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SODERFJORD (Kingdom of)

Location: South of Vestland, east of Rockhome, north of Ylaruam and southwest of Ostland. OW

Area: 31,060 sq. mi. (80,445 sq. km.).

Population: 153,000 humans, 8,000 dwarves.

Languages: Heldannic.

Coinage: Markka (gp), penne (ep), gundar (sp), oren (cp).

Taxes: None. Most revenue is raised from tolls to use roads and bridges. The rest of the money is raised by raiding other nations.

Government Type: Monarchy, although the jarls (lesser nobles) still hold tremendous power.

Industries: Cattle, goats, sheep, fishing, logging, furs, piracy, and trade.

Important Figures: Ragnar the Stout (King, human, male, F17).

Flora and Fauna: Deer, elk, and wolves can be found throughout the coniferous forests of Soderfjord. Various herd animals, such as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and bison can be found in the plains of the nation. Goblinoids used to be very common in the southern Hardanger Mountains, but they have been defeated and now pose little threat.

Further Reading: GAZ7 The Northern Reaches, previous almanacs.

Description by Starkad Grimmson.

Truly, the jarldoms be the last true home of the warriors. E'en though the upstart Ragnar hath tried to forge the realm into a kingdom, in the manner of the westerners, the spirit of freedom and independence lives strong in the blood of the men of Soderfjord.

The Land

I be from Nordcastel, in the Snowvale Valley just north of Castellan. It be a harsh region, just right for making strong warriors like me. The Makkres Mountains tower over the valley to the west, and the cold winds sweep in over the hills of Nordcastel-winters be harsh and none but the strongest can survive long if they be fools enough to venture forth unprotected.

The Saltfjord River be the readiest access to the lands east, but it borders on the dangerous Great Marsh. Lizard men, troglodytes, dragons and worse haunt that place. Verily, it be no place for any but the strongest fighters-like we breed in Nordcastel.

The People

We highland people be a tough breed, from long years of fighting goblinoids and giants in the nearby Makkres and Hardanger Mountains. The folk of Castellan be mostly pushover cityfolk-traders and foreigners-not like us freemen in Snowvale. Sometimes we go down there in groups and raid their farmsteads, just to keep them on their toes. Verily, it be no wonder that the Castellans be such strong supporters of Ragnar-they'd ne'er last in a straight fight against us real Soderfjorders.

Recent Events

Ragnar the Stout, head of the Soderfjord clan, managed to convince the other jarls to nominate him as their king several years back. Verily, I believe he must hath used magic to do so, for the jarls are ever resistant to giving up their freedom.

From what I hear, things hath gone downhill for the "king" e'er since-his campaign against the kobolds and gnolls of the Hardanger in 1013 cost him more dearly than he cares to admit. E'en joining with the Ostland rebels in their civil war of last year gained him little in the way of prestige.

Long has been the talk in taverns of o'erthrowing the would-be monarch of Soderfjord, and returning to the days of the free jarldoms. Verily would I be surprised if Ragnar's rule lasted much longer in my homeland.

Don't Miss

I hear tell that Ragnar's hired a bunch of dwarves and set them to working around the clock to try and reopen the Falun Caverns in the Hardanger. I'd guess he's keen on getting at any treasures that the kobolds might have left in there when they were driven out. Adventurers looking to earn a few markkas can find work down there, fighting off leftover kobolds and dire wolves. There might e'en be a fiend or two still lurking down underground.