We sailed from the port of Etivar, among the ruins of old Ulaudo, and our journey led us in the trail of what many thought was just a myth. We followed the myth of the great navigator Suuri, and at the end of our journey, we alighted upon the shores of a cold and distant island. There we found a people that the world had thought extinct.The Forjorni are the people of the remote Forjorn Isles, and the last descendants of the extinct Valaunt people. Their culture was built on overcoming adversity - from the war that ended their great empire, to the hostile landscape of their homeland. This thread still runs through their traditions and beliefs.
The great Valaunt kingdoms rose on Kalord in the second century, relatively isolated from the world at large. Their mages concocted a method of infusing clockwork with magic to build self sustaining mechanisms, ranging from the great machines of war designed to hurl fire, to delicate automatons.
Forjorni IslesThe Forjorni Isles have always been a hostile land, with cruel weather and infertile soil. Their first settlement on Saaru nearly failed many times in the first years, close to finding themselves a victim of these obstacles. The few great clockwork artifacts brought from Ulaudo proved invaluable. Among them, the Colossi proved endlessly useful. Great bronze automatons that could shift snowfalls, build homes, and provide the muscle for the many tasks in those early days that were simply beyond human capabilities. The Colossi did not last forever in the harsh landscape but by the time the last Colossi was laid to rest the Forjorni were a prospering people. Their history beyond this point is incomplete. The Forjorni possessed no writing tools, and the tales that remain of their early history are all oral traditions. Worship of the snow divine Eiif was established among their people even before they fled for Forjorni, but Suuri Valotaja established worship of death goddess The Lady and sun god Arveghan. Mittsho remains one of the most famous Forjorni to ever live, a great alchemist whose inventions would be spread worldwide after the Forjorni came in contact with the outer world, and who's mysterious life is a popular folktale.
The Forjorni are a hardy people, who remain a testament to the ingenuity of the ancient Valaunt. They survived even when all else fell, among the snows of a land that one might reasonably conclude conspires to kill.
Onia the Navigator was the first foreigner in centuries to step foot on Forjorni soil. The Forjorni were hesitant to accept his assurances of safety, but in time contact was established, and irregular trade began to run to and from the isles - though often little more than a single shipment a year. Exposure to the outside world had a surprisingly small effect on Forjorni culture, perhaps due to the limited nature of contact. Correspondence and news was often months out of date, religious orders rarely saw travel to such a small and remote island chain worth their effort, and there was little of commercial value on the islands.
Common Dress code
The dress of the Forjorni people is heavily adapted to their hostile climate. Warmth is always important, even in summer. Cloaks, stitched of the fur of the indigenous Karu, are an almost universal clothing item. They are generally voluminous, and can be wrapped around the entire body. Generally, clothing is unisex, and utilitarian. Long, fur pants, and fur shirts are worn under these cloaks. Undershirts, socks and shorts woven of a flax-like plant are worn as underwear, and woven belts of the same material hold various tools and pouches in the absence of pockets. Village leaders and their families are denoted by a torc of bronze are worn around the neck, handed down from the days of the Valaunt and the Chieftain of Forjorn wears both a torc, a bronze circlet, and engraved bronze arm braces as the symbols of their office. Jewellery is rarely worn outside of these situations.
Art & Architecture
The architecture of the Forjorni people is a far cry from the triumphant bronze cities of their ancestors, and yet it holds its own elegance. Stone is the dominant building material, it is easy to find on the island, and trees are nearly unheard of. Catenary arches are used, supported by internal centring during construction. Long vaulted halls, usually divided by fur curtains into smaller rooms if necessary, and sometimes stone walls, make up almost all structures - from homes to halls to temples. Most large Forjorni structures utilizing this method were built with the help of Colossi, and later homes tend to be smaller and more humble due to the loss of the Colossi.
Generally, polyamory is widely practiced among the Forjorni people. Exclusive same-sex attraction is considered the Half Souled state, wherein they seek the other half of their soul held by another man or woman. However, most Forjorni people take lovers of any gender and number. Permanent relationships are rare; lovers move between groups, and sometimes overlap between groups in complex relationship circles. Parenting tends to taken on by the wider village community, though mothers and fathers have a role in raising their children as well. Elders will often watch children during the day while their parental figures work, tutoring them and handing down the stories of the Forjorni people to their older cares.
- Etivar - Capital of the lands of the Ice Lords.
- Kalord - Far northern continent.
- Colossi - Clockwork golems used for manual labour.
- Ispau - Modern capital of the Tribes of the Forjorn
- Catenary arches - A self-supporting arch of stone.