Children of the Northern Frost
Our forefathers may have left the northern lands, but our ways have remained the same. They'd be glad to know that their descendants enjoy longer, healthier lives while still maintaining our fierce ways.The Vakner people are native to the northern reaches of Pekkola, where they live along the rivers of Rothnia, and in the mountain valleys and the shores of Henvikendal. Their forefathers migrated south from the desolate frozen wastes north of Pekkola, now known only as Æþíne. Throughout the known world, Vakner folk are regarded as honourable and polite. Their merchants are highly respected among the peoples of the Kirreic Ocean and the seafaring vessels on which they travel are renowned for their speed and hardiness.
AppearanceForeigners who have visited Henvikendal and Rothnia have remarked on similarities between the land and its natives. A Vakner man or woman stripped of their clothes would likely remain unseen by most in the wintery weather. They would also likely freeze as even with their natural resilience towards the cold, their homeland shows no mercy to those who'd remain on her soil unprepared.
HeadsThe facial features of most Vakner are similar to those of their Aeth neighbours to their southwest. Such common characteristics result from generations of intermingling between the two peoples.
Vakner are known for their fair and well-maintained hair, to which they dedicate a special ritual in the morning and before sleep. Many of them even apply special scents to attract and impress people.
People with brown eyes are a rare sight in their territories except for the borderlands between the Vakner and Ceireds where light brown and amber eyes are less rare. Most folk have blue or grey eyes, but there's also a significant minority of green-eyed people in Rothnia because of their proximity to the Aeths.
The hardy sons and daughters of the northern lands are as pale as the white lands that surround them. Their eyes as blue as the sky and sea pierce through all deception as they determine a man's honour and worth.
Never have I encountered a people as sturdy, yet refined beyond expectations. In the eyes of the Vakner, even the Rahya must have appeared barbarous.
CultureCommunity, cooperation and communication are key aspects of Vakner society that have moulded the way they behave and how their society functions. In most villages everyone knows and regularly works with their fellow neighbours. In larger towns and cities where knowing everyone is impossible, all families are still aware of each other and their patriarchs hold weekly or biweekly meetings where the families can get to know their fellow townsfolk more.
JusticeVillage and town meetings between families are also for solving legal disputes and deciding upon punishments for criminals. The verdicts of these judgements are often considered soft on criminals, but that’s because the Vakner wish to avoid future bad blood with their neighbours and so they hope a slap on the wrist will be enough to deter future crime. Repeat offenders and murderers are treated less kindly, often suffering from death, banishment, or serious injury.
Gierr, you’ve once again been accused of stealing Knutsen’s sheep. Clearly the last punishment was insufficient. For violating our trust, for dishonouring your family and ancestors, and for the crimes you’ve committed, we the people have unilaterally agreed to banish you from this town with no possessions! Get out and make sure to never set foot on our dear lands again!
Regional DifferencesWhen the Vakner migrated southward to Pekkola they soon found themselves on two sides of a great mountain range. As travel through the valleys proved arduous, the people of Henvikendal and Rothnia diverged into two different recognisable subcultures with their own languages. Over the course of centuries these two identities became stronger and more distinct.
Rothnians & HenvikishThe Rothnians had to deal with the Aeth who they both fought and made friends with at times. The outcome of this cultural exchange and bloodshed moulded those Vakner west of the mountains into a more warlike folk, capable of brilliant feats of conquest. In Henvikendal, east of the dividing heights, things were less tense and the local culture retained much of its original aspects, making them the closest to their ancestors who had migrated there. The Henvikish learned the value of trade and shipbuilding and invented the knarr which allowed them to bring prosperity from foreign lands to the benefit of their people. Success brought upon jealousy from the Tathians whose resentfulness led to their participation in the Rahya war for Henvikendal.
WarfareThe armed forces of Vakner rulers focus on light cavalry, and hilltop archery and on the high seas they excel at naval boarding. Whenever a vessel of theirs is under attack or in the process of raiding another ship, the crew’s primary aim will be to subdue the enemy without harming the ships. The Vakner are all great at swimming and cold waters don’t phase them all that much.
Last time I encountered a bunch of unfriendly Vakner I ended up losing half of my vessels and then half a year later I encountered my lost vessels with a ton of Vakner merchants on it back in the harbour.
LegendsEach child from the shores of the Kirreic to the stormy beaches of the North Sea has heard the tale of King Hálfdan Ubbasen and his voyage across the sea. The story of how the legendary uniter of the Henvikish had fallen to his own hubris and lost a mighty relic of their people, the Vákniþir, is passed down from generation to generation. It is a lesson in the dangers of uncontrolled greed and hubris and serves as a warning to the younger generations. While the tale originates from Henvikendal and is most well known there, plenty of parents in Rothnia have learned of it and tell it to their descendants as well.
