So what happened to Heortland?
Heortland has almost three times the population of Sartar, in approximately the same area. With over 100k Orlanth initiates, it is one core Orlanthi areas in the Third Age – Sartar can be thought of as a bunch of Heortlander colonies unified under a dynasty originally from Heortland. Closely tied to Esrolia by religion and trade, Heortland has several rich and important cities – you think it would be well-situated to be an important kingdom.
And yet, that never happened. Northern Heortland experienced political instability for centuries, with three competing power centers – Whitewall, Troll Woods (allied with the Shadow Plateau), and Durengard. Feuds, banditry, and endemic petty conflicts were common here until Prince Tarkalor and his Yelmalio allies defeated the trolls and brought peace to the area.
In Central Heortland, the civilizaing influence of the Holy Country has turned tribal and clan organization into a more cohesive whole and their society has been altered from its Orlanthi basics. But although changed, the Theyalan love for political freedom remains. Noblemen are selected from within certain families and must be approved by all free people, and are aided by elite mounted warriors. However, the “unfree” class is so abhorrent to the Heortlanders that fewer slaves or serfs exist than in most other lands.
Many of these nobles supported foreign adventurer, Rikard the Tiger-Hearted, and his Seshnelan mercenaries, in his short-living Kingdom of Malkonwal. However, Rikard was defeated and overthrown by the Lunar Empire. Afterwards, Whitewall briefly unified all Lunar opposition with the person of King Broyan, but he died in 1625 and that unity was lost. Power and charisma moved to Boldhome, never to return.
- See also Heortland in the Third Age I
Heort never successfully wooed and married the Land Goddesses? That was not Heort’s thing. Or Hendrik’s. Not every founding hero needs to do that. Heort met the Second Son, confronting Chaos, fought I Fought, We Won, and unified the humans of Dragon Pass. That’s a lot! Heort was a Dragon Pass Silver Age hero. He also plays a role in Nochet/Esrolia.
Now Greg’s thought was that Belintar accommodated Orlanth’s restless dynamism by encouraging the settlement of Dragon Pass by Orlanthi colonists, and by supporting the activities of the Sartar dynasty. Orlanth was accommodated, his power acknowledged – but his focus was outward, which maintained harmony in the Holy Country.