Sword of the North
Social Castes of Baelland
Social Castes determine your starting place in society, a bonus skill or talent, and penalties that may occur. The Boendr is at the top, followed by the Freemen and then the Thrall. The Vikti are somewhere between Freemen and Thrall, their status fluctuating by region.
Boendr: You were born into strength and riches, or perhaps you ascended from the ranks of the Freemen. You are one of the Bondi, and property and thralls are bound to your name, family, and word. Though you have no true overlord, you must respect the Gods and the King. Failing to do so has been the downfall of many a house.
- Boendr begin play with 50 silver in wealth and supplies besides their career equipment.
Benefits: Choose any ONE of the following Talents.
- Talent: Oathkeeper – You are renowned for keeping your word, and both freemen and thralls can rely on you to never take a word back. You may use this to be an iron handed lord who others fear for his lyrical speech on bloodletting is often literal. Or you may use this as an assurance that all will be well and fair. You gain either a plus +5 bonus to Command, Charm, and Intimidate, to reflect your ability to keep promises. If you should become an Oathbreaker, you lose this benefit.
- Talent: Grand Ally – You may choose to create one ally of equal status level who trusts you as a friend and brother of the north. He may be a merchant, a guildmaster, a veteran warrior, a raider captain, or an old professor or colleague from one of the abbeys. This ally will provide you with food, shelter, clothing, and up to 1d10 gold worth of supplies so long as you remain in his good graces. Upon creation you must choose two things he will not abide by and one thing he respects. Example: Bjorn the Bondsman, a renown mercenary captain is a friend with PC1. He is a man who will not abide an Oathbreaker or a Thief but he respects those who fight for the innocents. If PC1 is known for stealing cattle, he will not be able to seek Bjorn for help before repairing his reputation by both giving back livestock (or equal blood money) and gaining some renown as a defender of the downtrodden.
- Talent: Hall of the Highborn – You begin play with one Hall under the command of your family and yourself. You may visit this place and conduct trade or seek shelter. A Hall is generally a small fortified building, surrounded by a wall with either a tower or a barracks. The hall is always open for you, provided you maintain a good standing with your household. In the case that you do not, you can always seize the hall by force and appoint a steward to maintain it for you.
- Any two minor and one severe, or two severe and one minor. Or one Major.
Freemen: You are born without any noble blood. You may have been a slave, or you may have been born into the ranks of the Freemen. Regardless, you know to what heights you can ascend, but you also know you’re only as good as your bladehand. Failure in deed and oath may see you cast back into the ranks of a Thrall.
- Freemen begin play with 10 silver pieces in wealth and supplies besides their career equipment.
- Talent: Freedom – Unless you are captured and branded a slave, you have no ties that can keep you from traveling. You have rights to travel the land, to take up arms and plunder, to found a business and craft, or to work the land. You have the rights to own Thralls. If you are considered an Oathbreaker or are known for your misdeeds and foulness, you will take a -5 penalty on any Social Interaction used to allow you to travel, seek hospitality, or procure goods at a modest price.
- Any two minor and one severe, or two severe and no minor.
Thrall: You are part of a sorry lot. You are a slave and your life is to toil at the hands of Freemen and Boendr who may treat you harshly, as you are less than your master’s dog or horse. They have every right to put you down if you’re sick or injured. But the shackles you wear may be removed in time. You need only prove yourself to your owner, or one who is mightier than him. You may need to keep an oath or pay a wergild, and you will certainly need to find the means to do so. If you cannot, you can always flee and hope you’re not found.
- Thralls begin play with 50 copper pieces in wealth and supplies besides their career equipment.
- Talent: Price of Freedom: You are not free and therefore cannot benefit from travel, or plunder or receive a wergild if injured or assaulted. But you can purchase your freedom. You must host a great feast with at least eight bushels of malt for ale and you must present your owner with three pounds of silver. If your master is aware of your intentions, he may let you go on a quest to retrieve such wealth and goods. If you flee whilst on this quest, you are considered an Oathbreaker and will be killed by your master if caught. If you succeed this quest, you gain the Freedom talent as depicted in the Freemen entry.
- Any two minor or one major.
Vitki: You are one of the wise ones, a seer or a learned man. You may have been a student at a university or been gifted with the ways of the mist by the fate of the Norn or strange happenstance. Your place in society is somewhere between a thrall and a freeman. You have no wergild, your death is inconsequential unless proven otherwise by those who can claim you a man of honor. But you have the right to travel, and Boendr and Thrall alike fear and envy your talents in the realms of the mind.
- Vikti begin play with 15 silver in wealth and supplies besides their career equipment.
- You may take an Academic or Arcane class upon character creation. If you choose Academic, you gain +5 to Intellect. If you choose Arcane, you gain +1 to your Magic.
- Any two minor and one severe, or one major.