Pathfinder - Of Men and Kings
Land of the Linnorm Kings
|Land of the Linnorm Kings|
|Rulers||Sveein Blood Eagle|
|Ingimundr the Unruly|
|Government||Loose confederation of tribal monarchies|
The Lands of the Linnorm Kings are the homeland of the Ulfen people and are a kingdom as wild and untameable as the people it has spawned. Nestled on the north western tip of Avistan it is a realm of taiga and marshland that spends much of the year frozen beneath layers of snow, a place utterly inhospitable to all but the hardiest people.
The Lands of the Linnorm Kings has little central government; instead it comprises a series of smaller kingdoms united by their common Ulfen heritage. Currently, there are seven Kingdoms though, in the past, this number has grown and decreased:
- Broken Bay;
- Grungir Forest;
- the Ironbound Islands;
These smaller kingdoms are often based around a single large town and may be led by a Linnorm King. The Linnorm Kings are leaders of legend, and each king being a powerful warrior equal to the mightiest heroes of any other land. To claim the title of Linnorm King, an applicant must defeat a dragon known as a linnorm in single combat. This incredibly difficult challenge ensures that only the mightiest warriors ever become Linnorm Kings. Within their domains Linnorm Kings have complete authority over their subjects. Conflicts between these small kingdoms are commonplace, but are not usually settled by full-scale war.1 The actual number of Linnorm Kings has varied over the centuries, but at the moment, consists of four ruling in Linnorm Kingdoms: Ingimundr the Unruly leads Broken Bay, White Estrid (the only woman in the group) rules the Ironbound Islands, Opir Eightfingers controls Southmoor, and Sveinn Blood-Eagle rules the Thanelands. The other three kingdoms have no single ruler or, in the case of Hagreach, a castellan is currently in control.
When the kingdom known as the Lands of the Linnorm Kings first came into being no one is sure, just as no one is sure what the land may have been called before this. While it may not have a definite beginning the legends of the ancient Linnorm Kings stretch back millennia to the time before Aroden was a god. The most famous of these early exploits was the discovery of Arcadia by the Linnorm King Ulvass in -473 AR. Through out the long millennia since the annals of history have been dotted with the exploits of exceptional Ulfen. Throughout much of the Age of Enthronement the Ulfen of the Land of the Linnorm Kings were raiders ranging along the entire western coast of Avistan and even occasionally Garund. In recent years the incessant raiding of the Ulfen seems to have reduced though their penchant for daring has not. The most recent example was Linnorm King White Estrid’s arrival in Absalom in 4704 AR. She arrived having launched a daring raid of the Nidalese port of Nisroch after which she breached the Chelaxian blockade (the Chelaxians are noted allies of Nidal) at the Arch of Aroden before victoriously putting in at Absalom.
Despite the long and glorious deeds of their ancestors there is a dark stain against the history of the Land of the Linnorm Kings, a stain that haunts Ulfen life to this day and makes its eastern borders a dangerous place, Irrisen. The land that forms modern day Irrisen was not always a separate nation and once its perpetually-wintered plains belonged to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. The lands were taken from them by Baba Yaga over a thousand years ago in 3313 AR. The armies of Baba Yaga took less than a month to conquer the eastern reaches of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, her army of icy Fey and blue skinned trolls enslaved the entire region brutally slaughtering any that resisted the rise of their new queen. Despite this event occurring over a thousand years ago and Baba Yaga’s departure of Golarion to travel the planes the Ulfen people of the neighbouring kingdom still hold a grudge.
The Lands of the Linnorm Kings sit in the northwestern-most corner of Avistan, where the land meets the Steaming Sea and the Stormspear Mountains which separate it from the eternal ice of the Crown of the World.8 Not all of the Linnorm Kingdoms are based on the mainland. The kingdom of White Estrid is based around a group of large islands, the Ironbound Archipelago, which jut out into the Steaming Sea; many of these islands are not in control of White Estrid and the Lands of Linnorm Kings. The Lands of the Linnorm Kings is bordered on land by only two other kingdoms: the hated realm of Irrisen to the east and the storied land of Varisia to the southeast. The Lands of the Linnorm Kings are a cold, frozen place made up mostly of taiga and marshland with much of its geography carved from the land by ancient glaciers. The land does not easily support agriculture, though it is filled with game and rich wildlife. The coastal areas are kept warmer by the Steaming Sea, but are also buffeted year-round by rain and snow. The most interesting geographical feature of the Land of the Linnorm Kings is extra-planar, for it sits atop an invisible planar rift leading to the First World of the fey. This rift is the reason for the large amount of fey that inhabit the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. It also explains the presence of the rare and mysterious linnorms.19
The main geographical features of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings are: