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HELDANN (Territory of)

Location: North of Ethengar and Rockhome, east of Wendar. OW

Area: 25,000 sq. mi. (64,750 sq. km.).

Population: 285,000. The bulk of this increase over last year was derived from the Hattian migration to Heldann. Final census has yet to be tallied.

Languages: Thyatian (Hattian dialect), Heldannic. Thyatian is the official language of the nation.

Coinage: Heldannic Standard: groschen (5 gp), gelder (gp), erzer (ep), markschen (sp), fenneg (cp).

Taxes: 15% income tax collected four times a year. 10% tithe to the Heldannic Knights collected once a year. 1 gelder head tax collected once a year from all those not in military service. There is also a 5% sales tax on all items but food and clothing.

Government Type: Military theocracy, member of the Heldannic Empire.

Industries: Agriculture (wheat, barley, and potatoes), mining (iron), sheep herding and fishing.

Important Figures: Wulf von Klagendorf (Oberherr), Geoffrey of Grunturm (Rebel Leader), Heinrich Straßenburger (Would-be Usurper).

Flora and Fauna: One can commonly encounter sheep and elk herds, bears, boars, wolves and yetis. Rarer, but more deadly, are the snow apes, hill and stone giants, gnolls and lycanthropes. Occasionally a dragon will be spotted, but the Heldannic Knights hunt them down as soon as possible.

Further Reading: Previous almanacs. Also, several articles of the Princess Ark series can be useful.

Description by Freiherr Hendrik von Gultzer.

It is with pride and honour that I write to you about the magnificent Heldannic Territories and the glory of Vanya. I hope that this entry into the Mystaran Almanac will help refute all disparaging remarks made about the Heldannic Knights and show the world the true valour behind our ideals and way of life.

I now give you a description of Heldann, the Gateway to Norwold.

The Land

The lands of the Heldannic people are harsh and unforgiving. Our winters are noted for their cold winds that pierce right down to your bones, and the summer is not much warmer. Cold waters from the northern regions of the Alphatian Sea splash upon our shores, keeping the warm months cooler than most other nations of the Old World.

The land is as beautiful as it comes, with many renowned painters travelling to Heldann just to paint portraits of the landscape. Pines and spruce are everywhere, and mountain runoffs create numerous small, crystal-clear lakes.

Although covered in pines, the land is rocky and not very adequate for agriculture. Despite this, hardy Heldanners work the lowlands, producing enough food for the people to survive. Further from shore, tall rough-edged mountains dominate the land, effectively marking our border with Wendar and Denagoth.

The People

While our land is definitely picturesque, it is the people of the Heldannic Territories that are the true heart of our nation. They are hardy and resourceful, never giving up on any task they set to heart. The fact that they manage to grow crops and even thrive in this harsh land is proof enough of this fact.

Heldanner commoners are a tall, light-skinned people most likely related to the men of the Northern Reaches. They toil the fields and are at peace with themselves and the world. The more worthy and brave among them join the ranks of the Heldannic Knights.

The majestic Heldannic Knights were once majority Hattians (from Thyatis), but now they are equally represented between Thyatians and Heldanners. They preach of conquest and glory, and as has been proven in the land of Norwold, these are not empty words. One day, as foretold by Vanya, the Heldanners and Hattians will rule the world in Vanya's name. You, the readers, may scoff at this idea, but do not say we have not warned you. Join us now and become a crusader in the armies of Vanya.

Victory and glory are assured.

Recent History

Heldann has had a remarkable growth period recently. The Heldannic Knights have converted the people of lands all the way up to Oceansend to the beliefs of Vanya and the glory of the Heldannic Knights. In fact, the land under our control was so great, we had to divide it into several territories [notably, Heldann, Heldland, and Vanya's Rest. Ed] which, together, form the Heldannic Empire. More recently, our glorious armies secured a new dominion, the Davanian city-state of Polakatsikes, which is now enjoying the fruits of Heldannic suzerainty. Admittedly, a few vagabonds throughout our lands have stubbornly resisted our rulership, but our armies crushed these lawless bands, who were known to trouble the other inhabitants. Many have thanked us for our remarkable control on crime and punishment of all criminals.

