Wilders of Aegic
- 1 Introduction
- 2 History
- 3 Life in the Valley
- 4 Playing
- 5 Guild structure
- 5.1 Wilders of Aegic
- 5.2 Wilder Savages
- 5.3 Wilder Brutes
- 5.4 Wilder Archers
- 5.5 Wilder Horde
- 5.6 Shamans
- 6 Masteries
The Wilders of Aegic are the descendants of the the people caught out in the wastes when Aegic froze. They have survived for generations by living off the icecrawlers which in turn have fed from the frozen herds. Recently the tribes and crawlers have been dying off as the food is exhausted. A few lucky tribes have followed the ice crawlers that blundered into Icesus.
The wilders do not have a home in the valley, no kingdom is willing to share its territory, so they continue their nomadic life in the slightly warmer and more bountiful valley. They have no guild, but simply train from one another wherever they might be.
Wilders are known to be brutal fighters for whom survival of the tribe is the only goal. When axe wielding wilders storm into battle, naked save for the bloody designs painted on their flesh it is only the distant observer that can tell the tale of the horror.
The Wilders of Aegic can be found outside the southern citygates of Vaerlon.
As Aegic froze populations were pushed back by the ice. Most people were pushed back into ever dwindling pockets which eventually became too small to support their population and then froze entirely. The end for these enclaves was brutal. Only the toughest and fiercest survived as neighbor killed neighbor for the scarce resources. When the enclave froze entirely, the last survivors would find themselves in the frozen wastes with no food, fuel, or water. There they died, frozen atop the family and friends they had killed for the privilege of dying last.
But there was another fate. A few tribes learned to survive in the frozen wastes. The fields, fruits, fish, and roaming beasts were gone, but these resourceful people adapted. They learned to find the ice crawlers and through them the bountiful harvest frozen beneath the ice.
Just as the people had retreated from the ice, so had the giant herds of roaming animals. Herd joined herd as the ice pushed them back until thousands of animals huddling for warmth was not enough and they were frozen and buried beneath many meters of ice, but not lost. The ice crawlers possessed an uncanny ability to sniff out these frozen herds. There they would feed and spawn their young before moving on to find the next cache of meat.
The tribes on the ice learned to find the ice crawlers by their breathing holes and to follow the tunnels to the great food stores. The crawlers supplied the minimum that life required; a ready access to food, shelter in their tunnels, and warmth from the fast growing larvae, but they were brutal suppliers. Though the people would try to destroy the young before they reached a dangerous size, there was always the possibility of one lurking undiscovered in the frozen meat biding its time until it was grown enough to feed on the fresh humans. And a constant vigil had to be kept for adults arriving to lay more eggs.
To survive a tribe needs warriors. Warriors that could face any ice crawler with only the weapons saved from before the ice and passed down through the generations. The warriors learned to fight at the time of the opponents choosing with no possibility of retreat and a complete obliteration of their people if they failed even once.
Thus for many generations did the wilder tribes survive beneath the ice. But there were no new food supplies. Though a herd might last for years, when it was consumed the tribe had to move on. The herds grew scarcer and the ice crawler population began to dwindle. One by one the tribes died off except for a lucky one that followed an ice crawler tunnel into Icesus.
The promised land had been found. A land where they could live beneath the sun without freezing, where live animals were plentiful and staying alive did not require one to live in the shadow of fearsome monsters. It was worse. The limited space of the valley had long ago been divided among the races and religions and tribes until every square meter belonged to someone. Most of the mayors and princes refused to grant them land to live, a few offered them land for a village in return for slavery.
Unable to claim a home, too few to take one, and unwilling to accept servitude, and with the frozen herds depleted behind them, the wilders became nomads. They own only that which they can pack and carry. In an hour an entire village can be packed and a mile away. They live off the wilderness, beyond the sight of men, but always ready to fight or move when discovered by some wandering ranger.
Life in the Valley
Wilders lived for so long in such small groups that their organized elemental worship has faded. They have forgotten the knowledge of the elemental priests and have replaced it with a crude worship of totems which they understand to be simply 'the gods that look over this clan'. The gods seem to accept this unnamed devotion, though they never grant favour.
Wilders build altars in the wilderness where they place their totems and worship. As they worship, their totems become more powerful. They can then draw upon this power to aid their recovery from damage or exhaustion. A wilder will make many totems, but for a totem to last it must have been worn sufficiently in combat. If you have only tried it a little bit it may crumble after a while.
Wilders have no towns or permanent structures. They live in nomadic villages. There is no guild hall. Wilders train from one another. You must find a more knowledgable wilder to train a skill.
Experienced wilders can become shamans, though it is a spiritually demanding life and not terribly compatible with being a warrior.
Wilders have a diversity of skills. It is unlikely that you will excel by blindly applying the same tactic to all opponents or even for the entire duration of a battle. Being a Wilder is about studying your situation and then resources and adapting the situation to your advantage.
