Barbarians at the Gates - The Vuldrok Star Nation
The Vuldrok are a fierce warrior people that originate from an unknown number of Lost Worlds bordering the holdings of House Hawkwood. Little is known about their true culture, but what is clear is that their title of Star Nation is somewhat misleading as they fight as much amoungst themselves as they do against House Hawkwood. Their origins lie in the collapse of the 2nd Republic, and 500 years after these events, the Vuldrok as they now called themselves, returned with a vengeance, beginning the period known as the Barbarian WarsBeginnings
What is known is that around the year 3900, an Earther named Gunmund the Great began a revival of ancient Urth Nordic culture amongst a number of unknown worlds. By the time of the 2nd Republic Collapse, this movement was organised and well armed, sealing their own gates so that the 10 Noble houses (as it was then) of the Known Worlds could not try to usurp any further than Lemankainen.Today
Their defeat at the hands of Emperor Vladamir during the Barbarian Wars has made the Vuldrok more cautious. They now prefer to raid rather than carry out full scale attacks. As the ancient Vikings did before them, the Vuldrok launch attacks from ground bases or raiding craft that jump in from their capital world of Hargard to Lemankainen (a route thus far only known to them). Vuldrok Raiders behave in a manner that confirms the stereotype of the barbarian held by most peasants: they are rude and brutal, used to taking what they want by might. They rarely heed rules of social propriety and tend to get very annoyed when reminded of them. The Vuldrok normally only attack when they have the advantage in surprise and numbers. They see no dishonour in retreating before the face of a superior enemy. They fight like wild men, often bare chested. The Vuldrok Berserker and Huscarl is the most feared of all Vuldrok warriors as something “other than” pure mania is thought to drive them. Society and Culture
The Vuldrok people are divided into large “Nations” each of which is controlled by a family of sub Clans and Lodges. Each Clan within a Nation has its own chosen purpose – Hunting, medicine, lore, warrior, builder, etc. Each nation is ruled by a Thane or Warlord who keeps his own clans in line. When united in a common cause, the Thanes elect one of their number to be ”King” although this is a short lived title as most Vuldrok find the idea of a hereditary single ruler unpalatable. Squabbles are near constant between Nations and internal Clans. Justice and law in Vuldrok society is quick and brutally effective. They have a natural hatred of the “Nobility” of the Known Worlds as they see them.Religion
The Vuldrok follow the path of Erdgheist – spirit and spirit worship of all things natural, and supernatural. Deities of nature, water, stone and the Ancestors dominate this calling, and the Vuldrok have a complex pantheon of major and minor deities accordingly. Many have their roots in old Norse culture, developed over 100’s of years to form the spiritual heart of the people. The Vuldrok practice their own heretical form of Theurgy based on these beliefs. Priests are referred to as ShamanHoldings
Apart from their own worlds, The Vuldrok have strongholds on both Hawkwood worlds of Gwynneth and Lemankainen. Like it or not the Vuldrok are there to stay, much to the distain to their implacable enemies, House Hawkwood.Trade
There are rumours that some canny Guild merchants have earned the trust of the Vuldrok enough to be granted access to the Vuldrok world of Hargard. Those less fortunate are still able to trade with the Vuldrok (via the Merchant Guilds of course!) from their holdings on Gwynneth and Lemankainen.