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"Living under the threat of Norscans all the time, it does something to the Nordlanders. They're half-Norscan themselves."
—Klaus Von Rothstein, Opinionated merchant
Nordland1

The Provincial Banner of Nordland

The Grand Barony of Nordland is a major and late-founding Imperial Province that lies directly within the northern shores of the Empire of Man. The lands of Nordland did not truly exist during the founding of the Empire, for the Was Jutones of both Nordland and Westerland refused Emperor Sigmar's invitation to his Empire. It wasn't until the late 4th century that the Was Jutones were finally subjugated and forced into the Empire as a new Province by Emperor Sigismund II.[1a]

Since its incoporation as a province, Nordland is famous for housing the Imperial Navy and its heavily tolled coastal roads, which provide both safe passage for rich merchants heading towards the city of Marienburg and the main source of income that funds it's economy. Many sea fortresses and watch-towers line the coast of Nordland, as raiders from across the Sea of Claws are an all too common threat that can't be ignored without dire consequences.[1a]

The State Troops of Nordland, including the Nordland Marines, wear the distinctive blue and yellow uniforms of their province. The provincial banner on the other hand, bears a depiction of a Sea Eagle clutching a shield with an image of an Imperial warship, the symbol used as the coat of arms by the Elector Count Theodoric Gausser. Traditionally the Elector Count of Nordland is also the Prince of Marienburg as well, and this has been a point of contention since the city has seceded from the Empire in 2429 IC. Other often-seen emblems includes the Imperial Cross, various ships, anchor or fish symbols, and the five-pointed crown of the sea god Manann.[1a]

GeographyEdit

"What kind of ruler is he that controls less than half of his province..."
—A Reikland Noble[1a]
1006emp16

Coastal windmills of the Nordland coast.

Map of Nordland

A Map of Nordland

In law, the length of Nordland's territories extends from the Ostland border, all the way to the edge of The Wasteland, and north from the Great North Road to the shores of the Sea of Claws. The Elector Counts of Nordland have accumulated an impressive collection of titles and claims over the millennia, which if enforced, would make them rulers of the entire northern portions of the Empire. Reality has a way of foiling the most grandiose ambitions, however, and the Count's rule extends to barely half of the lands he claimed.[1a]

Two great forests blankets the Norland coast, leaving Humans to exist in pockets carved out of the solid woodlands and along the barren shoreline. The eastern section of the Province includes the edge of the Forest of Shadows, which dominates the majority of Ostland. It extends as far inland as the Erengrad-Middenhheim road, crossing north of Beeckerhoven and finally ending on a banks of the River Salz. The Forest of Shadows has a dark, and dreaded reputation in Ostland, and that reputation has carried over to the people of Nordland. Predatory giant spiders are known to lurk deep in the forest, while Beastmen and Chaos mutants have been seen in increasing numbers since the Great War had began. Lumbering parties rarely travel far into the woods anymore, unless accompanied by a regiment of armed soldiers. The increase danger has led to a fall in timber harvest, hurting the local economy and leading to rumblings that the Count is not doing his job.[1a]

West of Salzenmund and the Silver Hills lies the Laurelorn Forest, which stretches west to the borders with the Wasteland. Technically a part of the Count's domain, the Laurelorn is in truth a wholly independent realm. Its rulers are the reclusive Wood Elves of Laurelorn, the descendants of the High Elves who chose not to leave the Old World at the end of the War with the Dwarfs. By agreements with the Elector Count of Norland, the Elves would allow Imperials to settle the area between the Rivers Salz and Demst, which enters the Sea of Claws at Hargendorf. The agreement strictly limits numbers however, and the Elves must approve before any new settlements are made. This they have been loath to do, placing restrictions on what the settlements may harvest from the forest.[1a]

