Petty King of the Thanelands, First among his peers.
“What keeps us from the riches of the southern lands? Our need for strength, our pride, our personal glory. These help us survive the cold winters, by blade and by song, but they keep us from testing our destiny against the southlands. We’ll see a High King soon enough—a warlord strong enough to tie our lands together, proud enough that his vision will bring the enemies of the Linnorm Kings to their knees, and visionary enough to tie all our personal glory into a saga that will deafen the world’s ears. I am king enough to know I am not that man, yet I vow this—I will find this King before I die.”
—Sveinn Blood-Eagle, ruler of Kalsgard
Sveinn is the eldest and the most powerful of Linnorm Kings, and his subjects regard him as a stern but kindly father figure. He has labored hard during his reign to expand and maintain his realm’s infuence, greatly increasing trade with the many lands to the south, as well as capitalizing on the trade route to the north over the Crown of the World that links his kingdom to Tian Xia. Sveinn has also “taken under his wing” certain locations that markedly contribute to the prosperity of the Thanelands, including the dwarven copper mines at Kopparberget.
Many in Kalsgard whisper that Sveinn plans to soon abdicate his throne and make his way across the ocean to the fantastic land of Arcadia, there to enjoy his remaining days in the unearthly paradise of Valenhall. The only thing he awaits is a successor, a hero brazen enough to challenge a linnorm in its lair and return with its head, but also wise enough to rule justly. Over the years, Sveinn has sired over a score of children, but despite his best
efforts, none of them have shown the aptitude or the inclination to ascend his throne. The younger thanes and hopefuls at court form alliances and listen for rumors of where to find a linnorm in the hope of becoming the next Linnorm King, or at least one of his close advisors. A long-running joke in Kalsgard ponders which task is harder—slaying a linnorm, or convincing King Sveinn that you’re worthy of his throne?
Sveinn was born in 4632 somewhere in the Thanelands.