Kingdom of Norland
The Kingdom of Norland is an independent state with sovereignty over the Highland Realm, placed in the frozen northern reaches of Arcas. The capital of this great kingdom would be the city of Morsgrad. In 1749 Godric I fell ill and Chadmyr Edvardsson Ruric became regent of the Dutchy of Morsgrad until Godric's son Caedric I could take the throne. In 1760 Chadmyr signed the Treaty of Novellen ending the Rubern War, the year following the coronation Caedric I took place. After its dissolution forty years prior, one of Caedric I's first acts as Duke was be to issue the Declaration of Norlandic Pride which reconstituted the Kingdom of Norland, marking the fifth reformation of the Kingdom of Norland.
Directly after the Thalian genocide of the snow elves, Vykk Volaren, a local ship captain lays claim to their abandoned city, founding the first Norlandic city. Volaren focuses the cities values on justice, peace, and racial equality, quickly gaining many citizens of all races. Volaren brings the city back to life, purchasing livestock and farming materials from his own pocket. Volaren also recruits citizens to work the land and enlists the Black Water Trading co. to revive trade within the city. After only a few months, soldiers from the nation of Haelun'or arrive outside the city gates and threaten military action unless Norland vassalized beneath them, they are easily repelled by the ragtag militia of the Norlandic peoples.
The land of Thales eventually began to turn on its inhabitants, with harsh winters lasting longer and longer, with eventually even the summer months blanketing the lands in massive snowfalls. A mass exodus is prepared by the Descendant races, including those of Norland. A great Norlandic fleet is made with the capital ship being made in the image of a whale, also preparing and cooking whales for the consumption of the rest of the Norlandic fleet.
The people of Norland landed on the shores of Athera, immediately heading off in search of a new land to call their home and quickly discover the clay mountains of the north, deciding to build a settlement there. The people of Illica arrive at the settlement looking for shelter, the Norlanders take them in with open arms, allowing them a place to stay for the winter. However, in the coming months, the Norlanders realized the benefits of the greater number in citizens and combine to create an even greater Norland.
Friction begins to build between the southeron Illician peoples and the Northern Norlanders as two leaders rise to power, Thoromir Armhank and Theodosius Visconti, the latter naming himself the ruler despite any formal vote or representation of the people. Further strife is born when the Illician people begin to demolish buildings built by the Norlandic peoples. In response to outside pressures, Thoromir Armhank begins construction on a massive wall, encompassing the entirety of Norland and the surrounding mountain tops, finishing the project in only three years. The wall is later nicknamed the “The Shield of Polaris.” Thoromir would later go on to make a total of three walls surrounding the city and one surrounding the entirety of all of Norland’s lands.
A violent uprising of armed men led by Thoromir Armahnk run through the city in search of Theodosius Visconti, realizing his impending doom, Theodosius Visconti stabs himself in the heart to rob the men of their justice. approximately 5000 Visconti loyalists leave the city in response to Visconti’s death. The size is dwarfed by Armahnk supporters numbering in the thirty thousands. Thoromir Armahnk realizes the benefits of a formal military over a militia and orders the creation of the Polar Wache, Norland’s first military order.
A number of years later, a large mercenary company named The Covenant of Mar joined Norland, offering their services to the Kingdom in return for Fort Sarrowglek, a keep on the outskirts of Norland’s territory. The Covenant of Mar, led by Zagoth Unkai would go on to fight on the behalf of Norland for a period of ten years before relocating to Orcish lands. His keep was swiftly given to Snow White (one of Guz Volaren’s Aliases) the brother of Vykk Volaren. Snow would go on to become a legendary fire evocationist and sire many children from many different wives, all of which becoming capable fire evocationists. Men from House Winter would later try to arrest Count White on orders from Voron Rovin, King of Aesterwald. Bringing Count White before the court on charges of murder, banditry, illegal use of magic, and the murder of a child. All charges were proven false and Count White was released. This event would lead to a massive rift between the people of Norland and the Aesterwaldian Kingdom.
