The world of Alba is an often violent one, and every community needs someone who is versed in the arts of conflict, competition and violence. For some, that's judicial violence - the hunting down of those who break traditions or laws - or for others it's competitive violence, whether that be athletic, poetic or military. And for some, it is competition against the land, or the beasts of the field - the growers of crops and the shepherders of animals. Not all battles are fought against other people, and only a fool would tell Farmer his people are not warriors.
Albanni communities have competition in their blood, and warriors are at the forefront of the way communities prove themselves against one another.
The archetypal warrior bears a spear and is defended by their woad and their pride; but not all warriors are so identified.
To be a warrior is to be ready to compete and not all competitions are conducted with weapons. Some warriors fight with words, competing in poetry and song, the telling of tales or the speaking of the legends of heroes before audiences; others pride themselves on their fortitude and engage in contests of eating or - more often - drinking. Some wrestle or brawl; others specialise in the defence or support of their community through farming or husbandry, but all are focused on being the best at what they do.
- Base Hit Points: 4
- Iconic weapon: Spears
- Can use Short & One-Handed weapons, and bucklers
- Competitor, rather than Fighter
The Warrior and Their Tools
Many (though not all) warriors will make their own weapons, using the secrets of metalworking passed down in villages and communities to make blades and weapons of bronze or - if the community is fortunate enough - iron. These are not tools the way a smith's hammer or a farmer's hoe is a tool. When a warrior makes a weapon they inbues it with their hopes and dreams, their fears and their loves, their ambition and their fears. This will be their companion, their defender, the one thing that will be with them when it is a matter of life or death. Such things are not just "made", they are given form and purpose by the warriors will and desire.
Nor is every weapon a spear or a knife. For some warriors, a harp, a flute or a drum are their weapons of choice and only a fool thinks they can do no harm with such.
A warriors weapon will almost always have a name; it will have a history of deeds and it will have a reputation. The final destruction of any weapon is treated with the same seriousness as a death in the family; the wilful, wanton destruction of a weapon regarded as no less than a murder. And like a hero, a weapon can gain a myth all it's own too.
The Maker and The Forger
Warriors are the ones who carry the skills of making and forging - the turning of ores into metal, and metal into tools. It is the warriors who own the riddle of iron, and understand the making of spears and knives, axes and hammers, shovels and ploughshares. Their hands and minds know the art of made things; the skills of the Potter. More than anyone else, the Warrior represents the cuivilisation of the Albanni, and the advances that allowed them to conquer this land.
Warriors who grow old and tired of conflict oftentimes become the village's smith or potter - the one who understands not just the making of things of metal, clay or stone, but how to weave their legends together too. For when a legendary weapon breaks or is sundered, look only to the greatest and wisest of the smiths, those who can reforge legends from sundered stories, to remake it.
The Riddle of Iron
Albanni smiths can make blades up to a certain size, of bronze - sufficient for a spear or a knife, or an axe blade. The making of larger blades is a rare skill, and the making of larger blades out of iron near-unheard of, a skill known only to the most mystical of smiths. Weapons of such a nature are, by their very existence, legendary.
Should a Warrior choose to do so, they can sacrifice their own earned story tokens in the creation or transformation of their chosen weapon into a Legendary Weapon, or they can seek to create a new Legendary Weapon. Such weapons will acquire their own powers, and further tokens can be expended to enhance and amplify the weapon. As a minimum, a story token would have to be expended for the creation of any sword, or any smaller iron weapon - an iron sword would require multiple tokens.
The Warband Member
I see you are stronger than I. alas for you, I brought friends...
- Albanni warriors club together into warbands; societies within their village that compete with one another through contests and trials of prowess, and who display great pride in their warband totem. Usually fairly small, warbands stick together both in and out of combat, and often struggle to survive the loss of more than one or two members. While they are together though, they share one thought, one mind, and fight as one body.
The Warrior Poet
Not all battles are those where blood is spilled, and sometimes a legacy or a story needs defending just as much as a village.
