Nordheim (3.5e Environment)
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Nordheim is a domain taken after Germanic mythology
- Gravity: Normal
- Time: 1 year = 1/2 standard year.
- Size: Finite: 2000 miles of diameter, 100 miles of depth, 100 miles of height.
- Morphic: Normal. Even deities need powerful magic to shape it after their will.
Magic, Alignment, and Energy/Elemental Traits
- Elemental Dominance: Mildly Cold Dominance.
- Energy Dominance: None, save exceptions.
- Alignment Trait: Mildly Chaotic.
- Magic Trait: Normal magic setting. Magic casted through Runes is 4 caster level higher.
- Technology Level: Dark Ages.
Home Deities: Æsir Pantheon, Utgard Pantheon, Vanir Pantheon; Foreign Deities: Mithra.
NOTE: all these races in Nordheim acquire the subtype Nordheim.
- Humans (Æskmann, Nadir);
- Duergar (Golden, Gray)
- Gnomes (Svirfneblin);
- Elves (Light, Dark);
- Giants (Muspellheim Fire, Jotunheim Frost, Hill, Stone, Half-Giant);
- Troll (Cave, Forest, Mountain, Grendle);
Eagle, Whale, Riding Dog, Horse, Boar, (Celestial) Raven, Weasel, Hawk, Porpoise, Cat, Wolverine, Owl, Brown Bear, Shark, Badger, Arctic Fox, Caribou, Sea Otter, Seal, Squirrel, Walrus, (Fiendish) Giant Constrictor Snake, Wolf; Dire Badger, Dire Bear, Dire Boar, Dire Shark, Dire Wolverine, Dire Weasel, Dire Wolf, Dire Eagle; Legendary Bear, Legendary Eagle.
Movement and Combat
Waterways are most used in Midgard.
Features of the Plane
Untersvart, The first layer is part of the Underdark, and is divided in two realms: Nidavellir, a rich of minerals cave complex, home to dwarves and kobolds, and Svartalfheim, a deeper and darker place, home to drows.
Midgard, the second layer is built as an elevated fortress, on the middle of the domain. It is home to humans, and directly in touch to the other domains. It is divided in five realms: Æskland, a land of snowy mountains and icy fjords, Finaland, a land of dark, misty forests, Hunaland, a land of cold steppas, Gautaland, a land of green hills and cold lakes, and Danaland, a land of great pastures and sea havens.
Utgard, the third layer is on the surface, encircling Midgard, and it is full of dangers and monsters. It is divided in four realms kingdoms: Iotunheim, very high mountains home to frost giants, Muspillheim, a fiery place home to fire giants, Niflheim, a cold and dark waste, home to dead and undeads, and Iron Forest a very hard and dark forest, home to various monsters, including hags and werewolves.
Reginheim, the fourth layer is suspended above the others and connected to Midgard by Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge. It is divided in three realms: Asgard, home to Aesir gods, Alfheim, home to Elves, Vanaheim home to Vanir gods.
The planar ash tree Yggdrasil has roots in lower planes (Utgard and Untersvart), and grows across Midgard, to support in its branches Reginheim. It grows from three springs, one in Niflheim, one in Gautaland, one in Vanaheim.
Untersvart is connected to Fire and Earth Elemental Planes, as well as Underdark. Midgard is coterminous in his southern parts to other domains, as well as being connected to Water Elemental Plane.
Realms of Nordheim
- Dwarven (Dwarfs), Dwarven Runes. [Secret]
- Giant (Giants), Runes.
- High Elven (Light Elves, Dark Elves), Runes.
- Hunik (Nadir), Runes.
- Kobold (Kobolds), Runes.
- Nordic (Common, Æskmann), Runes.
- North Hyborian (Hyborians), Gothic Alphabet.
- Troll (Troll), Runes.
