The stream about Northern Alliance with Sdee

So firstly, thank you for a great stream @sdee! When i woke up and saw the title of the stream i got all warm and prepared for a “Hyggelig” morning :smile:

I made some notes during the stream and wanted to share them:

First the music:
Really awesome all three of the tracks!

The first track just gave me a sense of epicness!

The second one, provided me with a picture of a buck roaming the snowfilled landscape searching the snow with its snout, for grass, steam comming out of its nose, suddenly looking up like it heard something that could be a threat, only to dismiss it and returning to search the snow for food…

The third track gave me the picture of a hearthling in good spirits, work was no longer a choir for survival but a way to enjoy the world. Maybe even taking the time to talk with a squirrel out in the forest and forgetting the urgency of time.

Then there was alot of lore discussion about why the northen alliance would choose to live in a cold climate and not a warm one.
On that subject i will weigh in with my own experience. But first i need to clarify what the winter is (or the cold).

The Northen wind (Windr) is what brings winter and can be seen as the force of death it self. Living side by side with such a strong force, battleling it every year gives strenght, it provides you with a sense of immortality every year that you defeat it and make it through the windr, not because of luck, but because of the effort you put in to spend the whole year preparing for this battle.
The more hardship you have to overcome, the easier small problems will be to handle and might not even be categorized as problems in the end.

But why did anyone choose to live in such a place to begin with? Well what if back in the days, when the pheonix empire got aware of their path would lead them to their demise, they send out a group (that would end up as the northern alliance) to search for a solution or a source for immortality?
Where better to look for such a thing, than by deaths gates it self?
And why are they then still there?
Well they need to continuesly fight death every year, so its focus remains at its own gates and not the rest of the world?

In norse mythology it is said that Ragnarok (end of days) will come after three Fimbul winters in a row. (A fimbul winter is when summer never comes in a season).

Regarding the water and glaciers. There is a saying that first came the Wind giant Kari, then his son Froste and then Frostes son Snje (snow) Snje is a name for snake and when the ice melts the water comes down from the mountains rushing through the land creating huge rivers. Rivers are bending and twisting like a big snake.
Underneath the great tree of life Yggdrassil lives a serpernt called Nidhuggr that chews on the threes roots, so it is of course the water that the tree is drinking.

So maybe some kind of water snake could be a thing that the Northern alliance had some kind of relationship with?

This constant battle with death it self could also be a great reason, why the NA was such fearsome warriors?

Now for names:

Kari or Kåre


Frost (My family name, and i cant really describe how “cool” it would be, if it was in the game)
Any names with Son in the end, as it is so common here that you are named after your parrents.
Same goes for Dottir (daughter)

I really look forward to see this faction evolve and finnally get to play with them!

Thank you :merry::jubilant:


A link would have been nice for all us lazy potatoes… :potato:


Ahh yes sorry, thank you CC :blush:


In the stream you talked about the cultural reason why the NA live in the colder parts of Hearth. W’all had a discussion about this here some time ago, and someone (can’t remember who), came up with a reason I quite like. It goes a little in the direction of where @Fornjotr went, going there for the same reasons.

Except instead of before the fall of the pheonix empire, these explorers went out right after the fall of the empire. They specifially went and sought after places that would force them to be tanaciously adaptible and resilient, because the lack of these skills brought about the demise of the phoenix empire. It also goes into why the pheonix empire fell (or one of the reasons): Wealth and it’s comfort had lulled the PhE into inaction in the face of a threat, which could only end in the one inevitable way it did.

I also liked the idea that they were running away from a threat that followed them. Maybe they are kiting an mountainous rock elemental that they angered generations ago, while they search for a way to appease it again, so it can go back to rest.
In some outposts (trading, connections), the next generation needs to head out and build a city comfortable enough for the elderly and the less resilitent of the NA to live there. After these have moved in, this NA tribe will have run a step forward. (This would mean that not only does the terrain move, but the NA string of settlements is also a moving, living thing.)
In other outposts (military, exploration), you have the story mentioned in the stream, of dishonored indiviuals who make up for their deeds by actively searching for artifacts, (here: the artifacts and ways that could appease the living mountain.) In yet other outposts (religion, one-with-nature) the goal is to appease the elemental by respect to nature, and worship. They wish to find the things necessary for rituals, and become a place (ableit temporary) for pelgrimage.


