Developed over a thousand years of near complete isolation, the Nordwiir language is guttural, difficult, and almost entirely verbal. Most people within the Lost Isles cannot read or write, sticking to the spoken word and believing that is all the need.
Wiir, as it is called by what few people care to give it a name is an incredibly guttural and harsh sounding language. Those who do not grow up speaking it have an extremely difficult time learning. The language is said to have come from the Dark Gods themselves, and there is an odd bleakness to the way it is spoken.
Though many do not know how
to read or write, this does not mean Wiir doesn't have such a component.
Writing with Wiir is just as difficult as speaking it, though it somewhat easier to decipher. The writings of Wiir are closer to Rune Magic
than any other actual language, and this reflects in the properties of various Scrolls and Books that have been written by the Nordwiir. Nearly all such works have an ominous and dark feel to them. This may also come from the fact that such things are often written on treated flesh however.
The Nordwiir were intrinsically linked to beings known as the Dark Gods.
No one is entirely sure who or what the Dark Gods are, but their influence on both the Nordwiir and the world around them are undeniable.
It is said that the Dark Gods forced the creation of the Nordwiir themselves, granting them gifts in exchange for their souls and everlasting loyalty. These gifts are an important part of Nordwiir culture, and many believe it is the only reason that they are able to survive within the Lost Isles. The Blessings of the Dark Gods come in many different forms, and almost always require sacrifice.
Worship of the Dark Gods is not an easy thing, and most of Nordwiir society revolves around ensuring their patrons bestow blessing upon them.
Sacrifice, blood ritual, and self mutilation are all 'standard' ways of receiving blessings from the Dark Gods. The abyssal patrons are incredibly mercurial and chaotic creatures, often goading their followers to press themselves further and farther.
The complexity in all this comes from the fact that the Dark Gods are beings of Chaos. There are dozens of patrons, and each one has a different voice, goal, and innate desire. Many pledge themselves to individual Gods, while others worship the whole. This is part of what creates the infighting of the Nordwiir, with the gods often vying not only with the world, but one another as well.
Dozens of Nordwiir over the years have claimed to have seen the Dark Gods. Their images have fallen on a spectrum of everything from Great Dragons
to massive coiling beasts of tentacles. Each time they spoke with voices of thunder and cracking earth, the vast sight of them being enough to shatter most minds. These sightings often come with more powerful blessings, a Dark God choosing a champion to represent them on Arethil
A champion is one of the few people capable of uniting the Nordwiir tribes, and it is often a being like this that leads the larger raids out of the Lost Isles.
There is no denial that the Dark Gods are real, though just what they want even the most ardent of their followers do not know.
The Nordwiir almost exclusively inhabit a land known simply as the Lost Isles.
This archipelago is located somewhere north of the Eretejva Tundra
. Though many within the Tundra know of the Islands existence, no map has ever been created that shows their exact location or whereabouts. The reason for this is simple; finding the islands is near impossible for anyone who has not been there.
Waters surrounding the Lost Isles are incredibly harsh. Filled with massive icebergs, shallow rocky waters, and a constant fog that seems to hang over everything. The Path to the Lost Isles is almost impossible to discern, and even experienced sailors most crawl their way through multitudes of obstacles.
Some might think that this would make the Lost Isles valuable, but the truth is near a direct opposite.
There is arguably nothing of value within the Isles themselves. No metals have been found within the ground, the earth is cold, and the Islands themselves endure freezing storms on a daily basis. Ice Trolls
and Frost Wyrms roam the lands, destructive and murderous in their own way.
The only true resources on the Isles themselves are a species of mushroom that grow in lava caverns and the interesting fact that Meteors seem to fall onto the lands here at a consistent basis. It is through the mushrooms that the Nordwiir survive, and through the Meteors that they make their weapons and armor.
The Nordwiir are convinced that both of these are a boon from the Dark Gods, tools given to them in order to survive the testing grounds which are the Lost Isles.
Though by and large most Nordwiir appear to be baseline humans
, there are certain qualities about them that clearly differ.
First and foremost, most Nordwiir are naturally larger and bulkier than most other Humans. The average height for a male is nearly seven feet, while most females sit just below that. Nordwiir also tend to be more muscular and as a simple fact be more lean in their appearance.
These natural physical differences however betray the true fact of what a Nordwiir can be.
Every single member of this species is somehow 'blessed' by the Dark Gods.
A Nordwiir receives his gift upon his birth, marked by a scar already within their flesh that serves as a clue for what the Dark Gods have in store for him. These blessings can differ wildly depending on the person, and they are as varied as the Chaotic Gods themselves.
One of the most common blessing is a mockery of the Nordenfiir Svalen
. The Nordwiir who have been given this gift do not transform into a bear, but instead a great wolf standing as tall as many half-giants. Their flesh is patchy and gnarled, their eyes rabid with hunger. These men and women retain no amount of their sanity when transformed, but can endure seemingly countless wounds before they fall.
Other blessings include the use of The Dark God's own power, knowledge of the aether
, an incredibly berserker like trance which is said to grant near immortality, and even the control of certain beasts found within the Isles.
The Blessings of the Dark Gods are a cruel gift. They allow the Nordwiir to shine and become something more than any mortal man. Yet each blessing has a back drop. The Dark Gods demand blood and worship in return for their gift, and if it is not granted often the Nordwiir will quickly suffer.
It is said that thousands of years ago the Nordwiir were not much different from their cousins the Nordenfiir. Most scholars presume that the two species were one and the same, existing upon the lands of the Eretejva Tundra and doing their best to eek out a meager living.
In the tales of the Nordwiir, it was they that wandered away from the lands of the Tundra and began to explore the seas above the north.
The people that would become the servants of the Dark Gods had always held an affinity towards the sea, and thus they set out to find a new opportunity for themselves. After years of travel and hardship, these people stumbled upon what would become the Lost Isles.
Something called to the errant peoples, voices from within the fog that spoke of power, life, and everything that had been taken from them within the Tundra.
Jealousies began to form within the heart of these people, the voices whispering lies of their brethren back in the Tundra. They were told they had been rejected, pushed away, denied the opportunity of what they could be. So the people continued to sail, and slowly they descended upon the Lost Isles.
There they did not find rich lands, they did not find wealth or even opportunity. The lands before them held only cruelty and death.
For decades the people suffered. Eeking out a meager existence and surviving harsh storms and the attacks of monsters
. Their numbers dwindled, and their tribes were nearly wiped out. It was only then that the voices returned. A bargain was offered, life and gifts beyond measure for the power within.
Desperate, and with only this single light the people accepted. This was how the Nordwiir came to be.
A bargain was struck, their Svalen taken from them and in return the Blessings of the Dark Gods were given.
Since then the Nordwiir have survived, the Blessings of their Dark Gods giving them the strength and means to brave the lands of the Lost Isles. Each year their connection to the Gods grows, and each year more jealousy and anger builds behind the dam.
Soon it will break.