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Ardent Wolf RPG - Valhalla
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Valhalla

Valhalla

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford



Valhalla is a pack that – while accepting most alignments as long as the behavior of the individual reflects the values of the pack – generally leans toward the side of Good, whether Lawful, Chaotic, or Neutral.

Loyalty and Honor are valued, as are Courage and Integrity, and Compassion. Members are expected to show a unified, respectful face to the outside world and to work together, even through the worst of times.

That’s not to say Valhalla will be a pack content to remain within the bounds of two lands. Fighting is a skill all are expected to learn – at the very least – the basics of, as well as basic field healing, even if a wolf doesn’t specialize in it or even have interest in healing at all.

Self defense is a required skill to learn, from the beginnings of a pup’s entry into the rank of Promise, whether it be to defend themselves against a predator, or an attacking wolf that might have trespassed into the territories, or that they encounter once they have become and Oath and are free to leave the pack territories alone.

Valhalla values its alliances and trade agreements and works to maintain friendships and agreements with allied packs, gathering resources, or even raiding other packs that have not gained their alliance or proven an irritant for resources to stock up, or trade for better.

At its most ideal, Valhalla will have a Trinity of Leaders—Spirit, Soul, and Heart. Pack wolves are encouraged to be ambitious and aim to work for high ranks, whether it be through rigorous sparring to prove their prowess and dependability in battle to achieve one of the Beta ranks, or being a constant presence as a hunter, attending pack hunts and leading them to reach the rank of Butcher as the most masterful of hunters, or working hard to keep the pack healthy as a Cure.

Crafting is a skill that is valued in Valhalla, from architecture to weaponry and defenses, and wolves who have these skills will do well to be hard workers, inventive, and ingenious in their projects.

Agriculture is something that Valhalla is willing to dip their paws into, and perhaps even take by storm eventually (stay tuned, folks!).





General Rules

Valhallan Common Law (much is WIP, but here ya go.)


•    The Spirit’s final word is law – and the laws are here for a reason. Follow them or suffer the consequences.

However, the pack Council is to be involved with the creation of new laws beyond these foundation stones.

•    Pack meetings are mandatory for all in the pack except newborn pups (Hopes) or severely ill or injured members. Missing two in a row with no notice given to the Spirit will see you removed from the pack, should you be in the Common Tier, or demoted to the Trouble Tier should you be in the working or upper Tiers. Tardy paws catch no prey, and slackers get no quarter.

•    During times when the pack’s numbers are high, mating rights are restrained to a ‘permission only’ status. To avoid overhunting the prey animals with a population too high for the territories, members must make the Spirit aware of their desire to sire or bear pups. Love itself is encouraged, mind.

Members are also encouraged to pay close attention to the numbers of the pack to be sure they won’t be stressing the population by bringing new lives into the pack.

These are also times when the least active wolves will not be encouraged to remain in the pack.

•     Love beyond the pack is fine. However, be aware that any litters sired by a male member of Valhalla are expected to become members of the pack, along with the mother, unless an agreement can be made or a foster mother is chosen to raise the pups.

Love between packs is… surprisingly not unencouraged. However, it is to be understood that the pack the love interest, litter parent comes from should be an ally of Valhalla and friendly with the pack. The parents must be able to agree to a partial parenting plan at the very least. The pups are to be raised, once they are weaned, half the litter in one pack, half in the other, switching out between the packs each half season to learn about both sides of their parentage.

However, should the mother of the litter decide to move to Valhalla, she is welcome to do so. Alternatively, if the father of said litter desires to leave and join the pack his lady resides in, this is acceptable as well.

•    Members of Valhalla are to demonstrate dignity, honor, regality, unity and endurance to outside wolves. Thus, members of the pack are expected to show some measure of respect to others, whether they know them or not, until a valid reason has been given to hurl insults and bare fangs.

Misbehavior will not be tolerated and will be dealt with publicly via demotion or removal from the pack. Regardless of your personality, show a mature, polite, united face to the outside world. “Kill ‘em with Kindness.”

•    The Spirit is not responsible for picking mentor-apprentice pairings. You are. The Spirit needs only to announce your choices at the next meeting. Mentors are responsible for paying attention to the new or young wolves in Valhalla and choosing those who show the promise needed to accel in the mentor’s Circle.

