THE HELMONDSSHIRE HALFLINGS

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
 
NATURAL RESOURCES -
FESTIVALS - HISTORY

The Helmondsshire Hobbits are the largest hobbit tribe dwelling in Santharia, and one of the oldest as well. They dwell in the Silvermarshes, and because of this are sometimes called hobbits of the Silver Shire. The Silvermarshes lie just northeast of the Thaelon Forest, close to Nyermersys. The Helmondsshire Hobbits are known for being very proud of their history, especially concerning SW III.

The shire is named Helmondsshire after Gerenu Helmond, who helped to rebuild the shire after the devastation during the Ancyros War. The shire’s original name was Hobbitshire, and was founded by Harfuld the Green. However, after the shire was almost completely destroyed in the Dragonstorm, the shire was called “New Hobbitshire”.

A Helmondsshire Halfling

View picture in full size Picture description. A Helmondsshire clockmaker checking his pocket watch. Picture by Eshóh K'ryvvlen.

Appearance. These hobbits are more diverse than some, as they have lived in close contact with different kinds of humans, elves, and even dwarves, and the blood of all these races still resides in small amounts in many hobbits, though now many of the really distinguishing features of other races have been washed away in the halfling blood. Their appearance, however, is still very varied.

Many of the hobbits are a bit taller than they were originally, averaging between 1 and 1.2 peds. Those with more pure hobbit blood maintain an average 1 ped, on most occasions. They are typically more lightweight than most hobbits, though, averaging 50 to 60 ods. Their hair color varies between a light blonde to a medium brown and everything in between, including reds and oranges, and often is curly. Their feet tend to be a darker coloring than their hair, and the hair itself is more coarse.

Females are usually a little shorter then males, and often weigh a little more. After all, most females need more fat for child bearing, and given that most females give birth to between 4 and 5 children, it's well needed.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. The Helmondsshire Hobbits have one of the oldest symbols, dating back to the Age of Myths. The shield is round, reflecting peace, and inside is a single vine with gentle green leaves. This coat of arms is centered on their love of gardening and the earth. They are, of course, “Green-People”.

The coat of arms was re-done after the destruction of the shire after the War for Ancyros, but retains the circular shape, but instead of a vine, the symbol of two green leaves. Almost all of the other hobbit coat of arms use the leaves in their symbol.
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Enlarge Provinces Map

Picture description: The location of the Silvermarshes, home of the Helmondsshire Halflings. Map by Artimidor Federkiel.

Territory. The Helmondsshire Hobbits live in the Silvermarshes, which are just north-east of the Thaelon Forest. They are the farthest tribe of halflings to the north, being located right near Nyermersys. This has brought about more danger to the tribe, and often forced the hobbits into involvement. The shire itself is split up into four sub-shires, named North, South, East, and West Helmond. There are no real borders or barriers between the sub-shires, but they are split up to help in organization. Also, each sub-shire is run by its own thain, or mayor. Return to the top

People. The halflings of Helmondsshire are a very welcoming people who, though not always eager to jump into war, will happily accept strangers into their shire. They are often happy to welcome any person, be they dwarf, elf or human, with good intentions. They have been known to involve themselves in war in times of need. Sometimes they are a bit careful around people who act queer, and can be untrusting of men at times. However, visitors who visit often tend to be more welcomed than those who don’t, but on average these hobbits are very welcoming.

Helmondsshire Halflings are also known for being rather proud of their history, both for their bravery and compassion. During the Ancyros War, they were massacred for showing mercy to the enemy, and though the shire was almost completely destroyed because of it, they believe that the actions show their big hearts, and it is something they are proud of. They also have a lot of pride in the team of halfling lancers that fought in SW III, especially given that all the lancers were volunteers.

