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Skip Navigation LinksInhabitants>Mankind>Volkeralten>Machtig>Nine Great Clans>Herodi
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
Herodi, Clan of the Sword
One of the Highland Clans, the Herodi are the second largest group and perhaps the most aggressive and warlike. The Herodi have traditionally dominated the Machtig, with more past Oberlairds having been Herodi than all other eight Clans combined.
Herodi Warrior (Thegn)
The Herodi as a people are typically between 511 and 66, 185 to 250 lbs, and tend towards a muscular athleticism. Like all the Machtig, they are a pale skinned and light-haired people, but Herodi live a very active lifestyle that leads to weathering of exposed skin. Herodi hair is most typically varying shades of reddish brown and either strait or wavy, but they number some true red heads and a few blondes as well.
Their eyes are usually hazel, but range into greens and blues. They dress in traditional fashion in full kilts also known as belted plaids; long checkered tartans with a riotous mix of colors wrapped around the torso and held around the waist by a broad leather belt. They trend towards reds, maroons, and other bright or ruddy colors in the traditional weft-and-weave formed checks.
In the old days this was worn over a simple long shirt called a war shirt, but the Herodi of yore became much enamored by the armor suits they bought from the Var and the war shirt was soon supplanted by gambeson and chain, scale, or brigandine armor. Sturdy leather or reenforced leather breeches were also added. Due to the lessened need for body coverage the kilts were shortened, but are still worn over the shoulder in ancient fashion unlike the lowland Clans that transitioned to a half-kilt worn only as a skirt around the waist and leg. 
Herodi favor muted jewelry and tend towards complex engraving and knot-work. Herodi in general are very fond of tattooing; many bear runic and tribal tattoos both magical and mundane.
The Herodi are a fierce, aggressive people that do not easily tolerate weakness or failure. The stereotypical Herodi is confrontational, impulsive, and action oriented, ready for anything life might throw their way. Clannish in the extreme, they believe in Herodi first, Machtig second, and everyone else as a target fit for plunder.
Many Herodi take up the sword, and most are eager to put it to use as well. Going out on faring to basically raid and loot weaker peoples is a common past time, and it is considered basically an assumed rite of passage that all young thanes will go on at least one faring to "cut their teeth" as it were.
A percentage of faring Herodi don't come back, either due to death or because they found someplace else to call home (although more the former than the later). This is considered a good thing in general; the survivors are those strong enough to make it back, and in truth the Herodi lands would grow overpopulated if some of this didnt occur.
Herodi maintain friendly relations with the Varhold at Viba and other Var in theory. Historically other than that everyone else that isn't Machtig is a target for oppression and pillaging. The Herodi like to keep things simple.
However in the last few years the current Laird has begun to open modest trade with far off Shidaal and this might lead to bigger things in the future.
The vast majority of Herodi trade is with other Clans, with the sole exception being metal goods from the Var at Viba. The Herodi trade for weapons, armor, horses, and food stuff that they cannot get from their own lands or conveniently take from the Undari.
In the past the Herodi dominated the other Clans for generations, but have since been superceded by less warlike Clans who tired of the continual wars and strife the Herodi preferred to engage in with outsiders. The Herodi are considered to be very warlike by the other Clans, and it is true that almost all men and many of the women are Thegns. Short on Thralls, the Herodi make heavier use of Slaves taken on raids than most of the other Clans.
A disproportionate number of Herodi Thegns are Gefolgsmen to one of the many Herodi Reeves; most of the Reeves keep as many or more Gefolgsmen as the Laird keeps Huscarls. Other Thegns tend to have crafts with some martial bent to them, or else own some land which they use Slaves to work. The family structure is very tight among the Herodi as well, and it's not unusual for a household to have three or four young adult Thegns doing nothing productive in between seeking permission to go afaring with their friends in the pursuit of loot of their own.
The Herodi lands contain scattered pockets of Ungheuer (monsters), particularly in the moutains, but the Herodi take such great delight in hunting and killing them for sport that most non-human creatures go elsewhere or keep a low profile.
There are also several mines in the Herodi lands, bringing in great wealth. However, unlike the Wundvolding, the Herodi prefer to use Slaves (mostly Undari) to do their mining. There is also a single old colony of mountain Var living beneath one of the mountains near Caer Coinig in the Varhold of Viba, and the Herodi have traded to them for weapons and armor for millenia.
