In the icy north of Rivanon, perilously close to the sentient glacier that is simply called The Ice, live the Ostmen. Fierce human barbarian warriors clinging on to life in a frugal existence, they resort to raiding the other human nations to survive.
They live in single story longhouses in sheltered valleys, and hunt and forage as agriculture is impossible in such a harsh environment. In winter they build ships and weapons, in the summer they either raid along the coast or sell themselves out as mercenaries to the highest bidder. Some are gone for many years before returning home with their loot, many die in battle and only return as ghosts. Though the Ostmens main export are warriors, they also supply Hibernia with excellent quality pine for their shipbuilding industry, and exotic furs and skins such as those of the snow leopard and daggertooth.
The Ostmens love of battle is matched only by their love of drinking, they are prone to bad moods and foul tempers. They have a wicked sense of humour, and are always playing pranks on each other. Their leaders are the stuff of legend, surviving impossible odds in battle against fantastic monsters and enemies.
They live in a harsh climate on the fringes of civilisation, they are a hardy folk who are natural survivalists, living unaided for weeks at a time on the tundra with little protection—some say they are half beasts themselves.