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The winter fylkin are the odd one out among the anfylk breeds. They live in houses instead of burrows; they go hunting instead of farming. The winter fylkin are tougher and harder than any other anfylk breed. They live out their lives in the harsh conditions of the far north.
The winter fylkin breed also encompasses an anfylk sub-breed referred to as rock fylkin or mountain fylk.
As with the other anfylk breeds the winter fylkin prefer to live in a climate reflecting the season of their creation. Winter fylkin tend to live in the forests of the north, where the winters are long and cold.
The winter fylkin build houses and while they may have basements and cellars these aren’t comparable to the burrows of other anfylk breeds. The preferred type of house is the log cabin, ideally built from trees the fylkin living there cut down.
Due to the way log cabins are built it is difficult to expand them once completed. Rather than expanding the cabin when needed the winter fylkin simply builds a new one next to the old. Winter fylkin homes tend to be clusters of little cabins, usually with a courtyard in the middle and with one significantly larger cabin for the master and his lady.
The large cabin is dominated by a big eating room and a kitchen to supply it. This is where the family gathers once a week to have a meal together. This is also where visiting families are received.
Other common cabins are;
- The Children’s Hut; where children old enough not to need the constant attention of their parents sleep. The children of the family will stay in this hut until they are of age when they move on to another cabin.
- The Lad’s Cabin; this is where young men not yet married or in a relationship lives. Ideally the Lad’s Cabin shouldn’t house more than one young son at a time and it is usually built small. It’s an embarrassment to the family if three or more young men have to live in the Lad’s Cabin at the same time.
- The Lasses Cottage; Similar to the Lad’s Cabin, this is where the family’s unmarried young women live. This is also built small.
- The Couple’s Houses; These cabins are where the sons of the family live with their spouses. A couple is granted a house of their own, and when a son of the family is to be coupled with a woman a new house is built.
- Elderhome; This cabin houses the elderly of the family. Here lives those old fylkin whose husband or wife has died and who don’t want to be alone in their old Couple’s House.
- Hunter’s Home; This building houses those family members of both genders who for some reason haven’t married.
- Pub; Once a family is large enough a pub will be added to the cluster of houses.
Additionally there are houses and sheds for tools and for storage of food and firewood. If the family keeps cattle or other domestic animals these will also have their own building. The estate of a single winter fylkin family often resembles a village more than just a one family home.
It is uncommon that winter fylkin families live close enough that their estates grow together into one large cluster of buildings. However, it is usually possible to walk between two neighboring estates in an hour or two – during summer.
Family and marriageEdit
Winter fylkin families are large with plenty of children. At the heart of the family are the master and the lady. They’re the oldest couple in the family strong enough to lead the hunt and the household. Once too old the couple is expected to step down and let the oldest son and his wife take over as master and lady of the family.
The sons of the family are expected to bring home a wife and live with her in one of the family’s Couple’s Houses. Daughters are expected to be picked up by a suitable young man of a neighboring family and move to live at their home.
A winter fylkin couple is likely to produce children every few years from the time they marry until they’re no longer fertile. Their parents raise children until they are old enough to move into Children’s Hut where the older kids of the family take care of them.
This would lead to very large families if all children married once they’re of age. Fortunately, many winter fylkin chose not to marry but to dedicate their life to the hunt.
Contrary to the other breeds winter fylkin do not consider hunting to be a type of adventure. Rather; to them it is a natural way of life. Hunting is as natural for a winter fylkin as farming for a spring fylk or angling for an autumn ane.
It is a topic of some controversy though. The other anfylk breeds do not approve of the winter fylkin's preference for hunting, considering it unseemly or even heretical. Despite this winter fylkin persist on hunting, both for a living and recreationally.
Winter fylkin hunt for food as well as for skins and furs. Depending on the prey they may also collect teeth, bones and antlers. A lot of this is needed and used by the family, but some of it is sold or traded.
Winter fylkin will hunt almost anything that passes through their lands. The most common types of prey are moose and deer, which are common all across the north. Winter fylkin also hunt bear during the summer and wolf in the winter.
Any family member of age is able to join in the hunt for deer and moose, but only unmarried men and women are allowed to hunt the more dangerous prey. Even winter fylkin consider it improper to risk life and limb when there are children or a husband/wife depending on you.
Hunting is mostly done in groups, or hunting parties, but occasionally a winter fylkin will embark on a hunt alone. Usually this is done not to hunt a specific prey, but to give the hunter some time of peace and quiet away from home. This is considered to be a time of relaxation of worship. The hunter leaves all of their usual tasks and responsibilities behind to focus only on what they were born to and which is second nature to them – hunting.
Married winter fylkin do not hunt alone. But, once all their offspring is of age they may go hunting together, just the two of them.
Hobbies and interestsEdit
While hunting is more a way of life than a hobby for winter fylkin it is also their main interest. Much of their spare time is spent on hobbies in some way connected to the hunt. Leatherworking, bone carving and taxidermy are common hobbies, the results of which can be seen in all winter fylkin dwellings.
Something else that winter fylkin take great interest in and which is also related to hunting is food, both the preparation and consumption of it. While all hunters are able to transform a kill into something edible many take both pride and joy in going beyond a simple meal. Guests at a winter fylkin home can expect to be treated to a culinary experience out of the ordinary.
The most common hobby unrelated to hunting is producing alcoholic beverages through distillation. Winter fylkin like their drink strong and they experiment endlessly trying to perfect their recipes and processes.
As mentioned previously hunting solo is considered a form of worship among winter fylkin. The same applies to hunting in a pair with your wife or husband. Hunting, though the main part of a winter fylkin’s life, isn’t their main form of worship.
Winter fylkin prefer to worship alone and outdoors at night. The ideal conditions are during winter when the northern lights can be seen in the sky. It is during these conditions, with the snow and the cold and the unearthly lights that the winter fylkin feel most at peace and at the closest to their goddess.
A variation of this is when a hunting party spends the night in the forest and the hunters sit around a campfire sharing stories and memories. Similarly, sitting around the fireplace in the main cabin after a family meal is considered an act of worship.
In the midst of winter, when the storms are coming in and it’s too cold for any but the strongest hunters to leave the home a rare opportunity of worship prevents itself. To lie in bed is in and of itself an act of worship; but to lie in bed safe under warm furs while the midwinter wind howls around the hut is truly a holy moment in winter fylkin doctrine. Whether alone or with a loved one doesn’t matter. What is central is how the raging forces of nature contrast against the safety and comfort of one’s own bed.