Described as “The Last light in the North”, Schwereinn is a land that borders the wild and so called reverted lands of Amarkacha along the north of Accitaine. It’s nearest other neighbouring populaces are the feudal land of Toralden to its east and the Confederation of Free Towns to its south, though wild forests and inhospitable fenland act as barriers even to these areas. The Bay of Drowned Hope marks the westerly border, and on the coast there is the capital of this poorly understood land, a walled and fortified city called Karheim. Cold and windswept, this lonely and austere land of forests, hills and low mountains is battered in turn by fierce northerly winds and even fiercer barbarians and malcontents from Amarkacha.
It is an absolute monarchy, ruled by a King or Queen, but their monarch is not a hereditary one, being voted at and from a council of Princes upon within the last days of the old monarch. It is a testament to the character of this dour and restrained people that very little corruption or mischief occurs at the councils when they meet, for they all understand that they face foes that only a united realm can oppose effectively. The current monarch is Queen Astriid SarGrudden, a career soldier as well as being an aristocrat. At the age of 40, she is as hard and tempered by her surroundings as a steel blade is by a forge, and has been dubbed “The Steel Eyed” as an honorific by her peers.
The defining characteristics of Schwereinn and its people are conflict and struggle. They are a hard people who are tested daily by the land they live in but even more by the perpetual armed conflict and resistance against the various Amarkachan tribes and clans from the north, whether the battles take place in the forests or mountains on land, or from sea based raids on their coasts and seaways. Their cities, towns and villages are uniformly walled and heavily defended and the roads they do have patrolled as diligently as they can to keep the arteries of trade and communication open from the infrequent bandit but also the more frequent barbarian raid.
The main export of Schwereinn is iron and copper, with some areas panning out gold as well, making for dangerous yet profitable mining expeditions. Some sea trade exists but this is hazardous as the northerly waters are unforgiving and the risk from barbaric pirates is not to be understated. Still, some trade routes remain open between Karheim and the lands of Cantabrius and Heidelgard.
The military is made up of a dedicated, highly professional volunteer army, and their dark green jackets and breeches purposefully eschew ostentation, an important issue in the kind of guerilla warfare they are invested in. Their manner of fighting is a strange mix of the old and new, for whilst keenly embracing firearms, cannon and their fledgling fleet of airships, they know full well the value of older forms of warfare, and all soldiers carry a mix of melee weapons, from axes, hammers and maces to more modern sword types. Crossbows remain popular too for their silence is extremely useful in their brand of warfare, and the reputation of the Schwerish Jaegar units as resourceful and excellent elite troops is well deserved. Almost universally, clerics and priests within Schwereinn are never members of the Heart, instead being part of a separate northern denomination marked by dour and stern religious devotion almost entirely devoid of ostentation, akin to their warpriests from their ancient legends and sagas, fighting alongside their soldiers and offering support against the sinister powers of the Druids of Amarkacha. Most commoners are also far more familiar with weapons and their use than other lands.
National character is dour, and for something to be described as “Schwereinnin” is to imply humourlessness, stoicism and grimness taken to extreme levels. They are pious as well, though not cleaving to the Society of Harmony as other peoples might do. Their clergy are vital and active amongst their communities, and amongst the first to lift weapons against their foes. The language is called Scherish, and is guttural and uses the glottal stop frequently. It is also regarded as the best language for threatening and swearing in on the continent.