Withereach, Nordengaard 28 years ago Human Nordenfiir Male 6’0” Cruiserweight Dark Brown; Black Blue; Grey Fair (tanned) Nordengaard Serf; Criminal Laborer; Guerrilla Girl 14SEP2018 Nathie
Vand is a Nordenfiir with the uncommon disposition of being unable to access his "Svalen" (Bear transformation). His combat role is that of a Light Tank, with his class being somewhere between "Berserker" and "Brawler," due to his drug-use, light armor, heavy evasion, and fighting style favoring unarmed combat.
He will usually be flanked by Sigrith, Doggrave, Signe the Bog Witch, Sannoru, or any combination of the five.
For the most part, the fashion of Withereach doesn’t differ from that of your traditional Nordenfiir fare. They are not atypical from your Viking export to the realm of Fantasy – Rugged, natural beauty, armor and weapons patterned with runic knotwork, and, of course, the incorporation of dead animal parts.
With this in mind, Vand looks every bit like the vampire-barbarian on the cover of your Pharmacy Check-Out Line Romance novel. His chestplate is absent, bearing lean musculature with hyper-developed serratus anterior and abdominal muscles, suggesting the physique of a boxer, then accented in greyish-purple runework. What armor he does have, however, is a thick, dark leather collar that offers asymmetrical protection to his shoulders, favoring his left in an iron guard. His left side continues in a leather sleeve, protected by light plates of iron and bone extending down the arm. The other arm features additional rune work. Both of his hands are clad in iron gauntlets and set with three actual bear claws each, all of which extend just beyond Vand’s hand so as to give each punch a clawed knuckle-duster. He wears a bear skin small cape that drapes partially down his back, with the rest of the bear draped around his waist, giving a sorta skirt to his patchwork trousers which are tucked into his fur boots. He wears a half-mask of a broken bear skull.
Vand was recently struck by lightning. The results have been quite beautiful scarring, really -- of a snowflaked, vein pattern moving over his right cheek, down his neck, and mostly coursing down his right side.
Vand's runic tattoos have the capacity to be used in Rune Magic. However, they are missing key sigils in their "circuits." This is designed for ad hoc "plugging in" of painted in or fastened on runes to give Vand temporary armor boosts or elemental effects to his fists. Without these missing variables, they are merely tattoos.
It is not uncommon that Vand's pupils will be enormous.
The Black Bastard- a (surprise) bastard sword stolen from the late Irvad the Only, former oppressor of the town of Withereach. The blade is made of Black Ice (Obsidian, actually), which, unfortunately, the Nordenfiir are incapable of successfully crafting -- their furnaces simply do not burn hot enough (Not to mention, the culture does not inspire a lot of Grandmaster Glass-blowers). So, instead, the blade is crooked as a tree branch, with the edge more like the teeth of a crude saw after little bites were hammered into it by way of hammer or even stone. Because of this, its wounds are very rarely clean, leaving uneven and aggravated damage prone to infection. Its poor craftsmanship makes the sword unsturdy, but, thanks to it being composed of an amorphous solid, any break should retain a workable edge. Its bizarrely shaped blade makes it impossible to sheathe, and the sword is girded onto Vand's back by a thin leather strap.
The Useless Prick- a one-handed sword once-belonging to Gwaerendir, it was forged from Dwarven-steel for a High Elf battemage -- ensuring the blade is sharp, strong, and incredibly light, especially when wielded by a Nordenfiir. Vand's preferences, when not straight-up punching something to death, tend to lean toward two-handed weaponry with a bit more mmph, however, which is why this trophy has earned its unfortunate name. Vand will usually hold this sword upside-down in his hand, using it largely for purposes of guard and deflection, while also benefiting from the grips ability to minimize the likelihood of him breaking his hand in a poorly-landed punch. Due to the workings of Signe the Bog Witch, the sword also possesses a passive ability to seek out its former master whenever it is struck. This has no physical manifestation; it simply nudges the wielders intuition in the general direction of the High Elf. If the sword is to be on Vand's person, it will be hilted off his right hip.
Skills and Abilities
Racial Passives: As a Nordenfiir, Vand has an honed sense of smell, exceptional stamina and appetite, is a skilled combatant in most traditional forms of weaponry, and is a formidable survivalist.
Feral Fighter: Vand has made an effort to take more cues from the natural world. In this, his primary fighting style is more akin to a boxer/monk, favoring strikes that utilize the bear claws he has affixed to his gauntlets in slashes and punctures.
Working-Class Hero: Vand's body has been forged in an inhospitable climate, then hardened from years of manual labor. He is practically strong and damage resistant. He can scale the flattest of cliff faces and swim the coldest of rivers. He can also effectively utilize tools as weaponry.
Dead Bears 4 Life: Having sharpened his mettle on anthropomorphized animal-humanoids and those who would shapeshift into bears and wolves, Vand has cultivated the knowledge of just where to stick his claws and blade n order to ensure his target's organs spill out in the time that they finally change from their current shifted form. It's mostly a mean thing to do, but it's a worthwhile setup for an ambush on a larger opponent. What's more, having been part of a pre-teen Monster Hunting Club, Vand tends to be pretty savvy with how to kill local terrors, both weird and common.
