Jarl Oskarr Ragnheidr

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“An excess of ambition can be the death of both a man and a nation. Jarl Ragnheidr is not just a disgrace to the spirits, his title, and his clan. He is also a disgrace to himself. He is the opposite of everything we stand for as a people. The deaths of hundreds lay at his feet, a mountain piled to feed his greed and lust for power. In the name of the ancestors, this Moot pronounces his sentence to be.. Death.”
- Jarl Jorunn of Clan Ouhl, at the Trial of Oskarr the Ambitious

Introduction

A once-renowned warrior, respected leader, and talented dealmaker of the Mountain Clans, Jarl Oskarr Ragnheidr fell from grace after attempting to force a monarchy on the rest of the free clans. Consequently, Jarl Oskarr’s choice led to the first recorded Schism of the Clans, and subsequently his execution following its resolution.

Early Life

Oskarr Ragnheidr was raised in as close to an aristocratic family as was possible for the Mountain Clans. His parents were happily wed and dwelled in their family’s ancestral keep of Vindhjem. Said keep was situated higher in the mountains than the standard towns of the mountain clans, believed to have formerly been a place of worship for proto-human groups. This, in turn, bred the Ragnheidr family’s devout adherence to the Gotte Grawlbeast and solidified their family as a Chief family among the Gotte Clan.

Over the early years of his life, the Ragnheidrs accrued wealth, largely through piracy, brigandry and simple fishing contract work with the Amyrian Empire. Despite his family’s personal wealth, however, the average living conditions of those among the clans were far below what Oskarr considered to be acceptable. He grew up distraught at the state of the living qualities of his people, particularly when compared to the wealthier Amyrians who he was accustomed to coming into contact with. This sparked his desire to spread his family’s wealth and happiness to the other clans and what would eventually lead him to his fate.

Personal History

As he grew into his own as a young man, Oskarr Ragnheidr began making allies and connections of his own as he travelled across Monterrin. His earliest connections were formed in secret amongst the unaffiliated coastal peoples who frequented the nearby waterways and fjords of the region. He became good friends with several of the leaders of these isolated communities, and promised to help them achieve a trade route to the Amyrian Empire. He succeeded in this, through his parents' contacts, and the favour of the fisherpeople granted him his own private supply of wealth and fighters which he would in turn use to further broaden his network of contacts. This initial investment of time paid dividends when he was able to overtake his parents' own contracts within the Amyrian Empire with deft economic maneuvering due to his control over the fisherpeople, the family’s income now going entirely to Oskarr. It was during this time of accrual that Oskarr too began strengthening his ties with the common-folk of Vindhjem’s surrounding settlements, endearing himself to them. This quickly proved to be successful as the majority of the commoners came to view Oskarr as a benevolent, charismatic leader who could help bring their people into a new age of prosperity.

Despite his vast success in gathering Trade Gold and building relations, he was still unable to pursue his vision for a stronger iteration of his people through the traditional male duties of trade and commerce. He yearned for a time and a chance to take action. This time would come before long, however, when his mother, Eir Ragnheidr, fell dreadfully ill and subsequently passed away. His father, consequently too distraught over the death of his wife to do anything, did not claim the chair of their family. This of course, left the burden to Oskarr, as they had no other children to speak of. Oskarr was quick to take his mother’s seat, enacting several changes to how those under his family would function. He immediately set all men over the age of fourteen to training in melee combat while approximately a quarter of the women were trained with bows and crossbows. This marked the beginning of Oskarr’s plan to unify his people, a display of strength and will that his people admired him greatly for, while those outside of the close circle of his Clan found it to be despicable.

Eventually, Oskarr felt assured enough by the size of his host and their talent with weapons to bring his proposal peacefully to the Moot at Holmstrad. Upon presenting his proposal that all clans and families pledge allegiance to Grawl Gotte in order to unify the clans, the women of the all but one of the other clans spoke in vehement opposition.

Angered by what he perceived as a lack of vision on the part of the women, Oskarr returned to his home where he called his banners to prepare for war. The same night, Jarl Jorunn, the one other Clan Leader who had agreed with Oskarr at the Moot, arrived at Vindhjem with a small contingent of troops from her clan to offer support. Eager for allies in his heavily outnumbered situation, Oskarr wasted no time in accepting her pledge of support.

Before long, The First Schism began in earnest, with the Battle of Whitecaps, which saw heavy casualties on the side of the Free Clans, solidifying Oskarr as a legitimate threat and tactical savant. Over time, however, Oskarr’s forces would begin to dwindle as a great many of his contacts were foreign and refused, or were otherwise unable, to get involved in the conflict. The saving grace for the majority of the campaign was Jarl Jorunn’s army which was more than double his own as well as trained and supplied several times better. Despite this, the war was seen by many as unwinnable for Jarl Ragnheidr, a sentiment which was not lost on his troops nor his allies.

Later Life

After a string of crushing defeats and inconsequential hit-and-run victories, Oskarr’s force was betrayed from within while taking a shortcut through Bleakwatch Pass in an effort to circumvent the larger unified clan force. The ambush, enacted by his once ally Jarl Jorunn,  resulted in heavy casualties for Oskarr’s forces and led to Oskarr himself being taken prisoner thus ending the First Schism. Despite several rescue attempts, the would-be monarch was unable to escape custody and was put on trial among the clans for his crimes while Jarl Jorunn was pardoned for her part in earlier battles.

The Trial of Oskarr the Ambitious (as it came to be known) was exceedingly brief as the majority of clans were opposed to his actions from the onset. It was quickly ruled that Oskarr Ragnheidr would be sentenced to death by beheading and his weapon sent back to the remains of his family as an offering of future peace. Despite this olive branch, no word was sent back to the Moot from Vindhjem and no contact has been sent or received since. They have effectively dropped off of the face of the earth, closing their borders to even the other members of the Clans.

Trivia

  • Oskarr’s battleaxe was returned to the Ragnheidr ancestral seat of Vindhjem, though it was fragmented and several pieces remain missing. This marked the end of the Ragnheidr’s reign as Chief family of the Gotte Clan.
  • During the Battle of Whitecaps Oskarr sacrificed one-hundred soldiers to ensure he was able to execute the enemy’s commander personally.
  • A rumour persists that Vindhjem has remained silent and isolated because it was cursed by spirits following Oskarr’s death. While a great many would dismiss this, the fact that those who visit the settlement never return is cause for grave concern.
  • Grawl Gotte never quite recovered from the blow dealt to their honor in the aftermath of Ragnheidr's bid for supremacy. They went from one of the most powerful, affluent clans, to the poorest of the four. Even today, they are treated with some measure of reserved suspicion, much to the current iteration of Grawl Gotte's frustration.
Most Well Known For: Attempting to create a monarchy out of the free mountain clans.
Birth Date / Death Date: Y50-E3 to Y89-E3
Affiliations: The Mountain Clans, Faith of the Grawlbeasts, The First Schism
Writer(s): Walrusaur
Editor(s): Gochnipunchni