Medieval & Fantasy Minecraft Roleplaying

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Be sure to "Get Whitelisted" to join the community on server!

The Anhalder

Cap

Lord of Altera
Staff




Die Sonnensaga
Final Verse

And lo! Praise a hundred times is heard of Anh Huld!

Blood of kings those Westron men,
Against the foe pike and horse ten thousand over
Whose lord crucified strides through the God’s Gate
And in that’s last drawn breath said it was,

“Put out are my eyes, yet I see the light of the Sun!”

The Anhalder are a race of humans descending from a far western blood line as old as Arcturus, who have forced themselves to the forefront of the world stage. They are the embodiment of man's desire for imperialism and conquest- a warrior race who know that they are greatest among mortals and destined for victory. Their lives are regimented, harsh, and defined by industry and politics. It is the belief of the Anhalder that by their good grace alone do the lesser races of the mortal plane share the world, for the power of the Empire is absolute.




QUICK RUNDOWN

Height
- Males range from 5’10" to 6’4". Females range from 5’7" to 6’1".
Weight - Males range from 160lbs to 220lbs. Females range from 120lbs to 170lbs. These weights could increase or decrease from the average based on muscle mass, diet, health, and/or height.
Build - Although Anhalder builds can be as varied as any human, they are on average lithe compared to stockier Common humans. Anhalder are also taller but have thinner frames. Their facial structure is sharp and could be considered well-defined or even hawklike.
Eyes - Blue, green. Colours of the sea.
Skin - The Anhalder race tends to pale, clearer skin. The distinction between a Common human and an Anhalder is blurred by class, as peasants are less fair of skin.
Hair - Black, brown, infrequently dark blond. Men wear their hair and beards cropped, women wear their hair up.



CREATION

T
he birth of Anhald is chronicled in the poetic Sonnensaga, a creation myth regarding the life and death of the first lord of Anhald. The story chronicles the nameless master of the Anh Huld people, and their war against the Anh Geat- commonly referred to in contemporary time as the Angoths, though they are now extinct or never existed. The validity of the story is debated, but is generally considered to be a tale of good morals rather than a historical account.

Most commonly recounted of the verses of the Sonnensaga are the final ten, telling the story of the final Pyrrhic victory against the Anh Geat by the host of the lord of Anh Huld. On an open field in driving rain, the Anh Huld host fears certain defeat. Captured by his enemies, the lord is crucified and tortured, calling out to the Sun rather than break. In his act of martyrdom the Sun appears, breaking through the clouds to inspire the faithful of Ignis Synnove to victory. Finding their martyred lord, his eyes destroyed by torture, his retainers hear in his last words that he could still see the light of the Sun.


GEOGRAPHY

T
he Anhalder were born in the western reaches of the Northern Kingdoms, and by chance find their home in the west again upon the continent they name Gottland. Though Anhalder can be found as spread throughout the realm as common humans, the vast majority are located in a mountain-ringed basin known as the Maritte River Valley, or the Marien Valley. This location is not a true valley, nor does it encompass the entire Anhalder race- they may be found as far south as to border the lowland forests beyond Heldenmut.


Anhalder settlements are primarily found along rivers or the sea, which provide a secure means of travel for merchants. In these settlements, fishing, whaling, and shipbuilding are common occupations for Anhalder peasants. Further inland, lords of the realm may choose to place keeps at the bases of mountains or in their foothills. These natural fortifications provide a good means of defense for a lord’s estate, but very few can grow to true cities. The economies of these inland settlements are often based around grain farming or taxation of trade routes that must pass through the area.


PERSONALITY

To outsiders, the Anhalder are often thought of as cold and unwelcoming. Their nature is not hostile, but rather wary. The people of Anhald are above anything else tactical and regimented. This society can be seen as off putting, but amongst those they trust the Anhalder are equally as capable of showing love, compassion, and celebration.

Foreigners who earn their place in an Anhalder’s trusted company may find that though they eventually become welcomed, they will always be the outsider. Blood and tradition are sacred to the Anhalder, who become xenophobic and defensively nationalist when their culture is threatened. Ideas of loyalty and duty to family, extending to the whole race, are instilled in the Anhalder populace. Peasants are more prone to this than nobleman, as they will often never leave the place they were born in. Those who find themselves travelling are often more inclusive and accepting of outsiders.



