The People of the Northern Kingdoms
The Northern Kingdoms or the Norse Lands are those domains that were never conquered by the northern and eastern expansion of the Senatian Empire and many who live there are descended from refugees of that conflict. The Northern Kingdoms encompass Jutland, Dania, Gotenland, Svanhald, Nordheim, Finnmark and Lappland. Of these, Nordheim is the largest and most mountainous while Svanhald is the most prestigious and longest established, being unified by the forefathers of King Halvard some seven generations previously.
Much of the Norse Lands are a cold and harsh environment where fertile land is more precious than gold. Lakes and pines are commonplace and the people of this region have a deep connection to the earth and forests upon which they depend.
This testing environment has produced hardly people and their connection with the magic of the Earth has made them strong and long-limbed. Like in the Western Lands the sun is not strong and most are fair-skinned and pale hair is more common than anywhere else in the world.
There is only one belief system in the Northern Kingdoms, which is known elsewhere as Norse mythology. The people of the North maintain that there are nine worlds and the world we know (Midgard) is but one of them. The other eight worlds are homes to species different to men such as giants (jotuns) and elves (alfr) and the gods themselves (Vanir & Aesir). We know of them from the times they have crossed into our world. Legend and tale are to Norsemen as much historical record as the most detailed written chronicle of the Senatian Empire.