Although modern history of the North lands belongs to the human and humanoid races, the giantish, goblinoid and dragon cultures have been established in the hill and mountain regions for twenty-seven centuries.
While the lands has known peace before the God wars the last two centuries have seen an increasing threat from troll and giant raiders. Kobolds and hill gnoll clans still prey on frontier homesteaders and threaten the all important trade routes.
Relatively little is known of the Modrigswerg dwarven culture of the North lands. In ancient times they were known for trafficking with spellcasters and alchemists but no longer. The lands have numerous forgotten mines and underground halls and their once great culture is said to have collapsed centuries ago in madness and evil. They now live in small family units, or as hermits, and are known for the quality of their stonework, jewelry, and weaponsmithing. There is some organised trade with the humans but it is few and far between though the dwarves are fairly tolerant with the men of the north.
Their superb physical craftmanship combines with the secret arts of dwarven craftmagic to produce marvelous artifacts. As is typical dwarven cultures, northland dwarves are extremely conservative in traditions and customs. Further the Modrigswerg are not inclined to be chatty about their past. Consequently little is known about them, and tracing the origin and fate of legendary artifacts is a formidable task.
Modrigswerg are said to be particularly long lived, even for dwarves, although the madness associated with the clan leads many of them to thier own destruction. Clans and families generally remain in the same dwellings for centuries. There are no acknowledged kings or clan leaders, and there is little communication between underground homesteads. Families and small clans may live within five miles and not speak to one another for hundreds of years.
Other more common dwarves from the Dwarf Kingdom have over the centuries moved into the land and often live among the humans or trade with them, keeping ties back to the homeland.
The humans started here a millennia ago as warring pirate clans vying for power along the coast. Eventually they settled under one great chief, Cnute, who was succeeded by his three sons Brand, Sven and Hrafn, who expanded the kingdom inland to the great crescent mountains. The human kindgoms have been won and lost and won again over the centuries, and today are united again as a collection of smaller kindgoms. The last overking was 30 years ago at the times of the Goblin Wars,and since then there has been relative peace.
Not native to these lands, they are mostly settled families or refugees from the God Wars 200 years ago. While this may seem an age to the shortlived races to the elves barely a generation has passed, and the cruelty of the gods and the folly of the humans are still within living memory.
Rock Gnomes have lived among the dwarves for as long as there have been dwarves in the hills.
The Orc Wars 30 years ago brought other humanoids in larger numbers, Half Orcs have become a more common race living amongst men and dwarves where they can gain a foothold or living in the wilds.
Travel, trade and wander lust have meant that other races have found their way across the lands.