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Vilkappi

With a howling cry Bjarki leapt forth, his great axe in hand, hacking and hewing and the enemy fell in heaps before him, one on top of another. Soon he was bloodied to the shoulder, drenched in red behind a crimson mist. He stormed as if insane, as if there was molten iron in his veins, as if existence itself angered him.
-Saga of Bjarki as told by Kuna Nordottir

Also Known As: Vargenar (“Vargr Skin” Wolf-warriors), Svinfylking (“Boar Heads”), Barsark, Fury, Lux.-Hakar, Neh.-Kilgin, Oss.-Furor, Gra.-Haserra, Vic.-Lonyd, Muj.-Von Si
Pre-requisites: Power 3, Combat 3, Survival 3

Summary

The Vilkappi are terrifying warriors from the north of Aeldos who are known primarily for their frenzied fighting style and ability to endure attacks and injuries that would kill others. Though many see them as heroic warriors of legend, just as many consider them literally insane and unconscionably dangerous. The path to becoming a Vilkappi requires physical fortitude and a willingness to pursue spiritual connection with the primal forces of the wild. Though anyone can feel the calling most Vilkappi come from lineages of other Furies.

Advantages

Vilkappi are able to enter a state known as a Torque, Frenzy, or warp spasm. To do this they must produce a vocalization known as a Cry, Howl, Shout, or Call. This act is as much an expression of spirit as it is a terrifying wail and once the Vilkappi enters a Torque they are able to shrug off otherwise mortal damage and access a variety of unnatural abilities that make them incredibly dangerous opponents.

Limitations

The nature of the Torque is primal and vicious and it is impossible to maintain the concentration necessary for most ranged weapons when frenzied. Only melee and thrown weapons can be used with their abilities. The Vilkappi in a Torque is also incapable of discerning friend from foe. If they remain frenzied after defeating their enemies they will turn on anyone nearby until they exhaust themselves.
Entering and sustaining a frenzy is exhausting and after a Torque the Vilkappi is left dull and feeble from the exertion.

Description

The term Vilkappi is Svertan and can be translated either as “Wild Warriors” or “Spirit Ridden”. These frenzied trance-warriors have been a part of northern culture and warfare since prior to the Urul Imperium and are known primarily for charging bare chested and heedless into the chaos of battle and emerging largely unscathed. Vilkappi immerse themselves in a trance-like fury that seems to allow them to survive attacks that would cleave lessers in half and dispense grievous injury in return. The Furies themselves claim that their abilities derive from a spiritual connection to ancient spirits of the wild known as Vilka; the Bear, the Boar, the Wolf. the Stag, the Hawk, the Goat, and the spirits of Wildfire and Storm.

While most stories of Vilkappi tend to come from the north, particularly from Svertheim, there are reports of similar figures across the continent.

According to the Vilkappi, one does not just become one, they must be born to the Calling, and in most cases there is a family element, with mothers passing the calling to daughter and fathers to son. This is not exclusive however and instances of new folk pulled into the calling are known.

To advance in the calling the Vilkappi must establish and maintain a spiritual connection to both the ember of primal rage that burns within, and the spirits that fan them into a raging fire. This can be done through vision trances and within the haze of the Torque itself and the exact nature of both is distinct for each Vilkappi.

Vilkappi are always drawn towards battles, seeking out new fields on which to test their prowess and the reputation they have grants them all the access the desire. As a result many Vilkappi have ventured across the continent, joining caravans and mercenary companies and proving their worth with steel and blood. Their enthusiastic lust for battle but limited control of their abilities makes perception of them polarizing. Some who fight alongside them see the Vilkappi as invaluable allies and heroes, while others who are witness too their undiscerning frenzy are less enamoured. For those who avoid battle the Vilkappi can only be considered insane or mentally deranged.


Features

Old Oaths: For eons the Vilkappi have willingly acted as vanguard to the armies of Svertan Thanes and Theudas. In return the Furies are granted ancient privileges including the right to hunt on royal lands without permission, to claim unused land sufficient for a personal home, and to go unpunished for acts committed during a frenzy while in service. They may also request royal audience once per year. While some Thane’s scowl at such traditions few are willing to risk angering a Vilkappi.

