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We do not know what place this is, but it's for sure the gods' blessing if we managed to reach these shores, for they seem rich and fair, and a great treasure may hold these lands.

! This page features lore from a different timeline which does no longer exist. For any additional questions ask the Loremasters.

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Sigurðr Halfdansson was a Lossoth Jarl, and one of the most famous nobles of Artheloth in the 2nd century of the Fifth Age. He achieved many goals for his people, as the reunification of the Kingdom of Artheloth and the opening of its borders to the outer world. He always supported the moral growth of his people, and the birth of new trust between the Lossoth and the Dùnedain of Artheloth, keeping the traditions while searching compromises to adapt to the new world they were facing. He never took the kingship of Artheloth, but he represented his kin at the court.

Biography[]

The youth and the War of Unification[]

Born in VA 125 from the Lossoth chieftain Halfdan Eriksson, Jarl of Norðhurhlið (that at the time was not much more than a small village), Sigurðr had a rather easy youth. Being the secondborn of the Jarl didn't bind him to the duties of learning the basics of politics, and he learnt to use hand axes, swords, to build ships and to sail. At the age of 14 he gathered his first crew in the surrounding villages, while the father was conquering other lands, and went north, passing into the strait of Forochel and pillaging the villages surrounding the ruins of the Cape: Norðurhlið was the westernmost and southernmost village of the area, and was isolated both from the northern borders of Lindon and from the rest of Forochel by ancient forests and mountains; this made the two folks, at that time, unknown to each other, and Sigurðr's pillage travel was considered an exploration attempt by most. This didn't discourage the boy, that pushed his boat every year further inside the Icebay.

When in VA 142 the Jarl died, Harald, his firstborn, took his place, but associated Sigurðr and their sister Margreþe to aid him: a wise choice, that helped the reluctant future Lord of the Lossoth to learn the basics of diplomacy. Harald's favorite occupation, though, wasn't politics, but hunting: he often traveled in the forests around the town in search of boars or deers. His hobby, though, caused his ruin: two years later, in 144, some Rhudaur hillmen that had went too west surprised him in the woods, and killed him. They were led in Norðurhlið and executed, but the discovery pushed truth in front of Sigurðr's eyes: their lands teemed with orcs and hostile men. So, Sigurðr swore to avenge his brother, and to push the hillmen inside their borders; he gathered an army, and in three years all the lands between Norðurhlið's county and the Smaller Icebay became part of his dominion, and he claimed the title of King of South Forochel. Though, the next year (VA 148), he pledged to the leader of the Dùnedain that had remained in the Northlands, Arahad, and crowned him King of Artheloth; Arahad, to thank him, appointed Sigurðr as Lord of the Lossoth.

First contact with Dale[]

While exploring the capital's library, one day Sigurðr found out that the Lossoth were related with the Dalishmen, east of the Hithaeglir. Curious about the matter, thanks to the Dùnedain's help he managed to contact the High Chancellor of Dale, and with time he arranged a marriage between him and his sister, aiming for tighter relationships between the two folks.

Year VA 150.

Jarl Sigurðr is anxious. The tribes have been unified for a short time, and he needs to strenghten his position that he managed to take with war and that had been confirmed by King Arahad's decision. He had heard of many lands south of the Icebay and east of the realm of Angmar, and he expecially heard of Dale, the far city whose folk was akin to his own. In some months, he got informations on its cities, its folk and rulers, and in the most comprehensible westron he could speak wrote a formal letter to the High Chancellor of the kingdom, having previously asked the permission to his sister, Margreþe.

In fact, she was a lady beautiful as a winter rose and with a will stronger than the harsh snow storms of Forochel, who helped him a lot in the war of unification. He could never treat her as cattle, for how he loved her and for her impetuous temper.

    "I, Sigurðr Halfdansson, by grace of the King, Lord of the Lossoth and Jarl of Norðurhlið, make a marriage proposal to Sigurd, of the House of Barding, High Chancellor of the Kingdom of Dale, Stadtholder of Bardhaven, offering him to marry my sister Margreþe Halfdansdóttir. I hope that the marriage will put closer the Dalish nobility and my noble clan, and that will help our people, put apart by ages and miles, to find again a closer bond. In faith, Jarl Sigurðr Halfdansson."

He dispatched the message with a raven, and after a month it came back, with an answer from the nobleman.

