The make up of the Dawi children was different this year. This year’s class the ages ranged from twelve years to sixteen and there were only a dozen younglings eight male and four female two of which were the Kings daughters who were now just short of fourteen years. As the children filed in they set their weapons aside and made themselves comfortable upon the benches that were provided in front of low tables that held tankards, plates of cheese, various kinds of winter fruit, smoked fish or elk, venison, or beef jerky, fresh bread, and pitchers of Kvass as well as some of today’s lesson materials, maps and lists of the Umgi communities that lived within Norsca. As they sat Drazhgrund noticed that young Finni Rognison was in this class as well and when he turned to Kari who sat beside him she just gave a small nod that she had noticed as well. Noticed that Finni watched not Kalea or the other two young females but Kettra as she walked into the room and took her seat at the next bench over and ever so often Kari saw him covertly glance over at Kettra who was oblivious to young Finni’s glances as he sipped his Kvass. Kvass or ale that Keri wished that she could drink as well instead of the milk and knew from the stern look, that Skornia, the Priestess of Valaya gave her from her seat beside the door that she had better not think about taking a drink from Drazhgrund’s tankard of ale.
Finally when everyone had taken their seat, Drazhgrund spoke. “In the past as you recall we spoke of the first Umgi clans who arrived in Norsca in -1499 when they crossed the Seas of Claws is boats that were barely seaworthy.” As usual it was young Finni who stood and this time waited to be called upon. “Yes Finni Rognison.” Drazhgrund asked only mildly disturbed that he had only spoken once sentence before the first question was asked. Unseen by the class Kari reached over and touched his leg he gave a nod and took a deep drink from tankard as Finni spoke.
“Lord Drazhgrund,” Finni said as he suddenly realized he did not know if he was to address Kari as well so he just nodded to her and continued slightly flustered. “The Umgi as a whole are so short lived so why must we learn about clans that may or may not still exist and about Umgi who do not even remember or know who their grandsires are much less when their own tribe came to Norsca. This is part of who we are, but to the Umgi their memories are as short as their lives. I do not understand are we, the Dawi to be their Loremasters as well as their benefactors?”
Several in the class nodded as if in agreement but most were taken aback by Finni’s question since many knew that Norsca had long ties with Kislev, part of the Empire an Umgi empire and that both Lord Drazhgrund and Kari had recently returned within the last year from the Empire. Drazhgrund just stared at Finni as he marshaled his thoughts but to Finni who was on the receiving end of that menacing stare sat abruptly down and tried to make him self less of a target. But he felt it was an honest question since he thought knowledge of the Umgi should be current not ancient history. Finally Drazhgrund spoke.
“Finni,” he said sternly looking at no one else in the class but him, but to Priestess Skornia, who took in the scene and that Lord Drazhgrund reminded her of a large predator about to spring upon some small prey that was frozen in fear. She was about to say something when Lord Drazhgrund glanced toward her and she saw the twinkle in his piercing deep green eyes and then he continued. “Finni, do you know who the twenty first king of Kraka Drak was?” Finni sat there and shook his head negatively that he did not know. Out of the corner of Finni’s eye he saw Kettra and Ulther Svenson who hardly spoke stand to answer the question. Drazhgrund looked to Ulther and nodded.
“Lord Drazhgrund, sir, Kazgar Eriksson was the twenty first king who reined seventy one years.” Ulther stated then sat quickly down.
“You are right Ulther.” And when Drazhgrund saw that Kettra did not sit down after hearing the answer he nodded to her to speak.
“King Kazgar was also known as Kazgar Oathbinder, and he was responsible for a select few Umgi clans to be called Dawikoni or almost Dawi.” Kettra stated.
“You both are correct and this is why. Kazgar Eriksson was King of Kraka Drak from -1512 to -1441.” Drazhgrund told them and then began to tell the class why Kazgar Oathbinder was one of the great Kings of Kraka Drak and all of Norsca.