Similarly, young wolves or newcomers to the pack (Outlanders) are highly encouraged to explore the various Circles and consider their paths wisely, and should they wish to learn under a certain wolf in the Circle they choose, they are responsible for telling the Spirit and their chosen mentor.

•    Challenges for higher ranks or tiers are not un-encouraged, but those considering that path must reflect upon their past performance to decide whether they are truly worthy of the rank they desire, or if harder work and training are needing before they should ask the Spirit for a blessing to challenge.

Those who challenge for a rank despite being told they can’t will be removed from the pack, likely maimed – especially if the rank they desired and challenged for was a high rank such as the Soul.

•    Trespassers run the risk of maiming and force-claiming should they not heed the one warning to leave the territory. Those who caught the trespasser are to escort them from the territory and watch to be sure they leave.

While it is customary to give a warning to a trespassing wolf – or any creature – the exception is during defense from raids and sieges. Since a raiding party is well aware they’re trespassing and are doing so intentionally, there’s little need for warning. Attack on sight, Valhallans.

Similarly, Valhallans are expected to send up a stand-by warning to the pack when suspicious wolves are found hanging around the border itself or the bordering lands around Valhalla’s claimed territories. This is not an optional rule.

•    Those outside the pack are not to be privy to Valhalla’s secrets. Maintain discretion regarding numbers, health, and morale when speaking to non-Valhallans. The exceptions are details about Valhallan Laws, Customs, and its overall values as a whole.

(i.e. “Our pack values teamwork and working hard on skills and fighting.” Is just fine; it promotes the pack and presents it as strong and united. “We have twenty-four members, and our healer is sick; we don’t think she has long” is not okay and is grounds for punishment or even banishment.)

Anything else can only be divulged by the Spirit, Soul, Heart, and Second Tier members when accepting new members or conducting recruitment forays.

•    When leaving the pack borders, it is mandatory to at least howl to announce one’s intention to venture out for a time. Those who leave without telling anyone run the risk of temporary demotion if at a higher rank, and to Delinquent if among the lower tiers.

Let the Spirit know you’re going out, and where you’re most likely to be, not because you’re in trouble, but because if something goes wrong, someone knowing at home will result in a much swifter search party bringing help.

[You do not need to actively thread with me to have the character let mine know—all pack members have permission to PP having told my alpha characters they are going out. At the very least, howl to announce it.]

•    
Customs:

Valhallan Customs

•    Playtime!

In Valhalla, importance is placed upon friendship, playing together, working together, and creating lasting bonds that will hold up even in the darkest of hours and toughest opposition.

This custom is not an annual festival or every now and then kind of thing—nope! Spur of the moment playtime is encouraged, both among the young and the adults and elderly, with the hope of boosting energy in the pack, lightening the mood during hard times, and bringing the pack together to simply bond and enjoy each other’s company.

This is also a good chance to practice skills, like tracking, during games of hide and seek, or coursing stamina in games of chase and tag. So, relax, let loose, and let your heart and mind relax, and just have some fun before going back to the daily life of duties and responsibility.

•    Festivals:

Games, festivities, spars and hunts galore. Valhalla may not hold a Festival for all every year, but when they do, it can be assured that it will be a thing to be remembered. Hostility is not allowed during the festival’s events unless there is a highly valid reason.

This is a time for packs to come together, loners to mingle with pack wolves and perhaps to assess a possible new home, and for everyone to relax and have some fun, test their skills against new faces in spars, share knowledge between healers, and bring down a feast!

Trading is welcomed at these festivals, so those with all the things are welcome to join in the festivities.

Pups old enough to travel are welcome and rest assured that any who try to harm any children attending the festivals will be dealt with in a particularly bloody manner, regardless of what pack they belong to or whether they’re loners.

•    Gladiatorial Sparring Contests:

Unlike the Festivals, where all kinds of games and skill-building opportunities are presented, this fest is very much geared toward fighting. Annual events are held at various neutral locations by Valhalla, (or an allied pack, if the leaders of each pack set something up) and are open to all wishing to test their skills in fights in a fun contest.

Pairs and melee teams will be chosen by the host or hostess (or plurals of them should other pack leaders host it with the Spirit).

