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Eirik's Saga


EiriktheScald

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Preface: A while back there was some excellent discussion in this forum concerning Branwen, the Moonshae Isles and events prior to BG1. Having said that, I am in the process of writing Eirik's story, leading up to his arrival on TSC. I will be posting this in parts. Comments or suggestions are always appreciated.

 

*****

 

Part I: Of Branwen and Eirik

 

(Warning: The historical references are from 'Sourcebook: The Moonshaes' and while close, may not be completely in line with the actual Forgotten Realms canon.)

 

Although at the time Branwen was born a shaky truce was still in effect between the Northmen and the Ffolk, loyalties were divided between two factions of Northlander warlords. Havelock of the House of Eldgrim, would not fall under the banner of the High King. The king of Norheim, a true Northlander and a priest of Tempus, backed Havelock without question. Their rivals were led by King Grunnarch of Norland, who remained committed to a united Moonshaes. Sigurd the Wise, a respected warrior and elder in Gnarhelm, was a trusted advisor to the High King, before he ascended to the throne. He would later allow Branwen sanctuary on his island home; Eirik, who had a complicated relationship with the Red King, would help her flee Norheim.

 

Eirik was a young Ruathymar who succeeded in becoming a court poet of King Havelock the Red. The title "the Red" refers to his red facial hair; a sign that he has been touched by Tempus' own hand. Eirik, too, was gifted, and realized early that he was able to compose the poetry so valued by his people. Ruathym was, from the perspective of the Northlanders, provincial and backwards. And for a young, upwardly mobile northman who wants to venture into the big, wide world, Oman is usually his first port of call. It is the most populated and most powerful of the northern kingdoms. The journey from Ruathym to Oman involves risk, but, if it pays off, there's a reputation to be made. And that is what the young poet did. Persuading Havelock of his fitness to be included in the circle of court poets, by reciting a verse in the king's honor.

 

So Eirik remained with the king, and he struck up a close friendship with his son. And all men said of them that they were a well-matched pair for comeliness, stature, strength, and stouthearted deeds. And both were in high favor with the king.

 

It was around 1357 when Branwen, then a youth of twelve winters, began to have visions of honored warriors felled in battle (Tempus has never been known to speak, instead using the spirits of fallen warriors). Tempus was brought to the islands by the Northlanders, who can trace their worship of him all the way back to their Savage North ancestors. Norheim is spread among a series of barren and storm swept island kingdoms at the very fringe of the Trackless Sea. The people of this hardiest of kingdoms took pride in their isolated lands, deriving a sense of superiority from their enforced ordeals. The rest of the northern kingdoms were less successful: petty rivalries were not uncommon and wars had the potential to spread over several isles as each participant gathered allies to his banner. The northmen had to also contend with raids of the Nelanther Pirates. The pirates, however, were much more brutal and merciless in the way they went about their business.

 

In 1361 the situation became critical, as conflict spread to Hammerstaad, the King's seat of power, and Nelanther raids increased. It was at this time that Branwen finally obeyed the orders of her spirit messengers to become a priestess, explaining that Tempus was angered by these petty wars; which remained unresolved with any clear victor. As a child, these visions had merely instructed her to "live honorably, and observe the feasts at the local temple;" but over the next several years they had persistently called for her to seek the local commander at Hammerstaad to escort her to the hall of the king. She finally obeyed in Mirtul of 1361, and found a way for a male kinsman to accompany her to Hammerstaad to speak with the commander; but he refused to listen to her, and bade she return home.

 

Next: The Red King sends Eirik to Norheim, and Pirates in the Korinn Archipelago!

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First of all, 'Tempos' is how the Reghedmen (barbarians of Icewind Dale) call the god in Heart of Winter. And these two ethnical groups, the Northlanders and the Reghedmen, are ancestors of the same people and speak the same language (Illuskan), though maybe different dialects

And I've definitely seen the spelling 'Tempos' quite a few times in other sources, but right now can't remember where else

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That's interesting, especially since Bioware's biography for Branwen spells it 'Tempus.'

