Valheim was a fortress of the Empire del'Nord until the year 143SA. In that year a barbarian host entered the plateau, sacked Nevarsa and put the fortress under siege. For the next thirty years, the people in Valheim fought for survival. In the year 0VA [173SA], Norgal the Mysterious formed the Miracle of Valheim around the fortress and drove the barbarians into the mountains in fear. Following this victory, Norgal was named Marshal of Fortress Valheim.
During Norgal's reign (0 - 36VA [173-209SA]), a city rose around Fortress Valheim. Under the protection of Norgal's magic, the people moved out of the fortress and repopulated the plateau. In the final years of his reign (30 - 36VA [203-209SA]), Norgal formulated the Valhani Mysteries, as a faith for his people, and used them to gain friendly relations with the Assiran, the old barbarian enemy. By the year of his death, many of the Assiran had converted to the new faith.
Lochan the Deliverer (36 - 52VA [209-225SA]) succeeded Norgal. His reign saw the conversion of the Assiran to the new faith, the foundation of the Society of Tyr (44VA [217SA]) and Valhani control over the nearest Assiran tribes. On his death, the Assiran controlled a solid ring of barbarians who protected them from discovery by the outside world. This remained the case for nearly 700 years.
Under Tholal the Foolhardy (733 - 736VA [906-909SA]), Valheim experimented with conquest. Aided by the Assiran, they invaded the Kameran (733VA [906SA]). After three years of fighting, Valheim's army was broken on the walls of Ancient Moss Fortress and Kameri bands began to pillage the Valhani Plateau. In the final attack on the fortress. Tholal was slain. The new ruler paid the Kameran a 3,000 - weapon weregild in exchange for peace and withdrawal from the Valhani Plateau.
Since this tragedy, Valheim has sought isolation. In their eyes, Valheim's security lies in the fact that they are a legend to everyone except their friends. They have no desire to seek power. Tholal proved the foolishness of this course of action with his death.
The city of Valheim (15,000) controls a nation with 78,000 citizens. Their army consists of 1,200 footmen, 400 cavalry, 600 Assiran mercenaries, 1,600 militia (drawn from the population of the plateau) and 200 Warriors of Tyr.
NOTE - The 200 members of the Society of Tyr are Valheim and Assiran's finest warriors. All of them have a wolf brand on their right arm and have had their left hand bitten off by a temple wolf as part of their initiation. Each wears a silver ornament that covers the stump of his left arm which can be used as a weapon. With the nation's nobility, these warriors are the masters of Valheim.
Valheim is the only city within 200 miles of the Assiran and the Kameran. It receives raw materials, gems, metal goods and other items in exchange for its wares.
The Valhani Mysteries center around the worship of Odin and Tyr. Odin is the god of the elite and the educated. Tyr is worshipped by warriors and soldiers. Among devout warriors, especially the Society of Tyr, the worship of Tyr is fanatical.
Valheim's society is disciplined and orderly. City dwellers are obedient, loyal and orderly individuals. As a rule, they are a harsh, matter - of - fact people who are paranoid about the dangers of the outside world and those who live there. Citizens of the plateau are more independent. They are generous and kind toward strangers who do not threaten them. Most would give a traveller the shirt off of their back, unless he tried to take it.
All citizens of this nation are extremely protective of their families and property. They will defend either regardless of how badly they are outnumbered. They are a courageous, possessive and disciplined people.
The ruler of Valheim is its hereditary Marshal. He chairs a council composed of District Governors (hereditary Generals), army commanders (Colonels) and religious leaders (Colonel Bishops). Each social class has a fixed rank, depending on the power of the individual family or the job that it is responsible for. All are required to obey persons of superior rank as if they were in the army. (Outside of the city, this system is very informal and can be ignored. In the city, it is important.)
The most heinous crimes in Valheim are theft and murder. Of the two, theft is worse. A thief loses his hands and his eyes and is banished into the mountains. Murderers are branded on the forehead and banished into the mountains. People who are marked in either way are shunned by the Assiran. The penalties for lesser crimes in Valheim are corporal punishment and imprisonment (at hard labor). The nation has no death penalty, though banishment unarmed into the mountains is, if anything, worse.
Valheim is allied to the Assiran and has friendly relations with the Kameran.
*An archaic tongue spoken by religious elders and members of the Society of Tyr. It is a corrupted form of the native tongue of the Empire del'Nord.
Axes, Heavy Swords (Falchions, Bastard Swords, Great Swords), Spears
like the Ghiamem, the people of Valheim are descended from the Empire del'Nord. They are light - haired and heavily - built.
This calendar was created by Norgal the Mysterious to celebrate, and help formulate, the Valhani Mysteries. The full variety of its cyclical events and the names of power that are hidden within it are only known to the high priests of Valheim, the Swordmaster of the Society of Tyr and a powerful law wizard who lives as a hermit in the mountains east of Valheim. It is the year 927 in Valheim.
NOTE - The wizard, Norbert the Demented, is one of the most powerful mages in the world. (At the age of 54, he ranks third behind the ruler of the Dark Lands and Nilgeranthrib.)