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Shetland map
Map by Homusubi
Brusi Sigurdsson

Forn Siðr (HR)




Shetland led by Brusi Sigurdsson is a custom civilisation by Homusubi, with contributions from Scissor_Fingers.

This mod requires Brave New World.



Shetland, also known as Zetland or historically Hjaltland, is a group of about 100 islands, fewer than 20 of them inhabited, in Scotland, 130 miles (210 km) north of the Scottish mainland, at the northern extremity of the United Kingdom.

East of the largest of the islands - known as Mainland - are the islands of Whalsay and Bressay. North of Mainland lie the islands of Yell, Fetlar, and Unst, the most northerly island. One mile off the coast of Unst is the most northerly point in the United Kingdom, Muckle Flugga—a lighthouse and group of rocks. Fair Isle, 24 miles (39 km) south of Mainland, belongs to the National Trust for Scotland and has an important ornithological observatory. The scenery of the Shetland Islands is wild and beautiful, with deeply indented coasts (the sea lochs, or fjords, are locally called voes) enclosed by steep hills. The winds are nearly continuous and strong, and trees are therefore sparse, but the climate is very mild for such a high latitude—only 400 miles (640 km) south of the Arctic Circle—because of the warming influence of the North Atlantic Current, an extension of the Gulf Stream system. Settlements on Mainland include Scalloway, a fishing port (and the capital of the isles until 1707). Lerwick, also on Mainland, is the islands’ largest town and commercial and administrative centre.

Stone circles and brochs (circular stone towers) furnish evidence of prehistoric settlement, probably by Picts. In the 8th and 9th centuries Shetland was invaded by the Norse, who ruled the islands until the 15th century. The principal language of the islands until the 18th century was Norn, derived from Old Norse, and many Norse customs survive. In 1472 the islands, with Orkney, were annexed to the Scottish crown. The islands have nevertheless stood outside the mainstream of Scottish history and traditions.

Brusi Sigurdsson[]

Brusi Sigurdsson, one of the very few historical figures known to have ruled over Shetland with a large degree of autonomy, appears in the Orkneyinga, or Earls' Saga, one of the Norse epics and the only one to focus on Orkney and Shetland. However, Brusi does not appear that often in said saga. There appear to be two reasons for this. One is that Brusi was known to be a relatively peaceful man and ruler, described as "gentle, restrained, unassuming and a fine speaker" while his brothers and other relatives were associated with more martial adjectives, and thus not particularly exciting material from the point of view of a saga-writer. The other is that, despite the interpretations of some historians differing, he likely spent most of his time away from most of the action. Specifically, on Shetland. Most of the saga's content relates more to Orkney.

Brusi gained control of Shetland upon the death of his father, Sigurd the Stout, who ruled over not only Shetland, but also Orkney and parts of Caithness. The older three of Sigurd's four sons were given a third of his domain each, Brusi with the northernmost part (most likely Shetland), and his brothers Einar and Summarlidi further south. His fourth son, Thorfinn, already had nominal land in Caithness, and besides, was at this point five years old. Much of the saga involves various battles between these four brothers and their children for various tracts of land which became unclaimed for various reasons, mostly untimely deaths such as that of Summarlidi early on.

Brusi, notably, did not involve himself with the subsequent argument between Einar and Thorfinn over the rights to Summarlidi's third of the isles. He seemed happy at a distance from all the politicking in Orkney. His subjects in Shetland apparently benefited from Brusi's disposition: it is recorded that the farmers under Brusi prospered while those further south under Einar were forced into a much more severe form of servitude. Eventually, he joined the negotiations in Orkney, which resulted in Thorfinn taking over Summarlidi's third while Brusi and Einar joined their dominions. Einar would rule over both Shetland and his original half of Orkney, but Brusi and Brusi's son would be his successors should he die. As it turned out, he did die not too long afterwards, and Brusi thus became lord of both Shetland and half of Orkney.

Thorfinn, however, seeing opportunity in the new Brusi regime which he perceived to be weak due to its lord's disposition, decided to challenge Brusi for some of the Orcadian part of his domain. Brusi, however, did not back down, instead seeking an audience with Olaf II, king of Norway. The three came to an agreement under which Brusi kept both halves of his domain while both he and Thorfinn swore official allegiance to Olaf. A few years later, Brusi returned to having an entirely Shetland-based domain once more. Brusi complained that Thorfinn was not contributing as he should have to the defence of the islands from piracy, and Thorfinn offered to take on sole responsibility for defence issues if Brusi gave him the rest of Orkney. This he did, and all but disappeared from the saga, quite possibly because he was in Shetland. Even when Thorfinn battled the King of Scotland a few years later, Brusi was absent, with the saga explaining this due to his being far in the north. Again, probably Shetland.

