Nation name: Norsca
“Bua No Bas”
-Pronounced Nor-sca, plural: Norscans
-A nation of Warriors, Pillagers, and Raiders
-Infamous for their savage and merciless warriors
-Known to boldly raid any nations coastal ports and settlements
-Located in the harsh and cold Northestern lands of Oballathin, scattered into many tribes
-National language is Nordish and Broken Ulkart
-Primarily a Polytheistic belief of beastial gods and care not for other religions
-Still plagued by old grudges throughout its main tribes
-Population: 3 million
-Manpower: 150,000 with 15,000 professional soldiers
Nordish(Human): A group of pale skinned and hardened people who make up 50% of the population. The Nordish are a hardy and versatile race that consists of many warriors and sailors, only a minority to those who manage to live off the land as farmers and such.
Bestigor(Werebeast): A savage race that many Nordish tribesmen claim to be the chosen of their number blessed by one of their patron gods in their favor that makes up 35% of the population. A Bestigor can only be created through offspring of a Bestigor and Human(Primarily Nordish) which is the most common, two Bestigors which is more uncommon, and finally through gaining favor with one of their patron gods.
Elken(Beastfolk): An elk like humanoid race that makes up the last 15% of the population. The only true beastfolk that has managed to survive only in due to their natural swiftness and stealth. The Nordish in general do not view them any differently and sometimes even respect their will to survive the harsh lands, while Bestigors view them as only being allowed to live due to their patron gods whims.
The Culling (Second age; 100-500)
Not much is known of this time period as the Nordish passed on history orally and rarely written with the rare few who could write, while the Bestigor traditionally only pass it down orally, and the Elken only recorded history when it involved their race interacting with the Nords and Bestigors. From what can be gleaned through similarities of various tribal storytellers and elders is during this time there were many tribes that warred against each other for survival. This is when many tribes rose and fell, either absorbed or killed off due to some of the bigger tribes gathering strength through conquest. Only after centuries of bloodshed did 4 tribes remain standing; The Varg, Bearsonling, Skaeling, and Sarl. The Elken stayed out of the conflict as much as they could to avoid the carnage wrought throughout this ear of strife. Along with this was the discovery of magic which at first merely added fuel to the already burning fire of the killing and bloodshed between clansmen and Bestigors.
The High King (Second age; 500-current)
This era is when recorded history truly began for Norsca as the climax of the era of Culling, when the High King of Norsca arose from the ashes. A Nordish babe that should've perished in the ruins of his tribes settlement and yet an Elken hunter took pity, nursing the babe in Elken lands. It wasn't long before this babe grew and finally learned the ways of peace through his Elken mentor, leaving when his mentor passed from sickness. He soon learned the harsh realities of life outside of Elken territory, already dragged into one of many skirmishes fought between tribes for precious resources and grew conflicted with each battle he took part in. Eventually he had made a name for himself as “Raider” and soon came the moment of when a patron god noticed his rising strength. When given the chance to be chosen, Raider blatantly refused the gods favor and walked off. This angered the god who then called his chosen to hunt him down for his arrogance. A Bestigor war party came to see only one lone warrior waiting on a hilltop for them, wielding a two handed axe and a pile of carcasses not far of Nordish tribesman loyal to said patron god. With a guttural roar they charged the bloodied warrior who merely resumed his fighting stance as they rushed the one called “Raider”. Raider soon became Warlord as the patron god angered from the refusal of his favor rescinded his earlier transgression and respected the warriors show of strength and conviction to his word. Word spread of the Warlord's deeds as smaller tribes flocked to the warrior and named him their Chieftain, including the Bestigors who followed the patron god that showed him respect. This tribe soon became the Dravach, led by The Warlord and marched towards where the four main tribes clashed for territory. Leading his small warband of warriors the Warlord stood in between where the four warcamps were situated, staring each tribes larger warbands with a hardened gaze and likewise his own warband stood with him. He bellowed out his challenge to all four tribes as each warband rushed to be the first to kill the upstart all Nordish know as the Warlord. The fight lasted for three days and nights on that hilltop, mounds of fallen warriors growing steady as time progressed and soon a victor emerged. The Warlord who still stood and only 10 of his warband still alive beside him, while the combined might of all four tribes warbands lay dead in the snow. That is when their patron gods made it known that he has proven himself worthy and let it be known throughout that he stood not as a Warlord, but as High King of Norsca as every tribe acknowledged his strength and conviction. So began the unification of all the tribes of Norsca under their High King as each tribes Chieftain paid homage to their new King and pledged their fealty to him. Under his rule Norsca soon knew peace as grudges became settled either through word or blood, the tribes becoming provinces under the rule of a Jarl of their respected tribe. The High King would soon pass and a successor would take his place, but Norsca soon knew unity and turned its attention now outwards towards new lands.
