It is my great pleasure to invite you to the Áibhéil of my eldest daughter Imlaí. As you know, the Áibhéil is a sacred tradition for my people, and what is heard there is not to be repeated elsewhere. Many of my cousins are wild and free, and I hope you will listen to the stories of their deeds without becoming alarmed or offended.
Please join us at my lodge in Radharcréalt by the light of the first summer moon.
Rider of Garrtionál”
Who are the Wildlings?
The Wildlings are people touched by the power of nature, who feel a kinship with the land, the trees and beasts. They are one of the playable species in Five Oaths, and they bring a wilder aspect to the game which the other “civilised” species will never truly understand. If you’re playing a Wildling, your character could be a skilled guide who has been to the depths of the Great Forest and survived. They could also be a renowned herbalist, who knows the names and uses of every plant of Tirneach, and can coax them to grow where everyone else gives up the soil as barren. Both characters are eager to share their accomplishments and prowess with others.
Wildlings are distinguished from the other species by the mark that their connection to nature has left on their face. The Wildlings call this their glamour, while other species dismiss this as yet another Wildling boast and call it less kind names such as the mark of the Gwyllt. Wildlings are found most often in two of the Five Realms: Bruid and Siabhal.
Those found in Bruid are called Forest Wildlings, and their glamour emphasises the fierce glory of nature in its feral form. They are red in tooth and claw, and they have fangs to match their glamour, which covers their face and hands in thorny vines, brambles, or the leaves of poisonous plants. Forest Wildlings see themselves as the only true Wildlings and by and large shun larger settlements, preferring the woods or the edges of smaller settlements where they can feel at one with nature. They are renowned hunters and trackers, taking game from the Great Forest to eat, or to trade with villages for anything they cannot make themselves. Some more superstitious folk claim that they are still beholden to the Gwyllt, and break bread with the monsters that haunt the forests. Most Forest Wildlings respond to these allegations with a silent, toothy grin and unnerving stare.
The Wildlings found in Siabhal are the Field Wildings, often derogatively called Tamelings by their Forest cousins. Most of the Field Wildings live in Siabhal alongside the Leasiar and the other species. Their glamour is green and verdant, and reflects the calmer and more nurturing side of nature, imitating fruit, berries, grass or crops. They can be found tending the fields, harvesting the crops and caring for the livestock. Fielding Wildings take the experience of the Leasiar and tempering it with the innate bond they feel to the land. Some say the Leasiar have tamed them and made them useful. The Field Wildlings respond that they have given the Leasiar an appreciation for living in the present. They have helped the Leasiar find a connection to nature, while they themselves have merely adapted to a life where they aren’t starving or in constant danger of being eaten by wolves.
Regardless of whether their glamour marks them as Forest or Field, the Wildlings have a rich culture of storytelling and often measure personal success by the experience you have had and the stories you have to tell. Both Field and Forest have a tradition called the Áibhéil, when they gather to tell their stories. The first Áibhéil in a Wildling’s life is a very important moment, and seen as final rite of passage to adulthood. For Field Wildings it tends to be a party, with lavish feasting in a comfortable hall, whereas the Forest Áibhéil is a rowdier affair in the heart of the woodland around a campfire.
Origins of the Wildlings
The Wildlings tell many stories of their species’ birth. The most common thread through these stories is that they were given life to be one with nature in all its forms. Some stories say that the Shaper grew exasperated with the other species, who huddled in their huts out of fear of the outside world, and so they made the Wildlings to take joy both in nature’s bounty and its danger and to confirm the beauty of the Shaper’s creation. Other stories say that the land itself felt great sorrow at the uncaring way which the other species treated it, and begged the Shaper to make a people who would respect and love the land.
Of course there are other stories, less favourable to the Widlings and mostly told by other species, that link the Wildlings strongly to the Gwyllt. These stories say that the Wildlings were once humans or perhaps a different species since disappeared, that strayed too close to the wild places where the Gwyllt hold sway, and fell under their spell. How else do you explain the fearsome aspect of Forest Widllings, and the strange powers that Field Wildlings possess? Some Wildlings who tell these stories too (often with grim satisfaction) say that it’s true, the Wildlings were under the sway of the Gwyllt, just as all the lands of Tirneach were before the Réig liberated them using the power of the Shaper. Now that the Wildlings and Tirneach are free of the Gwyllt, they are the Gwyllt’s most implacable foes, since they know the vile powers that the Gwyllt use to corrupt and twist the natural order.
