After the Long Winter and the war against the Witch Queen was won by the free peoples, refugees began to return to eastern Norrhan to rebuild their lost kingdom of Arnghovir. However, Arnghovir was lost to the cold winds of the Frostwinders, and remnant undead still lurked amongst its ruins. Instead the refugees were forced to travel farther south into what they knew to be the territory of hostile barbarians.
The Vandarians, as they were to be known as, traveled to the tip of the south-eastern lands in Arnghovain and attempted to claim it from the local horselord barbarians. Years of harassment from horse-backed raiders set many villages ablaze until the Vandarians united under the leadership of Galvad Vann, a revered veteran of the Long Winter War. With him leading the effort to push the horsemen out of would-be Vandar, his soldiers adopted the tactics of the horsemen barbarians and used them against them.
Being considerably more disciplined and better equipped than the barbarians, Galvad's troops defeated the major barbarian tribes and accepted the surrender of the lesser ones; effectively uniting the lands and its people into the now grand kingdom of Vandar. This saw Galvad's rise to kingship secured under the people's support.
Most of Vandar's landscape features long, rolling hills and plains. Steep cliffs ravaged by strong, rock-crushing waves cut off a naval approach from the south and east. In the north, bordering Kadwir, lies the infamous Giant's Pass, tucked between mountains, where many battles have been fought for control over the bottleneck. Vandar's largest forests and bogs creep from the south, where the largest, Black Forest, reflects its name perfectly by its dark thicket. But to most people, Vandarians and outsiders both, Vandar's most striking feature lies in its far, wide plains, which are perfect for a people who pride themselves as skilled horse riders. Even so, Vandar is a rough country with wet weather and harsh winters.
Vandarians are a traditional folk who value the stories and legends of old. Their most famed stories revolve around the rise of noble King Galvad, and his battle against the barbarian chieftain, Strom the Black, who fell on the spot of Vandar's current capital city, Stromfell. They say that Strom was a worthy and honourable opponent, and his remains rest somewhere beneath Stromfell within one of its older tombs, at the behest of King Galvad himself. According to the legends, Strom's steed, a black, fearsome stallion with fiery green eyes, still rides across Vandar's fields in search of a worthy new rider. The Black Stallion is a common tale and symbol throughout Vandar, and is even placed on the nation's Shield.
Vandarians are a hardy folk who have, through much time and experience, learned to live in a land which inherently tries to kill them all the time. Apart from the poor weather, monstrous beasts constantly roam the countryside in the form of dire beasts to basilisks to even all sorts of vampiric creatures. Except from the constant threat of monsters, wild barbarians still hide in Vandar's forests and mountains, raiding settlements every now and then.
Even so, Vandarians are a strong people who value strength in horse-riding. Most children, even female, are taught at an early age to ride so that they may one day, when the call to arms is sent, join together into a massive force of cavalry that shakes the ground for several miles away. Within a short while a standing army of mainly cavalry can be mustered within a week. As such Vandar's military, although mainly consistent of riders, is considered to be one of the most hard-hitting forces in the world, as the shock impact of even just a hundred heavily armed horsemen can render an army of a thousand footmen in disarray.
Outsiders often describe Vandarians as being loud, boisterous, smelly and particularly rude and foul in their speech, even against their own kin. To Vandarians this is a commonplace thing, and it is just how they interact socially. Vandarians enjoy a good tankard of ale more than most would, and are often described as drunks by outsiders. Even so, Vandarians are considerably honourable and show pride in having a good fight.
Vandar's nobility is descendant mostly from Vandar's earlier warlords, some of which belonged to the barbarian tribes that King Galvad conquered in his time. Although they carry themselves better now with some aristocratic wealth and manner, the Vandar nobility gain respect and loyalty from their subjects by being a "man-of-the-people", or so they would phrase it. The nation's nobility are not the typical sort one finds in other more civilized nations, and newer houses are often created when an aspiring warlord challenges a current warlord in battle; where the victor earns the loser's property and titles. It is not terribly common for such an occurrence to take place, but every now and then one of the old noble houses are brought down to see the rise of a new one. As such only a few of the oldest houses still remain in power in Vandar, and they are considered to be the strongest in the entire nation.
Outsiders in Vandar are typically seen as whimsies and don't garner much respect from the populace. Vandarians can be very unfriendly towards outsiders and are considerably less welcoming towards visitors and traders from outside of Vandar. Even so, recent changes by Vandar's current king, King Baris, has seen trade in Vandar grow due to new edicts, in which he has underlined the importance of outside trade to make the kingdom stronger as a nation. It is believed that King Baris intends to reform the country in an attempt to, as it were, "civilize" it and its populace. Some among the Vandarian nobility seem to support this line of thought, though only in secret, as they fear what the people would do to them should they openly show support to King Baris' supposed intentions. As such the majority of warlords show opposition towards King Baris' decisions, though King Baris is a considerably strong fighter with allies amongst some of the stronger houses in Vandar.