    "I, Sigurd, of the House of Barding, High Chancellor of the Kingdom of Dale and Stadtholder of Bardhaven, accept this proposal, and request for Sigurðr Halfdansson, by the grace of the King, Lord of the Lossoth and Jarl of Norðurhlið to appropriately send a delegation alongside the betrothed, Margreþe Halfdansdóttir, to the city of Bardhaven. I expect anxiously to meet the girl and his brother whose fame has run so far. Yours, High Chancellor Sigurd Barding."

Subsequently, he called at the salur 10 of his guards: they were all berserkrs, strong and ruthless, who had survived the worst dangers and were always at his side during the campaign in VA 144-147. And so he spoke:

"I have successfully come to an agreement with the High Chancellor of the Kingdom of Dale, who will marry my dear sister for the sake of our two folks. I need that you escort us in our trip, for I desire to meet these Dalishmen and learn about their culture and behavior. I'm sure I won't leave the Jarldom alone, for my mother Ingrid will be here, as she was after my father's death. She will rule on our folk for the time being."

Once everything was ready, the delegation left for Bardhaven.

***

A couple of months later.

Sigurd stood at the head of a small escort in the city square of Bardhaven, palpably waiting in anticipation. The typically bustling town centre was completely cleared for this event, the day-to-day citizenry being replaced by tidy rows of guardsmen with bright brigandines and stout spears. To the ignorant bystander, he assumed the appearance of a green princeling, inexperienced and unacquainted with formal protocol. However, his dark blue robes and accompanying emblemed red sash betrayed his true stature - the High Chancellor of Dale, and one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. He was not a lord's son anticipating an uncertainty; he was a man with a purpose. Beckoning to his adjutant - a middle-aged, short Poltzen - the Chancellor murmored into the adjutant's ear.

"Aeol, record everything that has happened here, write it all down. This is the first time we've ever seen these so-called 'Lossoth' from the North, and we have to know what sort of folk they are... and how we ought gain their trust."

"Yessir," Aeol responded, obediently whipping out his quill and tome.

As if on cue, the trumpets of the honour-guard blared their piercing blasts into the firmament.

"Lord Sigurðr Halfdansson, of the Lossoth, by the grace of the Royal and Right Sovereign of the Kingdom of Artheloth, Jarl of Norðurhlið, has arrived with an escort of ten guardsmen and the betrothed, Margreþe Halfdansdóttir! Hark!"

"Here she is," Sigurd muttered once more to his adjutant. "Let's hope she's half as comely as I've anticipated, hehe."

Aeol grinned at his superior. "Aye sir, the cold shan't have frozen their faces off, for our sakes."

Lord Halfdansson's escort contrasted heavily with the honour guards of Bardhaven - while the Bardhaveners donned fluffy, colourful brigandines and delightful plumage atop their helms, the Lossoth Berserkrs bore heavy white furs and little in the way of pomp. Their posture was daunting, their gait bold but individual; a far cry from their counterparts in the Guard Corps learned in the way of drilling. Sigurðr Halfdansson himself was the most imposing of all, with his wolf furs and hard leather armour alongside a belt adorned with some manner of fell hand-axe. Standing next to the considerably shorter, more timidly-dressed Dalishman of the same name, he truly bore the dignified resilience of a man of the North.

"Ahem, good sir," High Chancellor Sigurd began, giving a light salute. "We welcome you to the city of Bardhaven on this auspicious occasion. I hope you will not find the accomodations lacking..."

"I do not," Halfdansson replied; his tone was surprisingly jovial, an unexpected turn of events considering his heritage. "Your stone-cities here in Dale are surely a wondrous sight to behold. I'm sure my sister here would rightly approve."

Halfdansson turned his attention to Margreþe, who was adorned in the far North's finest livery; her features were indeed comely, albeit of a characteristic chiseled quality, as with all who lived north of Dale. She was dressed in many shades of green, which once again contrasted starkly with even her own kinsmen.

"This is Sigurd Barding, your husband-to-be. I've spoken to you many times about him, and I-"

"So you're the High Chancellor of Dale, huh?" Margreþe interjected, staring right at the High Chancellor. "Besides sharing my brother's name, you don't look so high to me."

"Ahem, I..." the typically refined, secure High Chancellor found himself wanting for words. "I'm not used to such an... outspoken woman, you remind me of my mother Anaris-"

"You Dalishmen are so soft!" Margreþe chuckled. "At least you're a tad more handsome than I'd give a southerner for... you've a concerning lack of a beard, though."

"I'm an-" Sigurd Barding paused shortly before continuing. "I'm not favourable to growing beards, so to say. It ruins my otherwise ideal visage."

"Oh, that's fine, I know plenty of women who think the same way," Margreþe responded snidely to her interlocutor, causing Sigurd Barding to bristle slightly.

