Crafting Motif 71: Coldsnap Style

Author: Landal Gevont

By Landal Gevont, Scholar of Goblins, Invisible College of Daggerfall

The Coldsnap Goblins who inhabit the Frostvault and neighboring subterranean regions are definitely related to the other Goblinkin tribes of Skyrim, such as the Riekr Goblins of Wrothgar or their diminutive relatives, the Rieklings of Solstheim. But their arms and armor are unique, displaying a rudely dynamic barbarism that expresses their fierce pride and, it must be said, decided bloodthirstiness. I shall try to describe their defining characteristics in terms even common readers can easily understand.

I came to observe the Coldsnap tribe during a formative period in their cultural development: the discovery of the Dwarven ruin that they began to inhabit. The humble axe was their first foray into becoming a metalworking culture. It was a simple design employing sheets of jagged scrap metal affixed to a wood or bone handle.

The Coldsnap's sparse tundral habitat leave them few resources, so they have developed into adept scavengers. Many of their belts are made from scavenged hide, mostly gathered from their own durzogs as the beasts have a nasty habit of killing each other at the slightest provocation.

Coldsnap resourcefulness might best be embodied by their footwear. Despite being a mish mash of whatever hide scraps lay at hand, their boots are always snug fitting and sturdy. A testament to the tribe's knowledge of stitch work.

The traditional Coldsnap bow is of roughhewn hardwood, like black alder, strung with spun durzog gut. In their post-Dwarven period they have begun to adorn their bows and quivers with scrap metal with no functional purpose.

Most Coldsnap bodywear is an amalgam of scrap hide, with layering being the main method of increasing protection, though bone ribbing and splints aren't uncommon. Bear, ogre, and troll fur are often used for warmth.

Daggers were the first legitimate attempt by the Coldsnap to shape metal themselves. While they had not yet developed a method for smelting, the tribe began fusing scrap together in open fires and beating it into a rough blade form.

Bracers are almost ubiquitous among the Coldsnap and range from simple wraps of fur to bone and metal reinforced hide. Gloves are almost non-existent, apart from durzog handlers whose thick hide gauntlets are plated along the wrists and fingers.

Prior to Dwarven influence, helmets were either hide or bone, with a troll crest being most prized. After recognizing the superiority of metal, however, the Goblins now widely employ a horned skullcap reminiscent of a troll. A sign of the tribe's superiority over their rivals.

In the frigid conditions they live in, pants are a luxury reserved for Goblins of higher station, warriors mostly. Lesser drudges are expected to make do with simple skirts. I believe this is also a method of population control, as strong warriors are often the only Goblins in any condition to mate.

Mostly unchanged in the tribe's post-Dwarven period, blunt weapons remain entirely made from the leg bones of ogres. Some might consider this proof of their primitive nature, but I recognize that the clever Coldsnap won't waste their limited resources when they already have a perfectly effective tool.

Shields are where the Coldsnap's ingenuity really comes to the fore. Though the tribe still lacks the understanding to work Dwarven metals, they have begun to embed animunculus scrap into layers of baser metals greatly increasing the strength of their defense.

Usually a hide base, reinforced with metal and sometimes adorned with fur. Coldsnap warriors often display the teeth and horns of their most fearsome foes on their shoulders to give themselves a more frightening silhouette.

The Coldsnap mystics have replaced the fir branches of their staves with salvaged rods found in the Frostvault, though they have retained the animal skull fetishes. It's unclear to me if the Dwarven metal has improved their magical abilities, but they break bones quite readily.

As the Coldsnap craftsmen's confidence grew, so did the size of their works, a natural extension of their experimenting with daggers and knives. Though unwieldy, the fused metal swords of the tribe are incredibly solid and surprisingly sharp.

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