These halflings, like most, have an infinite love of the earth and of growing things. Gardening is one of their favorite hobbies, and all hobbits have gardens, if not farms. They are not the best gardeners, but out of all hobbit tribes, they are the most versatile, and have the most trading connections, especially with the merchants of Nyermersys. They typically work with things of the earth, and are known for making things from metals and even stone, if they can get their hands on some. However, their greatest export are fresh fruits and vegetables.

The men and woman are often treated a bit differently as the women are believed to have responsibilities in the home. It is not necessarily a prejudice against them, but simply what is commonly done. Women often have responsibilities taking care of the many children that they have and helping to clean the house. While cooking is conducted by the wife, the children (both boys and girls) are taught at a very young age to cook and will commonly help their mother.
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Housing. Helmondsshire Hobbits live in homes dug into the hills and earth. Some of the hobbit holes of the Silvermarshes are the oldest in Caelereth. These hobbit holes are especially large, and are usually built with stone, ensuring that they survived both the Dragonstorm and the massacre during the War for Ancyros. They tend to be very large homes, smials, if you will. Most hobbit holes in modern times use very little stone, as there is not as much of it left in the area, and are instead built with wood. All of the homes of halflings have round doors and windows, and are usually only large enough to fit hobbits.

The Helmondsshire's city layout is somewhat similar to that of the humans in their region but much more scattered, not in regular rows like the humans, fitting into the nature's design. The Silvermarsh region contains just a few hobbit villages, where the hobbits mainly stay with themselves. Travellers are welcomed, though too many people passing through hobbit territory is something the halflings frown upon.
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Clothing. The clothing of these halflings is not often varied, save in the differences of the seasons. In spring and summer, lighter clothing is used. Men typically wear a white, short-sleeves shirt and a thin leather vest, though some boys and young men will simply wear a vest, although they would never be allowed to wear such in public. If they need to dress nice, they will wear loose white long-sleeved shirts with cuffs and a nice, leather vests. In winter the clothing is far heavier, and sweaters are very popular. Shorts are worn in warmer months, as well as pants that end near the knee. In winter, pants are almost always worn in winter.

Women almost always wear dresses made of simple design, usually with V-necks and pockets. They come in earthy colors, usually, including greens, tanned browns, and even earthy faded reds. Most women wear aprons that have pockets and help to keep their dresses clean. In summer these dresses are very light and thin, while winter dresses are usually made of wool or have dresses of leather with soft fur on the inside. Nice dresses will sometimes have embroidery or are made with flower patterns.
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Diet. Like most hobbits, those of Helmondsshire have a main diet of fruits and vegetables. They grow fresh crops in their farms and gardens, and enjoy things that come from the earth, including carroots and lythbells. They also eat bread, which is usually homemade and freshly made each day. They will collect fruits and make them into preservatives for desserts. While they do eat meats, it is not their main diet. Of the meats they eat, taenish and lamb are perhaps the most common. These are both domesticated animals and are often kept by hobbit families.

Beer and alcohol are very popular drinks among hobbits of course, and many hobbits go through a lot of effort and put forth a great deal of energy to make the best alcohol on the shire. They will sometimes have competitions, usually sponsored by a certain tavern. Those who make the best beer are held in high respect, and also tend to be rather wealthy.
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Weapons. Hobbits, being a rather peaceful tribe, do no longer manufacture weapons. Very few weapons thus exist within the shire, and those that do are fairly antiquated, being from SW III. Those weapons that remain include mainly a great deal of spears and lances, as well as a few short swords, build especially for small hobbits. Such weapons are fairly rusted and in some cases damaged, as they are over 1800 years old.

Daggers and knives are popular, but not as weapons. Instead, they are commonly used as cooking utensils. However, they are sharp and can be used as weapons if need be. They also have a fair amount of gardening tools which could be used for self-defense, if need be.
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Occupations. All hobbits over 33 typically work, even if it's just pulling someone’s weeds or trimming their hedge. The following occupations are some of the more popular.