"Now, now, don't start just yet," Sigurðr Haldfansson said, taking on a mediating role. "You'll have all the time you need to bicker after the ceremony."

"Of course, of course," the High Chancellor gestured for the two to follow. "Let's head indoors to discuss the terms of this union in greater detail."

The group was led into the great hall of Bardhaven, an imponent palace that fully reflected the splendour and the wealth of the fluvial harbor. Banners were hung at every pillar, standing for the nobility of the realm, and soft tissues from the east were stored on the side naves, along with golden jewelry and precious stones. While Sigurðr was a bit astonished by those unusual shapes, the marriage was celebrated, and the greatest feast those lands had seen in years began.

(roleplay of 29th June 2021, written at four hands with Hlodgier)

The Great Fleet of Artheloth and expansion of the realm[]

In the eight years that followed, a wide, nation-level project of unification was put in act. Artheloth started watching at its borders, conquered the Cape of Forochel and reinforced the territories near Angmar, while also creating a road system within the State to connect the main cities. Norðurhlið's harbor was expanded significantly, and the town itself increased its influence in the area, becoming the edge of Artheloth and truly the "door of the North". Moreover, started in 155 and finished in 158, king Arahad and Sigurðr completed one of the widest projects ever thought in that age: a fleet so huge to be able to reach every edge of Middle-earth.

Year VA 158, Norðurhlið, winter.

The sea hosted frequent icebergs for the previous months, but this didn't slow down the work, because the town, facing south and having warm currents coming from Lindon coasts, kept the ships safe from the wild winter ocean. The sky became less and less sature with passing days, and it was covered in white clouds. In the end, at the end of the year, the fleet was done. The biggest one the Icebay had ever seen, the most ambitions project, the fastest ships, had been built in five years. And now Artheloth was ready to step on the position of power of the north-west, alongside its neighbors.

The end of the year-long work was greeted warmly. From Orwuld and the villages of the south-east came the Dùnedain of Artheloth and King Arahad, from the far eastern shores came the cavemen of the mountains, covered in furs and bones, with their sharp stone axes, and from the Cape of Forochel came the Snow-chiefs of the Northern Lossoth, in picted leathers and brightly colored jewels.

The fleet was launched with majestic sacrifices: lambs, chickens, pigs, and some folks even practiced human sacrifices. Then, the Men of the Cape built a small ship, put in there all the dead bodies, and after having pushed it into the sea they lit it, and the fire consummed the wood, sinking the boat in the cold water of the Ocean. Then, a big feast was held in the Hár Salur of Norðurhlið, with local dances, tons of food and typical Lossoth drinks, as the fermented goat milk, and many men lost their sobriety.

A great step was done in the unification of Artheloth, for they didn't come, but the voices of the launch reached even the northernmost edges of the bay, and crossed the mountains, coming to the ears of the folks facing the northern coasts of Forodwaith, and most of those folks weren't even counted among the Lossoth, but were a separate, more ancient folk, that set foot in those lands before the reshaping of the world and the sinking of Beleriand.

Another event to be remembered happened at that dinner, for among the guests there was Guthrum Thorbjornsson, son of Thorbjorn Eriksson, Sigurðr's uncle, who was exiled from Norðurhlið after the uprising that made Halfdan, Sigurðr's father, Jarl: the young ruler of the city confirmed the existence of a cadet branch of his family, that lived in the south-western areas of the Icebay. The reunion was celebrated, and the feud between the families was healed.

(roleplay of 21st August 2021)

That fleet, though, was probably a too big project for the Lossoth. Most of the ships, at the time, weren't used at all, and only few of them traveled in the Icebay or in the immediate surroundings, as other ships did in the past, for the yearly raids. This until something changed, and partially by accident.

The discovery of Lindon and its consequences[]

Year VA 161, northern coasts of Lindon.

The ship had been thrown on the wide, white beach. Nightshade was already becoming red at sunrise, when the raiders of Norðurhlið woke up, covered in sand, seaweed and salt. Sigurðr started to remember as he saw the flaming sphere of Arien rise over the Ered Luin: they had left the Doors of the North to raid the Icebay, but, for the first time in years, they didn't pass the tight straits of Forochel: they went north, to the coasts of his ancestors, to raid the local peoples and conquer lands for Artheloth. But, in the middle of the Sundering Seas, a cloud had come from the great, legendary north-western land of Minheldolath, the land of giants, south of which were said to lay, beneath the sea, the ruined peaks of Thangorodrim: a white cloud, that had covered the sea, and every wind had dropped. Snowflakes had started falling, turning the ocean into a dark gray plain, where small ice blocks floated calmly and the snowfall had made the sky misty. Then the cloud, having poured off all his water, turned black, and lightnings fell in the calm, deadly waste of that grey sea. And a mighty wind rose from the north, pushing the ship several leagues on the opposite direction, until the mast was struck and the boat capsized, and fatigue and cold fell, as a dark and gloomy night, over the warriors' eyes.

