Thursday, June 6, 2019

O'er The Lands of the Realms: Hiedenkries

by Jason "Aeston" Rosa

Description by Joe "Aengus" Fantasia

Hiedenkries has long been a gateway to the other nations of the Realms because of its deepwater harbors that allow for the large trading city of Dragonhaven, and its quality roads and riverways that allow trade to move in and out of Hiedenkries to its neighbors. It’s primarily home to humans, elves and half elves. Hiedenkries has enjoyed a friendship and cooperation between elves and humans that is rarely seen, and for centuries this union has produced both peace and prosperity. It is made up of two baronies, Calydonia to the west and Dragonhaven to the east. Most of the rural areas are settled to some extent and it’s considered an older, civilized nation.

Trade is generally conducted through the seaport of Dragonhaven, along with the smaller ports of Northshore and Southshore. Finished goods, along with food and raw materials can be found in the bazaars and warehouses all along the coast.

Long ago, before the existence of Valehaven and many of the Realms of today, Hiedenkries was a duchy of the Kingdom of Disarray.  The king ruled with a strong hand, such that many people felt oppressed and disappointed with state of the kingdom, and soon a civil war ensued. Following the war, (sometimes called The Camp Forty Acres War, named after the location of most of the major battles) the Kingdom of Disarray was left so weak that it collapsed. Due to its weakened state, most of the kingdom was overrun in a series of wars with tribal Orcs to the north. However, some of the kingdom survived and Hiedenkries found itself somewhat intact. Duchess Brianna declared the duchy was now to be known as a Grand Duchy,” autonomous and beholden to no one and no kingdom.”

To the west lies the Barony of Calydonia. It contains the capital of Hiedenkries City, and the large fishing village of Ashmont. It is largely wooded and is the ancestral home of the Mystic Wood Elves. These elves can blend into their dark forests like ghosts and generally remain unseen, yet often guard the roads and paths of the forested countryside. The capital is home to all races of elves, along with half elves and humans, and includes the political seat of power of the ruling family. The Birch Pond contains a chaos portal near its center. That pond and Crane River divide Calydonia from its other barony of Dragonhaven. Along with filling the role as the source of most trade, Dragonhaven is also the bread basket of the duchy. It contains rich farmland throughout the interior while its ports boast fleets of fishing boats that supply its large fish markets. Of the port cities on the coast it is worth nothing that Southshore is exclusively for trade with the country of Neden and that Northshore contains a temple to the Iron Lotus. Dragonhaven is also home to the ghetto town of Chelsea near the center of the nation which houses the Guild of the Black Rose in an obsidian tower.

Hiedenkries is an autonomous Grand Duchy. The ruling family is called Clan MacNamara. Today Duke Sean Aengus MacNamara and his daughter Keela live in the nation of Grimloch. It was decided years ago that the Duchy would better be served by fighting in wars and preventing threats far from home, on the fronts and frontier lands that threaten the Realms as a whole, while leaving a regent to rule in their place.

A small, but effective fleet of warships protect the coastlines of Hiedenkries along with its fishing and commerce fleets. In the north of Dragonhaven, the roads and border are protected by an ancient group of warriors known as the Red Dragon Archers, while in the south, an outpost of the Order of the Blue Rose is based in Southshore.

Over the years many great warriors, knights and heroes have called Hiedenkries their home. Lord Dalamar of Neden is the Regent and High Mage of Hiedenkries. Sir PJ, Knight of the Eternal Flame, Knight of the Blue Rose and retired War Mark and 1st Lord of Grimloch, once called Calydonia home and served as its Baron. Then there is Sir Radstar, Knight of the Eternal Flame, Knight of the Blue Rose and Seneschal of Chimeron, once hailed from Dragonhaven and still carries the title Defender of Dragonhaven.

In summary, the Grand Duchy of Hiedenkries is home to diverse groups of humans and elves who have come together and carved out a civilized land, full of old growth forests, abundant farmland, large seaports and a peace that has lasted for generations. It is not surprising that in both elvish and dwarvish, Hiedenkries roughly translates to “Circle of Friends”