Jossia [(JOS-ee-ah) or (YOS-ee-ah)] is a loose coalition of Northron tribesmen confined by geography to the northern peninsula of Zaldara. The term “Jossia” springs from the largest tribe and settlement in the region, that of the Jos.
Off of the mainland of Jossia to the west are a series of narrow volcanic islands that are known as Saemundiljeim. They were once thought to be the legendary gate between worlds guarded by the god Saemundil in the Northron myths. Now they are simply held to be sacred and dangerous. Priests and pilgrims have been known to journey to Saemundiljeim to seek revelation from the gods or to prove their devotion.
To the north is the island simply known as Burindr. It is the site of a series of ruins by the same name. It is said that the villagers there displeased the gods who rained rock and fire upon the cursed city. The island is considered to be cursed and the ruins doubly so.
Of all the lands of Zaldara, Jossia remains the most like it was during the chaotic times of The Scattering. No nation-states nor cities have been created in Jossia due to the constant raids and warfare of the various tribes. The two most powerful factions, the Jos and the Ros have the most potential to carve a nation out of the land, but that has yet to happen.
The Acheran Empire never encroached this far to the north and thus were unable to enact a civilizing influence on the various tribes. Perhaps it is this fact that explains why there has been so little great change in the region in centuries.
The history of this region is one of constant warfare. War between the tribes. War between tribes and neighboring nations. There will be periods of relative peace interrupted by sweeping raids coming down into the civilized lands. The nations of Borael and Leilior maintain constant vigilance over their borders against Northron incursion.
Laws and Governance
The lands and holdings of Jossia are in constant flux. There is not a single law of the land but the whim and control of a variety of different tribal leaders. There is not a single king but many tribal kings that control their own people under their own laws.
That being said, there are traditions among all the Northron tribes that are maintained. One such tradition that drives much of Northron law is the concept of “weregildt”. Essentially, a value is placed upon every person, every item in possession of the clan. When and if that person or possession is taken, damaged, or killed, the guilty party would owe that restitution in gold. If the restitution is not paid, then blood revenge would be called for. It is this important concept that has reduced the need for revenge killing and capital punishment within the clans.
The economy of the Northron peoples is largely a barter economy—and a raiding economy. Only the Jos mint their own coins, most tribes figuring that gold is gold is gold.
*CP = Copper Piece, SP = Silver Piece, GP = Gold Piece, and PP = Platinum Piece
Ethnic Groups and Racial Characteristics
There are two primary ethnic groups in Jossia, both Northron by nature. The Jos tend to be traditionally Northron with light blond to white hair and blue or green eyes. The Ros tend to be darker, with red-brown to red hair and blue or green eyes.
The two most prominent languages in Jossia are the dialects spoken by the Ros (“Roslag”) and the Jos (“Josslac”). There are a plethora of other tribal dialects, but these are the main languages spoken in the region.
It should also be noted that neither of these langauages are written languages. Runes are reserved for sacred writings and for spellcraft, not for common communication.
Most Northrons take on a patronymic with the following form: —sson or —dottir. Some have achieved some amount of local fame or committed some great feat and thus are able to take on an epithet (“Goblinsbane”, “Splitaxe”, etc.). Such epithets are bestowed by others, not by oneself.
The Northron tribes are firm adherents to the Northron pantheon, especially the teachings about accepting one’s faith and the idea of constantly preparing for the Final Battle against the Grundr.
Sorcery and Wizardry
Most Northron peoples are suspicious of sorcery and wizardry of all stripes. Though they do view it as a gift of the All-Father, the All-Father himself was not always known for his discretion in giving dangerous gifts. Some common Northron folk are not only suspicious but view sorcerers and wizards with outright distrust and hostility.
Northron culture is generally known to be grim, yet boisterous. It is a reflection of the harsh lands in which they live and the grim religion which rules their lives. Nevertheless, there is an appreciation of beauty to their culture—though most feel they are fated to see it only rarely.