Current Nations and Politics

         Currently, there are roughly 12 to 16 thousand non-natives on the continent. There are two centers of Norse power: Hvalrik ("Whale Realm" near present-day Boston) and the Commonwealth (Long Island and the Hudson River valley). Native political entities include various northern Lagakin tribes (around Hvalrik), the Narragansett Nation, the Redaxes (Iroquois), the Smoke People of southern Reykjarik (Southern Algonquin), the Gold People of the far southern islands (Arawaks in the Carribean).


Hvalrik Norse

         Hvalrik (Whaletown) develops as a concentrated city of whaling, fishing, and trade, and is ruled by an Jarl. It has become seedier as contact with Europe dwindled and ended over the past 80 years. There are some Portuguese and French in Hvalrik, though less than 5%. The current Jarl Styr of Hvalarik has dreams of conquest.

         There is also a small colony of independent French about 30 miles to the north of Hvalrik. The only other significant settlement is a fishing town, Thorskurthorp, far to the north on a large island (Newfoundland). This is primarily a camp for summer expeditions, but there is a small permanent population of Norse.


Longeysund

         In 1392, the regions around Longeysund have around 200 homesteads of 30-60 people each. There are four large political divisions: Westfold, Eastfold, Longey, and Raudarbak, with a fifth court of the island of Manhattan, where the Althing is held each year at Thingstadt. Major respected landholders are elected Godi and sit on the council of the Althing.

         The two centers of Norse settlement are split in half by the Narragansett Nation. The Narragansetts are friendlier with the Longeysund Norse; they are in competition with the Hvalrik Norse for fishing grounds. While they are not in open war with Hvalarik, there are regular skirmishes and raids. They have a mysterious city in the Great Swamp; few visit there and return. They are known for being the producers of wampum.

         At the first and second Althings (meetings of Parliament) in the early days, Odd Oddson and his son Regn the Lawspeaker helped to create the Laws of Settlement. The Settlement Laws limited Norse expansion, requiring presentation at the Althing and treaty with the local Lagakin to establish a new homestead. A godi also had duties to maintain a small church in his area and make the sacrifices on holidays. Later, Lagakin who converted to the Norse religion were also admitted to the Althing as godi. People of other homesteads choose who will be their godi -- the person who will represent them at the Althing -- so it's not strictly done by geographical proximity.

There are godi from:

Westfold (west bank of Hudson: Norse)
Eastfold (east bank: Norse)
Bron's (The Bronx: Norse)
Raudarbank (Red Bank, New Jersey: Norse)
Longey (Long Island: Norse)
Manhattan (Manhattan: Norse)
Cowheath (Connecticut coast: Norse)
Mahican (Albany area: Lagakin)
Thingstat (south tip of Manhattan: Norse)
Pequot (Lagakin)
Abenaki (Lagakin)

         The Narragansett send representatives to the Althing, but these are treated as ambassadors rather than as godi.

         Raudarbank is the primary source of iron for the homesteads, and it has well-defended forts which guard its strongholds against attack by Redaxes and the Smoke people. Longey is known for shipbuilding and fishing. Manhattan is known as a trade port and gathering place.

         The Lagakin control the hunting grounds, canoe-making and transport on rivers, and dominate the fur trade. They have palisaded towns. Norse youth go and live with them for shamanistic training and to undergo a rite of passage that allows them to hunt. The Lagakin are famed for their poetic ability and their knowledge of the law, but there has never been a Lagakin lawspeaker (leader of the Althing).

         Lagakin occasionally work on a Norse homestead. Intermarriage is frowned upon but it does happen. Important people of the two cultures also foster each other's children as a mark of mutual respect.

         ...


Redaxes

         Redaxe is the common name for the mysterious set tribes to the west (i.e. Iroquoian tribes). Over the past fifty years, they have been steadily encroaching on territory west of the Hudson. Several small Lagakin tribes have now been pushed out of their territory, but now all of the Western lands are coming to fear Redaxe raids.


Smoke People

         The Norse men go a viking to the south, raiding the Reykjarik -- the Smoky Realms - to get tobacco and cotton, and to gain war experience and fame. They have explored far to the south, but can't settle there because it is too thickly populated with warlike people. The Lagakin leaders don't encourage the Norse raiding on the southerners.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Tue Jul 15 17:32:47 2003