Freeports and independant settlements common on the fringes of the Northern Continent play home to the Illic disaspora. Mostly beneath the notice and depredations of the powerful Vampire and Tiefling clans of the Unholy Empire, the Illic people, as they are commonly referred to, are mostly hardy fisher folk living in bleak, unforgiving landscapes.
Their primary population stock is human, though there is the occasional streak of tiefling stock in ports closer to the Unholy Empire. There are next to no Half Elves, as even here in the cold north, intermarrying with outsiders is frowned upon and even when a union is blessed, Half Elves are still as rare a people as anywhere else in the world.
Most of these towns pay tribute to a Jarl if they are not powerful enough to protect themselves, and often spend the summer months feuding and raiding against their
enemies and friends to survive. Whilst blood feuds are common and lengthy, the Illic peoples will often put aside differences to band together against a greater foe, calling
on ancestral pledges to defend their freedom from conquest. These pledges are usually invoked when one Jarl becomes particularly powerful and threatens to unify the Illics
into a larger nation- a suicidal prospect given their proximity to the Unholy Empire.
The Oddemen, a small group of elderly wisemen druids that can be found in every Illic town, have long since recognised the benefits of being too fractious and unruly a people to be worth subjugation.
Simply put, so long as the Illics remain as small, unimportant fisher folk, the safer they are.
However, even this does not protect them against their neighbours. Pirate fleets are a problem in the north when the pickings further south are slim. Though few and far
between, raiding ships, or even entire fleets, have been known to pillage the Illic peoples. Some pirates are even fellow Illic who have tired of a life of small means and hard living and have travelled to the pirate-infested Osair islands deep to the south. In this way, their raiding continues year round, not just during the feuding season.
The Illic Fisherfolk will often hunt narwhal and whale, and their bonecarvers have unparalleled scrimshaw skill in the world. The wild lands of the north are also home
to a plethora of furred animals that has created a roaring fur trade. These items are often traded wholesale to merchant intermediaries, often from the Unholy Empire,
sometimes Erhart and very occasionally Bachenaux. They generally do not themselves own and operate trading fleets, as the infrastructure to create such large vessels is
demanding on limited supplies. In return, weaponry, armor and spice are the highly prized goods exchanged for the work. Trade is frequent enough that most Illic can
speak at least common Erhart, the trade language, if not other languages.
Illic food is considered to be an acquired taste by other nations, though in practicality it is mostly hard ration that outsiders would be reluctant to try. When the season is good, a Freeport feasts, often on a holy day or a memorial/celebration, they will roast moose, elk, snow chicken and at the conclusion of the feast the Jarl will ceremoniously pick the “Lutha” or "Feastbone" from the table-scraps of his guests. This is usually a political move- a chance to end feuds (or start them) to show favour etc. It is an important symbolic part of the feast, and is usually accompanied by an allegorical story, or a retelling of a saga. This bone is then scrimshawed with a depiction of the tale and hung in the feast-hall above the seating area and the chosen guest who is honored is invited to sit at the left of the Jarl for the rest of the drinking.
In terms of attitude to outsiders, the Illics are generally incredibly polarised personalities and it is dependent on the region and settlement as to which they are,
leading to much uncertainty when dealing with these eccentric people. Often depicted as either incredibly stoic, or incredibly gregarious- in either event they are often ultimately mistrusting of newcomers. It can take years to build trust with an Illic town, but once won it is generally never forgotten. They are a grudge-bearing people and extremely practical in their outlook.
Woe betide the outsider who betrays an Illic’s trust.
Political System: Katerocracy (Rule by Might)
National Colours: None.
National Emblem: None.
Religion: The Faiths - Predominantly The Lady of Bones and The Twins
Population: Absolute majority Human, some Tiefling