The Firseid Sandbox
Harrtlund claims control over the southern city-states that also include Sudmoor, Zeegard, Ostport, and Nurtgard. Their territory extends from the Great Southern Rainforest in the south to the foothills of the Cinderpeak Mountains in the north, and abuts the Western Elvish Forest.
Human 80%, elves (10%), dwarves (5%), gnomes (2%), other (3%). The large elvish population is in part due to slavery but includes many elves exiled from Ierani. Many other races are attracted to the Harrtlander’s warrior culture, some are simply current or former pirates and mercenaries, and others are simply descendants of those who filled those roles in past centuries trying to get by.
Terrain and climate
Harrtlund has a tropical climate in the south and subtropical up to its borders on the Arashan Sea. Precipitation is moderate year-round.
All Harrtlunders are proficient with the Warhammer and longsword or Shortsword.
Unlike most nations, Harrtlund has no standing military. Professional soldiers are simply veterans of raiding parties, pirates, mercenaries of foreign wars, and long-time warriors. Fighting and wrestling is more than just common, it is a bit like shaking hands. Physical strength among warriors is highly prized, but so is strategy. Harrtlunders also revere warriors blessed with the ability to work themselves into a blood-drunk rage during combat.
Warriors favor heavy weapons, but even the least capable is likely to be a skilled swordsman or hammer-wielder.
Magic support is frequently provided by masters of evocation and conjuration.
Harrtlunders rely on hit-and-run piracy and small vessels to perform raids on coastal towns.
History, Reputation, Politics, and Society
The history of the Harrtlunder’s relations with other nations is complicated. Though they are in a seemingly perpetual war with their elvish neighbors, they have at times been officially at peace with Arasha and the Middle Kingdom even as gold flowed into the Harrtlunder’s coffers from raids on the southern towns of those two nations. This is in part because the central power in Harrtlund itself has traditionally been weak. Rulers have at times sought peace with their neighbors, but an inability to control their citizen’s war-like traditions means peace is little but a pause between wars, and there is little trust remaining. Other nations have also seen fit to use the Harrtlunders as mercenaries against their other enemies.
Their war with the elves is primarily due to the honor that may be gained in Harrtlund society for capturing an elf as a slave. It is uncertain when this “tradition” started, but the elvish records indicate it is as much as a thousand years old.
Diplomacy is not in a Harrtlunder’s vocabulary, at least not when bargaining from a position of strength. This leads many northern cultures to regard them as little more than savages.
One thing worth noting is that familial and, by extension, nationalist sense is particularly strong among Harrtlunders. Thus despite chafing even under the “rule” of the Huusmaster in Harrtlund itself, they have maintained a national identity for longer than any other group on Letania, and never had a civil war or overthrown a ruler (except Mad King Luugij).
Often they will capture foreign citizens to keep as slaves, with those slaves also being treated as trophies of war. Owning an elvish slave tends to command greater respect in Harrtlander society. Harrtlanders do make some effort to treat their slaves well, as one’s reputation for how they treat their slaves gives clues to their honor on the battlefield and in personal dealings.
Clerics and sorcerers often serve as village elders in the countryside and as high-ranking officials in the cities. Wizards are uncommon, however, as formal schooling is rare. Harrtlunders focus mainly on evocation and conjuration, which provide some of the most obvious benefits in combat, but morale-boosting effects are also commonly taught to anyone who displays magical abilities. Harrtlunders also treat bards with great respect because bards are their primary historians.
Most technology in the hands of the Harrtlunders has been “acquired” from other societies. Pirate vessels have been known to use cannons, but these were most likely salvaged from captured and partially destroyed Arashan vessels. Mainland Harrtlunders view gunpowder as cowardly, an attitude some also hold toward dedicated missile troops, especially crossbowmen. (However, longbows similar to those used in the Middle Kingdom are a popular secondary weapon among warriors.)
Harrtlund has a weak trading history, as many of the spoils of war are kept as heirlooms and almost never traded even after a warrior has passed. (The treasury of the Huusmaster of Harrtlund is said to be one of the largest in all Letania.) The mercantile-minded tend to leave Harrtlunder society and live in foreign cities, where they may blend in with the locals or simply make some small dent in the bad reputation their countrymen have.