Norvsond

Norvsond

Overview

Until the emergence of The Northern Territories, Norvsond reigned supreme in the northern regions of Arrasia. Their navy ranks amongst the most skilled to be found anywhere on the high seas and their trading vessels are common sights around the coastal waters of nearly all the civilized nations.

The Norv culture is old and has changed little throughout history. The people are aggressive and natural explorers and much of the northern hemisphere is populated by Norvs. Wars between the Norv races are also common, though usually brief, and almost always materialize in the form of grand naval conflicts, with very little in the way of land warfare.

As a nation, Norvsond reflects the aggression of its people in all that it does, but none more so than in its trading methods with the other nations of Arrasia. Much of the northern wealth is transferred through the capital, Norv, where it is shipped on to distant shores and cities. Trade goods coming north are, conversely, shipped to the northern peoples through the existing Norvsond trade routes. Little is sold or bought in the north that has not passed through a warehouse or ship of a Norvsond merchant.

Not only does Norvsond generate an enormous amount of wealth from their central position in the trading routes of the north, but also from the vast natural wealth that is mined from the Utherial Mountains that stretch the entire length of their rocky island, including platinum, gold, silver, cold iron and, more valuable still, mithral, all of which are worked and shipped to all quarters of the world.

Norvsond tends towards good relations with Karnish, their major trading partner and rival, though this does not stop the occasional spat from breaking out between the two nations, though these are usually patched up fairly quickly, as trade and commerce is the overriding force that drives the economies of both nations. Of far more consequence is the constant break down in relations with Nÿgamär and the periodic fighting that occurs between them. On two separate occasions Nÿgamär troops have landed on Norvsond soil and it is thought that full war between the two nations is not too far away.

Relations between Norvsond and Amman have always been cordial at best, though trading is common enough between the two nations, though with the general poverty of Amman, even since its reemergence as a world power, it is not a market of great financial value. The growing markets of The Northern Territories have proved much more lucrative, despite the obvious tenesions that have emerged. The Northern Territories are comparatively a young nation, but who command a powerful presence in the north of Arrasia. Their traders now compete with the Norvs throughout the Argen Sea and The Sea of Ord, much to the irritation of the Norvs.

Significant Trade Export

Cold Iron: As one of the few suppliers of this highly sought after metal, Norvsond merchants can demand a high price it.

Mithral: One of the most precious metals in Arrasia, Norvsond is its largest supplier. Mined deep in the Utherial Mountains, it is often worked into fine armor and weapons and shipped on, but is also sold in its raw form. Mithral supplies the Norvsond coffers with a vast income.

Precious Metal: The Utherial Mountains are rich in platinum, gold, silver and copper deposits, which are mined by the dwarves whose shafts are said to run deep. As well as working these minerals into fine goods, they are also sold in raw form to nations throughout Arrasia and bring enormous wealth into the nation.

Tin, Iron Ore: Although the tin and iron ore extracted from the mines in the Utherial Mountains does not bring in the same wealth as the precious metals, there is nonetheless a high demand for these materials.

Brief History

Norvsond has always been, and remains, one of the elite nations in Arrasia, with their expertise in shipbuilding and seamanship unsurpassed. The Norv peoples are direct descendants of those who were led out of Herophet by Uther, who emerged on the rocky island that would later be called Norvsond. From the early years, the aggression of the Norv race was translated into their tribal way of life, with conflict common between the tribes. Due to the harsh terrain of Norvsond, these battles would often occur at sea, as one tribe would seek to stop another before they could offload their men and overrun them.

It was the rise of the tribal chief Kogun Ironfist that brought an end to the tribal political structure of Norvsond through a series of swift and ruthless victories against his opponents, unifying much of the north of Norvsond under a single banner and declaring Norv the capital of all Norvsond. However, it was under his son, Irthank The Mighty, that Norvsond was truly united and Irthank declared its first king.

Natural explorers, the Norvs used their skills to navigate the northern seas and soon small settlements sprang up throughout the north. For those that survived, Norvsond provided an excellent source of trade. Soon Norvsond found itself at the heart of a flourishing market of goods, with the small communities supplying valuable resources for the essential materials required to survive the harsh northern environment.

However, Norvsond soon found itself embroiled in conflict and after a brief and unsuccessful struggle with the dwarves of the Utherial Mountains, fell into civil strife after plague had swept through the country, decimating the population, including its king and direct heirs. The war between the main protagonists for the throne was fierce and bloody, with the land still infected with plague. The victor, King Ould The Unforgiving, imposed a harsh regime on his people. Witch-hunts began, with many innocents murdered, and his enemies ruthlessly purged.

The brutalization of the people triggered a mass exodus from Norvsond, who were desperate to escape the bleak times that had fallen upon their country. New settlements appeared all over the northern coastlines and existing colonies expanded dramatically. Many of these settlements would be the seeds for future nations, though many were initially wiped out by the savages that surrounded them or from the plague, which they had brought with them. Still more were murdered before ever reaching the land, their ships sunk by the navy of King Ould, who was desperate to shore up his borders.

