Mountain passes and granite halls
Regions of Hahnmark

Overview

The territory of Hahnmark is spread along a series of treacherous mountain passes, the rolling foothills beneath and the wide plains that stretch toward Sermersuaq and Kallavesa. In ancient times it was the centre of the troll kingdom, but today is considered the ancestral homeland of the Steinr in Wintermark. The other passes through the mountains are likewise protected by fortified halls, preventing access to the rolling hills that drop down towards fertile plains.

In the oldest days, before the coming of the Steinr, Hahnmark was the heart of the troll kingdoms and it was here that the three peoples first came together to oppose their enemies, and to create the union that has made their people the strongest in the world. The peaks of eastern Hahnmark are scattered with relics from the troll kingdom, mostly ruined and empty, or haunted by malignant spirits who hate the people of the lowlands with an endless, frigid spite. The higher peaks are avoided by sensible folk as a consequence.

Hahnmark is a rugged land, like the people who call it home. A slight majority of the population are Steinr, but as always there is a nearly equal presence of Suaq and Kallavesi people in its prosperous halls. The people of the rolling hills enjoy a high level of prosperity, their wealth coming from trade with other Imperial nations; from the mines and farms of the mountains and the flatlands; and from the strong sword-arms of its warriors.

The Senator for Hahnmark is appointed by the Steinr during the Autumn equinox, and is almost invariably from Steinr stock.

Recent History

During the invasion of Skarsind, many refugees came down through Pakaanan's Pass to find temporary homes in Northspires and Bruckland. Since the territory has been reclaimed, many are returning to their homes - although a number have chosen to stay permanently in Hahnmark. Concerns that the Thule might come further west and invade Hahnmark proved groundless, but there were repeated calls for the Hall at Kalpaheim and the vigilant Stormspires to be reinforced and further fortified. Successive Senates failed to agree to the amount of white granite needed, and the projects were largely abandoned.

Shortly after the Spring Equinox 381YE, a great sinkole swallowed parts of south-eastern Wood Heath displacing several halls. It also displaced a feni tribe that once dwelled in the deep woods there. Part of the tribe went south into Upwold, but part of the tribe remained in Hahnmark where their raids became increasingly problematic as 382YE progressed. During the Summer Solstice, the heroes of Wintermark confronted the raiders and offered them the chance to leave Hahnmark safely provided they brought their raids to an end. As of the start of the Autumn Equinox 382YE, the feni have yet to respond.

Wintermark2.jpg
Costume by Jo Perridge

Points of Interest

Kalpaheim

The largest settlement in Wintermark. Once the capital of the entire nation, this is the site of the original joining of the three cultures. The settlement circles a stone fortress built in the first days after the defeat of the trolls - the Hall at Kalpaheim - parts of which extend into tunnels dug deep beneath the mountains. A prosperous hub for trade with other nations, Kalpaheim guards a large pass through the mountains that serves as a major trade-route down into the Marches, and the rest of the Empire. Other valuable trade routes include those to Hercynia in the north-west, and through the Navarr territory to the forests and mines of Skarsind and ultimately Varushka.

As well as safeguarding the prosperity of Hahnmark, Kalpaheim is a central feature in the heritage of the Winterfolk. The Face of King Ulmo, an immense carving of the first monarch of Wintermark, looks down upon Kalpaheim from the side of one of the western mountains. It serves as a reminder that the eyes of history are upon the town and the people of Wintermark. This impressive feat is one of the wonders of the Empire, constructed long before the nation joined the Empire by a trio of Artok under the control of the icewalker Gilda Heimssdottir. She also dug out most of the tunnels that parts of the hall now occupy.

The Fingers

When the Steinr travelled through mountain passes to find the Suaq and Kallavesi, they sought guidance in visions. It is said that this high-mountain with its four jagged peaks rose above the mist in the early daylight, pointing out the way. It is now home to a religious settlement called The Fingers, where the virtues that founded Wintermark are celebrated; the Courage to carry such a bold plan through, the Pride gained through the trials of the journey, and the Loyalty that now joins the three peoples.

