The North Realm is ruled by House Vakur, masters of Farsight: the ability to perceive beyond the eye’s sight, into the distance, the past and the future.
House Vakur are few in number and exercise little direct control of their folk. Leaders of the Lower Houses are the Thanes (chieftains) of the many small settlements, towns, and cities of the North Realm. Together with a few Imperial Administrators, these Lower Houses effectively govern the realm. Save for the Emperor himself, House Vakur is the absolute authority of the realm; they just seldom choose to be involved on a daily basis.
Snow-covered forests and hills, icy lakes, and narrow, steep-sided bays form the North Realm. Days are short in the winter, long in the summer. Winters are cold, the world seems frozen to the unlearned. Summers are warm, dry, and mild.
Large herds of caribou and elk travel across the land, always trailed by packs of wolves.
The folk of the North Realm are infamous for their passions and mood swings, boisterous joy to solemn despair. Typically larger and stronger than the norm, both men and women are feared when they become angered.
North Realm folk make trustworthy friends and are loyal beyond sanity; they take insults to heart and are known to bear a grudge for life. Strength, intelligence, determination, music, and story-telling are highly respected and celebrated. Cleanliness, health, and honesty are a duty.
Perhaps due to House Vakur’s sorcerous ability, these folk are firm believers in destiny, maintaining that a person’s fate is woven before their birth and cannot be escaped.
The North Realm is famed for its axe-wrights, sword, and armor smiths, bee hives and honey, wool and scrimshaw. Each spring, the people of the North Realm are on the move. They trade peacefully when they can; raid mercilessly when they are cheated, insulted or denied access to markets.
The axe is supreme, be it long handled or short. Swords are the mark of a proven warrior, thane or rich man. Spears, bows, and shields are common. Most adults carry a seax: a long, heavy, single edged knife worn horizontally across the belly or back. It is both a weapon and a tool. Both leather armors and chain mail are widely used in war.
In warfare, these folk tend to act in small numbers, each warrior acting as their own general once a plan is launched. Their passionate combat style, matched with their size and strength typically make up for their lack of organized, parade tactics.
(Original source material here.)