From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Norse Territory of Finla (Finlaesk Nódbᵫ́ð Fínlǣ /noːdbyːð viːnlæ̃/, Rygsnors Norsjobygd Vínlan) was first established around 1000CE in what is nathistorically the northern tip of Newfoundland. The original name Vínland applied to a loosely-defined region centered on the first small settlement at the modern capital Bǽnnfekk /baːnvek/ (orig. Bjarnivík). By 1100CE, Bjarnivík was well established as a self-sustaining permenent settlement, and the borders of Vínland were fairly well-defined.


Internal Geopolitics


Finla is subdivided into the states of Fínlǣ "proper" /viːnlã/, Mákklǣ /mɑːklæ̃/, Lul Œ /lul ø/, and Skrǽlīlǣ /ʃɹ̥aːlĩlã/ (or Hlǽllitt Nunátt /ɬaːlːit nunɑːt/).


Finla is a Norse Territory, and shares the usual division of power between the Federal riᵹssál (in ᵹoððēbúᵹ), and a Territorial riᵹssál located in Bǽnnfekk.

Power is distributed by a two-directional selected-representation method.

Starting at the lowest level, each household selects one member to speak for them at the city, town or village sál. Likewise, the members of the local sál select one of their own to attend district sál, and upwards to state riᵹssáls, territorial riᵹssáls and the Federal riᵹssál.

From the other end, the Crown selects Proxies for all territories, who select Sherrifs for states, who in turn select one or more Deputies for each community. As noted elsewhere, Deputies serve mainly as justices of the peace, but also as chief investigators of criminal (and civil) evidence.


The official language of government (as in the rest of the Norse Lands) is Rygsnors (Finlaesk Rᵫᵹsnód).

The majority language is Uínlītska.

Additional minority languages include Hibernic, Bœ́wðukk, Hrǽlisk (or Hlǽktittútt), English, Norn, and Scots.



The wigwam is known, as is the iglu in cold enough areas, as well as both Viking and Iroqious style longhouses, and log cabins.


See the Finla Foods article for full details.

Food is obtained both by farming and hunting/gathering. A fair number of European farmed crops and animals have been imported, and domestication has been tried with most local crops and animals, with variable success.

Many curing and preservation techniques are practiced, among which the manufacture of sausage and pemmican are the most common for meats, and pickling for vegetables.

Cooking techniques all involve metal vessels placed over, in front of, or directly on fires or embers.

Fínlǣra Ethnographical Questionnaire

Dr. Zahar’s Ethnographical Questionnaire was compiled by David Zahir to help in the description of concultures, and can be found in the files section of the Conculture group at Yahoo.

Questions of Place

Describe the geography of where your society calls home.

The North-eastern portion of the North American continent. Plains, islands, river basins, mountains, verdant fields and forest, and inhositable frozen wastes.

Describe the climate your society deals with. How severe are their seasons?

Arctic, Temperate and Alpine climates. Types Dfa, Dfb, ETf, and EF.

What kinds of natural disasters has this society gotten used to?

Variably severe winters, up to very severe. Occasional tropical storm and hurricane remnants. Nor'easter storm systems. Blizzards. Flooding in some areas.

What is this place's most abundant resource?


What is its most valuable resource?

The most important exports are wood (mostly to Greenland, and also Iceland), furs, tobacco, and a selection of American herbs and spices, such as sassafrass, Eastern White Cedar, and sumac.

What resource is it most lacking?

How do people travel from one place to another?

Are the borders secure? In what way?

Though borders are fairly well defined, border security mostly consists of loose treaties, or the areas beyond the borders being uninhabited.

How many people live here?

Where in this place to they congregate?

What part of this place do they avoid? Why?

What are the most common domesticated animals here? And what are they domesticated for?

What are the most common wild animals?

Deer, moose (elᵹé), bears (bœ̨́n), wolves (ᵫlᵹǽ), buffalo, raccoons, and beaver, as well as some feralized dogs and horses. In northerly regions, seals and whales are more common.

Which animals are likely to be pets? Which ones won't be?

Questions of Time

How far back does this society's written history go?