Just a tidbit of an idea I caught…I liked the quote from their Wiki entry about having followed the stars for a thousand, thousand cycles. It makes them sound, to me, like they could be related to the night and constellations and orreries and stuff. Celestial themes, perhaps following prophecy in the stars and the dance of the aurora. What if every clan is pushing deeper into the wilderness to find something (someone?) to bring full a prophecy of rebirthing the Phoenix Empire to drive the darkness back? I don’t know how well that fits with everything else they’ve been talking about. I mean, consider the quote like this…a cycle is a full cycle of the moon, so historically they’ve been seeking answers to their prophecies about the Phoenix Empire for 1,000,000 cycles of the moon (from new, to full, back to new). That’s a long time for new prophecies to come about, for clansmen to disagree on what the stars say and follow a variation of a prophecy in a new way. They seek out the cold places because when the Phoenix Empire (a symbol of warmth) dies it makes sense that it would be reborn from something cold (ashes, a fire snuffed out). Perhaps some kind of rebirth in a volcano in the tundra? Maybe that’s the Living Mountains the stream was discussing.

And maybe runic ideas are represented akin to constellations. They see power wax and wane as the moon and which constellations have risen, which stars are brightest, that determines their course of action. They don’t usually settle long term, but in some cases a fertile area (farmers) presents itself as a great place to supply new expeditions to set out from later on, or there’s a great crossroads on a frigid river (traders) to create an outpost to gather new rumours, discuss the prophecy (prophecies?), and gear up for deeper exploration, or even a garrison (fighters) to push back against the monsters threatening the world, because what’s the use in saving the world if there’s nothing left to save?

Any of this sound at all feasible or interesting to a Northern Alliance concept?


I didn’t read anything in this thread, I only watched the stream. Here’s what came to my mind.

The people of the Northern Alliance keep moving to escape an ever-following threat in form of their own “dishonored” people. Since they are bound to guard the evil inside of their Holly Mountain, they have to stay close to it. Everytime the ones that got chasen away get spotted on the horizon, they have to immediately move. The evil of the mountain always keeps changing the face of the land they travel. Not only does the snowfall and melting ice change how the land looks like, but mountains keep forming or disappearing, rivers create frozen waterfalls or vanish completely. The only thing that stays stable are the stars, which the Alliance keeps following. Those weak of heart can’t stand how the world around them keeps contorting and become mad so they get chased away since others see them as possessed by the evil. It is possible to prevent this or heal those who have fallen ill, but to do that, the hearthlings have to create a place so perfect and stable, that everyone is able to regain sanity while safely within the walls. As stated before, an ever-following threat is preventing the heroes from settling and building a prosperous stronghold. The people have to be very resourceful and hardworking to be able to keep an army of great men and women wielding the best weapons and wearing the best armor.

Expanding on this:
Why would they worship an evil mountain? Let’s say the Holly Mountain had special powers and there was no reasonable explanation for it. The Holly Mountain could have had life giving properties like keeping a green island in the middle of the North, granting fertile land and maybe even gifting immortality and strength to a few heroes. Great power often spawns corruption. It just turned on the people that had been worshipping it, maybe they took it for granted and forgot about their fate.

How are new hearthlings able to find the settlement? Maybe they are not as new as one might think. They probably come from a failed expedition and had been wandering the frozen land. The beauty of your town sparked hope and strength in them so they were able to regain consciousness.

How did this expedition end up in the middle of the dessert/forest? They probably navigated the stars incorrectly :smiley: Or the Mountain just changed the world around them this violently/graciously. I mean, a forest and tons of wildlife? Maybe they had just found the little green island the Mountain used to keep all those years ago!