Maims and Death Matches are not welcomed in these events, spars and dominance matches being the only allowable type of fight. If someone has problems with someone else, they will not be allowed to be opponents unless they swear an oath to keep it clean and fair. If they wanna rip each other’s throats out, they can do it on their own time and not at the event.

Records will be held! Champions crowned and challenged the next year! Glory and fame to spread across the land! Are ya game enough?



•    Market Day:

Twice a year, Valhalla will open a trading fair at a neutral location, sometimes in the West, sometimes the south, and maybe even the east of Boreas, depending on where trading is best. Open to packs and loners alike, it’s a chance to trade one resource for another, and not just in goods. Hunting agreements, trades of skill… these are just a glimpse of what may be available.

•    Storytime:

Twice a month, the pack gathers, not for a meeting, but to settle in together with metaphorical popcorn (read deer legs, bison haunches and bunny cuts) to share stories about anything in particular, from legends they grew up with as a puppy, real history, or just stories about something funny that happened the other day. Doesn’t matter what the subject is.

The purpose is to bring the pack together without any formalities, to get to know one another, and probably laugh at a few funny tales. There will be no mandatory call from the Spirit to gather the pack – instead, a schedule will be announced, for all to keep in mind.

The Storytime gathering is semi-optional—you are highly encouraged to join in but won’t be penalized if you don’t.

•    Hunts Beyond the Wall:

Twice a year, the Spirit will lead a hunting party beyond the boundaries of Valhalla – once in Spring, once in Autumn – to hunt prey animals that don’t commonly graze in the pack’s lands and add variety to the long winter’s meals. Hunters are expected to attend and will be penalized – even demoted – if they do not attend to successfully bring down prey.

The meat will be hauled home on travois and in hide pack bags to be preserved and cached for winter or times when prey at home may be scarce or needing to rebuild numbers.

•    Wood Gathering Galivant:

Through late Summer and Autumn, the pack is expected to gather in groups and teams to gather firewood for the fire that burns in one of the caves within the Adravendi Seat. Near and far, hardwood and softwood.

As this fire is open to all pack members to visit and warm up beside through the cold weather of winter and is also the source of the healers more advanced methods of making healing salves, hot poultices, and brews, this isn’t just a boon for the Spirit and their family—it’s for the pack as a whole.

•    Ursine Bounty:

A dangerous custom, but one that holds great hope of stocking the larders for winter. At the cusp of winter, as Autumn deepens and the snow begins to fall and bears settle in to slumber in their dens, the strongest wolves of the pack shall gather to track down a bear – maybe more than one – to hunt and harvest for its meat, bones, sinew, and pelts. Only the most skilled of the pack are allowed to attend, and it is considered an honor to be allowed to join the hunt.

This is also a custom to commemorate the late secondary alphess, Gwenevere Adravendi, who founded the idea one frigid autumn day.

Relations

Ranks

Spirit - The Queen or King of Valhalla, and the top wolf in the Trinity. They are usually the first face to greet a wolf at the wall, and their words are to be taken with great importance. Like in the past with Celestial, they have gone through extensive training from the moment they can walk and talk to lead with honor and care for their pack members, and within the pack, they should never be feared, but always respected.

This rank is a legacy rank and will only be passed down to the eldest born child of their first litter, regardless of gender.

Aurielle

SoulThe secondary Alpha of Valhalla. Usually a sibling or close friend, this wolf has proven himself or herself worthy of holding such a prestigious rank through loyalty, hard work, and visible prowess in battle – a much-needed skill in this rank, considering the possibility of answering challenges in the Spirit’s place – and are expected to continue to show this loyalty in helping the Spirit maintain the laws and activity of the pack’s members, as well as ensuring their health and safety. They are part of the Trinity— the trio of reigning wolves that have the final say in who joins, and who leaves. They will be the right point of the Trinity, who decide upon Laws after consulting the pack as a whole and are the head of the Council. The Soul has all the same authority and permissions as the Spirit, though in many cases they may defer to the Spirit. This rank may be challenged for— however, the challenger must have shown themselves to be of the utmost worth, dependability, and loyalty to the pack, and must give a strong case for why they should even be allowed to vie for the rank of Soul. If they’re merely in it for their own ambition, and not for the good of the pack, then they will not be allowed to challenge for the rank of Soul. Should they attempt to challenge for the rank despite being refused permission from the Spirit, they will be forcibly removed from the pack and likely missing a few appendages.