Appearance: Clothing matters based on ones actions and deeds, or station within their perspective province. Those of the lesser profession wear generally light winter clothing to get by and help stand their work in the their settlements, while those of higher positions of either great warriors or ruling positions tend to be able to afford to wear armor and better clothing from spoils gained from their days raiding or sport.
Craftsmanship: Most buildings in many settlements tend to be built for a specific purpose in mind which is generally made out of wood and stone so nothing goes to waste. Doing so means while designs may be almost the same from one settlement to the other barring tribal differences, repairs can be made much more quickly or a building repurposed for another role in a short amount of time. Instead of stone castles, Nordish Holds have large, stone, and wooden long houses where Jarls rule and live for most of their daily lives. As a universal rule the more important Holds have defensive walls and fortifications while smaller settlements have either little or no fortifications to speak of. Weapons and armor are made often made for being light, since extra weight can slow a warrior down and be their downfall if knocked overboard at sea. Their shields though are given extra care to provide a warrior protection while still being light, allowing such a warrior to withstand a withering barrage of missile fire. As such a Norscan shields are well sought after due to their durability and lightweight. Norsca shipbuilders are masters in their own right in regards to their raiding longships.
Traditions: Norscans have been and always be warriors first, masterful sailors second in their traditions. Warriors are always in held in high esteem, from the lowly Marauders to the Huscarls, any brave Nordish man or women that takes up arms is honored for their strength and conviction. While those who become excellent sailors also being honored in making sure their proud warriors return home with the spoils of their raids and feeding their Holds with resources from the sea.
Law and Rights: There are few laws in Norscan lands and vary between the different Holds. Rights tend to be given to those who are able to pull their own weight for their perspective province and Hold, as those who have served their Hold well can be assured of their own retirement later on peacefully. While men tend to inherit a majority of property, women can challenge this in their respective holds Trails of Ownership. Punishments for those that break the laws include serving as a retainer or death, be it quick or slow depending on the crime committed.
Pets: Most families in Nordish communities tend to own and raise dogs native to their lands as watchdogs or warhounds. These large and very loyal companions tend to be more common in Nordish homes while Bestigors may see value don't typically raise and own any. Hafingar is currently the province with the largest and best kennels, many of the best hounds coming from said province.
Slavery: Norsca isn't above slavery, but neither supports it due to their staunch traditions and honor-bound code in regards to a persons strength and conviction. Slaver ships spotted in their waters tend to be boarded to take over custody of said slaves and either sold back to their respective nation for a sum or given the choice to fight for their freedom.
Psychology: Norscans are a proud and hardy people forged in centuries long war and harsh winters spent trying to survive to the next day. Those too weak to defend themselves are viewed with little to no respect and those with strength with more respect. Though they view those with strength in respect, thats only half as a warriors mind is as important as their body in terms of their conviction and ambitions. Along with that those who gain the respect of a Nordish warrior gain a loyal friend and their worst enemy if their trust is betrayed.
Entertainment: Norscans are more or less entertained by sports of physical strength and the occasional bloodsport back in their homeland or rarely abroad. They can also be heavy drinkers and have been known to be excellent storytellers recounting their adventures abroad with a captive audience. Music is also common as a few have taken to wind and drumming instruments along with singing.
Food: Seafood is generally the main diet for Holds and settlements near the coast, while those more inland rely on hunting for game and the occasional trade from the coast. Though much more exotic foods can be acquired through their frequent raiding of coastal settlements.
Recruitment and Training: Unlike other nations, Norsca does not conscript soldiers or force them into service, but rather are allowed to either join or not. Due to much of their warrior like traditions though, the latter is rarely if ever chosen for those able. Recruits are required to be tested through fighting pits with varying trials based in their respective province, where the weak are weeded out and the strong move on is the general trial, some provinces throw warhounds into the pits to help weed out the weak. These pits are also where likely candidates can be found who are worthy for favor with one of their patron gods. Death of trainees can happen and each province expects such things to happen. Afterwards, the strong ones are then further trained in the use of axes, swords, and shields along with swimming along with unarmed combat so even an unarmed warrior can still fight.
Marauders: Norscan Marauders are the main armed forces of the nation itself, a group made up of mostly those who survived being weeded out from the trial pits and fledgling Bestigors, though rare cases a former slave with no place to go can be given the choice if they can prove their worth. The Marauders are trained weekly in ax throwing and swordplay, and excellent swimmers due to being trained to fight also at sea for boarding actions. Marauders are lightly armored and often armed with axes or swords, deadly great axes, and wear light helms. Commanded by either a Nordish Huscarl or Bestigor Chosen, influences of their home province evident on the brands of their shields and training.
