Name of Nation: Vaerheim
Culture and Society: hierarchical caste system:
The Væringi (Varangian proper): Full citizens of Vaerheim are few in number that enjoy full political and civil rights. However, their dedication to physical discipline and military service may seem to be an eternal punishment to others. They’re able to own property, thralls, and vote on political matters that occur in the Thing, a meeting between all Varangians that occur every four years. Varangians can perform manual labor if they choose but it is highly frowned upon if the decision was carried out.
Male Varangians were expected to be perfect soldiers the moment they were born while female Varangians were expect to become strong healthy mothers and capable athletes. Babies that were born defective or deemed unfit by the elder judge would be demoted to become a Thenn. Rarely is a baby put to death but only in the most extreme cases.
Education was universal as literacy was expected from all Varangian youths when they reach adulthood. However there are divergences in some subjects: the men had to learn administrative duty when not training or retiring while the women were taught basic self-defense, music, and festive tradition. As a result, Væringi are famous for their drop-dead beauty and their unassuming wit.
The Thenns: Argurably the second class populace of Vaerheim, Thenns are free men and women but non-citizens of Vaerheim. However, they are given the luxury of free movement inside and outside of the state as well as full economic opportunities. They could be landowners, serve as auxiliary in the Varangian Banners, or even become a Væringi if their loyalty and military competence exceeded beyond expectations. Thenns are mainly the source for blacksmiths, merchants, priests, scribes, tax collectors, and sometimes city labourers. They are also fully protected by the law even though they have no say in politics. Ironic since they are the ones doing the basic legal and administrative work of Vaerheim.
The Thralls: The third class non-citizens of Vaerheim; originally the conquered people enslaved by the Varangians, the class has diversified when the Varangians began taking captives and prisoners of war from villages and battlefields. Thralls lived basically as slaves as they were forced to perform all the hard labour such as farming and mining to fuel the Varangian war machine. They were in constant danger of being murdered by a young Varangian going through one of his many trials.
However, despite the bleak lifestyle, Thralls have some rights in Varangian societies: they can live in their own accommodation, allowed to keep some of their farming yields, can marry and permitted to avenge an insult about their wives, form their own families, as well as buying their freedom through exemplary military service or through saving what little coinage they have. Intermarriage with a Thrall and Varangian proper was absolutely forbidden though a Thrall could gain freedom and enjoy second class freedom by marrying a Thenn. Of course, a conversion to the Varangian faith was a big requirement.
Originally, the Varangians were once a large band of nomadic people that worship gods foreign to any nation they come across. They serve as a band of mercenaries to any crown willing to pay for their service. And the Varangians serve with such distinction as either shock troops or armored line infantry.
In their contracts, however, there was that one special agreement that the Varangians get to keep what they plunder whether it be gold, captives, or other spoils. The Varangians did not care about land as they were nomadic at the time. While they did serve under their clients, the Varangians would usually learn a few new methods from them such crafting more complicated armor and weapons or learning some literature.
This continued on as the Varangians grew in status as an elite mercenary band until a particularly ambitious leader of the Varangians heard of rich soil in the north, rich with game and mineral ores. He took the gamble and led the Varangians north while still taking on mercenary contracts along the way.
When they finally reached their destination, the area was already settled so the Varangian leader decided that conquest was the solution. With the natives turned thralls, he used their labor to build a new city that would be the seat power for the Varangians, that it would be called Vaerheim.
Economy: With fertile soil and access to abundant mines and woods, agriculture and urban industry dominate Varangian trade. Though income can also be gained by renting out Varangian soldiers as mercenaries to other nations
Army: The Varangian Bannermen, the army of Vaerheim, have trained their whole life in the art of war making them one of the most recognizable soldiers on the battlefield. The most iconic weapon of the Varangian Bannermen is the Long Axe, a two handed polearm that has a large axehead that cleaves through armor. (A comination of a Bearded Axe and Dane Axe to maximize armor piercing capabilities.)
The round shield of the Bannermen was also iconic as it was quite large, made of three layers, and has a grip that was at the edge of the shield and a leather fastening at the center. This allowed greater mobility for a Varangian soldier as well as more versatility in its offensive power.
The biggest downside of the Varangian Bannermen is that they win battles not wars. The generals that lead them are great tacticians but not competent strategies.
Army strength: 500k, 100k Varangians and 400k Auxiliaries
Navy: Hardly call it a navy, the Varangians have no experience in naval warfare.
The Agoge - Military service is inseparable in Varanagian society. It was in war where their identity was found and it in war when Vaerheim became their new home. Because of this, Vaerheim will always have an elite professional army ready to deploy at any moment.
access to elite tier heavy infantry,such as the Varangian Guardsmen, one of the world's most legendary warriors for their skill and bravery in combat.
Industrious - Being a band of wandering mercenaries, the Varangians have learned much knowledge from their clients such as metallurgy and craftsmanship. Skills that would later be taught to the Thenns. Weapons, armor, and metal tools used by the Varangians are of remarkable quality. Even the Thenns and Thralls serving as auxiliary positions enjoy adequate equipment when going into combat. However, this leads to a dependancy on slave labor in order to fulfill agricultural demands.
lower army maintenence
decreased domestic agricultural income
Fierce Negotiators - Any Varangian is worth his weight in gold, ivory, or other spoils of war. They will fight and die for you, IF the tithe was paid. Sadly, rich nations may turn down the services of the Varangians if the payment was too high for their taste.
increase Mercenary profit
minimal Monthly War exhaustion when majority of the Varangian army is under mercenary service
Well Connected - The Varangians were nomadic people, but as time went on and serving under a myriad of clients; they earned newfound reputation from their employers that would later help them when they established their own country.
improve relations overtime with foreign nations
Must be under mercenary contract for effects to activate
Tyr's Pride - A Varangian Bannerman is bound by three things: his flesh, his weapons, and his armor and equipment. Magic has no place among war banners as sweat, blood, and faith is all that a Varangian needs to become one of the most legendary warriors in history.
Increased morale and discipline in the army
Magic cannot be used in military service under a combatant role
Foreign Relations: Due to their exceptional service in the past, most nations regard Vaerheim is benign neglect or silent respect although some are willing to hire them again for mercenary contracts.
Land Area: 6
Land Fertility: 18
Development: 14 (12 + 2)
Land Power: 14 (9 + 5)
Naval Power: 1
Economy: 15 (7 + 5 + 3)
Magical Reserves: 8 (13 - 5)
Magical Sophistication: 15 (18 - 5)
Other: The religion of the Varangians are a pantheon of gods but they mainly worship Tyr, the god of war.