The Waystriders

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The Waystriders

Post by Ehrandil on Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:01 pm


You there! Stranger, no doubt you are weary and tired from your journeys aye? Come and sit with me, drinks and food are on me if you let me tell you a tale that you might interested in. Ever heard of the Waystriders? A human clan which settled within the Woods of Winter at Holodrum? Now grab your seat and lend me your ear, because I am going to tell you the tales, deeds and misfortunes of the Waystriders.

Introduction
The Waystrider is a clan of humans who were descendants of the Larians, humans of Kingdom Of Laria before the fall of the kingdom. Originally settled in Hyrule, the Waystriders were banished from the kingdom after a war with another human clan and thus they settled their home in Wood Of Winter at Holodrum until today. The Waystriders also known as “The Woodsmen” or “The Cloaked Folks” by the people of Holodrum since they lived in the Woods of Winter. Not just hunters and foragers, the Waystriders were skilled in combat especially archery, a skill which they took pride in.

Fall of Laria
Kingdom of Laria was a large, prosperous island kingdom which located miles away from the lands of Hyrule. However after the king passed away, a great civil war broke out between two factions; those who loyal to the royal family and those who loyal to the rebellious noble family. The civil war was lasted for years until forces of demons descended upon them and destroyed Laria along with the loyalists and the rebels. Before Laria fall to the demons, majority of Larians and two survived members of the royalty family boarded their ships and fled as they watched their kingdom fall. Till then, these Larians made their way to the Hyrule, a place that they never set their foot on before.

Arrival and Rise of The Waystriders Clan

The brothers who led the Waystriders; Geodarin (above) and Eradan (below).

The Larians landed at the coasts of Hyrule and they started their journey through the woods of Hyrule. The Larian refugees were led by the survived members of the royal family who were brothers; Geodarin the eldest and Eradan the youngest. The brothers plead the king of Hyrule to let them stay within the woods of Hyrule and made their home there. The king of Hyrule sympathized the brothers and the Larians thus he permitted to stay and they became part of Hyrule’s society.  The beginning of rebuild was not easy for the Larians, they were distrusted by the society of Hyrule since they were refugees from foreign lands and so the Larians minded their own business. After they settled their encampment in an abandoned fort within the woods of Hyrule, the Larians began to trade with the villages nearby. In order to safeguard their people, Geodarin and Eradan assembled a party of Larians who served in the army and formed a small armed group. After the group was formed, some people of Hyrule saw them as a threat and plead their king to banish them but the brothers assured the king and the people of Hyrule that they formed the armed group to protect their people from harm. Slowly, these Larian soldiers were simply known as “The Waystriders” since they often strayed away from their people and patrol the woods of Hyrule to look for any threats nearby. Then, some of the Waystriders successfully defended a village from a bandit attack. Seeing this as a chance to gain the trust of the Hyrule people, the brothers sent more Waystriders to patrol the villages nearby and safeguarded them from any threats. Seeing that they were known as the “Waystriders”, the brothers adopted the name and formed the Larians as a clan, thus adopted the insignia of their family The Griffin as the clan’s crest and Geodarin became the first Chieftain of the Waystriders with his younger brother Eradan as his second in command. As a gratitude for their staying, Geodarin made a promise to the King of Hyrule that if the Lands of Hyrule was in danger, the Waystriders will come and aid them. Few days later after the clan was born, the rebels who were fought in the Larian civil war also escaped from the fall of the kingdom and arrived at the coasts of Hyrule. Instead of punishing them for treason, Geodarin accepted them into the Waystrider clan since they were regretted for their actions and they were misguided by the rebellious noble family.

The Foreigners Who Honored Their Words
“These foreign men and women, they were dressed in olive cloaks, glimmering scale armors with a griffon emblem on their chest and warrior helms which I never seen before. They were divided into two rows, the back row were the archers who tightened their grip around their silvered ornate longbows and their curved swords dangled beside their waist. The front row were the warriors who armed with their longswords and they were readied their stance thus like their kin, they too had the curved swords beside their waist and no doubt use them as their second weapon. These foreigners used to known as the Larians and now they called themselves as Waystriders, they stood tall with their head high and they showed without fear, the way they looked at our enemies from distance as if they are prepare to welcome them with their blades and arrows.” Heldar, one of the Hylian Knights before a battle near Death Mountain.