Gulnar’s Deeps

An old series of copper mines in northern Kalpamark that unexpectedly broke into a much larger cave network beneath. The full extent of the caves has never been mapped, since ice and meltwater make much of it treacherous, but a wealth of minerals and metals now comes from the deeps.

Runegrott

In southern Northspires is found a vast labyrinthine chamber in the ice, in which many runes are carved. They are thought to be very old, and some scholars argue that the origin of runes in Wintermark lies here, rather than in the caves beneath Gildenheim. The chamber is carefully guarded. It is a matter of debate as to whether the runes bear any message -- some claim the original laws of Wintermark, and thus the Empire -- were taken from the inscriptions in this chamber.

New Dunhall

In 381YE Arnburh, the Dunhearth Hall and neighbouring Woodhall fell into a massive sinkhole. Forewarned by the Navarr, the Thane and Redfeldr were able to evacuate the town. During the Summer Solstice 381YE, plans were laid for a grand Wintermark trading town. The purpose of New Dunhall is four-fold: to re-establish and protect trade between Wintermark and the Marches; to serve as a base of operations for mining Lorenzo's Deep Pockets; and to provide a defence against any fell creatures that might come out of the deep earth. Work was begun almost immediately, and the majority of the construction completed shortly before the Autumn Equinox.

At the heart of the new town is a large market overseen by the Caretaker of New Dunhall, intended for commodity trading and the sale of the Dunning’s fine artisan goods. A new Dunhearth Hall was built, larger and richer than the old hall, destroyed in the collapse. Along with the various barracks, supporting buildings, and defensible walls, New Dunhall represents a fine example of a Wintermark town, dedicated to the continuing security of the area.

Not far from New Dunhall is found Fallsheart Cave, a cavern exposed shortly after the sinkhole collapse which is a rich source of crystal mana. A Guardian is appointed to protect the cave, which is at some risk from hungry trogoni.

Lorenzo's Legacy of Vigilance

Spread across the entire territory of Hahnmark are a number of red stone stelae. A central stone, the keystone for the entire great work, stands in the centre of the market at New Dunhall. The legacy guides and focuses the flows of mana through the territory, increasing the amount of crystal mana produced by sites across Hahnmark.

Brenna's Gift

Brenna’s Gift is not a single structure but several. Situated in a handful of locations through Kalpamark are great weirwood grain silos banded in weltsilver with orichalcum rivets. Each silo is supported by several smaller buildings that are always busy collecting and distributing grains, meats, fur, and other farming supplies, all day every day. The rune Pallas is inlaid over each silo, and the men and women who operate them take great pride in ensuring the buildings are well lit so that they are visible almost as beacons once the sun sets. Smaller silos are scattered across the territory, at least one in each region. Comparisons are often drawn with the Imperial Breadbasket in the Marches. This great work stores and distributes agricultural produce, and the silos also serve as trading posts.

The Dunsfall Sinkhole

Just over a month after the Spring Equinox 381YE a large section of north-western Goldglades in Miaren collapsed with an almighty roar. After the initial collapse, the hole began to spread. Warnings by the Navarr vates reached the already-worried people of Wood Heath not a moment too soon. Parts of that south-eastern region soon followed north-western Goldglades into the spreading hole. Thanks to the Navarr, Dunhearth Hall, Woodhall and several smaller halls were all evacuated in time to avoid major loss of life.

Where Hahnmark once bordered Miaren, there is now a massive sinkhole. Estimated to be seven hundred feet deep, with a lake at the bottom that may well be bottomless. The cliff walls are nearly vertical, and still prone to collapse in some places, but there are also signs of caves and tunnels opening out in several places. Initial explorers have excitedly reported what look to be ancient mine workings - some reaching back to the time of the Terunael, and some reaching back even further. The full extent of the network of caverns here has yet to be determined. More worryingly, some of the early daredevils who have made a preliminary investigation of some of the more accessibly caves and tunnels have failed to return - and all those who have made it back in one piece have described encounters with particularly angry trogoni - creatures rarely encountered outside of the mountains of Urizen, and the northern peaks of Wintermark and Varushka.

