Nordheim

Nordheimer are a nation of warriors who dwell in the harsh northern land of Nordheim. The Nordheimir are generally welcoming to peaceful strangers. They are wrongly regarded by most Westerners as uncivilised, uncouth and barbaric.

Physical Description: The Nordheimir are a blue-eyed, pale-skinned and physically imposing people with tall and powerful physiques. Nordheimer men are broad of shoulder and hersuite favouring long but well groomed facial hair, Nordheimer women are also tall and statuesq. Both sexes wear their hair long and oftenplait it. Nordheimir tend to wear practical furs and thick cotton clothing due cold winds of the north, they are however an artistic people and also adorn themselves with decorative and well wrought jewelry.

Society: The Nordheimer have a rich culture that while being pragmatic and survivalist is also incredibly artistic and sophisticated. Nordheimers live in tribal groups ruled by a Jarl (or cheiftain) who lives in a great hall about which the tribal settlement is built. The lands of the Nordheimir are rarely fertile and so large scale farming is not possible, as a result the Nordheimer tend to keep livestock and hunt, fishing is also common around the fjords and many rivers. Like most peoples who dwell in harsh lands the Nordheimer are very hospitable and despite their unrelenting lands they are a warm people with a love of storytelling, poetry and song, they are also artistic which tends to manifest itself in the animal motifs, knotwork and elaborate ornamentation of their manufactured objects. Most Nordheimer are illiterate so knoweldge and tradition are passed down the generations orally with the wisdom of the older folk valued by the younger.
Despite their reputation for violence Nordheimer are eloquent and polite, insults are not thrown around lightly as offence taken in the north leads to short (and bloody) duels.

Lands: The cold land of Nordheim is the northern most nation of the western world. It is a gloomy land with poor soil and so farming is not as widespread as in the other kingdoms, however the pastoral Nordheimir are skilled herdsmen and hunt in the many dense coniferous forests. The most denseley populated regions of Nordheim are the coastal regions (where communities often support themselves by fishing) and the milder southern plains (where Aurochs and other animals are herded). The northern most reaches of Nordheim are sparseley inhabited for a couple of reasons, the immense glacier that covers large sections of the land, and the close proximity of Jotungard the isle of the giants (who cross into Nordheim on massive ice bridges which form). There are some Nordheimer clans that dwell near the northern edges of the Wyrmtail mountains who trade with the Dwarves of the northernmost holds and aid their attacks against the orks who try to cross into Nordheim from the Skorl wasteland, and as a result these Nordheimir tend to be renowned for the quality of their weapons and their fierce warriors.

Relations: The Nordheimer are a fierce people with a highly pragmatic culture who respect strength and self reliance, they are also a passionate and welcoming people. The Nordheimir have long enjoyed peace and trade with the Dwarves of the northern holds of the Wyrmtail mountains (whom they respect greatly for their honourable nature and prowess as warriors and craftsman), and most Nordheimer clans have a good relations with its southernmost neighbor Arnland (in which a number of Nordheimer clans were given land to settle several centuries ago) they consider Arnland somewhat softer than themselves but also a potentially powerful foe and so relations are often peaceful. The Nordheimer rarely encounter people from the kingdom of Areldan, but look upon them with disdain, and consider them weak and decadent, and although the days of the old empire are long gone, the Nordheimir remember the empires cruelty and that they were considered barbarian raiders who should be at best kept out and at worst wiped out. The high elves of Lunirien have had little cause to visit Nordheim other than simple curiosity and consider the Nordheimir a primitive people but one with nobility and courage which demands respect. The Nordheimir hate the giants of Jotungard at whose hands they have suffered for centuries, they also hate the orks who raid from the Skorl wasteland and kill them on sight.

Religion and Philosophy: The Nordheimer have a complex cosmology consisting of the great tree and many worlds that exist at different parts of it, they worship a pantheon of warrior gods and individual tribes will also venerate ancestral tribal heroes. Mortality and fatalism are central to Nordheimer beliefs and they hold that not only can the gods die but that even they are unable to change their fates. The Nordheimer gods are ruled by Othvyr the all-maker an enigmatic god who crafted the world, judges the dead, bestowed the runes of magic upon mankind and seeks for ways of evading the fate of the gods at the battle of Ragnarok which was fortold to bring the end of the world and of the gods, despite being the head of the pantheon the All-maker is considered a capricious and unpredictable god by most (although wizards and rulers venerate him) and as such the warriors and ordinary folk of Nordheim venerate Raudhyr the thunderer, a warrior god and defender of the world.
Nordheimer religious beliefs also involve an afterlife where the souls of the brave and honourable are judged worthy of becoming Einherjar (the honoured dead) and are granted access to the halls of Vala a place of joyfull feasting and merrymaking where the dead wait for their final battle at Ragnarok, the souls of the dishonourable, treacherous and cowardly are cast down into the cold earth beneath the roots of the great tree and into the perpetual frost and darkness of Niflhal.

Names: Nordheimer names are more or less the same as old norse and scandinavian names. Nordheimer surnames are either “nicknames” given due to a particular feat or characteristic or a re derived from lineage (usually the father name ending with sson for males, and sdottr for females). Strongarm, Redbeard, Bjornsson and Mordsdottr being typical nordheimer surnames.
Male names: Aevar, Alf, Arinbjorn, Arngrim, Arn, Asgeir, Beinir, Bjalf, Bjarni, Bjorn, Bjornulf, Borgar, Bragi, Egil, Einar, Fastulf, Gamli, Geir, Gellir, Gorm, Gunnar, Hakon, Harek, Hjalkar, Halmar, Hjorleif, Hrafn, Hreidar, Hrodgeir, Hrolf, Ivar, Jorund, Jorgan, Kodran, Konal, Leidolf, Leif, Magni, Mord, Olaf, Olvir, Ornulf, Sigmund, Sigurd, Sigvaldi, Skorri, Snorri, Steinar, Thorbrand, Thorgeir, Thorgrim, Thormod, Thorvald, Ulf, Ulfric, Ulfbjorn, Ulfgrim, Valgard, Vali, Yngvar.
Female names: Asa, Asfrid, Asny, Asta, Astrid, Aud, Audhild, Bera, Brunhild, Dalla, Estrid, Freydis, Freygerd, Frida, Fulla, Gerda, Gudrid, Gudrun, Gunnhild, Gyda, Hallbera, Helga, Iduna, Ingrid, Luta, Ragna, Ragnhild, Sif, Sigyn, Sigrid, Thora, Thorfrid, Una, Yngvild, Yrsa.

Racual Features:

  • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity: Nordheimer are a naturally hardy and strong race, but their large frames tend to get in the way when they are trying to be nimble.
    * Medium: Nordheimer are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    * Normal Speed: Nordheimer have a base speed of 30 feet.
    * Fatalist: +1 racial bonus to all Will saving throws, the fatalistic beliefs and stout hearts of the Nordheimer lend them courage in the face of adversity.
    * Northerner: +2 circumstance bonus to all Stealth, Survival and Perception checks made in any cold land. The Nordheimer are expert outdoorsmen and have been taught how to survive in the cold north since childhood.
    * Illiterate: All Nordheimer with the exception of Wizards and Sorcerers are illiterate and must spend a skill rank for each language they wish to be able to read and write in.
    * Languages: Nordheimer begin play speaking Common and Nordheimer. Nordheimir with high intelligence can choose from the following bonus languages (Giant, Ork, Dwarven, Elven).
    * Favoured Class: Barbarian, Fighter, or Ranger (chosen at 1st level)

Nordheim

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