Viken

Viken is a large kingdom spread across the peninsula of Scandinavia, Ferro-Scania and the Kola Peninsula in northern europe. The lands northern reaches, beyond the arctic circle and a large chunk of the Scandinavian Mountains, are not in truth ruled by Viken but a wild frigid area known as Trollhavne, home of the eponymous Trolls.

Viken also claims settlements in Greenland and Western Canada, these western provinces are ruled from Eystribyggo on the lower tip of Greenland. These settlements are lead by the young and influential Lief Erikson, descendant of Erik the Red who calls for independance and revolution. The king has decided to launch a large fleet, the largest Viken armada of the century after Troll season has passed.

Denmark recently tried to take parts of Sweden in military conquest, even seizing Stockholm for a time and enacting the Stockholm bloodbath, they were eventually repelled and their king abdicated and was replaced.

They keep a strong presence on their Eastern border, wary of the ambitious Muscovite Dominion and the expansive kingdom of Poland, while raiders and vikings pillage the wealth of both when they can.

They have little interest in the Holy Roman Empire or further southern nations, maintaining trade and occasional raids but nothing on a large scale.

History

Norway was united by Harald Fairhair centuries ago, he then went on to conquer Sweden and Finland. Historically however his greatest stroke of genius is seen as his sending his most powerful and influential opponents to Greenland and the New World under the guise of giving them the continent's wealth as a gift. He then unified the people by having the endorsement of the Volva and by starting a unified opposition to the trolls who raided human settlements every winter, pushing them back.

His dynasty has lasted since and the current king is Olaf Haraldsson, Olaf V of Norway and the slayer of the serpent of Oslo. He rules from the capital of Skiringssal where Harald himself moved his captial too, in the region of Vestfold.

Religion

The people of Viken, unlike their Danish counterparts never converted to Christianity and maintain their old religions. Priests may enter Viken, though those who preach there will be at best laughed at and at worst thoroughly beaten.

The Norse peoples religion is not as strictured or ordered as Christianity and maintains few actual shrines and almost no churches. The people simply pray to their gods when they undertake activities in their sphere of influence, many Norse gods are tied to glory and honor and battle, and these things are of great cultural and religious importance to the men of Viken.

Only women may practice magic, foreigner males who come to Viken are tolerated but any Viken man caught learning magic is brutally killed less he draw the ire of the Gods, the Norns or the Volva. The Volva are wandering preistesses and witches, who practice magic and take young talented girls to teach them the ways of the gods and magic. Many are older women, though almost always attended by a retinue of maidens.

In communities the eldest and most influential figure holds the title of godi and leads the community in services not tied to the Volva, but never practice magic.

The most influential gods and goddesses in Viken are Odin, Frig, Thor, Loki, Freyja, Freyr and Aegir.

People

The people of Viken are a hardy lot, with a culture that focuses on honour and battle, a harsh climate, an abundance of sea monsters and trolls and a strong clan structure to life, they have and produce some of the largest and most powerful warriors in Europe. However while their warriors are powerful and dangerous, their tactics are more designed for fighting trolls or other ships, and they lack discipline and structure to be dangerous to many of the larger nations. This does not mitigate their powerful navy or ability to raid anyone with a coastline from Russia to Istanbul.


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