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The children of Líf and Lífthaser, the race of men has spread over Nyrgarðr.
Men of Renown
Three social classes existed in Norse society. The classes were nowhere near as rigid as they were in other parts of Europe at the time. Mechanisms existed such that a person could move himself from one class to another.1
Jarls were distinguished by their wealth, measured in terms of followers, treasure, ships, and estates. The eldest son of the jarl was on the fast track to becoming the next jarl. But, by gaining enough fame and wealth, a karl could become a jarl. The power of a jarl depended upon the goodwill of his supporters. The jarl’s essential task was to uphold the security, prosperity, and honor of his followers.1
Aise Tathra (Wizard, Druid, Bard)
The vast majority of Norsemen belonged to the middle class, the karls. These people were freemen and land owners. They were the farmers, the smiths, and the just plain folks. Families of karls usually lived in clusters of two or more buildings, typically longhouses supplemented by barns and workshops.1
Borya (freeman, land owner)
Betag (freeman, land renter)
These included the slaves (usually booty from a raid) and bondsmen. If a Norseman of any class could not pay his debts, he was obliged to become a bondsman and to work for another man until the debt was paid. The law allowed for someone convicted of theft to be handed over as a slave to the victim of the theft.1
Bondsmen (indentured servants)
Slaves (usually criminals or captured during war)
Cataran (escaped criminals who resort to banditry)
Practitioners of magic, the Aise Taithra are grouped into the following categories.
- Tathlor (Diplomat)
- Liaig (Healer)
- Brehon (Judge)
- Mystic (Magic-Focued)
- Flaith (Seer)
Wizards are practitioners of magic through practice and knowledge. Wizards may focus on one type of magic or another, but are collectively known as wizards unless they practice a forbidden or dark art.
- Necromancers practice the raising of the dead, consorting with Hel, and forbidden knowledge.
- Sorcerers are skilled in the use Glamours – mind reading, illusions, and domination of the mind.
- Witches practice the placing of Gaesa and the dark magic of the Dvergar Hags.
Bards are not formal practitioners of magic, but their gifted use of Song and Verse so far outclasses the mundane musician’s that it might as well be magic. Bardic music and poetry is so potent that it can stop an army on the march, or even lull a Jötun to sleep.
Rune Smiths can alter reality by writing upon creation. They can make walls stronger, swords sharper, and fields fruitful. They are usually renowned smiths or masons, but carpenter rune smiths are not unheard of. The rune-word is typically written backwards on the object (so when the object looks at it, it’s written correctly – thus the object knows what it’s supposed to be/do).
- Tyrunar “victory runes” to be carved on the sword hilt
- Ølrunar “Ale-runes” (a protective spell against being bewitched by means of ale; naudiz is to be marked on one’s fingernails, and laukaz on the cup)
- Biargrunar “birth-runes” (a spell to facilitate childbirth),
- Brimrunar “wave-runes” (for the protection of ships, with runes to be carved on the stem and on the rudder),
- Limrunar “branch-runes” ( healing spell, the runes to be carved on trees “with boughs to the eastward bent”)
- Malrunar “speech-runes” (to improve one’s rhetorical ability at speaking).
- Hugrunar “thought-runes” (to improve one’s wit).