Ruler: Nenregi, High Jarlessa of the Voa'dun
Capital: Gor Thubul
Primary Race: Frost Giant, Half-Giant, Hobgoblin
Primary Language: Ysic
Suggested Traits: Bullheaded, Child of the North, Experienced, Hardy, Militia, Survivor, Walkabout
Regional Feat: Ice in Your Veins
A nation without a patron, Voad is united beneath the might of the frost giants: pitiless masters, but fair. In Voa'dun culture, only women and children are permitted to 'live' anywhere, spending their days in vast, frosty citadels of piled stone where they labor throughout the year to craft weapons, armor, and gear. Males, meanwhile, travel in bands numbering from a few dozen to more than a hundred, hunting seals and mammoth or else plying the cold waters of the northern Feidul for whales. When they have their bounty, the males will approach a female settlement and essentially bribe their way in with gifts of food, fur, and bones. They cannot spend all their wealth simply on entry, however, because when inside, they must also trade for the supplies that the females have made. They can also offer their heredity, and a strong or storied male can earn a fine living selling the right to bear his children.
But there are no illusions about who is in charge, and if a Jarlessa is displeased with the quality of man on display, they will be denied entry into the city and forced to wander until they can either accomplish something to make her reconsider or find a more tractable bastion. When male children come of age, they will compete with their peers to join these groups or else be turned out into the wilderness on their own, to try and survive or meet a different group out on the tundra.
The frost giants had been pushed north into the mountains of the Wall during the Age of Heroes, kept there by the might of nations such as Yyltytrya and the Confederated Cities of the Reach. When those countries began crumbling before an onslaught of monsters following the War of the Traitor-Heroes, the frost giants believed there time had come. They surged out onto the tundra and, though they lacked magic every bit as much as other humanoids, they made up for it with toughness and brute, brutal strength.
They broke the human nations that had long imprisoned them in the mountains, but they found a match in the hobgoblins of Gaddac, whose military formations proved to be ever more useful in a world where magic was so much rarer. They met in bloody stalemate for years, clashing along the edges of their respective territories and weakening each other even as the monsters around them grew stronger and more plentiful.
Finally, the equilibrium was broken by the coming of Shéhallaz the White, a terrible wyrm that had slumbered long amidst the glaciers of the Glasslands. Leading a small flock of white dragons, she lay waste to both the frost giants and the hobgoblins of Gaddac, forcing both groups to flee south in terrified disarray. It was a journey that lasted nearly a year, hounded at all times by the dragons. Only when they had been pushed far enough south was Shéhallaz content to ignore them, claiming great expanses of the northern tundra as their home.
Exhausted and needing to rebuild, the survivors looked around at the land they had come to. It was at the edge of the tundra, a cold and cruel place on the shores of the Feidul Sea. Life would be hard here, but possible...except that the menfolk immediately fell back to fighting with one another, despite how much they had worked together during their flight.
Exasperated, the women sent the men out to hunt, telling them not to come back until they had gathered enough food to see everyone through the winter. When the men returned months later, they faced the high walls and thick gates the women had raised in their absence. It is there that the modern system amongst the Voa'dun has its genesis.
Voad cares little for the whims and follow of foreigners, and visitors are as likely to be attacked as they are to be grudgingly permitted. The only group that reliably comes to the few glacier-choked Voa'dun ports are merchants from the Tide Princes, who can demand exorbitant sums for carved walrus ivory, seal pelts, and whale oil, all bought for a relative pittance of worked steel.