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Author Topic: Wolves of the Sea - Viking Era Vampire: The Dark Ages  (Read 2329 times)

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Offline bubby

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MMmm... not really the answer I was going for. If I make a female char, she'd only be interested in male chars. SO... will we have any hetero or bi male chars?

Offline Blythe

I'm playing a bi male; Fedora has a bi male as well. ;D

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Indeed. Two of the three with character sheets are bi, at least. A Gangrel and a Malkavian. That's just the first three characters that have been made so far. ;)

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Oh thank GAWD!  ::)

Ok then... pic found and char sheet being worked on!

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Mine is definitely not picky, though he is drawn to warriors - men, women, doesn't matter. A shieldmaiden would catch his eye. ;D

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Holy crap, I've just suddenly hit a wall of blankness. I've started on that char sheet, but to be able to continue with any sort of history or anything, I need to rest. If I don't get it up later tonight, I will for sure tomorrow.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Take your time! We aren't going anywhere without you. ;D

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*Blushes and hugs*

Offline eBadger

Aesahildr Audunardottir

Soooo like others, I got...wordy. 

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
   
Aesahildr Audunardottir
Player: eBadger
Clan: Toreador
Generation: Whatevs

Appearance: Aesa maintains a blush of health, and can pass with little difficulty as a pale human – common enough in the north.  She is undeniably beautiful; in the south, her coloring gave her an exotic look, while here in the north the same allure stems from her courtesan’s arts and a body untouched by weathering and unbent by hard labor.
 
Physical Traits: Aesa was possessed of a surreal grace even before her embrace, and the unnatural quickness of a Toreador has only intensified this.  Her voice drips honey, the simplest movement is mesmerizing, and she has danced to seduce emperors.  She is able to consume mortal food. 

Although she doesn’t lack for strength or endurance, she knows herself no match for the power of a northman.  She is small and thin, and often underestimated by those who tower above her, which proves occasionally frustrating but frequently beneficial. 

Personality: Overcoming adversity to rise to power has left scars on Aesa’s personality.  Although she rarely lets her temper show, she is swift to anger and slow to forgive, delighting in a slow, painful revenge or the quick, brutal domination of a foe.  She values loyalty and is given it unquestionably by her warriors, but she has none that would be defined as friends.  Aesa is best approached with respect and reason, and is a born capitalist: a deal is always to be struck. 

Mental Traits: Aesa is clever and swift thinking; although no scholar or serious intellectual, she is respected for her mind as well as her grace.  She is well educated and literate.  A woman who has overcome the limits of gender, race and class, she is possessed of an indomitable will and charisma – a force strong enough to compel the proudest warriors to obey. 

History: Born on the shores of the Dnieper about 75 years ago, Aesahildr was raised the daughter of a powerful Rus merchant lord and raider.  Her upbringing was brutal and nomadic, mostly spent aboard ship and in small, temporary villages.  Aesa thrived on the challenges and loved the deadly freedom of the Rus, blossoming quickly into a young woman strong of back and lithe of limb.  Competition for her hand was already promising to be fierce when her father heard tales of the wonders of Constantinople, and saw opportunity.  Turning his karfi south, he sought new markets and an ambitious match for his daughter.
 
Exotic, graceful, and possessed of completely unique coloring, Aesa gained quick interest within the legendary city.  The keen competition between merchants for her favor also began to change her; she began to cast off the mantle of dutiful child and become an independent, ambitious woman. 

It was then that her sire found her.  Her exotic appeal was obvious, her potential as a work of art unquestionable, and her aspiration an easy lure.  On a clear, warm evening a man of rank and fortune arrived on Audun’s step to bargain for his daughter and, unlike so many before, this offer couldn’t be refused.  Aesa found herself not a wife but a courtesan, and never saw another sunrise. 

