The Norsemen, Nords or Vikings are the Humans that are native to the northernmost continent of Värtland. As a sub-breed of Humans, the Nords share most of their traits with other Humans and are mainly set apart by a different culture and a slightly different physical appearance.
Because of their different culture and sometimes archaic way of dress and life, other Humans often view the Nords as a backward culture. However, due to the Vikings' martial prowess and dreaded reputation as raiders, they are also feared by many Men living in the warmer regions of Olegaia.
Most of the Nords, be they male or female, are of a slightly taller height than "regular" Humans. Their skin tone is of a more pale yellow than the Humans inhabiting other places, mainly due to the lack of much sunlight in the North.
Norsemen are easily recognizable by their fair hair, ranging from blonde, over auburn to various shades of brown. Black hair is not absent, but it is rather uncommon. The Nordic people can be rather vain and take great pride in their outward appearance. Males often grow their hair long, which they then wear in a number of fashions. The same applies to their facial hair. Many Northern men sport thick, bushy beards. Sometimes the beards are braided and even decorated with all manner of trinkets. Even though some see a beard as a sign of power and masculinity, the beardless are not discriminated against.
Scholars suggest that the vain personal culture of the Norse is derived from the Dwarves, with whom the Norse share the continent of Värtland, and who, according to the myths and legends "raised" the Nordic Humans. In the northern Dwarven culture, similar attitudes towards outward displays of wealth and grooming traditions may be observed.
Nordic religion runs parallel to that of other Human cultures, with many gods that are variants of their more well-known southern ones. As with everything, the harsh nature of the northern lands exerts great influence over every aspect of Northern life and as such, the Nordic pantheon and mythology is generally more brutal than its southern variants.
The central deity in the Norse pantheon is Wartan. He is the All-Father and chief of all Norse gods. The domains over which he presides are many and varied, but he is mainly attributed with being the god of War.
The second most important deity is Helvetia, the Ice Mother. She takes care of the souls in the afterlife, which is a central part of Norse culture. Unlike the southern goddess, Helvetia is mostly seen as a benevolent, if fickle, deity in the North. The Vikings worship her as a motherly deity and invoke her name to protect them from the coldness of their homeland.
Torrik or Thoric is the son of Wartan and Helvetia. In imitation of Helvetia, who created the Nôrn, Torrik created the Norse. Therefore, he is regarded as the Creator God. He is also associated with thunder and judgment, and thus strength, so Torrik is by-far the most widely worshipped and popular deity of the Nordic pantheon.
Next to the triumvirate of main deities, the Norse also known many "lesser" deities. One of those is Njordon, the Lord of the Seas and greatest ally of Wartan. He rules the waters and protects the Vikings on their voyages. So great is his standing with the King of Gods that those brave men who drown or die at sea are allowed entrance into Njordon's Great Hall instead of being claimed by Helvetia.