Survival, Whatever the Cost, We Shall Endure.
Marthanais, Cibé an Costas, An mbeidh muid Mairfidh
Clan Kjal is one of the Minor Clans of Vornair. The original families within the Clan were solely of the Kypiq, formed from a group of nomad families wandering throughout the world. Most of its history is kept close to the chest, survival outside of the woodland realms being foremost on the minds of the wandering ancestors. Today, it has spread to include a handful of people from outside of the tribal lines, either through adoption or marriage after the Clan settled down and formed the settlement of Kjalstead.
The wanderers of Clan Kjal are an oddity within the lands of Erzhalden, besides their stature and their odd take on the animist religion that dots the land that takes after their Tribal origins, they are not great warriors, nor do they hold a natural, intimidating presence. When they came to Vornair, finding themselves wandering through the land that eventually formed the county of Volsung, the War of Many Banners that gathered the Vorn Clans together had yet to begin. The Kypiq had no land which they could call their own, were surrounded by simmering tensions hidden below the ice, lost or exiled from their once ancestral homeland they do not say, but simply survived the onset of the brutal combat that was to come. In this, their lifestyle saved them, for they were long used to quick, covert movements as a town turns against the nomads, they had developed what they term 'the Family', wherein one of the Clan needn't ask for assistance, it was simply expected that it would be given in the name of survival and kinship. This connection to one another, alongside their skill at staying alive, pulled them through the onslaught of war.
When Rhyne's Call came for the Clans to unite, the Kypiq of Clan Kjal had spent enough years in the area to have developed a small circuit, travelling and trading from city to city in the small area they hadn't yet been run out of by suspicious Tribes of Mann that dot Elyria. Through these connections to the local people, it was rumored that a vote was called for by the leader of the Clan, Keeper Tsura Havardr, where she asked those of her people if they, outsiders of this land, should answer the call of war and aid against the overlords that caused so much grief for the people they had come to know. In the end, the small Clan went to war against alongside the men and women of Vornair, fighting with a surprising amount of fury and dedication in the service of those who aren't their own flesh and blood. This service in the war, unexpected as it was from a Clan more willing to evade a threat rather than take it head on, earned the Kypiq something they had not had in generations, the land that eventually came to hold the town of Kjalstead. Clan Kjal finally had a home to call their own, led by the now Freya Tsura, and they will be damned if they lose this homeland as well
Their former lifestyle helped shape the identity of the town, housing an enclave of Kypiq and other such foreigners in the unforgiving alpines and tundra, as well as giving its purpose over to those who travel and trade for a living, containing inns, and guild halls, and storage space beyond belief. The now native Clan Kjal had developed a taste for the finer things in life, and the more merchants and adventurer that were attracted by the developing town, the more exotic goods arrived, and the more business that could grow, forming a cycle of growth to the unusual town. The Havardr's themselves focused on the transportation of good alongside storing it on the behalf of others, giving the historical leaders of the Clan a reason to wander the land once more, making the caravans of the small folk a common sight within the next few generations, pulled by beasts of burdened bred by the curious little Kypiq.
Valuing traders, craftsmen, mercenaries, and businesses of all sorts, the Kjal of Kjalstead welcome with open arms any who may wish to settle within the town. This is a city of outsiders banding together both in self interest, as well as the desire to aid the native Clans as they assimilate into the lifestyle of the Brudvir and Hrothi that are common across Vornair. Their oaths of loyalty were given to the newly declared Jarl Bälen at the founding of Erzhalden, and a new beginning began under the ancestors of the Chief Hrothgar of Volsung county. As of the Settling (The launch of CoE), Holmgeirr Havardr has taken the oath, as has his father, and grandmother, and all the way to Tsura herself, and leads the town of Kjalstead, and those of Clan Kjal, in this new age.
Those of Clan Kjal are not what one thinks of when they think of Vornair. Instead of the hearty and strong Hrothi and Brudvir that dot the landscape, most of the Clan are a part of various Kypiq families, headed by the Havardr bloodline. Diminutive in size compared to most others within the land of snow and mountains, they have a keen eye, quick skillfull hands, and as much pride as one would expect out of any Vorn, being just as independent as one expects out of one of the many Clans. Due to their size and heritage, the Kjal Kypiq do not rely on brute force, falling back on their dexterity and wits to lead them through the day, known to consider rooftops as a second highway, and producing more in the way of skirmishers, ambushers, and saboteurs than their lieges and fellow vassals under Clan Bälen are known for training.