Government. The shire, like most shires, was once ruled by a thain. However, because of the increase in population, the shire has been forced to expand, and the number of thains has increased. There are now four thains that rule over four different sections of the Shire (called North, South, West, and East Helmond). Each sub-shire has its own group of guard hobbits, who patrol the shire and make sure all things are peaceful. Their aren’t very many of them, as crime is extremely low in the shires, and what crime there tends to be the joking of some young hobbit.

Thains are usually replaced every ten years. They are chosen by vote, and because most hobbits are unwilling to vote, the term of office for thains is quite long. Only male hobbits are allowed to run for thain, and those under the age of 33 are not allowed to run, but the youngest thain to ever be voted in was 50.
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A Farseer Device
View picture in full size Image description. The Farseer Device ("Nearscope"), a device invented either by gnomes or dwarves, and often fabricated by hobbits. Drawn by Seeker.

Production/Trade. The hobbits are and always have been very self-servant. They don’t commonly have relations with other tribes, save the Erpheronians of Nyermersys. Sometimes Aellenrhim elves of the Bolder will stop by and do trades, and even some of the other nearby tribes will come for trading if things for gardening are greatly needed, or some strange hobbit-jewelry is wanted, However, of the most part, many don’t take interest in the products of hobbits.

Very close neighbors, those within only a few minutes or hours, will sometimes stop by to buy fresh bread and vegetables. The hobbits are known for their delicious fruits and vegetables, and their bread, which is baked fresh everyday. Their cooking, like most hobbits', is known for being wonderful, and restaurants and taverns are popular among those in the area. Some travelers and wanderers will intentionally make their plans so that they pass through their shire just for the food.
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Natural Resources. The hobbits of the Silvershire are blessed with fertile lands through which they can make farms and tend to crops that grow easily in the moist soil. Much of the shire, though originally founded in a marsh, has been made to be more livable. The gardens and farms of these hobbits grow a plethora of delicious vegetables and fruits, which grow fat and plump in the fertile earth under the warm and gentle sun. However, many stones and rocks of the shire have since been made into housing. Metals are also hard to find.
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. Hobbits have festivals two to three times a year, sometimes more often then that. At least one of the celebrations is for one of the Aviaría (Gods). The others are for either one of their own deities or else for an important figure in their history. All festivals have a lot of fresh food and a lot of alcohol. Often times games, bands, and dances are set up for entertainment, and will last long into the night. Some of the most celebrated festivals are named below:

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THE ERA OF CONSOLIDATION
(YEARS 8.500 B.S. - 3.400 B.S.)
ca. 5600 b.S. The Founding of Hobbitshire
"Hobbitshire", the first shire of the halfling race, is settled by Harfuld the Green in what is now known as the Silvermarshes. Harfuld becomes the first Thain of the shire, which is home to several thousand hobbits. It flourishes.

THE AGE OF AWAKENING
(YEARS 1.655 B.S. - 822 B.S.)
1650 b.S. The Dragonstorm
The Dragonstorm
In the 37th year of the rulership of Maengolth, the sovereign of the Erpheronian tribe, a terrible assault of dragons comes down on the territories of today's Santharian province of Vardýnn to avenge the destruction of Seargon the Eternal, one of the three adamant-dragons, through the sword of the Erpheronian prince Wengerim.

Hundreds of beasts cross the Tandala Mountains, advancing to the Warnaka in the west, devastating the Silvermarshes in the south, finishing the assault near Ephirn's Lake. Thousands of humans die from the fires of the Winged Death, even Wengerim the Dragonslayer Wengerim himself cannot escape his fate.
Devastation of the Hobbitshire
Countless innocent halflings die in the attack of the dragons on their home, and their houses are laid to waste. Some of the survivors journey south, seeking refuge and peace. Those halflings eventually come to the Alianian Hills and, with the help of the Jhehellrhim elves, settle into what is now known as the "Dogodan Shire".
  

