As the marines searched the massive Nidhogg it quickly became apparent that they would be marooned for a long time. Base camps were established to allow excursions further into the ancient hulk. As the supply routes and base camps became more secure the survivors from Herjolfsnes began to move from the Jotenheim to staff supply and salvage operations. The network of camps spread, radiating out from the Jotenheim and deeper into the labyrinthine space hulk. Over time these camps developed into full scale settlements as the survivors grew accustomed to the twisted landscape of wreckage. Before the proper materials had been found to repair the Jotenheim over 150 years had passed and generations of “Forsuttenstam” had known Nidhogg as home.
Recognizing that their Great Company would have long ago been removed from the Grand Annulus of the Space Wolves, the Black Wolves swore an oath of exile until they could correct their failure by regaining Herjolfsnes or exacting vengeance against the Demon Lord who had claimed it. The shame of defeat still fresh in their minds, they painted black over their chapter markings and became the “Reavers.”
For almost 400 years the Reavers and Forsuttenstam have remained on Nidhogg. In that time large sections have been reclaimed for habitation, production facilities, and landing bays for the Reavers’ fleet. Well maintained systems of communication and trade ensure that the settlements remain connected and productive under the guidance of the Reavers. Though benefitting from rapid technological advancement at the hands of the Reavers, the Forsuttenstam retain much of the tribal culture carried on from their days on Herjolfsnes. There are very few areas on Nidhogg large enough to support more than a few dozen people and for most, daily life essentially revolves around ones tribe consisting of several family units.
Vast areas of Nidhogg remain uninhabited and even unexplored. Within these areas lurk orks, genestealers, and whole mutated ecosystems. Even the settled areas of Nidhogg are not completely safe, constant vigilance is necessary to keep the other inhabitants at bay. The warriors of each tribe must protect their settlement from the dangers of the hulk, and bands of warriors travel set off on salvage and exploration missions into the ‘wilderness.’ The survival of the Forsuttenstam depends upon a steady supply of hearty warrior culture, and it is from the best of these warriors that new Reavers are recruited.
In addition to the resources salvaged from aboard Nidhogg, the Reavers also gather what they can from outside the space hulk. Search parties are sent aboard derelict ships that pass by to check for usable materials. Though most Imperial and many Xenos ships that pass are ignored conflict is inevitable. The Reavers have built large ordinance batteries across the outer hull of Nidhogg and don’t hesitate to use them when deemed necessary. Once a ship has been crippled by the heavy weaponry swarms of boarding craft are sent to claim anything of value. When possible whole wrecks are brought aboard or tethered to the hull of Nidhogg so the entire ship may be salvaged or broken down for scrap.
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