Nidavellir extends mainly under Æskland and west Gautaland, and it is mostly formed by mines and tunnels, with few caves. Demography: 90.000 Kobolds, 50.000 Midgard Dwarves, 20.000 Duergar, 15.000 Svirfneblin, 5.000 Cave Trolls. Gold standard is used in trade. Its technological level is Low Middle Age.
Dwarves live in all the western and less deep part, although their tunnels and excavation go very deep. The Supreme Forge, place of great power, where the most powerful artifacts are forged is a direct portal with the Elemental Plane of Fire, whereas Durin's Abyss, in Dvergargard (50.000 pop.), is a portal with the Elemental Plane of Earth. Dvergargard, guarding the Gates of Dwarvenhome from the inner side, is a metropolis and the greatest city of Nordheim, it is the seat of the High King Under the Mountain, who claims lordship above all dwarves in the world; it is immensely rich. The King (LG) is sided by the Church (NG), the Council of Clans (LN), representative of the nobility (20%), the Council of Guilds (TN), representative of the guildsmen (40%), whereas the thralls (40%) have no representants.
Svirfneblin live deeper than all other, and are tributary to Dwarves, while fighting against Kobolds. Their city of Deepkeep (10.000 pop.), is led by the Town Council (TN) and the Guilds (LN). The Kobolds live less deep and in the eastern part, with tunnels leading to other cities nearer to surface. Their capital, Kurtulmakka (20.000 pop.), is led by a Council of Elders (NE), a powerful King-Sorcerer (LE) and the Cult of Loki (CE). Cave Trolls have their own lairs, whence they conduct raids against Dwarves, Gnomes and Kobolds.
Svartalfheim extends mainly under Finaland and east Gautaland, and it is mostly formed by huge caves and large tunnels, with a rich subterranean fauna. Demography: 60.000 Kobolds, 20.000 Dark Elves, 10.000 Svirfneblin, 5.000 High Elves, 5.000 Duergar, 5.000 Midgard Dwarves. Drow coinage is used in trade. Its technological level is Renaissance. It has mildly Evil alignment.
Dark Elves live mostly in the great city of Ungwembar (20.000 pop.) and surroundings, along with their 40.000 slaves (Svirfneblin, High Elves, Dwarves, Kobolds). They are ruled by a theocratic matriarchate, of the Priestesses of Llolth (CE), representatives of the clergy (20%), then comes the nobility (50%), gathered in the Council of Houses (NE), the arcane class (30%), represented by the College of Wizards (LE), and then the slaves. From the portal of Highdelve, they can access Taur-nu-Fuin in Finaland, whereas from Deepgate, they can access the rest of Underdark. Kobolds live in the western, less deep part, and mainly in the city of Jakamtak (10.000 pop.), led by a powerful Warlord (CN) and the Cult of Loki (NE). They mostly battle against Drows, to avoid being enslaved.
Midgard is bordered by mountains in its northern half, to shield it and protect it from the Utgard dangers. North Sea flows from west, dividing Danaland from Æskland, while an inner sea (the White Sea), subject to limited glaciation in winter, separates Hunaland, Danaland, Gautaland and Finaland. North and White Sea communicate through a shallow strait between Danaland and Gautaland, which can be sailed only by low hull ships, and in most points is fordable with barges. This strait is called the Gate of North, and has been the place of many a bloody battle. Deep in North Sea lies the home of Aegir, God of the Sea.
It constitutes the northwestern part of Midgard, and it is a rugged land, sized about 300 miles W-E and 400 miles N-S, cleft by deep fjords and mostly occupied by high snowy mountains. Demography: 200.000 Æskmann, 60.000 Kobolds, 5.000 Mountain Trolls, 1.000 Stone Giants, 3.500 Hill Giants, 400 Grendle, 100 Half-Giant (2% of population is Lycanthrope). Its technological level is High Middle Age.