Physically, the pure blooded among them are known for the typical Kypiq virtue of height and courage, and are prone to raven black hair, in stark comparison to the more common sandy, auburn, or brunette locks of other Vornish and Kypiq Clans, while those who have interbred with the native tribes find their children bearing qualities similiar to the both of them. Often quick for their size, many are possess a silvered tongue, or at least believe they posses such an ability much to others dismay or amusement. Due to their proclivities for travelling along the rooftops of Kjalstead, those of Clan Kjal have not lost the art of climbing or parkour, ending up in an inadvertent training in their nimble ways, barring the occasional fall.
Typically traders and craftsmen, it isn't uncommon to see a Kypiq travelling through the county of Volsung as they journey from town to town, or to satiate their own natural curiosity by travelling the surrounding lands on Kjalstead's behalf, working for its local adventurers guild as a surveyor. It isn't easy to restrict a Kypiq's available paths, for their size doesn't leave them thinking they are less than their compatriots and countrymen, even if the feeling isn't returned in heart or mind. They simply press on with their lives, doing as they will, ignoring the scorn thrown their way by a people who don't always quite mix with their viewpoints or values. The byword of survival doesn't include picking fights, and many things can be overlooked in the ideal for a peaceful life, even if one can push too far and find their breaking point.
Family Connections Edit
What does it mean to be Havardr, does it mean power and wealth? Pride and prestige? Or simply nepotism and chaste decisions? There is a far deeper meaning to when a Havardr speaks of family. When they were merely nomads, a set group began to look out for each other, offering each other help and support in times of need. Slowly these people became known as family, who would look out for each other, however there was a set of unspoken respect and humility to be part of this ‘family’. You never expected help from the family, it merely did, and you owed support of the family.
Many thought the idea of ‘Family’ died after the Many Banners war and the nomads became settled into the city, however it merely became less public. The help became more closeted and hidden away. Instead of helping work the farm, it was to help secure your business. To make friend and allies within the family. Not many know of who the family is or how many their number, but it is clear when ever someone mentions having ‘family over’ there is a much deeper conversation going on there.
Being part of the family doesn’t mean you are protected, that you have money and no risk of failure. The Family will help bail you in times of need, but it will also expect for you to repay these favors, sink to deep and your entire operation may be taken, but be mindful, you may be taken into the family, and become even more made. Family helps family, that still sits deep in their mantra.
The family of Freyr Holmgeirr's mother. Currently undefined.
The family of Erik Eklund-Havardr's father, the husband of Freyr Holmgeirr's aunt. Currently undefined.
- Stracher (Pronounced Striker)
The family of Donavill and the younger brother A'vidarr Stracher-Havardr's mother, the wife of Freyr Holmgeirr's brother. Currently undefined.
While the Kypiq of Clan Kjal still hold to their animist beliefs of Faedin, sharing it with the native Brudvir, they have been forced to adapt throughout the many generations spent as wanderers and having been further influenced by the natives of Vornair. While they hold all life precious, the restriction on killing has been... Loosened. Survival at all costs is the bylaw of Clan Kjal, and does not lend itself to pacifism when the stores of fruits and vegetables run low, or raiders think the short people manning their wagons are easy targets. As such, they have found themselves fitting in better with the Brudvir better than any would expect, one of their main sources of contention and dislike being absent without the easy life that Kypiq typically have forcing them to adapt throughout the generations.
As such, their beliefs have shifted as well. While everything still possesses a spirit, to the eyes of outsiders it would seem that the raven, and to a lesser extent the crow, are held in higher regard to the Kypiq within Kjalstead, with the occasional mention of the Raven-Goddess and her guidance. These beliefs are not a common topic with outsiders, but it isn't hard to piece together that a cult of sort has grown from the family, spreading into an odd mixture of Brudvir and Kypiq religions in regards to reincarnation and spirits. One may think it best to ask a Havardr about their beliefs, that family having historically led the people of Clan Kjal in both body and soul.