Old Norse writings go back to c. 600CE. The first colony goes back to c. 1000CE.

How far back do its people believe it goes?

c. 1000CE.

What is the worst disaster they believe they've faced?

What was the best thing that every happened to them?

What in their past makes them feel ashamed?

What in their past makes them proud?

There is a great sense of pride in the ðrekki or fortitude of the first settlers, Leifr Eiríksson Hinn Heppni, and his companions, who established the settlement which became known as Bǽnnfek, later the capital of Finla. The legendary tales of their meeting and eventual friendship with the Hrǽlingr, and learning (both from them and on their own) to adapt and thrive among the new plants and animals, during their initial two year stay, are very much part of the local identity of the Finlara.

What are they afraid of happening again?

What are they hoping will happen? Do they think it likely?

What do they assume the future will hold?

How has this society changed? Do its current members realize this?

What are the most popular stories about the past?

Who in the past is the greatest hero? The worst villain?

Do people think the present better or worse than the past?

Do people believe the future will be better or worse than the present or past?

Questions of Sex and Family

How many spouses may a man or woman have?

Zero or One.

Who decides on a marriage?

A couple may declare themselves married. Church recognition is very common.

Can a marriage end in divorce? How?

A couple may mutually declare their marriage over. Church recognition is required.

Who usually takes custody of children if a marriage ends for some reason?

The mother rejoins her parental household, bringing the children with her, unless teenaged children prefer to stay with their father.

How is adultery defined? What (if any) is the punishment? Who decides?

How are families named? What happens to orphans?

Males take a patronymic of the form "Son of father". Females take a matronymic that mentions the father, in the form "Daughter of mother by father", though the "by father" part is omitted except in formal circumstances. Individuals may also take an Attributive name (a Hlǽlnamr) based on their profession, build, demeanor, or other factor, and the Hlǽlnamr of their father (and mother) may be included in formal documents, and may even go by their Hlǽlnamr instead of their given name.

How are boy and girl children treated differently?

Are premarital relations allowed?


How does your society define incest? Rape? How do people react to these?

Rape is a common practice among unmarried warriors as part of the captive-taking process, and essentially makes the victim an adopted member of the captor's household. For married men, it is seen as dishonourable, though acceptable at least among the followers of the Æssri (as opposed to Christians).

Rape of people not taken in battle is considered a violation of the peace and is dealt with by measures ranging from branding to emasculation.

Incest between a parent and their nonadult children is treated just as any other relationship with children -- in case of a complaint (regardless of the complainer), the child is taken into private sessions with the crown proxy or deputy (who may interview others as part of the process) to determine which punishment if any is appropriate.

Incest between other adult relatives is uncommon, and definitely markedly unusual, but generally little more than frowned upon. Indeed, incest as a measure to keep a well-regarded family line pure can be seen as admirable.

What, if anything, is considered a good marriage gift?

What secret vice is believed to be widely practiced?

What secret vice actually is practiced?

What sexual habits are widely believed common among foriegners?

How do people react to homosexuality?

How do the genders dress?

Both sexes dress in a mixture of skins, furs, and woollen clothing. In more northerly regions, dress is uniform between the sexes, at least outdoors, being boots, pants and a hooded jacket made of skin & fur, over woollen clothing. In other places, clothing ranges from as little as a skin loincloth (common only during hunting in warmer conditions), up to kilts, skirts, pants, shirts & tunics, with either light moccasins or boots.

Is prostitution legal? How are prostitutes viewed? Is this accurate?

What professions or activities are considered masculine?

Warrior, sailor, hunter, farmer, tradesman, teacher, poet, storyteller, Christian priest, odatte (heathen priest), furrier, woodsmith, metalsmith, and other "heavy" crafts.

What professions or activities are viewed as feminine?

Hunter, tradesman, teacher, poet, odattra (heathen preiestess), furrier, seamstress, weaver, baker, cook, woodsmith, and "light" crafts. Female warriors are very rare, but can be highly regarded (even moreso than male warriors) if they perform many fameworthy deeds.

What inanimate or sexless things are considered male or female?

What is the biggest sexual taboo?

