|Leader||Ylvia Skelgard (OOC)|
|Motto||"Better to fight and fall than to live without cause."|
Clan Skelgard is an ancient Kiffar clan of Kiffex. Skelgard's differs from others clans in that facial tattoo of the clan is applied to all existing members who wish to be part of the clan and willingly participate in ancient ritual where they procure a skin or a pelt of a hunted animal. They have been known to be fierce, independent and enthusiastic warriors and artisans, and many become renowned mercenaries and traders all over Kiffex. Because Skelgards have mostly been living on Kiffex and only rarely ventured outside the boundaries of the Azurbani system, they have been for most part unheard off in the galaxy at large and only have been known to Northern Kiffar communities. Skelgards can also trace an unbroken Kiffar lineage that extends almost eons back and as such the clan somewhat prides on their history that is being passed down to children through their parents. Most Skelgards who live on Kiffex prefer to wear armor that has been made from animal skins and furs that they have personally skinned and acquired or cotton clothing that has been made on a traditional loom. The traditional Skelgard outfit also includes merganrok, a cloak that has been given to an young adult and which has been sewn by his or hers parents. The cloak to outsiders is just a piece of clothing, but to the Skelgard's it symbolizes parents willingness to let their child go in the world while still maintaining their support and love.
Skelheim Manor is the clan's main household and it is situated in the densely forested foothills near the northern parts of Kiffex. It is a dark and primal place, where the old forest had laid untouched for ten thousand years. The homestead itself looked like an old rustic great hall fashioned from the nearby great oaks, coupled with adjourning smaller buildings and an small mine shaft that led in the mountainside and to the Skelgard family fortunes that laid below the ground. Ancient crypt of Bleak Falls, where Skelgard dead were being buried was situated not far from the Skelheim Greathall itself.
Skelheim Manor has been closed to foreigners and outsiders for thousands of years until recent years. Each generation has meticulously repaired and maintained the buildings of Skelheim Manor, which have stood throughout Skelheim history. Very recently, modern architectural technology has found its way to Skelheim Manor, incorporating durasteel structural supports and shield generators within all the buildings. Greatly honoring their heritage, all of these modifications, however, have been hidden and obscured with great care to maintain the historical, aesthetic look of Skelheim Manor.
The forests surrounding Skelheim Manor have been called the "Blood Gorge Forests" by Skelgard Elders, due to the ritualistic tradition within the clan of christening the birth of a child by marking a tree with the child's blood. Skelgards believe that the ritual creates a lifebond between the child and the tree, granting the tree's blessing and nature's divine protection throughout the child's life. In order to repay these blessings, Skelgards regularly sacrifice the blood of their prey and enemies on to their tree, leading to several trees around Skelheim Manor having crimson leaves throughout the year. Very rarely, these trees will mutate and evolve into semi-sentient lifeforms that produce a special crystalline sap called Blood Amber which is highly prized within Clan Skelgard, being the symbol reaching divine-like hunting prowess and valor.
Clan Retainer Houses
Around the Skelheim Greathall there are various other smaller buildings and houses that act as places for the loyal clan retainers and their families.
Balgreth Great Forge
The forge was build by the Great Balgreth Skelgard more than four millennias ago and since then its smelters still burn with the same hot flame when the forge was first ignited. Thousands of weapons and tools have been made by generation of blacksmith hands. In the center of the forge there lays a big stone on which words are written:
There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the blacksmith built.
There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.
Clan Barracks and Armoury
Right besides the Skelheim Greathall there is a smaller building that acts as storage area for the weapons and armor that clan retainers and members use during hunting.
While the stretch of alloy laced pavement is a more modern addition to the whole aesthetic of the household, the area nevertheless incorporates some of the old society elements, like logs of timber adjourn the sides of the pad as well as clan banners decorate the sides of the hangar.
Skelheim Mine is famous in the Kiffex North for its mineral wealth that is sourced from its deep and pure ore veins. The mine itself has been used by Skelgards for centuries and because of the small size of the operations it has never been depleted. Here raw ore is mined for making traditional weapons of war as well as tools, that some of the more traditional Kiffars prefer over mass produced ones from factories. The mine is worked by hired miners from nearby settlements and trading communities, but it is not rare to see one of the clan retainer or even close family member, to wield a drill and pile the ore in the cart for ingot smelters outside.
Bleak Falls Crypt
Bleak Falls Crypt is ancestral tomb of Skelgards, that has been used by the Clan members since they first settled in the region, which was almost a millennia ago. An oak grove lays above the tomb, and some of the trees there have roots that extend deep in the ground, and may even encompass whole structure. It is believed that some part of the dead lives on in these ancient trees.
Millennia ago the crypt itself was once an Kiffar temple built in the mountainside with deep underground passages. The temple was dedicated to the worship of ancient local deity whose name or legend has been lost as no official records have been gathered. Over the following centuries since Skelgards settled down in the area, the temple was slowly turned into a tomb for the dead and as temple of ancestral worship.
