George Skard

Master of the Brewers Guild

Description:

Also known as Jorgan Skaardal. Chair of the Brewers’ Guild in the Vendel League. A patron of the Rose & Cross. Convinced that the tradition of brewing can be a link between the Vendel and Vesten.

Skaardal is an immensely fat man, but maintains his obesity without being repugnant. Indeed, he is always politely jovial, and though he eats vast quantities at a time, he does so with the utmost in manners and decorum. He is married to a surprisingly petite woman named Jael (whose diminutive form looks rather comical at his side), and has fathered seven children. He is popular within his guild, and has no significant enemies.

Bio:

The brewing of alcoholic beverages is an ancient art among the Vesten. Given the relative scarcity of grain, brewing beers and other liquors is a good way of multiplying food value for a larger group. Nearly every village in the archipelago has a brewer: generally farmers who grow their own grain. Though they may not belong to the Brewers’ Guild, their craft continues.

George Skard comes from a family of brewers centuries old. His ancestors dominated Vesten brewing from the time trade began, and have never lost their position at the top. When the Vendel Guilds were in their infancy, the Skaardals quickly moved to use their position and reputation to take the top offices. Through continued application of their skill and business sense, and careful application of nepotism, the Skaardals have maintained their leadership of the Vendel Brewer’s Guild to this day.

Jorgan Skaardal never calls himself George Skard. He allows foreigners to address him with his shortened name, but his family name is too important to drop. Like many on the Council, he inherited his seat from his father, who inherited the seat from his father before him.

Skaardal is a keen businessman with two great loves — money and liquor. He views these two as inexorably connected — the more money you have, the more liquor you can make, which you can then sell for more money. His vast fortune has given him ownership of breweries throughout the islands. He has begun branching the Guild’s operations into Eisen beer and Highland whiskey, and has recently released a vodka called Vendelov, which many connoisseurs consider equal to the fine vodkas of Ussura itself.

His knowledge of brews and liquor is as vast as his fortune. An epicure to the bone, Skaardal eats and drinks with great relish. He continues to brew his own meads, which are enjoyed as the private stock of the Council itself (several highly successful fraud rings have profited by selling liquors reputed to come from Skaarda’s Council Stock — the Brewers’ Guild takes a dim view of these activities). He maintains homes in Kirk and Västeras, a mammoth apartment in Isafjordhur, and a cottage on Eskjö, all served by a top-notch staff. Invitations to dine at the Skaardal home are worth their weight in gold; no one declines invitations to his dinners or parties.

Skaardal is a good friend of Allen Trel, and the two share opinions on how to reach out to their Vestenmannavnjar brethren. Where Trel wants to build on the shared sailing heritage between the two peoples, Skaardal wants to pursue peace through liquor. He knows the Vesten have a proud brewing heritage — arguably more pervasive than sailing — and sees this as the fastest way to overcome the cultural barriers between their people. He has a hand-picked cadre of heritage-minded master brewers whom he sends out into Vesten territory on a regular basis. Sometimes he even goes himself. They usually travel to a Vesten community with several barrels of their finest personal brew. Their job is simply to give it away — organize a great feast if they can, and let the mead (or beer, or whatever) flow. So far, he has had more success than Trel, whose efforts engender too much suspicion among the Vendel elite.

George Skard

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