For ten years she never left the man's palace, learning the arts of court, performance and politics first from Stephanos and then from a long series of tutors: men and women who would thereafter disappear across sea, or beneath it.  Word of a Rus visit was stifled or discounted.  Thus it was that, when she was finally introduced, her skills were far beyond those of her peers and bolstered by natural talent and exotic appearance.  She was, predictably, a sensation at court – she worked her way swiftly through lesser nobles and officials, was snatched up by great men and briefly gained the interest of the emperor himself. 

Inevitably, however, she learned the secret price of immortality and the fickle nature of the Toreador.  As more Rus worked south, she became less exotic; although no less a courtesan – more, in fact, for she continued to master the arts of courtesan and vampire – her star began to fade.  Also, her unaging nature became more impossible to ignore.  Finally, after less than two decades in court, she took a rich, aged official as husband and retreated from the public eye. 

She’d arranged her marriage well, however, and quickly found herself widowed and wealthy.  She then turned her efforts to politics – both within the human court and the vampiric.  She was not without success, but quickly felt herself hampered by her gender and a sire who found her at first to be useless baggage and then, increasingly, competition. 

For the first time she truly began to fear for her safety.  After one misguided attempt to assassinate her – a poor fool who didn’t realize her nature – she journeyed north to return to her people.  She was recognized by her brothers and a few others, now elders of the clan: and she used her eternal youth and supernatural powers to convince them she had touched Valhalla and could grant them, as well, the strength and longevity of epic warriors.  She returned to Byzantium with forty Norse warriors, a group of fiercely loyal, intimidating and capable troops that would inspire the later Varangian guard. 

In the end, however, Aesa proved less fortunate at the subtle, slow intrigues of kindred than she had been inspiring lust as a courtesan.  Not that she was incapable, which would likely have made her safer, but the success of a young vampire brought quick censure from one of the oldest courts in the world.  In the end, it was her own sire that turned upon her.  Stephanos felt every reproach toward her reflect upon his own pride, and every growth in her influence erode his own.  Eliminating her promised to remove an irritation and curry the favor of the elders.  This began a year long feud of strike and counterstrike, disastrous to both kindred.  Aesa lost half her huskarls, while Stephanos watched both his newest protege and trusted seneschal beheaded. 

Finally, fed up with the conflict and the chaos it brought, the elders forbid any further action by the kindred against one another and gave Aesa three months to leave the city.  Although the appeal of becoming a courtesan in a new city – Venice, or Acre, or Alexandria – was very strong, her followers showed no interest to travel south and Aesa too felt the call of the land of her ancestors.  An escape from civilization would also be the best way to avoid the influence of her irate sire. 

After due consideration, she concluded that a careful expedition might gain power bringing civilization to the savage lands and therefore turned her fortune and time towards preparation.  She would not rely on force of arms, but on technology and alliances, so she didn’t seek to gather more soldiers but instead recruited skilled craftsman with promises of opportunity and adventure, or simply purchased able slaves outright.  Tools and bribes figured as prominently into her cargo as trade goods. 

Months later her expedition arrived in the Baltic, mostly intact, aboard three small boats.  She set her sights upon the village of Heior, a settlement of some few hundred that would provide access to iron and wood for her craftsman, the sea for trade, and abutted a cave-riddled cliff for security.  During a feast she wove her subtle temptations around the jarl Nefgeir, a vicious man disliked by his people who ruled only through fear.  Aesa lured him into grandiose brags, then derided him for his foolishness.  Humiliated, the Nefgeir demanded a duel and Aesa herself granted it; the speed of her blade was enough to slay him easily.  A brief fight erupted as a dozen kin and loyal huskarls sought to avenge him and take his place, but it was dealt with quickly and lethally.  Within hours of arriving, Aesa was the undisputed jarl of Heior. 

Weeks after that bloody night, she has solidified her control, set her plans in motion, and stands ready to step onto the stage of local politics.  She has no intention to compete for leadership; instead, she seeks to present herself as an irresistible ally and an undesirable foe. 