The sinkhole was officially named "Lorzeno's Deep Pockets" by Lorenzo Macelliao von Temeschwar, but is commonly known among the people of Hahnmark as "The Dunsfall".

The Beacons of Wintermark

Shortly before the Spring Equinox 383YE, the beacons of Wintermark were completed, covering Hahnmark and Kallavesa. This sequence of beacons and watchtowers protects both territories from surprise invasion and allows heroic individuals to contribute to the defence of Wintermark as if they were a fortification.

Regions

Bruckland

Of all the regions of Hahnmark, Bruckland has the highest concentration of halls that have a majority of Suaq members. The cold, flat plains are scattered with low, artificial hills atop which lie stone beacons and desolate watchtowers. Between the hills wander large domesticated herds of deer, elk and the occasional mammoth. Fruitless attempts to domesticate the mammoths have largely been abandoned, but there are a few stubborn mammoth herders in Bruckland who follow the herds and occasionally harvest an old or injured member for ivory, hide and meat.

The most famous settlement in Bruckland, the fishing hamlet of Turelva lies across the waters of Kronevann from Kronehal. The two settlements enjoy a friendly rivalry in all matters; an annual fishing contest between the two has become a four day festival which boasts attendees from as far afield as Dawn.

Kalpamark

Quality: Hills
The heartland of Hahnmark, site of Kalpaheim and the face of King Ulmo. The halls of Kalpamark are some of the most prosperous and influential in Hahnmark - possibly in the whole of Wintermark.

Kronemark

The flattest part of Hahnmark, the downs of Kronemark are a patchwork of fishing villages and farms. The largest settlements sprawl around the shore of the icy lake Kronevann, or along the many streams that connect it to its sister lakes in Bruckland. The best known of the settlements on the Kronevann is Kronehal. Claimed as the home of Sigrid Alvsdottir, legendary champion of the Steinr who slew Vatr, the one-eyed warleader of the trolls and as her reward claimed the crown of the Steinr.

Northspires

Quality: Hills
The hills and mountains of Northspires are a rich source of Orichalcum and Tempest Jade. Some of the highest peaks in Wintermark are found here, and there are scattered ruins on the upper slopes that date back to the height of the troll kingdoms. Several halls look down across the rest of Hahnmark from here, the most famous of which is probably Stormspire. A remote fortress and watchtower whose commander is often titled ‘the Eyes of the North’, Stormspire keeps a careful watch on any traffic from the North. One of the key major beacons, the folk of Stormspire also maintain and staff a smaller network of beacons on nearby peaks.

Southridge

Quality: Hills
In the years before the foundation of the Empire, the rolling downs and woodlands of Southridge were the site of regular skirmishes between the Winterfolk and the Marchers. These came to an end with a final peace treaty, signed at the settlement of Moot. Grim-faced folk drew lines on maps and agreed to fight orcs, not each other. The place of meeting grew into a small trading settlement where Marcher grain goes north, and Wintermark sends its worked metal and leather south. Despite nearly five centuries of relative peace, however, there are occasional tales of haunted battlefields and unfortunate incidents with rowdy Marchers who ought to know better.

The woodlands and rugged gulleys of Southridge are also home to at least one hidden tribe of Feni who mostly keep to themselves but occasionally engage in banditry against travellers or poorly defended halls.

Valasmark

Quality: Hills
Rugged Valasmark slopes down towards the cold fens of Kallavesa to the south-west. In a populous valley near the centre of the region stands Valashal, a Hall almost entirely peopled by groups of Steinr, accepting warriors from all over the nation. Its stated intent is to be the greatest focus of martial heroism in the country and therefore the world. Without Suaq, their casualties in time of war tend to be horrific; but they also attract scops from far and wide to sing of their bravery and their dead are remembered for their glorious deeds.

Wood Heath

Quality: Hills
On the edge of the forests on the southern side of Hahnmark stood the bustling logging town of Woodhall which supplied a great deal of the wood, charcoal and Beggar's Lye for Wintermark’s building, crafting and smithing. Woodhall also saw regular caravans from Temeschwar to the east, and enjoyed cordial relations with the Marchers of Upwold to the south. Without warning, however, Woodhall was destroyed - in Summer 381YE a massive sinkhole opened up that swallowed Woodhall, along with nearby Dunhearth, and the settlement of Arnburh. Only the advance warning from Navarr seers studying the Pool of Silver Clouds in Miaren prevented great loss of life.

