The north coast of Elland is windswept and its winters harsh, but as the Rime Sea is rich with marine life, many villages are able to subsist along the rocky coastline. In the lowlands where the Duchy of Graben meets the sea, there is a large marshy area known locally as ‘the Narrows’ that stretches for many miles. South of the Rime Coast lie the Filvan Plains. These are a substantial raised area of rolling grasslands, grazed by wild and domesticated herds of animals capable of eating the tough grasses of this region. Small, tough ponies and shaggy cattle survive here as well as rugged long horn sheep. The plains are vast, but there are many villages, each surrounded by a small area of land cultivated for food and corals for livestock. Periodic hills break up the seemingly endless grasslands and the areas around these are often heavily wooded. The county of Caerlyn sits to the south of Graben while the county of Palamyr lies to the east. The major city of Palamyr, Northguard, rests on a hill above the confluence of two great rivers. The city overlooks a deep chasm that separates the eastern border of Palamyr from the Shieldlands. This rent in the land is known as Demon’s Deep and avoided by all as a place of bad omen and superstition.
The people of the northern clans have a proud and ancient tradition. They are tolerated by the southern rulers as long as they pay their taxes and abide by the local laws as well as their own. The clans identify each other by tartans to show their heritage – the origin of which comes from the first great families having single colours, but as they wed into other clans, they kept their heritage and colour, bringing in patterned weaves. They are skilled in crafts, and sell their goods to other clans as they travel between settlements. They are accepting of beast kin, especially canines and felines; the felines for their mercantile skill and the canines for their martial prowess. They have good relations with the elves, as they have similar ways to the nomadic clansfolk and although trust is an issue there is at least an understanding between the cultures.
They believe in living closely with the land, but are as fierce as wolves in defending it, hence the reason they eagerly joined the battle against the forces of the Khan when called by the King. Indeed, since the Days of Fire, the older warriors of the clan go on a final pilgrimage to the Shieldlands to die in service of the gods, inspired by the canines who do the same.
To look at the clans is to look at the birth of the Elland. It is from these tribes of the northern Kingdom that the first kings were made. It is these clans that built the first cities and from there the realm as we know it. The remnants of these tribes are those that refused to change their way of life and they still live nomadically in the north, afforded all respect by the northern lords. The nobles from the Kingdom’s middle lands see the clansmen as savage barbarians who have no place in polite society. Equally the clansmen see the southern nobles, and even to an extent, the northern city lords as a weak and pale version of the northern kings of centuries before.
These Houses favour heavier clothing. Course linens and wools, along with Furs and skins are used to combat the cold in the settlements on the coast of the Rime Sea for warmth and durability. Some older houses and the native clansmen wear the old fashion kilts and brats of their ancestors from years before the Days of Fire.