Norsca Warriors (Professional Army): The Norsca Warriors are the great professional army of Norsca whose origin dates back to the ten surviving warband of the First High King. Originally formed as first a warband under direct command of the High King, it soon became an impressive offensive army. A mixed army of Nordish and Bestigors, the Norsca Warriors wear more heavy armor and stronger shields as their purpose is much more demanding. Their armor painted purple and bearing Norsca's sigil on their shields, Norsca warriors are well trained and supplied, coming from Jarls and wealthy Chieftains. The Warriors pledge fealty to their High King or Queen, as the Hing King is the only one who can command such an army in honor of the first High King.
Chosen: A minority of warriors made up of only Bestigors of all types that have proven their worth and gained favor with their wild gods. All Chosen know their death will come someday and accept it fully, but not before taking a few enemies with them. Given stronger lightweight armor, the Chosen charge into enemy battle lines with a savage fury few have ever witnessed and methodically butcher their foes with weapons gifted to them by their Nordish brethren or gifts received from their wild gods in the form of tooth and claw.
Navy: Norsca has a strong and swift navy in the form of longships, built to be a bit large to carry more spoils and warriors but also speedy to help the ships ram enemy ships and start boarding actions. Primarily used for raiding coastal lines and boarding actions of passing ships even in stormy weather, a deadly navy in its own rights. Marauders that train extensively for naval combat are aptly called Stormcloaks, due in part to wearing dark, heavy cloaks for stormy weather and showing deadly skills with an ax to any enemy boarder that foolishly boarded a Norscan longship of Stormcloaks.
Chiefdom Monarchy: Norsca has only prospered as such in due to the strong and capable hands of succeeding High Kings and Queens, who is also the only one who can formally declare war and set foreign deals. Beneath the High King or Queen is a Council of Elders consisting of powerful Jarls, Exalted of Chosen tribes, Head Greymane, and a Court High Wizard for matters involving the arcane. Said council of Jarls will also come together to meet which is called a moot and decide the next High King or Queen if successor isn’t chosen when the High king or Queen dies by vote. Only a Nordish can be High King or Queen of Norsca, a law that cannot be changed even by the High King or Queen themselves.
High King: The High King or Queen rules all of Norsca, a chief of it's military in war and the only whom can declare war for the nation and foreign interactions. The High Kings word is law and can enact edicts that last until their death, to which their successor can either continue or not continue such edicts. The position can be challenged by a Nordish who has proven themselves worthy of strength, conviction, and favor of the majority of their wild gods by rights of Mortal Kombat.
Jarl: A Jarl is the leader of a province and oversees said land, also has a seat on the Council of Elders. While independent, they still swear fealty to their High King along their successor after a Jarls retirement or passing. Even a retired Jarl can still have a seat on the Council of Elders if the ruling family still views them as capable.
Exalted: A Chosen who has proved themselves worthy enough to their patron god and given leadership of a Chosen Tribe. Equal in power and maybe more to a Jarl of a province, has a seat on the Council.
Greymane: A Elder Bestigor that serves as priests to their wild gods and advisory roles to Exalted or Jarls due to their natural wisdom gained from long years serving their patron gods along with powerful magic granted in their worship, highly respected in all provinces.
Court Wizard: A Nordish with a natural affinity to magic and an equally curious mind to study said magic. Generally recluses that serve a Jarl in matters involving the arcane and taking on apprentices while they study. Mostly Cryomancy, Electromancy, and Hydromancy is practiced among Court Wizards in Norsca.
Thane: An honorary title given by a Jarl of a Hold to those that prove worthy in the eyes of said Jarl. There is no limit to the amount of Thanes a Jarl can have in their province, a noble of sorts.
Commoner: A commoner with common rights.
Dremorish: Dremorish is the dominant religion within Norsca that revolves around worship of a pantheon of gods with forms taking on natural predators. Despite being in a general pantheon, each god are natural rivals of one another and value strength of a certain aspect in their followers of worship. Those that prove worthy of their god in worship can in turn be gifted their favor and gain the animal aspect that the god represents. In turn they become a whole new race devoted to their god and their said whims as their Chosen. The main gods currently with the most influence in Norsca is the Wolf, Bear, Eagle, and Tiger gods.
Norsca Taxation: To help fund this relatively new nation, Norsca place a small tax on its people as a majority still struggle to feed their families due to their lands harsh conditions. Norsca also lays claim to about 10% of raider hauls that come back to port, be it valuables or the occasional slaves.
Resources: Norsca is based in the northeastern part of Oballathin and while harsh does offer few resources. The only problem being for those getting lumber must deal with disputes of logging in Elken territory and the extreme cold one must deal with almost year round that prevents most common crops from ever growing and dieing off. Though hunting has proven to be especially lucrative though double edged as the wildlife is fierce and larger then most of their normal species.