Salt & Iron (L5R Reskin)
Verden is a region in the far north in the same world as Rokugan. Here, there is little land mass, and even less of it is arable. Most the land consists of rocky, mountainous islands, with stony or cliff shore lines. Larger islands may have protected valleys that make farming possible, but most people who are not warriors and raiders, raise herds of livestock for a local noble.
When a new Verdener is born, they are blessed by a Spirit Totem that marks their path through life. Even the lowest serf is blessed by this omen, but few are able to exercise their destiny. Most native born Verdener are large and brawny, with a few features that reveal what totemic spirit follows them and plots their destiny.
Verdener adhere to a feudal system that has merits of a true democracy. Slaves and serfs work for freeborn natives, though few freemen have slaves captured from raids. In turn, these freemen maintain lands granted to a person who has earned the land from the local noble, usually a Jarl, for performing glorious deeds. These landholders are, in truth, just managers of the lands for their noble. In Verden, all landholders, man or woman, are allowed to attend the court of their noble and voice opinions or submit petitions to their noble. Nobles rule over a collective of landholders, and have the right to directly approach their local sovereign with their petitions and opinion. Sovereigns are really just nobles whose deeds of glory have earned them the respect and loyalty of their fellow nobles. Should a noble or even a sovereign be challenged and defeated, the position and all holdings are immediately claimed by the victor.
Trade and Currency
The economy of Verden is based on gold. In Verden Five silver coins are worth one gold and ten bronze coins are worth one silver. However, few Verdeners carry coin on their person, and if they do, they only carry a small amount. Most precious metals are turned into jewelry and are traded in that fashion.