Helgi & Hunding
Though geographically separate from Realmgard, the island of Hrimfax is generally considered part of the Realmgardian cultural sphere.
Hrimfaxi sailors maintain longstanding trade routes to and from the continent, and the island’s position between Realmgard and the northeastern continents ensure that much transcontinental trade must pass through its ports.
On a darker note, this strategic position straddling two the midpoint between multiple continents also allowed centuries of Hrimfaxi vikings to plunder and conquer extensively.
Numerous cities on both the western and eastern continents were originally founded by Hrimfaxi adventurers carving out territories for themselves — notably a series of Hrimfaxi vikings established themselves as kings in Middelmere, Carog, and Makeland (a name ultimately deriving from a Hrimfaxi word for sword).
Such waves of settlement and conquest were likely spurred by the limited land available on the island, coupled with the difficulties of sustainably farming in such a rugged and difficult climate.
The single largest wave of settlement from Hrimfax occurred during a period of intense volcanic activity on the island, rendering much of the island uninhabitable and forcing a massive exodus from the island.
The largest group of refugees was led by the twin chieftains Helgi and Hunding, who turned their attentions to the vast fertile lands of the Kingdom of the Gallicantu. Sailing from Hrimfax to Gallicantu, Helgi and Hunding plundered up and down the Duchies of the Sea before making landfall on the Gallicantien mainland.
Despite initial successes in Gallicantu and the establishment of a fortified settlement on the coast, the attempts of Helgi and Hunding to push deeper into Gallicantien territory were stymied by the heroic efforts of Gallicantien King Lambert IV, who won a series of decisive victories over Helgi and Hunding’s viking warriors.
When the defeated viking chieftains sued for peace, Lambert proved magnanimous in victory and far-sighted in political pragmatism. Though he demanded a large indemnity from Helgi and Hunding, he also offered the two chieftains control of the Duchies of the Sea as Gallicantien vassals.
Helgi and Hunding accepted the king’s offer and proved themselves loyal and capable vassals of Gallicantu, defending Gallicantien seas from future raids.
Notably, they did not extend this protection of domains outside the Kingdom of Gallicantu. Helgi and Hunding and their heirs often invited Hrimfaxi vikings to use the Duchies of the Sea as a staging post for raids against the rest of Realmgard and the Kingdoms of the Sea.
In time, as the descendants of Helgi and Hunding adopted the Gallicantien language and customs, a unique culture began to emerge on the Duchies of the Sea, honouring the inhabitants’ mixed Gallicantien and Hrimfaxi heritage.
The people of the Duchies of the Sea came to be known as the Marins and would, in future generations, produce many famous warriors and adventurers who, much like their viking ancestors, would carve out their domains across Realmgard and further afield and found kingdoms that endure to the present day.
Even long after the end of Hrimfax’s viking period and the emergence of the distinct Marin culture, the Duchies of the Sea would retain a famous and longstanding reputation for piracy.
And with that, Week 2 of 30 Days of History is done. The recap of the week that was is coming your way later today.
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