"I wouldn't consider myself religious, but I'm spiritual...": Through no fault of his own, Vand lacks the cultural education to have made proper contact with his Svalen, inhibiting from being able to transform and eventually learn magic. That said, he still has the potential, with all the untapped energy welling up inside of him. His path will be nontraditional, and, because of this, so might his destination. Until then, however, he is considered a pariah by his people, save for those in Withereach.
Berserker Drugs: Vand utilizes the mushroom Toad Stool to enhance his abilities and ignore his Silicosis. This can create radical changes to his personality, his drivers, and his health. Often, he will be left exhausted following a trip.
Fungus Among Us: In his encounter with Gwaerendir, Vand was struck by lightning. This momentary shock to the system temporarily stunted his anti-bodies, leaving him vulnerable to the spores of Toad Stool being processed within his body. This allowed them to take root and begin to grow. Periodically, Vand will exhibit signs akin to a sinus infection without clear reason. Additionally, during high activity, his spit will blacken and stink of death. Most curious, however, are the periodic intrusions of an unusual voice of uncertain nature upon his psyche.
Snowman: Vand, like most Nordenfiir, have an incredibly difficult time acclimating to environments with extreme heat.
Silicosis: The decade of back-breaking work in the mines have left Vand's lungs powdered and scarred with silica dust. Vand is prone to coughing fits and issues breathing during bouts of increased activity. It also greatly hinders the enhanced sense of smell typically attributed to his subrace.
Iconoclastic, curious, esoteric, and ardent.
Nordenfiir are natural-born shifters but do not gain the ability to change until they come of age. This does not happen until a Nordenfiir has "found their Svalen" or discovered their spiritual animal counterpart: typically these spirit guides arrive to a Nordenfiir in a time of self discovery and growth. "Svalen" is the Nordenfiir word for soul. Regardless of the Nordenfiir's relative level of self-actualization, they permeate an aura -- or, at least, an odor -- that generates fear within the nostrils of animals not domesticated by the Northern people.
Due to the social and geographical situation surrounding his home of Withereach, Vand is among the few to have failed to awaken their Svalen.
Biography & Lore
Vand was born, just barely, in the Withereach Mining Colony, located at the "withering hand" in the Eretejeva Tundra main landmass' southern-most peninsula. Following a bout of placenta abruptio, Vand had to be removed from his mother via a primitive induced labor composed of local violently-poisonous herbs and fungi. In an explosion of blood and screams and Cesarean havoc, Vand managed to survive. His mother, radiant and loving as any Madonna, held him briefly, smiling in her glow, and cooed, "So, it's you -- My terrible, beautiful vand--"
She never completed the statement -- as she would pass out and inevitably die due to blood loss; but it was widely speculated among those who gave a shit at all that she intended to call her son a "vandal," only meaning it so far as an affectionate epithet and not as a usurper to the list of family names she and her husband had already discussed. Alas, it was not to be, and, in his grief (and perhaps his anger), Vand's father would let the perhaps-accidental naming ride.
Withereach provided schooling for ages 5-11, of which Vand would attend. While school largely existed as an indoctrination program by Irvad the Only (the goal being to systematically deracinate serfs from their Svalen-warrior culture generation by generation to eventually produce consumers driven to spend their wages at the company store and never to yield academics), Vand was noted as a bright, imaginative student, and troublesome because of it. He would learn to fight as all Nordenfiir did, though it was not taught with the same spiritual value and pride as it might have been in Nord developments closer to the King's seat in Nordengaard.
When he was 15, Vand would finally join his father in the mines. He resented the work, and often tried to ditch his shift. His father would cover for him -- perhaps the only thing the man was able to offer his son in this world so ground under the heels of the Boss. In his many teenage adventures, Vand would come to know Doggrave of the Tusk, the boulder-throwing mammoth-man of the further North, and Signe, the Bog Witch -- the two who still traditionally flank him to this day. He would take a special interest in the Svalen (particularly his own), visiting the cowed, broken shaman for stories and spiritual direction on the regular, despite the fact that the position was largely only ceremonial at this point.
Still, he never bridged the contact with his Inner Bear -- this is a point of shame and confusion for Vand.
Maturing, Vand would come to the conclusion that his people were spiritually broken due to the corrupt machinations of Irvad the Only -- he worked them too hard, he cut them off from their culture, and now they had been broken into slavery. In the confusion following the wake of the news of the death of the King, Vand developed an ad hoc laborer's union and militia that was able to siege the Jorn's estate and take back the colony. While this was, for the most part, considered a good thing by the people of Withereach, in the days to follow, it became a point of trepidation and anxiety. What would the Nordengaard do when their iron exports noticeably began to decrease?
While Vand the Rouser had, by no means inherited the role of mayor or Jorn, the colony was looking for him to for a solution, to make right.
And so it goes.
*He Is No King of Mine
~*Misery is the River of the World*
~~*Leave all but the memories behind
Categories: Category Humans