Norland later would go on to sign a treaty with the Holy Orenian Empire, solidifying their friendship and confirming their independence and sovereignty. Soon after, Aesterwald would rebel against Oren with the help of dwarven and orcish allies, conquering Petrus and many other settlements. Norland proudly declares their support for Oren, leading to the Norlandic lands to be seized by the nearby Kingdom of Aesterwald. The people of Norland, oppressed by the Aesterwaldians, secretly help the newly founded Kingdom of Akovia against the Schismatic League, later going on to openly help the Akovians meet the Schismatic league in combat, outnumbered three to one, they emerge victorious time and time again. After several successful battles, the Schismatic League fractures and the Schism War ends soon after. Post-war, Norland is unable to gain much of their lands.
With their homelands lost, the Norlandic people begin to wander, many forming large mercenary groups and clans, the most notable being The Stormswords. The Stormswords were led by Vorne, a middle ranked member of the Polar Wache, yet a very capable leader in his own right. The Stormswords would notably go on to fight in many battles and bring much honor and glory to the Norlandic peoples. Eventually, the Stormswords would be forced to disband, as the lack of war led to a lack of minae, and the Norlandic peoples would disperse across the land until after the great Atheran exodus.
The Norlandic people began to truly rise to prominence during their time in Vailor. Settling upon the Island of Avar relatively early, the Norlandic people’s lengthy isolation upon the island compounded with a degree of inherent stubbornness and independence resulted in the development of early traces of Norlandic culture. Developing into a fiercely independent folk, the Norlanders established the Kingdom of Norland upon the island of Avar. This, of course, being achieved with the assistance of wealthy heartland merchants seeking to hide their wealth from the Imperial administration. This first Kingdom of Avar was established by Edvard, now commonly referred to ‘the terrible’ due to the events of his reign. Edvard is the first of the Ruric lineage that can be properly referred to as a King in his own right, though not as grandiose as the heartland houses his ability to foster loyalty garnered him an impressive following for such a small realm. It was here that the famous, or rather the infamous Red Brothers were established by Edvard, with the assistance of Bjorn. The Red Brothers serve as the incarnation of what it means to be a Norlander. Embodying a savage, vigorous life philosophy that fed off of the constant warfare and raiding of the times. It was at this time that the Norlandic peoples decided to assist the Dwarven Empire of Urguan in their defence against the Orenian conquest of the southern portion of Vailor. It is here that consensus divides. Some claim that the Norlandic people were hired as mercenaries, utilizing a dated contract signed by the Grand King as evidence of the agreement. In short to exchange martial service for land to settle. Others contend that the Norlanders were to be vassals to the Empire of Urguan. As the war dragged on and Dwarven defeats began to pile, infertility and low morale of the dwarves resulted in a steadily decreasing war contribution on the part of the Dwarven Empire. As a result, the Norlandic peoples felt they were shouldering an unjustifiably large portion of the war effort, despite their small size relative to the clashing titans heading the conflict. Edvard, believing that he had completed the terms laid out in the contract, withdrew his people from the conflict. Declaring the Kingdom of Norland to be a neutral state. The Dwarven Empire became openly hostile to the Kingdom of Norland, consistently harassing them and accusing them of being traitors. Edvard fled, believing himself to have failed his people. His younger brother Eirik stepped forth, declaring himself King despite the existence of Edvard’s male sons. Who under the traditions of Norland should have inherites. This prompted the formation of the three branches of the Ruric family. The Lineages of Edvardsson, those descended from Edvard, the Lineage of Eiriksson, those descended from Eirik, and the lineage of Frey, those descended from Frey the youngest son of Thoromir and youngest brother of the three. Eiriks reign is recollected with great fondness by the Norlandic people. Upon the desertion of his brother he immediately vassalized to the Empire of Oren. His vassalization gave the Emperor an additional front on which to attack the Dwarven Empire. With the removal of the Norlandic fleet blocking the Avarian Sea, Imperial troops were able to flood the Island and push the front lines even further towards the Dwarven capital. Eventually, Eirik decided to relocate the Norlandic people to the Arch Duchy of Lorraine. Where the Norlandic culture was slowly leached from the people of Norland as they were exposed and inundated with Imperial heartlands tradition and culture. Following the death of Eirik, Sven rose to prominence inheriting his father’s responsibilities. Soon he and his son, Thomas, decided to relocate their people to their ancestral homeland of Avar. Soon after this, the administration of Lorraine attempted to take them to the Imperial court, claiming that the Rurics were