In the far north of the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm, in the province of Stäpplandskap is a vast area of land that is covered in innumerable totems, each commemorating a fallen warrior and recording his great deeds in life. As far as the eye can see the eerie, technicoloured forest of totems is a truly magnificent sight to behold, and in some places the totems are so densely packed that it is hard to navigate a way through them. Even though the totems are made of relatively simple materials and that the majority of them are carved and decorated by individuals who are not trained craftsmen, the sheer poignancy of this memorial forest is truly staggering, and is a wondrous symbol of the respect and honour that the tribes of Stäpplandskap remember their dead.
The totems are not formally standardised in anyway, and they vary greatly in design, decoration and quality. What they do have in common is that they are all constructed from wood, often from a single tree trunk that has been stripped of its branches; they are all carved with elaborate patterns that cover the entire surface of the wood, and these carvings are then painted in a variety of bright colours to help pick out the detail. Some of the totems have ornamental tops that have been carved into the shapes of animals and monsters. Each of these totems has been carved by a member of the deceased’s family in a highly ritualised act whose sole purpose is to honour the dead and ensure that their life history is preserved for future generations.
Stríðsminning came into being around the turn of the 3rd century S.E. when the tribal peoples who now inhabit Stäpplandskap were gradually forced further and further north by the emerging Kingdom of Kjörnsholm, and became more restricted what lands they could continue to use as nomadic territories. The peoples of Stäpplandskap had been commemorating their dead through the use of carved totems for centuries before the creation of Stríðsminning, but they had never before erected them in a single location. It was only after the briefly united tribes of Stäpplandskap made a valiant, but futile last stand against the encroaching power of Kjörnsholm, in a battle that saw thousands of their warriors being killed at the hands of the Kjörns, that the remaining tribesmen erected a large collection of totems in the same place. This site would become known as Stríðsminning, which means war memorial in their local language. From that day onwards, the peoples of Stäpplandskap chose to erect new totems in the same place as this memorial, so that the deceased could be represented with their ancestors who had fought so bravely in their attempt to avoid being taken under the rule of the Kingdom of Kjörnsholm.