More so than any of the other Clans the Herodi continue the old ways of lesser Clans and extended family groups having significance. Lesser Clans range in size from many thousands of members to as few as a dozen survivors. Occassionally old Clans die out and families groups ascend to become a full Clan.
Some families don't belong to a lesser Clan and are called freeholders; they owe their loyalty only to the Laird. Some of these famililies grow to become Clans while others were once Clans that dwindled, and some have never been a Clan and likely never will be.
The primary visible realization of Clans is in the weaves and color schemes of the traditional tartans the Herodi adhere to; members of the same lesser Clan wear the same tartan, while larger families and notable lines within a lesser Clan are allowed some minor adjustment to the tartan to signify themselves.
Some Herodi Skalds are so knowledgable about the tartans of the lesser Clans and families that they can place a person's lineage and deduce some salient details merely by glancing at their kilts.
Members of lesser Clans owe loyalty to the heads of their Clan in addition to the Laird. The way it works in practice is Clan members proxy their votes to their Clanhead, which means the heads of numerous and influential Clans represent an important block of votes in Volksraading. This is also practical in that the Herodi lands are large and it is more practical for a Clanhead to travel to Caer Coinig with a few trusted companions rather than have the whole Clan disrupt their daily living to make such a journey. 
For obvious reasons the heads of powerful lesser Clans are often made Reeves, and in some places the position of Reeveship is practically hereditary when a particular lesser Clan dominates the Reeve-halten and thus the head of the Clan is the de facto best candidate for Reeve.
The most notable and extreme case of this is the Reeve of Caer Auldfell, which has always corresponded with the head of the Tevensy Clan since time immemorial. If a Laird were to appoint another Reeve in the halten there would be an armed insurrection as the entire region is dominated by Clan Tevensy; the huge Clan could probably muster over 20,000 thegns without putting the old and inexperienced into the mix which to put it into perspective is more than twice as many people as are even in the Faendradi Great Clan.
It is not common, but it is not uncommon either, for Herodi Clans to feud amongst themselves. Most of the time this takes the form of different degrees of rivalry, nose-thumbing, and mud slinging but sometimes devolves or escalates into outright violence. However, unlike Raevoring feuds that can get grossly out of hand with lots of people taking sides, making and breaking alliances, and otherwise avalanching out of control, Herodi feuds tend to stay contained to their originators. Though there have been exceptions, of course.
The Herodi are big believers in survival of the fittest and like a good tussle as a rule so they aren't particularly upset by such things as blood feuds. For the most part its considered to be good form to give two feuding lesser Clans and families ample opportunity to sort matters out themselves and higher authority usually doesn't get involved unless the feud gets messy and bleeds out to affect other people, or starts to effect the flow of besterung.
Most feuds are eventually forgotten, but some take on a life of their own and last for centuries with sporadic flare ups. For instance the Dalengr and Untholen Clans are spread out across several steadings in the highlands between Dunn Brobek, Dun Wothleah, and Dunn Gunnarshyrst and hate each other with a deep passion. They have embarked on numerous blood feuds over the centuries, stopping only when several other Clans in the area get fed up with it and take measures, or the Druids get involved, or as on two occassions when the Laird sends in a force of Huscarl to police the area.
Most Herodi, around 80%, are Thegns or some combination of both. The remainder are composed of Thralls (13%), Druids (3%), Skalds (3%), Non-Thegn Fertigkeiten (1%), and Zauberers (<1%).
Most Herodi Thegns use the following Packages or some variation of them:
  • Barbarian Warrior: approximately 35% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Berserker: approximately 15% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Bladesman: approximately 10% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Armiger: approximately 10% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Scrapper approximately 10% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Scout: approximately 5% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Archer: approximately 3% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Light Cavalry: approximately 1% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Medium Cavalry: approximately 1% of all Herodi Thegns
  • Approximately 10% of Herodi Thegns have a fighting style or discipline unique to their families or circumstances.
The vast majority of Herodi Zauberer are Runecrafters of some sort, particularly Illumin. They also have a handful of established Obermancers, typically with a prediliction towards Pyromancy and Aeromancy Spells.
The Herodi have not had any dealings with the Haelfinan in the last fifteen hundred odd years, but once they did and throwbacks to the Aelfblud occur every once in a great while.Thus Aeldenaren are extremely rare verging on nonexistant among them.
The Herodi Laird is traditionally called the Battle Laird. The Herodi Huscarls are fearsome fiends known for their savagery in battle and traditionally called the Baresarks though not necessarily all of them are actually Berserkers.
