|Background: Saemund Magnusson,son of Magnus, son of Farbjorn, son of Gunnbjorn, son of Rolfyr, son of Hirger,son of Arngis, son of Ungor, and third born of three brothers and a younger sister. Farbjorn was one of the most famous Machtig warriors of his time in the Wunvolding and in truth his reputation as both a warrior of note and as a highly skilled Wafschmeid had spread throughout the Vold itself. As a Wafschmeid he was known and respected in the Wunvold and was skilled enough to command top coin for his craft and have it gladly payed by the client knowing he was getting a superbly crafted item. He served as a Steinwach to the clan laird for almost thirty years until he was deemed too old to be a Steinwach any longer.
During his thirty years as a Steinwach Farbjorn used the riches he gained from plunder and faerings to buy land and mines, knowing full well he would not be able to live by the sword forever. However he did not wish to rule over these purchases and so gave that role to his first son Magnus who in truth was much better suited to it. Farbjorn also had one peculiarity that helped in making him the legend he is today, though none can say for sure when exactly he started, Farbjorn came to favor a weapon which at first brought laughs and jeers before commanding respect from both his peers and foes...the Warchain. Fifteen feet of individual steel links weilded by the legendary Farbjorn gave the Skalds plenty to talk about, and though not many other warriors used the chain effectively there were many who tried, failed and eventually gave up.
Magnus who is Saemund's father took his responsibilities as landsgraffing seriously and performed them admirably, but this was not the only title he wanted to wear in his life. Magnus wanted to be a Thegn and make his own legend to told by the skalds. Magnus lived up to his birth name and became a great warrior, as his skills with the blade increased so to did his pride and arrogance. Eventually he earned through deeds the title of Reeve and seemed well on his way to stepping out from his father's shadow. One day Magnus found himself in a formal duel with a young hotblooded warrior who wanted death for some perceived slight. Magnus eagerly accepted the challange and after the first pass with the blades knew he was the better warrior thus assured the victory in this outcome. Magnus dragged the fight out enjoying the chance to let loose and demonstrate his skills for all to see. Perhaps the young challenger could sense he was being toyed with at his expense; whatever the reasons the young firebrand tried for a dangerous and foolish backhanded strike against Magnus. The strike surprised both fighters, Magnus because he couldn't believe anyone would try such a bold and obvious move against such a seasoned warrior as himself, and the young one surprised because the strike connected. The blade bit deeply into Magnus's sword arm and nearly severed it clean off. To Magnus's credit he never lost focus and sent out a left hook the knocked the young warrior from his feet. When the warrior regained his feet Magnus was there waiting for him with his blade in hand and buried it into the warrior's chest killing him.The damage had been done though and Magnus lost his arm shortly after when it became gangrenous. Most men might have sought a way to die after recieving such a wound and surviving...not Magnus though. He was made of steel, not iron, and if he could not make a name for himself as a warrior he would make one as a Landsgraffing and politician. Magnus was still a popular man in the Wunvolding and so retained his status as Reeve, he performed these duties in addition to those of Landgraffing with commendable skill and thus became one of the most influential and trusted Reeves in the Wundvolding Mts. Playing the roll of the politician and knowing the value of planning for the future he began molding his sons to make the most of what he had. To these ends he raised Gyorl to inherit the titleof Landsgraffing and Saemund to be a thegn. Farbjorn not caring about politics let Magnus run unchecked so long as his actions didnt jepordize the family holdings, but Farbjorn trusted his son and Magnus loved his father so this was never an issue. Magnus also asked Farbjorn to train Saemund to be thegn, Farbjorn liked the idea and so agreed to it. Saemund was raised in a valley deep in the craggy spires of the Wundvold Mts.
His father being a landsgraffing owned some profitable mines and life for the most part was fairly easy for Saemund growing up as far as Machtig daily life is measured. Saemund's Oldest brother died on his first Faring and his next older brother Gyol was affected by a plague when he was a child before Saemund was born. He survived the plague but it forever left him weakened and unable to exert himself for long periods of time. Magnus raised Gyol to inherit his lands when he passed on, and Saemund was left to determine his own path in life as is the Machtig way. Wanting to learn how to fight and needing someone to teach him with his father being unable to, Saemund turned to his Grandfather to learn how to fight. Farbjorn agreed to teach his granson how to fight not just with the sword which Saemund was interested in but with all the weapons commonly found in the Vold. Saemund's training was filled with days of grueling hikes wearing many different kinds of armor with fifty pounds of stones in a pack through the mountainous terrain of the Vold.
When Farbjorn began his lessons he told Saemund "Weapons boy are first and foremost for killing, I wont debate the philosphies of man and weapons being for attacking or defending. I'm too old to concern myself with those and your too young to care. In the end weapons do one thing and one thing only...they kill. When you use any weapon I show you boy you use it to kill, not wound or maim, but kill. And when you must kill, make it clean, and make it quick. Once you've mastered these I'll teach you to use a weapon few know of and even fewer know how to use. Its called a warchain and your likely only to ever see it used by your kinsmen in the Wunvold. Thats a good thing though because once you master it it will give you an advantage over nearly any foe your likely to face boy." On top of all this Farbjorn taught Saemund not only how to weild the weapons but also how to make them. Farbjorn explained he was going to teach him a more useful skill then just how to kill a man, "Any fool with a blade can kill a man, I'm gonna teach you a craft that will make you more useful to the clan".
