Proper Name: Kingdom of (the) Fruztii
Ruler: His Most Warlike Majesty, King Hundgred Rälffson of the Fruztii (CN male human Bbn13)
Government: Hereditary feudal monarchy; member of the Northern Alliance
Major Towns: Djekul (pop. 3,100), Krakenheim (pop. 4,500)
Provinces: Thirteen jarldoms (all clan-based) governing many chieftain-led villages
Resources: Foodstuffs (plus fish), furs, silver, gold, iron, timber, shipbuilding supplies
Coinage: Kronar (gp), haf-kronar (ep), linnwurm (sp), thrall (cp)
Population: 144,500—Human 96% (S), Dwarf 2% (hill 50%, mountain 50%), Halfling 1%, Other 1%
Languages: Cold Tongue, Common
Alignments: CN*, N
Religions: Kord, Llerg, Norebo, Xerbo, Vatun, Syrul
Allies: Ratik, dwarf and gnome clans in Griff and Corusk Mountains
Enemies: Iuz, Stonehold, North Kingdom, Bone March, Sea Barons, Ice/Snow Barbarians (sometimes)
Overview: The Frost Barbarians, or Fruztii, dwell in the lands above the Timberway Forest, bounded by the Griff and Corusk Mountains to the west and north. The western edge of the Spikey Forest marks the border with the Snow Barbarians, and the southern and eastern shores of the kingdom of Fruztii end at the waters of Grendep Bay. The climate here is much more temperate than in the northern parts of Rhizia (as the Thillonrian Peninsula is named in the Cold Tongue), and farming is an important part of the economy of the kingdom (though the growing season is short). Fishing is also very important on Grendep Bay, as is mining in the eastern Griffs. However, the most notorious pursuit of the Frost Barbarians is raiding, and it often proves the most lucrative, as well.
Longships of the Frost Barbarians, often in cooperation with the other Suel barbarians, raid southward in spring to pillage along the coast of the new Great Kingdom of Northern Aerdy and sometimes further south. The crews are typical examples of barbarian warriors, wildly brave but rarely disciplined. No lack of discipline afflicts the soldiers of the king of Fruztii, however; his standing army is highly organized and well trained. The king’s men are also well armored with chainmail and shield, bearing swords or battle-axes. Several companies of archers and a small force of cavalry based in Djekul are present.
The Fruztii are strongly allied to the Archbarony of Ratik in the south. Their young king has even married a beautiful but headstrong Ratikkan noblewoman eight years his senior. Changes are already apparent in the royal court at Krakenheim, with more formal (or “civilized”) trappings in the organization of the government and the military. These changes do not meet with the approval of many of the older jarls, but they remain loyal to Hundgred out of respect for his noble father.
History: The known history of the Suel of the far north is a combination of legend, myth and tradition. Their earliest tales are of the battles they fought as they may their way across the Flanaess, dogged by the Oeridians who allowed them no habitation in the rich central lands. Many Suel fled far to the south, following various leaders of the old aristocracy. Some made peace with the Oeridians, accepting their laws while keeping their Suel princes. The ancestors of the Suel barbarians hated the Suel nobles and aristocracy almost as much as they hated foreign races. They acknowledged no masters, and after a century of travail finally crossed the Rakers into Rhizia.
Here legend becomes myth. Stories tell of a barbarian empire created by the warriors of Vatun, the “Great God of the North.” The empire, if it existed at all, lasted only for the lifetime of the first fasstal of the Suelii. Some say Vatun was betrayed by a companion deity, but others blame a rival Oeridian god (Telchur) and his clerics; a few even say that the barbarians proved unworthy, being unable to sustain a mighty god’s presence. Regardless, as recorded history dawned in the north, the barbarians’ empire was only a tale of old.
Several centuries after the founding of Aerdy, the Suel barbarians began their sea raids. Apparently, they had been content to war with each other through the dim years that preceded their attack on the Aerdy coasts. The Fruztii were the dominant nation in these early raiding expeditions, even going so far as to establish settlements south of the Rakers, on the border of the Great Kingdom. Their raiding became so chronic that eventually the Aerdi sent troops to deal with the settlements directly. Many battles were fought over the years, but the Fruztii resisted all attempts to dislodge them. Eventually, the armies of the Great Kingdom overwhelmed the combined force of Suel barbarians, and the Frost Barbarians took most of the losses. The Fruztii were never again dominant in the north.
For years they were subject, directly or indirectly, to their Snow Barbarian cousins. It was not until the reign of the current king’s father that they truly emerged from the Schnai’s yoke. The alliance with Ratik that has flourished in the last twenty years has given the Frost Barbarians greater influence in the region. Immediately prior to the Greyhawk Wars, they were in brief alliance with Stonehold, as were all the barbarian Suel, but the alliance quickly dissolved before any military action by the Fruztii was begun.
Conflicts and Intrigues: Nobles from Ratik have great influence at court but are not always trusted. Scarlet Brotherhood agents are well received but bring strange news and promises. Merchants from the Lordship of the Isles have a growing presence, offering unusually generous trade deals that make some jarls suspicious. Hundgred’s court is growing isolated from other northern barbarian nations.