It was not until the reign of King Philkes IV, long after the death of King Ould, that the state of terror that was created was ripped up and replaced with one that was fairer and more just. Peace was made with the dwarves of the Utherial Mountains, with whom the Norvs had periodically been at war for hundreds of years, and Norvsond set about exerting their influence throughout the northern settlements, who had slowly emerged as rival nations.

During this period, Norvsond found itself at war almost constantly with its new northern neighbors, and though its powerful navy held sway in the seas, Elminn soon emerged as a significant competitor and enemy. War with Elminn became commonplace and naval engagements a regular occurrence. Indeed, the First Battle of Nuthend saw a major defeat for Norvsond that severely shook the nation's self-belief and led to the signing of the Treaty of the North, which saw Norvsond officially accept the independence of the nations that had sprung up through the displacement of the exiles.

Throughout this period, the Norvs had greatly extended the reach of their merchant vessels, which were trading with nations all over Arrasia, including with Amman, who had emerged as a world power and a nation to be feared. King Fethwik The Wise was quick to see the threat posed by Amman and invested heavily in increasing the might of their naval strength. This proved to be contentious, with taxation key to the building program and, during his life, King Fethwik was much despised. Later, after his death, he became known as The Wise after Amman first turned their attentions to the wealth of natural resources found in Norvsond and attempted their first invasion, which was repelled by the Norvsond navy, after Wesdan had caused the seas to stir, sinking many of the Amman ships.

A much more focused assault saw Amman move their largest naval force north to destroy the Norvsond fleet and in a battle which is still regarded as the largest to have taken place at sea, the Battle of Addenbar, the Norvsond fleet, after coming close to being destroyed, managed to outmaneuver the Amman forces and drive them south. Although the victory was only a marginal one, it insured the survival of Norvsond and proved to be an end to Amman ambitions in the north, which remained free of the Amman tyranny.

The fall of Amman saw the rise of the fledgling nation of Karnish. Norvsond was quick to embrace the trade that the Karnish merchants brought with them and soon Norvsond merchant vessels could be seen selling their wares throughout Arrasia once again. However, the more recent emergence of The Northern Territories, who were soon closely allied with Karnish, and their threat to Norvsond hegemony in the north, saw tensions between the two nations greatly increase, tensions which are never far from the surface and which have led on a few occasions to hostilities between them, with a minor naval skirmishes not unknown. Such hostilities rarely amount to anything other than short-lived exchanges, however, with economic factors always coming to the fore.

On a far larger scale are the periodic conflicts that have arisen between Nÿgamär and Norvsond, with the Nÿgamär forces twice having successfully landed large numbers of their soldiers actually on Norvsond soil - once menacingly close to Norv itself. While these conflicts have always found resolution, there are some who predict that a full-scale war between the two nations is not far away. Tensions are also on the increase with The Northern territories as their power and influence grow in the region and with whose traders they now find themselves competing with. It is clear to many observers that the as The Northern Territories continues to grow, tensions are likely to continue to grow and some have already predicted war between the two nations.

The Major Towns and Cities

Norv: (pop: 37,500) A highly industrialized city, Norv is nestled amongst the dramatic coastline of Norvsond, with sheer cliffs acting as the backdrop to this busy city. A wide, rocky path zigzags its way to the top of the cliffs, with wooden longhouses lining the route - some precariously close the cliff's edge. The front of a large and impressive stone keep - the home of King Danik III - protrudes from the cliff face, overhanging the city below. The port area itself is constantly abuzz with activity, with the coming and goings of the merchant and naval vessels that anchor in the well protected deep water bay, through which passes much of the wealth of the north. Half constructed ships line the docks and are hives of activity. Smoke billows from the chimneys and industrial forges into the skies above Norv, which are kept clean by the stiff breeze that rushes in off the sea. The Norv longhouses are usually set into small grassy plots of land, from where families run their business, usually in wooden outhouses, and where livestock are usually kept.

Ordend: (pop: 7,500) Set on a large rocky outcrop, much of Ordend is completely cut off by the sea, which endlessly batters the thick stone walls. A heavily constructed wooden bridge connects Ordend to the mainland, where the city extends, the outcrop no longer able to sustain further growth. On the island, the longhouses are tightly knit and the streets covered in the filth and vermin suffered in over populated areas. The dock is crammed and busy, serving the communities of The Savage Coast and The Bad Lands. Where the city has extended onto the mainland, however, the streets are less packed, with homes set in grassy plots of land from where they run their businesses.

Important Personages

King Danik III: The reigning King of Norvsond, Danik III is popular amongst the people for having continued the successes of his predecessors in acquiring national wealth and esteem. A wily operator, King Danik III has managed to avoid war with Nÿgamär through realizes that it is probably only a matter of time. He is also aware of the threat posed by The Northern Territories to the dominance of Norvsond in the north, though is hopeful that Karnish's war with Zykerathox will see the The Northern Territories sucked into a long war that will thwart their northern ambitions.


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