The Coalition of Northern States

The Coalition of Northern States
Total Population: 30 Million
Spoken Languages: Skjorlinger, Common
System of government: Monarchy/Merchant Republic
Total military forces: 800.000
Alignment: True Neutral

“Take up the shield, the sword and the lance. Fear not the undead. Protect the interests of my Fatherland. Uphold the values of my lord Vaylen and my noble ancestors. These things I vow to do for the glory of the North, which fell once and never shall again.”
Oath of the Northern infantryman.

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The Coalition is the third of the Human realms, situated in the cold wastes of the Northern continent. The North is a mountainous and inhospitable place, where only the cunning and the strong prosper. The Northmen never fully bent the knee to the will of the Mad King, even though he had defeated their armies and burned their cities to the ground. When the City of Light liberated the desolated country, the plan was to turn the North into another puppet-theocracy much like the Protectorate. However, the Merchant Princes that traditionally controlled the industry of the surviving Northern cities persuaded the High Priest to allow them to rule instead, explaining that the Northerners would never accept such a regime. The new country would be a ‘Coalition’, a union between the cities which the Merchant Princes all but ruled. Each city would be an autonomous province that ruled its own holdings with minimal interference from the other Princes. The latter became the new nobility and introduced numerous changes, such as forced conscription, the redistribution of arable land, tax reforms that strengthened the budding nation’s economy and made it less dependent on the City, as well as introducing the worship of Vaylen to please their overlords in Terra. They also gave greater rights to Great Lizards and Reborn, in an effort to repopulate areas which had been completely destroyed by the Mad King.

Nevertheless, the people did not accept these new Princes. They believed that they had merely traded one uncaring overlord for a score more. Not wanting to deal with a popular revolt, they decided to placate the masses by restoring the office of the High Jarl, who in ancient times had been the absolute rulers of the Northern Kingdom. The old dynasty had been thrown out of power by the Mad King, but the Princes realized that, quite miraculously, the line had not gone extinct. They tracked down a young man known as Fredrik, a priest of Vaylen and announced that he was the legitimate heir to the throne. To the youth’s dismay, the people accepted him and he was crowned King of the North, though in reality he only ruled his own capital city of Vaylenstar and presided over the generals of the provincial armies. Fredrik however was not the incapable farmboy that the Princes thought they controlled. Secretly, he used his influence to restructure the army, taking power from the Princes and giving it to the generals under his command. He also sent several envoys to Avalon and the citadel of Onagar, forging secret alliances with the Droxgar and the Angelis. When he passed away 70 years later, his son Alexandir took the throne. He is a strong ruler like his father and has spent most of his life fighting the threat that Yaal’than poses.

The North’s society is heavily militarized. The provincial armies are armed to the teeth thanks to the secret arrangements between the Coalition and Onagarr. The industry of the cities also produces a remarkable number of weapons, which are often exported to the South and East. Each city however has a different character and could be considered a country in its own right. They consist of:
•Vaylenstar, the capital of the Coalition. Its current ruler is King Alexandir, although most of its day-to-day activities are overseen by his war council. Vaylenstar is the cultural and religious center of the Coalition, once serving as the primary base of operations for the Mad King during the Age of Blood. After the epic battle that ended the King’s dreadful reign, the citadel was cleansed and transformed into a vibrant city where opportunity abounds. There are rumors that daemons still haunt the old ruins on top of which it was built.
• Juton, the northernmost city and the one most ravaged by Yaal’thans forces. Its current ruler is Prince Erik Fjodernstarn. If anyone doubts the might of the Lich Lord’s army, they need only travel to Juton to change their minds. Entire towns have been decimated, with great undead hosts roaming the countryside without any opposition. The city itself is under siege and is holding only barely. As such, its people are grizzled and cynical, but they are determined to put up a good fight before they go down.
• Saulvitz, the industrial and economic backbone of the Coalition. Its ruler is Prince Varin Schirm. If something can’t be bought on its Great Market, it can’t be bought anywhere on Fuin ‘Yaana. Additionally, many mercenary companies have their headquarters in Saulvitz, along with many thieves’ guilds. Due to its relatively high standard of living, Saulvitz has become a haven for immigrants fleeing Yaal’than’s wrath.
• Ivania, which produces the finest soldiers any provincial army possesses. Its ruler is Balthazar Tor. Ivania is isolated from the rest of the Coalition by a mountain range known as the Dragontail, with only a few roads leading out and into the ancient land. Its inhabitants are mirthless, straightforward and self-reliant. Unlike most Northmen, Ivanians tend to have dark hair and their skin is not as fair. The city itself is a fortress of monumental proportions, built by the ancient Skjorlinger thousands of years ago.
• Caledon, the Coalition’s breadbasket, also famous for producing Caledonian warhorses, the favored mounts of Northern knights. Its ruler is Prince Vander Waals. Due to its close proximity to Juton, it is currently being invaded by the Host, which has led King Alexandir to deploy the majority of his forces near its northernmost border. Its people, hard-working and honest, pray that he will be able to stop Yaal’than there and then, lest they share the same fate as the inhabitants of Jotun. Siduri’s Cult is also stationed in Caledon, along with the mercenary companies in the King’s employ.
• Sardonia, located near the Oron’lin pass, is a sleepy city-state famed for its taverns and fisheries. It is ruled by Prince Graf Vilkas. Sardonia is the Coalition’s southernmost territory, with the pass itself considered to be international territory. Due to its natural beauty and the kindness of its natives, it has become an attraction for well-off Southerners who have grown weary of the excessive ways of their compatriots. It is also the only part of the North where the climate is warm enough to allow for the production of wine, which the people have more than taken advantage of.

As has been noted, King Alexandir is mainly focused on defeating Yaal’than, but that is not what all of his efforts are concentrated on. The King has introduced numerous reforms to the army, making it answer only to himself and his council of generals, and forging alliances with the Drox-Gar, the stone giants that inhabit the citadel of Onagarr. With their aid, perhaps the tide can be turned against the Necromancer. However, the giants themselves are slow to answer such calls to arms, and for now have restricted their support to allowing greater trade to flow through the surviving supply lines connecting their own domain with that of the humans. Siduri is another significant ally that the King has gained in his struggle against the Host. Even though her forces are ill-organized, they make up for it in dedication, numbers and morale. Siduri herself is a monumental asset to the King’s cause, as she is little less than the avatar of a God, Denziroh Himself. Whether that will be enough to stop Yaal’than is up to debate, as he himself can scarcely be considered to be mortal any longer.

The Coalition of Northern States

DARPG: Heroes of Fuin Yaana. Crusadeath