Legacy of the North
Rill of the Rithmunr
Leader, Scout, Diplomat, Hunter of Men
Medium hight, black of hair and lean, Rill nonetheless exudes an aura of fear across the battlefields that he calls home. Having studied the ways (and weaknesses) of men he freely exploits his knowledge when he hunts, intimidates and manipulates them. His ambitions for the unification of the righteous factions of his divided people are mostly unselfish. His savage defense of his clansmen and friends is beastial and bloodsoaked.
Highborn to a house brought low by the attrition of war and the elemental brutality of the North, Rill considers himself the logical next Chieftain of the Red TIger Clan, and he is willing to win that right from his challengers by bloodshed.
Having said that, merely being Chief of the Red Tigers is only one small goal in a series of events that he wishes to set in motion that will ultimately lead to the unification of the pure tribes and the ultimate eradication of the elements that fracture the strength of the Uthgardt. Once the mighty Northmen are forged into one shining weapon, the north will be transformed, and possibly with it, the world.
“You know me not, so call me Rill. But I know you…..
By two tokens I guess you are Sturmla, son of Sturmlaf. The look on your face says I am right. Ha. Its not a difficult guess for one who has spent his youth in the company of the great warriors of the Uthgardt, for where there are great warriors, there are endless stories, and the telling of stories is no job for slayers of men, but for the Scald, and was there ever one greater than Sturmlaf son of Stamwald? No.
As a child in my fathers Grove I sat many a night on HIS lap begging to hear once again the tale of how Thorill Vangarr slew the 5 Orc Chieftains at the battle of Midwinter Crossing. And Sturmlaf never failed to tell it, and each telling was different but also true. His words were as hard as Iron and they wove a spell over all who heard them. Lulled to a trance in the smoky hall, the throngs of warriors would sit upon the turf, a horn of mead or a hunk of mutton to sate them. Even the serving men could not be denied a seat to listen on into the night. And though in aspect his glory came to outshine the lord of the Grove, my father bore it for he loved Sturmlaf. Glory. Battle. Sorrow as deep as the drifts of snow. I wept at each telling of The Sundering of the Tribes, and still do. I felt the hum and glow of Heros blood pulse in me when he wove the lays of my people, my tribe, my fathers.
When Sturmlaf paused in his telling, a mighty stroke upon his harp he would play. Not woman’s music for pleasure, but a crash like thunder and all would be stricken silent with wonder. Then it was that his words would trickle like a spring and all would be refreshed, or he would speak of ancient wrongs done to us by the Orc and we would go mad for vengeance, or he would sing of the wonders of the woods, the song of the river, the symmetry of the stars, the mystery of worked wood and stone and even the lowliest would feel pride in his place among us. All the while his fingers gently plucked the harp you hold now. Yes I recognize Glyphnil, and only Sturmlaf’s favored son could ever pluck those strings without incurring a curse upon his household. Yes, the double curve, the dragon head, the chicken’s claw at the base, these are known to me.
But let me tell you of the other token by which I know you. Many men now have gold flecked blue eyes, but that was not always so. So it was that Sturmlaf held sway over the hearts of men for his manly tales, but over the hearts of Uthgardt’s maidens his sway was stronger still. Now, his gold flecked blue eyes can be found at every Feasting Grove of the North. But surely you have known this? No? Alas….
Yes, Rill is my name, but my family is the Vangarr. Hmmm, that name you DO know. If not for MY fathers, your kind would have no tales to tell! The great great great great great grandson of Thorill Vangarr himself am I. Thorill, who wore the Bear Shirt for Uthgar. Thorill who was called by his own people Thoril the Wicked, Thorill the Devourer. But to Uthgar he was Thorill the Fist of War. To his foes, he was known as Thoril the Reaver and Thorill the Invincible. Beside his seat I cannot sit with only Death in Battle to my name, oh no. Die in battle I will, but if I die before I weave the threads of my fate I will walk the path of darkness and never stand beneath his gaze in the after-world.
Sturmla, I tell you that I have already walked dark paths and many foes now have my blood oath of vengeance upon them. And yet I weep for them. The blessing of my lineage, the curse of my line is that every ambitious warrior of the Ridminur who wishes to lead knows that only his axe arm can carve his path to the honored seats at the table of victory. Yet there is one who’s blood alone is enough to lead the tribes. And though it is right to take with strength what belongs to the strong, wickedness and jealousy has focused the greedy eyes of many young families toward my line. The Vangarr, once a great circle of strength and love in the heart of Uthgardt has been hacked down not by the Orc or the Giants, but by ambitious men of Uthgardt, of Red Tiger, of Ridminur. I am torn! The only way to heal with love this horrible crime is to show by example the error they have committed. I MUST lead, for the Uthgardt are like unto a blind Cyclops wandering ways he knows not with no path back from whence he came. Too mighty to die, too lost to live.
The ancient bloodlines have all failed. Can any man can trace his line father to son back to the Golden Sunrise of Uthgar’s age? Only Rill I think. And though I become the greatest hunter of my age, it is not enough. Though I heap glory upon my family, it is not enough. Though I sleep with the head of the Orc King beneath my knees, it is not enough. Though I smite all of Giant Kind down and chain them in thralldom it is not enough. Yet these things I must do. And to do them I must do what is even more difficult to achieve. I must cleanse Uthgardt of its sundered path. I must bring the totems of the 12 clans to roost at Bearunna’s Well and forge a new totem for us to hold next to our hearts. I must bring Uthgar’s wayward children home, so we can unite and reap vengeance upon the Orc, the Giant, the Southerners. For who can possibly stand before the combined might of the flower of Uthgardt? None.
So fare you well Sturmla, son of Sturmlaf. Go to your wintering place, for even now the North Wind brings hoarfrost to the dark places. Soon the snow shall lay heavy and deep upon this land. But wherever you are, think well upon my words. It takes more than strong deeds to plant seeds in mens hearts. The flowering of hope finds root in the singing of songs. The likes of you must write these songs, for I have no tongue for it. And if you choose this path and I find my Wyrd, you will have a place at my knee writing the lays that will be sung for the next thousand years."