The Shield Knockers Warband of the Westhill

Common Names

Shield Knockers, the No-Necks, Westhill Fyrd, Westhill Boys.

Form

A clan warband close to the Heortling tradition.

Homeland

North March of Esrolia in the Holy Country

Cultural Context

Defenders of the Westhill Clan of the Emarjela Clan, organized Husband-Protectors of the Women’s Circle.

Ideology

“Knock knock down! If they get up again, knock knock again!”

Look and Feel

Thick necked, gung ho warriors with big shields and a fierce pride at leading the vanguard of any infantry charge.

Purpose

Protect the Westhill tula, Emarjela Tribe and punish anyone stupid enough to challenge them and then stand in front of them.

Headquarters

Shield Shake Hall, the chieftaness’ hall for the Westhill Clan, whose roof is entirely shingled in the shards of shields taken from their enemies. Secondarily, the band holds sacred the Splinter Field where they practice, perform pre-battle sacrifices, lure their enemies and bury their dead.

Reactions

Loved and admired by their clansfolk, The Shield Knockers reputation as impulsive lowers their esteem a bit at the tribal level. Foreigners think them a bunch of hot-headed near-berserk fools who are easily tempted into rash charges.

Resources

Leader

Egath the Shield Boss, war chief of the Westhill, He knows many secret ways through the Skyreach Mountains and killed a Lunar captain at the Building Wall battle. His wisdom and battle savvy exploits the reputation of his band while protecting them from hopeless charges.

Renowned Members

  • Ogfrith Hard Head, known for his head down charges that let him penetrate deep in the enemy ranks.
  • Stubby Holar, who leads the second rank. No one has ever knocked him down.
  • Evina Coinshield, a tiny Bevaran whose shields barely cover her hands while her spear snakes from below her fyrd brothers’ shields to find the enemy.
  • Big Varu, a huge thane who can lift a horse but prefers to play with the clan’s kids.

Membership

All men and fighting women of the Westhill clan belong to the Shield Knockers unless their cult calls them to some grimmer duty. Babeester Gor worshippers of the clan maintain a separate presence, for example. This gives the Shield Knockers a muster strength of 60 competent warriors and a total of 225 fyrdsmen in the First, Second and Third ranks.

Other Contacts

Respectful rivalry exists between the Knockers and the warbands of the other clans in the Emarjela tribe. Hard feelings exist between the Shield Knockers and the Wind Runners of the Skyridge clan, which has feuded with the Westhill many times. Legend speaks of friendship between the Shield Knockers and a clan of Wind Children who made their home in the Skyreach Mountains, but no one living recalls where or how to find them.

Organization

All Westhill clanspeople belong to the Shield Knockers, though only men of fighting age and warrior women train regularly. The “First Rank” are the weapon thanes and war leaders, the “Second Rank” are the martially inclined fyrdmen from among the farmers, the “Third Rank” are the less talented arms bearers of the fyrd and the Fourth Rank are all those with little or no martial ability: Priestesses, healers, bearers, back boys and such.

When the tribal fyrd forms, the Knockers jealously guard their ancient right to the center front of the tribal order of battle.

Membership Keyword

Requirements

Members must be from the Westhill clan or adopted in. Members must own and use a shield in combat.

Skills taught

Mace or spear or sword or axe and shield, Charge in Formation, Knock Down Opponent, Battle Tactics.

Typical personality traits

Confident, Loud, Confrontational

Magic

Members worship Orlanth, Thunder Brothers, Barntar, Heler, Elmal and any of the fighting goddesses of the Earth Pantheon.

Guardian  ASH FACE

Method: Emanation

Form: The Westhill Shield, a very large center grip round shield banded with bronze and tin, decorated with motion and force runes. The Shield Boss always bears this shield at the front and center of any charge.

Communication: The members’ shields groan, vibrate and sometimes even fall over (always breaking something) or roll along the ground. When one member’s shield gets hit in true battle, the shields of all the members ring with the impact.

Functions

  • Awareness: Watch Flank 17
  • Blessing: Smash Line 20, Knock Shield 5W
  • Defense: Charge Together 20 , Tough Shield 17