The Nations of Northern Golm
The Auchtland NationsIn the far north, beyond the imposing Aulgrodd mountain chain, lie the lands collectively called "Auchtland." Attempting to put a single label upon them is misleading, however, as the many human peoples there are staunchly independant and rarely will more than one clan acknowledge the same leader. This rule is broken only in the land of Ansgef, where there is a elected High Chieftan and the political landscape is more stable than the norm.
The Dwarven HomelandsIn the distant past, the First Ancestors of the dwarves awoke in deep caverns beneath the peaks of the Aulgrodd mountains. They carved the original hold of Braeburgh (often called Deephaven by the rest of the world), and over many generations spread out through the mountains. For a long time they stayed within the deep places of the world, only venturing to the surface when absolutely necessary. Thus they remained secret from the other races - save for the goblins, who also dwell in caverns and tunnels and are the dwarves' most ancient enemy.
Braeburgh is the oldest and largest (though no longer the most prosperous) of the dwarven holds and is the seat of the High King, though that throne has been vacant for hundreds of years. Each Great Hold is technically an independent realm of its own, ruled by a Thane and a council of elders. Some especially large and powerful holds manage to exert hegemony over their neighbors, but this is never formalized. Most Great Holds also establish a number of lesser holds to serve as mining towns, trade posts, and fill other specialized roles.
Kulmar and its Client KingdomsUntil the fall of the Obanese Empire, Kulmar existed as a powerful kingdom swearing allegiance to the emperor. Now, it is possibly the most powerful single nation in Golm. Two neighboring kingdoms now bend the knee to the Kulmaran monarch, though said ruler has not yet taken to styling himself an emperor.
Daily life in Kulmar is heavily influenced by the Faith of the Father, which acknowledges, worships, and seeks to further the teachings of The One True God of all humankind. Through their energetic preaching, their church has spread into the Obansul, Liria, and parts of the Auchtland tribes - though the more it grows, the more other religions became wary and even downright hostile. Faith is of great importance in Kulmar and while not technically a theocracy, in practice the King must often contend with the Patriarch for political control.