Location: The Northern Kingdoms
Metaphor: The natural world
Earth is the base element of all magic of the Northern Kingdoms, which comes from the teachings of Ragnar. Earth connects the Plain of Reality to the worlds of elves, dwarfs, goblins and giants that seep through the mythology and tales of the North. When Earth is combined with other elements it creates the Arts of Wilderlore, Runelore, Eddalore and Shamanism. The study of magic in the North tends not to be as systematic as it is in other places and they do not break down their Arts into disciplines.
Where earth meets water it becomes the lore of living things. There is much in common between Wilderlore and its cousin in the West, Druidy. Practictioners of both are learned in herblore and the arts of healing, where they differ is in their connection. While Druids have deep knowledge of the trees and stones, the Wildermaster feels the bond more keenly with animals and will take the powers of nature into their own body as much as casting spells upon the world around.
There are no strict paths with Wilderlore and almost all magic starts with a brew or potion. Only the most powerful of Wildermasters can enact magic purely from thought. If there is a distinction between the magic of Wilderlore it is along the lines of complexity. At the lowest level there are cures and restorative spells to return someone to health. Beyond this are spells that give the drinker abilities he or she would not normally possess. The highest level of Wilderlore is the ability to borrow traits and powers from other creatures. Very few have been known to progress this far.
Amongst the most legendary forms of magic in the Northern Kingdoms is the power to imbue an object with power through the language of runes. In one respect this power can be a thought or a feeling, the object can inspire dread or hope, merriment or contemplation. At a higher level this can be elemental properties. It is fabled that the true masters of this Art can use their power without the need of an object at all, carving their fiery letters into the air and ground to affect all that falls within their bounds. If this is true it is hard to say, for few living have ever set eyes on such power.
The tellers of the poetic Edda are known as Skalds or Skaldr and their place in the life of the Northmen armies is well-known. Before battle they would speak of great deeds and inspire each warrior to fight as if they were embodied with the virtues described.
Many speak also of hearing a Skald’s words from afar, often being drawn to a place where they were needed or from a place where there was peril. Some even make tale of Skalds who could call upon storms with the power of their words.
Shamans (as they are known if they are men) and Volur (if they are women) are famous in the North foremost for their powers of prophecy. They are also said of a time to be able to speak to spirits long departed and see unto things long past as though they were witnessing them in the moment. Some are said to be able to connect with the spirit of winter itself and in the cold lands of the Northern Kingdoms this is a skill beyond measure.