The Merciful Mind
Less a nation, and more a ball of slightly constrained anarchy, the Ryngald are a fierce and vicious people. Dwelling in the Southern Reaches, virtually every resident has taken part in numerous raids of their neighbors, whether it’s other Ryngald, into the mountains of the Kingdom of Caliburn, or across the Gift to the lands of the Andarran Commonwealth. Might makes right among the Ryngald, and whoever is strongest or holds the strongest army leads. The Ryngald don’t have a banner, though the bones arrayed along the front of their longships adequately herald their arrival. If their war chants don’t.
Though there are several Ryngald settlements, few possess much order, beyond the random chaos that one would expect of such a fierce people. However, there are pockets of calm, where a leader or group possesses enough strength or force of personality to hold the community together. Numerous chiefs and idealists have tried to bind together the many peoples of the Frozen Reaches, but have met with limited success. This has not dissuaded others from attempting to reach for the coveted title “King of the Ryngald”.
The culture between the different groups of Ryngald tends to shift and alter, based on whatever slaves, captives, and wandering warriors are brought into the clan. However, given the constant state of flux and raiding, there are few constants, with some traditions being cast down in favour of new ones, which are cast down in turn, over the course of a few months. Strength is the one constant among the Ryngald, and that is the metric by which all are judged.
The Ryngald have only two exports. Carnage, and warriors tired of the Carnage. Ryngald raid their neighbors with an incredibly reliabilty, with some coastal villages simply abandoning their homes once every few months, taking with them any livestock and possessions they wish to keep. Sometimes Ryngald warriors leave their homes, to seek work as a mercenary or soldier. Others not too keen on the raiding culture tend to leave at a young age as well, slipping across the borders to neighboring nations.
As there is no one single government in the Frozen Wastes, there are few groups large enough to count as a military. Those that do manage to band together long enough are formidable opponents, their battle prowess hardened by the relentless conflict that makes up their lives. Quick, vicious raiding parties are the rule, and there are few fortifications the Ryngald use, relying on their natural defenses to protect them from reprisals.
The religion of the Ryngald varies significantly from Clan to Clan, but there are certain constants. Conflict and Strength being so prevalent in their culture, it makes sense that worship of Hajama is so prevalent. However, even this undergoes a hundred variations. Some believe that Hajama is a mistranslation of “The Hall”, a group of deities and heroes that collectively make up all the traits the Ryngald stand for.