Religion: Aesahildr was raised in the worship of the norse gods, and has never cast this off despite the ire of Stephanos and thorough instruction on the teachings of christianity.  This is not to say she is the most devout of followers, being a bit of a cynic, but she has legitimately concluded that she is now a valkyrie: for undeniably she chooses who lives, dies, or fights eternally for glory. 

Disciplines: Auspex 3, Presence 3, Celerity 4

Weapons: Aesa has performed more than a few kills with her long, slender dagger, although she tends to rely on her speed or guile to set up a strike rather than melee skill.  She routinely carries a sword – like those of her men, a fine example of Arabic metal crafting, and recently inscribed with enchanted runes – but wears it and her reinforced leathers mostly as a badge of authority; she has a rudimentary understanding of swordplay but little inclination to participate in toe to toe fighting. 

Skills: A highly trained courtesan, Aesa possesses many skills in the arts including dancing, singing, instruments and conversation.  She is a capable administrator, having run her own large household for many years before organizing her current expedition.  Aesa speaks four languages: Norse and Slavic from her early years and Greek and Latin from her time in Byzantium.  She is literate in the latter two, but has only a slight understanding of runic.   She has a limited knowledge of skaldic arts. 

Resources:
Aesa came well equipped for her expedition.  Three karfi contain trade supplies and tools, as well as 70 followers: mostly skilled tradesman, smiths and carpenters and masons, but also a score of veteran huskarls equipped with mail hauberks, helms, and fine steel weapons, enhanced by the power of a ghoul to make a small but devastating force.   

She has recently taken control of the hall and town of Heior, a fairly humble village chosen for its natural resources – access to ore, wood and sea - rather than any role as a local power. 

Sexuality: Aesa is bisexual, although she tends to favor the fairer sex, both for aesthetics and because they tend to have less illusions of ownership or control.  A woman who has clawed her way to power, she revels in the taste of more and abhors the loss of any: she is strictly dominant.  Note that while I’m hetero, I’m not averse to having Aesa play with men if it arises in the story. 
Associated Kinks: Domination, humiliation, exhibitionism, orgasm control, whips. 
Ons/Offs: Submitting is a definite off.  Otherwise, I’m open to anything – read my ons/offs, and be assured that I will never be offended if you ask (actually, I tend to take it as quite a compliment). 

 

Summary: A Rus viking who became a toreador courtesan from the Byzantine court, Aesa has made her way north with an elite group of warriors and craftsman to seize the small village of Heior and begin to involve herself as a force in local politics. 

Potential character links: Aesa feels the keen need for allies, and wouldn't be averse to embracing anyone whose capability and loyalty she was sure of.  This could be one of her craftsman or huskarl warriors, or a promising maiden to serve as an apprentice of sorts. 

She is also willing to pay or ally with anyone who will aid her in return, following the ancient tradition of the jarl.  Any kindred wanting safety in a vampire-controlled village or a chance at future craft goods or spoils might find a place in her hall. 

And finally, anyone approaching Aesa with less than outright hostility will be met with offers of friendship. 

Group role: Aesa is primarily a social creature.  Her talents as a courtesan, disciplines, and fledgling political clout can open all but the most hostile doors.  She's no mere political prop, however.  Her leadership can provide some NPC support when needed while Heior offers group members a secure haven and gathering place, transportation, and a reliable source of supplies.  Her offensive abilities aren't top notch, but it would unwise to dismiss her entirely.  Finally, a cunning mind and six sharp senses can provide important information. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 02:51:53 PM by eBadger »

Offline OneirosTopic starter

I think she looks awesome. And I look forward to seeing the dynamic between a Nosferatu and a Toreador. ;)

Offline eBadger

I think she looks awesome. And I look forward to seeing the dynamic between a Nosferatu and a Toreador. ;)

Thank you!  I'm kinda proud of how I managed to fit some things together: the rise of a glorified prostitute to wealth and power among brawny, sweaty meat shields through those most Toreador of things, beauty and craftsmanship. 