their de jure vassals and could not relocate themselves. Their claim was overturned as the Rurics were established as direct vassals of the Imperial Throne and therefore were not under the jurisdiction of the Lorraine in the first place. Back in Avar, the Rurics quickly rose to prominence, Thomas established the Nortruppen and recruited massive levies, establishing a large force of soldiers. Soon after the establishment of the Nortruppen, a group of bandits began consolidating in the south of Vailor, establishing the Dreadlands in concert with various other mercenary groups, the Dreadlands began raiding the Empire, focusing primarily on the frontier territories of House Ruric. Believing that his house was shouldering too great a burden for a county while the Arch duchies and Kingdoms of the Heartlands contributed nothing to the general war effort, Thomas Ruric marched his forces to the Imperial Palace, requesting an audience with the Emperor, John Sigismund. He was denied as it was believed he was in the process of orchestrating a coup. Once the turmoil had died down he returned to the Imperial Palace once more, alone hoping that the Emperor would hear him out. Thomas requested that if his family was to shoulder the majority of the fighting then they are granted additional lands and incomes to support their efforts. The Emperor ordered his right knee smashed, then had him imprisoned. It was soon after this that a cadre of Elite Dreadlandic warriors stormed the palace. Four heavily armed soldiers facing down an entire palace of guardsmen and levied soldiers. The Dreadlandic warriors cut them all down before rescuing the crippled noble from the dungeons of the Imperial Palace. This was the beginning of the Ruric rebellion. The Rurics raised their banner in support of the Dreadlands, declaring war on the Imperium with the intention of removing the Emperor. The Rebel army clashed with the Imperial army in the Avarian Sea, halfway on the way to the capitol as Thomas had made a bold plan to strike directly for the Heartlands instead of taking the overland route. The battle was joined as the two fleets were delayed by the carcass of a giant dead whale. Eventually, the Imperial forces gained the upper hand, pushing the rebels back to the Ruric capital of Seahelm. Following their naval defeat, the city of Seahelm was sacked by Imperial forces with Thomas Ruric and his kin being heavily wounded by managing to escape with a portion of their forces on the Ostavarian Manhood. However, the sacking of Seahelm is the single worst event in the history of Norland. With over half the population losing their lives during the burning of the city. Thomas retreated to the Dreadlands and remained there with his kin until the coming of Axios.
After witnessing the destruction of their homes at the seams, the remaining Norlandic peoples under the banner of Ser Hakon Ruric embarked upon the NSS Hervor and departed the ruined realm of Vailor with the rest of the Descendants. After several months at sea, the Descendants finally emerged through the other side of the portal, marking their entry into the realm of Axios.
The Norlandic peoples, being no stranger to seafaring, expertly navigated their ship along the western coast of the southern continent of Asul. Within moments, they made landfall, and with their Dreadlandic brethren, immediately set about the construction of an immense stone fortress, one that would come to be known as Fort Dunamis, in honor of the famed mercenary company that had gained much renown during the period upon Vailor. For several years, the Norlandic people, under the Principality of the Dreadlands, continued the war against the Holy Orenian Empire. During the early stages of the war, there were several border skirmishes and encounters upon the plains near Johannesburg, with the Dreadlandic forces claiming much success. However, no ground was able to be gained, on any front of the war. The war would then devolve into the use of Fort Dunamis as a base of operations to launch raids upon the northern continent of Tahn. Eventually, as the Holy Orenian Empire began plans for an invasion of the Isle of Asul, the Principality would then dissolve due to internal strife. Afterwards, the Norlandic peoples with no home of their own fled into the thick forests of Northern Asul.
For several years, the Norlandic peoples remained in hiding in the Asulian Forest. When they had received word that King Tobias of Courland was rallying support from Courlandic sympathizers and refugees, the Norlandic peoples joined the frey, once more taking the fight to the Empire. After several years and when the dust settled, the Norlandic peoples had fought and earned their right to be a sovereign nation once more. Artyom I Ruric proclaimed himself King of Norland and Chieftain of the Norlandic peoples and led his people in a mass exodus to the west of Tahn. There, they settled upon the longest island of the offshore archipelago, naming their capital the Krag. The Krag stood as an island fortress that jutted hundreds of meters above sea level. Separating it from the mainland would be a wide ravine littered with jagged rocks and carnivorous sea beasts at the bottom. The only entrance to the Krag would be a wooden rope bridge, and if the bridge was to be severed, the Krag would have all the provisions necessary to endure multiple years of siege.