1649 b.S.
to 1648 b.S.
The Vardýnnian Atonement strikes the Hobbitshire
The hobbits remaining in the Hobbitshire near the Silvermarshes suffer a sunless year. Many die from the cold, though surplus from crops in the past years of the Hobbitshire provide most with enough food to last until the cold is over. Those who have no home or lack considerable in victuals journey south to where their fellow halflings have already settled. The Dogodan Shire grows to a healthy population of a few thousand.

When the Atonement ends, the halflings live in the Silvermarshes among the ruins of Hobbitshire. They immediately begin to rebuild and rename the shire "New Hobbitshire". They experience a time of great growth and healing, and their numbers rises again.
  

843 b.S. Alliance of the Hobbitshire with the Erpheronians in the Ancyros War
The halflings of New Hobbitshire become mixed up in the Ancyros war as an ally of the Erpheronian king Erdolomin against Caltharia. They are assigned to supplying the Erpheronians with food, clothing, and other such things. It is believed the alliance is forced upon the hobbits through threats.
  

823 b.S. Caltharia invades Erpheronia
The Caltharian army crosses the Erpheronian border north of Carmalad in a surprise attack, led by the rebel duke Mertogran, who slew the weak Caltharian king Artero, and vowed to regain the lost region of Ancyros. Although the stationed troups there put up a good fight, they are overwhelmed and slain.

The new Erpheronian king Erdolomin rallies his allies, which include the halflings living in Silvershire. The halflings are assigned to supplying the Erpheronian army with food, clothing, and other such things. It is believed the alliance is forced upon the hobbits through threats.

THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
822 b.S. Massacre at the Silvershire
Singing Bird. The victorious Erpheronian army in their battles against the Caltharians marches through the the halfling-land of the Silvershire (then known as New Hobbitshire) to resupply, but they find several wounded Caltharian soldiers there. The soldiers are being treated by the halflings, as it is commonly known that they don't care much for the politics of the "big people". Others say that these halflings are believed to not have known anything about the alliance between Erpheronia and the shire as a whole.

Parts of the Erpheronian division consider this as treachery and attack the village where these halfling treat the wounded men and within instances the rest of the division joins the massacre. The soldiers slay everyone they encounter, Caltharian and halfling alike. There is no resistance. Hundreds of halflings are murdered in this massacre, their homes are destroyed, and their crops are laid to waste. Many halflings escape to the Silvermarshes to hide there as they cannot go south through Caltharian lands.
Beheading of Khizaar
Burning Heavens. The Erpheronian commander Khizaar reports the halfling-incident at the Silvershire at the capital to his king. The destruction of the Silvershire is explained as a crime committed by the Caltharian forces, where the Erpheronian army came just too late. The commander gets promoted to colonel, but only a few months later, more and more reports of the true occurences at the Silvershire reach the king.

Though Khizaar manages to hide for several weeks, he is prosecuted for his unrightful attack caught in Weyring where he is also beheaded in front of the public to state an example.
822 b.S.
to 288 b.S.
The Halflings' Destiny: Seperate Ways
Those few halflings that survived the massacre of the Erpheronian soldiers begin to rebuild once again, renaming New Hobbitshire to "Helmondsshire" after Generu Helmond who rises up to help rebuild their halfling home. There are only a few dozen left, but in time, they are able to retain their numbers.

Those halflings who flee to the Silvermarshes adapt to their new environment and over the course of time develop to swamp creatures. But although they adapt, many are not strong enough to survive their harsh new home. After a few years not more than a few dozen of them are left.
  

292 b.S. The Battle of Four Swords
The Battle of Four Swords takes place near Ephirn's Lake between the joined Sarvonian forces and the against the orcish invaders, accompandied by barbarians coming from the Northlands. The expression "Battle of Four Swords" denotes the union of all four races, the famous Sarvonian Alliance taking part in the fight: humans, elves, dwarves and orcs. This alliance is formed for the very first time in the history of Sarvonia and will prove essential for the defence of civilized life at the southern Sarvonian continent.