Saemund's skills as a smith progressed eventually to journeyman and from then on often Farbjorn would enlist Saemund's aid in making two suits of armor for a client that he said was a special order for plate armor, a rare and expensive armor learned long ago from the Var, one that wasn't to be rushed. Farnjorn would teach him how to make this armor with the first set and then Saemund would demonstrate he had learned with the second set. It took years to forge these armors and Farbjorn didn't seem to be in any hurry, saying only "You can't rush craftmanship of this sort boy, you don't want to and our client certainly wouldn't want us too". During these sessions Farbjorn taught Saemund many lessons, armor smithing, combat applications of many weapons against varied armors, and the best locations to strike for a kill amongst others. Possibly the single most important lesson Farbjorn taught Saemund was to take pride in his work, and to never deal dishonestly with a client or sell anything that was not of the highest possible quality. "A man's word should be stronger then steel, this isn't the way it is with all men but it's the way it should be, it's the way you'll be boy. Don't hold it against those who don't share this view either boy, it's something thats easier said then done and not everyone is strong enough. Understand that it only takes one breaking of your word or one lie to shatter a trust that took years to forge and may never be reforged. You and I are forged from the same mold boy and I know you'll honor this code, its in your blood." These were happy times for Saemund, for when not working with his grandfather on the special order armors, and listening to him tell tales of adventure or give yet more lessons, Saemund completed orders for his grandfather's smithie. Saemund's journeyman status meant he could make and sell wares and fullfill his grandfather's besterung as his payment for the lessons being taught. Farbjorn inspected everything Saemund crafted when it was finished, and if it showed the slightest flaw he had Saemund scrap it and reforge anew until he got it right. "Nothing less then perfection in anything you do boy, remember that" Farbjorn would often say.
One day near the end of Saemund's apprenticeship and only a few days before Saemund was to be presented to the Laird to challenge for the title Wafschmeid Farbjorn sat him down and had a long talk with him over some cold ale. Farbjorn explained how his father Magnus lost his last fight even though he had won it. Farbjorn also told him "Dont worry about trying to out do me or your old man, the skein of your life is already writtten, greatness will come to you or it wont. Just be your own man and live life and love it for all its worth. Thats how a man becomes great". Farbjorn wasn't finished there though.
"Boy, dont toy with your foes -- kill them quick and sure. If its a pack of lack-spines you face, slay their headman first and take the fight out of them. If you slay a man fast, it rises the fear up in those who watch. And watching a man fight gives you an advantage if ever you should face them yourself, so killing fast robs your watchers of that edge should it ever come to a fight and saves you more energy for the next. The man or beast ye face in combat is nothing to you but your death and never forget it, so use every edge you can find. If they are faster than you, strike surer; if they are better than you, be smarter; if they are stronger, be faster. Dont try to beat them at what they're better at, beat them with what you're better at. Don't fight their way, fight yours. And if you should lose but yet live, then you didnt lose -- dont let the defeat gnaw at you from the inside, put it aside and grow stronger so that the next time you are the victor instead. I have been bested before, by luck, skill, or fate. Lucky for me Im too stubborn and daft to lie down and die; I lived through my defeats and became stronger. Yer father, though you may respect him little, was foolish and lost his arm, but he didnt give up either, seeking to make himself as a Landsgraf
of notable as he would have been as a warrior. He may have been Laird one day if he had heeded my teaching and dropped his challenger quick, but you have to put aside what might have beens and live with what is."
"Your as ready as any I have ever known to challenge for Wafschmeid boy, you remember what I taught you and you'll do well enough on your own" Farbjorn said. In the weeks after Saemund became the Wunvold's newest Wafschmeid he was summoned before the Reeve Magnus in Farbjorn's shop. Unsure of why he was being summoned Saemund stood quietly before his father and grandfather. They led him out to the back of the shop to the yard where horses were kept that needed shoeing. Outside was a wagon drawn by a draft horse, with a brown hide, a white mane, and a matching white patch on his chest. Under a tarp in the back of the wagon was a variety of weapons, all made by Saemund himself, the very ones Farbjorn made him forge and reforge until they were perfect in every way and recieved Farbjorn's approval. With a rueful and at last knowing smile at his grandfather Saemund examined the other items in the wagon. Inside was nearly everything a man would ever need if were to make a journey to practically anywhere Saemund could imagine going. At this moment Magnus spoke saying "None of us know where our paths will go, and yours is no different, but we can make sure your properly equipped for the trip". At this Farbjorn spoke up "Aye boy, equipped but not attired...yet." With that Farbjorn carried out a sturdy wooden chest and then another. Opening them with a growing lump in his throat Saemund was surprised to find the two sets of armor he and farbjorn had spent years making together.