The Battle Laird typically maintains as many as 500 Huscarls, paid for in large part from the realms lucrative mines. The current Laird is Raserei Storensen, a fearsome warrior in his prime and much beloved of his people.
The Herodi lands are very large, encompassing the eastern half of the Wundvold Mountains and the rugged, hilly highlands beneath them. They have an impressive mix of natural features including forests, mountains, hills and everything in between, but lacking much in the way of arable pasture or farmland.
 Therefore it is not uncommon for young Herodi Thegns to go Faring into nearby lands outside the Vold to raid and pillage, bringing back food and other resources in addition to loot and glory.
Most Herodi live either in or near mountain fortresses called Caers (CARES), or hill forts called Dunns (DUNES). Either way, most of the actual residences are composite stone and wood longhalls with most of the remainder being sod-roofed stonecots.
The Clans ancestral home is an impressive mountain fortress called Caer Coinig (CARE KOY-nig), which is Kings Fortress in the Old Tongue. Caer Coinig guards the fertile but narrow valley called the Underverdt arching into the Vold from the Undari plains along the eastern bank of the mighty Ordecar River.
Caer Coinig is extremely defensible and has a commanding vantage point over the potentially invadeable river valley. The fortress has a long and glorious history from its early days as a stronghold against the Hurgur and Kor, though it has been untested in most of the last millennium since no neighbor has had the wherewithal to penetrate that deeply into the Vold.
Built solidly into a mountain face, the only way to approach it is up a narrow open sided path that deliberately winds around beneath the walls quite a bit, providing ample opportunity to rain death upon the heads of would be invaders.
Caer Dirklof (CARE DUR-klof), This key fortress guards the entrance to the Underverdt from the Undari plains, and as such is an important fortification. This area is considered to be part of the Laird's holding and thus it is manned and guarded by Huscarl. Reserei typically keeps 50 to 75 Huscarl here, usually under the command of either Verolt the Mighty or Pavelof, two of his most senior captains.
Caer Verdton (CARE VERDT-un), traditionally a sub-settlement to Caer Coinig, this steading was walled and made into a Reeve-halten relatively recently when the previous Herodi Laird was ill; the current Laird, Reserei, was the first Reeve-halten of this new fortress. After becoming Laird he apointed one his cousins, Arenth, the new Reeve.
The primary purpose of Verdton is to serve as a farming community, gathering crops from the large Valley carved over millenia by the Ordecar river; this area is called the  Underverdt valley and it represents some of the best farm land available to the Herodi. This area sometimes floods whenever the Ordecar overruns it's banks; for that reason Caer Verdton proper is built an large hill that also grants a commanding view of the area. Seat of a small but politically advantageous Reeve-halten.
Caer Einna (CARE A-NA), the first hold of the people that became the Herodi, located on the border of the Wundvolding lands, today it is the principle point of trade between the Herodi and the Wundvolding. In addition to trade across the Ordecar Rivers surface, goods are also moved between Caer Coinig and Caer Einna via an ancient Korish tunnel that goes beneath the river called the Korentunel (KOR-en-TOON-el). Seat of a wealthy and powerful Reeve-halten.
Caer Alunbrenner (CARE Ah-lun-bren-NUR), a newer fortress built a few hundred years ago on the west side of the Ordecar river to project force into Hurishol. A smallish settlement, but an impressive fortress. Part of the Einna Reeve-halten
Caer Hafiard (CARE HA-fee-ard), a fortress about midway along the broad border with Orothain to the north, build high upon a mountain overlooking a pleasant valley that spills out onto Orithain. Means "Fortress of the Summer Meadows" in the Old Tongue. Much as Caer Ryd, it has been used as a staging point for many forays to the north. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Caer Rukia (CARE ROO-keyuh), this mountain fortress gaurds one of the more easily traveled mountain trails into the interior of the Clan Hold. The local here are renowned among the Herodi for their skill with weaponscraft, which they hone with frequent raids into nearby Orithain and Orgorosh. Almost all of the local menfolk and many of the women are Thegns, and there are a lot of UndariThralls here, put to work in mines, farming small patches of arable land, and herding mountain goats.
Due to the proximity of the steading to the Thralls homeland, they frequently escape but the Rukians just raid and get more when they need them. It's not uncommon for a particular Undari to get captured, work as a Thrall for awhile, and escape on several occasions over time. Seat of a politically weak but respected Reeve-halten.