Humans live in the fjords where they cultivate the few arable land and fish in high sea. They integrate their poor life with plundering expeditions. They are the poorest and fiercest human clans of Midgard. Æskland is ruled by a feudal monarchy, with population divided into nobility (Jarls, 10%), freemen (Karls, 25%) and serfs (Thralls, 50%); outlaws are known for making an even harsher life in the mountains (5%). The economy is based on barter, but gold is used as a standard measure. Trade is nearly exclusively conducted with Danaland, Gautaland and Nidavellir.
The capital is Æskenheim (4000 pop.), where the King reside (CG), but also very important is Stavengard (6000 pop.), see of the priestly College of the Way (CG). Other towns are Torunberg (2000 pop.) in the north, ruled by the local Guild of Merchants (LN), which trade Dwarven goods to foreign countries, and Lilienthal (1000 pop.), in the deep valley of Duergartal, which have a small council (CG). The Clan of the Eagle and the Clan of the Lynx rule in wild areas of Æskland.
Mountain Trolls live in hamlets the most northern and secluded area, conducting a life not too different from human one. Giants rule over the high mountains, mostly off slaves (about 10% humans and 25% kobolds are subject to giants) or plunder. Kobolds adapt to live at medium heights, part from plundering and part from mining. Their only town is the formidable keep of Rokogak (5000 pop.), whence its Chief (NE) strive to gather all Kobolds under his flag with any mean and, at the same time, securing the existence of its people.
The powerful sea vortex of northernmost fjords, called Maelstrom, constitutes a portal to Water Elemental Plane, and divide the Troll coast from the Æskmann coast. In the western rock walls, which defends Midgard from Utgard, there is a huge-sized magic portal (Iotundur) which brings to Iotunheim. While in the valley of Duergartal, there opens the Gates of Dwarvenhome.
It constitutes the southwestern part of Midgard, and it is a plain land, sized about 300 miles W-E and 400 miles N-S, made of grasslands, pastures and low gentle hills. Demography: 300.000 Æskmann, 100.000 Hyborians. Its technological level is Low Middle Age.
This realm is in a state of feudal anarchy, without any overall leader, and witnessing the slow but strong pushing north of the more civilized Hyborians, efforts resisted by the Æskmann. People live of trade, cattle breeding and agriculture. The social classes are nobility (10%), merchants (10%), freemen (30%), serfs (20%), slaves (30%). Serfs are bound to the land, but enjoy more freedom than slaves. It is the richest area of Midgard, and it accepts, other than barter and gold, also Hyborian coinage. Trade is conducted with both Midgard and Hyborian lands.
Nordburg (5000 pop.) is the Hyborian stronghold and center of Mithraic evangelization, lead by the powerful Bishop of Mithra (LG). Other Hyborian settlements are the military garrison of Adamgard (2000 pop.), lead by the Master Protector of North Marches (LN) and the commercial town of Hathafurt (1200 pop.), ruled by a hereditary Markgraf (NG).
The main Æskmann city, Hathaborg (10.500 pop.) lies on the Gate of the North, controlling the trade ways in all directions, and growing ever more wealthy. Although the immense power of the Guild of Merchants (TN), it is ruled by the Town Council (LN). Another important settlement is the self-ruling (CN) town of Trelleskap (3000 pop.) in the east, thriving on smuggling, and hated by Hathaborgers. The towns of Danhus (2500 pop.) and Danhavn (2000 pop.) are situated respectively in the interior and on the west coast, and held by viking warlords (NG and CN). Finally, the island-keep of Gottrikholm (1000 pop.) in the southeastern coast, is a stronghold of resistance to Hyborian penetration, lead by a military order, dependent from the College of the Way (CG). The Clan of the Bull rules in wild areas of Danaland.
It constitutes the northeastern part of Midgard, and it is a land, sized about 300 miles W-E and 400 miles N-S, covered by a dark and misty forest, mainly of conipheres, with great lonely lakes. Demography: 75.000 Æskmann, 10.000 Light Elves, 5.000 Dark Elves (5% of population is Lycanthrope).
