Norsca is a fictional place in Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy world setting. It is analogous in position within the "Old World" to Scandinavia and its human occupants, the "Norse", are a fantasy version of the vikings.
Norsca has a heavily indented coastline and is otherwise mountainous. To the North lies the Realm of Chaos (also called Shadowlands by Norse and known as Chaos Wastes), to the south beyond the Sea of Claws are the Empire and to the South east the kingdom of Kislev. Between Norsca and Kislev is wild area called Troll Country.
Norsca was originally populated by both High Elves and Dwarfs. Humans came to this land long after them. Norse Dwarves still remain, but Elves have left the land. There are ancient ruins that Elves left. One of the mysterious places is Forest of Knives which is situated in the middle of Norsca where ancient Elven temple is located. But this place is extremely hard and dangerous to reach.
The Norse Dwarfs are the most northerly of the Dwarfs of the Old World. While related to the Dwarfs in their strongholds to the South the separation over the years has led to some changes and the Norse Dwarfs have taken on some more wild characteristics compared to the mainstream of Dwarf society.
- The main stronghold (capital) of Norse Dwarfs in Norsca is Karak Drak. Other major holds included Sjoktraken (port), Kraka Dorden, Kraka Onsmotek, Kraka Ravnvake.
The Norse are in description and in the models produced similar to the Vikings. They are described as great sea borne explorers, traders, reavers and slavers who have built and maintain colonies in Lustria (the Warhammer world's version of South and Meso America). Models released and entries in publications such as Warhammer Armies for 3rd edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle and the Man O' War naval game are clearly based on the vikings.
Main information about Norse can be found from the Liber Khorne which is Volume I of Liber Chaotica (other Volumes have stories involving Norse characters also), Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP2) supplement Tome of Corruption and Hordes of Chaos supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Some information can be found from many other Warhammer sourcebooks, for example Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP2) supplement Realm of the Ice Queen, which has little information about Norsii migration. There was also large article about Norse for the use of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in the Citadel Journal Issue 6. Also Norse Marauders make an appearance in the mercenary supplement Dogs of War.
- Original people that migrated from the Empire to Kislev and finally to the Norsca were called Norsii. They were the ancestors of current Norse tribes.
- Biggest (main) tribes of Norsca are: Aeslings (northern tribe), Baersonlings, Bjornlings, Graelings (northern tribe), Sarls, Skaelings and Vargs (northern tribe). Liber Khorne mentiones also Brennuns, but this tribe is not mentioned in any other source which may mean that they are actually minor tribe. Possibly under one of the biggest (main) tribes.
- There are many minor tribes or clans among the Norse, which are mentioned in many published sources. These included Fremen, the Hound, Iceblade, Snaegr, Sortsvinaer, Stormfang, Stormraven, Ten Bear, Thunderbear, Ursfjordings (Bearmen of Urslo), the Wolf, the Wolf Brothers (the "Decayed Ones"), Wolfclaw.
- The Norse tongue is a complex language with over a dozen tribal dialects. Structurally, it bears many similarities to Khazalid, the language of Dwarfs, but it's corrupted by the instrusion of words from Old Reikspiel and the Dark Tongue.
- Norse mint small silver coins called Sceattas. The coins feature the crude likeness of the tribal King from which it originates. Norse do not use gold for currency, rather they melt down gold coins to make jewellery.
- Norse law-system is called Wergild.
- Among the Norse are berserkers and "Ulfsarks" (shape-changers into either a wolf or bear). These shape-changers are called Ulfwerenar by the WFRP2 supplement Tome of Corruption.
- Because Chaos Wastes (and changing raw energies of magic and Chaos) are very close to Norsca, various mutations and warped effects are common among the Norse and even the terrain. Norse view these as marks from the Gods.
- The port settlement of Skeggi is a Norscan trading post on the Lustria coast.
- In the latest edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle the Norse, along with the Kurgan and the Hung are described as the predominant Chaos Marauder tribes.
- In the maps published with the 300th issue of White Dwarf the Norse of Norsca are marked differently to the "Norsii" marauder tribesmen over the mountain range within the Chaos Wastes. This maybe mistake. Norsii were the ancestors of Norse.
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP1) supplement Marienburg: Sold Down the River has history which details many Norse raids against the Marienburg (Warhammer). Also it says that Rothemuur agents manage the Royal Trading Hall in Olricstaad, which is capital of High King Svein (current year for this information is 2512 IC or 2513 IC).
- During the Storm of Chaos Archaon gathered his generals, The Four, amongst the Norse. Archaons the Four are featured in the Hordes of Chaos Special Characters.
Norse religion is dynamic and complex, featuring a broad pantheon. Norse worship mainly Dark Gods using human sacrifices. These Dark Gods include Chaos Gods Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeentch. Norse have many names for these Gods. But Norse also worship other beings (many seem to be Daemon and Daemon Princes) and spirits of ancestors and heroes. There also seems to be other Gods, which might be Gods that are not related to Chaos.
Main themes for Norse pantheon include: War, Desire, Decay and Hope. Their Pantheon rarely features just a single God per theme, rather they may have several. Norse religion is featured in the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP2) supplements Tome of Corruption and Tome of Salvation. Also Liber Chaotica features Chaos Gods.
- Norse do not have official priests and their holymen are called usually Vitki or Shaman. Sometimes Chaos Sorcerers also take this role. Norse may use different names for their holymen, like "Bloodfather"...etc. Among them these holymen are viewed with fear and they are basically untouchable, because Norse fear the wrath of Gods.