After a few years, an army of demons descended upon the Lands of Hyrule. The army of Hyrule and the elite Hylian knights rallied and began to defend their home from the demons. To honor the promise and prevented Hyrule to fall like their kingdom, Geodarin and Eradan, rallied their Waystriders and joined the ranks of the Hyrule army. Even though they were not strong as the Hylian knights, the Waystriders were skilled in archery and they were agile warriors with their curved swords or cross-edged longswords. The men and women of the Waystriders fought alongside with the Hylian knights against the demons and emerged victoriously numerous times. However, many of the Waystriders lost their lives including their chieftain Geodarin, who fought against demons alone while bought some time for a retreated Hyrule army. At the final battle, Eradan took the mantle of his late brother and led his fellow Waystriders and Hylian knights into battle and defeated the last demon army. After the great victory, the Waystriders became renowned and respected within the Lands of Hyrule. They also formed a close friendship with the Hylians as they respected each others’ abilities. It was also known that Eradan was appointed as the second chieftain of the clan and married a female Hylian knight whom he had romantically involved with for years.

War with Vankirks and Banishment From Hyrule

Warriors from Vankirk clan laid siege on a fort which was defended by the Waystriders during the bloodied clan war.

Centuries later, the Waystriders had a dispute over lands with the Vankirks, another clan of humans who were settled in Hyrule before the Waystriders. In order to avoid a clan war, the chieftains of the clans set up a secret meeting within the Lost Woods. However, both chieftains were ambushed and killed by unknown assailants. After the incident, two clans accused and blamed each other of the murder. Without any investigation, a small group of Waystrider rangers ambushed one of Vankirk’s armed trading posts and left no survivors. In retaliation, the Vankirks launched an assault upon a Waystrider forward camp and plundered it. These incidents turned from a dispute into a bloody clan war which lasted for months before the army of Hyrule and the royal family intervened. It turned out that it was a group of cultists ambushed the chieftains and killed them, the cultists later founded by the Hylian Knights and those who resist the capture were killed. Even though the clan war ended, many lives were lost not just on both sides, the villagers who were not involved in the war also died and the war had destroyed many buildings. Since it was the Waystriders started the war, the royal family offered nothing but banishment to the clan since the Waystriders fought alongside with Hyrule army back in the past. The newly appointed chieftain of the Waystriders Beram accepted the punishment and he led his clan away from Hyrule to search a place for their new settlement.

Resentful Against Holodrum

”The Waystriders, led by their chieftain Beram on their journey to search for a new home after their banishment from Kingdom of Hyrule

After a long journey, the Waystriders settled their new home in Woods Of Winter within the Kingdom of Holodrum. The people of Holodrum viewed the Waystriders as nothing but a group of vagabonds and nomads. As long as they were not provoked, the Waystriders kept to themselves and rarely contact with outsiders. After the Wood of Winter became their new home, the Waystriders adapted themselves to the cold and they became hunters thus foragers to survive. Slowly, they began to trade with the Gorons from the mountains since the Waystriders were not humans from Holodrum. They also began to trade with the people of Holodrum but still, they were distrustful towards the Waystriders. After a century, an army of goblins besieged the Horon City and Holodrum was completely cut off from any aid from outside. However, new generation of Waystrider warriors and rangers marched out from the Woods of Winter and fought against the goblin army. After the goblins retreated, the Waystriders were hailed as heroes by the people of Holodrum and the royal family. However, the relationship between Waystriders and Holodrum strained ten times worse as the kingdom refused to send aid when the clan was stricken with great sickness and called for help. In luck, a group of Hylian adventurers and physicians from Hyrule who were returned from their journey, arrived at the Waystriders’ village and cured the sickness of the Waystriders.  Because of Holodrum’s selfishness and lack of honor, the Waystriders cut their ties with Holodrum and warned that if any of Holodrum villagers or soldiers approached their village, they will kill them without any warnings. However with the advices from the Hylians, both clan and the kingdom managed to repair their relationship but however, some Waystriders still resentful towards Holodrum.

Waystriders In Present
After few decades within the Woods of Winter, some of the Waystriders were eager to explore the outside world. Some of them left to explore the world as adventurers while others went to became mercenaries and offer their services to other kingdoms. It was known that some Waystriders went and joined within the ranks of Holodrum army much to some clan members’ dismay. Slowly, the descendants of the Waystriders scattered throughout the kingdoms until today. Right now, the Waystrider clan was headed by the 10th Chieftain Hurin and his son Ehrandil will be the future chieftain but his son’s whereabouts was currently unknown since after he left with a female Hylian mercenary the Woods of Winter at the age of 13.


Culture
The Waystriders in present mostly kept to themselves and rarely have contact with outsiders. Mostly in the time of peace, the Waystriders became hunters and foragers, often traded with nearby villages, Holodrum and other races such as the Gorons from the mountains. Not just hunters and foragers, the Waystriders were excellent bowyers, fletchers and blacksmiths, often made their own weapons and armors with their gathered materials. Archery and swordsmanship were vital exercises and common for the Waystriders, children were trained in combat and taught by the veteran warriors of the clan and sometimes their parents. Not just combat, the children also taught in reading and other historical educations by the elders.

Despite they were rarely contact with outsiders, the Waystriders welcomed any travelers and treated them as guests especially the Hylians whom they fought alongside with back in the days of the Old Waystriders. Outsiders were permitted to stay in the village as long as they respected the laws of the clan. The Waystriders also told tales to the outsiders about their ancestral home Laria, the origins of the Waystrider clan and their war against demons. If the outsiders violated one of the laws, the Waystriders will banish them without hesitation and warn them never set their foot upon the village again or they will have risk of getting killed. Furthermore some of the Waystriders showed their distrust towards the humans from Holodrum since after the royal family of Holodrum refused to send aid few centuries ago. However the Waystriders were not hostile, some of their warriors were stationed around the villages nearby to protect them from harm while others patrolled other lands which nearby to their home, defeating any enemies they found or helping any outsiders who were in trouble.

If one of the Waystriders committed an offense or crime, a council between the elders and the chieftain will hold in the chieftain’s home. If the accused Waystrider confessed his/her fault, he/she will be asked to leave the room then the chieftain will discuss with his council for what kind of punishment shall given to the offended Waystrider. If the Waystrider’s offense was small or if he/she founded innocent, no punishment will be given however if she/he founded guilty, the punishment will depended how serious was the offense that the Waystrider committed. Mostly a guilty Waystrider’s punishment will be exile but it will be death penalty if the Waystrider committed murder or treason. At times, death penalty was not always the option as the chieftain decided to send the guilty Waystrider to the deep Woods of the Winter where many monster or goblins made their lair. There, the guilty Waystrider will fight the monsters until his/her last breath with a sword given while the other veteran Waystrider Rangers guarded him/her from distance to make sure that the guilty Waystrider will not escape. After his/her death, the chieftain declared that the guilty Waystrider had regained his/her honor.

After few decades of their settlement within the Woods of Winter, a new tradition known as “The Journey” was born within the clan. When each young Waystriders reached to their certain age, they were tasked to leave the clan village and travel the outside world. For them, it was a chance to give the young Waystriders to experience life outside their village, be it as a mercenary, adventurer or a soldier in a kingdom’s army. It was also a chance for them to learn new combat abilities, battle experiences and knowledge in their journey as well. These young Waystriders were allowed experience the outside world as long as they can and they were allowed to return to their village at anytime. “The Journey” also helped the young Waystriders to find the love of their life as well and brought them to the village for marriage and wedding ceremony if the soulmate agreed. They were also permitted to stay at their spouses’ places, as long as these Waystriders did not forget their roots and humble beginning. However joining Holodrum’s army was highly discouraged and disapproved by the clan, although some young Waystriders went and joined the army without knowing what happened between the clan and Holodrum.

The Waystriders were only allowed to draw their weapons in order to defend themselves from threats. They also went to arms if they saw their allies or anyone helpless who were under attack and of course, draw their weapons to attack monsters, demons and anyone who were evil or serve the darkness.

Relations With Other Kingdoms and Races

A Waystrider mercenary who were scouting for any monsters or suspicious activities within the woods of Labrynna.

Mostly the Waystriders remained neutral with other kingdoms especially Labrynna but if an army of demons appeared in front of the doorsteps of any kingdoms, the Waystriders will march from their homes and defend the kingdoms away from the army of demons without any demands or payments. However even though been banished for centuries, Waystriders remained friendly with those who were from Kingdom of Hyrule and of course, the Hylians. However, only few people within Hyrule knew their existence since after the clan was banished from the kingdom a long time ago.

