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The Aetla Hilmir were a powerful gang who tried to take over the throne of Strand, before they were stopped by Eirik and his allies.

Background[]

The Aetla Hilmir were a gang formed by Nikolas, who unknown to everyone was the son of the mender Melkorka and Helvir, who passed away at a young age and was the brother of the Governor of Strand. Nikolas wanted to take over Strand and more than a year before the Third Great War, approached the Magnus twins, the leaders of the gang called the "Vak'auga", for money and their assistance in return for smuggling iron ore. Though the Magnus brothers agreed, they wanted his gang to prove that they were dedicated to their stated goal.

The Vak'auga spymaster Leiknir soon found out that Ragnar, the son of the governor, would be traveling to Karlshus for inspections, and the Aetla Hilmir were told by the Magnus brothers to assassinate him to prove themselves. Leiknir was sent along to keep an eye on them and report about the raid, despite him insisting against it. Though the assassination attempt on Ragnar was foiled due to intervention of one of the Governor's Guardsmen named Eirik, the events of the raid narrated by Leiknir were enough evidence for the Magnus twins to conclude that Nikolas' gang was serious.

The Aetla Hilmir and the Vak'auga soon entered into an alliance with the Mársmidr, whose varl leader Kjallak agreed to help them take over Strand, in return for them helping him take over the throne of the varls in Grofheim, by convincing the warlord Vilmundr that he could bring the dead varls back to life and helping him topple the Varl King Jorundr. The gang soon became notorious and was seen as the worst in the city. They kept their recruitment process very secretive and limited, which made it difficult for anyone to join them.

Recent events[]

After Eirik discovered that the Aetla Hilmir were going to smuggle in something important into Strand, the Governor's Steward Olvir deployed the City Watch of Strand to raid them about two months before the Third Great War. Although the gang members avoided being captured and took most of the contraband, the City Watch found some of the iron ore with their markings. Olvir had Eirik take one of the ores to Gylfi, the official blacksmith of Strand, in order to find out where it was mined from.

After failing to capture the varls Olaf and Ulfvalgr, who still possessed one half of the relic called the "Gift of Hadrborg", Kjallak called to his allies for his help. Nikolas responded and offered to have the Aetla Hilmir infiltrate the Great Hall, in order to capture Olaf and Ulfvalgr, for which he was permitted by Kjallak and the Magnus twins. Gylfi, who unknown to others had joined the Hilmir in past due to believing that the governor and his son were unfit to rule, gave the disguised Nikolas a key to the under hall in order to let the other members of his gang in. The Aetla Hilmir slew the guards guarding the area and went to the guest wing where their targets were staying, slaying Olvir's personal assistant Wade after reaching there.

Meanwhile, as Eirik inquired about the origin of the iron ore the City Watch had acquired from the Aetla Hilmir, Gylfi realized that he would certainly go after them if he found out about them, and held him at spearpoint, before admitting he had allied with them. The smith was however outsmarted and knocked out by him, and he arrived in time to find Nikolas and his gang trying to kidnap the varls. While fighting Nikolas, Eirik hit the hearth of the room they were in, distracting the Aetla Hilmir as they were forced to deal with the cinders and the resultant fire. He then held the gangsters with a sheet that had caught fire, but soon realized that they couldn't escape through the door due to the flames. He then used them to scare Olaf, sending him crashing into Ulfvalgr and the boy Stefnir, breaking the window shutters and making all of them fall out onto the snow-caked roof.

Eirik later learnt from Leiknir who the person he had fought at the Great Hall was, frustrating him as it meant he could have brought down the Aetla Hilmir. He was also told about the alliance of the Aetla Hilmir, the Mársmidr and the Vak'auga trying to take over Strand, before being directed to a Vak'auga warehouse at the western docks. Eirik and his allies discovered that the triumvirate were smuggling varl skeletons into Strand after raiding the warehouse, and he decided to hold a tournament to lure one of the lieutenants of the triumvirate by getting Olaf and Ulfvalgr out in the open, knowing the gangs would only send a trusted man of theirs. He also told the City Watch to arrive there at a scheduled time to prevent any surprise attacks by the Aetla Hilmir, and had Leiknir inform about it to Magnus very late, so the Mársmidr and the Vak'auga would struggle to find anyone.

During the tournament, Eirik and his allies succeeded in defeating the gangsters led by the Mársmidr lieutenant Ottar, but were soon ambushed by the Aetla Hilmir, who were there as disguised lumberjacks, which was made posssible due to the City Watch not arriving there as scheduled. The Hilmir slaughtered some of the lumberjacks and guards of the City Watch hidden among them, before turning their attention to Eirik's group. Eirik then had Olaf, Stefnir, Runa and Hallvard escape with Ottar back to their hiding spot, fending off the gangsters alongside Ulfvalgr. Eirik fought Nikolas and soon learnt the truth about his parentage, before the City Watch finally arrived. The Guardsman gave Ulfvalgr, who was surrounded by the gangsters, an opening by killing one of the gang members, and had him drop a pile of logs on the others, allowing the two to flee as their opponents were attacked by the Watch and mostly decimated.

After returning to the Great Hall with Ottar, Eirik learnt from Olvir that it was the mender Melkorka who had passed false orders to the City Watch's Captain Dylan, causing the time of their arrival to be changed. Eirik's allies meanwhile went alone to the Ninth Pier where the Vak'auga and the Mársmidr were smuggling in an important shipment, since they distrusted the City Watch, but failed to capture either Kjallak or Magnus. Instead, Stefnir and his friend Runa ended up being captured by the triumvirate.

Kjallak found the other half of the amulet he required on Stefnir, and went with Nikolas in order to prepare for hosting Vilmundr at the temple of Hadrborg in northern Strand. At the temple, Melkorka and Kjallak fooled Vilmundr into believing that the amulet could resurrect the dead varls, but Stefnir, who had escaped, revealed that it was a trick. Stefnir's allies soon burst in after slaying many gangsters of the triumvirate, and Eirik succeeded in fatally wounding Nikolas. Melkorka unsuccessfully tried to kill Eirik with a fire spell in revenge, and instead started a fire in the temple.

As the fire destroyed Hadrborg's temple, the City Watch under the command of Valgard soon found their way there due to the directions Eirik had left them, and arrested the surviving gang members. Nikolas died soon afterwards, with his dream of ruling the city of Strand laying in ashes and his gang completely destroyed.

Trivia[]

The gang's name means "fated kings".

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