Today, the newly built town of New Dunhall houses many of those displaced by the collapse. With the aid of the Caretaker of New Dunhall, the inhabitants work to ensure not only trade with the Marches and Temeschwar, but that those brave souls responsible for exploring the great pit are supported. The town stands near a significant number of newly created sinecures: Autumn's Boon, Vale's Might, Fallsheart Cave, Dunfirth, and the Valley of Pride.

As with Southridge to the west, at one time a tribe of secluded Feni lived in Wood Heath, although their attentions were mostly directed toward Upwold and Miaren. Following the opening of the sinkhole, these Feni were forced to flee, and became something of a nuisance to the people of Hahnmark in the process.

OOC Notes

  • The regions of Hahnmark are under the control of the people of Wintermark (and by extension the Empire) making the territory staunchly Imperial.
  • Lorenzo's Legacy of Vigilance is a great work that provides 37 crystal mana each season, spread amongst those citizens of Hahnmark who own mana sites.
  • Brenna's Gift is a great work that distributes a bounty of money between the citizens of Hahnmark who own farms each season.
  • The Beacons of Wintermark are a unique wonder that helps defend the territory.
  • Due to the presence of the sinkhole in Wood Heath it is not possible for a campaign army to move directly between Hahnmark and Miaren despite their apparent proximity on the map.
  • Some of the prominent halls of Hahnmark are detailed here.

Theodric Mooting, Hero of Hahnmark
One of the great heroes of the Steinr people, Theodric Mooting was born in Valasmark some time before the foundation of the Empire. A talented scop from an early age, he was famous not only for his beautiful singing voice but also for his good heart and willingness to see the best in people. He quickly learned all the lessons his master had to teach him, and went on a great pilgrimage around Wintermark visiting halls across the nation to study with the scholars, musicians, and poets among his people.


A proud Steinr, he was never afraid to get his hands dirty - while he would often repay the hospitality of his hosts with music and poetry during the evenings, he spent his days sparring with their warriors, teaching their children, and working in their fields. A competent warrior, he bore banners into battle against Jotun, Feni, and Marchers with equal enthusiasm.

The most famous tale about Theodric involves the bloody enmity between two rival generals in Kronemark - the thane of Geranshal and her distant cousin the thane of Eilashal. Queen Linna called the two together to settle their differences but matters quickly escalated out of control - neither of the well-loved heroes could abide that the other drew breath. Blades were drawn by the thanes and the warriors from their halls. For a moment it seemed like the Queen's hospitality would be cast aside and the blood of one hero or another spilled in her hall, with potentially disastrous consequences for Hahnmark.

Before the first blow could be struck, Theodric stepped into the space between the feasting tables and began to sing. The Queen was quick to act - no fighting should take place while the scop sang. The two generals were forced to agree, and took the opportunity to prepare for the fight to come. To their surprise, however, Theodric sang for three days and three nights straight without faltering or repeating himself once. He moved the warriors to weeping for their own foolishness, and still he did not stop until exhaustion had claimed every other person in the Queen's hall - by which time cooler heads had prevailed. Over the next several days the thane of Gernashal and the thane of Eilsashal were able to settle their differences and, according to the stories, became close friends who fought beside each other on many battles.

Theodric is also known to have travelled for a time with the Dawnish exemplar Elayne Silverlark and her companion Lord Endric. The priests of Wintermark say that he taught her much about heroism, and just as much again about the proud arts of the scop. When she returned at last to Dawn, she took many of his songs and tales with her and paved the way for a better understanding between her people and the people of the Mark. For his part, Theodric is said to have learned to play several instruments previously unknown in Wintermark, and introduced several of them to his fellow scops as he continued his travels around Wintermark.

The scop himself lived to a ripe old age, and decided shortly after his seventieth birthday to head north and "explore Sydanjaa - to finally find out what rests at the heart of the eternal storm."