Vassal of Halfshav
Words: "True to the Firstborn."
Sigil: Mammoth skull with curved tusks.
Org description: The Stahlben clan was, until very recently, one of the Shav’arvani clans most isolated from Arvum, known to the Compact only in vague tales of bone-wearing warriors to the far north. For centuries it had ruled from the Bonespire, the last mountain before the endless white of the Everwinter. Determined defenders of their homeland, they’ve fought against other Abandoned with little contact from the Compact, their wary gaze turned North rather than South. The clan’s power waned in the aftermath of the Silent War, its numbers depleted from the heavy fighting it led, alone, against an undying foe. With new threats rising, the Stahlben, in a bid to survive lest they fall alone, bent the knee to Sanna. Now a county sworn under the Compact, there’s been little time to change their savage ways, much less spread the Faith’s teachings in so remote a part of the world. Yet times are changing, and even the eternal Stahlben must change with it. Warriors and spiritualists, the Stahlben’s recent addition to the Compact have seen them export various metals, pelts as well as stone and bone crafts.
History: The Stahlben have, as long as memory goes, always occupied the Bonespire. The great fortress was never taken, its defenders ever victorious in its defense, no matter the enemy, no matter their numbers. It has stood defiant against the Everwinter, finding allies in the surrounding Shav’arni clans, along with enemies. Dedicated to the Old Ways, the shamanistic traditions are strong and have ruled unchallenged by the Faith of the Pantheon, with only whispers of the Faith ever reaching them. To all outside observers, the clan hardly ever changed throughout its existence, a powerful presence too difficult to dislodge by its enemies, enjoying strong links of kinship with its neighbours, defended by a massive mountain fortress built by ancients greater than life, and a distance from the Compact that ensured disinterest.
Everything changed with the Silent War. When the invaders came from the Everwinter, they headed for the Bonespire. Fighting was fierce, allies rallied, and acts of bravery and might worthy of song committed against the unnatural invaders. Yet they passed through, the Stahlben unable to contain the threat from the Everwinter. Worse, they were decimated by the fighting, their allies hardly any better. Surviving more out of Brand’s interests lying elsewhere than in the fortress, what remained of the Stahlben took in what was left of their allies in the hopes of rebuilding their clan, while the Compact dealt with the threat that had so grievously wounded them. Yet they had no time, for another threat rose, the Horned God’s servants rising to attack other Shav’arvani. Facing yet another threat, and far too weakened to face it alone, the Stahlben, for the first time in centuries, turned to Sanna and the Compact. Fealty, for support and military aid, lest they grow extinct. Reduced to the size and power of a County, Stahlben nonetheless hopes to reclaim its former glory in time, though now as a loyal vassal of the Compact.
|Volcica||1||Marquis||Marquessa-Regent of the Bonespire|
|Poppy||2||Voice||Voice of the Bonespire|
Description: The Bonespire lies within the last mountain of the North, overlooking a pass linking Arvum to the Everwinter. A strange, isolated place, the Bonespire earned its name due to its inhabitants’ practice of constructing bone totems from the enemy dead, as well as the spiralling architecture used for the main keep. Dug into the mountain itself, the halls are large and the ceilings high, as if to accommodate individuals of much greater size, and in far greater numbers. It has proven to be a highly defensible place, however, one able to be held by a small number of defenders if required thanks to strategic chokepoints and traps, along with numerous platforms and towers. It is not a place without its artistic beauty, ancient reliefs covering many of the interior walls, preserved diligently by its inhabitants.
Landmarks: The Great Road reaches even as far as Bonespire.
Trends: A new popular coffee blend from the Bonespire is being sold throughout the Compact, at the direction of Countess Arcadia Stahlben.
Seraphinite, a northern gemstone found throughout the Everwinter, has become increasingly popular and resulted in increased trade.