Vintaren

Vintaren
Capital: None
Population: 65% jettur, 14% humans, 7% dwarves, 6% orcan, 4% xeph
Government: Clan autocrats
Imports: Liquor, spices, adamantine
Exports: Furs, timber, worked metal

Overview
Long ago, when the jettur threw off the shackles of slavery, most fed south, away from the site of their endless toil, and into the deep, uncharted desert. However, one small band, isolated from the rest of the revolting slaves, fed north, into the frigid peaks of the Rimefre Mountains. There these wayward slaves settled, viewing the frozen wasteland as a welcome sanctuary from the tortures of lifelong servitude. They revelled in the difference from their previous existence. Instead of cramped and hot tunnels and mines, here they were free to roam an endless cold wasteland and make their future however they wanted.

The unrelenting environment slowly changed the jettur through the generations, and their bodies became more adapted to the climate. Many grew thick, white fur over their bodies to shield them from the terrible cold and as other races became part of their culture by moving north, they too took to growing their hair long and thick. Today, there are more than a dozen tribes, collectively called the Vintaren Ice Clans living in the Rimefre Mountains, subsisting off the meager resources to be found there, often hunting the woolly elephants that roam their ice-covered lands. Occasionally an ice clan travels south to raid the settlements at the foot of the mountain chain or further south into Nimotei territory. These raids have given rise to legends of “abominable snowmen” that have spread beyond the mountains and into the world at large.Today the Vintaren ice clans have the Rimefre Mountains in an iron grip, having mastered the hunting of the large woolly elephants, they have enough resources to survive well. When the winters are especially harsh, some clans move south to raid, but otherwise they rarely go outside their territory. Clan warriors often fght against each other to bring honor and glory to their clans and to expand their territory. A few warriors, donning the black, are roaming mercenaries, robbers and raiders with no clan allegiance whatsoever. These warriors are both despised and feared, but almost always fnd work for a clan that is in some form of conflict.

Major Geographic Features

Most of the Vintaren culture is centered around the almost endless Rimefire Mountains at the northernmost edge of Tion. Here in the mountains and highlands snow cover the area for most of the year, cold winds blow in from the open sea and life is harsh. The mountain peaks reach far into the clouds, disappearing and only becoming visible on a sunny summers day when the clouds part. The highest peak is Skybreaker Point which is an ice-covered monster of a mountain reaching more than forty thousand feet into the sky. It is said that you can see the ice breaking off the point on a sunny day, but that it takes a month for it to tumble down to the foot of the mountain in the form of a shardfall. Shardfalls are common around the highest peaks, razor-sharp shards of ice cascading down the side of a mountain.
To the south stands Klanhierta, a large city, home to multiple clans who cooperate in controlling trade with the south. The city is located in one of the few valleys that open up to the south. Here the valley is warmer, allowing for farming as well as herding. Each clan controls a different area, with the hunting rights for a certain mountain, peace is maintained. Calling Klanhierta a true city is however exaggerating – it is a large village if anything. Its hundreds of longhouses make an impressive sight when descending through the pass to the city, but it is unplanned and chaotic. Almost a thousand people are always inside Klanhierta, tending to trade offers from the south or the clans in the north, raising their children and guarding the area against raids. Most raids are done by other clans and the city has been burnt to the ground three times since its founding a century ago. This however does not stop the clans from rebuilding and taking out revenge on the offending clan, for once Clanheart is threatened, all its clans march to war.

The Frozen Sea is a well-known area, even in the south, famous for its ice-fshing. It is an enormous lake, easily the size of the entire Broken Hollow that has been frozen over. Warm fountains underneath the ice continuously reheat the lake, making it a great place for fish and other aquatic beings to live in. Many clans come here, dig a hole through the ice and fish the hardback tuna, a large fsh that exists only at the Frozen Sea. The hardback has a hard shell, not
unlike a turtle, which protects it against the destrachans that normally hunt here. Groups of destrachan are often seen from far away, hunting fsh through the use of their sonic harmonics. This allows them to frst kill the fish, who is unaware they are being hunted through the thick ice, before crushing the ice with their sonic attacks. Most destrachan however stay away from combat encounters with the clansmen, a mutual understanding not of respect, but of the pointlessness of fighting when there is plenty of food.

The Snowy Plains are a great highland area northeast of the Rimefire Mountains, coming to a crashing halt against the waves of the Shattered Sea. Here the great woolly elephants wander in massive herds, unfazed even by attacks from the frost wolves. The only creature native to this area that can threaten them are the frost worms, great tunneling cousins of the sandworms from the south. These beasts have a way of lulling a lone woolly elephant into standing still before it launches its fearsome attack. Here the clans come to hunt, their elite hunters following a herd for days before singling out a stray or the weakest member, scaring the herd off with firey arrows that stick in their fur. Most hunters are below the notice of a frost worm, who prefers to focus on prey which can actually feed them, but a few hunters have found that they chose the same target as a worm did, leading to ferocious combat and often the deaths of many hunters. Only the harvest and the best of the Vintaren hunters come to the Snowy Plains.

Vintaren

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