Humans live in the coast, being fishers, farmers and hunters. The most powerful human mages of Midgard live here. Finaland is, in fact, ruled by a feudal magocracy, with population usually divided into nobility (Jarls, 5%), freemen (Karls, 45%) and serfs (Thralls, 40%) but all subject to an arcane class (Runir, 5%). The economy is merely based on barter. Trade is less practiced than in the rest of Midgard, although many seek the services of these powerful mages. The capital is Hålea (5000 pop.), where the High Master of Runes and Songs reside (LN). The Clan of the Bear and the Clan of the Wolf rules in wild areas of Finaland.
Far in the forests Light and Dark Elves live and struggle to ensure this foot on Midgard. In the border mountains, there is a magic portal to the Iron Forest (Iron Garth), and in the nethermost depth of the woodlands, in a black pinewoods grove (Taur–nu–Fuin), there is an access to Svartalfheim. The Elven fortress of Ost–nu–Fuin (1000 pop.), held by a military leader (NG) has a garrison and several outposts, watching on both dangers.
It constitutes the central part of Midgard, and it is a rugged land, sized about 400 miles W-E and 400 miles N-S, made of green hills, blue lakes, pastures and mines. Demography: 300.000 Æskmann, 60.000 Kobolds (1% of population is Lycanthrope). Its technological level is High Middle Age.
Humans live everywhere, profiting of the most fertile land in Midgard, and of rich ore mines. Gautaland is ruled by a matriarchal feudal theocratic monarchy, with population divided into clergy (10%), nobility (Jarls, 10%), freemen (Karls, 20%), serfs (Thralls, 30%), slaves (30%); that means that the clergy and the queen are in charge. The economy is based on barter, but gold is used as a standard measure. Trade is conducted with the rest of Midgard.
The capital is Uppaholm (13.000 pop.), in the northeast, greatest of Midgard cities, where the Queen (NE) and the High Priest reside (LE), but a town council (LN) is in charge for ruling the city. Another important city is Gautargard (4000 pop.), build to defend the Gate of the North, and held by an appointed warlord (CN). Other towns are the port of Gautarhavn (1500 pop.), in the east, ruled by a town council (CG), and the miner town of Kobalthal (1500 pop.) ruled by the local Guild of Miners (LN), which mine the hills. Kobolds live in the hills and in the mines. Most clashes happen in the area of Kobalthal, nearest to the kobold city of Smakalak (2000 pop.), whence their Chief (NE) rules. The Clan of the Boar and the Clan of the Bull rule in wild areas of Gautaland.
Another important feature is the Domstein, or Stone of Three Kingdoms, on the border between Æskland, Danaland and Gautaland, where periodically (at every Solstice Summer) the Althing is gathered. In the Althing, the Mayor of Hathaborg, the High Priest of Uppaholm, the High Priest of the Way, the King of Æskland, the Queen of Gautaland, the Jarl of Jomsburg, the Master of Runes and Songs, along with two other powerful leaders, with enough recognized authority, meet to discuss important matters. The High King under the Mountain of the Dwarves generally sends an observer.
It constitutes the southeastern part of Midgard, and it is a plain land, sized about 300 miles W-E and 400 miles N-S, mostly occupied by steppas and grasslands. Demography: 200.000 Nadir, 50.000 Hyborians, 50.000 Æskmann (1% of population is Lycanthrope).
Æskmann live in coastal settlements, built as colonies, whence conduct trade with the Nadir, and pay them tribute and, namely, hommage. Their society is formed by nobility (Jarls, 10%), freemen (Karls, 30%) and serfs (Thralls, 60%). The economy is based on barter, but gold is used as a standard measure. Trade is nearly exclusively conducted with the rest of Midgard. Nadirs live in the steppas, living of herding, plundering, trade. This northern tribe has come to dominate the area, with a tribal monarchy, but it has also absorbed some of the Æskmann customs. They own a great number (100.000) of slaves of different provenience (25% Nadir of other tribes, 25% Æskmann, 50% Hyborians).