The saga then busied itself with the epic power struggle over the islands between Thorfinn, Brusi's son Rognvald, and the kings of Norway and Scotland. Shetland is mentioned quite a few more times after this point, but its days of being either autonomous or ruled from Kirkwall were nearing their end; almost two centuries later, to be precise, in 1195, when Shetland was transferred from the earldom of Orkney to direct Norwegian rule after a failed rebellion from the isles. Transfer to Scotland occurred a few centuries after that, in 1469, when they were offered as a guarantee on a loan from Denmark-Norway to Scotland that was, in the end, never paid.

Dawn of Man[]

Shetland scene

Art by Scissor_Fingers

"Hail, Brusi Sigurdsson, lord of these isles and of all that reaches to the watery horizon. Your domain is one of islands at the edge of the world, of hardscrabble land and fishing boats, but it is also one of stark beauty and people determined to live out here despite the odds. Although often relegated to an inset on maps of larger lands, your archipelago has long served as a bridge, a back route, between the people surrounding it, and when war reaches your shores, you know that outsiders underestimate your people at their peril.

But Jarl Brusi, there is nothing that says the Shetlanders must stay confined to these isles. Will you strike out beyond the horizon? Will you ready your battlecry, remembered from one fire festival to the next, and prepare your boats for something more than fishing? From Ultima Thule and beyond, can you build a civilisation that will stand the test of time?"

Introduction 1: "Welcome to Shetland, traveller. Tell me truthfully; did you mean to come here, or was your boat lost at sea?"

Introduction 2: "In the name of the people of Hjaltland, I greet you, foreign jarl. I am sure there is much to discuss. Fish, probably."

Defeat: "Do you realise what you have done? Oh, we will get our revenge, believe me. The next time you try to draw a map of your empire, it will be our name you curse as you hold your ruler."

Unique Attributes[]

Shetland (Brusi Sigurdsson)
Shetland leader
Up Helly Aa

Losing or killing (deleting) one of your naval units in your territory increases the starting XP of all future naval units built in the nearest city by 2 and yields Production Production towards a naval building in that city.

Shetland uu
Shetland Bus (Destroyer)

When next to an enemy city, has a chance each turn of attracting 1 Citizen Citizen from that city. If the Shetland Bus then returns to a Shetlander city, that Citizen Citizen moves there.

Shetland ub
Broch (Granary)

As well as the regular Granary abilities, when completed, the Broch also provides half the required Production Production towards a random other building buildable by the city.

City List
  1. Scalloway
  2. Lerwick
  3. Brae
  4. Sumburgh
  5. Symbister
  6. Baltasound
  7. Burravoe
  8. Houbie
  9. Walls
  10. Sandwick
  11. Voe
  12. Mossbank
  13. Skeld
  14. Cunningsburgh
  15. Uyeasound
  16. Ulsta
  17. Ham
  18. Hamnavoe
  19. Gutcher
  20. Tingwall
  21. Ollaberry
  22. Eshaness
  23. Saxa Vord
  24. Gloup
  25. Sandness
  26. Quarff
  27. Biggings
  28. Laxo
  29. Girlsta
  30. Toab
  31. Mavis Grind
  32. Twatt
Spy List
  • Magnus
  • Thorvald
  • Olaw
  • Hakon
  • Ingrid
  • Mairgrete
  • Gudrun
  • Bjarnhild
  • Sunniva
  • Topiary
Shetland civ


Peace Theme War Theme
Link Link
Shetland Titles (Extended) by John Lunn Shetland Fiddle Diva by String Sisters

Mod Support[]

Unique Cultural Influence[]

(To Brusi) “Our people are celebrating your fire festivals and buying your mackerel. I worry the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture.”

(From Brusi) "I see your people are imitating the majestic nosedive of the great skua. The amazing works of our civilisation are truly inspiring!"

Full Credits List[]

Steam Workshop
Latest Version: v 1
Last Updated: 7 April 2020


  • Homusubi: original author, XML, Lua, most art, most text
  • Scissor_Fingers: leaderhead
  • Online Encyclopaedia Britannica: parts of Shetland civ Civilopedia
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