These defenses would be put to the test when Dwarven aggression was ramped up against the Norlandic peoples under the Urguani Grand King Bastion Ireheart. While King Artyom was out in a coma, his distant cousin, Donovan Ruric ascended to the throne, leading the front against the Dwarven invasion. Tensions rose between the two kingdoms, and what was once small settlement raids turned into all-out field battles. The Dwarves, initially backed by the Horde of Dunamis, the Orcs, and the Teutonic Order, quickly swept through the Norlandic countrysides, pushing the Norlanders all the way back to the Krag, where they would make their last stand. With their backs to the wall and a Dwarven battleship blockading all flow of goods in and out of the Krag, the Norlandic peoples dug in. Vastly outnumbered and out-geared, the Norlanders lay in wait, just across the ravine. Midway through the war, the Norlandic peoples mustered all the mina they had left and put their chances upon the mercenary company of Dunamis, whom the Dwarves deemed not worth the money. This decision would pay off in the long run as the Norlanders and Dunamians fended off wave after wave of Dwarven, Orcish, and Teutonic onslaughts upon the stone walls of the Krag. However, each attempt proved futile, resulting in many attackers falling to their watery graves, hundreds of meters below. Dwarven siege engines combusted upon themselves and attackers pushed on and were routed in a series of attacks. With Dwarven Coalition casualties skyrocketing, they were forced to pull back after nearly three years of siege. As a result, the waters around the Krag were nicknamed by the stalwart defenders as Bloater Bay, due to the number of waterlogged Dwarves that lay at the bottom of the ravine.
With the siege lifted, the Kingdoms of Urguan and Norland signed a white peace, ending ten years of constant warring and bloodshed. From there, the Norlandic peoples would know peace once more, beginning a period known as the “Golden Age of Norland” where King Artyom awoke, there was a massive cultural revolution, spike of national unity and patriotism, and marked the reinstatement of the old Ruric banner force, the Ashguard.
Norland strived with Arytom as their King, But soon the Norlandic people began to grow tired of Arytom's reign, deciding that he was incapable of leading the Norlandic people any longer. Eventually, Arytom stepped down, giving up the throne to Javier Ruric. Javier quickly built a capital to the east of the Krag, naming the new Norlandic capital Vjorhelm. Javier felt that it was beginning to get crowded within his newly built city, so he decided to expand Vjorhelm creating more houses for his people to live in. A few months into his reign Javier was faced in conflict with House Romstun, Which was supposedly sent to attack Norland and weaken them by the Holy Orenian Empire. A year into the war The Orenian Empire declared war upon House Romstun, Javier made no mistake and quickly involved Norland into the war, This war was known as the Phillips war. Ending after one Field battle, House Romstun forces were routed, seeing no need to continue to fight, They all went into hiding, or were captured or killed. Javier's people now at peace, decided that it was time to make a new military force, by the name of the Ruric guard. The Ruric guard was to be stationed within the Capital Vjorhelm and was to patrol the islands surrounding the capital, the Kingdom of Norland strived, the people believed it was the start of a new golden age for the Norlandic people. Javier had a son and named him Jevan Ruric which he would ascend to the Norlandic throne when his father died. The Norlandic people lived in peace, and prospered under Javier's reign, Although peace would not last. Tensions between the Frostbeards and the Grand Kingdom of Urguan rose, eventually leading into a war, Norland joined the Frostbeards, Orcs, Santegia, and other nations in the fight against The Grand Kingdom of Urguan, and The Holy Orenian Empire. The first battle was fought in the fields on Haense, Javier leading the infantry into battle against the Urguan and Oren forces.. The Coalition becoming victorious! Marched on to capture a Dwarven fort, blocking the way for the main army to pass through to get to the Urguani capital. The siege ended in days, the Coalition forces stormed the fortress, only having a few Orenian Footmen to kill. Urguan dismissed Oren from the war after this battle, Leading to The Grand Kingdom of Urguan surrendering to the Coalition.
