The Criminal's Country
The Wilds is the northernmost territory of Narthica and has no specific governments or nations. Most geographical books will list the Wilds as its own country. It shares a border with Crystland and Rifthaven and is populated mostly by criminals and fugitives. It has no actual government and has many small governments and gangs that fight for territory.
The Wilds are primarily made of ice plains, with scattered copses of pine and spruce. Lakes and rivers are common the farther north one travels. Settlements and man-made structures are few and far between. There are even fewer main roads than there are settlements, with most located close to the border of Crystland or connecting the largest of the settlements.
Most of the year is taken up by winter and freezing temperatures. The warmest it gets during the summer months is about 80°F in the southernmost areas and 30°F farther north. Nights are long and the temperature drops significantly due to the rarety of trees.
The Wilds was officially declared a territory sometime around 1115, shortly after the founding of Crystland. By that time, they had already become a refuge for those fleeing the law in Whirlan and Tierhal. Gangs began to form from those fugitives, and several developed into small governments with their own borders and laws. These groups have changed and moved, many dissolving after a few centuries and many others forming in the years since the beginning. At the current date, there are over sixty separate organizations located in the Wilds. Some of them have made alliances and agreements with groups in Crystland and Warlords in Rifthaven, but most keep to themselves in the frigid wastelands of their chosen refuge.
Thanks to the extreme cold, very few people willingly travel to the Wilds. Most of the population is made of criminals and runaways fleeing the justice of their home countries. Occasionally, Icers and Frosters will bring their apprentices there to test their skills.