PHYSIOLOGY

The Anhalder are the tallest and fairest race of humans, occasionally prompting the suggestion (false as it is) that their lines contain Silver Elven blood. On average, both men and women in Anhald are between three and five inches taller than other humans. Anhalder women in particular are notable for being almost as tall as their husbands, which some find intimidating or perhaps alluring. This height is most noticeable in the upper classes, who receive a better nutrition than their lower class counterparts. Weights and builds of Anhalder are often lighter and more slender in comparison to common humans, excepting those who earn their living through harsh physical labour or live gluttonously.

Physically, Anhalders appear more well defined than other humans, with prominent facial features and long, sharp noses. Jawlines, cheek bones, and other notable features of a person’s face are quite well defined. The appearance may be considered hawklike, or in the especially light, gaunt and hollow. From living in the northern quarters of first the Northern Kingdoms and now Gottland, their skin has grown paler. Despite this, a genetic quirk within their bloodline causes their race to feature darker hair. It is often black or brown, with the lighter tones being a dirty blond or sandy brown. Light blond and ginger hair are very rare. The eyes of the race are generally darker shades of blue, with some falling into green. Dark haired men and women with sea-blue eyes are considered the ideal Anhalder.



HIERARCHY

A peculiarity of a society that worships a God that damns the lowest castes of society is that Anhald has no serf class. Every single peasant in Anhald is a freeman, who may travel throughout the realm with no law binding them in servitude to their master. It is this way that it is ensured every Anhalder has a chance at ascending to the perfect realm of the God, should they live holy lives.

Above the peasants are the nobility, who within their own ranks have various tiers of power and authority. This may range from the lowest freiritter to the Kaiser himself, Emperor of all Anhald. The nobility are, with the exception of free knights (known as freiritter), landowners who inherit their position from their predecessors. Noble families, or houses, are largely a stagnant entity that does not change. The status quo of Anhald is almost always tied to the same names it has been for hundreds of years. New noblemen may only be made when a peasant is knighted, thus bringing their line into the upper echelon. Here they may ascend and descend through the intricacies of the noble ranking.

Despite the convoluted network of changing loyalties and authorities that is the noble class, all people of the realm swear their fealty to the Kaiser. This title, from the Arcturian Caesar, means Ruler. This position is patriarchal, with women only finding their way to the throne when the entire male line of the imperial family is extinguished. Should that light go out entirely, a council (known as a diet) of the nobility elects from their own ranks a new family to the throne. This election may be nothing but a farce, organized to ensure a conspiracy succeeds to take the throne. It may not occur at all, should the lords of the realm refuse to cooperate, in which place the throne falls to the last man alive after the terrible and inevitable civil wars.




1
 
Last edited:

Cap

Lord of Altera
Staff


Die Sonnensaga
Lothric's Fifth Verse


Then from out of the West a pale host came
Clad all in white and gold and that finery
Pure as royal silver, hard as warring steel
“Come are we to put all foemen to the sword,

Lulled to sleep are we by their womens’ lament!”


PHILOSOPHY
The Anhalder follow the Logic of Power, a belief that right to rule is defined from might and the concept of martial authority. Why would anyone worship and offer tribute to a power that is not infinitely above their own, to the point of omnipotence? If a deity can be killed, as has been shown several times throughout Alteran history, it is not worthy of worship. This logic permeates all Anhalder society in many forms, in no small part contributing to their desire to hold the Silver Crown. The belief in Ignis Synnove as the supreme deity comes from the belief that the sun is the source of all the earthly powers that one may encounter in their lives. There is some question as to whether Ignis Synnove is truly the object of Anhalder faith at all, or merely a stand-in for the concept of the unknowable, infinitely powerful deity that defines monotheism.