Javier decided that it was time for the Kingdom of Norland to get revenge upon the Holy Orenian Empire, for their actions years ago at a battle known as the Sack of Seahelm. Javier rallied the banners of Norland in the capital city of Vjorhelm. He called upon the Coalition leaders to support him in this war, many answered. After all the coalition was rallied, Javier set out to the Imperial capital Adelburg with a large army at his back. Just on the road to Adelburg, Javier was met with Imperial resistance, the coalition easily cut through the Imperial soldiers in a battle known as the Battle of the Bloody Road, the coalition armies made a siege camp outside the city of Adelburg. Javier later received news from a courier, that King Aurelius Horen had just coup'd the city. Javier not wanting to start war with the Kingdom of Renatus, pulled the men of the coalition back. Soon after the coalition was silently disbanded During his march back to the capital city of Vjorhelm, Javier was informed that a Crusade had been declared upon Norland and that the Crusader army was rallying in Adelburg, Javier sent his son Jevan Ruric with a hand full of Ashguard to meet the crusader army. Jevan rallied a small force and marched out to meet the crusaders, this battle would be known as the Battle of Rochdale where the Norlandic forces were crushed by the Crusader army. Jevan retreated back to the capital and begun to discuss battle plans on how to defend Vjorhelm. During the times of war, Arthas Ruric, called a moot to be rid King Javier from the throne. The day after Arthas proposed the moot, King Javier marched back with 2,000 mercenaries. He walked into the grand hall and found his son making battle plans for the siege. Moments later, Javier abdicated to Jevan. Jevan was put into a tight spot, his officers informed him that removing the faith would give the Crusaders no reason to fight, others disagreed. Jevan took a vote, the vote was in favor of removing the Red faith. Soon after the vote, Jevan removed the red faith from Norland's religion. claiming that Norland is going to be a multicultural religion. Arthas grew angry with Jevan's action, and brought a force of 40 men to the Grand Hall of Vjorhelm, claiming that he was there for a moot, Though Jevan's spies told him otherwise, not being able to trust Arthas, Jevan rallied a few armored knights and pushed out of the Grand Hall, cutting down the invaders. After the small force was taken care of, Jevan was informed that many of these men were from small mercenary companies. Jevan's knew that the siege was about to come, so he quickly prepared defenses upon the isle of the Krag, and Vjorhelm. Another moot was called, this time Jevan agreed to go through with it. Though during the moot Jevan and his men believed that Arthas had the moot rigged in Exander's favor. Jevan decided that he shall not participate in a moot that is rigged, so he simply left and made his way back to the capital city of Vjorhelm Norland was in ruins, fighting off a crusade, as well as a small civil war. The Crusaders finally arrived, a sieged the capital of Vjorhelm, the battle would be known as the Siege of Vjorhelm, a Crusader victory, Vjorhelm was burned to the ground after the Crusaders took over. Rumor has it that Jevan Ruric fled the siege soon after it was over. Another moot was called, this time the crown being rested upon Jory Ruric's head. Jory thought in order to save his people from annihilation, that he must vassal under Renatus, and that he did. Soon after he was coronated, Jory went into a secret meeting with Leitsieg and agreed to vassal under Renatus. Avalon Silversteed disliked the idea and held a court in Silverholt plotting to start a rebellion.
The Descendants arrive in the isles of Atlas, Avalon's rebellion was finally put in place, soon after landing, Avalon took a large force of Silversteed men, and made camp far away from Norland. Before the construction of Ruriksgrad, Jory learned of Avalon's rebellion, he sent small retinues of Ashguard to block the roads from any supplies going into Evermoore, the new Silversteed capital. Arbor, the Silversteed kingdom fought off few Ashguard winning only a small portion of the battles. After the construction of Ruriksgrad, Jory challenged Avalon to a duel, Avalon accepted the duel, thinking that he had the upper hand in the fight. Jory came out the victor in the duel, slaying Avalon in front of all of Norland and Arbor. After the reign of Jory, his son would ascend to the rank. Having next to no men to work with, Godden would rebuild Norland from the ground up, once again finally making it great again, although this would all be for naught as the Kingdom would be thrown into yet another seemingly religious war with the Crown of Renatus-Marna, resulting in a absolute Norlandic defeat. The Kingdom would emerge for less then a year under the reign of Torsten I Rosik, where he would proclaim himself King during the Third Atlas Coalition War.
