|"The Thorwalers are coming
!" That is a horrifying call on many coasts of Arkania, if a manifold coloured
striped sail of a pirate ship sets on the horizon. But you will here the
same cry of horror, when a flock of thirsty seamen roams the street to
find a tavern. They are just these sort of nice and funny guys, perhaps
sort of plucking around too much...
As Hetmann Orezar said to the merchant, who was looking quite distressed on his martyred teeth: "Well, my lads and lassies...! They are all big children, you cannot really be angry with 'em."
BackgroundThe population of Thorwal is living on the rough northwestern shores of Arkania between the rivers Ingval and Svellt. Their most important settlements are Thorwal, Prem and Olport. Their ancestors, the pride Hjaldingers, shall have come to the continent of Arkania about 2000 years ago from the far Golden Land.
Nobody knows about the dangers of the sea than them, and nobody loves the sea so much despite it. They are not much of an agricultural people, they are addicted to the big blue - as pirates, sea merchants and fishermen you will find them anywhere on the Sea of Seven Winds and often even on other oceans. Their ships, the dragon boats called Ottas are very agile and robust, it is still the same type of ship that took them from the Golden Land to the promised shores of Arkania.
The Thorwalers honour Swafnir, the son of the divine Lady Rondra and her brother, the seagod Efferd, as their highest divine power in a shape of a sperm-whale who is in steady battle against the giant snake Hranngar (which is a high demon for magicians called Charyptoroth). Should Swafnir faint the world would come to an end. Therefore they honour all kind of whales and dolphins and they do not tolerate giving them any kind of pain. Very often they sail even farther north to stop the whalehunters of Enqui and Riva and even sink their ships. And they hate anything which is saurian or snakish - bad news for the goddess of knowledge and magic whose sign is the snake.
The Thorwalers are not that different in their gender roles, you will often find a father with his two children at the quai waving at his bride, who is packed up with weapons sailing to grapple some Al'Anfanian slave boat. People from Nostria or the Middlerealm who sought such things funny were often found at the next healer.
|The most important unit of
Thorwal's society is not the family or the tribe, it is their ship, the
people that work and live on it, the Ottajasko. These groups of about 40
men and women roam the seas together, live together during the long and
cold winter in long houses, explore the same new shores, get paid by the
same foreign mercenary man and sink in the same ocean.
Their captains and princes (called Hetmann or Hetkvinnan, whether they are only captain of an Otta or it is Tronde Garheltson himself, the prince of all Thorwal) are determined by the Thorwalers themselves, because there is no things more sacred than personal freedom and they will defend it by any meand, in front of all against the slave machinery of Al'Anfa.
The role of a ThorwalerIt is not too difficult to play the role of a Thorwaler. They are a mix of straightforward, pugnacious and hard-drinking people paired with pure muscle-power and overestimation of themselves. Superstition hits them hard sometimes and they are sort of depressed irregularly, but the Thorwaler who would capitulate because of it has yet to be born. Such a Northman can get a bloody nose and the next time he will do absolutely the same.
Life will be short though for the Thorwaler if he cannot adapt to the adventurer's life in Arkania which includes the tendency to be careful, too. Thorwalers are obliged to their tradition, they are proud of their folk, their parents and even more so of their Ottajasko. If you choose a name for the hero, choose something nordic and special like Swanja Eilifsdottir or Beorn Olgardsson (whether the surname is taken from father or mother depends on their popularity). Think about a long family story and tradition, that your hero might tell for ever and ever and ever again, the name of the Ottajasko (like Windrivers, Snakestingers, Stormchildren or similar names) and some deed of your hero that made him popular, they may well be pretentious in a way. Then your colourful garment and your hero is on the way to discover the world.
Quotes"We are the masters of the sea and all its shores, we, Thorwalers."
"Aye, so ! By Swafnir !"
"As long as you can lie on the ground without having to hold fast somewhere you are not drunk."
"Brabak, fourty-seven before, when the grandfather of a grandniece of the sister of my brother-in-law, who is the grandchild of the popular Hetkvinnan Hasgarsdottir..."