The frozen islands of Grimstad have been home to nomadic tribes of hunters and warriors since time beyond remembrance. The dozens of tribes fought among each other for land or wealth or just to fight. Sometimes a single tribe would rise to dominate the region, but the Grimstad have never taken well to authority, and those in power were always soon pulled down by those below.
Over time the major tribes grew and put down roots, and great cities arose. As the Grimstad dug into the mountains to build their cities, they unearthed large deposits of coal and iron ore. Soon several of the tribes became major economic powers by trading these valuable resources with neighboring nations. However, this quickly brought them to the attention of the fledgling Bretonian Empire.
The First Bretonian Conquest saw a massive royal warfleet sweep across Grimstad, occupying their cities and seizing control of their mines and their trading fleets. With squabbling among the tribes and no centralized military, any Grimstad resistance was quickly crushed. The Grimstad are now a subjugated people, with those who dared to stand against Bretony forced into backbreaking labor in the mines. Unknown to their occupiers, however, the tribes of Grimstad have quietly united for the first time in their history, and are preparing to drive Bretony out of their ancestral home once and for all.
Grimstad is a cold and unforgiving place. The easternmost islands consist mostly of forest and tundra, and sustain some limited agriculture, and are where the majority of the Grimstad have settled. The cold grows harsher as you move west, and the terrain more mountainous, and navigation is treacherous due to the risks of avalanches and the shifting of large ice formations. However, settlements have sprung up deep in the icy mountains so that the valuable minerals within can be extracted.
The Grimstad are divided into dozens of tribes of varying sizes, each with their own traditions and gods. They are as varying in governance and in everything else, with some run semi-democratically and others ruled by the iron fist of a Warchief. However, rumor has it that leaders of the clans have recently met in secret to declare a sacred truce dedicated to crushing their hated Bretonian enemies.