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LITTONIA (Kingdom of)
Location: Continent of Brun, along the northern border of Norwold. NW
Area: Approx. 12,096 sq. mi. (31,329 sq. km.).
Languages: Litoniesu (official), Lietuvan, some Alphatian in larger population centres.
Coinage: Lats (gp), centime (cp).
Taxes: All citizens are assessed for 20% of the value of their assets once per year (Kaldmont 28).
Government Type: Monarchy.
Industries: Agriculture (primarily grains and potatoes), cattle, fishing, forestry, sheep, shipbuilding.
Important Figures: Uldis VI (King), Laila (Queen)
Flora and Fauna: As a boreal land, Littonia's coastal vegetation is much like that of Norwold. Here, one can find great stands of pine and evergreen, as well as the occasional rare cluster of oak trees towards the south. Further inland, towards the much cooler hills and plains that make up a large portion of the country, sturdy grasses and small, thorny bushes, such as hawthorn and juniper, predominate.
In terms of animal life, Littonia is quite rich. The coastal forests abound with many species of birds, brown bears, deer, elk, field mice, foxes, moose, squirrels, and wolves. Towards the interior, herds of caribou, and sometimes bison, are often seen during the summer months. Also present here in this hard land are rabbits and wolves. In terms of more exotic creatures, it is possible to encounter various humanoid tribes living far to the northwest, frost giants, ice wolves, and occasionally yowlers.
Further Reading: CM1 Test of the Warlords, The Kingdom of Littonia by Geoff Gander, previous almanacs.
Description by Adik de Chevas and Arcadius.
Littonia has been known to us for many years, but in all that time it was a land on the periphery, a realm beyond Norwold. Many people in Norwold, if they thought of it at all, considered it to be a cold, forbidding land, with poor soils, horrible weather, and plagued by monsters of all description. Having had the chance to go there, we have found that this is not true. Littonia is a vibrant land, one full of the warmth of the people and the richness of history. Let us now share our first impressions of this land, combined with a presentation of what we have learned.
Littonia is a northern coastal nation, where cool, damp winds from the southeast blast inland year-round, and icy northern winds blast southwards over the inland plains. As a result of this odd combination of winds, and warmer sea currents from the south, Littonia's coastal climate is far more hospitable than would otherwise be possible. This is especially noticeable along the coastal lowlands, where much of the population lives. Towards the interior plains, the climate becomes much drier and cooler. Coastal Littonia as a whole is comparable to southern Norwold in terms of climate, while the interior is truly a harsh land.
Generally speaking, Littonia is a hilly country. From the forested coastal lowlands, which hold both the larger settlements and most of the nation's arable soils, the land slopes upwards gradually, reaching Namejs' Line roughly halfway to the western border. From these hills westwards, the terrain becomes much rougher, and the forests thin out rapidly, giving way to grasslands and swamps, and then to open plains.
Several rivers cut across eastern Littonia on their way to the Alphatian Sea, the largest of which, the Gaudava River, is the main trade route through the nation. So important is this river that the capital city, the port of Gaudavpils, is built at its mouth.
The Littonians are a hardy fair-skinned folk, who revere both their land and their history. Littonian sages claim that their people have lived in this land for millennia, and they tell tales of great towns and battles amongst Littonian lords and heroes far to the south. Whether or not this is true, it certainly makes for a good story, which is another thing the Littonians enjoy. A favoured pastime among these rustic folk is gathering in inns and other public houses and telling tall tales of long-gone heroes. Only in the larger settlements, such as Gaudavpils, can one find, and partake in, the various pursuits popular in more southern nations, such as gambling, theatre, and so on.
Still, one has to admire this brave folk for hanging on to its land in this isolated part of the continent. Regularly, frost giants come south from Frosthaven to loot isolated Littonian settlements, and humanoids have been seen towards the west. These beastly raiders seem to be tougher than those we face in our own lands, for they are said to thrive in this northern climate, and they know these lands well. Small wonder the Littonians want more ties with Alpha and other dominions of Norwold, if only for the added protection such ties might give them.
