"The Eagle of Calpheon is rending its talons into the Lion's heart."
-Jordine Ducas, Grand Chamberlain of Heidel.
Heidel is the capital city of Serendia, a land that has endured a war against Calpheon and is now suffering the aftermath of the battle. The city and its people were left wounded and bleeding by recent events, with death and tragedy still fresh in the memories of those who survived. While some choose to keep an optimistic attitude at the invasion of Calpheon, the majority of Heidelians remain fiercely loyal to their Lord and the Grand Chamberlain; some willing to go to extreme lengths in order to fight back the Calpheonians. Heidel offers an exciting and prominent story for role-players who enjoy secret plots, political schemes and brutal rivalries between merchants.
Here are some important events in Heidel's history:
- The Black Death devastated Heidel nearly 50 years ago.
- Crucio de Mongart is crowned King at 37 years old, the year is 265. He is pressured by Calpheon to continue in the expedition against Valencia, despite his desire to abandon it.
- Heidel established trade with Valencia through Mediah in order to rebuild their economy.
- Merchant Guilds in Heidel eventually discovered the properties of Black Stones and their possible uses.
- Black Stones of superior quality were found within Serendia, which lead to the beginning of the war between Calpheon and Serendia in the year 275.
- In the following year, Serendia suffers from massive losses such as Keflan and Heidel Castle falling to Calpheon's forces. The King is captured and begins to fall ill.
- The war ends in 278 after Serendia accepts three conditions in exchange for their King's release:
-Heidel cannot mass forces or field their army.
-All trade and diplomacy must be done through Calpheon first.
-Serendia's supply of Black Stones belong to Calpheon.
Because of Serendia's location between all three regions—Calpheon to the West, Balenos to the North, and Mediah to the East—the country is often traveled by many adventurers and merchants. Serendia enjoys a pleasant inland climate, with much of the terrain being fertile farmlands, valleys, forests and swamps. The country's colors seem to be green and white, and their symbol is the Lion. Serendia is described as mostly rural, with scattered villages and farms throughout the land. It has been confirmed that the direct inspiration for Heidel was a French city named Beynac-et-Cazenac.
The people of Heidel (often referred to as Heidelians) seem to value peace, prosperity and freedom. Most of them condemn the Calpheon lifestyle and often judge their actions and what they're willing to do for money. It's not difficult to imagine why many Heidelians are hostile towards Calpheon, whether discretely or openly. Heidelians opt for a simple life, they enjoy the country and value the work of farmers and local merchants.
Before the war with Calpheon, Serendia was lead from Heidel Castle by a monarchy. Crucio de Mongart was the last to be made King before the war forced him to step down to Lordship. All diplomatic and political affairs must be conducted through Calpheon and their government. At the moment, the leading figure in Heidel seems to be the Grand Chamberlain, Jordine Ducas, who is secretly plotting against Calpheon. Jordine is respected and followed by most Heidelians, they support his views and his stance, and some are even willing to start a second war against Calpheon. Jordine strongly believes that Calpheon is choking Heidel and Serendia to their death.
One of the accords that resulted from the war is that Heidel is forbidden from creating their army. They cannot mass forces or field an army. Still, there are small groups of guards and outposts dedicated to upholding the law and protecting the people. These guards are concerned with bandits, thieves infiltrating the city, and local thugs. Overall, Heidel seems to be relatively peaceful when compared to Calpheon's situation.
The Grand Chamberlain of Heidel, however, has recently acquired a monetary loan from the Xian Merchant Guild. In secret, he plans on using this money to slowly rebuild the armies of Heidel. Only time will tell what will come out of his endeavors.
Similar to Calpheon, most Heidelians are devoted to Elionism, though their temples and places of worship don't reach the same, grand scale as the ones in Calpheon. Priests in Serendia are garbed in green and white, they are seen traveling alone from town to town, referring to Elion as "God." Unlike Calpheon, worship in Heidel takes on a lighter and more casual approach. After the war, churches in Heidel have turned into a safe haven for many orphans. Unfortunately, due to limited space in the church, orphans are told to leave upon reaching the age of 13.
An essential part of Heidel's lifestyle and history, the city has its own share of Merchant Guilds and stands as a small trading hub for adventurers, travelers and local merchants alike. The League of Merchants is an alliance of several merchant guilds that was once lead by Grace Lauren, the "Queen of the Heidel Market." Business in Heidel can be risky and cutthroat, with rivalries between merchants and stores. For now, it seems some local traders seek greater profits from visiting Calpheonians, while others outright deny to have business with them.
The Golden Toad Inn seems to be a popular resting point for adventurers and people traveling from Calpheon. Isobelle Encariota, aligned with the Xian Merchant Guild, can be found here. The presence of the Xian Merchant Guild in Heidel is not something locals enjoy. Many remain hostile towards them, and the Xian are apparently demanding taxes and payments from them.
There are other small Merchant Guilds in Heidel, such as the Crows, but more on this later!