A land of more mobile tribes than permanent settlements, much of Norsca is a D&D parallel to medieval Norse/Viking culture (minus the boats). Demographically, the land is about 40% human, 40% humanish (shifters, half-orcs, half-elves), and 20% other races (some dragonborn, goliaths, and wilden). Known as fierce warriors, the Norsca hold the western half of “The Line” against the Orcish Hordes.
Capital City: Un’Kronin. A large trading hub, this city is not the home of any “royalty”. Rather, it houses the great meeting field where the heads of each tribe meet to discuss matters of national import. The name, Un’Kronin, derives from an ancient language and means “place where crowns are removed”, which points to the idea that all men welcomed onto the field are seen as equals, and all tribal leaders’ voices will be heard.
Politics: Different tribes have different “zones” throughout the nation, with the few smaller villages being mostly supply hubs and trading locations. If a village falls in a particular tribe’s area, that village will submit to the tribe’s leader and judgements, even though the villagers are not, in most cases, actual members of the tribe itself. Other settlements have sprung up around cathedrals to various gods, and those settlements answer to church leadership in the area.
Religion: Many of the tribes worship nature spirits or Melora. There are pockets of worship for particular gods, usually around a cathedral to said god. many wild nature spirits are said to inhabit the woods and mountains of Norsca, though, and many druids and other primal characters have been known to go on “walkabouts” in the wilderness here to find their spirit guides, connect with nature, etc.
Military/Flag Colors: Norscan military have no uniform. Different villages may all wear pelts of the same animal hide, but that’s about it. Their flag is light tan, with a green leaf that fades into white at the top, symbolizing the power of nature and cold in Norsca.
Places of Note:
Kordshold. A large cathedral to the god of battle, surrounded by a village of about 6,000 people. Also home to several “schools” of fighting arts.
Gardmore Abbey. A former home of warrior paladins, this area was said to fall to some great force of chaos. Some say there was a chaotic artifact that the paladins brought there for safe keeping. Whatever happened, they are no more, though the denizens of the nearby village still speak of beings moving in and out of the abbey in the darkness. See the Bard’s Tale section for more info on Gardmore Abbey.
Wyrmtop Spires. A section of very high mountains (part of the Great Barrier Mts) said to have many ancient dragons living within them. Very inaccessible, though, so it’s hard to verify these claims. Some scholars point to these mountains as a possible location for the Council of Wyrms, said to be a governing body of metallic dragons.
Thundertop Mountain. Usually just called “Thundertop”, this mountain is large and tall, nearly impossible to climb. It is note-worthy because of the constant din of thunder that echoes off its sides and peals through the surrounding peaks. Some believe that many blue dragons live in this mountain, while others claim it is the resting place of a fallen thunder god or primordial. There is also great debate among area tribes about whether thunder is drawn to the mountain, or whether it somehow creates the thunder itself.
Bigby? It is said that the arch-mage Bigby took a nature walk in Norsca after publishing his latest series of spells, and never returned. Maybe he was drawn-in by the natural beauty and lived out his days in the steppes. Maybe he was eaten by a dragon. Maybe he built a secret lair in the mountains and even now watches us all. Theories about him are many and varied, though only one man knows the truth (Bigby himself). His disappearance was about 70-75 years ago. If he’s dead now, then finding his cache, his remains, or anything that he left would be incredibly worth-while, as he was a brilliant mage who carried a great many magical items of great power.
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