Caer Ryd (CARE REED), a mountain fortress on the Veldecar River opposing the Orgorosh capital, built by Laird Greiven Haustssun a millenia ago in an attempt to appeas his geas. Used as a staging point for many forays to the east. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Caer Auldfell (CARE Ald-Fell), Fortress of the Old Mountain, built on the other side of a large moutain from the ruins of the old Undari capital of Borshioc. As it sits on a large mine it is a wealthy hold, but its remoteness from Herodi culture makes it an unpopular dwelling place. The residents are mostly descendants of families that have been there for millenia, and they are thought to be standoffish by other Herodi. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Caer Kentil (CARE KEN-TELL), a remote mountain steading with an old tower fortress. Traditionally the seat of a Reeve-halten, no Reeve has been appointed over it for the reign of three consecutive Lairds, largely due to its remoteness in the rocky multi-leveled valley of four mountains, and the fact that the traditional boundaries of the Reeve-halten encompass a lot of craggy, unsettled mountains.
Dunn Streisborg (DUNE STRYZE-borg), a Highland hill-fort on the Ordecar river south of Caer Coinig. An important stop over point for river trade. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Dunn Gunnarsvik (DUNE GOO-narz-VIK), a stone hill fortress built near the head waters of the Gunnarsvik River, which emerges from under the mountains and eventually feeds Lake Pargo to the south. It is a minor trading post, serving several neighboring Reeve-haltens and a few small mines in getting merchandise and materials to Fallenheim. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Dunn Gunnarshyrst (DUNE GOO-narz-HEARST), a modest steading with a hill fortress and a outlook tower built on a broad hill overlooking the Gunnarsvik River down stream from Dunn Gunnarsvik and upstream from Dunn Glennburna. Functions as a trading hub for food from nearby farmsteads being sent down river to Dunn Glennburna. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Dunn Glennburna (DUNE GLEN-BUR-NAH), in the past the site of a stone hill fortress, the dunn was abandoned three centuries ago after a winters flood rerouted the Gunnarsvik through part of it. Now an old-fashioned wooden long hall stands on a rocky shelf over looking the river from a 30 feet precipice. Below the hall stands a thriving trading steading, doing a brisk trade from the river and also with the Hengsting they share a border with. Many Hengsting and Pargori can be found here throughout the year. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Dunn Braithwaite (DUNE BRAY-thwait), a very large steading with around 5000 permanent residents and protected by no fewer than four fortresses on opposing hilltops, Dunn Braithwaite also has four burroughs. It has the odd history of sitting astride the boundaries of four Reeve-haltens in the lower higlands near the Reavoring land.
This land is more arable than most of the Herodi Hold, and is dotted with farmsteadings, mostly worked by Slaves. The Herodi of these Reeve-haltens are among the most aggressive raiders of the Herodi, going out on frequent Farings in search of Slaves to work their lands. Seat of four Reeve-haltens.
Dunn Cernton (DUNE SAIRN-tun), a small steading with a hill fortress that functions as a trading hub for commerce moving around the area due to sitting on a crossroads. Once the seat of a Reeve-halten, the seat was moved to Dunn Braithwaite centuries ago.
Dunn Brobek (DUNE BRO-BEK), another of the major Ordecar River steadings, with a unusual hill fortress that has been expanded on with two grand wooden longhalls jutting forth from it to make a single structure. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Dunn Wothleah (DUNE WOTH-lay), a staeding built on a broad stretch of arable and mostly flat land in the center of the Herodi Hold. A farm community and the gathering point for outlaying farmsteadings. Considered to be "hickville" by many Herodi, an out of the way place full of uneducated Clansmen who seem more like Huarthmunn than Herodi. Seat of a Reeve-halten.
Some Herodi have set up personal fiefs in other lands, carving them out by force of arms. Some of these are known to the Herodi Laird and send a yearly tithe to maintain their besterung lest they be exiled from the Machtig. This is tolerated, though not actually encouraged by the Herodi. Some of the more powerful fiefs have been around long enough or are increasingly popular enough to warrant more note however.
The most notable is Valenshalle, which lies on the south bank of the Valdecar River near where the borders of Andelvai, Orgorosh, and Orithain meet; which has stood for over three hundred years. Traditionally a convenient layover point for Herodi hordes when they were warring on their neighbors, a settlement eventually became more or less permanent here.