The only Nadir city is Etzelgom (usually ca 10.000 pop.), where the Nadir Warlord (LE) has his great mansion. It is built around a sacred area, see of the tribal Shaman (CN), and it is most composed by tent, such that population and inhabitants vary greatly, apart from a small number of fixed buildings. Osthavn (3000 pop.), in the north, and Jomsburg (2000 pop.), in the south, are two Æskmann towns. The first one is a trade hub, ruled by the local Guild of Merchants, whereas the second one is a fortress home to a warrior order of elite mercenaries, led by a Warlord (NE). The Clan of the Wolf rules in wild areas of Hunaland.
Utgard has semicircular form, spanning from the limits of Midgard to the North, for about 500 miles. It is divided into four realms: Iotunheim, Iron Forest, Muspillheim and Niflheim. At the north, it is bound by the Ocean of Storms, where it lives the monstrous Jormungandr, God of Serpents and Destruction. It has strongly Evil alignment.
Iotunheim is the westernmost part of Utgard, bordering the North Sea (W and S), with high cliffs, the Muspellheim (N), and the Æskland (E). It is a land of high, snowy mountains, made of rocks, ice and stone. It is ruled by Thrym, God of Frost Giants. Mountain caves and ice castles are diffuse, as mansions and coves of the giants. There are no cities, but the capital is Thrym's own castle. Demography: 20.000 Cave Trolls, 20.000 Mountain Trolls, 20.000 Hill Giant, 15.000 Stone Giant, 5.000 Iotunheim Frost Giant. There is a strict racial hierarchy, in this actual order, going from Cave Trolls and Mountain Trolls (thralls) to Hill and Stone Giants (freemen) to Frost Giants (nobility). The society is modeled after the Æskmann one, with Thrym as a King. It has strongly Cold tract.
It is the easternmost part of Utgard, bordering with horrible dying scrublands and thornwoods, the Finaland (W), the taiga of Severnja (E), the Niflheim (N) and the Hunaland (S). It is a land of dark, thorny, impassable forests and woodlands. Demography: 60.000 Forest Trolls, 10.000 Hags (10% Lycanthropes). It is mostly inhabited by savage tribes of Forest Trolls, led by evil Hags, as well as werewolves. It is home to Fenrir, God of Wolves and Hunger.
It is the northwestern part of Utgard, bordering with steamy dangerous cliffs, the North Sea (W), the Iotunheim and the Æskland (S), the Niflheim (E) and the Ocean of Storms (N). It is a land of volcanoes, geysers and fiery deserts. Demography: 5.000 Muspellheim Fire Giant. It is home to the fiery Surtr, God of Fire Giants. It has strongly Fire tract.
It is the northeastern part of Utgard, bordering the waste of Hyperborea (N), the Muspellheim (W), the Iron Forest (E) and Finaland (S). It is a barren wasteland made of icy ashes and whipping frost winds, drowned in total darknesses. It is the realm of Hel, Goddess of Death, and his court of undead and dead in the fortress of Gnipahellir and the nearby beaches of Nastrond, where evil people are punished, and the fleets of dead prepare for the Ragnarok. Most dead ones live here. Demography: 100.000 Undead. It has strongly Negative tract.
Reginheim is suspended 100 miles above Midgard, being a celestial land of beatitude. It has mildly Positive tract and strong Good alignment.
It is the northeastern part of Reginheim, a land of green hills and marble towers, home to the Light Elves. Demography: 30.000 Light Elves. It is home to the Gods Idunn, Freyr and Freya.
It is the southern part of Reignheim, a land of green plains, and golden halls, encircled by formidable walls. It is home to the Æsir.
It is the northwestern part of Reginheim, a land of majestic rivers, forests, mountains, lakes, and seas. It is home to the Vanir.