Playing a Wildling
When playing a Wildling, your character should clearly display their glamour. This will be facepaint or makeup which shows them to be either a Forest or Field Wildling. Glamour on your face is required, glamour on other areas such as hands is completely optional, as we know it’s a pain to maintain and to clean afterwards! Field Wildling’s glamour will evoke the verdant and gentle aspect of nature, while Forest Wildings can wear fangs and their glamour should evoke the brutal and vibrant aspect of nature.
Wildling characters start with the One With The Land Feat, which means that the beasts of the forest and field recognise the Wildlings as part of the natural cycle. Wildlings can find, soothe and befriend beasts; and they also have an innate talent for farming and for hunting that yields them benefits.
Both Forest and Field Wildlings are common in the gallóglaigh, where their skills, courage and good cheer make them good comrades-in-arms. The two types of Wildling tend to clash when they are first united in a band of gallóglaigh, with Field Wildlings considering Forest Wildlings brutal and cruel while Forest Wildlings consider Field Wildlings to be weak-willed and docile. After a while and many missions together, however, the Wildlings in a band tend to find they have more in common with each other than with the other species who do not share their bond with nature.
The lifespan of Wildlings
Average life expectancy: 75-90
Maximum life expectancy: 130
Common causes of death: Combat, beast/Gwyllt attacks, old age.
How Wildlings view the other Species
Creidhe: At best, they support the lives of more interesting people.
Drakeblooded: Listen to stories about ancestors, cut them off when they start talking about themselves.
Fathach: Stories are told about Reígs, not their faceless horde of soldiers.
Firetouched: They will happily trade songs for stories, make sure you get a good deal.
Humans: Travel with a human when you can. Their antics lend excellent comic relief to any story.
Krieger: The best neighbours we could hope for, they always make life interesting.
Leasiar: Friendly is not tame, and they need to remember that.
Vartach: How could any being be so powerful with magic as they claim to be, and not be Gwyllt touched? They must be tremendous liars.
Some Wildlings You May One Day Meet…
Fiainfaobhar is the Rider of Sciatrian in the east of the Realm of Siabhal. Even though Siabhal is mostly safe for its many farmers and homesteaders, there are still areas where the Gwyllt’s influence is strong. In these places, the Ridings are generally claimed by soldiers and warriors who can fight the evil creatures that emerge, and strangely few of the old families hold these Ridings. Sciatrian is one such Riding. Fiainfaobhar was born in Siabhal, but he left it behind for many years to join the gallóglach. He fought against the Gwyllt’s creatures many times in his career. Now that he has risen to the Tiarnaí, he leads his militia against them to protect what is his, to bring glory to the Shaper, and to dispel rumours about his people being more loyal to the Gwyllt than to the Réig.
Imlaí is a young Forest Wildling, about to experience her first Áibhéil, which marks the beginning of adulthood for a young Wildling. Her mother Iona is the Rider of Garrtionál, which is within the Great Forest. Imlaí is both excited and nervous about the Áibhéil. She has lived a life of comparative ease, though she has been on many hunts and long journeys through the Great Forest. Will her mother’s wilder cousins dismiss her stories as a child’s wittering, and say she isn’t ready to be recognised as an adult? It’s happened before…
Caolfhionn is a Field Wildling gallóglach in the Skysplitters, a band of some renown. She’s been on campaign with them for three years now. At first the rest of the band thought she wouldn’t last, how could someone whose face was marked with fields of wheat swaying in the wind fight alongside Krieger, Forest Wildlings and other fearsome folk? She has proved them wrong many times since, showing the grit, determination and stamina which you need to tend the land when the winter storms come. She knows how to behave herself when it comes to dealing with merchants and Tiarnaí too, which has come in handy more than once.