The Middenlanders are one of the major ethnic groups of the Middenreich. Their arrival caused the fall of many of the kingdoms of the First Men who worshiped the creatures of the forest, rivers and plains rather than the formal priesthoods of the Seasons.
The Middenlanders originated in the Hills of Lorn in the eastern continent, where legend tells that they were visited by the incarnations of the gods, who crowned their legendary first king, Siegfried the Bold. They also gave him the holy duty to go spread throughout the world and spread the faith. About six thousand years ago, they sailed west, first landing on the shores beyond the great bog. The original Middenlanders invaders painted and carved the symbols of the new gods in the sacred places of the First Men. They destroyed the old groves and killed the Old Creatures that they came across. After several hundred years of war, they had conquered, displaced, assimilated or killed all of the tribes of the First Men, creating their own. Those tribes would eventually become city-states and they would in turn become mighty Kingdoms. Middenlanders had learned the secrets of working iron from the Rheards, although the legends of the Middenlanders tell them that they received the secrets from dreams sent by the gods.
The Middenlanders brought the Faith to west and with it the warrior tradition of chivalry. They also brought their own language, which became the Common Tongue of the west even in the North. They also brought a superior writing system that supplanted the First Men’s runes.
They are the dominant culture of Middenreich.
Fairly isolationist, Middenlanders have a tendency to keep to themselves. They do trade outside of the realm but in a far more limited fashion than within the Empire, Middenlanders being rather industrious. In the old days, to distinguish themselves from their slaves, freemen and warriors wore a form of topknot that has came to be known as a Reiknoten, it remains popular even to this day, especially with the conservative minded.
Given such ostentatious displays, standing out in battle is important, it can be a source of social advancement. As such, nobles are usually well versed in the martial arts.
Middenreich is still ruled as it was in the time of Siegfried. The current Archduke can trace his ancestry all the way back to the mythical first king of the Middenlanders. The Archduke rules the Empire as an elected prince, not that election has ever been hard for a descendant of Siegfried. Most of the important Duchies and Baronies of Middenreich are controlled by members of the royal line or by people deemed sufficiently loyal to be awarded high office.
Under the right leadership, they’ve been known to unite to a single purpose, usually against foreign threats, in defiance of their fractious nature. They feel disdain for outsiders, civilized cultures or otherwise and trivial differences between baronies, duchies or principalities inside the Empire can and will be amplified for political gain or posturing. Land grabs, to the detriment of your neighbor are far from unheard of. As long as your hierarchical superior doesn’t suffer from the scheming of lesser nobles.
The peers of Middenreich have considerable influence on the priesthoods of the land. The churches and cults are in turn placated with a largely free hand with regards to the use of magic, tithing and faithful militancy. Something that can lead to uncomfortable situations for people who find themselves on the bad side of an important Abbot. Without any friends to call on.
Middenlanders are generally blonde, and mostly have blue eyes. They generally have fair skin.