Wild Folk: Vilkappi are ill-adapted to settlement life. Despite the risks most prefer to live outside the safety of city walls and without the protection of armour. Vilkappi staying within a city regenerate only 1/2 stress per day. Vilkappi also find it difficult to sustain a Torque when clad in an armour that is not made from hide or leather made from one of their Vilka. Vilkappi clad in any other form of armour have reduced Torque durations.


Core Trait

Cry: The Vilkappi’s power comes from attunement with the wilds, and the most visceral and vital mechanism for this act is the Cry. A Vilkappi must make their cry in order to enter the trance state known as a Frenzy, Torque, or Warp Spasm and the strength of one’s Cry determines how often they can enter, for how long it lasts, and how long it takes to recover. During a Torque the Vilkappi has a Stress soak equal to their level in Cry and they suffer no penalties from injury. They also gain access to any Torque abilities they have developed. After the Torque has been used the Vilkappi suffers a penalty to all actions.

Ability levels cannot exceed the characters level in Core Trait

Level Frequency Duration/Armoured Duration/Unarmoured Recovery Penalty
1 1/day 2 rounds 4 rounds 24 hours -1
2 1/day 3 rounds 5 rounds 12 hours -2
3 2/day 5 rounds 7 rounds 12 hours -3
4 2/day 6 rounds 9 rounds 6 hours -4
5 3/day 6 rounds 9 rounds 3 hours -5

Standard Abilities

Wild Initiative: The Vilkappi has a bestial awareness of danger and is able to spring into combat with little notice.
Mechanics: Once per day the Vilkappi can add their level in this ability to their initiative.

Barbaric Might: The Vilkappi’s cry infuses them with a primal power, allowing them to engage in feats of physical strength that border on the impossible.
Mechanics: Once per day the Vilkappi can add their level in this ability to a Power check.

Fierce Aura: The Vilkappi develops a primal aura, a sense of predatory presence that unnerves others.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi can add their level in this ability to rolls to intimidate.

Visions: A Vilkappi’s Torque need not always be turned to violence. For some it is a powerful mechanism for accessing spiritual guidance.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi can sacrifice a Torque to access a vision state instead. During this time they recover an amount of Stress equal to their level in Visions. They may also, at the Storytellers discretion, receive information or insight relevant to their current situation.

Wild Guise: The Vilkappi’s costume of fur and horn, paired with their bestial nature, becomes convincing, even to animals.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a bonus to disguise checks equal to their level in this ability when attempting to disguise themselves as an animal. Roll Intuition + Wild Guise vs. target Perception. Targets that fail perceive them as an animal. The effect is broken by any attacks made by the Vilkappi. For animals for which they have made the appropriate Vilka no roll is needed and the guise is always successful.

Gale Oil: One tool in the Vilkappi’s arsenal is the knowledge of how to make Gale Oil, a mixture of herbs and mushrooms ground up into a black oil that is smeared on the face and body before battle, deepening the Vilkappi’s Torque.
Mechanics: The components for the oil can be derived from a variety of sources with relative ease but preparation requires an Intuition + Survival + Gale Oil check at a difficulty of 17. Failure generates a brew that inflicts damage on anyone who drinks it. Success generates a brew that extends the Vilkappi’s Torque for a number of rounds equal to their level in this ability.

Survivor: The Vilkappi’s savage attunement serves them outside of combat, allowing them to find food and shelter in the wilderness with relative ease.
Mechanics: For each point in Survivor the Vilkappi gains a bonus to Survival checks for finding food, shelter, or enduring harsh conditions.

Torque Abilities

Savage Endurance: The Vilkappi has learned how to channel the resilience of wilder creatures, shrugging off blows that might otherwise kill or wound them.
Mechanics: Once per Torque the Vilkappi can ignore all normal attack damage for a number of rounds equal to their level in the ability. While using this ability the Vilkappi is deep in their trance and cannot communicate, flee battle, or do anything other than attack. Note that this does not protect the Vilkappi from environmental threats unless they have the appropriate Vilka.

