Kingdom of Yedrimar
Yedrimar, known as Valtakunta to the native Norlanders, is the northern most human kingdom on the continent of Aldaria. Characterized by great pine forests and snow capped hills Yedrimar is a land of harsh winters and rugged terrain leading it to be one of the wildest parts of Aldaria. Currently inhabited by a variety of races Yedrimar is ruled over by King Madric who reigns from the capital city of Winterguard.
Yedrimar began as a refuge for escaped human slaves who were fleeing the elven colonies started on Aldaria. The heavily forested terrain and harsh weather made it hard for the elves to track down the escaped humans but was a blessing to the escaped humans who had experienced similar conditions in their homeland far to the north. Eventually a well liked ex-slave by the name of Ragnar decided that in order to ensure freedom the escapees should join forces under one banner to form a formidable opponent to contest any elven attempts to recapture the escaped humans. So was born the kingdom of Yedrimar with its first king Ragnar Stagcrown. Ragnar went about uniting all the humans living in the lands that would make up modern Yedrimar and eventually secured a sizable number of subjects.
The First Elven War:
When news reached the High Magistrates of the Empire of Evalon of the formation of the Kingdom of Yedrimar they became furious and demanded that the humans be put back in their place. Despite protests from the Ziharans who threatened to cut trade relations with the Empire if excessive force was used against the newly founded human kingdom, the Magistrates sent Admiral Riarbin, the same admiral who had originally discovered the human settlement in the far north, to crush the humans. Riarbin was given command of some 10,000 elven forces and told that the men of Yedrimar were to be annihilated. Fortunately for the humans storms plagued the fleet and the host that arrived in Yedrimar was around 7,000 in size. However the newly formed kingdom could only hope to field an army of 4,000 and none of them were what would be considered trained soldiers. Ragnar called a council of his wisest subjects and tried to discover a way to defeat the elves even as the fleet landed upon the shores of Yedrimar. The king eventually decided on a course of action and summoned every able bodied man or woman to meet him at the slopes of the hills in the north of Yedrimar. Ragnar then sent a challenged to Riarbin stating that his whole host was assembled in one place and that the human king would meet the elven commander in battle there. Riarban had little respect for the race he had discovered and enslaved and so saw the challenge as the perfect chance to destroy the young kingdom. Riarbin marched his forces straight to the hills, burning and pillaging human settlements he discovered along the way. When the elven host finally reached the human forces Ragnar’s men had constructed a barricade against the elves, but were under no impression that they could hope to weather such a large and well trained army. As the elven host prepared to storm the hastily constructed defenses a mighty storm of ice and snow blew down from the hills. Legends say that Ragnar beseeched the old gods of his people for aid and that the blizzard was their answer. Either way Ragnar’s forces charged the elves as the snow and ice fell around them and routed the elven force, killing Riarbin in the process. Riarbin was delivered to one of the elven colonies with an axe impaled into his skull. The High Magistrates received this message and never troubled the humans of Yedrimar again.
The Times of Peace:
After the defeat of the elven forces Ragnar returned to the small hamlet of Heior that he had lived in before being crowned king and declared the settlement the capital of the new
kingdom. Yedrimar flourished for the next forty years under king Ragnar and many of the customs and traditions the humans had practiced in the northern reaches returned. Ragnar married and had several sons who were given lands which they built holdfasts in. In honor of their mastery over the northern climes Ragnar named his people the Norlanders, or men of the North, and the name has stuck till today. The Norlanders explored the northern parts of Aldaria that had been too cold for the tastes of the elves and found a good deal of mineral deposits within the Whiteback Mountains. Using smithing techniques they had learned during their time as slaves the Norlanders quickly became great warriors as fighting techniques were learned and taught.