As for dynamics, we'll see.  I don't buy much into the Toreador-as-useless-gossips cliche (hopefully that comes across), nor will she feel the need to start rivalries over petty cosmetics when she's desperate for allies.  I'm actually envisioning her more as the glue to hold our group together. 

Offline eBadger

I also noticed a couple people mention they had no experience with the game, so a couple quick bits of info/advice/links:

Wolves of the Sea, a sourcebook for VtDA Vikings.  It has some good (generally accurate) info on the vikings (although it seems to strangely exclude any mention of their eastern travels) and lots on vampiric society in the north. 

As a quick summary of clans and their weaknesses:
Pretty likely:
Gangrel - Wild, powerful and animalistic, they gain beastial features as they lose control
Brujah - independent minded warriors of exceptional lethality, they're quick to lose their temper - explosively
Malkavian - observant, stealthy and capable of mental tricks, they're all a bit insane
Ventrue - nobility with great force of will and fortitude, they're very limited in their selection of prey

Somewhat Likely:
Assamite - saracen assassins, good at sneaking and killing, they thirst for the blood of other vampires
Toreador - performers and observers of great skill, they can become entranced with beautiful things
Nosferatu - animalistic and sneaky, they're inhumanly ugly
Lasombra - powerful physically and socially, with the ability to control shadows, they cast no reflection and are very sensitive to sunlight

With all those listed, however, I would suggest simply reading over some of the characters already presented and picking one that would logically work as a sire for your ghoul.  There aren't really any BAD vampire clans.  Or, post your concept and we'll figure out a good spot for you to fit in. 

And finally, a great source of names
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 04:56:51 AM by eBadger »

Offline Madmartigan

So I was flipping through my Dark Ages book & Storyteller Secrets last night (could NOT find my Nosferatu clanbook, dammit) and I noticed two mentions of a Scandinavian branch of Setites who worship Jormungandr. I am intrigued.  ::)

And thanks for the resources, eBadger!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 08:33:34 AM by Madmartigan »

Offline Lockepick

@eBadger: That is a freaking awesome pic, BTW. Love it.

Offline Blythe

Good sources and nice summary of the clans, eBadger.  ;D

So I was flipping through my Dark Ages book & Storyteller Secrets last night (could NOT find my Nosferatu clanbook, dammit) and I noticed two mentions of a Scandinavian branch of Setites who worship Jormungandr. I am intrigued.  ::)

I've never gotten to play alongside a Setite before. *is intrigued*


Offline bubby

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Currently working on owed posts before my partners drop me, then I'll work on my char sheet. Found a name and a pic... woo!   ::)

Offline OneirosTopic starter

As some of you may have know, I've barely slept in the last two days, waiting for my baby sister to give birth >< My nephew is finally here and I can relax... so I might not be here tonight. It has been an emotionally exhausting couple of days and my dad me it soooooo much worse, because he's an asshole.

So feel free to plot and whatnot, I should hopefully be back and more rested by tomorrow.

Offline bubby

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As some of you may have know, I've barely slept in the last two days, waiting for my baby sister to give birth >< My nephew is finally here and I can relax... so I might not be here tonight. It has been an emotionally exhausting couple of days and my dad me it soooooo much worse, because he's an asshole.

So feel free to plot and whatnot, I should hopefully be back and more rested by tomorrow.

Relax! Sounds like you need/deserve it.

Offline Lockepick

Take your time! I appreciate the heads up. That way if I DO get upset with the wait, I know that it's the nephew's fault, and I can take it up with him. :)

Offline Blythe

Congrats on to your sister for the birth of her son! And you for having a new nephew.  :-)

As for plotting and suchnot, I'm more than willing to plan with anyone who'd like to create ties to my character of Eyvindr.  ;D Post here or PM me, and I'll be guaranteed to reply.

Offline eBadger

No worries, Fed, get some rest and we'll see you tomorrow!

As for plotting and suchnot, I'm more than willing to plan with anyone who'd like to create ties to my character of Eyvindr.  ;D Post here or PM me, and I'll be guaranteed to reply.

