The Northlands (Dominaria Supplement)
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The predominant Barbarian tribe in the northlands and the largest extent by total land area. They are divided into a myriad of tribes who's relationships are a complicated web defined by religion, family ties, and ownership of the mostly ruined city of Taypol. Taypol, built by Agnar the Black when the Kjeldons were still united in the late First Age, was a sprawling city that promised a heart to the Men of the North following their migrations from the South. It was a solid city with reasonably well laid roads and stone buildings, making it a metropolis beyond imagination in the North of course. Since Agnar's death and the fragmentation of the Kjeldons thousands of years ago, the city has become a symbol more than anything, and the tribe or faction that controls it controls the Kjeldons - at least in name and by tradition. It has been rebuilt or built over many times and the result is now a sprawling city of stone and wood with several systems of walls linked or defunct enclosing a massive population for anything this far north. Mess that it is however, it is the beating heart of the Kjeldons and the man who sits astride the Throne of Bone is the King of the Northmen.
The Fang Kjeldons
The current rulers of Taypol. Their name comes from the jagged mountain at the center of their realm. The peak, surrounded by volcanoes, stands a tall vigil over a network of valleys made livable and farm-able by the heat of the volcanoes. The volcanoes themselves are kept dormant but hot by the magics of the Fang Tribe's Pyromancers, who take the duty almost the same way as a cleric would. The young men of the Pyromancers work in and around the volcanoes as initiates and then again any time they return to the valley. the Valley is the heart of Fang-Kjeldon culture and is the closest thing they have to a sprawling population center outside Taypol. The valley floor is mostly farming, and the smoother mountainsides have been remarkably well tarraced, but buildings and houses sprawl throughout the rocky areas of the valley floor and up the mountainsides as well as into them. Aside from the Valley, Fang Kjeldons spred all across the northern expanse of Kjeldon territory. Their villages and towns dot the tundra and even the icy shores of the Far North where they hunt seals and whales.
New material from a Facebook conversation: The Fang Kjeldons are the most organized. They have Thanes who answer to the King in Taypol and who (in theory) enforce his decrees and taxes. They have the infrastructure (rough roads and messengers) to call up armies. Then there's the Fang Kjeldons in Taypol and the immediate surround. they're very urbanized. Taypol may be a partially-functioning wreck in the West, but it's the largest population center in the north. It has walls and markets and inns and such, as well as the castle and the throne of the Kjeldons.
The Bear-Fang Kjeldons
The western Kjeldons and the main enemies of the Illûnans. The Bear Kjeldons, called Bear-Fang only by decree of the Fang Kjeldons, are given their name from the mighty northern bears that prowl the dense forests, rivers, lakes, and tundra of a Bear Tribe's territory. These bears, as well as many other animals of course, are essential to the Bear Tribes' way of life and the bears provide the Bear Kjeldons with their distinctive garb and parts of their mythology. Bear Kjeldons wear bear furs: brown, black, or even the elusive and ferocious white depending on tribe or importance. They also make their tents out of them and, if they have a house, their rugs and bedding. The Bear Tribes don't have many larger towns but villages and hamlets of either houses or semi-permanent tents are common along the main "roads", rivers, and game trails. Their large towns tend to be focused around their Spirit Houses. Their Spirit Houses, always built over a hot vent in the ground, are the central feature of a practice almost unique to the Bear Kjeldons. Their shamen use an ancient form of Blood Magic, focused with herbs and using the hot vents as power, to contact the spirits of their ancestors in the Outer Planes and request their guidance or sometimes receive gifts. This practice is central to the Bear Kjeldons' beliefs and is used in preparation for any major decision. That being said there are only 4 or 5 of the Houses, and only one of stone (The High House), so the vast preponderance of decisions must be made without the spirits' aid or by means of a lesser means of contact.
New material from a Facebook conversation: The Bear and Claw Kjeldons are more nomadic but still have villages. Their organization is more familial and tribal but they do have Thanes of sorts.
The Claw-Fang Kjeldons
The Southern Kjeldons, on-again-off-again enemies of the Illûnans, and sworn enemies of the Bone-Kjeldons. The Claw Kjeldons get their name originally from the Northern Mountain Tigers they take as animal companions and use for clothing when they die. An inordinate amount of the Claw Kjeldons are Druids or have some Druid and nearly all of the tribespeople have animal companions. The snowy white Mountain Tigers are prized companions but many other animals are taken too, from birds to smaller mammals and even bears. The Claw Kjeldons are primarily hunters and gatherers in the vast plains just north of the Verge and in the dense forest that sits on their nominal border with the Illûnans, but they also trek the mountains to their south. The Claw Kjeldons are adept climbers and mountaineers and often trade and treat with the Dwarves and the monks of the high places. Claw Kjeldons are almost always on the move, but they do camp for as much as two seasons at a time before moving again to find food or meet up with another band. Their permanent settlements tent to be large though, because they only ever cluster together for good reason, and if compelled to stay the reason must be great indeed. Their largest settlement is build into a truly ancient fortress which their legends say they took from the Northern Dwarves long ago. They claim these 'Dark Dwarves' were in league with the Ice Queen, and that their ancestors led an army from Taypol to take the fortress to stop the dread Lich's power. Their sworn enemies, the Bone Kjeldons, are in league with her still they claim - although by all accounts she is either dead or has not stirred from her castle in some time.
