Iron Kingdoms: Flight from the North
Without question Khador’s people are tough, irascible, weathered, and proud. They learned well from those ancient days when man endured through strength and cruelty and see no reason to temper those qualities now. The north keeps deep and ancient customs derived from the time when barbaric horselords roamed these vast lands and ruled the Khardic Empire supported by Menite priests.
To better understand these cold-hearted northerners, consider that much of Khador is frozen five months out of the year. Strong winds snap trees in half, and sudden snows sweep in so fast that entire wagon trains can vanish in mere seconds. Only a harsh people could hope to survive in such a harsh place. Khador’s military personifies this strength, with huge warjacks thundering along next to steel-hearted men and women armed to the teeth with axes and guns. In the last century enlightened leaders have done much to modernize the Khadoran military. While its mechaniks prefer simplicity and rugged design over needless complications, Khadoran engineering and mechanika is nearly the equal of Cygnar’s.
Unlike its southern rival, which relies on volunteers, Khador has conscripted its soldiers since the time of the old empire. Every adult male and any woman who wishes and is not with child serves the Motherland for some amount of time. This is a proud tradition whereby every able-bodied citizen is personally invested in the defense of their nation and knows the trials and tribulations of being a soldier.
Morrowans form the majority of this nation, but not an overwhelming one as in Cygnar, Ord, and Llael. The Menite faith is stronger in the north than anywhere outside the Protectorate of Menoth. Whether Menite or Morrowan, however, Khadorans love their sovereign above all. They are as patriotic a people as you will ever find—and that is part of why they are so unwelcoming to outsiders.
Khador has always chafed at the compromises made in the Corvis Treaties, for they glorify the days of the old Khardic Empire and seek every opportunity to restore its reach and power. Every generation a new sovereign ascends the throne and declares the time ripe to reclaim lands that are rightfully Khadoran. Even the Kossite and Skirov tribes no longer remember that they once stood as independent kingdoms free of the rule of Khards. Now all Khadorans share a burning devotion to the rebirth of the old empire and are willing to put aside personal comforts and even sacrifice their lives if necessary to achieve this goal.
Khador is led by King Ivad Vanar, known as the People’s King, who promotes nationalism with his dream of a new Khardic Empire. The 36 years of his rule have marked the end of the “Dark Times” with the abolition of serfdom and great strides towards industrialization and modernization. It is a decades long peacetime with southern rivals Cygnar and Ord, but old grudges die hard and it will be years before international relations will progress beyond cold neutrality. If they do, it will be because of Khador’s growing kayazy class, shrewd and ambitious businessmen who see the value of foreign trade.