MaleÁle, Alver, Alvgeir, Anders, Anlávur, Anunder, Arnbjörn, Arngrimur, Arni, Arnvast, Asbjörn, Ainar, Báge, Baldur, Bárid, Bengt, Bersi, Berti, Birger, Björn, Pó, Borkvard, Botulver, Bragi, Buhli, Dág, Dan, Dyre, Eiliv, Égil, Émund, Érik, Éskild, Falki, Fáste, Fílip, Frédrik, Frírek, Frohi, Freyer, Folki, Gandalv, Geirr, Georg, Gnupa, Gorm, Greger, Grimer, Guhvri, Guhmundur, Gudröder, Gunnar, Hákon, Hálsten, Hárald, Haukur, Helgi, Hemming, Holmger, Hrahn, Hroler, Hrane, Hästen, Hjalmar, Hrodgar, Hrodulv, Hröker, Hysing, Ingölv, Ingemar, Ingjald, Ivar, Jedvard, Jon, Karl, Kettel, Kettelmund, Kjartan, Klás, Knut, Kol, Kolbjörn, Magnus, Markus, Mats, Nils, Niklas, Oder, Oig, Olav, Orm, Otarr, Rev, Rehil, Ragnarr, Rikul, Rögenvald, Skuli, Snorri, Sigbjörn, Sigtryi, Sigurd, Starka, Sten, Sturla, Styrbjörn, Styrkar, Suni, Sveinn, Sverker, Sämundur, Sölvi, Sörkver, Tjudmund, Toke, Tolir, Tórbjörn, Tórfinn, Tórbrand, Tórdur, Tórgil, Torsteinn, Tórolv, Toste, Totil, Tryggve, Tyke, Ulv, Vagen, Valdemar, Åke, Yngvar, Örvar, Öysteinn
FemaleAléta, Alvhild, Alfrid, Alvör, Anna, Ása, Áslaug, Asta, Astrid, Beata, Birgitte, Björg, Bodil, Bothild, Édla, Élin, Élisabet, Freyja, Gerdir, Glodir, Gríma, Gunnhilder, Gurli, Gudrun, Gyla, Gyrid, Gyda, Havrid, Halla, Helena, Holmrid, Iliana, Inga, Ingbjörg, Ingerdir, Ingrid, Kárin, Katarína, Kráka, Kristína, Linda, Maer, Malmri, Margaréta, Mária, Rikissa, Rögnfrid, Rögnhild, Sága, Sára, Sihv, Sigrid, Skuldi, Sofia, Svanhild, Ulvhild, Vigdis, Ylva, Yrsa, Tóra, Tordis, Týra, Freydís
SurnameFather's name (or mother's if father is unkown) + -son (son) / -dytter (daughter)
MaleAle, Alfr, Alfgeir, Anders, Anlaufr, Anundr, Arnbjørn, Arngrimr, Arni, Arnfast, Asbjørn, Bagge, Baldr, Barid, Bengt, Bersi, Bertil, Birger, Bjørn, Bo, Borkvard, Botulfr, Bragi, Buðli, Dag, Dan, Dyre, Eilif, Egill, Emund, Einarr, Eirikr, Eskild, Falki, Faste, Filip, Fredrik, Frirek, Fróði, Freyr, Folki, Gandalfr, Geirr, Georg, Gnupa, Gorm, Greger, Grimr, Guðfrið, Guðmundr, Guðrøðr, Gunnarr, Hakon, Halsten, Haraldr, Haukr, Helgi, Hemming, Holmger, Hrafn, Hrolfr, Hrane, Hæsteinn, Hjalmar, Hroðgar, Hroðulfr, Hrørekr, Hysing, Ingølfr, Ingemar, Ingjald, Ivar, Jedvard, Jon, Karl, Kettil, Kettilmund, Kjartan, Klas, Knut, Kol, Kolbjørn, Magnus, Markus, Mats, Nils, Niklas, Oddr, Ofeig, Olafr, Ormr, Ottarr, Refr, Refil, Ragnarr, Rikulfr, Røgnvaldr, Skuli, Snorri, Sigbjørn, Sigtrygg, Sigurðr, Starkaðr, Steinn, Sturla, Styrbjørn, Styrkar, Sumarliði, Suni, Sveinn, Sverker, Sæmundr, Sølvi, Sørkver, Tjudmund, Toke, Tolir, Þórbjørn, Þórfinn, Þórbrandr, Þórdr, Þórgil, Þorsteinn, Þórolfr, Toste, Totil, Tryggve, Tyke, Ulfr, Vagn, Valdemar, Åke, Yngvar, Ørvar, Øysteinn
FemaleAleta, Alfhildr, Alfrið, Alvør, Anna, Asa, Aslaug, Asta, Astrid, Beata, Birgitta, Bjørg, Bodil, Bothildr, Edla, Elin, Elisabet, Freyja, Gerðr, Gloð, Grima, Gunnhildr, Gurli, Guðrun, Gyla, Gyrið, Gyða, Hafrid, Halla, Helena, Holmfrid, Iliana, Inga, Ingfrid, Ingibjørg, Ingjerðr, Ingrid, Karin, Katarina, Kraka, Kristina, Linda, Maer, Malmfrið, Margareta, Maria, Rikissa, Røgnfrið, Røgnhildr, Saga, Sara, Sif, Sigrid, Skuld, Sofia, Svanhildr, Ulfhildr, Vigdis, Ylva, Yrsa, Þora, Þordis, Þyra, Freydís
SurnameFather's name (or mother's if father is unkown) + -sen (son) / -datter (daughter)
Cultural CapitalSjálborg, a great centre of trade upon the river Etarjúl, is the cultural capital of the Vakner. The settlment was the largest city to fall under Rahyamin rule and therefore was given the special status to pacify the locals. The Vakner of Henvikendal argue that Helgarðr is more worthy of the status because of its role in the legendary tale of Hálfdan's Voyage.
Henvikendal is a cold and harsh region in the northern parts of Pekkola that is primarily inhabited by the Vakner and renowned for its magnificent fjords and mountains.
Rothnia is a region in northern Pekkola that is mostly inhabited by the Vakner and the majority of it falls within the borders of the High Kingdom of Rothnia.