Can I just mention that Kari is a female name? :stuck_out_tongue:

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It is both, but yes the modern male version is Kåre. It means the one with the curly (or windtouched) hair. :slight_smile:

I am confused. I always expected the NA to be Nordic-themed, not Scottish/Welsh. Their seafaring problems with freezing ocean mechanics steer them towards being SH Vikings.


First, to summarize what we know, although it’s not set in stone.
From the kickstarter:

Brave and hardy, the men and women of the north live for the sight of a new dawn over unexplored territory. Armed with compass and hatchet, they form strings of small, defensible settlements and pride themselves in their tenacious adaptability.
“My fathers have followed the stars for a thousand, thousand cycles.”

In the stream @sdee also said that they should be the kingdom that are the most focused on fighting, since the other two do crafting and trading.
She also said that she wanted them to be scholars.
The environment should be cold and hostile, with mountains and glaciers. In @Allie’s concept art we have seen that they at least consider having lava on the map, and if there’s lava then it would be fitting to have hot springs as well.
Auroras are a pretty feature of the northern environment. The problem is that you usually don’t look at the sky in the game.

So my thoughts…
If they are scholars then it seems fitting that it is their very important studies of something that brings them to these lands. Since they follow the stars it should mean that they do one of the following.

  1. They study the stars. They then either move to a new location when they need to look at them from another angle, or the stars give them the location of something else that is important. Maybe the stars affect where rifts to the alternate planes will open.
  2. They study something else which point them to the next location through “star coordinates”. Maybe the remains of a lost civilization, the cryptic stone carvings of a legendary, immortal explorer or they are tracing the path of their own civilization to find where they originally came from.

I personally think the second alternative is more interesting, although the first alternative have the benefit of being a never ending quest, which would explain why they have been doing it for “a thousand, thousand cycles”.

I would prefer that scholars are added as a new class, so that they don’t just pop up with messages. They should be an actual part of your settlement, with the rest of your people working to support them in their studies. You need to provide them with an observatory/library. You might need to escort them to, or in other ways explore or claim certain locations on the map.

Good fighters are needed as protection from hungry wildlife and other factions that don’t want you in their territory. Also, if the scholars require you to explore certain locations on the map they can’t just hide behind their walls.

Multiple maps in a campaign
Yeah yeah I know, crazy right, but hear me out ok. The kickstarter description shows them as more of explorers than settlers. At least more than the other two kingdoms. I think this would be an excellent opportunity to get more exploration into the game without the problems of an ever expanding map. “they form strings of small, defensible settlements”. When they are done with the studies in one place they want to move on to the next, but because of the hostile environment any new settlement needs a lot of support from previous settlements, to get started. So you build up your settlement to get a steady food production and things like that. Then you pick who you want to send to the next location. Leaving more and better people behind means that your new settlement will receive better support, in the form of scheduled caravans with free supplies. Relying on caravans to survive could also mean that you need your good fighters to clear out enemies from the map that would raid the caravans.
When going to the new map you can discard the old one and only keep statistics of how much support you will get from it and maybe who is still there, in case you want them to be able to join the new settlement later. The old settlement could still get better over time, sending a bit more supplies, but it would just be an improvement of the settlements stats.
I think this would make the Northern Alliance a very unique experience, compared to the other two, without changing how the game works too much.

Food sources
Killing monsters, raiding enemies, herding animals and making farms in relatively warm ice caves under the glaciers.

About the auroras.
To get them down from the sky and into view it would be nice to see them in the glaciers. Either as a reflection of the light in the sky or as a new version of aurora that appears in the ice. Having it as an effect inside the ice might be easier than doing reflections. “Just” add a particle effect inside the semi transparent ice terrain. It would add more life to the map and show the transparency better.

I think that’s all… or enough for now at least. Congratulations on making it to the end. Cheers! :beers:


When it comes to northern pheonomenon which are clearly visible: The winter nights and summer days. Have the winter season be all dark, and the summer season be all day, and in between you have day/night cycles. That’d be cool.