The battle begins when the retreating dwarven forces of the Thrumgolz and the Monteron clans (which also included troops of Halflings) are reinforced by the joined elven and human army under the guidance of the Aellenrhim Pherán'Ephtaerín. The latter, who was initially stationed at Orril to regain control of the so-called Orcenhold, is said to have followed the vision of a human woman who saw in a dream that her son is being saved by elves near the Heath of Jernais. Indeed it is only due to Pherán'Ephtaeríns belief in the truth of the essence of the dream that he arrives in time at Ephirn's Lake and can avert an immediate landslide victory of the orcish armies. However, even the joined forces of the Sarvonian Alliance are not able to counter the heavy offences of the orcs.
Halflings participate in the Battle of Four Swords
The Helmondsshire Commander Boe Starlinggale volunteers to fight against the hordes of orcs to defend his halfling brothers and sisters. He joins the halfling lancers and bravely fights against the invaders.
The Flight from Carmalad
Six years after the first massive invasion of the orcs at the regions of Nermeran and Vardýnn the united armies of the humans, elves, dwarves and halflings are forced by constant orcish approaches to recede with their troops to Carmalad. Although the joined army fights bravely reinforcements can not arrive in time and Carmalad has to be abandoned. As the defenders see no hope to save their lives at the Sarvonian continent the people of the four races leave together on all ships available to escape the unceaseable wrath of the orcs. However, many die before they can reach the ships meant to rescue them. The orcs raid the city, and pillage all they can carry.
Boe Starlinggale heads for Denilou
Among the escaping people is also Boe Starlinggale, along with many other hobbits, including some of his fellow lancers, escape to Denilou with dwarves, elves, and men. There Boe Starlinggale will help to found a colony on the island.
The Great Slaughter in the Istarin
After Carmalad has fallen in SW III, the orcs attack the Istarin Forest. But instead of directly attacking they set fires on the forest, forcing the elves out. The Jhehellrhim are nearly destroyed in this fight.

Fearing the defeat of the elves and the progress of the orcs southward, many halflings flee far south, hoping to find safety. They are settling in the Elverground, just north of the Zeiphyrian Forest.
  

288 b.S. The Mingling of Halflings with Orcs
The mullog swampdwellers
The mullog swampdwellers
In 288 b.S. a group of orcish refugees arrives in the Silvermarshes after the defeat of their leader Hourelin. They are hunted by the humans and can't find any other place to hide as the Silvermarshes. The wounded orcs prove to be much more peaceful than expected (their militant brethren all fought till their death in the war) and suggest to support the halflings in building settlements together within the confines of the marshes. After a while, halfling and orcish blood is mingled. The new race which emerges from the combination of these two races is called the "Mullog" (or "Swamp Lover" in the halfling tongue). While no other race is known to have been capable adapting to such harsh conditions as they are prevailing in these swamps, the mullog survive in the Silvermarshes ever since.
  

60 b.S. The Battle at Hegedorn
The remnants of the interracial alliance gather for a last desparate strike at the last entrance of the now closed Kersolth mine called "Hegedorn" to defeat Saban. Even the remaining hafling lancers of the Silvershire join into the Battle of Hegedorn, along with many new volunteers who want to protect their families and the shire from the terror of the Móch’rónn. The greatest warriors of Ximax are also sent to Hegedorn to try to defeat the Móch'rónn.

The battle ends with a landslide victory of the dark elven armies as there seem to be no way to stop a defending army in the tunnels of Kersolth. From the Ximaxian division, only one magus and two archmagi, survive the devastating counterattack of the Demon Lord Khalkoroth, who is said to have been summoned during the battle by the dark forces.


THE AGE OF CHANGE
(YEARS 50 B.S. - 172 A.S.)
0 The Halflings join Santharia
All the tribes of Southern Sarvonian halflings agree to become part of the Santharian alliance along with elves, dwarves, and men. Though the alliance proves to be shaky at first, the halfling shires are eventually able to return to a peaceful state, and begin to experience a new time of great growth.

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