One of the oldest and most storied of the Oceanic Trade Empires. The people of Volsung are known to be fiercely independent and proud of their customs and history. The first King of Volsung was a man named Harald Tangle-Hair, who was disposed of in his native land and set up a new kingdom amongst the thousands of islands in Oceania. He was largely successful and his ancestors ruled for hundreds of years before the great warrior and hero Sigurd was named King of Volsung after slaying the dragon Fafnir.
Despite having a king, the lands of Volsung have been relatively lawless up until Sigurd took over 200 years ago. People were largely expected to enforce the law on their own, meaning that if any one person were to amass a force greater than the King’s, they would be the de facto law of the land. Sigurd has established much more strict law enforcement methods, however, though Volsungians on the whole try to avoid involving them in any dispute.
The official religion of Volsung, Forn Sider, was practiced for many years by shaman who passed it down orally from generation to generation. This was another aspect which Sigurd reformed, having the oral tradition written down and consolidated. The shaman who practiced the religion, called Godi, were placed in charge of communities where they would preach the faith as well as settle any disputes taking place within their flock. Godi are no longer simply priests but chieftains as well.
While Sigurd’s policies were well-received and unified the Kingdom when they were first introduced 200 years ago, the empire has stagnated and is slowly dying under King Sigurd’s watch. While Sigurd had taken on a wife who gave birth to his hopeful heirs, there is still no sign that Sigurd plans to abdicate the throne to anyone, even his own children and grandchildren. While the people of Volsung know the direction their empire is headed, many are afraid to speak against the legendary hero and instead simply repeat that Sigurd is doing a good job until they believe it to be true.
One profession that exemplifies this mindset is that of the vikings. In the past, vikings were men who traveled abroad for the summer, pillaging and looting the islands outside of Volsung and returning with new found wealth at the end of the season. While that is still what many vikings claim they are doing, the fact of the matter is they are simply leaving Volsung for work as mercenaries and the only treasure they bring home is their paychecks.
Thankfully, Volsung’s fall from grace has bestowed a minor blessing upon them: their neighbors have long forgotten the fear they once had of the vikings’ yearly raids and now view the territory as largely a joke; simply a collection of backwoods idiots pretending that they have some degree of influence on the region. For this reason, Volsung is largely ignored as the rest of the trade empires turn their attention to bigger fishes.
Strangely enough, their distance from both Varangia and Muspell has created a positive vibe in regards to public views on the two empires. While most empires are divided either on Varangia’s or Muspell’s side, Volsung is the one exception to the rule. Both nations have hired vikings to indirectly solve their conflicts with one another, so they tend to view the people of Volsung as potential allies, with the Volsungian people seeing them as possible destinations if they must leave their homes.
Volsung is the smallest of the trade empires with a population of…
Artoria – Hated
Vinlan – Neutral
Varangia – Fair
Umbria – Hated
Helvett – Poor