Out-of-Character: An Overview of Southern Heimr

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This page provides an out-of-character overview of Southern Heimr, the ideas behind it and more. It is meant as an introduction to those people who want to play a character from Southern Heimr.

For clarity, in the text below, Utgard refers to the geographical area, Utgardian refers to inhabitants of Southern Heimr and Southern Heimr refers to the entire southern area of Heimr?.

General

First, and foremost: Utgardian Characters are not for everyone. Some of the themes that play a central role within the design of the races and cultures of Southern Heimr may be unsuitable for some people. If you have problems with some of the themes described below, you are most likely better off playing a character from a different race and culture. These themes are unlikely to change and thus will most likely always show up one way or another.

Some of these themes can be considered "extreme". This is mostly intentional. We want to portray a world where not everything is pleasant, not all stories have a happy ending and most characters struggle to survive.

Themes

The following are central themes that will appear within the lore and stories set within Southern Heimr. These themes guide the design of the lore and stories, influencing their mood and guiding their direction.

Freedom and Anarchy

The first theme that is prevalent within Southern Heimr is freedom. Freedom to go where you want, freedom to decide for yourself, freedom to do what you want. While freedom also plays a central role within the lore and stories of Midgard, the primary manifestation of freedom within Southern Heimr is that of anarchy. Most of Southern Heimr is without any form of law or government and even if there is a government, a lot of characters will ignore it unless this government has enough power to suppress these types of characters.

This is the complete opposite of Asgard, where you essentially lack the freedom of choice. Asgardians are born in a caste, which determines their fate unless they are very lucky. Furthermore, everything in Asgard is regulated by a central government, meaning nearly every minor thing needs to be approved by a someone higher in the chain, including marriage and reproduction.

Discrimination

Discrimination, a primarily negative theme, plays a very central role in the attitudes of Utgardians toward other characters. Almost all Utgardians discriminate based on race, on profession or on birth place, while there are also groups that discriminate on gender and religion. The reason this theme plays such a central role within Southern Heimr is primarily based on real-world history. Only the last hundred years or so have we seen a real decrease in cases of discrimination. Before that, there are many documented cases of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Especially racism has also played a central role in many of the world's conflicts.

Therefore, not including this theme would greatly diminish the believability of Heimr.

War and Violence

War plays a very central role within the entire world of Heimr. Therefore it is only logical that it also plays a large role within the area of Southern Heimr. However, where the central conflict of Utgard versus Asgard is the primary concern of the War theme within the larger world, in the area of Southern Heimr different aspects show up. More directly relevant to Southern Heimr for example is the question "How do people deal with wars that continue on for centuries?" and "What happens when a war is not about territory or wealth but about genocide?". It also ties in to the discrimination theme, because while those green Orcs may be your allies, they are also Orcs, thus sparking many internal conflicts that may or may not be put aside when the real enemy shows up.

Violence is closely related to war and is a thing every character within Southern Heimr will come into contact with at one point or another. Due to the previously mentioned anarchy, there is a large chance a character will encounter violence as soon as he or she leaves his safe home. And even before that he may already come into contact with it, as many of the races are violent by nature.

Religion

Religion is another theme that plays a central role within the larger world of Heimr. Yet again, in Southern Heimr it takes on a different form. One central aspect of the religion theme within Southern Heimr is that of old versus new religion. Almost all the races of Southern Heimr have transitioned from worshipping the Gods to ancestor or nature worship in one form or another and then back again. Especially the last stage is still a large point of conflict, due to it being forced by the gods (and thus conflicting with Freedom).