“You will recall that when the first Umgi clans arrived in Norsca we Dawi were not sure how to deal with the Umgi as they settled along the coast of Norsca and along the shores of the narrow inlets of the fjords almost in the center of Norsca itself. The general policy at first was to avoid contact until we were certain that these Umgi were not in the service of Chaos so we watched from a distance hoping that the severe winters and the Dum Gors or which means Chaos Beastman would either kill them or drive them out of Norsca because the issue of non Dawi settlements in the mountains of Norsca had never been contemplated before. But neither happened,” and Drazhgrund shook his head in wonderment at the tenacity of the Umgi race as a whole. He took another drink from his tankard seeing that Kari had refilled it as well as refilled his pipe for later and under the cover of the table top in front of him he squeezed her hand and she squeezed it back. Then he continued. “King Kazgar of Kraka Draka discussed the Umgi at great length with his own clan house of Durazklad as well as with the three other Dawi Karaks. The four kings decided that King Kazgar would take the lead, the others choosing to remain unknown to the Umgi in case King Kazgar’s plan did not work. It was after several decades of watching the Umgi and seeing that they proved to be successful at farming the land and fishing the seas not to mention surviving the severe winters as well as going out of their way to destroy the Dum Gors when they entered their lands decided the king. So King Kazgar decided to shorten his supply lines as he and the other four Dawi Karaks patrolled Norsca in the war against Chaos and with that decision made Kraka Drak began trading with the Umgi. Kraka Draka traded tools and weapons made of bronze for produce and meat. Some of the clans of Kraka Drak argued that it would be folly to admit the Umgi into the Dawi realms. Others took the view along with King Kazgar that the Umgi had proven themselves as tenacious warriors as they battled the Dum Gor and more over, the Umgi clans could supply warriors to augment the number of Dawi available to wage war against the Dum Gor. Kazgar had enough dealings with Umgi chieftains to know that they put great stock in their word more so than many of the present-day Empire Umgi and decided that he would attempt to bind the clans to his cause in return for granting them limited rights in Norsca.”
“He sent overtures to the closest clans, the Aeslings, the Skaelings, the Sarls, and the Baersonlings whose Umgi chieftains were the first to petition, and soon there after the chieftains of the Bjornlings, the Graelings, and the Vargs followed as they to petitioned King Kazgar. There were many smaller clans of Umgi but they fell sway to the influences of Dum and were driven from Norsca by those loyal to the Dawi Kings of Norsca or they were destroyed. Eventually all seven Umgi chieftains were brought before King Kazgar who laid forth the following stipulations collectively known as the Oath of Binding. They are as follows: The chieftains and their clans will swear an oath of fealty to the King of Kraka Drak who rules the land. In turn, the Umgi chieftains would become part of the Dawi king’s council of war against the enemies of Dawi. Two, the Umgi clans will be subject to Dawi law. Three, the Umgi clans will not allow Dum Gor, Grobi, or Skaven to pass through the lands they hold in the name of the Dawi king. Four, Dawi and the Umgi clans would provide support, military or otherwise, to one another when faced with a common enemy. Five, the Umgi clans will ensure that their male folk are trained in the use of axe, hammer, spear, and bow. Six, in the event of war, the women, children, and old folk of the Umgi clans will be granted protection within specific areas of the Dawi Karak. Seven, Dawi and the Umgi clans in specified realms will provide one another with preferential trading terms. Eight, the Umgi clans will concentrate their livelihood on fishing, farming, and herding activities, freeing those Dawi clans if they so choose to focus on specific crafts and mining. Nine, the Umgi clans will be allowed to worship whatever gods they choose so long as the religion is not considered to be Dum tainted or an enemy of the Dawi.”
“The seven Umgi chieftains found the conditions more than reasonable. A large feast was held cementing the exchange of oaths between the two peoples. Over time the seven Umgi clans reached the same agreements with other Dawi Kings of Norsca. In time we Dawi gave the Oath Bound Umgi clans the name “Dawikoni” or “Almost Dawi”. This name has been expanded over the centuries to cover any Umgi whose lineage has involved their ancestors living among Dawi for more than five generations who have sworn the Oath Binding. Ever since King Kazgar’s rule the race of Dawi and the Umgi or Dawikoni who live within Norsca has grown closer. We Dawi trust very few Umgi who are not Dawikoni.” When Drazhgrund was finished speaking he nodded to Skornia that the class was over. But as usual there was one last question.
“But what about Kislev? Are they considered Dawikoni?” Finni asked without thinking to stand up first.
“Finni, you are to report to the class in six days how Kislev became our ally and I would suggest you spend your time within the archives and with our Loremaster.” And with that Skornia led the class out of the room. And with that Skornia led the class out of the room as Drazhgrund spoke softly to Kalea that just maybe the next time Finni crossed Kalea and Kettra he would let Kalea challenge him to a Dar in the Hammer’s Training ground. Just maybe she would knock some since into him. Kari just laughed and then told him about Finni’s covert glances toward Kettra and her shy glances back. “Absolutely not,” Drazhgrund stated “not while I am the clan’s Throngrink.”
She just nodded in a non committal way that spoke volumes as her husband helped her from her seat as they made from the classroom heading towards the King’s quarters with their four Drak-Hammer bodyguards flanking them fore and aft. The constant guards was something she was still not used to and had not given it much thought prior to their marriage but now she could never be alone with Drazhgrund as long as they were not within their home and this irked her to no end.
Edited by Skull Krusher, 26 October 2007 - 05:49 AM.