+---------+ | Wilders | | 2 | | . | +---------+ | . | | Shamans | <---> | 10 | | 2 | <---> | 12 | | 3 | <---> | 14 | | 4 | <---> | 16 | | 5 | <---> | 18 | +---+ +---+ +---+ +---+ | | | 20 | <---> | A |-| R |-| B |-| S | | 6 | <---> | 22 | | r | | i | | r | | a | | 7 | <---> | 26 | | c | | d | | u | | v | | 8 | <---> | 30 | | h | | e | | t | | a | +---------+ +---------+ | e | | r | | e | | g | | r | | | | s | | e | | | | | | | | s | | 5 | | 5 | | | | | +---+ +---+ | 6 | | 6 | +---+ +---+
Wilders of Aegic
The Wilders of Aegic are the descendants of the the people caught out in the wastes when Aegic froze. They have survived for generations by living off the icecrawlers which in turn have fed from the frozen herds. Recently the tribes and crawlers have been dying off as the food is exhausted. A few lucky tribes have followed the ice crawlers that blundered into Icesus. The wilders do not have a home in the valley, no kingdom is willing to share its territory, so they continue their nomadic life in the slightly warmer and more bountiful valley. They have no guild, but simply train from one another wherever they might be. Wilders are known to be brutal fighters for whom survival of the tribe is the only goal. When axe wielding wilders storm into battle, naked save for the bloody designs painted on their flesh it is only the distant observer that can tell the tale of the horror.
Maximum level: 30
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Some Wilders spend so much time in battle that they can become uninterested in the tribal life they defend and live only for the thrill of combat. The tribes are familiar with this problem, but need battle skills too desperately to bring them back to a normal life. Instead they call them 'savages' and elevate them to a special place in the tribe and train them to better use their lust in combat.
Maximum level: 6
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The Wilders of Aegic do not shirk from putting their body at great harm. It is common for a wilder to throw himself at an dangerous opponent and hold it down while his mates attack. The Wilder Brutes practice this and other close fighting skills.
Maximum level: 6
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The tribes of the Wilders of Aegic are always prepared for a last stand. It is common for everyone to be skilled in the use of small bows which they keep with them at all times. Just in case. The wilders prefer their small bows they developed in the frozen lands. These do not compare with the long bows of the rangers for accuracy over distances, but still work well enough in the fray of melee.
Maximum level: 5
The Wilders of Aegic have learned the value of horses since they arrived at the valley. Horses give them the ability to live as nomads among the kingdoms of the valley. They can range over large hunting grounds without revealing the location of their villages, and when their villages are discovered they can quickly pack their few possessions and move on. Ignorant of horses, the Wilders have improvised their own methods for fighting from horseback which have proven to be surprisingly effective. A squad of charging Wilders must be a fearsome sight, though the people that see it probably won't live to tell.
Maximum level: 5
The wilders' religion is based on sacrifice and veneration of an unknowable power. They build shrines where they place sacrifices and worship without any care to who, what, or why they worship, only that it is the right thing to do. The shamans are different. Their goal is to study. They study shrines, worship, nature, man, and any other thing that crosses their path looking for connections. As a result they become more efficient in their worship and learn to perform some miraculous feats by exploiting these connections. Only mighty warriors are trusted to become shamans. No one else would be respected enough to be heeded.
Maximum level: 8
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The key to the survival of the wilders is that they understand the tribe is more important than any individual. When each member acts only for the best interest of the whole, the tribe is unstoppable. As this improves a wilder will be better at sacrificing himself and forgoing food for the good of the tribe..
Standing back and shooting is a bit alien to wilders, but when their numbers are sufficient it is a useful tactic. Most important is the ability to see and sense where and how opponents and allies are going to move in battle, and to have an arrow in the right spot at the right time. Complete mastery of archery gives a total battle picture that can be helpful for guiding a battle.
The primary weapon of the wilder is the axe. The years spent in the wastes with only scraps of metal meant swords were a waste of resources. They have learned to deal mighty blows with the axe and to take advantage of its unique abilities to hook and pull an enemy. With skill in axe combat, wilders can choose where to hit an opponent to maximize their damage. (e.g. aim at head)
A wilder's totem is the key to his physical powers, and without binding of essence there is no totem. Binding can not be taught, it must be learned through study and use. A totem which poorly binds a creatures spirit will be little more than an ornament.
The wise shamans use chanting to transfer their fruits of their wisdom to the rest of the tribe. Rhetoric and persuasive speech are not effective means for communicating with the tribe.
Wilders are masters of up close fighting. Circling and feinting are not used so much as head butting, kicking, eye gouging, overrunning and grappling. The only reason to step an inch from your opponent is to get a really good swing at him with your axe.
Unlike the fighting styles of most men, the wilders do not seek to minimize pain and wounding to themselves. Victory is all that matters, not pain, not humiliation, not death.
Your respect is a measure of your belief in a power beyond yourself. Without respect you are no more than yourself. With respect you can develop a relationship with the universe beyond yourself.
As brutal as a wilder's life is, it would be ill spent if not guided to a purpose. Those wilders that study the purpose will develop their sagacity and share the wisdom and power from this with the rest of the tribe.