The Skandians are a seagoing race of warriors from the frozen northland of Skandia.
They are a warlike and robust culture, often raiding countries on the main continent and, prior to the creation of the Treaty of Hallasholm, the coast of Araluen. Traveling in their extremely fast wolfships, they are a formidable force. The Skandians are big, noisy, and enthusiastic warriors, fond of singing and drinking, with camaraderie entrenched deeply in their character. Their weapon of choice is the battleaxe, also called the broadaxe.
Skandians are most likely based on the Vikings. They can go into a "beserker" rage and think of nothing but bloodshed and killing, ignoring their own injuries. In such a case they will have to be calmed down by fellow Skandians. This happened to Ragnak during the Battle of Hallasholm in Oakleaf Bearers/The Battle for Skandia.
Araluen signed a treaty with the Skandians in The Battle For Skandia, called the Treaty of Hallasholm, named after the Skandian capital where it was created, that declares no more mass attacks on Araluen and ensures Skandia is provided a manned garrison of one hundred Araluan archers ready to be called on in times of need. Likewise, there is a Skandian wolfship ready to protect the Araluan coast in times of need. Because of his part in the creation of this treaty, Will was given the honorary surname "Treaty".
The Vallas: Three deities that are the Supreme deities of the Skandian religion. They are the gods of vengeance, with appearances depicting a shark, a bear and a vulture. The Vallas consist of Thurak (the shark), Gorlog (the bear) and Hergel (the vulture). A Vallasvow can be sworn to the Vallas, with the person taking the Vallasvow against someone, and swearing their intent to kill that person and all their loved ones. The downside is that if you fail a Vallasvow, you go to the deepest reaches of hell and the Vallas will wreak vengeance upon your family instead. Oberjarl Ragnak took a Vallasvow against King Duncan after the events of the Battle of Thorntree. A Vallasvow, however, can only be taken against treachery or murder.
Gorlog: A mythical creature with long nails, hair, a braided beard, and teeth. He is used in exclamations of shock, such as "Gorlog's Beard!", "Gorlog's Horns!", "Gorlog's Nostrils!", or "Gorlog's Teeth!". After going to Skandia, Halt became very fond of Gorlog, saying that he is "the very soul of variety". In Erak's Ransom, it is to be noted that Pauline also used this expression, when organising her and Halt's wedding.
Hergel: Another disgusting deity of the Skandians, who takes the form of a vulture. Hergel has features much like Gorlog.
Thurak: the last addition to the Vallas, Thurak's appearance is no better than that of the other two vallas. Thurak takes the form of a horned shark.
Lorgan: unpleasant demigod also used in exclaiming shock or suprise. "Lorgan's dripping, blood red fangs."
Boh-Raka: Temujai demon that delights in beating naughty children with a hickory branch.
Orlog: A minor deity to Gorlog.
Attire and ArmorEdit
The Skandians are well known for their distinctive attire and armor. They wear sheepskin vests, which provide warmth in their frozen homeland, and sealskin boots, which are not only warm and waterproof, but also very quiet. The Skandians wear huge, horned iron helmets, with no padding. They carry large, round wooden shields covered with hardened ox hide and studded with brass plates, which they use with great effect along with their battleaxes,which make them among the most formidable melee fighters in all of the world. Smaller Skandians use swords to great effect, and Skandians have also been known to use spears, javelins, and clubs. For hunting they either throw rocks or use low-powered hunting bows. In The Battle for Skandia, or Oakleaf Bearers, Will Treaty noted that the Skandian hunting bow was a lot less powerful than even his recurve bow, used by the Temujai he was against.