The ground philosophies that define Anhalder culture are closely attuned to the faith in Ignis Synnove. Loyalty, Honour, Purity, Power, and Order come together in the concept of Empire, the authority that enforces Anhalder values and maintains their place in the realm. Through this, there is some manner of faith in the populace directed not towards the God but instead to the concept of Empire. This is not open worship, but rather a subconscious belief in the concept of Anhalder authority as a divine power rather than an earthly one. From this comes the xenophobic belief of a ‘master race’ of men, chosen by the unknowable powers divine. Within the Anhalder system of monotheism, there is also a sect of believers in atheism. These scholars and priests question the nature of a deity supreme entirely, instead swearing off all the pantheonic powers as false gods. They devote themselves entirely to the spiritual concept of Empire as the object of worship. This may be mistaken for worship of a God-Emperor by those who do not understand- instead, it is worship of a God-Empire, a divine authority of man that must rule over all.

Although monotheism dominates Anhalder society and deviation from such is punished as highest heresy, the existence of high powers below Ignis Synnove cannot be ignored. Just as men must have the Kaiser, these powers must have the God, and that God is the Sun. Those below have been excused throughout Anhalder society as angels, demons, and elementals, or even eldritch powers of the planar, and foreign beings out of space. Worship of these beings is outlawed on pain of death. Visage, Skraag, and Jishrim in particular are seen as enemies of the Anhalder philosophy. Worship of these demonized beings is almost unheard of within the realm.

As per the doctrine of Ignis Synnove, Anhalder funerary customs consist of a small gathering of the deceased’s family as their body is burned with ritual offerings upon a pyre. These offerings may be anything deemed significant to the body, or simply what they have on them at the time of death. Burning is believed to prevent the reincarnation of the deceased as undead beings of demonic origin. As a result, revival through the Sisterhood of Shalherana is viewed as witchcraft.

[Anhalder characters may revive if the player chooses, but please take into account that they do not as a society believe in revival and it is a major violation of their racial character.]



CALENDAR

A
nhald keeps its own calendar, maintained by the church. This calendar begins in the Month of Kings, which most know as Fogwater (September), after the coronation of the first Kaiser Charles. The calendar operates as follows:


[Real - Common - Anhald]

September - Fogwater - Month of Kings
October - Ghostmoon - Month of Fallow
November - Stormwind - Month of Frost
December - Winterfeast - Month of Snow
January - Snowdown - Month of Ice
February - Floodlock - Month of Winds
March - Springrise - Month of Floods
April - Truebirth - Month of Storms
May - Sporebloom - Month of Sowing
June - Lightshine - Month of Dawn
July - Sunbright - Month of Light
August - Mistset - Month of Faith



INNOVATIONS

Anhalder industry consists largely of three fields- shipbuilding, war smithing, and steel forging and casting. These industries are controlled by the guilds, a class of freemen who work specialized trades within their settlements. They are renowned across the empire for their devotion to their craft.

Shipwrights dot the coast from Queensport to Ostmotte, churning out carracks and cogs to augment the navies of the coastal lords and for sale to both outside powers and imperial merchants. The prized Anhalder ship is the war carrack, a many-decked top of the line gunship. War carracks are kept in the arsenals of their lords for times when the entire Empire is threatened. Lighter carracks and trade cogs are most often seen as merchantmen. Ships of Anhalder make can be found across the ports of the new world, often carrying grain from the interior heartland or bringing home prized exotic trade goods.

War smiths of Anhald are the best of their kind among human smiths. A famed war smith may find himself bogged in a backlog of orders for months at a time without end, making sales across the realm and beyond in the outside world. Although most noblemen desire a top of the line longsword or warhammer, Anhalder smiths also forge many specialized weapons found nowhere else in the new world. The knight’s need for a pike-breaking weapon lead smiths to develop the zweihander. This ‘two-hander’ is a sword wielded like a polearm to hack through pike lines, and may be as tall as or taller than a man. Other weapons include the grosse messer, a sword shaped like a knife the length of a longsword. The messer is commonly used for self defense against bandits on the road or by the city watch. Anhalder knights and ranking men-at-arms also wear incredibly well made sets of steel armour, forged in a style known as Marien plate [Gothic plate armour.] Marien plate is rooted in historic traditions, but is named after the relatively young settlement of Marienburg, where it was perfected.

