These lands comprise the areas in which Scandinavian vikings have been most active in: a tribe of Vikings known as Varangians have not just set up trading posts, but have even created a principality known as Rus centred around Kiev. The Vikings however aren't the only people in these lands: the Lapps live in the plains of Karelia while Kipchak tribes haunt the steppes. Despite the uneven distribution in fertility, Varangia has in the past century or so been made prosperous through trade with the Romans, who live down at Miklagard down by the Black Sea and the infidel Arabs. However, this prosperity has also attracted new enemies such as the unclean Kipchak horsemen who see it fit to raid their neighbours for food and profit.
Sparsely populated but awe-inspiring by size and the treasures in its seas and mountains, Varangia is the one region which separates Europe from northern Asia, with iron ore and salmon as its most prominent natural resources. Almost half of Varangia is covered with rare resources which are evenly distributed throughout its territories, so for defensive warfare it is ideal if you could control just a few resources. The high concentrations of salmon and iron ore favour the construction of a heavy ship fleet if you so desire to do so.
Supply, however, is another issue: only the southeastern lands have supply areas, so for those who are settled in the Scandinavian portion of Varangia (being the central steppes), mustering the manpower required to go to war might be a big issue — for Denmark in the late CtW it definitely is one. Low population levels also means lower taxes and food supply, which also means that Varangia also has a low tribute score which may be obtained by conquering its territories. Ultimately, you may just wish to either conquer Crimean territories, and probably ignore the rest; or seek the provinces of Central Europe to improve your chances of supply.
This sparsely populated land is known for being some of the best whaling grounds in the world.
Dominated by hill and plain, Bjarmaland doesn't have soil suited to agriculture, but its waters teem with fish and the land is ablaze with trails made by traders and pioneers alike. Bjarmaland can be used to reach Europe from Kola while bypassing the need to move through the neighbouring Ladoga territory.
Despite the seeming hostile climate of this territory, the waters teem with salmon which can be harvested to fulfill our own needs. The Kola Peninsula also can be used to reach Karelia or Bjarmaland via passage through the Gulf of Murmansk.
Dominated by the great trading city and "republic" of Novgorod or "New-Town", the Ladoga is the centre of the northern realm of the Varangians, descendents of traders and adventurers from the Viking lands.
Like many lands of Varangia, Karelia is a land of forests and streams almost devoid of human presence. For this reason, beavers live well in this environment whereas elsewhere they have been hunted to extinction for their hides and musk. Karelia also is of strategic importance as the northernmost gateway into the Slavic lands, by way of Kurzeme to her southwest.
The plains of Ostrobothnia are one of the more fertile parts of Scandinavia, but thus far this area is sparsely populated.
Traditionally the home of the northern people known as the Sami, this land while not conducive to farming is nonetheless host to good hunting and fishing — as well as forests of great stature.
The southeastern tip of the Scandinavian lands, Birka is moderately populated, and forms a strategic junction between the Scandinavian territory of Svealand and the eastern Baltic coast at Kurzeme.
Despite the harsh winter climate and the forbidding landscape, Norway is a land blessed with a fair deal of natural wealth. Only the strong survive here, and for many centuries the Norwegians have been either expert hunters, fishermen, traders, and vikings — or possibly all four at once at any given time.
While Norway's eastern borders are land-based and link her to the Lappmarch, Gotaland and Svealand, she also forms a maritime waypoint between Sjaelland to the south, and distant Iceland and the Scottish Highlands across the North Sea.
This land is known for its reindeer herds which can be used to even pull sleds in winter. The hills are also rich with granite, a resource which may be exploited by those who are brave enough to endure the harsh conditions of this land.
Connected to Astrakhan by the mighty Volga river, the land of Sar'-Su has been colonised by nomadic tribes who pasture their horses and herds by the fertile banks of the Volga.
This heavily forested area is named after the River Moscow, another tributary of the mighty Volga to the east, forming one of the many links in the trade routes running from north to south in Eastern Europe, and within these forests there too reside bears whose hides provide a good source of fur.
This heavily wooded land is populated by the so-called "White Russians" or Ruthenians. Crisscrossed by a fair deal of wetland and forest, this is the ideal place for guerilla warfare.
The rivers and foothills of Svealand have proven to be excellent sources for iron ore, the lifeblood of armies everywhere. Sea routes from Svealand connect it to Birka on the eastern coast of the Baltic.
The greatest city of all the Russias, Kiev has been losing its commercial and political significance for years, but it is still a vital hub of power in the steppelands.
The southernmost part of Sweden, Gotaland's location on the seas allows anyone who controls it a stranglehold on trade in the Baltic. Its ports also allow access to the most distant shores of the Baltic with landings at Norway, Jutland, Lietuva, Pomerania and Sjaelland, thus making it a vital maritime crossroads.
This desolate steppe is the land of the Kipchak or Cumans, a tribe of nomads who have created a continent-wide confederacy stretching for many miles from sunrise to sunset.
The territory between the banks of the Volga and the shores of the Caspian have attracted many settlers — some more permanent than others — who prosper from herding and trading with both Varangians and Muslims alike.
These lowlands by the northern shores of the Black Sea host many great ports which feed the commerce of Europe and are situated on some of the world's most fertile areas for cropland. Krim forms an important junction across the Black Sea, helping to connect Trebizond and Cappadocia in the south as well as Thrace in the west to Varangia.