The harsh environment of Midvinter during summertime, home of the Valkyri species.
Language: Runian [Ancient Valkyrian Language] & Galactic Basic.
Average height of adults: 1.8 - 2.5 metres [males]; 1.7 - 2.3 metres [females].
Skin color: Caucasian; ranging from milky white to tanned.
Hair color: Ranging from stark white to charcoal black.
Breathes: Oxygen; type 1 atmosphere.
A Valkyri warrior.
Strengths & Weaknesses:
+ Hardened: Natives to the remote planet of Midvinter, they all have a natural resistance to cold, thus able to prosper in temperatures where other human species would more than likely freeze to death.
+ Physically fit: Having relied on pulling their own weight for millennia without the use of advanced technology at their disposal, they have developed into a large, muscular people who nature selected to rule the frosty landscape of Midvinter.
+ Valiant: The true characteristic of a Valkyri, they never shy away from a fight and always choose the direct approach, as they believe only death in battle will send them to Beornskald, where all the legends of the past await them.
+ Peaceful: Though they may appear as conquerors and warmongers, Valkyri are surprisingly slow to anger; they only wage war against themselves in order to determine which tribe will be the next Chief Tribe, should the last High King fail to produce a fitting heir, thus placing their chieftan on the throne. While they may appear threatening to outsiders, they mean them no harm and enjoys trading, hunting, and the simple pleasures life has to offer.
+ Traders & Craftsmen: They have a natural affinity for craftmanship, and thus are able to create many fine things from seemingly nothing. Creative and resourceful, these are gifts given to them by the Smithing God, Teign.
+/- Independent: While their government consists of several tribes united under the banner of their High King, the Valkyri remain fiercly independent in the eyes of outsiders especially, taking orders from nobody save for those who have proven their worth.
- Technologically inferior: The Valkyri have in the past made an effort not to adopt any outsider tech, thus choosing to remain in the dark when it comes to even below average technology. Only now with the recent ascension to the throne does High King Beorlund allow outsiders to introduce new technology to the masses, which have garnered him no small amout of hostility among some of the tribes.
- Simple-minded: Due to their stubborn refusal to adopt outsider technology, nor craving the urge to learn about other cultures, they are not the brightest of people. They instead know of the nature and survival, of warfare and the old ways of Valkyrian life, believing it will be enough to take on whatever comes their way.
- Stubborn: As mentioned above, they can appear stubborn and reluctant to new ideas, as they prefer to keep to the old, traditional ways of their people.
- Cold-blooded: While they thrive in cold climates, the Valkyri loathe warmer temperatures of about 10 degrees celsius and above. They tend to get sunstricken at temperatures above 20 degrees, and generally have a really tough time acclimatising to anything above zero degrees celsius.
- Boastful: Enjoys boasting of past deeds, much to the annoyance of outsiders, yet is part of Valkyrian culture.
- Frenzied warriors: The utmost honour is to die valiantly in battle, and so their primitive tactics during wartime have earned them a reputation of verging on suicidal in battle.
- Unaware of the Force: Like it says, none of the Valkyri have ever heard of anything called "The Force", as they are all firm believers of their old ways. This means that sometimes gifted people belonging to them have spent their whole lives unaware of their potential, and thus faded into obscurity.
Distinctions: Taller than the average human, and generally much more muscular, the Valkyri are a large, friendly people, if lacking a bit in manners. They typically have long, blonde hair, blue eyes, with the men often sporting braided beards of varying length. Tattoos play a big part of their society, as members of each tribe adorn themselves with family insignias and signs of past deeds.
Average Lifespan: 100 - 150 Standard Years.
Diet: The Valkyri live off the land, and so they rely on hunting for food and grow crops. Meat from the local animal population is regularly on the meny, as well as fish, vegetables of different types, and bread made from wheat, grain or barley. Milk produced by cattle along with various kinds of alcoholic beverages. Sometimes they allow off-world traders to bring in foods from other cultures across the galaxy, some of which manage to carve a place in the hearts of the grizzled Valkyri.
Communication: Verbal & Written Communication.
Technology level: Minimal technological advances, as is part of their culture. However, the new High King now does allow new technology to be brought to Midvinter for the first time, hoping to usher in a new era of prosperity among his people. Space travel is limited, as they currently possess no ships of their own, and instead rely on passing merchants to take them as passengers should they wish to leave Midvinter.
The culture of the Valkyri centres around their beliefs regarding the afterlife, where if a warrior dies in honourable battle, they will be brought to the land of the immortals, Beornskald; a place where legends of old and warriors of today feast and fight alongside eachother eternally. A warrior culture, the Valkyri try to remain in peak physical condition throughout their lives, males and females both, thereby making it a highly equal society where men and women alike have risen to high offices, even having granted the title of High Queen to those deserving of it throughout their history. The brave Shieldmaidens, the elite among female warriors, are a force to be reckoned with and are worthy of just as much respect as the best male warriors. The elders are treated with the utmost respect, with some living upwards to 200 years. These few are hailed as Fathers and Mothers of the land, and rank almost as high as the King himself.
Their government consists of several minor tribes, each with a Chieftain leading and representing them. These minor tribes then come together and choose among the Chieftains a High King, the one to unite them all and serve as the highest office. Every member of a tribe has a say in the election, thus avoiding any unnecessary bloodshed. Should one of the Chieftains disagree with the decision, and refuse to abide by the decision, they usually turn to civil war, where the supporters of each figure meet on the field of battle to determine the more worthy. Should the nay-sayer succeed with the uprising, he or she will be given the crown, although those having taken the throne by bloody force are generally looked upon with less favour than those who do so peacefully. The current High King, Beorlund the Bold, is one exception to this statement, although his policies dismissing the technology of outsiders has raised quite a few eyebrows among the populace.
