One of the core tenants of old Durnskald society is strict adherence to a bloodline based caste system. This system recognizes three distinct bloodlines, with the strictest levels of enforcement found in the Durnskald homeland of Gehenna and the bordering countryside. This divide over the caste system’s significance and enforcement is the current driving force behind the ongoing Durnskald Civil War.
The three bloodlines are as follows:
Stonehearts – the serf caste
Champions – the warrior caste
Fateweavers – the religious caste
The Stonehearts are by far the most common members of Durnskald society, making up what in Gehenna is considered the bottom rung of the social ladder known as the serf caste. As such, in Gehenna it is not uncommon for captured slaves to outrank Stonehearts and thus receive preferential treatment. Stonehearts are the tallest and broadest of the Durnskald, usually looking fairly bulky for their size (though not always) and averaging between 5’9" to 6’6" and weighing in around 200 to 250 lbs. Their skin comes in a variety of hues, including (predominantly) light gray or gray with muted tans or browns. Hair colors vary the most with Stonehearts as well; common colors include blondes, grays, white, browns, various shades of black, and muted reds or oranges.
Stonehearts are loyal friends and stalwart companions but are not known for their reflexes, gaining a +2 racial modifier to their Constitution and Charisma scores and receiving a -2 racial modifier to their Dexterity score.
The Champions, formerly known as the Champions of A’ki, are the second most commonly found member of Durnskald society and make up approximately twenty percent of the population. In Gehenna Champions are considered the top most rung of society and are greatly feared for their cruelty and viciousness. Champions are taught the ways of weapons from an extremely young age, most have mastered the first Crimson Dervish forms long before reaching adolescence. The average Champion is of strong and agile build, remaining more toned and lithe than outright muscular. Standing around 5’7" to 6’2" and weighing on average around 165 lbs Champions move at blistering speeds across a battlefield, pushing their bodies to (and well passed) their limits. Their skin is always of a nearly porcelain white which when paired with their uniformly jet black hair makes for an intimidating visage. Their eyes, which are considered unsettling even among other Durnkald, have inky black corneas surrounding silver and white irises. The overwhelming majority of Champions are male.
Champions are merciless fighters whose swiftness and brutality is legendary, gaining a +2 racial modifier to Dexterity and Strength while receiving a -2 racial modifier to their Constitution score.
The ways of the Fateweavers are a mystery among most of the Durnskald. Secretive and few in numbers Fateweavers are hesitant to associate with non-Fateweavers and specifically are mistrustful of the Champions. In the past in Gehenna the Fateweavers were held in the highest regard, this attitude abruptly changed when Sin’Rothos, the leader of the Champions of A’ki, imprisoned and tortured Prophetess Whisper Mayfevr to the brink of death so that A’ki’s malevolent spirit could take root in her soul and subjugate her mind. Though Sin’Rothos was slain her rescue had come too late to reverse or even stop the possession, Whisper joined with her twin (who was in fact a part of Whisper herself) Summer Sky to briefly subdue the power of A’ki long enough for her to be slain, sacrificing herself to stop A’ki’s evil and the spreading corruption of Xax. This left the remaining Fateweavers with a strong loyalty to the memory of Whisper and Summer, most fled Gehenna which was under the control of the Champions and made pilgrimage to ruins of the Tower of Ahz Ramat where Whisper had died. There they founded the beginnings of the rebellion and were instrumental in triggering the Durnskald Civil War. Fateweavers are the smallest of the Durnskald in both stature and number (at less than ten percent of the population), averaging 4’10" to 5’4" in height and weighing around 100 lbs. They are hard to mistake for another bloodline given their smaller size and slate gray skin, and are made even more striking by their luminescent orange and black mottled iris’ which seem to burn from within a blood red cornea. As Fateweavers gain power and tap into the power of their blood further their eyes can change colors to looking like liquid silver or even into the all consuming black void of the far realm. Almost every Fateweaver is female.
Fateweavers are well known for their beauty, cunning, and devotion but are ill suited to being front-line fighters in a conflict, receiving a +2 racial modifier to their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores while taking a -2 racial modifier to the Strength and Constitution scores.