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Winter Kingdom

  The Winter Kingdom lies to the North and is the harshest of the four kingdoms. Its people stick together to survive the freezing weather and ferocious monsters. And they pass the dark nights by learning how to hunt that which would hunt them. And many other things besides. Winter trades in rare materials scavenged from the dangerous creatures that roam the land, as well as the knowledge they carefully draw from their surroundings.   The Winter may be cold, but Wnterians have long since learned how to bring the heat.  
 

Geography

  The Winter Kingdom is certainly known for its icy weather, but cold comes in many forms.  

Pining Mountains

Hiking across the Spring Rim into Winter is a harsh transition. Regardless of how prepared you are, there is little that guards against the sudden biting chill that sets in as you descend into the forests blanketing the northern slope of the Rim. The forests that almost feel alive. As though the trees themselves were watching you… The Live Edge Forest is known for the odd happenings that occur beneath its boughs. The ice pines that populate the Live Edge are incredibly hardy when standing, but quickly become brittle when cut down. For the towns that are tucked precariously at the edges of the forest, it is both a blessing of shelter against the wind, and a curse of resources that are difficult to harvest and nearly useless once obtained.  

Frosted Fields

Beyond the mountains, you must travel miles of snowy wastes before you reach another hint of civilization. The snow fields alternate between deep, loose snow drifts and hard packed ice. It is difficult to distinguish between the terrains, so travel through this territory is dangerous just as much for the potential to suddenly plunge into a mire of snow and crash through thin ice as it is for the beasts blending into the endless white...

Glacier Territory

The glacier fields to the north are slightly less treacherous, if only because it is far easier to see where the ice stops and starts. Jagged monoliths of ice carve through earth and snow alike, dragging rivers in their wake until they either come up against the Frozen Range with its snow capped peaks or set adrift into the choppy northern oceans.
  It can be incredibly easy to get lost amongst fields that can seem like endless stretches of white. But don’t worry, the meticulously maintained roads and the foxfire lamps favored by Winterian settlements will help you find your way. Just don’t expect to be welcomed once you get there.  

Home on the Range

The Frozen Range continues south, the peaks sheltering slightly more hospitable steppes from the harshest winds. The ore deposits in the Range have their own dangers in mining, but are the steadiest of the resources Winter has access to. However, once the mountains cut through the large stretch of cold rocky desert and into the Summer Kingdom, the Range melts into the Flame Peaks, as they are called by the Summerians, and the ore deposits become a Summerian resource.    

Culture and Politics

 
As with so many places that are frozen almost year-round, the Winter Kingdom is a harsh place. The beasts that roam the lands are out to kill, and while plenty of folks have found ways to profit off their hides, plenty more have not survived to teach their children how. Perhaps this is what makes the people of the Winter Kingdom band together the way that they do.
The people there are hard-edged and trial-worn and conditioned to supporting one another without hesitation or reservation. Finding yourself at home in a Winterian community is finding yourself amongst family. Of course, the hard part is finding yourself a home amongst such a tight-knit community. Winterian folk work hard and they play hard and they love hard and that way they navigate the hard, dark winters.
  As a consequence of such a culture, or perhaps as a cause of it, a parliament of democratically elected representatives, the Ledyanoy Parliament, presides over the kingdom. For every thousand citizens, there is a minister elected to the Parliament. The number has been sitting steady at 271 ministers for several decades now, ever since the village of Jestnik gained its own representative. The Parliament is lead by the “Winter King”, who is also democratically elected but still called a king for some reason and is called that regardless of the gender of the actual leader. Also, the Winter King is not actually responsible for making decisions regarding law, but is rather a mediator and overseer for the rest of Parliament and the primary representative in international affairs.   (The other kingdoms consider this to be pretty strange and may judge it a bit but the Winterians like it this way and since when have they cared what the likes of Spring thinks?)    

Places of Note

 

Capital City

Settlements of note include the capital city of Zolotanka, where the Ledyanoy Parliament operates. Zolotanka is nestled in the heart of the Kingdom, and as such is harder to reacher than other capital cities. However, as the most important city in Winter, it still manages to draw a wide variety of people to its streets. The Sineye Znaniye (also called the University, mostly by non-Winterians) is also a huge draw, as intellects from across the kingdoms gather to learn and investigate and share knowledge.  

Island Time

Covalac is another notable settlement, located on an island to the northwest of the Winterian shore. With the Winter Kingdom so dicey to navigate, its landlocked borders difficult to traverse and its shoreline too rocky and glacier-scattered to sail comfortably, the island city of Covalac serves as the trading base for the Winter Kingdom. A long, carefully maintained bridge connects it to the mainland, allowing the brave scavengers, hunters, and gatherers of the Kingdom to bring their wares and trade them for the resources scarce in their neck of the woods.  

The End...

There is also The Tovgarten, the last city before you hit the Summerian border, but… well, no one wants to go there.    

Settlements in the Winter Kingdom

Blani
mining town at the foot of the Frozen Range, the furthest town north
Covalac
island city connected to the mainland by a long bridge, mostly exists to facilitate trade
Jestnik
village further south along the path from Blani
Mikaran
smaller town close to the Summerian border, many pass through here in order to avoid passing through Tovgarten.
Ostrovy
Small village high to the North in giant country, last significant settlement before hitting the Sloka Plains and the Northern Sea.
Satovan
Town based at the foot of the Live Edge Forest, has been experimenting with harvesting ice pines.
Tostra
small city tucked in a pocket in the Frozen Range and thus slightly warmer and safer than many places throughout the kingdom.
Tovgarten
the last city before hitting the Summerian border, home to a high security prison and rumored to be haunted
Zolotanka
the capital city, home to the Ledyanoy Parliament and the University
Zonik
small village located southwest of Ostrovy, though definitely larger due to the presence of the Navsegda Teplo
Type
National Territory
Inhabitant Demonym
Winterians
Location under
Owning Organization

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Cover image: Kingdom Spread by Kethry Tiggs
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