tend to be knowledgeable historians and seekers of the the glorious past of the Whitescar's natives. Clan Army Skogenvakt: A ranger type branch of the Askr army. They serve as the first line of defense against invading clans and provide early warning against the monsters that come down from the spine. They tend to try to blend into their white and green surroundings with many camouflage tactics and favor ranged methods of attack such as longbows and crossbows, but they are perfectly capable of fighting on most terms. Thanks to the in-depth knowledge of the forests, terrain and local fauna, the Skogenvakt have turned back many an invasion force. The order is led by a commander appointed by the Chieftain. Huskarls The personal guard of the chieftain and family, made up of a group of well trained warriors hoof picked by the chieftain herself. These warriors are trained in various disciplines to be fiercely capable bodyguards and bulwarks against threats to the clan’s head or any relatives who stay in the center of the great Hold. The Mestrdyr Loosely translated, Mestrdyr means the ‘greatest beast’. In a few ways this is hardly inaccurate as it was a term coined by a group of seers who were infected by the plague curse that was visited upon the clan courtesy of W.R.A.I.T.H. After the treatments were given to the citizens of the clan and beyond this group have been concerning themselves with unlocking the secrets of this curse and using the power it brings as a boon to their species. Enemies of the Clan The Rebel Caribou Armies of Olin: While there are many clans of Rebels, the clan of Olin has been the most active against Askr territories. Lead by the Chieftain of clan Olin and the infamous Red Jarl, the caribou of clan Olin came to embody the oldest and most traditional mindsets of the natives of Whitescar combined with it’s most worrying aspects. The rebel’s way is one of conquest and the glorification of the old ways of caribou culture. To a rebel, the caribou are the only true great race and all others are inferior. Ponies, the eastern originating races, griffins, hippocamps, etc: all are beneath the greatness of Boukind and are not worth a thought beyond taking what they currently have that can be used by their clan. On some level the clan does honor other caribou in the way their ancestors would but that luxury seems to be allowed only to worthy opponents. The current Askr Chieftain was once the mate of the Red Jarl: although to her she knows him as Brann. The Remnants: A group of caribou from the clans who rejected Sigrun’s offer to join her own. Usually these were individuals who were planning to join the rebel ranks or work against the high king. In the case of either of them they would find their lands seized and their clan’s treasures and artifacts taken and used by the Askr clan. Necromancers: A strangely common problem in Whitescar would be the necromancers that commonly torment the land. All clans have had to deal with these practitioners of the darker sides of magic. The necromancers are as far as anyone knows not organized and rarely have allied with each other. Necromancers can come from any species although it is safe to assume that the more magically gifted ones would be the most prominent. Among the Askr Clan, Necromancers are generally viewed as perverse and wrong, the presence of outspoken necromancers is usually not welcome and so far only one necromancer has been allowed into the clan… this necromancer having helped the entirety of their clan when in crisis. This case is unique though in that this mage: Chipper Demise, has not raised any caribou and only animals. Any who tamper with the fallen of the clan tend to be treated with scorn at best. Notable Events (in order of occurrence) Rebel leader’s younger brother taken in by the chieftain Aiding the Crystal Empire after it’s horrible sacking by the rebels. The beastly berserk plague inflicted by WRAITH. Recovery and slow of the war against the rebels. The great debate between the Shogun of Neighpon and Chieftain of the clan of the fate of a sacred blade. (More to come!)