The Norn

One hundred and sixty years ago the Ice Elder Dragon, Jormag, arose in the Far Shiverpeaks. Fracturing the norn hunting grounds the great monster was struck hard by the hero, Aesgir, from that day the Norn fled south and with the fang of Jormag and the leadership of Aesgir they settled into the Northern Shiverpeaks. The Norn are heroic and stoic folk of hardy drinking and an always living desire.

When the norn are invoked the ideas of great Nordic heroes such as the god Thor, Sigurd of the Volsung, and Beowulf come to mind. The Norn are warriors, artists, and singers. They are a people of stories and skill. A people that ones legacy is immortalized in song and thus all goals must go for glory. Like the ancient vikings and Valhalla, the Norn seek to be remembered for their actions and will recount them every day till they die to be remembered in song.


Norn Cultural Themes:

  • Living a Legend – All norn hope to become a legend, through the acts of a warrior or as an artist whatever they do best in.
  • Skill over Blood – Norn have no leaders persay, they have great heroes that they follow. All norn must prove themselves somehow before claiming anything.
  • Tolerance – They tolerate the radical Sons of Svanir and the simpering humans, they are strong and for this they only deal with those that are a true thread.
  • Respect for the Wilds – The norn do not call upon their spirits as gods, but as guides. They do not demand only seek aide when it can be given.


Norn Naming Conventions

Norns are a people who strive to be remembered in song and legend. Be as a merchant, a warrior, or as a sculptor. Their names reflect this ideal of molding fate and it is the Vikings and Norse that name wise the Norn share the most relation. So names such as Sven, Olie, and Ulf are perfect names for a norn. Names that are Germanic or Norse in nature are a good starting point to name a Norn Character.

Another thing to consider is that Norn usually have a form of secondary or aftername. These names can be to state their lineage or father such as in the ending -sson (meaning “son of”) or -dottir (meaning “daughter of) attached to the name of their father. So Sven Olafsson is “Sven son of Olaf”. Other forms of aftername are simple descriptive names such as “Sven Proudfist” or Sven the Maul! When thinking of a norn, think heroic, think glory.

“We are Norn!”


Norn Affiliation

The Norn do not believe in gods, they do not have a real faith., What they do have is a shamanistic belief in what they call the Spirits of the Wild. Each spirit epitomizes a given lesson and in turn Norn identify with a respected Spirit. When Jormag awoke he forced the Norn out of their Heartsteads in the Far Shiverpeaks. When this happened several Spirits were consumed as others fought back to aide the Norn. Four powerful Spirits: Wolf, Snow Leopard, Bear and Raven guided the Norn to where the great Hero, Aeisgir, would found the great Lodge Hold of Hoelbrak.

In Hoelbrak there are Four Great Lodges set aside for the Spirits. Shrines also exist across the Norn lands and are usually head by a Shaman.

The Four Great Spirits of the Norn are:

  • Bear - The spirit of Strength and Body. Bear teaches the mighty and lead the Norn along with the other four main spirits to Hoelbrak.
  • Raven - Raven is the Wisdom and Trickery. Learning to fight via wisdom is Raven’s way and Raven is the most knowledgeable about the Underworld.
  • Snow Leopard - The Spirit of Cunning and of the Hunt, Snow Leopard exemplifies stealth and the stalking nature of the predator.
  • Wolf - The power of the pack and the thrill of combat is the lesson taught by Wolf. Tracking their prey and taking it down with others is the major aspect of Wolf’s nature.

Other Spirits that are not included among the Major include:

  • Eage - One of the lesser spirits that could not render aide during the rise of Jormag. Contact has been lost supposedly with this Spirit.
  • Owl - During the awakening of Jormag, Owl was lost to the great Dragon. This was confirmed by Owl’s Havroun or defending Shaman Champion.
  • Ox - Ox or Dolyak like Wolvereine sacrificed in Jormag’s rise, it is one of the Lost Spirits.
  • Wurm - One of the Lesser Spirits, Wurm, grants Norn the ability to summon its animal kind in battle.
  • Wolvereine – One of the Lost Spirits of the Wild.
  • Minotaur – A Lesser Spirit of the Wild

The Lost Spirits are those who bravely rose up and sacrificed themselves when Jormag awoke in the North. A Havroun and Shaman of the Lost Spirits has not been seen in Generations. One is confirmed to have died (Owl) in its move to save the Norn People.


Norn Leadership and Government

The Norn do not have Leaders, they have Heroes and Skilled Legends that are followed. Even in the days before Hoelbrak the great Legends of the Norn like Sif Shadowhunter, or Gunnar Proudfist. Years ago, the leadership of Hearthsteads (norn major settlements) was decided by combat. This day the only major settlement of the Norn Nation that still stands in the Hunting Grounds is Hoelbrak. No true government leads the Norn, but there are legends such as Knut Whitebear the master of the Great Lodge of Hoelbrak.

The Leading Shaman of each Lodge is called a Speaker. Contention does exist between the followers of each Spirit, but they are judge on an individualistic basis. Shrines and Shamans can be found throughout the Norn lands to a given Spirit. However, only a singular defender, or Havroun exists for each spirit. These Havrouns are powerful shaman who are able to travel to the Hall of Spirits where the honored dead of the Brave reside.


Other Things of Note

The Norn are a people of Individuality, even more so than Humans. When a Norn commits an action they are judge as an individual. If a Son of Svanir were to attack a Shrine of Wolf or a woman he would be punished, no other Sons. This means that even though a lineage may have a horrible ancestor they are not penalized for his actions. Norn strive to be remembered in legend, to not have a story sung by the Skaalds is a great insult or a great loss.

Norn do exist outside of the Hunting Grounds and have taken up other occupations. Norn are found as corsairs and sailors in Lions Arch and their individualistic ethic easily applies outside of their cold northern Homeland.

Some Norn terms to be aware of:

  • Spirit of the WIld – A deity like animistic spirit that exemplies the type of animal or landscape feature that then relates to given values and lessons.
  • Shaman – A Norn who takes up the mantle of communing and teaches the lessons of a given Spirit of the Wild.
  • Hearthstead – A Standard Norn settlement, usually with a large hearth at the center.
  • Moot – A gathering of Norn, ale and other drink is usually served.
  • Havroun – A Singular Shaman who exists as the defender and major communer of their Spirit, only one exists for each spirit in at a time.
  • Speaker – The leading Shaman of the Great Lodges of the Spirits in Hoelbrak.
  • Lodge – A large meeting or hall of the Norn.
  • Wolfborn – Lead by the Sons of Knut Whitebear, the Wolfborn police and keep the peace in Hoelbrak.


Some major and important sources of Norn Lore are: