Akashic Arcana The Scandinavia Empire

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The High Kingdom of Scandinavia
Type of government: Absolute Monarchy, dash of Elective Monarchy
Leader: High King Thorsten Strongarm
Countries: Greenland, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland
Capital: Stockholm
Population: 43 million
Military Manpower: (900,000) in active service, (32.1 Million) in reserve
Laws: The High King is both the Head of State and Head of Government, but the Kings keep him in check. No laws can be changed without unanimous approval by both the Kings and the High King.

Since the days of old, the Norsemen have been survivors. Since the end of the Viking Age, the day Harald Hardrada fell, the Norse have been waiting for the return to their glory days. The hardy men of the North survived as they masqueraded as Christians, worshiping their Old Gods in secret.

The rebirth of magic in the world saw the Norse empowered with their old strength. Wielding unmatched enchantments and being lead by leaders with the terrifying power of the Gods, the Norse cast off their Christian disguises and begin anew their everlasting quest to be worthy of feasting in the halls of Valhalla.

The various scandinavian countries originally served themselves as they formed the Kingdoms of Old: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, and Greenland. However, this changed when the King of Sweden, Rollo, challenged and defeated all the other kings in single combat. Due to their laws of keeping what one takes, King Rollo effectively became the king of all of Scandinavia. Instead of keeping all the crowns, he gave the crowns to the post powerful of his generals if they swore loyalty. Each accepted, and the new High King title was created. The hierarchy and government of Scandinavia became a strict and complicated mass of laws and traditions that mirrored the Old Laws.

The holder of titles (High King, King, Jarl, and Earl) typically inherits the title by birth and rules for life or until abdication. In the event that no direct heir to the title exists, the new holder of the title is selected by a moot, or vote, conducted by the direct underlings of the title in question. High King title is voted on by the Seven Kings. Kings are voted on by their Jarls, with Earls voting on the Jarls. Earls are unique in that they are elected by the people they rule over. If the majority cannot vote on one candidate, the candidates are instructed to hold a massive free for all (normally to the death) between all the candidates willing (or able) to fight. Last one standing wins the contested title along with any titles the now-deceased candidates held. Another way the holder of a title can change is if they lose a duel of personal combat, with the winner taking the title. A High King cannot refuse a duel requested by a King or members of the High King’s family. Kings cannot refuse a duel from their own Jarls or another King (though a King may only hold one title). Jarls cannot refuse challenges by Earls or other Jarls under the same king. Earls cannot refuse challenges from anyone who is ruled by their king.

The warrior focused culture of Scandinavia results in a bloodthirsty population with a need for constant bloodshed for the glory of the Allfather Odin. To compensate this, the various governmental tiers of Scandinavia can be hired akin to modern PMCs. Earls are the cheapest, usually only having 100 or so warriors. Jarls are more expensive, having around 1000 warriors. The Kings are extremely expensive, each having around a hundred thousand warriors. The High King is impossibly expensive, as you are effectively hiring his personal retinue of 200,000 warriors along with the entire country with all hireable 900,000 warriors. This does not include the other 32.1 million adult citizens who are also combat trained and competent with at least an nordbow and shield. The hired mercs will do almost anything their employer asks, with the hired leaders deciding what goes against their personal moral code. However, they will not attack their own cities, so the mercs cannot be hired to invade Scandinavia (unless the hired men are treacherous traitors). They will fight other Norse mercenaries if the other mercenaries are hired by a rival of their employer. No Mercenary Leader has yet to break a contract, but they are known to refuse a potential contract if it goes against their personal codes or simply doesn't offer enough money. Hiring Earls and Jarls is easy, hiring a King will empty a substantial portion of any nation’s coffers. Hiring the High King is next to impossible for anyone but the wealthiest of nations, and even then will likely drain their funds to crippling debt or, at the very least, nothing.

Role during the Hundred Years’ War
The Scandinavians spent much of the Hundred Years war serving as mercenaries to various armies. High King Thorstein was a King of Sweden at the time when he was hired by the North American Alliance. He fought alongside General Roy “Nuke” Mustang and became close friends with him. His rival King Hrolf Bearclaw of Norway was hired by Russia. The two clashed, resulting in Thorstein losing his left (shield) arm in combat.

After losing his arm, Thorstein’s father High King Harold died and Thorstein had to face his twin brother along with his three sisters in combat for the throne. He slaughtered all of them with just one arm (using his axe), earning a fearsome reputation around the world as one of the greatest melee fighters in the world today. He has ruled Scandinavia ever since. His son and heir apparent Bjorn currently attends the Academy while his younger daughter Gunhild just enrolled.

Inherited Magic

Norse Gift:
Deep within their souls, all Norsemen have the Viking warrior spirit within them. When they come of age, they can choose to go through an elaborate Rite of Passage before they are given the gift of their God or Quality they possess the most. Only a few hundred Norse ever survive this rite a year, and fewer still actually pass. It is considered a great honor to have even attempted the rite. Norse characters who survive and pass are given a power based on what gods they follow and the ideals they hold close to them. Undying Rage, Lightning Magic, or Frost Magic. The choices usually are related to the God they choose to serve, but are based more on the attribute they show most.

-Blessing of the Allfather: Undying Rage: The gift most often given to followers of Odin or those who embody unrelenting will. Undying rage is the gift for those who seek to become the embodiment of war. Their undying rage increases their strength and speed pushing them to superhuman levels with relatively little mana cost. In addition, their Rage allows them to survive wounds that would instantly kill normal mortals and survive even the most horrific injuries…. for a time. The Undying Rage lasts for a set amount of time (usually less than five minutes) or if the wielder runs out of mana (can happen if they cast a lot of spells before raging). However, the downsides are: when the Rage ends the character is exhausted to the point that they barely move. When the Rage ends, their wounds do not heal, so if they acquired wounds that are fatal, the Norseman will die on the spot unless they receive healing.(The most common way for a berserker to die is of blood loss as their rage ends) In addition, the largest downside is that one cannot cast any spells while the Undying Rage spell is in effect. However, the A grade of superhuman strength and speed makes up for this to a point. Plan your rage accordingly.
-Blessing of the Thunder God: The gift often given followers of Thor or those who embody the spirit of Valor, The Blessing of the Thundergod is the rarest of the powers, for Thor is the most selective on who he blesses. Blessing of the Thunder God imbues the user with the power of Thor. The blessing takes the form of lightning erupting from the user’s body, giving them increased strength (B grade) along with damaging nearby opponents in a ten foot range (C grade) for up to five minutes. In addition, user can use a set of new attacks that both do incredible damage but ends the Blessing for the day: Lightning Blast and Thunder God’s Smite. Lightning blast is a aoe ranged attack. The user blasts the area in front of them, transferring their AOE lightning around them into a concentrated burst in front of them. Opponents in the area are stunned and heavily damaged by this attack. Thunder God’s smite absorbs all the lightning around them and pours it into one massive weapon attack. The resulting weapon attack does even more damage than the AOE, but can only hit one opponent. TLDR: Blessing of the Thunder God costs D grade mana to cast. At first it does a slow C grade AOE damage over time around them along with B grade strength enhancement. The user can then use one of two attacks: an AOE burst in front of them for stuns and B grade damage or a imbue their weapon with Thor’s power to deliver a massive single target melee attack that often instantly incapacitates or kill the target. Either attacks ends the blessing for the day and the blessing can only be used ONE TIME PER 24 HOURS.
-Frost Giant Pact: The gift most often chosen by the rare follower of Ymir, the Frost Giant Pact allows the wielder to channel the raw and fearsome power of the frost giants. When activated, the wielder becomes enveloped in magical armor made of Permafrost. Permafrost armor is magically enhanced to give the user increased physical and magical resistances, with being immune to water/ice magic and increased resistance to fire type magic, but at a cost of being extremely vulnerable to lightning. While the armor is activated, a mass of icy hail swirls around them, damaging any opponents nearby. If several persons with Frost Giant Pact group together while the ability is active, the swirl of hail turns into a raging blizzard. It costs D grade mana and gives A grade protection instantly.
-Trickster’s Clones: Followers of Loki often select this one, for it allows them to create one or more clones of themselves. Each clone costs additional mana, but are otherwise unlimited so long as the wielder can survive the mana drain. The clones are real and cannot cast spells, but they do have all the physical abilities of the wielder albit a bit easier to ‘kill.’ The effect instantly ends if the user is knocked out/killed, they end the spell, or if the user runs out of mana. USE WITH CAUTION, WILL DRAIN MANA FAST IF YOU USE TOO MANY CLONES. 1 Clone is B grade mana cost, 2 clones are C grade mana cost, 3 clones are D grade, and 4 or more costs E grade. The spell is instant to cast.
-Freya's Blessing: Followers of Freya are known to be the more peaceful of Norse, but still capable of being formidable opponents. Activating the blessing gives the followers C grade regeneration in battle and C grade damage resistance for a B grade mana drain. In addition, they gain access to a unique spell: Freya's Seidr. After Freya's Seidr is activated, the caster is enveloped in a bright spark of blue energy as the user opens the doorway to Freya's plane of existance. After finishing the C grade channel, the caster literally becomes a doorway that functions as a fountain of mana for others around them as they channel their mana to hold the spell. All the user's allies' spells (within 10 yards) mana costs are dropped by one grade (B to A for example) for as long as the User can maintain a C grade mana channel. The user can move in this time, but cannot cast any other spells. Taking significant damage will immediately end the spell.
Runic Enchanting: The Norsemen are known for their elaborate and artistic runes woven into their buildings, monuments, rune stones, armor and weapons. However these do not merely serve as decorative additions, they also serve as powerful enchantments that enable even the weakest of Norsemen to be a terrifying sight on the battlefield. Mjolnir, Gungnir, Gram, and Skofnung… these are just a few of the mighty weapons known to be wielded by powerful Norse warriors in ancient history. The enchantments are powerful, but limited to only those who truly believe in the Norse way.
The rules for enchantments are different for the object type used. Only three types of objects can be enchanted: weapons, armor, and shields. A Norseman can only have a maximum of four objects enchanted. When enchanting the object, one must choose one element from the list: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Ice, and Lightning. When selected, the object becomes imbued with the element in question. This becomes a focal point for the user’s magic, turning their channeled mana into, for weapon example, a focused melee or ranged damage spell. For instance, the most well known lightning weapon is Mjolnir, Thor’s mighty hammer. With it he can smack enemies while the weapon is charged with lightning, but also channel a lightning storm through the weapon at an enemy for a ranged attack.
Shields and Armor create magical resistances for the selected element, but at the cost of increasing vulnerability to the opposite element. Shield CAN have a single offensive spell they can be used for. Shields are also unique in that they have a subtle sub-enhancement: When two enchanted shield holders stand side by side, a magical barrier is created that covers their front, sides, and slightly above them. This is a key enchantment for the Norse Shield Wall Formation. (See: Scandinavian Military thread.) In total, a Norsemen can have FOUR objects enchanted. Weapons can have TWO enchantments, shields can have TWO, (three with the free enchantment) and armor can only have one. Each enchantment have specific purposes: Weapons have two offensive spells, shields have two defense or one of offensive/defensive, while armor only has one defensive. Enchantments are NOT A constant effect, they MUST have mana being channeled into them. The greater the mana channeled, the greater the effect of the enchantment.
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