Welcome to the Tundra Isle
“It is within YOU to succeed. Never forget that.”
-Quaranir 4E 201, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Magic Type: Water and Lightning
Typical Build: Sturdy-Stocky
Typical coat color: White, Grey, Light vibes. Winter roan is the bomb! Earthy colors are also good!
Horn Type: Ram, Unicorn, and multi-pronged, strong racks are common. Horn styles that are good for fighting or for defense are prized.
Typical Traits: Hardworking, jovial, honest, loyal, proud, stubborn, integrous, family-oriented, tradition-oriented, proud of their heritage
Dreadfully cold for most of the year, but a lush, if somewhat tree bare plain in the warmer months, the lands of Helmfirth are inhospitable to the uninitiated. Still, a great number of hardy phae thrive in these lands, despite deadly chill and deadlier predators.
Said to be where phae first arrived in the Elaphaea Archipelago, Helmfirth believe themselves to be the eldest herd and eldest society in the entirety of the isles. They believe that all modern phae can trace their ancestry back to the first ones to land here, guided by their god of light and journey.
With so large a land to keep track of, they have split the duty of ruling into four, and maintain constant communication so that everyone works in harmony. With four holds and a powerful military force, they are a proud people of tradition, station, and capability. These phae, while family-oriented and loyal almost to a fault, pursue great individual success, eventually earning titles based upon their personal triumphs in life. No individual phae is too little or too great– everyone can become something great, no matter their lot in life, if they put forth the effort, and everyone’s path in life is for them to walk and discover where it leads.
Generally an easygoing people to outsiders, they enjoy making friends and connections, and greatly enjoy their revelries as well. It is, however, ill-advised to make an enemy of them, as they are a fierce and proud people who will not hesitate to bite back if bitten.
At the beginning of the Dark Age, the March of Mirroweld stopped here not only because of the bitter cold, but because of the strength and unity of the people here. They are not soon to let the isles– or themselves– forget it.
Location, Territory, and Climate
The island of Helmfirth is absolutely enormous by comparison to the other isles, easily larger than any of the other territories in landmass alone. Much of the northern reaches are frequently covered in snow, but in Rainfall and Sunhigh, it becomes a bountiful paradise of rolling grass, tundra scrub, wildflowers, and vibrant life. In Leafturn and Frosthold, the grass fades, the land freezes, deep snow covers it, and the farthest northern shores become covered in thick sea ice.
To the south of the isle are great evergreen forests, with intermittent deciduous trees here and there in groves a bit farther to the south and in the foothills of the mountains. This woodland is mostly safe during the warmer months, but becomes deadly not only for the deep drifts and wells beneath trees in the colder ones, but for the wolves that like to stalk these lands as well. There are many a dedicated path through the trees here, but it is best not to tarry when the weather is cold.
The most notable feature here, aside from the tundra, are the three massive freshwater lakes. Two lakes connect through a deep and cold river fed by snowmelt in the north, and to the southeast, an even larger lake resides, fed by glacial runoff from the mountains. These lakes all play host to very unique life, such as freshwater seals and porpoises.
Despite its harshness, a great abundance of life thrives here. Oceanic seals are frequently seen on the coasts, along with the massive white bears that prey on them. Penguins are commonplace, both on the shores and in the lakes, and puffins like to live near settlements as well, social and enjoying a cohabitation with phae for centuries. Wolves stalk the forests and open tundra, but aren’t as much of a threat to a group as they are to an individual phae. They prefer to go after less intelligent, less magically inclined animals if they have the choice, but have been known to craftily plan takedowns if they are desperate enough.
Foxes, rabbits, hares, seabirds and birds of prey, migratory species from all over the isles, and a truly staggering diversity of insect and plant life all call this island home.
Utmjir, deity of Light and Guidance
One of the old deities, he is said to be the one who guided phae first to the isles. Once a great warrior who raided lands lost to memory and time, he is said to have gathered his goods, followers, and their families and set sail for a final resting place. Once he touched shore with his fleet, he is said to have faded into light, and the first aurora bloomed into the night sky.
Light is sacred to him in all its forms, and the act of journeying– both physically and spiritually– is a personal pilgrimage. He is the patron deity of the seafaring guild.
Sytva, deity of snow, ice, and season’s change
A resident who welcomed the new phae into her cold embrace, she is neither cruel nor kind– she simply is. She will take those foolish enough to wander into her icy grip on their lonesome or unprepared, but sings them peacefully to eternal sleep, so that their passing is not a painful one. When the seasons change, her snow and ice become life-giving waters, and she is happy to help provide the necessary element to life, to water crops and quench thirst. She is known to be fickle, capricious, and playful, but never outright mean. She is respected as the force of nature that she is.
The people of Helmfirth are a proud bunch who honor tradition highly. They have their way of doing things that has not changed since before the Dark Age began. It has served them well before, and will continue to serve them well into the future.
The land is divided up into four holds, with one Jarl residing over each, accompanied by Thanes and they by Housecarls. Both hold conferences twice a year to ensure that all holds communicate clearly and basic laws remain the same in each. There is no one ruler, and all four Jarls – as well as their Thanes – are expected to cooperate, lest they cause undue tension and find themselves removed from their position or worse.
Each phae will eventually earn a title sometime within their life– and this even extends to outsiders, if they have done a deed worthy of naming that was witnessed while on the isle. Most will earn a hyphenated title naming their deeds, and it is attached to their names like a surname, to be used to fully address them in formality and honor their personal triumph. If they behave in a way that disgraces them, they are stripped of the title and left with an insulting one instead, and earn a dangerous social stigma.
In each of the holds, a guild has been founded, open to all phae across the isles. The four guilds are:
-Guild of the Glinting Coin
-Guild of Unending Song
-Guild of the Crossed Tines
It is common for a Jarl to have attended the guild in their hold, or to be a member, but this is not always the case. These guilds have power and influence all over the isles, and while not every phae who engages in the practice of each guild has attended or is a member (seafaring notwithstanding– EVERY phae who is a ferryman in the isles is a member, bar none) it is often a mark of prestige to do so. Guilds are also not exclusive to just Helmfirth, and others are found across the isles.
- Snowever – NPC Jarl Ulfric Stonebearer [He/Him]
- Brumehaven – NPC Jarl Astrid Sky-eye [She/Her]
- Chillbarrow – NPC Jarl Helvard Whaletooth [He/Him]
- Skyreach – NPC Jarl Rorick Windrider [He/Him]
- Snowever –
- NPC Thane Solgg Fish-render [He/Him]
- NPC Thane Ronene Gull-crier [She/Her]
- NPC Thane Olfiva Lightclaw [She/Her]
- NPC Thane Loddan the Earthbreaker [He/Him]
- NPC Thane Eldasta Light-ringer [She/Her]
- NPC Thane Matli Silverhammer [She/Her]
- NPC Thane Una Whitehare [She/Her]
- NPC Thane Olrand the Eaglespeaker [He/Him]
- NPC Thane Sigurd Silvercap [He/Him]
- NPC Thane Ysolda Fairshod [She/Her]
- Snowever – NPC Val-Tivar Markus Bearbreaker [He/Him]
- Brumehaven – NPC Val-Tivar Kyr Brightwater [He/Him]
- Chillbarrow – NPC Val-Tivar Nura Strongbow [She/Her]
- Skyreach – NPC Val-Tivar Fenrig Wolfcoat [He/Him]
Sage – NPC Breya Flowermane [She/Her]
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