The Northmen are a fictional seafaring people, part of the Dungeons and Dragons universe. They are based on the Vikings, and inhabit the northern parts of the Moonshae Isles. Descendants of raiders from the island of Ruathym, the Northmen are a sturdy, war-ready people who worship the god Tempus. Unlike the Ffolk, who also inhabit the Moonshaes, the Northmen aren't interested in admiring the subtle beauty of nature and are more comfortable out at sea.
The Northmen scorn agriculture in favor of raiding and making war. They wrested much of the northern Moonshaes from the hands of the Ffolk. The remaining kingdoms of the Ffolk are the favored raiding targets of the Northmen, but their adventures also carry them to the Sword Coast, and occasionally as far south as Calimshan.
The Northmen arrived in the Moonshae Islands quite recently. Their original homes were the coastal lands north of Waterdeep and the island kingdoms of Tuern and Gunderland. Viewing the Moonshaes at first as regions to plunder and raid, they gradually settled upon the lands they had terrorized, merging with the Ffolk who remained to create a strong and vital race of seafarers.
Those Ffolk who remained on the northern isles accepted the gods, the kings, and the customs of the Northmen. At first, this was the cost of staying alive, but soon it became accepted into the culture of these Ffolk.
The lands of the Ffolk are not the only target of the sailing Northmen. They have raided the length of the Sword Coast, striking Amn, Tethyr, and even Calimshan as they venture boldly southward. They sailed north as well, though not so much to raid as to trade the profits of their southern expeditions at the market in Waterdeep, or to either of their related nations at Tuern and Gunderland.
The Northmen have developed a rough alliance among their kingdoms on the Moonshaes, with Grunnarch the Red, Thelgaar Ironhand, Sigurd Helmudson and Raag Hammerstaad exerting great influence over their subject lords. When these four kings agree on a course of action, their men and ships can unite into a formidable force. Fortunately for the peace-loving Ffolk of the Moonshaes such alliances are rare.
- Ruathym - (Rolf Erickson)