Cold Hold

Cold Hold is ruled by the humans, or at least that is what they say. In truth, they are ruled by the land itself, which dictates to them what they must do in order to survive. For the most part, Cold Hold is not really ruled by any single group or person. Instead, it is ruled by a series of lords, and the most powerful of those lords, who gains the most respect, calls himself king, and demonstrates his power and authority by giving gifts to the other lords. They, in turn, are expected to give him the support of their fighting forces whenever the king wishes to do battle. So long as these battles are either necessary for the survival of them all, or grant them all profit, then the lords are generally happy to rally under a competent and proven military commander and king. If these battles are neither necessary nor profitable, however, a king is likely to find himself on the business end of an axe in short order, and a new king taking his place.

In the midst of the posturing of the warrior class, or those who are able to afford weapons and armor, are the common classes, the farmers and workers who tend to the daily needs of the land. These common folk are not included in matters of war or battle, which at once leaves them out of the privileged class, and also leaves them out of the bloodshed that comes with the warrior way of life. These two classes, warrior and commoner, are the dominating factors that drive the way of life in the Cold Hold region. However, there is also a class of mystics and scholars who are able to make a place for themselves on the fringe of society, their counsel appreciated, and any mystical powers they might field in battle even more appreciated. This is where druids, especially, and clerics find a place, as well as a small number of arcane casters, though arcane casters are regarded with fear and suspicion.

For the most part, humans are the dominant race of Cold Hold, though many of them have blue skin, as a result of a touch of frost giant blood that has slipped into their bloodlines. However, there are a fair number of ovida (sheepfolk) beastfolk among the commoner class, as well as wolfen and actaeon immigrants from the north, along with other beastfolk, looking for more food than can be found in their usual stomping grounds in the Far North, including sealfolk who live along the coast. Ice elves, or blue-skinned elves with a high tolerance for cold (though they are otherwise the same as other elves) are also present in the region, though they mostly keep to themselves in small, nomadic groups. Because of the strong orcish presence from the north, there are also a large number of half-orcs in the region, so many that they are not considered uncommon, though they are not liked very much. Cold Hold is also a destination for those trying to escape into obscurity without having their past pried into too deeply, and so people from all places might be found in limited numbers in one of the many small hamlets, villages, and towns that dot the landscape of the Bloodwit Delta.

Major Races: Humans; beastfolk; ice elves; half-orcs; other races.

Government: Tribal Anarchy

Nation Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Major Cities:
Ironvale: On the southern end of the mountains at the center of the Bloodwit Delta is Ironvale. Here, a hardy group of miners hews open the earth in search of the abundant mineral resources of the Bloodwit Delta. Ironvale would be hardly more than a miner's shantytown, except that, because of the importance of the mineral wealth it produces, it is considered to be neutral territory by all the lords of Rimevast, who all keep a few scouts to watch the town at all times. This is both to ensure that the place is never assaulted by hordelanders, and also to make sure that it isn't dominated by the other lords. Though there isn't generally much of a military presence here at any given time, to avoid making the other lords nervous, if any threat appears, Ironhold can quickly become one of the best-defended cities on the Bloodwit Delta as those scouts race off to sound the alarm, and gather what warriors can be found.

Cockaigne: Jokingly named after a mythical land of plenty, Cockaigne is the port city on the southernmost tip of the Bloodwit Delta, and the most prosperous city to be found anywhere in Rimevast. This is not to say that Cockaigne is terribly prosperous, just relatively so. A collection of longhouses, huts, and yerts thrown up around a large central mead hall, called Heorot by the inhabitants of Cockaigne, this land is warm enough to have farms that yield decently during the warm months, enough to keep people alive. It is also a center of trade, where the people of Cockaigne trade mead and minerals from the earth for the precious goods that they need from elsewhere. Besides this, Cockaigne also acts as a staging ground for raids intended for points south, and to patrol the Waters of Strife against hordelander incursions from the north. Cockaigne is rapidly approaching an actual city in size and population, and the ruler of Heorot is generally considered by tradition to be the king of Cold Hold.