The Grimstad have lived harsh lives, every man, woman, and child. Their islands are covered in a nigh-eternal winter, with ice-hardened earth that yields food only with significant toil. The wildlife is as brutal and unforgiving, from the packs of wolves and mighty snow bears to the massive savage narwhal living among the glaciers. And just as the tribes of Grimstad had begun to tap their mineral resources and build permanent cities and a lasting economy, Bretony came storming in to steal it out from under them, forcing them to work the mines that had been their birthright for the benefit of their hated enemy. Many believe that it’s sheer cussed stubbornness that keeps the Grimstad going every day. Others say, only half-joking, that it’s an unquenchable need for revenge.
Grimstad is divided into tribes of as few as twenty and as many as eight hundred members. The majority of the tribes are small groups of hunter-gatherers who occasionally trade meat and furs with the larger tribes for any needed goods. A number of larger tribes have developed large agrarian settlements. The most powerful tribes have taken root in permanent townships, and these are the tribes that first began to mine the iron from beneath the mountain. Government varies from tribe to tribe, with some run semi-democratically and others strictly run by a single leader or ruling family. Everyone in the tribe contributes, and everyone is looked after in turn.
Grimstad are loyal to their tribe above all else. Grimstad tribes are held together by bonds of community and mutual survival that go back for generations, and to betray any member of your tribe is to turn your back on everything that you are. Of all the sins of Bretony, the greatest was their attempt to break up the tribes. Fearing that tribal unity would help to forment rebellion, the Bretonian occupiers dissolved the tribes and scattered their members across the islands. Rather than breaking their will, this united the Grimstad under a single banner for the first time in their history. The unflagging loyalty that the Grimstad once displayed to their family and friends now extends across the entire people, and Bretony may have unwittingly created the greatest enemy they will ever face.
Iron and Ice: The Grimstad are an unbreakable people, seasoned by centuries of hardship and struggle. Grimstad characters start with +2 Constitution.
Grim Resolve: Citizens of Grimstad will push forward when all others falter and fall. When a Grimstad citizen is reduced to 0 HP, he or she can choose to drop to 1 HP instead. This power cannot be used again until after a long rest.
The dissolution of the Grimstad tribes led to many young warriors, hunters, and shamen being scattered across the isles, and many of them have taken to piracy or other criminal enterprises in order to survive. They are valued by lawful and lawless employers alike for their ruthlessness and fortitude, and are often employed as enforcers and bodyguards. However, all Grimstad, no matter how far from home they have wandered, share a hatred of Bretony and a desire to one day take back their nation, and their seething rage can sometimes get the better of them and put their companions in awkward positions.