The ancient land of Nor is one of the three countries bordering the Holy City of Karmen. Nor is the only one of the three countries that lies south of Sabron River, and it is a heavily forested region of ancient trees. The nation is run by a fraternal order of monks that also act as lords; the monks tend to rare plants, spices, herbs, medicines, and other valuable items that are supplied to the Holy City and other nations. To the south of Nor are considered plains barbarians who sometimes visit the ancient forests.
The Brotherhood of the Last Forest of Ruthenia maintain the monasteries scattered throughout the region. Each monastery maintains the forests around it, and serves as a fortress for the locals, as well. The fighting monks of the Brotherhood serve many gods, and spend long years training in the healing, martial, and herbalist arts. Each monastery's abbot serves as a local lord, and all of the abbots convene once every five years to elect a Somdet who oversees the longer term projects of the nation and meets with foreign dignitaries. An official of the Holy City sits in residence at the Monastery of the Pillars of Creation to ensure that Nor maintains its trade in rare items to Karmen.
Unofficially, secretly, and without the Holy City or its official being aware, Nor has been infiltrated by operatives of Rakore – sworn enemy of the Holy City and its Inquisition. The two operatives, both dark elven twins, act out of the shadows garnering sympathy for Rakore's mages and helping to smuggle mages and artifacts out of the Inquisition-held lands and far to the west.
Nor has vast replenishing stores of incenses, spices, and medicines. Each monk of Nor is considered a master gardener, and they are also called upon to help maintain the store of knowledge for farms, ranches, and landscapes in the region. They tend to import little, living a somewhat economically impoverished lifestyle rich in books and knowledge. To the south, stretching for thousands of miles, are plains barbarians that often pass through Nor on their way to the Holy City on pilgrimages. Nor thus maintains several major highways and way-stations through the forests and along the Sabrem River (which itself funnels many pilgrims to Karmen).
The majority of Nor's monks follow the Harvest God Barith and the Healing God Whalin. There are priests to both gods, and others, and the nation is often visited by some of the most senior-ranking members of both churches. The Church of Whalin maintains a strong garrison in the city of Yimir, and the Church of Barith maintains a formidable presence in the border town of Widith.