Proper Name: Kingdom of (the) Schnai
Ruler: His Bellicose Majesty, King Ingemar Hartensen of the Schnai (CN male human Bbn16)
Government: Independent feudal monarchy with hereditary rulership, loosely governing powerful jarls; jarls meet yearly at the Assembly of Knudje (without king present), then send representatives to Soull to negotiate with king or have him resolve judicial disputes; king and jarls each have a retinue of advisers (clerics and skalds)
Major Towns: Soull (pop. 5,600), Knudje (pop. 4,500)
Provinces: Eleven noble fiefs controlled by clan jarls, with numerous minor noble fiefs below each
Resources: Copper, gems (I-II)
Coinage: Kronar (gp), haf-kronar (ep), linnwurm (sp), thrall (cp)
Population: 209,000—Human 79% (S), Dwarf 8% (mountain 60%, hill 40%), Halfling 6%, Elf 3%, Gnome 2%, Half-elf 1%, Half-orc 1%
Languages: Cold Tongue, Common, Dwarven, Halfling
Alignments: CN*, N, CE, CG
Religions: Kord, Llerg, Norebo, Xerbo, Vatun
Allies: Frost/Ice Barbarians (sometimes), Ratik (sometimes)
Enemies: Iuz, nonhumans and giants in the Corusk Mountains, North Kingdom, Sea Barons, Bone March, Stonehold, Frost/Ice Barbarians (sometimes), Ratik (sometimes)
Overview: The Schnai, as the Snow Barbarians are named in their native tongue, are the most numerous of the Suel in the north. They are also considered the best example of the unmixed Suloise race, many being as pale as their namesake northern snows. They still assert their supremacy over the Ice and Frost Barbarians, but such claims are now ignored by their neighbors. Trade continues between the three barbarian states as it always has, and they freely mingle together on raiding expeditions to the southern lands. Shipwrights of the Snow Barbarians are still considered to be the most skilled in Rhizia, and Schnai captains are felt to be the luckiest.
The warriors of the Schnai are typical of the Suel barbarians. They usually ply axe or sword in battle, and wear sturdy chainmail coats. All use round shields, including the berserkers, who otherwise go unarmored except for skins. Those berserkers dedicated to Vatun wield shortspears or battleaxes, while the followers of Kord favor the broadsword. The king himself favors Kord and has a company of berserkers among his household. They are usually kept at Knudje, rather than at the king’s court in Soull, though the king sometimes sends them to guest at the halls of particularly troublesome jarls. The king’s other troops are of a more standard variety, including companies of good archers. He has a few horsemen as well, masters of the long, scything axe.
The king of Schnai rules the land between the eastern Corusk Mountains and the wide Grendep Bay. The Spikey Forest separates the territories of the Snow and Frost Barbarians, though the lands on both sides are very similar. The climate of both kingdoms is nearly identical as well, with a relatively temperate southern zone. The landscape of the kingdom of Schnai is more rugged than the Fruztii region, however, though not so rough as that of the Cruskii. The same could be said of the people, who are more factious than the Fruztii, but more united than the Cruskii.
History: The Schnai have not always been the most powerful of the Suel barbarians, but they have never come under the rule of either of their cousin states. Perhaps this is due to the superior seamanship of these barbarians, for they have never been attacked by land. They have always participated in the summer raids southward and are as successful as either of their neighbors. Yet, they have also journeyed farther on the sea than perhaps any in the Flanaess, despite the claims of the Sea Barons. Their greatest kings and jarls have all been seafarers, beginning with Schoffmund the Strong, who defeated the Kraken of Grendep Bay. Since his day, all dead Schnai kings are interred in ships, which are ignited and set adrift on the sea.
While the Fruztii were historically the most persistent in their raids upon the Aerdy, the Schnai explored the seas and the northern isles. Their discovery of Fireland during the early years of Fruztii raids southward was a great distraction. Rather than seek conquest in the Flanaess, they chose to explore the Lesser and Greater Isles of Fire, while they built settlements on the more habitable islands of Sfirta and Berhodt. They would inevitably return home with tales of monsters and giants, and of treasures almost obtained. Real treasures, in the form of gold and jewels, were meanwhile being won by the Frost Barbarians in northern Aerdy. The attention of the Schnai soon returned to their southern neighbors, as they joined the Ice and Frost Barbarians in sea-raids on the Great Kingdom.
When the Aerdi finally defeated the Frost Barbarians, the Schnai chose to take control of the beaten Fruztii. With their much larger number of ships and warriors, they easily dominated their battered cousins to the west. The barbarians raided farther south, all the way to Medegia, and fought many battles with the Sea Barons as they passed through their waters. They also drove the Fruztii to make raids on Ratik, rather than use their own warriors. This was a mistake in the long run, as the Frost Barbarians developed an affiliation with the Ratikers that they later used to pry themselves from the grip of the Schnai.
The Schnai also made war on the Ice Barbarians, wresting the Ustula region from them and holding it for several decades. They never conquered the Ice Barbarians as they did the Frost Barbarians, however, for the Cruski are nearly as able seafarers as the Schnai. The Ice Barbarian warriors were also extremely fierce, particularly the berserkers of Llerg, who know no fear—nor much of anything else, being little more than human beasts.
By the time of the Greyhawk Wars, the Cruski had regained Ustula, and the Fruztii had nearly regained their independence. They, with the Schnai, were drawn in by the false Vatun that briefly deceived them all. When it was revealed that this was a deception of Iuz the Old, the Suel barbarians withdrew from the alliance created between their nations and the Stonehold.
A major raid into Stonehold was mounted several years ago by a combined force of Schnai and Cruski, though they were ultimately driven back. Since then, the young king of the Frost Barbarians has finally declared his nation’s independence from the Schnai. Old King Orvung might have gone to war over such an action, but the current king is more circumspect. History, he realizes, often repeats itself. The ambitions of the young king of Fruztii may soon prove too great for his jarls, and Ingemar will be ready to support their disaffection.
Conflicts and Intrigues: An intermittent war smolders with Stonehold. King Ingemar generously feasts and rewards his chaotic jarls to insure their loyalty. Frost Barbarian jarls also being feted to gain their friendship and influence; this is viewed as blatant bribery, but it works. The king receives Scarlet Brotherhood agents at court, but privately says he does not trust them.
South Province (see Ahlissa)
Spindrift Isles (see Lendore Isles)