Skaldar Aethalson, later known as Skaldar the Stormforged was a powerful naradic chieftain who rose to power through his strength and fortitude, as well as the divine purpose he believed the gods have given him.
Childhood and Early Life Edit
Born as the son of Aethal, a blacksmith of clan Vaalfidar in the northern reaches of Adr Vorhvul, Skaldar would show great combat talent and ferocity since his early years. He spent most of his time training to fight or actually fighting the other boys of the clan capital, Vaaldar's Hill, until all the other children feared him. His strength would be further augmented by helping his father in the smithy and eventually he would enter the hold's guard after impressing chieftain Haigalfr himself.
The Chieftain's Huskarl Edit
By the time his beard has grown to cover his neck, Skaldar would continue to impress his chief to the point of him becoming a proper warrior of the clan, cementing his position in the warrior caste. His following exploits in the battles of Radvehr, Kolrin and his successfull raids on Colran's Refuge and Fort Krimskar would soon see him becoming one of Haigalfr's personal guards - huskarls - by the age of 22.
The Second Battle of Etháldir Crossing Edit
Skaldar was dissatisfied with his life as a member of the chief's personal guard, even though he held him in high regard. He would always be one of the best warriors on the battlefield, but would not be allowed to fight at the front lines anymore, since his aging chieftain was not capable of fighting in the thickest as he once used to. His command was gone as well and even though his prestige was among the highest in the clan, Skaldar yearned to have his own court and fight wherever he desired. His loyalty, however, kept him faithful in his duties to the chief, until the fateful Second Battle of Etháldir Crossing.
During the battle, a terrible storm caught the combatants unprepared, with none of the armies being willing to risk a retreat. The soldiers soon lost sight of each other in the severe weather and chaos would ensue on the battlefield. Skaldar, seeing this, would take the reins and order the huskarls to disengage and get the chieftain to safety, who listened to him, ignoring their actual leader, Balerod, the chieftain's son, who insisted on keeping his father's honor intact by staying in the battle.
Skaldar would then rejoin the battle and try to organize the directionless and disparate troops. He gathered most of the surviving lieutenants and ordered them to fall back to a nearby hill, with over confident enemy, seeing the chieftain and his army retreating, crossing the river to chase them down. Skaldar then ordered his men to fall in a spear line and hold off the advancing enemies. Those quickly lost their morale after seeing their victory was merely an illusion which the Vaalfidar used to regroup and draw them out of position. As the initial wave of enemies was shattered on the shields and spears of the Vaalfidar ranks, their confidence and discipline dwindled even more, giving Skaldar the perfect chance to strike. He signalled for the huskarls to charge in from the flank, while he bypassed the shield wall on the other side, hitting the enemy's barely formed right wing, crushing the enemy and driving them into the river to be slaughtered.
The victorious armies pursued the routed enemy, however, the pursuit would come to a halt fairly quickly, when Skaldar himself, raising his sword to strike down one of the enemy lieutenants, would be hit by lightning and fall to the ground unconscious and severly burned.
He would recover from his injuries, however, with little to no ill, but his mentality would undergo change in the wake of this blow from the heavens. He would see it as a mark put on him by Saarthal, a sign of favor with the war god. The lightning would leave permanent scarring on his body, resembling lightning itself, as well as tree, possibly the roots of the dynasty he believed was his fate to establish.
His victory and his survival of the lightning strike have made him a revered figure in the clan. Haigalfr would regard him as his own son and the best man of the clan, much to Balerod's disdain. He would be named a Frald - a warrior, whose might is a sign of his connection with Saarthal himself and given the Frald surname of Stormforged.
Skaldar would then become the de facto leader of the clan, as the old chief Haigalfr would entrust him with most of his responsibilities. further drawing the ire of Balerod, who started plotting against him, seeing him as a threat to his inheritance of the throne. Skaldar had, indeed, every intention of claiming the seat of the chief once Haigalfr passes away and the conflict would soon erupt in full, when Haigalfr died three months after the battle.
The High Seat of Vaalfidar and the Hunt for Waldekur Edit
Balerod would accuse Skaldar of poisoning his father to succeed him whilst the "fleeting glory of a battle won by the grace of the gods, rather than the command of the usurper" still lasted. Skaldar's reputation has, however, protected him and he sought to solidify his position by challenging teh heir to a duel to the death to let Saarthol decide who is worthy. Balerod knew that he was inferior in skill to Skaldar, but to turn down his challenge would be to live in shame for the rest of his life and lose any chance of claiming his father's seat and so he accepted.
On the forenight of the duel, however, he would sneak out during the night and kidnap Skaldar's father, the only person Skaldar truly loved and escaped the hold, wishing to draw the Stormforged out into an ambush. Skaldar indeed followed, but knew well, what Balerod might be planning for him - he expected him to dishonor his name on this night all along. As Balerod finally faced his foe in a secluded glade outside the hold, he would threaten to slit his father's throat. At that point, Skaldar would reveal his trick, showing his enemy that the man he was holding hostage was a ruse, planted there by Skaldar himself in the case Balerod would try to target him. Balerod then slit the man's throat in anger and ordered his men to attack, only to find that about half of them were loyal to Skaldar all along and a large number of Skaldar's own troops were hiding there as well. Skaldar gave Balerod's men a chance to lay down their arms, which most of them did, with the rest being slaughtered instantly.
Skaldar would then declare that their duel will be happening right then and the men created a circle around the two of them, trapping the heir in a makeshift arena with the Stormforged. Balerod has seen that his fate is unavoidable, and so he unsheated his axe and engaged his adversary, seeking to atone for his scheming by dying honorably. After a short exchange, Skaldar struck Balerod down, granting him the honorable death he wanted and burned him on a pyre next to his father.
There would be no one else challenging his rule over the clan and so three days from the night of Balerod's demise, he would be declared chief of clan Vaalfidar. His first order of business would be to bolster the crafts, warrior training and military organization throughout the clan, with his first foreign action being the hunt for Waldekur, the lieutenant of clan Urdalf, whos life was an affront to Skaldar's honor, by surviving their encounter at the Second Battle of Etháldir Crossing, when Skaldar was struck by Saarthol's bolt.
Skaldar would push deep into Urdalf territory and finally capture Waldekur, who escaped his chief after he negotiated a deal to hand him over to the Vaalfidar. Skaldar would then promptly execute the former warrior after he declined the chance to die fighting him and instead begged for mercy. He would then resume his offensive on clan Urdalf stating that by letting Waldekur escape, they didn't hold up their part of the bargain. It was suggested by some, that Skaldar himself orchestrated his escape in order to discredit chieftain Haaldart, but these rumors were never proven or taken seriously.