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Skip Navigation LinksInhabitants>Mankind>Volkeralten>Machtig>Nine Great Clans>Hengsting
Nine Clans Herodi
Clan of the Sword
Clan of the Rock
Clan of the Sea
Clan of the Hearth
Clan of the Net
Clan of the Horse
Clan of the Hunt
Clan of the Tree
Clan of the Wolf
Hengsting, Clan of the Horse
This Clan is very small, but their herds are numerous enough to make up for the lack.
Hengsting Warrior (Thegn)
The Hengsting are physically smaller than most of their cousin Clans, standing between 59 and 63 and weighing 160 to 195 lbs. They have a tendency to be slightly bow-legged due to starting to ride so heavily and so young, but otherwise are well formed, with compact and muscular builds. Their hair is most often a distinctive coarse-haired russet brown that grows into a stiff mane, which many Clan members enhance by cutting it short and rubbing a thin wax into it to stand it up on end. However, they have a few true redheads and blondes among them as well.
Their eye colors range from a brownish hazel to a light tawny brown. The Hengsting typically wear durable and form-fitting leather breaches and loose homespun shirts, sometimes embroidered with equine-oriented patterns, and occasionally featuring some bead work. Hengsting women often wear a simple belt made of horse hair woven with colored beads where necessary for rigidity.
They eschew jewelry, preferring practical implements, but do like carved wooden or etched metal medallions, brooches, and the like bearing horse imagery, and their armor of course is often inlayed with the same.
Hengsting women wear their tartans as abbreviated semi-kilts over breeches, while the men wear half-kilts over breeches. Their Herodi roots show through in the bold colors of their tartans; Hengsting favor oranges, yellows, and reddish browns, with some reds and maroons that are difficult for the uninitiated to tell from some Herodi tartans.
There is in fact an old story of two Lesser Clans, the Laravies of the Hengsting and the Ardensi of the Herodi, that live on either side of the Clanhold border and have tartan patterns that are essentially identical to any save a very knowledgable observer. The two Clans shared a common ancestry before the Great Clans truly formed, but in later centuries took to warring with each other across the border. Other Machtig not directly involved couldn't properly differentiate between the two groups due to their similar appearance and nearly-identical tartan. The Druids finally put a stop to it (mostly), but the story is still told as a cautionary tale by the Skalds all over the Vold.
As a people the Hengsting are very close with a national feeling of kinship amongst themselves. With the exception of a few coastal steadings on Lake Pargo their entire subculture revolves around the care and breeding of horses, and it shows in their mode of dress, their artwork, and in their every day expressions.
Virtually all Hengsting are master horsemen, and many members of the Clan have at least one mount; and in fact often an individual Hengsting gentled and trained at least some of their own horses.
Hengsting tend to be individualistic but with a focus on societal harmony. A common Hengsting expression is "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins", which reflects their general mindset that people can do what they like in pursuit of an enjoyable life so long as they aren't interfering with other peoples' ability to do the same.
The Hengsting like to travel for no better reason than a chance to ride their horses more, but don't take it to extremes or like to create a hardship for their mounts. Thus they tend to move around a lot within their own Hold and the surrounding environs, but rarely go truly far away unless they are on a faring. Hengsting rarely go on faring casually, but when they do go they tend to go in groups of ten to twenty riders with one to three remounts each and they cover a lot of ground in a hurry.
Individually Hengsting tend to be a little distant but friendly enough, unless they feel insulted or slighted in which case they can become extremely fierce and let their Herodi roots show through.
Many Hengsting treat horses as good as or better than other humans, and do not take kindly to seeing horses abused. Hotter headed Hengsting have been known to kill or get killed over such matters, but most are more moderate in their approach. A Hengsting might offer to buy a mount from an abusive rider and rehabilitate the mount for instance.
Some more adventurous Hengsting drive livestock to far off Shidaal to sell them directly at market, but otherwise they have no real contact with foreign countries.
The primary export of the Hengsting is livestock, horses, and products associated with horsemanship. They import a good deal of their food and various luxury items via the Huarthmunn and Pargori.
The Hengsting breed horses as their primary occupation and secondarily some lines of cattle. The Hengsting have three primary breeds of horse that they maintain. The first is a larger mustang breed renowned for its hardiness and spiritedness much favored by the Herodi due to the breed's sure-footedness and ruggedness. The second is a draft horse breed that is much in demand among the Huarthmunn and Pargori for pulling plows and wagons.
The third and rarest breed are the Waldenhengst, which are tall pale steeds said to be the descendants of an Aelfing-steed named Oulerin that was dehorned by an Affelaune tribe and nursed back to health by a Hengsting, and the famous stallion Krieger. Krieger was a storied horse of incredible attribute that was never captured, but was lured into studding service by one of the first of the Hengsting; many of the mustang breeds finest specimen are descendents of Krieger as well.