Does this society connect the ideas of marriage with love?


What does this society mean by the word "virgin" and how important it it?

Questions of Manners

Who speaks first at a formal gathering?

What kinds of gifts are considered in extremely bad taste?

How do younger adults address their elders?

What colors are associated with power? With virtue? With death?

If two men get into a fight, how is this supposed to be resolved?

If two women get into a fight, how should that be resolved?

When is it rude to laugh at something funny?

What kinds of questions cannot be asked in public? In private? At all?

How do people demonstrate grief?

What does this society do with their corpses?

The Christian method is underground burial or private cremation.

The heathen method is burial underground or in a mound-tomb, public cremation, or leaving the body in a remote spot or charnel house to decompose naturally, possibly followed by burial in a mound-tomb.

What kinds of jewelry do people wear? And when?

Jewelry is usually minmal -- cloaks, coats, or capes may be bound by an ornate broach or clasp, protective or decorative necklaces are fairly common, either bearing Christian or heathen symbols plus possibly a prayer or spell on a stone, or on paper in a small bag.

Piercings and tattoos are known, as is the use of decorative or practical face-painting.

Who inheirits property? Titles? Position?

What happens to those suffering from extreme mental illness?

What are the most popular games? How important are they?

What parts of the body are routinely covered?

How private are bodily functions like bathing or defecating?

How do people react to physical deformity?

When and how does someone go from child to adult?

Questions of Faith

Is there a formal clergy? How are they organized?

The Christian Church is part of the Northern section of The Church Catholic.

The local heathen beliefs combine the traditional Æsir-based religion with symbols and rituals shared with the Native American population to a greater or lesser extend. See the article on Heathenism for more details.

Heathenism is officially discouraged by the crown (and cathedral) at Gothenburg, but generally tolerated by the local population more than in Norse Europe.

What do people believe happens to them after death? How, if at all, can they influence this?

The belief in positive and negative afterlives is common between Christianity and Heathenism, as well as the chance of an afterdeath redemptive period to move from the negative to the positive afterlife.

What happens to those who disagree with the majority on questions of religion?

They are generally well-tolerated. Heresy within Christanity is loooked on more harshly than heathenism, but neither are considered criminal.

Are there any particular places considered special or holy? What are they like?

What are the most popular rituals or festivals?

Júl, celebrated around the Winter Solstice is considered a standard opportunity for Christians and heathens to join together in celebrating birth and a new beginning.

What do people want from the god or gods? How do they try and get it?

How do their religious practices differ from their neighbours?

What is the most commonly broken religious rule?

What is the least-violated religious rule?

What factions exist within the dominant religious institutions? How do they compete?

Are there monastic groups? What do they do and how are they organized? How do you join one?

How are those who follow different faiths treated?

What relationship do religious and political leaders have?

What superstitions are common? What kinds of supernatural

What supernatural events/beings do people fear?

Œtunnar are unified within Christianity and heathenism as malevolent nonhumans, and enemies of God / the gods.

Questions of Government

Who decides whether someone has broken a law? How?

Complaints are taken to the justice (either the Crown Proxy in Bǽnfekk, or a Deputy locally), who will privately interview the victim (and accuser, if distinct), and any others they feel are relevant, as well as collecting and examining physical evidence, before enacting summary judgement, or calling for a jury trial, during which the justice and jury will publically question witnesses called themselves, or by the accuser or accused (or their advocates), who may also ask questions of their own. The justice and jury may also call their own expert witnesses to examine and discuss physical evidence and the plausibility of factual assertations made by either side.

The jury will pronounce a guilty or not-guilty verdict based on the factuality of the alleged act, whether the accused committed the act, and whether the accused is mentally or legally culpable for committing the act, and may even find that a criminal act, comitted with culpable criminal intent, was just and reasonable, and therefore return a not guilty verdict. Once a verdict is decided, the justice will decide on a punishment, based on Crown guidelines, the advice of the jury, and any petitions made by any third party.

Trials in absentia are possible, where the accused has mandatory competent representation, which may be decided by their family, or appointed by the justice.

What kinds of punishments are meted out? By whom? Why?