The Bone-Fang Kjeldons
The westernmost of the Kjeldon tribes; the Bone Kjeldons are the sworn enemies of the Claw-Kjeldons and the Nords, and earned the lasting emnity of the Sibersk Tartars several centuries ago. The Bone Kjeldons get their name from their strange and almost profane practice of going into battle clad in bone over their furs and armor, and using mostly bone in their enchanted weapons. The Bone Kjeldons are said to practice necromancy and use it on their weapons and totems. While this is not quite known for certain, they definitely worship death and a cut from one of their bone weapons will almost never heal. Also too, their shamen and mages have strange magics foreign to the other Kjeldons and tribes of the north, and the persistent tales of the dead walking and the Bone Kjeldon's terrifying Draugr soldiers lend credence to the necromantic claims. In truth, the Bone Kjeldons have long worshipped the dread Ice Queen, a lich and ruler from the frozen seas to the far north. They work her unknown goals and exist in the Kjeldon realms only because of their ferociousness in battle and the fact that no one can prove their connection to the lich. To be true their strange powers are mostly legend to those that have never fought them, and many think the legends just that: legends about another tribe invented to spread fear. The Bone Kjeldons live mostly in villages and towns that hunt the animals in their range and in the mountains of the Nords and Boldous, fish in lakes, streams, and through the ice, and grow what plants they can during the brief warmer months.
New material from a Facebook conversation: the Bone Kjeldons are highly organized like the Fang Kjeldons, but worship death and revere death gods and death cults. They also have a city apoparently...somewhere in the deep north.
Full article on the Wyrmsworn in Factions.
The Nord Vikings
The Sibersk Regions
The Sibersk Regions are possibly the most inhospitable lands on Dominaria, with only the Sea of Sand as serious competition (volcanic calderas and such being, of course, out of the running). Whereas the lands of the Kjeldons do offer some land to scratch out a farm, the Sibersk Regions offer none but the barest and smallest scraps of vegetation. And whereas the Kjeldon lands warm in the summer time, the Sibersk remains just at the edge of completely inhospitable year-round. The people who live here are few, far between, and hardy as the Nine Hells.
The Tartar-men, or Tartars, take their name from the long and undulating Lake Tartar and its three waterfalls - each flanked by strangely elegant stairways. This vast lake, kept above freezing and occasionally warm by forces unknown, is ringed by 5 towns that form the center of Tartar culture. None of the settlements are too large, and it is a lengthy trip by small boat or horse to get between them, but the Tartars fish and trade a living out of the lake and surrounding area. Dominating the lake is an ancient temple complex held sacred to the Tartars. The complex is a series of 5 elegantly colonnaded buildings with incredibly old bronze doors and domes. There were once intricately carved pediments and carvings on the pillars, but they have all long been wiped of detail by the wind and rain. The Tartars do not know the truth of the complex or the stairs by each waterfall, evidently of the same make; and in fact no Tartar mage or priest has ever given a convincing explanation for the lake's year-round liquidity. They're content to live in and around the Kyrinvae ruins and rarely question the strange providence of the heart of their lands. Their nomadic lands stretch all the way into the Dhazanti Steppes and up into the mountains the Boldous and Nords call home. So the Tartar-men have a strange dichotomy: on the one side there are the hard, hardy, and sometimes ferocious Tartars who hunt and trek a living on the permafrost; and on the other hand there is the 'heart' of Tartar civilization. This heart is much less harsh, but no less rugged, and has a sense of community and almost national/tribal-ism that many other northern peoples lack. It is this heart that links all Tartars together, and most is not all Tartars will visit, trade with, or live at Lake Tartar during their lives.