Akir’da Cove is a small trading settlement in the middle of the harsh Kiffu desert. The settlement developed over the centuries, when the passing travelers found a safe heaven from the harsh weather inside a cave. The cave itself not only had the mass of bedrock that protected the inhabitants from the wild sand storms and savage marauders, but also there deep spring water, something of great value in middle of the desert. Soon permanent settlers came to live inside the cave, merchants, hunters and other people of different walks of life brought their families and soon the safe heaven turned into a community that grew in size every year. These days, banners of different Kiffar clans and independent traders can be seen on the entrance, but the most prominent of them all is the one with the Raven, the symbol of Clan Skelgard.
|Clan Qukuuf (facial tattoo) pattern.|
Clan symbol is a raven that is usually painted over the war banners or hulls of the clan ships. It also serves as basis for the clan's Qukuuf (facial tattoo). In ancient clan tales it was said that Skelgard Raven was believed to forebode death and ill omen to anyone who dared to cross them on ill intentions. The qukuuf itself was separated into three parts; wings, tale and 4 circles of life.
- The 4 circles of Life applied on the forehead. Pattern represents the stepping of fulfilling life. The four circles symbolize four things: life, happiness, family and strength. The last one means that only with strength of mind and body, one will be able to protect and safeguard the other three things.
- The Wings applied below the eyes and symbolizes the protection from illness, and disease. In old clan tales it is said that any symbol that was worn besides the eyes induced fear in the enemies, and protected against the abuse of power.
- The Tale applied above the lips and on the chin, it symbolized resolve in ones dedication to things and willpower to go on.
In clan possession there are many relics
Housecarls are elite, veteran soldiers within the ranks of Clan Skelgard who have proven themselves in battle. Housecarls are hired retainers to a member of Skelgard kin, with the number of Housecarls indicating ones status within Clan Skelgard. They begin their lives hired as Thanes and Lithsmen from the lesser Kiffar clans of Kiffu and Kiffex, gaining Bloodmarks—small, crimson tattoos that adorn the chest, arms, and very rarely face that indicate the warrior’s kills and merits in battle—throughout their service to Clan Skelgard. When a Thane or Lithsmen gains sufficient Bloodmarks, the requirement determined by recruiting kinsmen and their social standing within the clan, a kinsmen may grant them permeant retainer status as a Huscarl. Individualized assessments and tests are determined by the recruiting kinsmen, but all Housecarls are required by clan laws to swear a blood oath of absolute loyalty to their master and Clan Skelgard. Equipment and weaponry also varies significantly across Housecarls, with some kinsmen having standardized outfits that are engrained in Skelgard cultures and traditions while other kinsmen completely modernizing their Housecarls to wear the latest battle armour.
Although no exact royalty or feudal systems of power exist within Clan Skelgard, an informal and unofficial measure of one’s political clout and power within the clan is indicated by the number of Housecarls one commands. Housecarls serve as the core of each kinsmen’s army, and thus, have great importance to the clan and kinsmen themselves. Strict limits are imposed by Skelgard elders on the number of Housecarls one can command, leading to an informal power structure within the clan. The Clan Leader has close to a thousand Housecarls on retainer, while the lowest kinsmen of Clan Skelgard only are able to retain less than a dozen.
Lithsmen are fresh recruits that are processed through Clan Skelgard’s basic training course, teaching them standard blaster rifle handling, close quarters combat, and basic starship piloting. Most Lithsmen are proficient in hand-to-hand combat, a type of melee weapon, and have mediocre ability with blaster weapons. There are loose distinctions amongst Lithsmen based on the weaponry they are proficient in, with most having blaster proficiency with the standard-issue A295 or Bowcaster in the Clan Army. Other Lithsmen who are front-line soldiers have weapon proficiency with halberds, although a few will be proficient in vibroblades.
They are defined socially as being freemen who are able to openly carry arms, a practice forbidden to regular civilians and thralls. Not much formal training is given to Lithsmen as most of Clan Skelgard’s resources, time and efforts can be better spent training, expanding, and grooming their Huscarls and Drekars. Lithsmen are mostly levied from minor Kiffar clans to rapidly expand the battle capacity of Clan Skelgard during times of war, and are expected to prove their value to the clan in order to gain resources and access to further education and training. Lithsmen are given minor assignments to improve their abilities and opportunities to earn the trust of their masters, serving more so as a recruiting pool for the future seedlings of Huscarls and Drekars than an actual military force. Due to the high status, prestige and power that comes with being a Huscarl or a Drekar, there is high demand amongst Kiffars and other sentient beings to become Lithsmen of kinsmen; therefore, Clan Skelgard can afford to not expend resources on them.
A order of female Kiffar warriors who have sworn their allegiance to Clan Skelgard and fight for the honor and renown of the battle. They wear a light armed and mobile battle armor while carrying a blaster and sword into the battle. While the sword is more of a symbol that each warrior earns during the trials, it still can prove very lethal in close melee combat, something that the warriors specialize in. The order was first formed couple of thousand years ago and it has experienced many raises and setbacks in its fame. The foundation and formation of the order can be tracked back more than four thousand years ago, when a female priestess, Bildriana Skelgard gathered a band of female Kiffar warriors and helped to rid the nearby communities of the bandits that were plaguing them. With the fame that they gained they looked to protect more and more communities from the threat of banditry.
|Hergod Skelgard †||Thoedesia Ciriana †|
|Myilda Aerathar||Vizimir Sklegard||Aegerath Skelgard||Osiria Tetmund||Marvilia Skelgard||Pevelion Utgen||Ygremor Skelgard||Unknown Skelgard||Catherine Wagner|
|Ylvia Skelgard||Solveig Skelgard||Hakon Skelgard||Brenna Skelgard||Asmund Skelgard||Arvid Skelgard||Vertildia Skelgard||Ferling SKelgard||Dain Vel Iblis|
- † Deceased
- — Spouse