But now, everything seemed passed. No sign of the black clouds from the ruins of Dor Daidelos, nor of the gray sea and the misty snowfall: the Water Dragon had once again kept the ocean tight on their bed, and the water calmed, and the eagles of the Lord of the Sky didn't drop their light spears on the earth anymore. Everything that could be seen was the shore, that strange beach that seemed to reflect the pure earth of the early days of tales: a shore covered in sand of pearls, with high cliffs breaking it in certain points, as if the ground was struck and destroyed on the slopes of hills and mountains.

When everyone woke up, Sigurðr called them, and spoke: "We do not know what place this is, but it's for sure the gods' blessing if we managed to reach these shores, for they seem rich and fair, and great treasures may hold these lands. Carry your shields on your back, and let's explore the inland." So, the raiders crossed the dunes of the pearl beach, and from their top saw a wide, fertile, hilly land, with forests and fields, and rare villages far in the grasslands.

One by one, they reached them. The folk seemed quite rich, but when they saw the warriors they could do small to none resistance: they all had weapons, but they were mostly light bows and daggers, and many fell under the hits of the hammers and axes of the Lossoth. They were a strange kind of men, Sigurðr noticed, very tall, even more than him, who was notably tall among the Lossoth and the Dunedain, and had pointed ears. No beard grew on their faces, or in minimal amounts, so that he initially exchanged them all for women. After a bit, he realized, instead, that many of them were men, and used to fighting, but the lack of weaponry made them easy targets and unable to defend. Moreover, their faces were so fair and handsome, that many of his warriors thought they were gods, or emissaries of gods, and were afraid of their sins.

But no god's revenge came upon them. They pillaged those rich lands, and dwelled there, harvesting and hunting, and managed to repair the ship and build a small harbor, until they heard news of a bigger town, where a powerful lord dwelt. The company marched upon the location, and they discovered it had no walls, only towers, protected by sentries. Then they waited for night, and launched their attack: one by one, the towers fell, for two warriors ambushed each; and the sentries were killed before they could give any alert. The main group entered the city, screaming and clanging the axes on the shields, and the elves woke up in fear, coming to the arms, and the town's guard was readied; but before they could do anything the city was already caught in flames, and the invaders raided the storage of the town, where they found food and gold and crystal clear gems. When the town's guard finally came out, armored in golden metal and blue leathers, the Lossoth could oppose little resistance, with their small force, and they grabbed what they could and fled away from the city. The balance was terrible for the elves: they had pushed away the invaders, but most of the food and jewels were lost, and some of the women of the city had been raped, and some even taken away. On the other side, the raiders lost a lot of members in the last attack, and they were weighted by the loot and the prisoners: Sigurðr knew that, and he tried to organize the retreat as soon as he heard the silver trumpets of the elven lord: but his warriors didn't come quickly, for they were occupied in other affairs, and the time had become late. Going as far as they could, they lost much of their loot by the road, and when they reached the ship they found that the army was already there, waiting for them. In a last desperate effort they managed to jump on the ship, leaving the prisoners behind: only Sigurðr's one managed to reach the ship, for he fought as a bear and threw her in the boat before than himself. They departed, leaving the golden warriors behind, and sailing north along the coast until they reached the entrance of the Icebay.

The days of the elven girl at Norðurhlið weren't easy. She hated everyone, and often tried to die, so that her spirit could reach the halls of Mandos: but she couldn't, and every time she failed, remaining on the shores of the sea, with summer behind and winter that started to freeze the waves. But as the chilling cold came from the north, and fires tried to timidly warm the air of the town, her heart began to open to the strange folk who kidnapped her, and she started to try and know about their uses and culture. The Jarl noticed it, and freed her, as the only one who had come from the elvenland shouldn't have been kept as a slave anymore, and tried to teach her the language, with the help of a Dùnadan sage from Orvuld. He also learned from him of her kind, and when he realized, he begged her to pardon him, and tried to learn the most he could of the wisdom of the ancient days. A lot he was taught of the world outside of the Northlands, and he knew of the elves and their troubles in the old western lands that had fallen beneath the sea, and of the origin of the orcs and the power of Sauron. And these events united much more the Lossoth tribes and the Dùnedain of Artheloth and, when the ice melted, Norðurhlið feasted the historical event which put the Lossoth nearer in power and knowledge to the Men of the West; for the Jarl married, first of his kind, one of the Firstborns of Ilùvatar, and swore to push his anger and wrath only against the enemies of Artheloth, and not against the ones who had only to help him.