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I kind of hate the phrase “a thousand, thousand cycles”, if only because it’s so ridiculously large. If each cycle is about a month and there are 12 months in a year, 1,000,000 months would take about 83,000 years. (82,000 years before the fall of the Phoenix Empire.) For reference, on Earth that’s when scientists think Neanderthals were still alive and humans hadn’t started large-scale migrations yet.

So I’d prefer it’s either exaggerated, “thousand” is just repeated for emphasis so it means either a thousand months/years, or that “cycle” is much shorter. But even a day/night cycle gives about 2,700 years - well before the fall of the Phoenix Empire, but not ridiculously so. I think it makes sense for them to be older, anyway.


notes that @coasterspaul clearly knows too much and loads up the trebusheep


On no, not the trebusheep. Well, nice knowing you, @coasterspaul (: P)
I agree on the largeness of the thousant thousant cycles, but I think you can explain it away. When you tell a story over generations of generations, numbers (and especially large numbers) tend to get exaggerated. This might be such an example, where a second thousand somehow slipped in over the telling and retelling of the story.


I kind of imagine an elderly (and crotchety) old Northern Alliance figure saying this to make the story of their people sound cooler than it actually is.

Then he finishes the story with “And the fish I caught was THIS |----------------------------| BIG!” (where the fish gets bigger every time he tells it.


I just watched the YouTube of this stream, and while I loved a lot of the ideas people were throwing out there, I felt like I had one to add. If we take a cycle to mean a complete turn of the moon from full back to full, then a thousand thousand cycles is just under 80 thousand years. That could be well-interpreted (with some typical story-telling embellishment) to mean the beginning of Hearthling-kind, so it makes for a good point of origin for some mythology.

More than a thousand thousand cycles ago, before our people knew how to live without the aid of the gods, there were four Living Mountains that tended to the world, shaping it, cultivating it, and making it whole. Their life force created Hearthlings, plants, animals, and the fish of the sea. In contrast, the nameless Others made abominations that sought to undermine the Living Mountains: hideous terrors, brutal monsters and evil plant life. As Hearthlings were from the Mountains, they gave some strength back to them. By staying true to the land, the Hearthlings kept the mountains strong. One by one, the living mountains fell, though. Feana, the Reborn, grew upward until she should no longer sustain herself, and the ensuing cataclysm was felt across the globe. Aerid the Warm tested his borders, growing outward, spreading his heat until there was only scant life to keep his sense of self intact. Gaea, the Grower, felt the ill forces of twisted darkness growing, and tried to merge them with her natural beauty. She sacrificed herself to allow goblins, orcs and all manner of savage creatures the chance to live as we Hearthlings do, even if few of them choose our path. That left only Sturmbjorn, the Thunderclasp, as the last of the Living Mountains.
The Hearthlings who lived on his body were called the Northern Alliance, and they embodied his ideals of tenacity, courage, and perseverance. Unwilling to trust the Other’s creations as his sister did, and wary of the risks of expansion, unlike his brother and eldest sister, Sturmbjorn tasked his people with protecting themselves and him by focusing on exploration and combat prowess. Thus tasked, the Northern Alliance began the tradition of selecting three future leaders, one metal worker, two soldiers and two able trackers off on an annual basis to establish a new frontier post and keep the enemies at bay, because everyone knows that large gatherings of people always draw the ire of the Other, and settlements are destroyed frequently.
Can a frontier town succeed in protecting its residents when waves of other-worldly horrors attack?

Some game-play ideas that occurred to me when thinking up this back-story: The town should be almost 100% dependent on hunting for food, hence an assumed start of at least 2 trackers. I love the idea of a Berserker-type upgrade class for a basic Soldier, it’s so very Norse. As a Northern Alliance town gets some level of success, they could have a mass influx of Hearthlings as a new challenge. Can your town support 5 new mouths to feed and bodies to house before the additional population draws larger and scarier monsters?