@coasterspaul I’ve been hiding in the background waiting for lore posts. I lol’d when I saw the picture you posted.
Your idea about the Phoenix Empire is very cool. Truth is it makes a lot of sense if you think about it- their are a lot of similarities between the Ascendancy and the HRE. Therefore logically we can say that the Phoenix Empire was similar to Rome.
About the NA settling the mountains as a sort of colonization sounds good at first glance but the details are a little hard to work out (and your the first to admit it.) One would presume that if they wanted to settle it they would still have strong links to their original community (this is less true in the case of the Vikings but it is certainly true in the Americas.) Plus it would also have to provide resources that are worth all the difficulty of settling the mountains. The problem is that I get the vibe that they are pretty isolated, and their doesn’t seem to be any trade or connections between them and the other kingdoms. But if we add in perhaps a motive for their adventure i.e following their religious leader we could begin to understand why they are in the mountains (I could swear they released the name of the NA religious figure, and that it is somewhere in the code but its escaping me.)
Another idea I had (and I happen to be a big fan of this theory) is that the NA is kinda like Sparta, Sparta was so confident of their fighting abilities that they didn’t have walls, the NA is so confident in their survival abilities that they choose a tough location to live in. This could solve a lot of the mystery. Their society and skill is focused on survival so they chose the icy mountains, this is why they don’t have connections with the outer world. It is below them to “need” others to survive, and it is likely a great embarrassment to leave the mountains, after all you can hardly claim to be a survivor if you leave the area occasionally. This embarrassment would also be a sort of “societal fence” that keeps the individuals in their weak moments to stay in the mountains, if they leave they will be ashamed forever and would be turning away from everyone else they have ever known. This cycle would build on itself and each generations would get more entrenched in this lifestyle.
One might ask why are the NA so obsessed with survival? Well this is where the “Northern Spartans” Theory ties back to the Phoenix Empire and creates quite a pretty package. From what we know the Phoenix empire was sort of like a paradise, an opulent, happy, and diverse city that was the seat of civilization. In a society like that people tend to get soft and lazy and when the catastrophe befell the great empire they were unable to fight it or face it. It is easy to see a group of survivors feeling frustrated about this “weakness of wealth” that caused so much pain and damage to them. For these survivors it probably was pretty natural to choose a lifestyle that was hard and required a constant struggle for survival, so they moved to the treacherous mountains to keep themselves and their prodigy from ever going soft again. They would never face another catastrophe unprepared.
@Fencin_Penguin the truth is there is quite a bit of lore in the game that is unknown to most. The team makes a point to keep it pretty secret. A lot of their decision making is actually based on this lore which actually gives the game a lot of depth.
I’m tempted to make the “Northern Spartans Theory” a thread of it’s own. It is one of my favorite theories that I have come up with since it covers so many bases and fits so well.