The Kingdom of Gaunt is a sparsely populated land of raiders, sailors, and farmers. Its warriors conquered Athral Isle and crowned there one of their own, Drostan of House Voluspa. They continually strive for glory in battle, and usually respect power more than legal authority. While any man or woman can be a fierce warrior or a successful captain, it is the ultimate goal of a successful Gauntishman to retire and live on the splendor of his successes. The Dane’s Bulwark and the Shieldeaters of Gaunt—two lodges of warriors—have earned exceptional fame even beyond Gaunt’s borders.
The nation of Gaunt would be inhospitable and unsettled to a Verdien traveler, while an Oresunder would think the countryside warm and gentle. Reaching all the way to the midlands, fjords break up Gaunt’s coastline and create many natural harbors. Vastervik, the capital and the largest city of Gaunt, has turned one of those harbors into the busiest port north of the Hulder. Built on the ruins of forgotten Druma, the people of Vastervik repaired all that they could of the existing structures, and it approaches the comfort of its southern neighbors.
The terrain is rugged, with stony and windy coasts and deep, untamed forests. The high, frozen peaks of the Skyskara Mountains form the country’s eastern border. There are few known passes through the Skyskara, and all of them lead to Troll Country. Working farms dot the lowland countryside, though countless burned-out houses and barns from various raids and feuds can be found as well. Cities and towns are few, but there are many villages, each protected by the hall of the local lord.
The second-largest settlement of Gaunt, Nidaros, stands by Lake Tinorra in the southeast. Though dwarfed by Vastervik, Nidaros is still a bustling city of loggers, woodworkers, and trappers. It is the home city of House Soldis and the center of teaching for the Shieldeaters warrior lodge. In winter, the lake freezes and the Shieldeaters train on the ice throughout the short days and long nights.