- You stand in the firelight and tell a tale of the day's battle; you praise and punish, raise up and strike low, all with words and song. Others may come to dispute with you, but they leave broken, sometimes sobbing, for the terrible misjudgement of daring to stand against you. You are the Warrior Poet. To be stabbed with a spear is a grievous wound that can take months to heal. To be lashed by your tongue leaves a scar that will last a lifetime and beyond.
Taliesin; Gwydion ap Don; Chaucer of A Knight's Tale;
You underestimate me because I choose a hammer as my weapon and not a spear. More fool you.
- You are the maker, the crafter, the one who understands the spirit of metal and wood, bone and stone, and can shape them to your will. With time and thought you can coax from ore and dust shining metal, a blade worthy of a name, a shaft of rowan wood carved for legends. When others foolishly break and shatter what you have made, you reforge, carve anew, mend what is broken, shape what is shattered. And you name your price for your skill.
Wayland the Smith
The Lone Gambler
I seek only shelter and food for a few nights, and I can pay my way...
- Perhaps you are seeking something, or fleeing something; perhaps you are looking for a place to call home, or trying to forget one you have lost. You travel from place to place, daring the vagaries of the Other Place, and you trade your skills for food and shelter. Perhaps you are a lone righter of wrongs, or are just trying to get by. Maybe something's on your tail. But you face the world alone, and take your chances.
Mad Max; Game of Thrones' Hound; Questing Knights of early Arthurian legend;
There is no justice; just us.
- To the Warrior do communities look for the settlement of matters of crime and punishment, or for an example of how to live in a just fashion. Trials by combat are common, and there are those who specialise in fighting such and will do so for others if suitably rewarded. But to the Warrior - or specifically to the older warriors - do communities look for judgement and justice, and the settling of matters once and for all. A battler with their best days behind them may settle village disputes now, trading on respect for his past deeds.
Those who live by a code of honour and justice; those who will not let injustice pass unremarked.
You think that facing a wolf alone in the dark is not a fit task for a warrior?
- You scour the wild hills to gather your wayward flock back in, and in the course of doing so you face enemies numerous and dangerous often with nothing more than your wits and a spear. Wolves comes looking for the weak lambs, and other Albanni from other villages come a-hunting for the undefended spoils of untended flocks. You send them all to the Other Place, because no innocent will fall on your watch.
There is no cave so deep that you can run to that I will not find you and make you pay for what you did
- Alba is a place where grudges are lovingly remembered, treasured and passed from generation to generation. Warriors may devote themselves by oath to a single cause, to the righting of a single wrong or the defeat of a single foe, to the exclusion of all else and good sense. Perhaps you have sworn an oath of revenge over a dead comrade, or a burning village, and will stop at nothing to get what you need to be whole again; or perhaps you have sworn not to rest until the Fomori are pushed back into the ocean. Be careful though - Alba is a land where oaths are taken very seriously.
The Warriors Fate (A tale of Alba)
Something roared from the tree line, this was the third time now and it was getting closer. Their spear still pointed outwards they looked to the Shaman still whispering to the huge figure in the centre of the glade.
Noticing the warriors gaze upon them the Shaman mouthed, “Not much longer”, before returning to their conversation with Boar.
The warrior returned to their vigil, being out in the darkness, so close to the Other Place was dangerous enough, but this glade was exposed. Young Brenel’s life was in danger, the disease needed to be purged and so the risk was worth it.
The roar came again. Soon they would have to fight, to defend the Shaman until the task was complete.
“All done, time to return.” Said the Shaman from over the Warriors shoulder.
“It’s too late for me, take the blood and run. It has found us.” They replied.
From behind them in the middle of the glade Boar snorted and chuckled. “Listen to your defender Shaman, the thing in the trees will fight the Warrior and I will be entertained. Go now, leave the forest and return to your world.”
With the blood consumed, Young Brenel improved rapidly, within minutes they were sat upright asking what was available to eat.
Their task now complete the Shaman waited by one of the stones marking the edge of village, dawn was approaching, if the warrior did not return soon they would be lost in the Other Place…