\ Haven:Mist and Shadow Factions/Ymirs Host
Factions

Ymirs Host

Ymir's Host

Cattle die and kinsmen die,
thyself too soon must die,
but one thing never, I ween, will die, --
fair fame of one who has earned.

-Hávamál, The Words of Odin the High One, Line 75

Society Positions

Religion Strongly Spiritual
Strategy Moderately Combative
Morality Strongly Corrupt
Leadership Moderately Autocratic
Bloodlines Neutral
Conformity Mildly Anarchistic
Restrictions Vampires, Werewolves, Demonborn, Faeborn, Professionals, Inhibited

Summary

The world has forgotten the old ways, the people have turned their backs to the True Gods in favor of a dead one. In some places, though, there are those who remember. Being on one hand a band of honour bound warriors and on the other a church of evangelical zealots, Ymir's Host is dedicated to restoring glory to the House of Odin by fire and sword. The world will remember.

Styling their organization after the Saxon kingdoms of old, Ymir's Host adheres to a might makes right mentality. It is the right of the strong to rule over the weak, and they will acknowledge no laws but their own. Seeking a place among the halls of Valhalla or Sessrumnir, their members abide by a strict code of honour, though perhaps not a terribly ethical one.

Vampires are barred from the Host's ranks for having given up a chance at a place in their ancestor's hall in favor of unlife. Similarly, as the ancestors of demonborn turned against the Gods, it is believed that their descendants would undoubtedly do the same. Those who have formed pacts with such creatures are barred as well. How can one be said to have honour in their heart when they've sold their soul to an enemy of the Gods?

History

Ymir's Host derives its roots in the Jomsvikings, a legendary band of warriors dedicated to the Norse Gods which operated in the 10th and 11th century. The band was put to the sword by King Magnus of Norway in 1043, the few surviving mercenaries and raiders scattering to the wind. It would not be until January 2018 that the group would reform under the influence of a relatively young supernatural claiming ancestry from the same gods the band served.

While the Host has retained the code of honor and brutality of its predecessor, under the guidance of younger members of the House of Odin it has reshaped itself to better reflect modern values. Gone is the brutal initiation ritual of Holmgang, and the chaotic raiding of the organization's past has been replaced with the more refined work of psychic battles and operations. Indeed, much to the chagrin of the group's older members, the group even takes care to hide its religious affairs in the backrooms of businesses or deep in the wilderness lest there be a breach of the Treaty of Venice.

However the dreams of glory remain alive and well alongside the group's stated mission of returning the Old Gods to their rightful place in the hearts and minds of the world.

Manifesto

Ymir's Host has three primary goals. The first is to prove themselves in battle, that they might someday take their rightful place among the Einherjar. The second is to observe the rites and worship the Old Gods. The last is to convert others to the worship of the House of Odin by any means necessary.

As the number Nine is a sacred one, the code which members of the organization are expected to follow holds Nine tenets:
Courage - One should never back down from a challenge, be it one of strength or one of wits. Never surrender, and accept the consequences of your actions fully. Trust in the path that the Norns chose for you.
Wisdom - Have the presence of mind to know when a challenge is actually being issued, and when it is an appropriate time to respond. Know your enemy, and act with a plan.
Honour - Even evil has standards. Remain proud in defeat and treat your victims with dignity and respect. Heroes should be lauded for their courage and strength of conviction even while you're showing them the naivety of their beliefs. That courage may someday see them seated next to you in Valhalla.
Loyalty - To kith, kin and king. Above all else to the Aesir and Vanir. The price of betrayal is death.
Discipline - Members of the Host are to keep their bodies and minds ready for battle, and their weapons sharp. Power is the currency on which the world runs, and working to better oneself is paramount.
Hospitality - Even enemies are to be treated with hospitality when visiting the homes and businesses of the Host. In accordance with tradition and little else, household visitors who do not feed on blood are to be offered a meal and a place to spend the night.
Autonomy - The members of Ymir's Host are expected to aid one another whenever necessary. However one should be able to fend for themselves, act without direction and pull their own weight. Anything less is a sign of weakness and a source of shame.
Diligence - One should strive tirelessly to achieve their goals, whether they belong to Ymir's Host or are of a more personal nature.
Perseverance - The enemies of the gods are many, there will be no rest until all have been converted or slain.

Missions

  • Force captives to participate in blots and other religious rituals in worship of the Old Gods.
  • Attempt to convince others, captive or not, to convert to the House of Odin. Share the tales of the saga, evangelize the strength of the Gods, etc.
  • Plan and take part in events centered around the Norse religion, as well as minor blots unrelated to any specific holiday. (http://thepaganjourney.weebly.com/norse-holidays-and-festivals.html)
  • More combative types might seek out worthy opponents, for the simple sake of honour and battle.
  • While Ymir’s Host is above petty rumors and gossip, more social sorts might take on the role of Skalds, sharing tales of their kindred’s bravery and their enemy’s cowardice. Flavorful praises and disses as a result of actual events are encouraged. Particularly impressive foes are worthy of praise as well; All the more glory, then, to whoever defeats them.
  • Serious disagreements between members of Ymir’s Host, the sort which cannot be settled through words alone, are expected to be settled through the ancient ritual of Holmgang. Long standing enemies of the group who are amenable to this sort of duel may be challenged as well.

Members of Ymir’s Host are encouraged to take part in adventures that would deal a blow to other godly houses or aid the House of Odin, as well as any other adventure which might see them face a great foe or have an interesting tale to tell.

It is also assumed that members of Ymir’s Host will have their own goals and plans which are not necessarily related to those of the society. Members of the society are expected to aid in these as well, when possible.

Roles

Huscarls: The most cunning and skilled of the Host’s combatants are afforded the prestigious role of the Huscarl, as signified by a ring or other jewelry item granted to them by the Host’s King. They are expected to aid in the formation of and voice opinions on the strategy and tactics that the Host employs against its enemies, lead skirmishes within Haven and without, and so on.

Volva: Also known as spa-women, seid-woman and seid-men, the arcanists of Ymir’s Host are expected to lend their knowledge and wisdom to the other members, acting as both advisors and religious leaders. It’s these individuals who are expected to lead the religious rites, and indeed many such rites may double as full on rituals.

Skalds: The diplomats and the face of the organization, skalds are responsible for reaching out to the allies designated by the Venetian Council, organizing events and gatherings for the Host and bringing their considerable influence and wit to bear against the group's enemies.

Wolves: Fenrir’s Children hold a special place among Ymir’s Host, seen as more than simple warriors but rather the berserkers of old. Granted a special place in gatherings yet often only called upon when it comes time for battle, they are treated both as outcasts and honoured members of the organization. While it’s understood that there is no effective way to direct them towards the group’s enemies when madness overtakes them, werewolves are expected to embrace Mani’s gift all the same and the terror they inspire during the full moon is seen as a boon so long as the target of their savagery is not a member of the Host. As werewolves themselves are not allowed within the Host proper, the pack is instead kept as vassals with the alpha bound to either the King or an appropriate huscarl through an arcane pact. (In other words, a praestes relation)

Aspirants: Unaware acolytes of the House of Odin, business owners who have thrown in their lot with Ymir’s Host, and anyone else who doesn’t quite fit but is useful enough or appreciated enough to earn the organization’s protection. The expectations of vassals is to be decided on a case-by-case basis, and as sanctuary does not come cheap those expectations will likely be steep. While feeding on aspirants is only to be used as a last resort when worthier prey cannot be found, it still may be done from time to time.

Music: Wardruna - Helvegen