Amryn: A Backwater World
Dormu, Land of Eternal Twilight
Long ago settlers from Theragos struck out from their island homes to seek their fortunes in the land west of the keys. Arriving on the east coast of Shim proved to be a devastating endeavor, as the fiercely territorial and isolationist Elves that occupied it swiftly attacked and decimated the pilgrims. With their ships taking on water and unable to put to shore for repairs, the immigrants limped their way up the coast, harrangued the whole way by Elven host. It was only when they passed the great mountains to the north that they were able to leave the hostiles behind and make land. The woes of the settlers did not stop there however. The land north of Shim was frigid and dark; the sun hung low on the horizon and never rose higher than a few degrees, and neither did the temperature. There was no need for heavy clothing in the idyllic isles of Theragos, and many succumbed to the elements. Too weak to strike inland and driven to desperation, the defeated Theragosians made yurts of snow and sail, and were forced to dismantle and burn their hobbled ships to survive.
Now stranded, the surviving settlers had no choice but to adapt. They learned to hunt the ferocious beasts that roamed the tundra, yeti and ice drake among them. Soon they were clad in thick furs and the harsh environment bred them stout and tough. The years wore on and the people wrought a nation from the inhospitable frozen wastes. They named the land Dormu, after their ancient God of death, whom they conquered. The Dormun, known as "Death's Children" were born.
At first the Shimean were happy to assume the interlopers had sunk or died of exposure after being driven beyond their lands. After a time though, reports began to surface of strange skiffs being spotted in the mists of the northern sea, and rumors began to circulate that the Theragosians had survived. Scouts were sent over the treacherous mountains to observe, and reported a thriving but scarce hunter/gatherer culture. Officials hastily assembled a strike force to attempt a swift campaign to wipe out what they assumed were the remnants of a broken community. What greeted them was a well prepared militia, commanding vast numbers of domesticated bears and dire wolves. Their homes were well hidden and well fortified, having been forced to utilize their knowledge of Olgahni architecture and mining to dig into the tundra to escape the ever-driving winds and bitter cold. A few skirmishes led to sound defeats for the Shimean strike force, and a hasty truce was called. The two countries have kept that uneasy peace for the better part of two centuries, unwilling to call each other friends, but each at a disadvantage to invade.
The typical Dormun is between 6 and 7 feet tall, with pale skin and light eyes. Their hair color ranges from black to red to blonde, but newer generations have seen an increase in children born with nearly white and platinum hair as their genetics adapt. They typically have strong lungs and booming voices from bellowing over the wind to be heard. Behind bushy eybrows, large noses and thick beards, they are rarely recognized as having the same heritage as their darker, smaller Theragosian cousins.
Most Dormun are hunter/trappers or miner/builders. The two professions go hand in hand with the national defense, as the former excels at archery and tracking, while the latter is well versed in endurance, planning and melee. Most other professions have some sort of presence, but are generally rare and highly specialized.