I will post finished and semi-finished chapters here. Everything is up for discussion, placenames etc. so feel free to post comments and critique. TBU
Being a historical account of the hold division and a contemporary guide to the rulers of Skyrim. Skyrim is traditionally divided into nine holds. Haafingar, Dawnstar, Winterhold, Eastmarch, The Rift, White Hold, Falkreath, The Reach and Hjaalmarch. The northern schism between East and West, old and new, is also seen in the practice in which the rulers of holds are decided, and thus contributes to a long list of cultural and political differences between the two [...]
The Eastmarch, bordering Morrowind at the end of the Velothi Mountain range, and cut off to the north by the river Hirsa, to the south by the great Rift, and to the west by the Ysgeir's Stand mountain pass. The kingseat is the ancestral fortress of Kynholm, whose gargantuan stone walls and wooden fortifications have never been breached. Traditionally, Kynholm was the capital city from which the High King of Skyrim ruled, but that honor has since passed to the great western city of Haafingar. [...]
The Hjaalmarch Hold is mostly dominated by a lowlands area of salt marshes, dotted with an intricate network of more or less dry islands. It is located on the northern coastline, between Haafinheim and the Northshore. The area is populated by the Hjaal tribes, descendents of some of the earliest Atmoran migrants, who settled the lands well before the first stone hall of Sarthaal was raised. Because of this, some Imperial archeological scholars like R’jhal the White suggests that Hjaalmarch can be considered one of the Old Holds, despite the region being geographically located in the western cultural sphere. This claim is supported by the backwards and barbaric customs perpetrated by the marshfolk.
In recent years, the once so-called free tribes of the Hjaalmarch have been incorporated into King Thian of Haafingar’s ever expanding realm. Before the annexation, the hold was formally ruled by a congregation of elders from the largest tribes and clans, with no formal leader or king. Annexation of the hold is no recent idea – it has been invaded countless times by kings of Dawnstar, Markarth, Haafingar and others, most usually with little or no success. The treacherous, marshes have devoured warbands time and time again, and the marshfolk have developed a cowardly form of guerilla warfare, where they utilize their environmental surroundings in a way where they only attack when they have their enemies outnumbered and split off from one another. In times of war, invasion or larger clan feuds, a form of war chief, the Master-of-Hunt, is chosen on the Horn-Moot. The leader is usually decided by a series of bloody duels. When the strife itself has been solved, or the invaders pushed out of Hjaalmarch, the Master-of-Hunt steps down and goes back into obscurity.
According to legend, the marshfolk were granted their free status by the legendary Atmoran King Ysgramor, in gratitude for the ambush and massacre of a Falmer army passing through the marshes, and for serving him in a number of battles, amongst others the Battle of Solstheim. These claims have little or no historical accuracy, though – at least none that have been proved to exist. The famed freedom of the tribes is said to exempt them from ever serving a king against their will, answering only to themselves and the gods. As previously stated, this has not stopped the surrounding kingdoms in their attempts to subjugate the Hjaalmarch. One might wonder why these attempts were made, as the hold is exclusively made up of worthless swamplands, and a scrawny population of degenerate and treacherous rebels.