The Northland Wilds
While much of Altwaus pushes back against civilization's attempt to tame it, there is no land that is more wild and dangerous to cultured life than that of the frigid lands of Altwaus' north-eastmost region, referred to simply as the "The Northlands". A massive land, it has remained virtually completely unsettled for all of known history. While pockets of settlers have set up over time, no culture has gained enough population or traction in the lands to do more than provide a communal lean-to again the land's unforgiving natural predators and wilderness. Despite this, the vast territory has been highly contested by the neighboring human kingdoms, with the various kingdoms skirmishing or outright warring over the landscapes for centuries. Despite this, no kingdom has ever managed to gain more than a foothold in the land's hard soil and any claims to ownership of the Northlands are seen as vanity statements by the royal families as opposed to genuine expressions of political and military control of the region.
One of the most poorly mapped areas of Alwaus, The Known World, The Northlands contain jagged mountain ranges, darkened forests, freezing waters, and hard tundra earth. Called "The Winterlands" in many tongues, the land is known for its bitterly cold autumns and destitute winters. The mountain passes that grant access to the lands from the southwest are quick to snow over in the winter, and the shores to its south are wrought with icebergs and hostile fauna. Despite this, there is a distinct and unsullied beauty to these lands, especially in the early autumn and summer, where the cold of early winter is still held at bay.
A degree of isolation is presented to the environment due to its unforgiving protection from the rest of Altwaus. There is little migration over the mountains, and this has permitted the ecosystem to develop a variety of fauna that is strange and foreign to other regions of the world. The hard winters have made for a fierce survival drive for life in the region. Sentients and fauna alike are all driven by strong drives of fierce independence as they compete for the hard-wrought but abundant bounty of the land.
The land is abundant in many of the natural resources available across Altwaus, however, the hard climate and isolation of the territory make extracting the resources for transportation too much trouble for anyone not settled in the lands already.