One thing a traveller to these lands must remember, though, is that there are in fact two peoples living in Littonia. In the southern two-thirds of the nation live the Litoniesu, who are by far the more numerous of the two. This group's language is the official one of Littonia, and the nation's royal family belongs to this people. The Litoniesu are by far the most outgoing Littonians. These people are shrewd negotiators and merchants, who are used to the intrigues of city life. The other people living in Littonia are the Lietuvans, who occupy the northern third of the nation. They are a people of farmers and trappers, who do not deal much with outsiders. Few Lietuvans live in Littonia's urban areas, and when they do so they tend to keep to themselves. Some Lietuvans claim that they once had a nation of their own, though our research has found little evidence of this. If there was indeed a Lietuvan kingdom, it either existed long ago, or it did not exist for very long.
The people of Littonia have lived in this part of the world for as long as they can remember, with many tales saying that they arose in these lands "at the dawn of time." While we highly doubt the truth of this, it is clear that the Littonians have lived in these lands for a very long time-likely before the time of the Alphatian Landfall, judging by the apparent age of the most ancient tales told by these people.
The earliest tales tell of invasions by fierce humanoids, frost giants, and the fair-skinned Antalian peoples to the south, whom we know today as the indigenous peoples of Norwold and the Northern Reaches. These were certainly dark times, when the Littonians were divided into petty baronies and fiefdoms, as often warring amongst themselves as fighting off outside forces. It was also around this time that the frost giants enslaved the Littonians, and cruelly oppressed them. After many years of suffering, one man, the legendary Namejs of Littonian lore, led some brave followers and overthrew the frost giants, killing their leader and destroying their citadel of Høgborg. The tales tell of a time afterwards that was wonderful, where King Namejs ruled wisely before being summoned by the patron Immortals of Littonia for a great quest.
The ensuing years seem to have been ones of decline. The Lietuvans are said to have established their own kingdoms not long after Namejs's departure, and the royal line started by Namejs himself soon fell into obscurity, until Karlis the Unifier, who claimed to be a direct descendant of the legendary ruler, defeated his opponents and founded the modern state of Littonia.
From our inquiries, it seems clear that Littonia, in its modern incarnation, is rather new. Though this kingdom has existed for over 1,100 years, it has not been until relatively recently that it has taken on the trappings and appearance of anything resembling what we call a "civilised" state, with written laws, a national currency, and formalised relations between nobles and commoners. Beforehand, it seems, Littonia was more of a collection of loosely-aligned nobles serving the House of Karlis, named after the noble warlord who united Littonia over a thousand years ago and started the royal succession. Commoners served their lieges through a sort of client-patron relationship, in which each had rough guidelines as to what was expected of them, and what sort of support they owed each other in times of war. Today, Littonia seems to be well on its way to becoming a modern state in every sense of the word.
During the recent Norwold Wars [AC 1016. Ed.] Littonia remained out of the conflict and chose to act as neutral negotiator to avoid repercussions from the Heldannic and Alphan governments.
While Littonia is very remote as far as nations are concerned, there are several attractions here that make this nation a rather pleasant one. In the capital of Gaudavpils you will find many of the comforts of home, including decent city walls and a paved downtown core. There are many shops and inns, and a decent amount of taverns, too. While the port itself has relatively few quays, the harbour is very deep, thus allowing even the largest ships to dock here. As foreigners, we attracted more than our share of attention, but that is to be expected.
One place that should not be missed is the ruins of Høgborg, which was once the main citadel of the frost giants during the period in which they ruled this land. Although records from this time are of course very scant, little more than folk-tales, the brutal period of frost giant rule was the spark that led to the eventual founding of the modern nation of Littonia. At this site, so very long ago, the enslaved peoples of modern Littonia rose up against their oppressors, killing a large number of frost giants, and ultimately throwing the remainder out. Today, a great obelisk stands next to the ruins, upon which the names of those legendary heroes who participated in those half-forgotten battles are inscribed. Truly a moving testament to the ancestors of this brave people.
As with many other nations, Littonia's urban regions are not without their own peril. The capital city, Gaudavpils, has its share of dark alleys, through which only the well-prepared should travel. The western reaches of the country are also quite dangerous. Few people live in this chilly region of plains and half-frozen bogs, and it is said to be alarmingly easy to run afoul of humanoid bands-as well as frost giants. Those travelling to Kaarjala from Littonia should keep to the main road that links Gaudavpils with Kaarja, and even then they should traverse the distance hastily.