HeartThe mate, or consort of the Spirit. They are the sire or bearer of the Spirit’s children, and their emotional support. They are expected to be faithful to the Spirit, and bear or sire only the Spirit’s children (litters birthed or sired before they became mates won’t count against them.) and are expected to be an actively participating leader, even if they aren’t the secondary alpha. They are part of the Trinity of Leaders, the left point, and hold the same authority and responsibility, but are not allowed to answer challenges for the pack.

In the event that no children are present to take over should the Spirit fall absent or die, however, the Heart is eligible to take command of the pack.

Red

DestinyThe future leader or heir of Valhalla. They are the first-born child of the Spirit and Heart, and the automatic heir of the pack. Training to be a leader begins almost as soon as they are able to walk, though lessons in languages begin much earlier. They are shaped to become honorable, strong leaders who won’t let other packs push them around. They are trained extensively in fighting, strategy, tactics, diplomacy, politics, manners, hunting, healing, and navigation, to prepare them for their eventual service to the pack as the Spirit, and are expected to readily learn new languages and stay up-to-speed with the goings on in the outside world once they reach a year of age. Generally, they will ascend to the rank of Spirit at the age of two, unless their mother or father is still of an age and physical capability to continue leading. Should the former Spirit be aging, or unable to continue leading much longer, the Destiny may be given the pack at the age of one year.
Ardyn

SentinelThe Primary Beta of Valhalla. They work as a team under the Trinity with their second to ensure the pack receives training in battle, tactics, and strategy. They are in charge of assigning patrol groups, doing their own patrols – either with those groups or with each other – and of greeting wolves at the Wall.

They will have earned this rank through hard work, winning several spars and fights, and are among those expected to test possible new fighters for the pack in spars. They are required to look at pups and choose one or two to train in battle.

They may choose a wolf they’ve seen as exceptional in fighting and dearly loyal to the pack as a prospect to propose that the Trinity can choose to place as their deputy, to take their place, either when they die, or when they retire. This wolf may be their own child or one they trained from a pup. But the wolf they choose must meet the same requirements as they did to earn the rank.

Cairo II

LodestarThe Secondary Beta of Valhalla. This wolf shares duties with the Sentinel; however, they are more in charge of ensuring pack hunts are happening, and that the healers are diligently training. They are the wolf who usually guides newcomers around the territory and answers questions, should the Spirit, Soul, or Heart not be available to do so. They should have a rudimentary knowledge of the basics of first aid and field treatment, as well as hunting, even if they are primarily a fighter, in order to compensate for this facet of their duties.

They are in charge of assigning patrol groups, doing their own patrols – either with those groups or with each other – and of greeting wolves at the Wall. They will have earned this rank through hard work and winning several spars and are among those expected to test possible new fighters for the pack in spars. They are required to look at pups and choose one or two to train in battle.

They may choose a wolf they’ve seen as exceptional in fighting and dearly loyal to the pack as a prospect to propose that the Trinity can choose to place as their deputy, to take their place, either when they die, or when they retire. This wolf may be their own child, or one they trained from a pup. But the wolf they choose must meet the same requirements as they did to earn the rank.


DauntlessThe Masters of the War Circle. The most experienced and supremely masterful warriors in the pack, not including the Trinity and Betas. They are wolves who have proven again and again that they can handle anything life throws at them, especially a fight, and they have served the pack well. They answer to no one but the upper tiers and the healers.

They are, however, expected to maintain this activity. The real work begins when you gain this high rank, and your duties are even more extensive.

They are expected to lead their assigned patrol-group, and to attend all pack events (Meetings, Sieges, Raids, Hunts) and to take on an apprentice, whether that apprentice is a pup, yearling, or adult wolf who needs training in fighting.

Caelia

CuresThe four most experienced healers in the pack. Quite literally, as their rank name suggests, they have a cure for just about everything. They have no dual skill—they’re just in it for making wolves feel better and nothing makes them happier than to see a new mother with her new pups sleeping peacefully. Plants, anatomy, they know it all, and specialize in birthing.

They are required to choose an apprentice to mentor in healing.


Dauntless ButchersMasters that run in both the War and Hunter's Circles.