Thick Hide: The Vilkappi has learned how to channel the resilience of the wild, shrugging off blows that might otherwise injure them.
Mechanics: Once per Torque the Vilkappi can reduce the damage they take equal to their level in this ability.

Primal Wrath: The Vilkappi is able to call up an atavistic might they can employ against their foes.
Mechanics: Once per Torque, the Vilkappi can inflict an amount of additional damage on an attack equal to their level in the ability.

Furious Flurry: The Vilkappi hacks and hews at their foes, raining blows that few can endure.
Mechanics: Once per Torque, the Vilkappi can make an attack on a number of enemies equal to their level in this ability. They make a single attack roll and add their level in this ability while all enemies make a standard defense.

Bloodthirst: The Vilkappi gains strength from witnessing the fall of his enemies.
Mechanics: Once per Torque the Vilkappi can heal an amount of damage equal to the damage inflicted on a foe.

Warcry: The Vilkappi’s cry is accompanied by a terrifying display of self injury as they slash at their bare flesh with blade or beat at their chest with club. Doing so instills a terror in lesser foes that can send them fleeing.
Mechanics: On the use of their Cry the Vilkappi can sacrifice 1 health to make the requisite display. They can then roll 2d10 + Power + Warcry. Enemies viewing this display must roll a Will check against the target set by the Vilkappi’s roll. Lesser foes who fail are driven to flee, while greater foes take an amount of Stress equal to the difference.

Bear Fist Brawler: The Vilkappi has grown close to its totems, becoming more dangerous when unarmed. This ability is particularly dangerous when paired with Barbaric Might.
Mechanics: During a Torque the Vilkappi’s unarmed attacks inflict additional bashing damage equal to their level in this ability.

Fearful Gaze: The Vilkappi’s glare is disconcerting, like the stare of a hungry monster trapped in the body of a human. Their foe finds themselves shaken to their very core by the madness and ferocity of the Vilkappi.
Mechanics: Once per Torque the Vilkappi can inflict a penalty on a chosen target’s rolls equal to their level in this ability.

Vilka

Vilka are a form of Totem or symbol that represents a Vilkappi’s attunement and bond with the spirits of the wild. To make a new Vilka the Vilkappi must enter a fever trance and wait for the spirit to approach them. The Vilkappi must then satisfy the Vilka as a host before they are truly attuned, and the method of satisfaction varies with each spirit.
Once attuned Vilka take the form of seals, marks, or brands that the Vilkappi bear on their skin, and each one is highly personal.
Mechanics: Vilka cost 25xp to purchase. A Vilkappi cannot have more Vilka than their level in Cry.

Wolf: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the wolf and its skillful hunting.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi is no longer at risk of attacking their close allies when in a Torque.

Bear: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the bear and its ferocious power.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a permanent +5 to Health.

Boar: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the boar and its resilience.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a permanent natural armour of 1/1/1. When in a Torque the Vilkappi is no longer harmed by arrows or bolts.

Hawk: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the Hawk and its lightness.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a permanent +3 to Perception. When in a Torque the Vilkappi is no longer harmed by falling.

Goat: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the goat and its willful stubborness.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a permanent +5 to Stress and can roll 3d10 on Will checks.

Stag: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of the Stag and its enduring speed and majesty.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi gains a permanent +3 to Athletics and +2 to Initiative.

Wildfire: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of fire and is able to ignore its burning touch.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi no longer suffers penalties from heat. When in a Torque the Vilkappi is no longer harmed by fire, even when generated by unnatural means.

Icestorm: The Vilkappi has learned the secrets of ice and is able to ignore its chilling touch.
Mechanics: The Vilkappi no longer suffers penalties from cold. When in a Torque the Vilkappi is no longer harmed by cold, even when generated by unnatural means.