Bjern towered over Astrid, resting a small branch on his shoulder like it was a heavy greatsword. Bjern had grown much faster than the other children, so he always played the role of the fearsome Jarl.
“Behold,” Bjern grumbled, trying to make his juvenile voice deep. “I have come to crush this small village. Who will stop me?”
“I will!” Astrid exclaimed, tipping her mother’s helm backwards so she could see the face of her foe. “I, Astrid Grímsdóttir, Steward of Valefall, will defeat you!”
The other children cheered as she moved slowly towards Bjern, her small muscles straining to carry a shield as large as herself and almost as heavy.
“You have no weapon, Steward, what could you possibly do to stop me?” Bjern asked, slamming his stick into the ground for effect and prompting gasps from the crowd.
“The only weapon I need,” Astrid tapped her temple. “Is right here. I can outsmart any Giant.”
This incited Bjern. He brought his stick up and roared.
Astrid ducked beneath her shield and felt the stick bounce off it feebly. She closed her eyes. Now she was a mighty Steward, another in a long line of proud warriors, and her shield was deflecting fatal blows from a furious Giant. Astrid smiled. She felt unstoppable.
She gripped the shield and pushed with all her force, grunting as she rammed the thick wood into Bjern’s side. The boy cried out and toppled.
Astrid set the shield down and grabbed the stick. Gently, she tapped the boy on the forehead.
The children all cheered. Astrid raised her arms high and cheered alongside them.
Years later, Astrid knelt on sodden ground, surrounded by bodies both human and Giant. Blood trickled from her mouth and onto the tabard of her clan, soaking through to the chainmail beneath. The few surviving Giants beat a clumsy retreat back into the forest, and Astrid turned to see that the wall of Valefall still stood.
She raised her shield—an heirloom passed down from her mother, and from her mother before that—and let out a victorious cheer. From the battlements, her warriors cheered alongside her.
Stewards are a Gray Specialization who focus on being the best armed fighters on the battlefield. They wear the heaviest armor and fight with large hammers, smashing their way through their foes. Like Jarls, they pride themselves on the clans they represent, and wear their sigils into battle on tabards and banners.
Stewards can crush foes with bone-shattering blows, and even if their attacks don’t kill, they can leave an opponent Stunned. Sometimes, removing a resource from your opponent can do more harm than damaging them would, and Stewards have more tools that allow them to Stun than any other Specialization.
But what sets the Steward apart is not their ability to deal damage, but their ability to absorb it. They are the only combatants in the Skels that utilize a shield while they fight, and this defensive focus comes across mechanically through their heavy emphasis on Mitigate.
Many Steward cards, like Banner of the Steward, allow you to gain a large amount of Mitigate, which allows you to stay in the fight as long as you need. Should your opponent decide to wait and let the Mitigate go away, then the Steward has a chance to play more cards and get further ahead through the use of Stuns or more recurring Mitigate effects.
Raise your shield high and honor your clan on the battlefield as the Steward!
Grab a copy of Winterstorm to play as this Specialization!