Exiled from their homeland, fleeing retribution, or simply seeking independence from others, Northerners have made a home in the arctic wastelands where both life and pursuit are difficult. The original colony was founded by a people cast out from an empire to the south, reviled and mistrusted, forced to march off into the frozen wilderness, expected to wander and die. If necessity is the mother of invention, nowhere is the need greater than the tundra of the north. A never-ending winter makes the elements one of the greatest threats to Northerners. The hinterlands are also home to any number of savage animals, who ferociously defend their territory from these strangers. And to the east lurks a far greater threat, the winter fae, who live deep in the black forest, and tolerate few who trespass.
But their desperate need to survive bred industry, and the Northerners settled on the cold shores, and founded Tasaria. Time passed and the town that was on no maps kept growing. More and more flocked there in search of a place free from oppression. Others wandered there simply to be free from the yoke of the empire. And others still, fled there to disappear for awhile when seedy activities made them a target elsewhere.
In Technology We Trust
For many winters the North has grown, small port cities and mining outputs dot the landscape. Connected by snaking pipes of steam from geothermal vents, Northerners embark on journeys through snow and across ice on pipe-runners that take them to new sources of minerals, new escapes, and new sources of food. Veterans of the cold, survivors of the wildlife, ignored by the Winter Fae, the North has conquered the arctic waste. Tinkerers and mechanics, inventors and hunters, they scrap together lives and are above all other things, quietly prosperous. They fear the empire to the south as much as the Fae to the east. But their curiosity is merely tempered by their concern, and so Tasaria’s grand University of the North both serves as a focus of all the invention and research the Northerners do, but also as the gate to a sprawling underground metropolis housing much greater numbers of their people than the humble city above ground would suggest.
Delving deeper and deeper into the earth, the North stumbles upon a buried Clockwork Giant. Badly damaged but sentient, he needs their help. In exchange for helping them with technology, he needs them to find something for him, a great weapon he escaped his homeworld with and needs to find. No one doubts the wonders the Titan brings, but many worry whether the quest will endanger their independence.