Steel in the Empire is of the highest quality produced en masse. Although not comparable to that of an expert dwarven smith or a Korog-blessed forgemaster, the Anhalder steel industry considered by Imperial patriots to be the greatest among men. The industry makes use of water wheels, high-grade bellows, acid quenching, and the blast furnace. Through this long and complicated process the steel is finally cast into a cannon or hammered into a blade. Lesser known are the Anhalder precious metal industries, which maintain the high standard of their steel counterpart. The guilds simply lack an access to plentiful gold and silver mines to fully capitalize on their skill. Most precious metal exploitation is done by the Imperial mints, which produce the Anhalder Mark currency.

Additionally, the Anhalder have domesticated a variety of animals found nowhere else upon the continent. Particularly common are the Anhalder Shepherd [German Shepherd] and the Heideland Cat [Manx cat]. These animals may be found anywhere that Anhald merchants trade their wares.



WARCRAFT

A
nhald is forged on the back of its armies, an iron-willed war machine. Peasants serve as levies to their lords, offering voluntary military service in exchange for the right to live on and work the land. Although many lesser nations have their levies arm themselves, it is expected of a lord to maintain an ample armoury to equip his people should war rise. A nobleman will also keep a permanent garrison of fighting men, known as retainers. This company often contains knights and their squires, and foreign mercenaries kept on a semi-permanent contract. The garrison will spend their off hours training the local levies, so that in times of war the entire male population of a settlement stands a fighting chance. As a result, the levied armies of an Anhalder lord more closely resemble a modern standard army when called to field. Retainers also act as a sort of local police-militia, bringing criminals to their lord for trial. The more remote militias tend to corruption and brutality should their lord leave them unchecked. In the larger cities, militias may be organized into a dedicated city watch by the local administration.

In sieges, Anhalder lords once made use of trebuchets, mortars, and bombards. Although a trebuchet cannot match the raw power of a gunpowder cannon, it is inexpensive and reliable. These trebuchets are able to be built on the site of a siege with local resources, as opposed to the gunpowder cannons which must be cast at a dedicated gun forge. These siege guns are prone to exploding if not perfectly maintained. When the defending garrison has been suppressed, Anhalder soldiers will approach in hide covers to lay ladders at the base of walls or ram down the castle gates. Due to the mountainous terrain of many Anhalder settlements, siege towers are a relative rarity, though any siege engineer worth his salt knows at least the base concepts.

In field battles, engineers of the golden age once operated the great imperial field guns. These massive cannons were wheeled out between pike lines, where they rain clouds of stone or metal projectiles upon the enemy front. This is known as lineshot, and is comparable to an early variant of grapeshot. These cannons are incredibly powerful, but unreliable. A field gun exploding can send a lord into debt due to their extreme cost, but a well placed shot can turn a battle in seconds. Under cover of the cannon fire and longbow volleys, the Anhalder prefer to send in pike lines and heavily armoured men-at-arms to overwhelm an enemy force. Cavalry charges are most often reserved for executing routing enemies, or for breaking a line when an enemy cannot field pikes. Knights and lords often lead from horseback in the center of a pike formation. Much of this martial history of field battles is now lost, especially the traditional cannons which have not been seen since the glory days of Kaiser Peter.

At sea, Anhalder carracks are primarily armed with small cannons and Arcturian-style ballistae. Anhald is unchallenged at sea, so there is very little written on naval tactics. Most naval battles consist of lone merchantmen fending off coastal pirates.




2
 
Last edited:

Cap

Lord of Altera
Staff


Die Sonnensaga
War of Anh Geat Verse


Tongues of fire, rays of light
Illuminated the black host is
And that’s brothers all dying rise to stand
They hold aloft the warring colours
Their ashen hands the eagle guides!



FASHION

A
nhalder clothing is largely unremarkable. The influence on men’s fashion is almost entirely from the military. As a result, noblemen and peasants alike dress plainly. Gambesons and surcoats, which are otherwise military garb, are common as peacetime clothing. There is very little in the way of leather garments, as it is most useful in belts, gloves, and boots. Men do not often wear colours other than those of their house. Peasants, if they wear any bright colours at all, wear those of their city or the lord they serve. Most Anhalder men go unshaven but crop or cut back their hair, a style again inspired by military necessity. A look of rugged strength is preferred over a refined appearance, in contrast with the naturally well defined Anhalder features. When bright colours and extravagant dress are found for men, it is commonly as a heraldic display for war or politicking. Mercenaries in particular advertise themselves and their profession through their dress.

