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The Known World > The Northlands

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The Northlands
When citizens of the Empire think of the Black Forest, they think of the Emperor’s city of Astoria, backward Baronies, and trees. Sometimes Angel’s Reach occurs, but it is thought of as a primitive, frontier hamlet with little to do with the Empire. And north of that? Why, nothing.
This is not the case. The land from Angel’s Reach into the southern edge of the Florentian Alps is known as the “North Country.” Still technically part of the Empire, this region enjoys autonomy and freedom from most of the cultural and religious restrictions found in the rest of the Imperium. For the most part, its human residents do not even acknowledge the Empire, and its non-human residents even less so, pursuing their own racial allegiances.

Wilderness

Geographically, it is similar to Canada and Alaska…dense woods, icy rivers and streams, deep mirrored lakes, granite hills, and the snow-capped Alps. Rich with life and game, it is a wild land where settlements are few, and the human population far from dominant. No sweeping cathedrals, no endless fields of sun-warmed grapes, no incessant hum of human activity.
Roads are either twin wagon ruts or simple paths. Bridges are generally made of logs, or are simple shallow crossings. Structures are predominantly log and wood, with some stone for places of importance or wealthy residents. Roofs are steeply pitched, and all windows have heavy shutters to guard against the elements. Construction style is generally Germanic and Alpine.
Weather… Spring is brief, cool and glorious as the snows recede and meadows bloom with wildflowers. Summer is short, around 70 degrees, and is the most active time for most residents, human and non. Fall, the “Season of Death,” comes on fast and chilly, as the forests explode with color. And then Winter, the “Old Man,” long and brutal and merciless, with raging blizzards, deep snow, frozen waterways, and a killing cold. Most dwellers spend the summer preparing to hide in safety during the long winter months, although there are some humans who travel and work outdoors during these months, and as many winter predators out prowling for their next meal.

There is no real Imperial presence here. People live, tend to their own affairs, and settle their own problems. Similarly, there is little Church influence here, and what little there is, is overshadowed by the “Pagan” faiths of nature and little-known deities. There is a great deal of tolerance, and although hate and violence exist, there is respect among enemies.
Its proximity to Llhona makes for strong Elven influences on all aspects of life, and since it is an open border, there is trade and travel. The Common tongue is spoken here, accented with a German or Nordic touch, and Elvish is just as common. Leather, fur, claws and horn are common elements of clothing and armor. Weapons are heavy and reliable…no fancy rapiers up here!
Even those people who do not worship the pagan gods have a deep respect (and fear) for nature, animals and the environment. They know they live off the land, not the other way around.

The people here are strong, hardened by the elements, and independent. They stand on their own and make their own fortunes, free from Imperial and Church tyranny.

Size: Wilderness area
Population: Around 5,000 Humans, Elves, Half Elves, Gnomes, Dwarfs
Places of interest
CONRAD BARONY (“The Last Barony”)
CONRAD CASTLE
TANNER
WHISTLE
EAST SELKIRK
BARDAVON TOWER
THE VERVE
BRIGAND’S FOLLY
SHRINE of TALONS
WHITE WOLF
SHRINE of OWLS
SHRINE of CLAWS
MOON CIRCLE
DOOREI
LLHONA
FAL’LACH
FEL COUNTY
MANTICORE KEEP
DEADWIND
MILLER’S GLADE
DUSKIN MINE
RAZOR PASS
SHADOWFANG CASTLE
HOBGOBLIN HILLS
RED HARVEST VALLEY
ILIX SUMMIT
ANVIL ROCK SPIRE
TAURIAN VALLEY
BLOODHOOF
LONGBEARD FERRY
DER KRELLING
HIGH CROSSING
WINTER FALLS
LIGHTHOUSE GATE
LOCH VERNESS
PORT ICARUS
STURMFRAY PASS
THUNDER HALL – Lower Gate of Delmharven
THE KRIEG

Government
As a rule there is little influence here by the empire. Each village is responsible for its own justice. Due to the remoteness of this area and the dangerous nature of the region justice is often swift and final.