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Ostland (Kingdom of)

Location: Off the coast of the Sea of Dawn, east of Vestland and south-east of Heldann.
Area: 8,920 sq. mi. (20,070 km2)
Population: 131,000 humans
Languages: Heldannic.
Coinage: Krona (gp), Eyrir (sp) and Oren (cp).
Taxes: None. All revenue is gained through raids into other nations.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Piracy, agriculture (grain, potatoes, and beets), fishing, logging, and trade.
Important Figures: Finn Hordson (King, human, male, F5), Yrsa Svlasdottir (Queen-mother of King, human, female, P10 of Odin), Asgrim the Bowed (Royal adviser, human, male, P15 of Odin)
Flora and Fauna: Sheep, horse, cattle, goats, dogs, deer, elk, and brown bears can be found on the islands of Ostland. The forests are composed of ash, yew, and conifers.
Further Reading: GAZ7 - The Northern Reaches, AC1010 - Poor Wizard's Almanac to AC1012 - Poor Wizard's Almanac 3, and Joshuan's Almanac.

Description: by Misha Mananov

Surely Halav has blessed me to allow me to visit such wondrous places far beyond the lands of Traladara. I deem it but a small task to write about these places so that others can learn and experience the same sense of wonder that I have.

The Land

Ostland is composed of several relatively flat islands just off the shore of the mainland. Only Noblo Island has any form of high relief, with small mountains on its eastern shores. With only a few forests scattered about the land, the cold winter winds have nothing to block their entry into the homes of the Ostlanders. These freezing winters would seem like a bad omen to most people in Karameikos, yet to the hardy northmen it is simply a winter like any other.

Still, the other seasons are much warmer, allowing the hard working Ostlanders a long and blessed growing season for their agriculture.

Ostlanders live in small villages, usually composed of just a single clan. Everyone in such a village is therefore a blood brother, so they eagerly give each other aid when needed. Noblo Island is well populated with such clan settlements, having almost all cultivable lands used for their grain and potatoes fields.

The other islands of the nation are sparsely populated and much more wilder than Noblo.

The People

Above anything, the Northmen honour bravery and scorn the weak. The civilised way of words used by the Thyatians and Minrothaddans who visit their nation is dishonourable in their point of view. They fear nothing, not even the darkness of eternal death, and march off to battle foes even when hopelessly outnumbered. To a northman, death in battle is the only method of finding happiness in the afterlife.

Ostlanders give praise to their divine Gods [the "Gods" of the Northern Reaches are merely Immortals. The northerners simply call them Gods, much like the hin call their Immortals "Heroes" after the title they received when they were mortal. Ed.], just as any respectful people should. They maintain their ancient traditions and customs, despite many pressures from foreign powers to change. This is what I admire about them, having felt similar feelings of dishonouring Halav back home with the blending of Traladaran and Thyatian cultures. The reverence for Odin and Thor runs deep in their blood, and never will they accept any insults to their beliefs.

Yet they are quick to anger at any insult upon them, not just those toward their Gods. Battles to the death over a perceived wrong is commonplace here, and to be called a coward afraid to fight is the worse insult imaginable to them. And they do not forgive as easily as you or I; an enemy made is often for life.

Of the three Northern Reaches nations, Ostland is still practising pirating and raiding of foreign nations. And they do not deny it when accused either. They view such raids as tests of manhood, and that only the weak whine about their fate. To most, such plundering is violent and brutal, but to the Ostlanders, it is a way of life.

Recent Events

During the Wrath of the Immortals, King Hord of Ostland died while attempting to raid an Alphatian warship. He was succeeded by his son, Finn. Finn only recently turned 18 [in AC 1013. Ed.], and was unable to claim the throne until that point. The nation was therefore ruled by Queen Yrsa and High Priest Asgrim the Bowed until Finn attained manhood.

Since attaining manhood, there have been several attempts on the young man's life. A civil war broke out for the earlier parts of this year, but the Young King showed wisdom beyond his years when he managed to end it peacefully. I foretell a future greatness for this Finn Hordson.

Now, Finn looks on to expand his nation, and his eyes are settling on the Isle of Dawn and Norwold.

Don't Miss

When visiting Ostland, one should enjoy the hospitality offered by the northmen. Since there are no inns in the entire nation, one might as well accept the comfort of their homes and a warm meal. Often, the men of the village will gather together in their main longhouse for drinking and tale-telling. The storytelling bards of Ostland are known as skalds, and the legends of bravery, heroism, and valour are some of the most moving I have ever heard. It is truly a pleasurable experience and not to be missed when presented with the opportunity.