Fines, imprisonment (with a variety of severities), corporal punishment (even torture), capital punishment, disfigurement / amputation (including emasculation), branding, and indentured servitude (as restitution) are all more or less common.

How are new laws created or old ones changed?

Is there some form of clemency or pardon? What is involved?

Who has the right to give orders, and why?

What titles do various officials have?

How are the rules different for officials as opposed to the common person?

How do government officials dress?

Is the law written down? Who interprets it?

Once accused, what recourse does someone have?

How are people executed?

Drowning, hanging, and beheading are the most common, but the oubliette is also known, and several of the "old ways" have been known in heavily heathen cases / areas/

Who cannot rise to positions of leadership?

Is bribery allowed? Under what circumstances?

Any jury verdict and decided punishment can be short-cut by a private agreement between the accuser and accused, which may include money, indentured servitude, or a gift of one or more captive(s).

What makes someone a bad ruler in this society? What can be done about it?

What are the most common or dangerous forms of criminal?

Questions of War

Who declares war?

Who has the power to declare conditions of peace?

What happens to prisoners taken in battle?

What form of warfare does this society use?

Who are the Elite warriors? What distinguishes them?

How does someone get command of troops?

Where do the loyalties of military units lie?

Are there professional soldiers? Do they make up the bulk of the military?

Has this society ever attacked another? Do they want to? What would make them do so?

Who are their enemies? Who's winning?

What do soldiers do when there's no war?

Questions of Education

Does this society have its own language? Its own writing?


How common is literacy? How is literacy viewed?

Basic (or better) litereacy is the same as in any modern country, which is to say above 75%, with less then half of that group having advanced literacy.

What form and value are books?

Who teaches others? How do they teach?

Who decides who learns to read or write?

Who teaches professions, like carpenter or scribe?

Are foreigners ever brought in to teach new skills? Who does that?

How do this society's doctors try to treat wounds and sickness?

Which medical assumtions of this society are wrong?

Questions of Art

What are the favorite artforms?

Songs, stories and poems, and bas relief sculpture, sometimes colored.

What are the least-favorite?

How respected are artists?


Do artists require official or unofficial protection?

What kinds of trouble are artists in particular likely to find themselves in?

How might a very successful artist live?

Often as part of the household of an important family.

What forms of theatre does your society have?

How naturalistic or stylized is your society's art?

What shapes are most common in your society's arts, like embroidery or architecture?

Which artforms get the most and least respect?

What form does censorship take?

Who may not be an artist?

What qualities equal "beauty" in this society?

What makes a man or woman especially beautiful?

How do people react to tattoos? Piercings? Facial hair? Make-up?


Questions of sex and marriage

Is sex confined to marriage?


Or, is it supposed to be?

Among Christians it is strongly preferred.

What constitutes aberrant behavior?

Sexual behavior with a child or animal. Sexual behavior in the presence of children. Sex with or marriage to any foreigner who is not a freed captive.

How old should someone be in your culture to be having sex?

Generally, cases of consensual sex invloving a victim who is visibly pubescent will not be prosecuted.

What is considered too great a difference in age for a couple?

Do relationships allow multiple partners?

Captives (male or female) may be taken as concubines of any adult members of a household.

Should sex be a one-to-one experience? Or are groups allowed?

Questions of death and burial

What is their understanding of death and dying?

Is the family responsible for the body?

What part do the priests play?

Are there cemeteries at all?

Or, does everyone have a crypt in back with all the relatives in it?

Do people visit the dead? If so, how often and why?

Questions of suicide

What do people in this culture think about suicide?

Is it the greatest sin one can commit? Or is it a sin at all?

Is it the great and last comfort of a tormented soul?

Is it worse than murder?

Questions of Law, Justice and Police

Are there individuals or groups who are above the law?

Is there a secret police?

There's barely a notion of police at all. There exist agents of the Crown, overtly or covertly reporting on the state of the territories, but no organization secretly enforcing executive orders or anything of that nature.

What is the role of police informants, if any?

The practice of "cutting a deal" and "copping a plea" are unknown within official law and common practice, though deals can be cut "behind closed doors" in exceptional circumstances.