The descendents of this legendary joining of perfect horse and dehorned Aelfing-steed are tall stately mounts, typically ranging from pale tans and creams to pure white, with flowing manes and tails and unusual intelligence. They also live about six to seven times as long as normal horse breeds.
Possessed of grace, surefootedness, and courage these Waldenhengst are much valued by the Machtig and considered to be a mark of great status and wealth. A normal Waldnehengst trained only for riding commands a price between three and five times that of a normal horse, while war-trained Waldenhengst command five to ten times as much as a normal warhorse.
The Hengsting are composed of Thegns (45%), Thralls (40%), Non-Thegn Fertigkeiten (10%), Skalds (4%), Druids (1%), and Zauberers (<.5%). In the past, there were more Thegns  and fewer Thralls, but the times of peace have seen fewer Thegns step forth until recently.
Most Hengsting Thegns use the following Packages or some variation of them:
  • Light Cavalry: approximately 43% of all Hengsting Thegns
  • Medium Cavalry: approximately 23% of all Hengsting Thegns
  • Barbarian Warrior: approximately 23% of all Hengsting Thegns
  • Scout (with Mounted Fighting Skill Package added): approximately 10% of all Hengsting Thegns
The Hengsting have very few Zauberer but one in particular is very significant. There are three Hengsting Obermancers. Rarold Vargisdottor is middleaged and is moderately skilled in Aeromancy and Geomancy; she lives in Dunn Maredsne. Jarevine Jarssen is a notably powerful Obermancer in his late 40's that lives in Faeren; he is particularly knowledgeable about Hydromancy.
Garest of the Tower is an ancient Obermancer that is said to have lived for almost five centuries. For most of those long years he's lived in an isolated monolithic tower he raised from the very earth itself in the middle lands between the Hengsting and the Herodi, a good half a day's travel from the nearest steading. He is potent in all four elements and occassionally travels abroad on missives as he likes.
He is said to be terribly cantankerous but to occassionally show uncommon kindness to strangers. Legend has it he assisted in the raising of Dunn Reitstall's walls, and that in the last Kor War he razed a horde of several thousand Kor-Vaor single handedly in the final battle, breaking the Kor's offensive. He is easily one of the most powerful Obermancers in the Vold, if not the most powerful. No one has had the nerve to even collect besterung from him for the better part of nine decades.
The Hengsting have a few Runecrafters of the tattooing variety, but a Hengsting Aeldenaren is basically unheard of.
The Hengsting Laird is of course traditionally called the Horse Laird. He maintains a mere 20 to 50 Huscarls, but their horsemanship is renowned and rightly feared. They are traditionally called the Schutze (the Centaurs). The current Laird is Chigante.
The Schutze stay pretty active patrolling the northern and eastern borders of the Clanhold to ward off Ungheuer that would raid down into the herds, and maybe a few young Herodi intent on horse theft from time to time, representing the Laird to his Reeves, and conducting yearly training camps for young Thegns and would be Thegns in the summer.
These training camps, called Ausbildversa (oz-BEE-uld-VAIR-sah), were an innovation introduced by Chigante when he ascended to Lairdship, and though they were resisted at first they have grown in popularity and acceptance. As a direct result of these camps the Hengsting Thegn population has reversed the dwindling it had been experiencing the last century and climbed back up to a decent number again.
Nestled in the heartlands between two larger rivers to the East of Lake Pargori, north of the Huartmunn Hold, and both South and West of the much larger Herodi lands, lays a wide and mostly flat expanse of lightly wooded grassy plains. These are the lands of the Hengsting, the Machtig horse Clan.
Throughout the Clan Hold the Hengsting tend to live in a few larger wooden and occasionally stone communities, leaving much of their land open grazing. Large stables, huge ranges of grazing land, and semi-free wandering herd are common.
The Hengsting ancestral home is called Duun Maredsne (DUNE MARE-REDS-KNEE) which lies near the middle of the Hold. However, around four centuries ago Caer Reitstall was built on the Ordecar river and the capital was moved there.
Duun Reitstall (DUNE REETS-STALL) is made of stone laboriously dragged and floated down from the mountains, and decorated with many banners and carvings in both wood and stone depicting horses in every symbolic fashion possible. It is a larger settlement by Hengsting standards and has a sizable river port. It has some impressive stables, though not so grand as Dunn Maredsne.