However, some Waystriders remained resentful and slightly hostile with the humans of Holodrum for few reasons; Firstly back in the past when a strange sickness plagued the village of the Waystrider clan, the king refused to send any aid to the clan even after they defended Holodrum from an army of goblins. If not because of the Hylian adventurers, the disease will wiped off the entire clan. Secondly, the humans of Holodrum were rude and arrogant, the traits which the Waystriders despised deeply. Thirdly, the rich people of Holodrum were looked down anyone who was poor. Lastly, the humans of Holodrum also had prejudice against other races especially the Gorons of Holodrum, whom the Waystriders had warm ties with.

There were not many interactions between the Waystriders and Kingdom of Labrynna since the clan remained neutral with them. However, they highly respected the archers of Labrynna since mostly people agreed that the Waystrider Rangers and the Labrynna archers were equally skilled in archery. There were few Waystriders became mercenaries for the Kingdom of Labrynna and they exchange combat lessons with the archers, as long as the Waystriders did not swore their allegiance to Holodrum throne so they say.

Not just the Hylians, the Waystriders also friendly towards the Gorons who lived on the mountains in Holodrum. During their first arrival at the lands of Holodrum, the Waystriders were suspicious in the eyes of the Gorons however when the Goron village was attacked by the deserters of Holodrum army, a group of Waystriders appeared for the Gorons’ aid and defeated the deserters. After the fight, the Waystriders explained to the Gorons that they were not from Holodrum. Since after that, the Waystriders and the Gorons of Holodrum became close allies, it was also known that the Gorons taught the Waystriders about the landscapes and places around Holodrum.

Physical Appearance and Characteristics

A female Waystrider mercenary in her mail armor and archer cap thus a silvered bow in her grip

Like other humans of the realm, the Waystriders possessed rounder ears but they had oval shaped faces and they were taller than the other humans, mostly 6’0 to 6’6 for males and 5’5’ to 5’8’ for females. Their hair color was mostly black and sometimes dark auburn, but their most distinguished features were their eyes which were grayish silvered color. However some of them were not entirely pure Waystriders such as those who descended from Eradan’s line were had Hylian blood in them, for his spouse was a female Hylian knight. A Waystrider can conceive a child with their spouse from other races but their child will still possessed the silvered eyes or perhaps heterochromia iridium, regardless one of their parents from other races. Most of Waystrider men grew their hair long and wavy until it reached down to their napes (although some of them keep their hair short and tidy), they also grew beard when they reached their certain middle age. Not just armors, the Waystrider warriors dressed themselves with cloaks and hoods, sometimes scarf mask around their face while sometimes female Waystriders wore archer caps instead of hoods.

Waystriders In Combat

A group of Waystrider Swordsmen and Rangers who were tasked to safeguard a Goron cave village at the slopes of Goron Mountains

Although they were in small numbers, the Waystriders were agile warriors and archers. There were two types; the Waystrider Rangers and the Waystrider Swordsmen. The Waystrider Rangers often wore green or brown cloaks and lamellar or scale armors, they often covered themselves with hood thus scarf mask, mostly female Waystrider Rangers wore archer caps instead of hood. The Waystrider Rangers used a variety of weapons to achieve victory in battles such as their longbows, shortbows, curved swords and longswords. The Waystrider Rangers often use longbows as their primary weapons and they used swords to engage in close combat if necessary. Some said that the Waystriders Rangers were equally matched and rivalled with the archers of Labrynna Kingdom.

The Waystrider Swordsmen were slightly different from the Rangers. Although they shared the same outfit with the Rangers, the Swordsmen were armed with longswords or two curved blades at once and crossbows or throwing knives as their range weapons. Even though they lacked of strength, the Swordsmen possessed great agility and they were acrobatic fighters, often used their surroundings as their advantages. They were fast with their blades and nimble in their movement, a Waystrider Swordsman was deadly when facing a group of opponents. A female Waystrider who followed this path were known as a Waystrider Swordswoman.

When fighting as a group, the Waystrider often conducted ambushes against their enemies; they often used stealth and sneak attacks upon those who threatened their people or allies. Furthermore the Waystriders were more deadly if they fight against their enemies in a forest, as a mercenary once said: “If you fight with the Waystriders in the woods, then you have no chance of winning or surviving.” The Waystriders considered as masters of the forest warfare and forays, they knew their way around and often used forests as their advantages in battles. The Waystriders also valued teamwork with each other; a Waystrider Ranger picked off his targets from distance with his bow to support a Waystrider Swordswoman who was charged towards at her targets.

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"Although I'm not the chosen Hero, I will do what I can for the sake of the lands."
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