Player: Ryan Jopp
Character: Thrand Stormjarl
Skills: Archery, Healing, Two Handed Weapons. Former quartermaster of Pack Longfang.
Notable Traits: Thrand is fairly superstitious and studies the Runes. He often marks himself with blue face paint after praying to Gaia and paying respect to the Great Wolf before going out on a hunt or scouting.
Background: Thrand grew up on the western fringe of Clan Stormjarl in a small hamlet near the ocean. His father, a veteran warrior loyal to the local Chieftan, received a reward of land for many years of service. Thrand’s father, Borkgren Stormjarl, traded in his weapons and armor for farming implements and settled down. Life was good as Borkgren and his mate, Gunnhilder, managed their farm and raised a family. Although Borkgren lived simply, he had amassed a small wealth over his years and invested it in the farm. As the years passed, his farm flourished, expanded, and more and more farmhands were brought in to assist with the hunting and farming.
Thrand was born into a family of 4 other siblings and had a rather normal Ulven child life. He helped with the farm, learned all of the farmhands names and assisted his father. Wise in his years, he respected and looked up to his father even if he was a man of few words. Thrand’s mother watched him grow much as a bear does her cubs, quietly and nearby, but ferociously aggressive if anything threatened her children. On the western fringe of Mardrun, the farmlands were less likely to be struck by Mordok raids, so most time and energy was spent maintaining the farm. Borkgren had a good reputation and traded with a number of nearby farms, which allowed Thrand to see a lot of trade goods and get an early grip on the practice of commerce and trade.
Because of their proximity to the coast, Thrand often ventured to a nearby fishing village. He had a fascination with the beautifully created boats and how they worked. His frequent visits made him noticeable by a ship’s captain and some of his crew. Gifts of bread and cheeses would be brought by Thrand and exchanged for tours on the ship and lessons in fishing.
Two venerable Ulven took a keen interest in Thrand. The first being the Captain, Halldor Stormjarl and his brother Raynar Stormjarl. Halldor served as the captain of a Chieftan’s longship and knew the call of the ocean and the winds that would carry the sails of their ship like a second language. Ranar Stormjarl was a veteran fighter and fought alongside Thrand’s father in numerous expeditions.
Halldor was a mysterious and superstitious man, learning long ago to trust the runes and the portents on the wind. His faith in the runes proved useful over the years, successfully sailing his ship and surviving some terrible storms along the way. Thrand eagerly learned to open his eyes to these portents and try to learn from them. Halldor used to tell Thrand that our life is one part destiny and one part free will. Halldor would explain that it is like hunting. A hunter may flush a bird from a thicket and know that it is about to fly. The precise moment is not known, but that it will happen is assured. When the bird flushes and soars into the sky, the hunter must anticipate the direction, speed, and distance of the bird in order to strike it with an arrow. The portents, if read correctly, may tell us of the hidden bird and the flush, perhaps even the direction of the bird in flight, but it is the hunter’s choice to act on it or not. Thrand, in his early years, would be confused by statements like this and it just added to the ominous presence of the Longship’s captain. Halldor also had extensive knowledge on the healing arts, using supplies to stave off sickness of his crew and in helping injured warriors rescued from battle and mordok raids.
Raynar was the more grounded of the two brothers. He was the leader of the elite warriors that would be assigned to Chieftan’s longship. Raynar trusted his brother Halldor and his men always landed safely and respected the portents even if he did not practice them. Thrand was a farmer and a hunter, but all Ulven learn how to fight. Thrand was able to learn from a veteran like Raynar in the basics of handling a sword, axe, and sax daggers. Being a quick learner, Thrand took his teaching seriously and as he grew older, he wondered why his father never taught him how to fight, especially since Borkgren was just as skilled and veteran as Raynar.
The village was home to numerous families and with Borkgren’s farm settlement getting larger, Thrand came into contact with a number of people and friends. A young Ulven girl, Fritha, lived in the village and Thrand knew of her. They talked and had several friends, but they didn’t know each other very well.
Twelve years ago, everything changed when the colonists arrived. War broke out between Ulven and outsider and a call was raised to assist in the fight. Clan Stormjarl sent healers and Daughters to help, not entirely wanting to commit to the fight. Thrand and a number of his fellow villagers, including Fritha, volunteered to help and moved east to the front lines of the fighting. They worked alongside one another patching up wounded, gathering supplies, and scouting out the woodlands. It was at this time that Thrand began to take a genuine interest in Fritha, and he made his intent known. They acknowledged one another but were too busy helping with the wounded and supplies of the war.
The truce was finally written and the fighting stopped. Thrand and Fritha returned to their village and continued their lives. They became close over the year as friends and then eventually as mates, but Thrand’s duty to the farm and Fritha’s duty to the Daughters of Gaia in the area kept them very busy. Fritha taught Thrand more about the healing arts and Thrand in return taught Fritha how to hunt, shoot bow, and how to navigate the woods. They made it a bit of a game, learning from each other.
Thrand received a summons to his father’s longhouse at the farm. His father coldly and calmly told him that Thrand had been selected as part of Clan Stormjarl’s honor-bound pledge to send warriors to Pack Longfang near the Dirge Swamp. He was to leave immediately the next morning with a caravan of supplies that would be traveling northeast. Thrand’s current life was over and he hated the pledge and he argued with his father that he would stand idly by and watch his son be sent off. His father respected the honor of Pack Longfang and told Thrand to do the same. Furious, Thrand packed his belongings and went to say goodbye to Halldor, Raynar, and Fritha.
Halldor presented Thrand with a gift of rune dice, so that he may continue to read the portents. He also reminded Thrand that he was now leaving to serve a pack whose sole leader is the most powerful Runeseer on Mardrun. He would be able to study runes closer than any Ulven before. Raynar sent Thrand off with a final sparring lesson and then gifted him with a pineed wood axe, one that had been used by Raynar over the years in his expeditions. It was a fine weapon and Thrand had trained with it many times over the years. Both of the brothers bid Thrand farewell and promised that they would meet again someday.
Fritha, on the other hand, had a different reaction… instead of being sad with Thrand’s departure, she packed up her belongings and met Thrand the next morning, refusing to let him leave without her. She said that she had chosen to leave with him to study under the Witches of the Onsallas Village, but Thrand knew that she left mainly because of him. They would venture out into this new part of their lives together as friends and as mates.
Thrand arrived at the outpost and immediately took to being a Longfang Hunter. Skilled at archery and navigating the woods, Thrand’s place among them was assured quickly. After several years of hunting Mordok in the swamp and of sending messages and gathering supplies, Thrand was promoted to Quartermaster of the Outpost. He is now in charge of some of the training, resource management, and maintenance of the outpost. He and Fritha are still mates and they regularly will gather their hunting supplies and bows and go off into the swamp to hunt and track mordok. This role is well suited to him and he has done well as the Outpost’s Quartermaster, but he dearly misses his home in Stormjarl territory. He knows that his father will be very old by now and he has not heard anything from Halldor or Raynar. He misses that simple life in the farms, woods, and coastline of Clan Stormjarl.
Many times Thrand will sit and watch the horizon, lost in his thoughts and casting his rune dice, reading the portents that are revealed to him.