It has actually grown in the last century; since the the Pargori Oberlairds have forbidden the Herodi from mass warring, smaller warbands on faring are the rule and they need a rest point moreso than a large horde would.
Some Herodi ended up settling here, and a couple of exoduses by extended families have ensured the settlements strength. The Orithain have made some mild attempts to discourage the settlements growth, but they know very well that antagonizing the Machtig never works out for their betterment.
Currently the settlement is roughly six thousand strong, though the population surges quite a bit during faring season, swollen by warbands of Herodi warriors out on a faring. There was some talk a few years ago of naming the settlement a Reeve-halten, but the Oberlaird Kaenha Kennering put a stop to it.
The second most notable is Barettston, located north and east of the Landrothi capital of Zerlaaga, firmly in Kor-Dishan lands. Founded by a Herodi exile some seventy years ago, the settlement has attracted many Machtig adventurers of several Clans who hire themselves out as mercenaries on the Great Northern Trade Route.
Much less developed than Valenshalle, and somewhat seasonal, there are several thousand Herodi that more or less make their homes here semi-permanently and a hundred or so Machtig of other Clans, along with a couple thousand mercenaries of other peoples. The transient population can more than double this during the peak of caravan season. In all, it's a very wild and dangerous settlement, and not just because of the periodic Kor attacks.
This fief has no official recognition from the Herodi Laird or any other Clan Laird and in fact many of the more perennial residents are exiles or persona non grata, but many Thegns know of it and visit it during the faring season if raiding is going poorly, or if they prefer the relatively easy money of being a caravan guard.
Most of the buildings are Undari-style wattle and daub huts with thatch rooves, but many just pitch tents or sleep under wagons. There is one longhall, the original home of the eponymous Barett, but he died long ago and not from old age. Over the years a succession of Machtig have essentially established their right to the longhall for themselves and their bands by force of arms and the level of respect they command. The structure is made of wood but has been ensorcelled to resist fire.
The settlement also has a rude wooden wall of sorts, though calling it a fortification would be generous. It is staked out a good fifty feet from any building inside its ragged expanse. Its primary purpose is to serve as a fire break to discourage the Kor tactic of chucking burning brands into the thatch rooves of the settlement in the middle of the night.
There is a regional tradition among several groups of Herodi from the expanse between and around Caer Ryd and Caer Rukia to group together and go fairing in the summer, traveling more or less together as a large dispersed collection of warbands and drifting around the Undari plains to find spoils, returning at the end of summer. These are called Somerled (SOHM-ur-LED)
Anywhere from a few thousand to many thousands of Herodi can be involved, shifting from year to year in response to a number of factors. Of late they've been drifting over Arvanis way to yank the Zadeshi's rope but they've been known to raid down into Gersaan, down the coast to Burui and Afarvel, and all the way north to Vei-Da and Therokai in past years. While they are afaring and have found an area ripe for plunder they will often set up semi-permanent base camps from which to launch their efforts from.
The Machtig are an individualistic people, but nevertheless there are some generalities about how the Herodi think of  the other Clans.
  • Ulthferen: They are brave warriors and fearsome to our enemies! The timid heartland Clans had them stripped of their heritage, but we will right this wrong when once again we are in power.
  • Raevoring: Hah! Good shieldbrothers. They are almost as good as us. Almost.
  • Hengsting: They are our little brothers. They would be part of us still if not for the Pargori meddling. They like their horses a little too much though. A trusty war steed is a good thing to have, but what good is a horse carrying you into battle if you lack a trusty sword by your side or the will to use it?
  • Wundvolding: Dangerous warriors and bad men to cross; challenge their Thegns at your own peril. But it seems that they only want to sit in their stone halls and forge and mine. Making swords and armor is a noble aim, but eventually it's time to put on the armor and lift up the sword and use them in battle. They sometimes forget that, but we will always be here to remind them.
  • Huarthmunn: Pfah. Farmers and Thralls. Some of them can fight, no doubt, but for each of them there's three more that would faint at the sight of blood spilled in anger.
  • Jagrling: Never doubt their skill with a bow, but they have tree sap in their veins instead of blood. It takes them forever to get around to doing anything beyond shooting deer, and men don't come any stiffer. No fun at all, but honorable.
  • Faendradi: Strange and untrustworthy. Barely Machtig at all.
  • Pargori: They should concentrate on what they are good at -- peddling trinkets -- and leave the leading to us.