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Skip Navigation LinksInhabitants>Mankind>Volkeralten>Machtig>Castes>Skald
Castes Thegns Druids
Skalds Fertigkeiten Thralls and Slaves
Skalds are the lore keepers and masters of the Machtigs oral traditions, it is the responsibility of the Skalds to maintain the Machtigs heritage and sense of identity.
Clan Skalding 1
The Skalds have their own hierarchy. The adjoinging chart shows the costs for the Skald Perk.
It is considered to be verbotten (forbidden) to attack a Skald except in self defense (and even in such a case one had best have creditable witnesses), and the penalty for such is usually the removal of the right to bear arms at a minimum.
 Skalds themselves are allowed to bear arms as a Thegn but many do not within the Vold itself, preferring to rely on their privileges and their strange magic to protect themselves if necessary. However, Skalds can never be Reeves or Lairds and are proscribed from making a living via craftsmanship, agrarianism, and especially trade. In short it is not allowed for a Skald to attempt to be anything other than a Skald as their status and abilities would give them a truly unfair advantage over those not of their caste.
Each Clan seat (Caer Coinig, Jagrhof, Duun Reitstall, Wulflager, Fallenheim, Dunn Betriebenn, Hafenstadt, Steinern, Baumhause) has a Skalding Hall that is the center point for Skald business in their respective Clanholds. Skalding Halls are usually an ornate and large structure that among other things provide quarters for Clan and Elder Skalds and storage for piles upon piles and racks upon racks of tablets and scrolls recording both Skalding and Clan lore.
Only Skalds are allowed in a Skalding Hall past a reception area, and even the current Laird may not violate this restriction. It is to these Skalding Halls that all records are sent and processed, making them important and independant elements of the administration of a Clanhold. Due to this important control over legal documents and their ability to influence the hearts and minds of the populace, Skalds are a political force to be reckoned with. It is a foolish Laird indeed that angers their Clan's Skalds.
Skalds have a strange and powerful magic unique to themselves among the Machtig; an ancient tradition that has been practiced for at least over four millennia. Though it doesn't have the flashy and obvious power of Obermancy or the world-shaking might of Druidic rituals, Skaldingcraft is subtly potent.
Skalds use the Sortilege Magic System described on this site; specifically the Spontaneous Casting version. The sample character, Vemundr "Thrymri" Finnvarsson, is in fact a Hoher Skalding. The Skalding Package Deal is appropriate for Skalds.
Most Skalds are beholden to their Clan and typcially reside in or near the Clan seat's Skalding Hall where the originals of all of that Clan's master records and history are kept.
Clan Skalds also travel the Clan gathering and spreading news, educating children, entertaining the masses, and delivering letters (usually scribed by the Skald themselves for the non-literate) to private parties. They also carry letters between the Laird and their Reeves, serving an important role in the smooth governance of their Clanhold..
Status (Clan Skald): Must be trained and inducted by the Skalds; Real Cost: 1 Points
Experienced Skalds that have put their time in attending to their various duties and know what they are about are eventually accorded greater status within the Skalds. Individual Elder Skalds take on very different roles based upon their particular skills and the needs of the Skalding Hall.
Some are responsible for finding new recruits, others are responsible for teaching young Skalds, and others are responsible for maintaining records of various sorts. Some fill important managerial roles within the Skalding Hall, coordinating and tasking the activities of the Clan Skalds. Some are responsible for attending to the needs of governance, acting as advisors to the Laird, or key Reeves, and otherwise meddling in politics.
Some Elder Skalding with more of an adventurous bent accompany important farings to keep an account of the journey and bring it back to add to the Clan's lore, though in the Raevoring and Herodi Clans this task is usually assigned to Clan Skalds due to the sheer volume of farings.
Status (Elder Skald): Must be a respected Clan Skald and accepted by a majority of the other Elder Skalds within the Clan; Real Cost: +1 Points
At all times there are three recognized Meister Skalding in the Vold; they are the Lieferung Meister (Master of Lore), the Ehren Meister (Master of Honor), and the Werblich Meister (Master of Heredity). These Meister Skalding are voted into position for three years by the Hoher Skalding on a staggered schedule, so that a new Meister is appointed each year.
Upon assuming office, a Meister Skald is freed from all Clan ties forever and is instead beholden to the Machtig as a people. Non-intuitively Meister Skalding tend to be younger, in their 20s or 30s (or occassionally even in their late teens) rather than older. This is done by the Skalds so that their best and brightest minds might be freed from Clan partisanship early in their lives so that they may become Hoher Skalding as young as is feasible.