Women dress very conservatively, with tight dresses that leave little exposed compared to some [notably, elves.] Their garments may be more colourful, and unlike the men they frequently wear jewellery. Women’s jewellery in Anhald is largely imported, as the Empire has little in the way of precious metal industries. Home crafted jewellery is an extreme luxury, commonly found as a symbol of patriotism among the highest gentry. Noblewomen are expected to braid their hair or wear nets or hats to conceal it. It is considered immoral for a married woman to wear her hair down. Peasants follow the same code, but are far less strict about it. Poor women working in the field may crop their hair as men do. This earns some scorn from those who are better off, but it would never be brought up. Furs are common in women’s clothing as a statement of fashion and wealth in all climates, as opposed to men who wear them almost exclusively for warmth.



LANGUAGE

The Anhalder language of Rede actually stems from the same proto-Northron roots as Common. Rede speaking commoners lived for hundreds of years under Arcturus and Lavoyard, but did not become the common majority until a Rede speaking nobleman rose to prominence as first Kaiser of Anhald. Common is still spoken in Anhald, where it is called Handelsprache or just Handel, referring to its use as a merchant tongue. Written Rede and Common do not share an alphabet- Rede noticably lacking K, Q, and X except when written in the Common alphabet, and featuring additional vowels.



Anhald does not have the Common concept of surnames. Peasants are known by one name only, and nobles are known by their house. Nobles belong to a house, and as such are 'of’ that name. Graf Friedrich from the house of Marlowe would be Graf Friedrich von Marlowe. Peasants may do the same, replacing the house with their town of residence or their occupation. Josef the smith from the town of Altenbad would be Josef von Altenbad or Josef Schmidt. This is how peasants are ordered on state documents. Using this as their name in conversation would be considered out of character in Anhalder speech, as they may be confused for a member of the gentry. Commoners who have managed to obtain a nature of power, such as successful merchants or sea captains, may take for themselves titles (of which they are also ‘of’) that further blur the line between peasant and noble naming schemes.

Popular names in Rede for men are Aleksandar, Emil, Ernst, Erik, Friedrich, Hans, Heinrich, Johann, Josef, Karl, Markus, Martin, Lukas, Otto, Paul, Walter, and Wilhelm. Common names for women are Anna, Adelheid, Amalie, Astrid, Elisabeth, Emma, Hana, Lea, Lena, Margarethe, Maria, Marie, and Willa.

[Rather than a conlang, Rede is represented by medieval German.]



IN THE WORLD

Anhald’s place in the world is largely isolationist, unless expanding outwards. The people of the Empire are notoriously racist, viewing only elves, dwarves, and halflings as equal to the human race. Others are looked down upon as beastmen, and are sometimes taken as slaves or put to the sword. This has earned Anhald no love across Gottland, although very few freemen ever take part in the crueler practices of errant nobles.

Anhalders living away from home can often be found in places of commerce as merchants or trade administrators. Most port cities tend to have a small Anhalder population, if humans are permitted to live there. The vast majority of Anhalders living abroad tend to be culturally distinct from the homeland, open to foreign cultures and the beast races. They are united in their faith to Ignis Synnove, or to the higher concepts of the Imperial church structure. Heresy and deviation from the Anhalder religion may lead to a man waking up to his home being ransacked or vandalized to send a message, if not outright burned.

Free knights and retainers who have lost their lord can also be found outside of the realm’s borders, serving as mercenaries. Anhalder mercenaries are prized for their fighting expertise and their knowledge of siege engineering. They are viewed as some of the best across Gottland, especially the knights who serve as doppelsoldner to break pike lines and stand against cavalry charges. Though often taken to aid in sieges, Anhalder men are forbidden from revealing the method of casting field guns and other gunpowder weapons. Those who do risk bounty hunters hired by the Kaiser’s council silencing them for betraying a grave secret.




3





 
Last edited:
Top