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HELDUN (Confederated Kingdom of)
Location: Northeastern head of the Isle of Dawn. SD
Area: 175,465 sq. mi. (454,455 sq. km.).
Population: 120,000, including cities of Helskir (pop. 15,000) and Dunadale (pop. 20,000), and the towns of Deirdren (pop. 5,000), and Norkinn (pop. 1,000).
Languages: Alphatian (Hillvale dialect), Thyatian (Redstone dialect).
Coinage: Thyatian Standard: emperor (pp), lucin (gp), asterius (sp), denarius (cp); Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 25% income tax collected quarterly on the aristocracy, nobility, and wealthy; 20% income tax collected quarterly on everyone else (Va. 1, Ya. 1, Fy. 3, and Ei. 1). Thyatians abroad must still pay their taxes. Expensive and magical items are also taxed 25% of their worth. 10% imperial commercia sales tax on all goods except food, clothing, and fixed assets; levied on imports, rebated on exports. Tax on slave owning equal to 50% of the slave's value annually. Property tax levied based on quality of land, roughly 6% of its value annually.
Government Type: Constitutional monarchy with many elected representatives advising the ruler. Member of both the Thyatian Empire and Nayce.
Industries: Agriculture, fishing, cutting of peat moss, sheep-herding, trade, some raiding.
Important Figures: Asteriela Torion (Queen, human, female, M13).
Flora and Fauna: Standard for its climate, notably herds of sheep and goats. Dangerous monsters include goblinoids and bandits that are common throughout the Isle of Dawn.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Demetius Vannopolus, with commentary from Vivianna Romanones.
Heldun as a kingdom is a bridge. A bridge between a past shrouded in antagonism and war, and a future of prosperity and enlightenment. It was formed from the union of two nations, the Kingdom of Helskir and the Confederacy of Dunadale through the peaceful efforts of Thyatian and Alphatian alike. Heldun is a bridge between cultures, Thyatian, Alphatian, and increasingly Antalian as Ostlander immigrants establish their settlements. But already the promise of a new future is threatened, as the Knights of Heldann occupy Helskir itself.
Heldun is a large nation, with all types of terrain and climate. From the northern tip of the Isle of Dawn where Helskir lies, and the land is cold but where the fish abound, sweeping down the coast in a wide arc to the temperate coastal communities of Dunadale and Deirdren. The fertile coastal lowlands are the most settled parts of this land. As you move inland from the coast the terrain becomes a patchwork of hills, bogs, and forests, a dangerous place, but a place where the people are hardy and freedom-loving. [The area around Demeran's Moor, at the head of the island, once considered part of Helskir, was ceded to Westrourke following the signing of the Treaty of Helskir. Vivianna..]
Heldun's cities are thriving communities, with burgeoning trade. The people are beginning to mix freely in these towns. By and large, the cities of Dunadale and Helskir have become communities where Alphatian and Thyatian customs are blending into a new culture, uniquely Heldunian. Even before the recent Thyatian conquest, Dunadale stood out among Alphatian domains as the only place to adopt anything resembling the Thyatian concept of citizenship, and even went a step farther. The inhabitants of the confederacy had rights, could vote, and popularly elected officials limited even the powers of the monarch. Coastal Heldun is a cosmopolitan land, and only the Heldannic invaders stand between these people and a bright future.
But while the coasts with their brash tradesmen are what people most think of when they consider Heldun, it is the people in the countryside which form its heart. These people are the salt of the earth, prizing their self-reliance, and yet ever ready to lend their neighbours a helping hand. For centuries they have lived, wedged between two empires, their lives and livelihoods endangered by war and monster incursions, and yet they thrive. [Until recently Asteriela Torion and Eruul Zaar jointly governed this land, with the capital at Helskir. The assassination of Zaar while on Ionace and the invasion of the Heldannic Knights have left the government in turmoil and forced Asteriela to move the capital temporarily to Dunadale. While neither Thyatis nor Nayce have yet sent aid to the fledgling nation, each for their own reasons, I have no doubt that the Asteriela I came to know while negotiating the Treaty of Helskir will prove herself up to the challenge of forging a strong nation. Vivianna..]
Heldun is a new land with more ahead of it than behind it. It was forged from the crucible of war, and tempered by diplomatic wrangling between the Thyatians and the Alphatians. Heldunians have put the past behind them. New arrivals from Ostland and Thyatis, as well as Alphatians returning from abroad, prefer to think of the future. [The arrival of the Knights of Heldann is a painful reminder of the region's strife-filled past, proving that it is not so easy to forget harsh reality, as Vannopolus would like to believe. The wars, especially the recent Final Alphatian War and Thincol's subsequent absorption of the region, still shape attitudes among the people. Vivianna..]
The lighthouse in Helskir, while not (as previously reported) the largest in the world (several along Vanya's Girdle are its equal or greater), is quite a sight nonetheless, with a brilliant beacon light. The Heldannic Knights have taken to using it as a lookout tower, and it is fairly heavily guarded, so you might want to reconsider getting too close. [Helskir's once-thriving markets are said to be a bit bare these days, with the knights imposing strict control on entry and exit from the city, lest others duplicate their feat of sneaking in a band of infiltrators. The markets of Dunadale are much more impressive. Vivianna..]
The Herdane Escarpment does provide a glorious view of the sunrise for those who have the fortitude to scale its cliffs. The hard-working people of the interior aren't a sight, but for those who are tired of interactions with cynical swindlers, spending time with these folk will restore your faith in humanity.