Nygaard's history is filled with stories of pillage and plunder. To this day, it is what Nygaardians are most well-known for. Nygaard used to be a realm of savage brutes, spreading disruption and fear throughout the central lands of Anstarra. A rugged, mountainous province comprised of clans each drenched in the blood of territorial conquests, has been transformed into a (more or less) civilized land.
The people of Nygaard tend to push themselves to be something more than mere farmers, stone masons and hunters. Many farmers are capable of crossing swords with experienced warriors. Stone masons erect thirty foot walls to prevent unwanted monsters from invading their villages. The best hunters excel even in the harshest conditions, and also renowned trackers. Many a Nygaard hunter is owed a favor from a Tolbury noble or Sabrinn "collector" who was unable to find a family's buried treasure without outside help.
Capital City (Sundsvall)
Sundsvall, meaning 'Southern Valley', is the capital city of Nygaard and the home to Duke Ragnar. It sits on the river that flows south between Nygaard's two largest lakes. The warm valley and the cool northern waters help boost farming, herding and fishing for the entire valley around the city.
Shields emblazoned with the silhouettes of howling wolves represent the current ruling family lead by Duke Ragnar. Known for his desire to move beyond the current borders of Nygaard, and for his ability to rally the clans, the Duke is quite the feared leader.
Other Clans (Rynnaven and Vingdar)
The Rynnaven clan is the third largest family, keeping to the river-land on the border of Argenfeldt. Sheep herding, weaving rugs of dyed wool, and a knack for crafting herbal elixirs, are among their specialties. The symbol of a spider is often associated with them
East of the southern lake is a grassland hamlet dominated by clan Vingdar. For half a century children have been sent to the small keep on this land for weapons training and conditioning. This is a sister school to the larger, gloomy keep located in the jagged foothills. Rarely, an outsider who proves him or herself worthy of this intense education (and seems as though he/she could survive it), is allowed to train there for the standard two years.
Most clans are not ardent believers in omens or animal spirits. They continue to respect their ancestors and the natural world, but not to the ritualistic degree that those in Aslindale or Tolbury do. There are still individuals that do not agree with the brushing aside of ancient ways. The Oracle of Rynnaven has had the Duke’s ear for years in turn for the support of her clan. Every year, the Oracle reveals a prophecy that warns the Duke of what is to come. He does not take her words lightly, still possessing enough belief in this mysterious custom.
The philosophy that is woven through Nygaard is simple: The here and now is important. Fear and danger must be grasped by the horns. Fire will be walked through. Celebrations of life will take place with every successful battle or raid. Death brings honor to a family if their death was true. This is a useful attitude for a culture to have when death is unfortunately common, especially with the frequency of Korrigan attacks along the hills and northern mountains.