Life on the lake has been peaceful since the Tartars threw out the Bone-Fang Kjeldons at the Battle of East Falls and the Battle of Hagron's Pillar some 30 years ago. Before those battles however, the Tartars had a bleak history. The Bone-Fang Kjeldons had taken the Tartar's homeland nearly a century before and ruled it for three generations. During that time the Bone-Fang Kjeldons extracted a heinous tax on their subjects. The first, and sometimes second born son of each family was taken and trained to be the personal guard of the Bone-Fang Kjeldons' King. The King did this to both break their spirit and to muster fearsome regiments of the physically fearsome Tartar-men. These Sibersk Tartars became the most feared soldiers in the North for almost 50 years, and nearly gained Taypol for the Bone Kjeldons before their sudden and violent rebellion. And how violent it was; 11,000 men trained to plan, organize, and orchestrate exquisite violence and equipped to match massacred the largest army the Bone Kjeldons had ever assembled in a single night of stunning violence. And as soon as the word reached Lake Tartar, the muster was called. Tartars from all across their trackless lands came together with the men of Ruul, who had long plotted to end the power of the Bone Kjeldons so close to their land, under the banners of war. The Battle of East Falls was an almost perfunctory affair, with the assembled Tartar and Ruulian "Army" crushing the meager occupation force. The Battle of Hagron's Pillar however, would be less so. Much to the dismay of the Tartars and their allies, the Sibersk Tartars would not be joining them. They made clear that while they bore the rebellion no ill will they had done it for their own reasons, and those reasons were all gold. After plundering the camp, armories, and war chests of the Bone Fang Kjeldons, the Sibersk Tartar Regiments - soon to become the most feared mercenaries on Dominaria - marched south to seek their fortune. Thus the last battle of the Tartar's brief rebellion was a bloody one. By the end of the day the ground around Hagron the Axe's mighty obelisk was soaked in blood and gore; and although they were nearly devastated, the Tartars were free.
Nowadays, life is more peaceful and easier at Lake Tartar than elsewhere in the North. People fish, and even grow things close to the lake or on islands, and trade with the other towns. There is a sense of community across the immensely long lake, and the greatest dangers are occasional Nord or Khackak raids. There is trade with these peoples too, as well as with the other Tartars and with the Skrælings. Horses and carts move along the rough but permanent dirt roads surrounding the lake, and people travel from town to town by boat also - choosing to portage around the waterfalls or merely switching boats. Beyond the lake the Tartars are a nomadic people, who travel by sledge as often as horse and hunt the animals of the permafrost, glaciers, and steppes beyond. Theirs is a rough life always on the move, but one they have been living since the first men moved north of the Verge and settled the ridiculously harsh terrain. Nomadic Tartars are not a savage people prone to ambush and scalping and the like but they are incredible archers, know the lands they trek better than any but a Northman, and are often good fighters. They trade with the Khackak Tribes and the Skrælings, as well as the Nords and Boldous when they go that far north, and travelers they may come across.
The Sibersk Tartar Regiments
Here is the full article on the feared Tartar mercenaries.
The Khachak Tribes
The Khackak are a nomadic people who range from the lands south of the XXX Mountains all the way out to the coast north of the Dhazanti Steppes, living off the animals they hunt and trading where they can. Originally a nation of tradesmen and hunters in the passes between Dhazantar and Ruul and plains beyond, they were shattered and scattered to the winds by the Wandering One centuries ago. They are now a fairly unremarkable people except for their expansive travelling and deep knowledge of the land. The Khackak people live the closest to the North of anyone and are fairly willing to share knowledge and trails with travelers for a small trade. Then there is their deep and abiding hatred of abberations and outsiders. Their spirit-craft and planar knowledge is astounding, developed over long years of paranoia following their civilization's defeat by the Wandering One. Another distinctive features of the Khachak is that they're always surrounded by their dogs: mid-sized to large dogs with fluffly white fur who double as hunting and sledding dogs. The Khackak use horses as well, but as one get's further from the Verge, they prefer the sure-footed dogs and snow-friendly sledges.
The Skrælings are the strangest of the nomadic peoples of the Northlands. Called spirit-walkers or head-cutters by many, their perfection of the strange art of Trepanning has cemented their place in northern myth. Other than the strange art, Skrælings differ little from the Khachak Tribesmen. There are fewer Skrælings, they have a much greater sense of community and even "ethno-nationalism", and they do have permanent settlements that are literally set in stone; but for all that many seeing them in the wild could not be blamed for assuming they are Khachak. Though hard to see, the differences are stark. A Skræling will always say he is a Skræling, whereas a Khachak or even Tartar will probably not. Their advanced sense of ethno-nationalism is created by their permanent gathering grounds and villages and by their strange and unique rituals. Their villages and permanent gathering/sheltering places are all built of a unique construction. They are dug into the permafrost or rock to about head depth and then built over again, giving the impression of a low hill. The ground helps to insulate them and keep them warm.
The settlements are just superficial adaptations though. What truly marks the spirit-walkers out is the process of Trepanning, and the abberant abilities it gives. XXXXXX
|Dominaria Campaign Settingv|
|Players' Handbook||Races, Languages, Classes, Magic, Religion, Literature and Lore|
|Dominaria Gezeteer||History, Geography, Climate, and Politics, Factions, Calendar and Holidays, Cosmology and the Planes|
|Dungeon Master's Guide||About, Items of Legend, Bestiary, Consumables, Law in Dominaria, Sample Places, NPCs, Variant Rules, Adding to Dominaria|
|Geography Subsection||The Westlands, Beldron, Arcadia, The Southern Isles, The Northlands, The Eastlands, Otaria, The Free Cities, The Verge|