(roleplay of 21st September 2021)

The consequences of this fact weren't little at all, expecially for a folk that had lived isolated in the past four centuries, knowing only the ice wastes of Forodwaith and the forests of Forochel. Total war between Lindon and Artheloth didn't explode only thanks to a diplomatic miracle of the Dùnedain, thing that also helped the first union of a Lossoth and a Nolde, Sigurðr and Estel. Their marriage in spring was welcomed by all as a sign of good hope for the whole North.

Year VA 162, December, Norðurhlið.

Summer had passed, and it was already almost one year since the raid on Lindon coasts. The warm season had given another chance to the Lossoth of raiding on the northern shores of the Icebay, and already many of the Lossoth were gathered beneath the banners of Artheloth. Then, october came, and with it the first colds, and dead leaves were blown away by the cold, rumbling sea winds. And then, after two months, when the sea in front of the town completely froze, Estel, wife of the Jarl, gave birth to a child. The father wanted to call him Erik, as his grandfather, the founder of his House, for he was the first born from a Lossoth and an Elf, and as Erik the Peaceful gave new life to the tribe he would have given new life to the bloodline of Sigurðr. But while the mother was holding that small thing, smiling at him and seeing him open for the first time the eyelids, Estel said no, for those green gems and the flaming red hair weren't common at all in her kind, even though he had the sharp yet gentle traits of the Noldor: hence she called him Forodréd, Son of the North in her tongue, and said that his hair would have been an everburning flame as long as the faith of his House had endured.

(roleplay of 24th September 2021)

The birth of Forodréd, the next year, was also taken as a good sign, and the son brough a lot of joy in the family.

Last years and death[]

In the next years, the Great Fleet of Artheloth was effectually displayed. In 164, Sigurðr and the Dùnedain Earl Cirion discovered, in the ices of the northern Forochel, some Arnorian ruins, with treasures inside of it, and, biggest of all them, a Palantìr, that was taken and brought in Orwuld, capital of Artheloth. Between 165 and 170, Sigurðr's fleet traveled in all the seas of Middle-earth, in places that, accordingly to his logbooks, can be identified with Corsair Coast, Taurethrim Jungle, Gulf of Harad and Harunnor. Apparently, some of the ships also traveled in rivers, because he came in contact with the Avari. In 171, he was the first Lossoth to circumnavigate Arda, discovering the lands that rose because of the Reshaping at the end of Second Age.

When in year VA 172 king Arahad got lost, the Dùnedain lord Dormung took his place, Sigurðr rejoiced, but was also forced to renouce, for one year, to his travels: the fear of an Angmar invasion blocked him at the eastern border, where the fortress of Akrar was built.

The next year he attempted to reach the New Lands he discovered in a new way, following a theory he had about the shape of the world: passing through the Pole might have shortened the travel by much. Nobody knows what happened for sure, but in the autumn of 173 he was found dead on the northern coasts of Forochel peninsula, probably due to a storm. He was 48 years old.

Other informations[]

Apparence[]

Sigurðr was told to be a tall man, even for his kin, and he had the distinctive traits of his family: a tough consitution, green eyes, and copper red hair. In youth, he used to wear fur clothes, at every occasion, no matter the importance, but after the contact with the Dùnedain, first, and the Elves, later, he tried to behave as the Men of the West. Only in battle he kept braiding his hair and wearing bone armor.

Influence on the local culture[]

Under his guide, Norðurhlið, for how small, became a harbor of culture, where experts from every edge of Eriador came to discuss ideas and philosophies. Though, he never denied his Lossoth origins, and did his best to preserve the unique Lossoth religion, by opening new contacts with the high priest at the Rot Alheimsins.

Personality[]

As history tells, he had a bright, curious personality, but also showed excessive impulsiveness, that was expressed in violent fits of anger when someone close to him was harmed. This, though, never prevented him to gain the respect of everyone.

He proved, in many occasions, to bear great respect for foreign cultures; yet, sometimes he was just too focused on his goals to allow his feelings to interfere: for example, he didn't hesitate to plan a political marriage for his sister just to get tighter relationships with Dale.

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