Nords

The Nords, also known as Askarn, of the Lambent North are hardy people who call the chilling tundras and high peaks of the north their home. Many tell tale of an ancient land from which their ancestors fled on the brink of ruin. They tell stories of this new land and of living among the people of Harental, the continent to the south, and of great wars and raids made upon these new lands. Centuries later, they have been driven far to the north, out of Harental completely, but they still hold to their ancient ways.   Upon arriving in what would be their new home, the Askarn formed clans , each adopting a Fylgjur or spirit animal that assisted in their escape and founding of a new home. There were nine clans: Wolf, Elk, Goat, Raven, Bear, Owl, Linnorm/Serpent, Fox, and Aurochs. These clans settled the lands of Harental and eight now reside in Binordheim.

Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Adalgard, Anne, Astrid, Eva, Hildrad, Ingrid, Nina, Solveig

Masculine names

Anders, Arne, Knut, Odwulf, Tor, Sigurd, Vidar, Waldric

Family names

Family names are rare if ever used. Usually any name that comes after their given name is to denote clan, allegiance, deed, or parent.   Vidarsen (Son of Vidar) Jendottir (Daughter of Jens) Fairhair, the Wise, Bloodaxe (nickname)

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

Askarn & Jotun (Giant)

Culture and cultural heritage

The longer the Askarn have lived in this land, the fewer of them are born "connected to the Tree", but the culture still runs strong through the people. Clan Himminbrjotir is widely believed to have the strongest connection to the Askarn homeland and the Tree of Life as the clan is made up almost entirely of Askarn Nords. This fact by no means reduces the importance of the Nordic culture among the people as a whole, who all hold it as a vitally important part of their past and future.

Shared customary codes and values

[WIP]

  • Courage
  • Truth
  • Honor
  • Fidelity
  • Discipline
  • Hospitality
  • Industriousness
  • Self-Reliance
  • Perserverance
  • Average technological level

    Superior shipbuilding. Nords have perfected the crafting of ships that are both sturdy enough to sail through the roughest storms and light enough to be carried across land, while sitting shallow enough in the water that they can go from ocean waters to rivers to raid inland areas.   Superior steel smelting. As a warlike society, the Nords have improved their steel smelting process to create superior weaponry and armor. They commonly add bone dust of powerful foes they have slain into the mixture granting the steel increased durability or improved properties.   Runes. Runeweavers, those who can bend the magic of the world through the knowledge of runes, are rare among the Nords but some smiths and crafters have learned how to embed runes into their crafts to give them special properties.

    Common Etiquette rules

    It is customary for a Nord to welcome travelers into their home and feed them generously - though never foolishly - regardless of their financial status, but it is also expected that those who take advantage of said hospitality reimburse the host through goods, services, or labor.   Both host and guest are expected to treat each other with respect and dignity.   It is also seen as disrespectful to go to a friend's home full as it would be expected for them to feed you.

    Common Dress code

    Though viewed as savages by the more "dignified", the Nords take great pride in keeping themselves groomed and clean. They often wear practical clothing, but enjoy dying them bright colors and embellishing themselves in pieces of jewelry that show their status or success in recent raids. Wearing a sword among the nords is seen as a sign of status as swords take more metal and skill to make which make them more expensive. Regardless of what weapon they do carry it undergoes the same amount of care they take in their own appearance.

    Art & Architecture

    Nords adore elaborate decorations and decorate their weapons, jewelry, ships, and other items in abstract and intricate designs. Most designs include some form of sinuous animal form such as a serpent, horse, wolf, bird or other more fantastic creature.

    Funerary and Memorial customs

    Nords in good standing are commonly buried with their valuables in boats. Depending on their access to waters, they may be placed in their ship and cremated as it sails into the seas for one last time. Funerals are more often than not, much like other events in Nordic culture, seen not as a day of mourning, but as a day of celebration for another soul to join their ancestors in the lands and halls of the gods.   Those Nords who hold serfs (slaves) often grant them freedom upon their death.

    Common Taboos

    Attacking an unarmed person.   Murder of ones own kinsmen without reason or notification to authorities after the deed has been done.

    Common Myths and Legends

    The Nords have many legends of heroes and gods, too many to mention. Much of their culture revolves around making their own legends to be told and honoring those that exist.

    Ideals

    Beauty Ideals

    Ideals of physical beauty for the Nords, unlike many other cultures, are ungendered. As such, a nord can describe the beauty of another without any sexual connotation being made of it.   The nords also idealize strength as a trait of beauty. Whether it be the rage of a bloodthirsty warrior in the heat of battle, the fortitude of one to survive harsh conditions, or the strength of will to endure, all are seen as signs of strength that the nords idolize.

    Gender Ideals

    Though tradition still view a woman's place as a caretaker of home and hearth and a man's place as a warrior and provider, neither gender are bound completely by this tradition. Anyone can inherit land, fight, raid, earn titles, and be elected to public office. Women can seek divorce just as much as men, more so in some cases, and justice for injustices against them. That being said, most clans are still patriarchal in leadership.

    Courtship Ideals

    Courtship is common among the Nordic peoples, but parents generally have the final say in a marriage. If a woman seeks a man's attention, it is common for them to give gifts of clothing to indicate their interest. If a courting lasts too long, one side or the other may see it as an insult and demand retribution.

    Religion

    The people of the north hold their gods close in everything they do, and often give prayers and praise to them as a part of everyday activities. They have served these gods since before their arrival on these shores and they are loathe to displease them. That being said, there are few who hold a single god above the rest. Most keep all the gods on their minds and pray to those they see fit to in the moment, some keep a few closer to their hearts with idols and regular worship, but there are few dedicated temples to any of their gods and just as few dedicated "priests". Instead, shrines to the gods are kept in places where their presence is significant, and wise-men, seers, and druids are often the religious guides and voices of a community while the Jarls are the leaders in community ritual when necessary.
    The Nords believe in a pantheon of gods separated into three groups: the Aesir, the Vanir, and the Jotun, as well as several spirits and godlike entities that exist within the world itself.
    Significant presence in

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