Dunn Maredsne (DUNE MARE-REDS-KNEE), the only other fortress in the Hold besides the capital, this was once the Clan Seat until around four centuries ago when Dunn Reitstall was built and soon thereafter named the Clan Seat. Of equivalent size to Dunn Reitstall in most particulars, Dunn Maredsne features an extended stables structure that is without equal in the Vold, covering almost 20 miles in its entirety.
Some of the finest horses in the Hold are produced here, and there are numerous important bloodlines represented in the breeding stock, including most of the Waldenhengst lines. Seat of a (very powerful) Reeve-halten.
Amadeal (AH-MAH-DEE-ALL), a Lake Settlement, this steading is unusual for the Clan in that fishing and river trade are its primary occupations rather than a more equestrian pursuit. A large steading built on the Ordecar where it spills into Lake Pargo, it is both well situated and well provisioned. Hengsting from Amadeal usually use small-boats and broad-bellied longboats to work their craft and trade, though their Clan ties can still be seen in the horse-headed prows.
Faeren (FAIR-AHN), another Lake settlement, this one does more standard trade for the Hengsting, though it too has a thriving fishing community, as it is the principle staging point for horses being sold across to the Pargori by land, and as such sees a lot of big business. A large and very wealty steading. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Fohlenver (foe-LEN-ver), a thriving steading, and home to many horse breeders, including several Hengstkampfwer. This steading generates large herds, primarily either mountain ponies or draft horses, and sells one across the Herodi border to Dunn Glennburna, and the other south into the many Huarthmunn steadings in need of the them. It also benefits from general river trade off of the Gunnarsvik too. Seat of a lucrative Reeve-halten.
Lournebrek (LORE-neh-BREK), a large steading similar to Fohlenver in many ways, save that the breeders here concentrate on draft horses and turn out some huge specimens towering 18 hands high, which fetch hefty prices among the Huarthmunn and even the Pargori for the drawing of trade wagons.
The Machtig are an individualistic people, but nevertheless there are some generalities about how the Hengsting think of the other Clans.
  • Raevoring:  Not neighboring and they don't buy horses. So long as they keep their raiding outside the Vold, we could care less about them.
  • Jagrling: They share our distrust of the Ulthferen, and they are a friendly enough people if you get to know them; just don't expect them to talk much. Friendly but distant.
  • Faendradi: The only Clan smaller than ours, these strange fellows are distant and don't buy horses, so we know little of them. Stories of them are indistinguishable from many stories of the Aelfing to our ears, and we hold them somewhat in awe, like things from a Skalds tale.
  • Wundvolding: Distant and seldom seen, they do make good buckles and such. However, we have our own smiths for making such everyday items as that. In the past a particularly wealthy Thegn with a taste for chain mail might commission a suit of Wundvolding armor, and of course Wundvolding craftsmanship is synonymous with high quality. They do sometimes commission specially trained draft horses from us. We've been told by the Pargori that they ride them as steeds, but that's surely a joke. All in all we are congenially distant with our distant mountain-dwelling cousins.
  • Huarthmunn: Neighbors, and the source of most of our food, nearby Huarthmunn trade heavily across our shared border for good draft horses and prize bulls. More distant Huarthmunn have to get their horses from the Pargori we sell them through or the handful of our own traders that travel with a herd through their lands. We like the Huarthmunn and have a cordial relationship. We sometimes range into Huarthmunn lands to catch wild mustangs that still come down out of the mountains, and more rarely to sell our horses, and Huarthmunn are sometimes found in our lands selling food or buying horses. Our shared border is an open border, and we get on well together with our southern cousins.
  • Pargori: Our closest neighbors and the source of much of our Clan's new wealth. We generally like and approve of the Pargori, who buy our horses and transport them out of the Vold to fetch high prices in Shidaal. What's not to like about them? They are good neighbors, fair traders, and fine folk to lift a cup with.
  • Herodi: Our bullying elder brother, arrogant in their superior size and power. The Herodi have often tried to subsume us into their bloody plans, treating us like a vassal state at times. We know that in some ways we need the Herodi, as they are one of the principle buyers of our horses, shelter our Hold from the dangers on the other side of the Wundvold mountains, and also trade through our lands to get to the Pargori land and lining the steading coffers in the process. Nevertheless, there is a lot of resentment in the hearts of many of our Clan for our overbearing cousins.
  • Ulthferen: In centuries past packs of werewolves were known to range into the Hengsting plains, taking down free roaming horses and occasionally cattle. This still happens from time to time even into the modern age. Ulthferen or not, a wolfwaren is a wolfwaren and should be put down. The weres among the Ulthferen should be cured or killed.  We do not trust them and would just as soon see the Clan driven out of the Machtig if they can't get their wolf curse under control.