The Matter of the North
Society in Igdurförd – which values its vaguely puritanical sensibilities – is mostly egalitarian, and the majority of people are farmers, with a few attaining slightly higher social rank by engaging in skilled crafts or local government. Some more enterprising folk might dabble in trade in one of the nearby riverside market towns, but any overt ambition to raise oneself above one’s honest, hard-working neighbors is universally despised. Indeed, Igdurförders consider resignation to one’s lot in life to be the highest virtue, and believe that social (or, for that matter, geographic) mobility is foolish at best and downright dishonest at worst. A true Igdurförder accepts the simple truth: unceasing drudgery is the only way to live an honest life, and he who reaches for the stars generally ends up pulling a muscle in his shoulder.
The people of Igdurförd are generally peaceful, non-contentious, and opposed to overt violence, though passive-aggressive feuding may well rival plowing as the favorite local pastime. Speaking of pastimes, time-wasting activities such as singing, dancing, artwork, storytelling, impractical magic, and amicable chatting are deeply mistrusted, as are bards, mages, elves, humans, and all other non-Igdurförders. Nevertheless, the people of Igdurförd are not openly hostile to strangers, particularly if those strangers are polite, unobtrusive, silent, and gone before dinner.
Above all, passers-by would be wise not to pry, meddle, or interfere in local affairs, customs, or concerns, which are, by-and-large, considered none of their business. Locals still shudder at the remembrance of the infamous occasion when a traveling half-elven bard chose to play an imprudently merry jig while in town, resulting in the loss of several valuable cows. The bard was spotted on multiple occasions telling wild tales of adventure – a word that can cause an honest Igdurförder to lose his appetite (though considering Igdurfördian cuisine, this is perhaps unsurprising). The event would have fueled enough gossip to last several years, but of course Igdurförders would never engage in such a frivolous activity.