The human chafe under these restriction, and the nobles have pressured Grand Baron Theodric Gausser to demand a re-negiotiations. Impatient as ever, some humans have made illegal settlements in the area, which the elves have threatened to remove by force, if need be. Some observers fear a coming clash between the Elector Count's knights and the warriors of Laurelorn, but the recent war has held Salzenmund hands, and forced both parties to stand down until after the greater threat has been resolved. There are still worries however, that the elves might see this as a time to assert their rights upon the Imperials whilst they are at their weakest.[1a]

Beyond the River Demst is the core of Laurelorn, a place Nordlanders call "The Witches Woods" out of their superstitious fear of the Elf Queen. Imperials are forbidden to cross into it under pain of death: even the Elector Counts of Nordland are under this ban. What lies within the Witches Woods is unknown: some have speculated that the Elves have no capital, living in nomadic life under the trees, whilst others believe it to be the home of the Elf Queen herself. Old books, on the other hand mention a nameless city of glass deep in its heart, a place that glows with its own light. Whatever the truth, it is certain that nether creatures of Chaos nor Greenskins raider last long once they enter the Forest, for the elves defend their home savagely against all comers.[1a]

The Coast of Nordland is an often desolate place, where a hard people eke out a living from the sea. The whole coast is frequently blanketed by thick fogs and lashed by storms in fall and winter. This has made the Nordland coast a tough home for the Imperial Fleet, but since Marienburg seceded from the Empire the Ocean fleet has had no choice but to base itself here. The Fleet's primary anchorage is in the growing Town of Dietershafen, which uses the provinces ample timber supply in a burgeoning shipbulding program to combat the Sea Raiders from the north.[1a]

From the westernmost settlements at Hargendorf east to Neuses Emskrank, the shore comprises sandy lowlands, often interrupted by marsh and bog. West towards Norden, the shores become more rock and covered by shingle as it rises to the coast of hills and Ostland. Here on the Drosselspule Bay, fishermen harvest vast numbers of herring and cod, most of which is salted and exported south. Wreckers are still common along the Nordland coast, as some people supplement their meager incomes with the pickings of ships they have led to their deaths.[1a]

InhabitantsEdit

"Nordlanders are real woodsmen, alright, but they’re dumber than Snotlings when they’re on the water!"
—A Marienburger mercenary[1a]
Nordlander woodsmen

Nordlanders are known famously for their skills as woodsmen and forestry

The people of Nordland are descendents of the ancient Was Jutone tribe. Close brothers to the Udoses and Was Jutones tribe of Ostland, the Nordland branch of the tribe eventually became estranged from the more easterly settlements of their peoples. Eventually the early Nordlanders fell in battle, becoming vassals of the belligerent Teutogens, and frequent victims of Norscan raids. During the chaos that reigned in the aftermath of the Great Plague, much of Nordland's coast was invaded and colonised by the Norscans, leading to a mingling of the tribal bloodlines. Emperor Mandred Ratslayer, faced with graver threats elsewhere, had little time to answer the pleas of the Nordlanders, much to their horror.[1a]

As time passed and populations mixed, the Nordlanders adopted many of the customs of their Norscan cousins. Courts frequently resort to trial of combat, the contest taking place on a white sheet pegged to the ground. The first person to stain the sheet red with his blood is declared the loser and the guilty party. Older houses often have runes carved into their doors and window frames for luck and spiritual protection, and along the coast the longhouse style is still common. At feasts and gatherings, Norscan bragging contests have evolved into more genteel storytelling events, with each speaker trying to outdo the last.[1a]

So great is the Nordlanders love of stories that they have become famous around the Empire as great storytellers. The folk of this province are said to be amongst the loudest and frankest of all the empire. They seem to lack any subtlety, tact, or common sense. Several local legends involve heroes who blurt out the truth at the vital moments, thus saving the day. Other provinces point out this is because Nordlanders are too stupid to lie. At their best Nordlanders are solid, straightforward, and honest folk, looking down upon (while lacking the guile of) the mealy mouthed words of politicians, poets, and soft Reiklanders.[1a]

