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Autuusmaaby Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies
Vainamoinen - Patriotism, sacrifice, War
Ilmarinen - Crafts, inventions, constructs
Lemminkainen - Hunting, heroism, exploration
Maderakka (Terra) - Creation and protection of all forms of life (animals and plants), balance of the life cycle, birth, earth, prosperity and fertility, shepherds and farmers
Jumal (Odin) - Knowledge, wisdom, sky, storms, winds
Tapio (Ilsundal) - Protection of nature, forests, knowledge, magic, serenity and peace
Ahti (Protius) - Oceans, rivers and marine creatures, water, capriciousness, travel
Hiisi (Hel) - Corruption, death, darkness, cold
1. Autuusmaa is a nation composed of a union of several more or less settled Neathar clans that don’t officially appear in the manuals of Mystara, but has been invented from the beginning as an incarnation of the Ugro-Finnish culture (and therefore the isolated homeland of the Immortal Ilmarinen, that vice versa is mentioned in the old Immortal set). It is situated around the Landsplit River (Haljasmaa in Autuusmaa), north of the Lothbarth Forest in which rose the Foresthome of the Shiye elves and south of the tundra that covers the icy expanse of High Norwold. Autuusmaa (“Land of Salvation”) was founded around 1720 BC by Vainamoinen (one of the three incarnations of Ilmarinen) and is inhabited by two peoples of the Neathar ethnic group: the Kansajaa (literally “people of the ice”), peasant and hunter-gatherer settlers that live in the most fertile areas near the Landsplit River, and the Vaeltajaa (“people of the road”), hunters and semi-nomadic herdsmen that prefer the southern steppe and partly the tundra). They were forced to migrate from the Borean Valley in High Norwold following the invasion of the Horde of Loark. The Autuusmaan mythology derives from the Neathar cults, but has endured a drastic change because of the predominant role of Ilmarinen in the epic foundation of this kingdom. For this now the old Immortals are subordinate to Ilmarinen in his role of Vainamoinen (founder of the kingdom), Lemminkainen (hunter and explorer of heroic feats) and even Ilmarinen (creator of the Saampo, the magical mill that rendered fertile the frozen land of Autuusmaa and permitted the Kansajaa to prosper). The sense of national unity and the patriotic spirit is most strong with the ethnic Kansajaa, to which belong to the three past heroes, that among the Vaeltajaa, that instead seek independence and often acts without taking into any consideration the decisions agreed together by the Autuusmaan community.
2. Maderakka (Terra) and Jumal (Odin) are the Immortals formerly worshipped by the Kansajaa and Vaeltajaa when they lived in the Borean Valley. Now their cult continues to exist in Autuusmaa, and they are still recognised as the creators of the world (Mother Earth and father Sky) and as the most important Immortals by the nomadic Vaeltajaa, while for the Kansajaa he no longer covers the principal role, now occupied by Ilmarinen, the one who saved them and has allowed them to live in the abundance. Lemminkainen is instead the only one of the three new Autuusmaan Immortals to have found a great following also with the Vaeltajaa, who consider him the protector of their people, given that the legends would like to have a great Vaeltajaa hunter.
3. The cult of Tapio (Ilsundal) dates back to the contact with the Shiye elves who have moved into the forests of Norwold to the southern border of Autuusmaa around 500 BC. From them the Autuusmaans have taken to worship Tapio as king of forest creatures and of magical knowledge and mysteries, as well as protector of peace and harmony.
4. Ahti (Protius) is an Immortal worshipped by the Vaeltajaa and the Kansajaa that have long inhabited the coast of Norwold and Landsplit Riverside. He doesn’t enjoy many followers because of the slight marine abilities of this folk, and especially seeing that he was thought of as a capricious and bizarre Immortal, to whom are offered prayers and offering more to placate his anger than for worship.
5. Hiisi (Hel) governs Tuonela, the mythical land of the dead in the Autuusmaa tradition, and is worshipped only by the witches and by any Vaeltajaa clan particularly ferocious and corrupt, that live together in groups of humanoids in the wildest areas of Autuusmaa. Hiisi is unanimously considered as the one who brings the winter and the darkness, always associated to the fierce humanoids and demons. According to the legends, Tuonela is found to the north, when the sun never rises, and many Autuusmaans identify this place with the island of Frosthaven, home of the frost giants bitter enemies of the Autuusmaan, by which only the heroic Lemminkainen succeeded to get away recovering the Wife of Gold and Silver made by Ilmarinen, the second most precious and powerful artefact of the Kansajaa mythology after the Saampo. Presently the automaton is hidden in some part of the Nordic tundra, and the folklore says that it will awaken from its sleep in order to help the nation in case of danger.