On our own, we are a formidable army, yet we also have the blessing of the Lady Vanya. Admittedly, there was a rebellion in our land led by Sir Geoffrey of Grunturm (there is a 100,000 gelder reward for his head), but it has been squashed without any problems by the knights. This rebellion is simply an event blown out of proportion. There is no truth to the rumours that we mistreated the peasants, hence causing the revolt. In fact, the oberherr himself solved the problem by placing a new leader in the rebellious land-one of the rebels themselves. If this is not proof that we take care of our people and listen to their pleas, then what is?

Similarly, the tales of threats to our Davanian territories are fallacious; we have successfully repulsed the assaults mounted by the savage Meghaddara and the uncouth Mivosians, with little loss of life. Thus proving again our unity and strength in the face of adversity.

The existing situation changed markedly towards the end of AC 1015 and afterwards, however. During the now-famous Crown War in Thyatis, domestic political unrest rose to an unprecedented level, much to the detriment of the hard-working denizens of Hattias. The unspeakable cruelties of the Storm Soldiers, as well as the retribution meted out by Eusebius, forced many honest Hattians to seek a new home, unwilling as they were to live in a war zone, or to see their once-fair land reduced to ruin. In the spirit of eternal brotherhood, and by the grace of mighty Vanya, we generously opened our borders to these people, and arranged for tracts of land to be allocated to them, should they decide to stay in Heldann. Much to our surprise, every one of the refugees from Hattias decided to stay-a miraculous testament to the integrity of the Heldannic Order, and the inherent goodness of Vanya's principles.

The Heldannic Knights have continued with their tradition of conquest in AC 1016, conquering large swaths of lands in the north up to Oceansend, expanding their dominions in the southern continent of Davania, and proving their mettle through the temporary seizure of Helskir, which we then surrendered in good faith. Since then, a number of malcontents, led by a traitor named Heinrich Straßenburger, have complained about the path the order is taking in its quest to propagate the faith of Vanya. Rest assured that they will be dealt with in an expeditious manner.

Don't Miss

Freiburg, the capital of Heldann, was once a filthy and tightly-packed town. But the Heldannic Knights destroyed most of it, rebuilding it with spacious streets (so a parade of knights on horseback could easily get through town) and sturdy buildings.

At the centre of town lies the majestic Star Chamber, a temple and barracks dedicated to the Lady. From this magnificent chamber Oberherr Wulf von Klagendorf rules the land and the will of Vanya is interpreted by the high priests. Freiburg also has the most impressive city walls on Mystara. The knights claim that nothing can or ever will breach the walls. Many architects and siege engineers agree with them.

Visitors are also encouraged to visit the small, but pleasant, port town of Kammin. Far cleaner than its northern counterpart, the disgusting town of Landfall, Kammin is a place where local sea traders may sell their wares-such as whale oil, walrus tusks, and cold-water fish, though even the more exotic goods of the south sometimes find their way here-and relax between journeys. Compared to the bustle of Freiburg, Kammin presents to the visitor an air of calmness.

Do Miss

Although Heldann is a safe, orderly realm, one should always exercise caution when venturing near the borders with Ethengar and Denagoth. Of the former, little need be said, as the reputation of those barbarians is well known to civilised folk, but Denagoth is less known. It is a dark, forbidding land-certainly no place for righteous followers of Vanya, or any other wholesome Immortal, I will admit-whose humanoid inhabitants are under the sway of the foul Shadow Lord. Little is known of him-and the less said, the better-or his legions, but the aura of decay emanating from that evil place carries over the Mengul Mountains themselves. It is more pronounced in Heldland, where the land itself becomes blighted as one approaches Denagoth, but even in fair Heldann the air is colder, the forests are darker, and even the sun is seemingly dimmer, as one traverses the eastern foothills of those brooding mountains. Suffice it to say you have been warned.