At their worst, Nordlanders are churlish, uncouth, thoughtless speakers. Even the merchants of Nordland have this blunt approach, though they seem to be fine with double-dealings. Indeed they have found that shouting the final price has a profound effect upon merchants used to the subtleties of barter and negotiation. Many provinces point out that this is because of their mongrel Was Jutone, Teutogen, and Norscan Bloodlines. This mixed of heritage has been a source of Nordlander shame for many generations. Modern Imperials look on Norscans with a mixture of admiration and fear, seeing them both as powerful warriors and wild, uncivilized barbarians, not to be trusted around one's daughters or sheep. A popular Imperial saying runs "Character is in the blood", meaning the ancestry determines character.[1a]

Thus the Nordlanders are often regarded as "Not quite like us" rougher and more uncouth even more so than the wild and hairy Middenlanders. Another case of discomfort among Nordlanders comes form their current fashion among nobles especially in the north, for tracing ancestry back to one of the founding tribes. The purer the background the higher ones status climbs, and the summit is the tracing of a lineage back to one of the founding chiefs. Alone amongst the provinces, the Nordlanders ancestors were conquered by outsiders, which is a source of embarrassment for status-conscious nobles, particularly when dealing with arrogant Middenlanders and Stirlander bumkpins.[1a]

To compensate, most Nordlanders are more vocally and demonstratively loyal to the Empire and the Cult of Ulric than almost anyone else in the empire. Their efforts ring hollow to some, while others see them as examples of duty and patriotism. Whatever the motive, there is no doubting their bravery in battle. When in an army with troops from other provinces, Nordlanders are rash in their desire to close with the enemy. At the Battle of Frote in 2421 IC, the Nordland pikes were so anxious to come to grips with the forces of Chaos that they charged before an order was given, leaving them isolated on the battlefield and their own army's flank exposed. Since then imperial generals have been quietly advised to treat the Nordlanders "as they would a hound on a leash" - to keep them under control.[1a]

Renowned hunters and foresters, the Nordlanders woodland skills are so strong that even Hochlanders and the folk of the Talabec will grudgingly admit that they are "not too bad". Certainly Nordlanders are close to the land: the province has one of the largest communites of Rhya worship in the North of the Empire centred around the clannish villages south of Hargendorf. The Worship of the Harvest Mother without her consort Taal, is considered particularly dangerous in some circles of thought. Talabeclanders in particular are dismissive of this "women worship". They whisper that the Elves join the Humans for their religious rites at old stone circles deep in the woods, though speculation is rife, so no-one knows what really goes on in these ceremonies. The Elector Count is not comfortable with this, and is considering sending investigators to determine if the people of the Demst Vale are planning a revolt. A Nordlander's accent is one of the most distinctive of the Empire. Their speech is very harsh and fast, almost barked out rather then spoken.[1a]

Province StatisticEdit

  • Official Name: The Grand Barony of Nordland[1a]
  • Ruler: Elector Count Theodric Gausser, Grand Baron of Nordland, Prince of Salzenmund, Lord of Laurelorn and Duke of Marienburg, Terror of the Norscans.[1a]
  • Government: Feudal[1a]
  • Capital: Salzenmund[1a]
  • Chartered Free Towns: Salzenmund[1a]
  • Major Exports:  Agriculture, sheep, wool, cheese, woollen goods, timber[1a]

Place of ImportanceEdit

  • Salzenmund - The capital-city of Nordland and the seat of Count Theodric Gausser.[1a]
  • Neues Emskrank - A formerly bustling port-town, Neues Emskrank has since fallen into hard-times and regress backed into a primitive fishing village.[1a]
  • Schuten - Located between Beeckerhoven and Norden on the road to Erengrad, the village of Shoten is a popular spot for travelers and merchants travelling along the coast of the Nordland.[1a]

SourcesEdit

  • 1: Warhammer RPG 2nd Edition: Sigmar's Heir
    • 1a: pgs. 63 - 68

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