After having betrayed his older brother Doran, Alvar would vassalize the Norlandic peoples under the Empire of Man, leading to the next five years being seen as some of the peaceful years the Norlanders has ever seen in power. Although peace did not last forever, as Joseph I, Holy Orenian Emperor proclaimed himself Holy Orenian Emperor, and crowned himself in Reza after the abdication of Antonius I, Emperor of Man, whilst Godfrey III, Emperor of Renatus would crown himself as Emperor of Renatus, thusly marking the beginning of the War of Two Emperors initially the Norlandic peoples and Alvar were conflicted on which sides to join, having many defect to the Kingdom of Haense. King Alvar would finally reach a decision and join alongside the Renatians in the war. As the war progressed Norland found itself a new home in Dunharrow, it would remain here until a moot elected Edvard II, Earl of Morsgrad in 1717. He would hold the title King of Norland until 1721 where he would dissolve the Kingdom of Norland all together after seeing it fall into inactivity. After ordering for the complete destruction of Dunharrow Edvard ordered to build a new smaller town by the name of Pinemarch. Just four years later the town would be abandoned and the city of Morsgrad would be built in the far north with Edvard II as its Earl. In 1733, Edvard would become violently ill, being bedridden for most of the year. With his health in decline, Edvard called for an emergency moot session. However, it would not last long before his cousin Vladimyr Eiriksson Rosik, son of the late King Torsten Eiriksson Rosik, would challenge the ill Earl to an honor duel. A fight would commence where the two men were at a constant duel with neither side budging. However, Edvard’s strength was nearly non-existent as the Earl was struck in the ribs by a fatal blow, with the little strength he had left he slashed the neck of Vladimyr, severing the man's throat. The final moments of Edvard's life would be spent surrounded by those he loved. Though, with the death of the Earl, many unknown secrets were brought to light. It was discovered that Godric was the secret son of Edvard being kept under the custody of Aeyn, when Edvard II had him he was merely nineteen and not responsible enough to look over children. The two would fall to the ground and begin to bleed out. After the death of Edvard II his son Godric I, Duke of Morsgrad would take up the mantle of the Earl of Morsgrad in 1733, Godric notably founded the Alliance of Independent States, this alliance would fight the Holy Orenian Empire in the Rubern War shortly after its establishment. In 1749 Godric fell ill and Chadmyr Edvardsson Ruric began to act as regent until Godric's son Caedric I would be able to take the throne. In Chadmyr's time as regent, he notably ended the Rubern War in 1760 with the Treaty of Novellen. In 1761 Caedric I would take the throne ending Chadmyr's regency, soon after in 1764 the Declaration of Norlandic Pride was issued reforming the Dutchy of Morsgrad into Kingdom of Norland.
The geography of Norland consists of varying terrain such as rolling hills, to vast, empty plains, thick forests, and several outlying islands with steep cliffs jutting several hundred feet above the water’s surface.
Culture and Society
Norlandic society is normally tolerant to most races. Anyone can rise to success should they show prowess. On top of that, Norlandic society contains a large warrior caste, with many of the males enlisting in the Ashen Legion or various other military entities. There is a belief in Norlandic society that if you were to die, it should be with a weapon in your hand.
A common misconception of Norland is that they 'worship' the Ashwood Tree, the tree serves as a symbol of Norland and is featured on the heraldry of the Rurikid. The tree is also highly regarded in Norland for its sap's alcoholic properties.
The Kingdom of Norland is ruled via absolute monarchy with subsidiary Jarls, the King is advised by his Council.
The majority of Norlanders make their fortune by hunting and gathering, very few produced goods originating from Norland itself. On top of that, the Kingdom would have a relatively large agricultural and fishing base being seated upon fertile lands and by the waterfront.
All arts were considered useless and to serve no purpose until the Reign of King Eirik, where he promoted works of all arts, Bardic arts and otherwise, his son Sven soon went on to become a renowned bard and later the Paragon of Music and Poetry.
The majority of Norlanders adhere to the religion of the Red Faith.