- Skaeling tribe workships a Daemon God named Mermedus (believed to be a dark reflection of Manann), which dwells beneath the Sea of Claws.
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP2) supplements Tome of Salvation features Lesser Ulrican order called Order of the Winter Throne, which followers are simply called Ragnarites. There is secluded monasteries also in Norsca where also is orders legendary cave-system where mysterious Throne of the Snow King is located.
Outside of games, there have also been numerous novels and short stories by various authors set in the Warhammer world. Some happen also in Norsca. One of the stories involving mostly Norse characters is C.L. Werner Palace of the Plague Lord.
Norse in other gamesEdit
The Norse are also available as a team in Blood Bowl where they are skilled blockers but have poorer armor than most other teams.
Citadel released a range of Norse miniatures in the 1980s but these are now out of production but examples of individual Norse models are still available for Blood Bowl.
Fan-Based Norsca InformationEdit
There are couple of fan-based Norsca sources. These are unofficial sources and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited:
- One published Norsca source is Warpstone Issue 19, which features Ryan Wileman's The Sea of Claws background article which details also locations in the southern Norsca.
- Original Norsca fan-project for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP1) was done by Morten Krog, with help of others in 1995. It can be found from the Warhammer Net (Warhammer.rs) fan-site (link below).
- New Norsca fan-project for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP2) can be found from the Kalevala Hammer -site (link below) which was started 2007 and features unofficial Norsca Map and Timeline.
- the Citadel Journal Issue 6, Games Workshop, 1994
- Nunez Jr, Alfred (2002), Dwarfs: Stone and Steel, Hogshead Publishing, ISBN 1899749284, <http://www.amazon.com/Dwarfs-Stone-Warhammer-Fantasy-Roleplay/dp/1899749284/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263442&sr=8-1>
- Williams, Richard (2005), Liber Chaotica (complete edition), Black Library, ISBN 1844163946, <http://www.amazon.com/Liber-Chaotica-Complete-mysteries-Warhammer/dp/1844163946/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263585&sr=1-1>
- Williams, Richard (2003), Liber Chaotica Volume I: Khorne, Black Library, ISBN 1841542725, <http://www.amazon.com/Liber-Chaotica-Vol-1-Khorne/dp/1841542725/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263649&sr=1-1>
- Von Staufer, Marijan (2003), Liber Chaotica Volume II: Slaanesh, Black Library, ISBN 1844160432, <http://www.amazon.com/Liber-Chaotica-Vol-2-Slaanesh/dp/1844160432/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263697&sr=1-1>
- Von Staufer, Marijan (2003), Liber Chaotica Volume III: Nurgle, Black Library, ISBN 1844160645, <http://www.amazon.com/Liber-Chaotica-M-von-Staufer/dp/1844160645/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263739&sr=1-1>
- Von Staufer, Marijan (2003), Liber Chaotica Volume IV: Tzeentch, Black Library, ISBN 1844160858, <http://www.amazon.com/Liber-Chaotica-Vol-4-Tzeentch/dp/1844160858/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211263841&sr=1-1>
- Ragan, Anthony (1999), Marienburg: Sold Down the River, Hogshead Publishing, ISBN 1899749144, <http://www.amazon.com/Marienburg-River-Warhammer-Fantasy-Roleplay/dp/1899749144/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211264074&sr=1-1>
- Werner, C.L. (2007), Palace of the Plague Lord, Black Library, ISBN 1844164810, <http://www.amazon.com/Palace-Plague-Lord-Warhammer-Novels/dp/1844164810>
- green, ronin (2007), Realm of the Ice Queen, Black Industries, ISBN 1844164330, <http://www.amazon.com/Realm-Ice-Queen-Warhammer-Roleplay/dp/1844164330>
- Schwalb, Robert J. (2006), Tome of Corruption, Black Industries, ISBN 1844163091, <http://www.amazon.com/WFRP-Corruption-Warhammer-Fantasy-Roleplay/dp/1844163091/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211264140&sr=1-1>
- Schwalb, Robert J. (2007), Tome of Salvation, Black Industries, ISBN 1844163148, <http://www.amazon.com/Salvation-Priests-Warhammer-Fantasy-Roleplay/dp/1844163148/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211349197&sr=1-1>
- Stillman, Nigel (1998), Warhammer Armies: Dogs of War, Games Workshop, ISBN 1872372023, <http://www.amazon.com/Warhammer-Armies-Dogs-War-Supplement/dp/1872372023/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211265097&sr=8-1>
- Thorpe, Gavin; Priestley, Rick; Reynolds, Anthony and Cavatore, Alessio (2002). Warhammer Armies: Hordes of Chaos. Nottingham: Games Workshop. ISBN 1-84154-222-9.
- Warpstone Issue 19, Warpstone, 2002
- Games Workshop - Owner of Warhammer and publisher of Warhammer Fantasy Battle
- Warpstone - an independent WFRP support magazine
- Fantasy Flight Games - the current publisher of the WFRP and its official forum
- Warpstone - an independent WFRP support magazine
- Warhammer Net - Link to Warhammer Net Norsca Project. A fan-site with information based on the WFRP1
- Kalevala Hammer - Link to Kalevala Hammer Norsca Project. A fan-site with information based on the WFRP2
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