The Witch-Kingdom of Nimrien

Nimrien is the name of this frozen tundra, and of the necromancer that has commanded rule over it for over six centuries.

Approach to the landmass is difficult, for the waters still the closer to the land one travels, and the plummeting temperatures cause it to freeze over. One has to either use an ice-breaker vessel to plough through the thick pack-ice to the rocky crags beyond, or make a long and treacherous journey on foot, hoping the ice sheets to not calve away and leave you stranded at sea.

Not that anyone chooses to travel there, of course. Time was, once long ago, that the shoreline was peppered with tiny hamlets of hardy folk that eked out a frozen existence in this northern land, but inhabitants of the kingdom of Nimrien have long since ceased to exist… or, at least, human inhabitants. Tales are told of savage, back-furred beasts that roam the coastline edge, with an unearthly howl that can give a man nightmares for the rest of his life. Strange, flickering lights can sometimes be made out from the craggy clifftops, and shadowy forms flit to and fro across the face of the moon when it is full. Who – or what – lives there now, none can say.

Legend has it that Nimrien was a scholar, in times past, one of those that made a life for themselves here rather than face persecution in the once wide-reaching arms of the Tabamor Empire. Enemies of the state would flee to far-flung corners of Lore, in the hopes they would escape the attentions of their former oppressors and be left in peace. And so some small communities began to appear on the shoreline of this lonely northern place, which at the time had no name.

It is not known what drove the scholar Nimrien to begin experimenting in the dark magical arts. Some think that he turned to dark magic in an attempt to protect himself and his people from Tabamor expeditions to bring the exiles and refugees there back to the Empire for justice. Some claim that his was a tale of love unrequited, and that he was driven insane when spurned. Others believe that there was already a more ancient evil lurking in that land, and Nimrien was simply unfortunate enough to stumble upon it, and the ethereal evil of the land invaded his soul. There are no records, no facts. Only tales and superstitions remain of what befell Nimrien in those ancient times, and as is the way with tales and superstitions, accounts differ.

But succumb to dark magics he did, and the poor souls that had made a home in what he declared his kingdom became his vassals, then his slaves… and then no more. Nimrien, alone and driven insane by isolation, rage and the effects of his foul magics, waged war upon the Tabamor Empire that caused him to be what he was. Alone, on his Throne of Blood, in his Castle of Bones (or so it is said) he waged war from afar, sending evil legions of horrific monsters that he had conjured from other worlds and risen from the dead, over the waters, to his former home, and with it, curses and damnations of pestilence and disease. For nearly fifty years the Tabamor Empire floundered against this onslaught (this much is known for certain, for accurate and detailed accounts of the horrors faced are given in the archives and libraries of the now-gone empire). Then, abruptly, it all stopped. The Tabamor Emperor had launched no counter-attack, had done little but try and keep his empire from imploding for over five decades. So what caused the end of the hostilities, none can say.

Some dared to hope that Nimrien had perished, destroyed by his own magics or by old age. But the foremost soothsayers of the lands of Lore disagree. They have divined that Nimrien is still there, turned to immortality as an undead liche, still sat upon his Throne of Blood and brooding silently. What he is waiting for, however, none can day…

No one travels to the Witch-Kingdom of Nimrien. Those in the Iceshear Isles and the northen-most reaches of Felgard hold a bitter feat, borne of superstition, of those lands, and speak of it only in hushed tones. Those that have attempted to visit those lands either do not return, or come back altered somehow, reluctant to speak of their travels, and bereft of any courage or spirit in their lives. It is a chill place, and not just for the arctic climate.