An alchemist's pathway.
The Arctic peoples know as the Ka’alt reside here. They are distinct nomadic tribes, who have temporary homes during summer, but who roam following the herds of deer and other herds of prey animals as they migrate across the frozen lands. Each tribe is composed of different families usually composed of three or four generations of family members, as the old are looked after by the entire family, as are the young, with each family contributing to the tribe as a whole.
The Ka’alt rely on trade with other lands for iron and such things, and in turn trade furs, fish, meats and crystals which are to be found in the ice. The clear, blue crystals are said to be tears from the spirits of the sky, and are always as cold as ice, yet never melt unless in temperatures above the point of boiling for water. These are usually sold carved into intricate and beautiful ornaments in the shape of figurines, though they are never sold whole. Some guess that this is because the Ka’alt people hold the whole ones as spiritual objects and it’s only broken ones that are carved and sold.
They are a people who earn some respect due to their difficult life-style, as the land they wander is harsh and unforgiving, yet amazingly beautiful. It’s also because of the conditions there that they haven’t been conquered yet as the bitter conditions and their distance from the main-land prove to dissuade most from even attempting, along with the lack of natural resources that other lands more readily offer.
The people of the Ka’alt worship spirits, with everything coming from the great creation where the fIre of creation bought life to the blackness of the sky, and all that remains is the stars which are small holes in the blackness of night that let the peoples see the light where the fire came from. They hold the spirits of their ancestors to be with them as they go through life, trying to guide them to their destiny.
The spirits referred to and given offering are:-
The great sky spirit
The great water spirit (the sea)
The spirits that inhabit every rock and every living thing on the land, in the sea or above us in the air.
If monsters/creatures attack then it’s probably some spirit or spirits somewhere that’s become upset and needs calming somehow, or to be made to move on to the next stage of their existence with their current form hunted and killed, to allow their spirit to move on, usually they try to go for the first way though, before trying the second.
There are only two permanent settlements for the Ka’alt, for trading, and one has become quite a centre for ‘tourism’ as foreign peoples are interested in trying to find the crystal for themselves, though usually they are there because of the beauty of the lands and the strength the lands are seen to give those who can brave them. The first trading town that has become established was set up by the Northics From Thail, and consists of Ka’alt peoples who have become somewhat accustomed to their more blood-soaked trading partner’s way of doing things, and the Families of those Ka’alt and Northics who have mingled their people’s bloodlines over time and settled down together- the port town of Vast’niltak, on the Westernmost point of the Ka’lt tribelands. The second larger trading town had been established on the most Southern point of land, on the Eastern side, and has all sorts of peoples there due to it’s more inclement weather when compared to the rest of the tribelands, and that’s been given the name Alt as it came from the Ka’alt people’s initially and has just grown over the years, with Alt meaning ‘the child of’.
Theocracy of Thail
The theocracy is composed of a series of tribes, all of them ruled by warriors who worship their gods and believe quite fervently that after they die they will go to the battle halls to share in feasts and fights with their warrior gods until the final days, where they will have to fight the armies of those who didn’t die a death befitting a warrior, as those lesser souls are unworthy and end up in Hel, the dark underworld, having forms befitting their twisted morals and fallen warrior selves.
In the final days those two armies will clash along with various giant beasties and elementals, tearing the world apart and making a new one free of gods and monsters, and all unworthy races of people, and the lands will finally know peace and relief from all hardship in the after-time.
They are ruled by a council of elders, who are equivalent to kings or great lords. These elders represent regions which are in turn are represented by the warriors who are tribal leaders in their regions who petition the elders to speak about their problems and to solve disputes. The council only come together once a year, unless a crisis or emergency dictates that they should do otherwise. Being a singularly spiritual and religious people they leave the greatest decisions up to the Gods.
Thail is the name of the land, but the people call themselves ‘of the north’ or Northics in more general terms. They are quite fierce warriors who make a living by trading, farming, fishing and raiding their neighbours, from such raids they sometimes take slaves as domestic help. In trade they use currency composed of skells and danes, with skells meaning ‘petty’ or ‘small’ referring to tin, copper and bronze skells, and then the greater currency units of silver and gold danes. These two titles are also given to the people of the land and the positions defining a class status, with the lower classes being the ‘skells’ and those in positions of authority referred to as danes. These titles would only be used to define the form of address as formal standards.
The Northic peoples worship a few gods:-
Woedin – Father and wanderer, who knows great wisdom, and sees through all veils.
Hentyre – Wife of Woedin, Mother of great wild spirits, goddess of the home and hearth. Worshipped at celebrations.
Boeldyn – Peaceful one, teacher and god of the home, usually worshipped by old men and women.
Hrudin – God of the wild places, and places untrodden by men. God of the earth
Feyr – Goddess of protection and of the air, mother of the breath of life. Worshipped by female family members and healers.
Thrik the Woedensson – God of Storms, anger and battle. Petitioned and thanked for victory in battle with sacrifices.
Ffeldyn (pronounced Veldin) – God of the underrealm – Hel. God of night, the moon and stars, and of winter. Takes all of the souls who died unworthy deaths. Given sacrifice and reverence, to get through the mid-winter’s night, and for any family members to be treated well in his palace.
There are many spirits and figures who are said to be born of the gods that might be met as they roam the land, and might be worshipped as well as the main gods/goddesses. Some heroes are also said to be favourites of certain gods, and perhaps are children visited upon families by divinity when a child could not be had.
The main place of meeting for the elders and a place quite holy to the Northic peoples is Haalstad, heel of the gods. A city where the god Woedin is said to have trodden when testing the land when it was new and not solid, leaving a heel shaped risen prominence of rocky land where it stuck to his heel as he pulled his foot from the land.