Despite their reputation of drunken louts who do nothing but fight eachother, they are shrewd merchants and traders, and the fine trinkets they manage to sculpt from ice and bones from the large local animals are regarded as exquisite and rare collector's items. Other than that, they keep themselves afloat with what they find in the harsh yet beautiful, cold and mountainous nature surrounding the planet of Midvinter. Their population have never seen a decline, even through war-time due to them not being many in numbers to begin with. Each tribe holds no more than a thousand members, all in all, and the often occurring in-fighting helps to regulate the population further. They have lived off the land for many years, and they believe that bringing in more people would quickly diminish their already scarce sources of food as well as have people occupy the few habitable places left on the planet.
Should you encounter a Valkyr, count on them to be large humanoids with rough features and gruff demeanor. What makes Valkyri loosen their outward persona is the drink; a grand feast with women and wine never fails to bring them down more than a few notches, and once you get to know them, they will prove to be stalwart and loyal friends. Nothing is truer than the word of a Valkyr, and once you have successfully won one over, he will remain by your side through thick and thin.
The five core Gods of Old; Odiir, Runa, Teign, Helm, and Éar. Velkar, God of Fire and Mischief, must never be depicted.
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Viking-Warrior-200523645 | http://www.deviantart.com/art/V-a-l-k-y-r-i-e-191586815 | http://www.deviantart.com/art/Viking-410858376 | http://www.deviantart.com/art/Viking-315861138 | http://www.deviantart.com/art/female-viking-48029936
According to Valkyri mythologi, the world of Midvinter was created by the Gods of Old:
Odiir; God of the Wind and Skies, who also serves as the High God, and ruler of all lesser gods.
Runa; Goddess of the Earth and Oceans, wife of Odiir, and also serves as the namesake of Runian, the native tongue of the Valkyri.
Teign; God of Smithing and Crafting, younger brother of Odiir.
Helm; God of War and Justice, firstborn of Odiir and Runa.
Éar; Goddess of the Hunt and Fertility, sister to Helm.
There are many more lesser gods being worshipped by the Valkyri people, though any and all would agree that these are the most widely worshipped and adored among them. Legends state that Odiir himself, the High God, molded their world and everything surrounding it, with the aid of his wife Runa, who brought life to the seas and earth, and his brother Teign, who crafted the very first Valkyri and animals out of ice. Odiir then proceeded to breathe life into all creatures sculpted by his brother, and so the planet came to fruition. At first, the newborn people were undisciplined and unsure of how to spend their time. It was at that point that Helm, the God of War, descended upon the mortal world and instructed them about the nature of warfare, and proceeded to gift them with weapons forged by his uncle himself. The skills of crafting and smithing was then passed onto the mortals so that they would become strong and prosperous.
The world itself used to be a paradise, with great mountains high enough to touch the sky, lush forests and widespread oceans. While having always been a cold world, it was nowhere near as frozen as its current state might suggest. This is the result of Velkar, who managed to trick his father Odiir into engulf the land in ice almost entirely. He was tasked with bringing the mortals the gift of fire so that they could warm themselves during the long winters, and so he did. However, he tricked the gullable mortals into reckless behaviour, which resulted in many homes across the world catching fire. He rushed to his father's side, explaining how lacking in intelligence the poor fools were and that they verged on extinction by their own hand. Thus, the High God brought to the world of mortals an age of ice in order to stop the rampaging fires. In time, the Valkyri learned to harness the gift of fire, thereby proving the Fire God wrong in describing them as unintelligent; one of the many proud achievements the Valkyri hold dear. Because of his treachery, Velkar must never be depicted, as doing so will bring misfortune upon whoever does.
Halmar the Hammer, the earliest recorded High King of the Valkyri.
Ask any of them, and the Valkyri will say that they have always been, here on this rock made of ice and snow, minding their own buisness throughout millennia on end. Whether or not this is true or not, nobody knows, though to the proud people itself it is as true as you and I. The earliest records of a High King date back to many thousands of years ago, with Halmar the Hammer ascending the icy throne as supreme ruler after a long and devastating war between the tribes. He managed to bring order and stability to the chaos, and died a man of too many accolades to count at the age of 311; a lifetime few dare to dream of achieving. Through the centuries since then there have been a mix of peaceful, and not-so-peaceful, successors to take the throne, many of which were not related to the previous High King, as it is not a pre-requisite to ascend the highest office. A few notable High Kings since Halmar himself are as follows:
Yggve the Far-seer, who was able to predict the future, unbeknownst to anyone that he was in fact gifted with the Force, including himself.
Tryggve, son of Yggve, who bested his many competitors using his cunning and deep understanding of how people think.
Friga the Fair, the first ever High Queen, whose radiant beauty was enough to halt any in-fighting among the chieftains throughout her reign, ushering in a true age of prosperity for her people.
Dwaith the Blind, who managed to pierce his opponent's eye using his skills with the bow, despite his obvious disadvantage, thereby ending the war of succession before it began.
Beorlund the Usurper
Notable Player-Characters: [member="Thurion Heavenshield"]; [member="Thyrian Ashborn"]; [member="Thrand Dawnbringer"]
Intent: To bring in a new playable species based around Viking culture, and Norse mythology in general, for public use.