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Vestland (Kingdom of)

Location: South of Heldann, east of Ethengar, north of Soderfjord and west of Ostland.
Area: 21,060 sq. mi. (47,385 km2)
Population: 155,000 humans, 6,000 dwarves.
Languages: Heldannic.
Coinage: Schilder (5 gp), guldan (gp), hellar (ep), floren (sp) and oren (cp).
Taxes: None. Revenue is raised from tolls to use roads and bridges. The king is planning on installing some form of income tax in the next couple of years.
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Logging, furs, fishing, and trade.
Important Figures: Harald Gudmundson (King, human, male, F13).
Flora and Fauna: Bears, deer, elk, boars, and wolves can be found throughout the dark, eerie forests of Vestland. Various herd animals, such as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and bisons can be found in the plains of the nation.

Goblinoids used to be abundant in Makkres Mountains, but they have been routed and chased deeper into Rockhome.
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

Not all the Northern Reaches nations are loyal to the ancient traditions of their people. Vestland is a kingdom which is trying hard to become like the nations of Darokin and Thyatis. To attain their goal, the Vestlanders are ready to abandon everything that once described themselves in both heart and soul.

The Land

The southwest region of Vestland is composed of rugged foothills of the Makkres Mountains. It is a beautiful countryside where I enjoyed spending my days hiking around and admiring the beauty granted to this land by the Immortals.

The rivers of Vestland, known as fjords, are located within deep valleys with very steep sides. The lowlands around these fjords are very fertile and are the site for the numerous farms of the nation. Unfortunately, there is not enough such farmland to feed the entire nation. Once up the valley slopes, a rocky plateau unsuitable for agriculture dominates.

The People

Vestland is a land torn between tradition and improvement. The northmen of Vestland do not wish to give up their old ways, but they also wish to become modern and civilised like the other nations of the Old World. So far, they are advancing slowly along the road of modernisation.

They have schools that teach the former warriors how to read and write, and Norrvik even boasts having the only magic college of the entire Northlands [they study the magical runes taught to them by Odin and his priests. Ed.]. This means that they are slightly less fearful of magic than the other northmen.

Of the old traditions, only the worship of the Northman Pantheon remains; all other customs, notably piracy, have slowly disappeared. Unlike Soderfjord and Ostland, Odin and Thor are not the favoured Gods [once more, a reminder that God is simply their term for Immortal. Ed.] of the people. Instead, they revere Frey and Freyja first and foremost, with Odin and Thor only worshipped by the nobles. The church of Forsetta, a key Immortal in Vestland religion, is also popular as their priests have played a vital role in the selection of the High Kings of Vestland since the days of Ottar the Just.

The Vestlanders try to be polite and scholarly, although they are not always successful. It is not surprising to see a man break into a rage and start pummelling the person he was arguing, then stop just as suddenly and ask for forgiveness when his rage is better under control.

Recent History

Vestland allied itself with Soderfjord last year to deal with the problem of Thar and his goblinoids in the Makkres Mountains. The armies of the two nations were successful in routing the goblinoids, but much damage was done to Vestland before it was all over. The towns of Landersfjord and Rhoona were practically completely destroyed, and Duke Stephan Rhoona, one of King Gudmundson's oldest and staunchest allies, was slain in the latter attack.

Now Vestland enjoys much more relaxed borders since the kobolds and trolls have disappeared. Thus did the 45 winters long Troll Border Wars end. This has opened up the way for settlements in the long uninhabited Trollheim Hills.

This year, to further prove itself removed from its ancient barbaric ways, Vestland has petitioned to become a member of the Western Defence League. So far, the WDL has not decided on whether to accept Vestland or not.

Don't Miss

Norrvik; a real, honest-to-Halav city found within the Northlands. Unlike Soderfjord and Zeaburg, Norrvik has schools, taverns, a market square, and even inns for foreigners to have a place to stay. For anyone who has spent a long time in the Northern Reaches, it is a comforting reminder of home to walk into a semi-civilised town. Unfortunately, it also has some of the drawbacks of civilisation; upon attempting to pay for my room at the Inn of the Twelve Princes, I discovered that someone had pilfered my money-pouch. Despite this, it felt good to be back in a place resembling home.