Most Skalds are never selected for this great honor, but some that have been selected have turned the honor down. It is more than just an office, it is an irrevocable severing of all Clan ties. Some Skalds put their Clans first and do not wish to do this.
Each of the three Meisters have completely different responsibilities, and in fact two Meisters serving together might not even meet during their tenures as their duties do not always result in them encountering one another.
LIEFERUNG MEISTER: responsible for the lore, tales, culture, and history of the Machtig. While in office they must ensure that each Skalding Hall has up to date copies of lore and that the Clan Skalds are doing their duty in learning and disseminating it.
EHREN MEISTER: responsible for the records of Thegnship and appointment, records of significant punishments and awarding, and the proliferation of Machtig laws to the Clans. Also must maintain the master Honor Roll of the Machtig listing the greatest heroes the Machtig have ever known, composited from the individual Clan Honor Rolls.  Must sit in on any major trial conducted by the Oberlaird acting as both a witness and general councel on past rulings on similar subjects.
WERBLICH MEISTER: responsible both for what amounts to a master census (though an approximated one), as well as keeping track of the records of ownership and inheritance of all Clans. Must ensure that the records concerning property ownership and inheritance are maintained across Clans, and that a record of the Machtig extended family tree is kept up to date..
Meister Sklading task Clan and Elder Skalding to do most of the leg work; they are the ultimate supervisors of the Clan Skalding for tasks related to their balliwick while they are in office.
Status (Meister Skald): Must be chosen by a majority of the Hoher Skalding, only three at any time; Real Cost: +1 Points
Once a Meister Skalding has finished their three years as a Meister, they automatically become a Hoher Skalding.
As there is only one new Hoher Skalding each year, there have only ever been a little over two thousand during the entire time the Machtig have resided in the Vold. Generally around 20 to 40 are alive at any given time.
Hoher Skalding have unequaled freedom within the Vold. They are beholden to the edicts of the Druids but otherwise a Hoher Skalding answers to no man; they may travel where they like, take part in any event as they choose, write songs or poetry, compose ballads, create artwork, politic, or anything else the feel like as they see fit. They are exempt from besterung and from censure, and may rely on any Thegn, Reeve, or Laird in steading for their board and keep owing nothing in return save a bit of news or a story.
Hoher Skalding may wear a badge unique to them, typically fashioned as a brooch but occasionally appearing as a tattoo or woven directly into a garment, or as a decoration on a weapon.
The symbol is a black Raven clutching nine arrows in its left talon and a scroll in the right talon. If the Raven looks to the left it means the Hoher Skalding served as the Werblich Meister, if it looks to the right they were the Ehren Meister, and if it looks up they were the Lieferung Meister.
The significance of this symbol is lost to time, for it is a thing from beyond the Vold dating back to the old lands; some Hoher Skalding of the past have pondered the true meaning of the nine arrows since the Nine Clans didnt exist until after the Machtig settled in the Vold. Many Hoher Skalding choose to wear it at all times as a visible reminder of their status, but some keep it hidden and only reveal it when necessary to avoid the attention it draws.
Hoher Skalding have status equal to that of a Reeve, though not in their own Reeve-halten; however unlike Reeves their status is universal among all the Clans and not dependent on the whim of a Laird.
Some Hoher Skalding find a comfortable place and settle down, but most tend to remain active. Most travel the Vold following a pattern similar to that of when they were a Meister, from habit if nothing else, but saved from the need to do paperwork, research, and attending to duties at the Clan Skalding Hall they venture off the beaten path and can turn up in the oddest places.
Some Hoher Skalding leave the Vold for a time to go discover what the rest of the world is about, and a few have acted as emissaries for the Machtig people in far away lands at times. In general if something major is going on that could have a large effect on the Machtig or the Vold there will likely be a Hoher Skalding involved at some point.
Hoher Skalding are generally as worshipful as the next Machtig; however their writ and instinct towards the open sharing of information makes it difficult for them to take Druidic prophecy and secrecy at face value. From their perspective spirituality shouldn't require hokum and misdirection.
Accordingly there is a tradition amongst some Hoher Skalding to essentially monitor the Druids and attempt to decrypt their portents and prophesies. However the Hoher Skalding are so few and so removed from mainstream Machtig culture that their occassional attempts to demystify the Druids have fallen largely on deaf ears.
Status (Hoher Skald): Must have served three years as a Meister Skald; Real Cost: +1 Points