I posted a few potential character links for Aesa with her character, let me know if one interests you (same to others)

Offline Blythe

Quote from: eBadger from the post with the awesome large character sheet

She is also willing to pay or ally with anyone who will aid her in return, following the ancient tradition of the jarl.  Any kindred wanting safety in a vampire-controlled village or a chance at future craft goods or spoils might find a place in her hall. 


This catches my eye, particularly the word "pay." Eyvindr is a wandering skald, and he is almost always short on money or resources. He'd also be intrigued at the idea of safety in a vampire controlled village; he doesn't have Protean, and shelter can be hard to come by.

If Aesa is concerned with her reputation and allies, having an extremely talented skald known for "listening and obeying" the gods might be helpful--Eyvindr could turn his talents to composing pieces that enhance and brag about her and give her a rather glowing reputation. He also enjoys good company, being a fairly social Kindred. His small talents in Obfuscate and his ability with Auspex also make him a handy scout or spy, so he's got some skills to offer in return for pay and for shelter.

Offline bubby

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Once I make my char, (soon, only one more owed post to go!) I'd like to confer with whoever would be interested in taking on meeting up with her. PM's open!

Offline Lockepick

@Fedora: Delayed response, but if we're using the Sorcerer rules as a basis for Bjarg's Enchanting -- it does require regular 'maintenance' with blood. Theoretically it would be 1 vitae / check, and it lasts for successes in scenes. Since we're going rules light, I imagine it would just be every couple days, and probably before and/or after any big fights.

I know we had discussed there being a Jarl at some point. Can somebody give me a quick description of what a Jarl and Hall are within Kindred Society?

Is Jarl = Prince, and Hall is a group haven? How many Halls are going to be in the area?

Bjarg wouldn't be running his own Hall, that's for sure. He's got money from people buying his wares, which sell at a high price. He could easily pay with money, as well as his services.

Offline OneirosTopic starter

Thank you everyone <3 He certainly took his sweet time getting out of there. ::)

@locke- don't worry about success rolls. We can give it a flat rate, say that when the weapons or armor are 'fed' the enchantment is active for a day or two. After that time period, the enchantment goes inactive, and the equipment behave as normal until more blood is spent on them. I assume anyone who has armor or a weapon from him is in charge if their own upkeep of this.

Within kindred society, for the purposes of this game, I'm thinking there is probably a Prince of the region who oversees several vampire Jarls. So while Aesa has control over a small village, there's still someone else above her in terms of the ruling hierarchy who controls all the halls and villages in the region. And not all jarls are vampires, though humans, of course, don't have a vampiric prince to answer to - the region that our characters are occupying has a number of small kingdoms, and within the next several decades they'll be united (and captured) into a larger kingdoms. Similar to how the US in Vampire:the Masquerade has a human president, but there's still areas encompassing smaller regions within the US where vampire princes rule.

The region our characters are in is likely under control of the kingdom of Denmark at the time of the story beginning, however, relatively soon (in vampiric terms) there's probably going to be a lot of changes to the region and a lot of fighting - Denmark and Sweden really did not get along. With Norway just kinda stuck in the middle of it and changing hands back and forth. But enough of the history lesson!

There are probably a number of halls in the region, and several of them are vampire-owned. Some are bigger than others, with a few of smaller nearby villages under their control and protection. They probably fight here and there, and I'm thinking the vampire prince in charge of the local vampire Jarls is probably Brujah. As I stated before, they'll be an NPC character that has some bearing on the story, but won't necessarily be a large presence. The prince certainly won't be going on any raids or trading expeditions, obviously. Bjarg, since he has some community ties, probably lives under a vampire Jarl. He can either be part of Aesa's village, or can have an unnamed vampire Jarl he lives under at the beginning if you like.

Perhaps we should make an OOC thread for people to hang out in and discuss plots. I'll put that together in a bit.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 12:06:24 AM by Fedora »