The Skyldings follow an oral tradition, with the epics of their ancestors handed down through generations of stories by the fire. Fortune favours the bold and the highest achievement for a Skylding is to have their story told, sung or rhymed by a Skald.
Skalds are the poets, musicians, and storytellers. They are held in extreme favour and privilege in the community, and often find themselves with more friends and favours than they know what to do with.
The study of runes is the domain of scholarly Skalds, Godi, some Seidr who use them to channel magic, and runesmiths. While this isn’t an uncommon skill, it is a knowledge that requires many years of dedication. Runes are known to have some inherent magical force and are seen as a link to the divine.
There is an elite order of Skalds known as the Hrutar or Ramskins who beat the war drums in battle. The war drum holds a special significance in Skylding battles. Symbolising the ‘heartbeat’ of the clans it is known to somehow activate the blood used in the tattoos of all Skyldings who can hear it, and imbues them with the will to carry on.
It was always a mystery why the origin of the Hrutar was not known. This was discovered when a spirit quest was conducted on the cursed drum that was traded to the Skyldings by a dwarf. The founder of the Hrutar, was an arrogant Skald who was cursed into obscurity for their pride. They drum was also cursed, to cast a curse upon the one who carries them, and must be willingly take to be traded away.
The most notable Ramskins amongst the Skyldings are: Svaatali Tovesdotter, known for her healing hands and beautiful singing voice, also as the mother of Skylda; Arnvi Synsdotter, known for her quick wit and steady hand on the drum, also as the mother of Wylf; Hillievi Torunnsdotter, who was the Skati of Clan Aldrnari for a time, known for her epic storytelling.