When asked about her past, BRANWEN reveals that she left her home of Seawolf in the Norheim isles at an early age. She was apparently reviled by her own people for wanting to become a priest, a station reserved exclusively for the men of the village. She harbors no resentment, realizing that her faith must face such tests or be worthless. She traveled the coast, offering her services to local militias, and eventually came into the employ of an adventuring troup in the Nashkel area. Branwen had no idea that the group was participating in banditry however, and on their first raid she balked at attacking a caravan of unarmed merchants. She rebelled, and a mage named Tranzig turned her to stone in the ensuing fight. Despite the unfavorable outcome, Branwen feels that Tempus views her actions approvingly. To attack those that are unarmed is the basest of villainy.

I think it would be a mistake to change it now, don't you? :)

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I think it would be a mistake to change it now, don't you?

No idea. My first post was rather a question to which I don't know the answer so far ("I am not quite sure...", as I said above). The fact is, those who speak Clondathan (say, in Baldur's Gate or Waterdeep) use the form 'Tempus', while for the Reghedmen it is 'Tempos'. As I mentioned earlier, the Northlanders and the Reghedmen may speak different dialects of their native language, Illuskan, so it's not impossible that the name of the god of war sounds differently (though two different diallects is still not the same as two different languages, Illuskan and Clondathan)

 

As for Branwen's bio, I can only remind you that Bioware are definitely not the most reliable source of info on FR

 

All in all, I'm not arguing with you, but clarifying the matter would be nice, IMO

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I think Lu is right - the IWD barbarians call him Tempos. But they, of course, are much further north than the Moonshaes. Even if related, the Northerners of the Isles would've likely come under Southern influences. Plus, they are mere spelling differences, not different names, and it wouldn't go amiss if you mixed both even within the same character's speech. Compare Earth's gods Odin/Woden, Kronos/Cronos... or the most fickle Romans, with their head god being called Jupiter, Jove, Dyaus Pitar or countless other names, by themselves - not foreigners. A powerful god like Odin would be referred to by a dozen or more names even within the same Skaldic stanza.

 

The background looks good. Just might want to consider not giving Eirik too much heavy combat history. Makes it kind of hard to explain how he's only level 1 when you meet him. :) He could, of course, be rather young during the events you mention, making him neither a coward nor a seasoned veteran.

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The background looks good. Just might want to consider not giving Eirik too much heavy combat history. Makes it kind of hard to explain how he's only level 1 when you meet him. :) He could, of course, be rather young during the events you mention, making him neither a coward nor a seasoned veteran.

Neither coward, nor seasoned veteran then. :D Seriously, I think I mentioned the word 'young' at least twice.

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Seriously, I think I mentioned the word 'young' at least twice.
Thrice, actually. :) I didn't say you were going there necessarily - just making a comment.

 

I wasn't suggesting you mix different spellings of gods either, but if you *did*, it could easily be justified (our own epics of gods are rarely consistent with names).

 

How about just making Eirik a skald of Thor or something? Hey, they imported at least one Norse god to the FR (Tyr), why not others...

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If you can stand hearing one more thing about the spelling of Tempus/Tempos, I think it's spelled Tempos in IWD, at least in places.

 

I am certain that you are all shocked at this glaring example of inconsistency in IE games. :)

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I am certain that you are all shocked at this glaring example of inconsistency in IE games.

 

*faints*

 

:) Though since both BG1 and BG1 NPC Project use Tempus, I guess it more or less solves the problem, if there was one in the first place.

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If you can stand hearing one more thing about the spelling of Tempus/Tempos, I think it's spelled Tempos in IWD, at least in places.
I think Lu is right - the IWD barbarians call him Tempos.
Though I'm not sure where I got that, since I haven't played IWD... maybe it's documented in Faiths & Avatars or something. So it's not so much an inconsistency between the games (not like that would be surprising).
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