The Aftermath of the Fall:
The Fall of Evalon rocked most of the world, but the Norlanders were kept relatively isolated from any major change in their society. Dwarves arrived upon Aldaria and traveled to Yedrimar after hearing of the great mineral wealth located there and while there was initial distrust between the dwarves and Norlanders a great friendship between the two peoples grew as shared interests in drinking, fighting, and celebrating were discovered. The rise of the kingdoms of Aldaria and the subsequent Great War did not touch the Norlanders as it did their new Dwarven allies as the men of Yedrimar had already gained independence from the elves. While the human-elf fighting reached the Northwoods that covered much of Yedrimar’s southern border they never got directly involved. The Norlanders also payed little attention to the Southern Kingdoms as they seemed intent on simply establishing themselves.
The Dweadian Invasion:
This was not to last as the Kingdom of Dweadia began to view some of the port towns situated in southern Yedrimar. The Dweadian’s sent a sizable force under the command of Baron Andreas von Schwender to take the port city of West Harbor in order to give Dweadia a usable port city. Baron von Schwender was not as naive as the elven admiral that had been defeated by the Norlander some 90 years prior and avoided most confrontations on the way to the desired city. The baron was successful in capturing the city as he had a much larger host than the defenders and set about improving the mainly wooden settlement into something matching the cities of the south. Jarl Siggdir of West Harbor had fled the city upon its capture and pleaded High King Haagen Steelcrown to assist him in retaking the city. Originally branded a coward for not falling with his hold Jarl Siggdir convinced the high king to aid him by revealing that the southern humans had begun worshiping strange new gods and would try and erase the Old Gods if given the chance. High King Haagen called a holy war upon von Schwender and the entire nation rose up against the invaders. The Dweadian baron was soon surrounded and had to make a break for the ocean upon several longships that still were within West Harbor’s waters. Upon the home journey the boats washed up upon a large island a few miles off the coast of Dweadia and von Schwender discovered an ideal location to build a port city for Dweadia’s use. This island would eventually hold the capital of Dweadia, Aldholt.
After this initial invasion Dweadia and Yedrimar had several more wars and skirmishes, but Dweadia’s focus on contesting its border with Rheriven took up most of its troops and resources. Norlanders started to raid up and down the Dweadian coast, landing longships on stretches of beach or within hidden coves and looting Dweadian settlements. These conflicts has resulted in a strained relationship between the two nations with Norlanders viewing the Dweadians as weak and the Dweadians claiming the Norlanders are savages.
In the reign of High King Roel Bonecrown another host of Dweadians appeared on the southern border of Yedrimar. They were led by Baron Madric Adelman, a Dweadian noble who had lost his lands in the most recent redrawing of Rheriven-Dweadian border. Angered by his kings refusal to fight for the return of the baron’s lands, Madric had taken his forces north in hopes of carving out a kingdom of his own. In addition to being a terrific strategist, the Dweadian born baron was lucky for infighting amongst greedy jarls had made Yedrimar divided. Backed by a number of Swords of Areus Madric quickly conquered several border settlements and even convinced the Jarl of West Harbor, Harald Korsgaard, to swear loyalty to him. When the high king finally rallied his people to fight the invaders Madric had already conquered a good part of the nation and, playing on rivalries between the different jarls and thanes, had convinced a number of Norlanders to fight under his banner. Madric baited Roel’s forces into a confrontation in the northern reaches of the Northwood and defeated the Norlander host through clever strategy. The defeated Norlanders were shown mercy by Madric, but some decided to flee north into the Ice Downs rather than bend their knee to a southerner. Madric was crowned king of Yedrimar after Roel took his own life after being offered the chance to surrender and built his capital upon the south coast of the Stag’s Bay. The city is named Winterguard and has grown into a center of trade and civilization for the wild northern kingdom. While King Madric did distribute land to his loyal bannermen after his coronation, he has spared the lives of any and all Norlander jarls or thanes who surrendered after Roel’s defeat and even has allowed some of them to keep their lands. Jarl Harald is the most well known of the “Kneelers” as his early support of Madric resulted in him keeping control of his families hold of West Harbor and has earned him the king’s trust.