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The Wolfsmaw islands are a substantial archipelago between Svitgard and Thanemarch. They tend to be barren and small, but host the many pagans who flee Genosism, and many also bear fortress-monasteries.

PagansEdit

The Islands are home to the pagans which once also dwelt in Svitgard and Thanemarch, but have been driven out by Genosism. They are a beleaguered race, because the Illegosi bounty on their scalps is a great prize to Zell raiders. To survive, they have been forced to raid across the coasts of Vosca and the Slivers, braving cruel waters and Zellish hunters as they do.

The Wolfsmaw Pagans are made up of a combination of refugees from the Northlands, and also from the Lendian Commonwealth, where a great many pagans of a different variety had held out for generations.

Each tribe and village venerates its own miniature pantheon of deities cobbled together from the old tradition. Most of the godspeakers died in the early days of the war, and much knowledge has been lost. Kunas the Storm God, Ura the Father of War, and Lyre, God of the Sea are just a few.

Their tribes and villages are ruled by petty nobles, sometimes minor kings emerge.

They chiefly make their meager livings fishing and herding goats, sometimes farming if they're lucky and the land on their island is good. Trading between islands is a necessity, and some islands who have nothing to trade or farm resort to raiding other islands, or the mainland to steal goods, which they then trade.


The Pagans lack an industrial base, their land is poor and they are essentially nomadic. Their weapons are robbed from barrows, or scavenged from the battlefield. Some of them manage to trade with smugglers for better armor, or steal it, but most of them who are armored are equipped with mail, often reinforced with small plates. Their preferred method of fighting is still the shield wall, and their preferred weapon is still the spear. Shields have proven less and less useful as time goes on, but every bit of protection helps. Sometimes, Lagorian rodelas make their way into the north, and these are considered excellent shields because they are much less likely to break in battle, and are often carried by the bodyguards of chieftains and war leaders.

Some of them have acquired Zellish weapons, though their sabers are seen as cursed, and are only used as a last resort. The shagreen coats that Zells wear are greatly prized, however, and are worn proudly by those lucky enough to have acquired them.

The pagan advantage is that, just like the old days, they can arrive by ship, hit their target, plunder some booty, and then escape before a sizable force can be deployed to counter them. In smaller engagements where the enemy doesn't have a large well organized force, but rather a small local militia, the shield wall remains viable while the wartime tactics that the Genosians prefer are less useful.

The disadvantage is that being small in number and relatively primitive, the pagans are at a severe disadvantage against heavier military-grade troops. Sometimes they can still pull off a miracle victory, but just by being engaged with an organized enemy, they've already lost half the battle. Even the billhook-armed Krajini militias can be a serious problem if they have the time to form up and engage properly.

However, and perhaps most importantly, the stratagem is effective against Zells, who dislike ordered fighting, and the pagans have also figured out the schiltrom, so they can repel cavalry if they have to. Overall the pagan way of war is optimized for small raids and pillaging, not for open warfare or large scale battle.