|The County of Holsmere|
|Holsmere Keep, overlooking the town square|
|The County of Holsmere|
|Type||halfling Port City|
|Location||Northern Caerundel, Eastern Coast|
|Leader||Earl Gilbert Norfoot|
After the death of Sparno Norfoot, the Norfoots were, quite violently, opposed as to what should become of Sparno's accumulated wealth. A part of the family decided that the money should be spent investing in the newly settled, yet prosperous town of Sunbeam where at the time, land was selling very cheaply. The rest of the Norfoots, however, were very much against having relations with other races, and hence, buying land elsewhere. An agreement was made to split the Sparno's fortune between the two parties and hence, the more proud, Sunbeam-opposed Norfoots set off East from Tulley to found a 'pure' halfling settlement. This coastal town came to be know as Holsmere. For centuries, the farming town of Holsmere has thrived in the fertile pastures on the eastern coast of the Halfling (Hobbit) region. The name 'Holsmere' can be traced back to its origins of 'hols', referring to the popular hobbit holes, or smials, halflings are commonly known to reside in, and the '-mere' being in reference to the sea beside which, Holsmere is built.
For many centuries, the small farming town remained in relative obscurity, and hence peace. A small harbour was built where river barges could ferry farmers and their produce to Tulley Town in the east, and larger sailing vessels to nearby Alfrodull in the west. Its coastal location gave Holsmere a significant advantage for merchants, and a market scene soon began to flourish.
The Bearded Bard Inn was constructed, becoming the popular meeting place for locals and passing travellers alike.
The Graynor EmpireEdit
Following whispers and rumors that High Govenor Roman of the Graynor Empire had gone mad, as well as the lobbying by Captain Auxus Aureles and Garfwin Norfoot, public opinion in Holsmere began to favor the idea of an independent Holsmere. The people had their wish on Sven 171st, 5996 when Duke Garfwin Norfoot signed the declaration of independence, officially stating Holsmere's sovreignity from Graynor.
However, the newly proclaimed Grand Duchy of Holsmere found itself surrounded by the Colovian Empire, which in the eyes of Holsmere, was a hostile foe waiting to attack. Using this as an excuse, Duke Norfoot and Captain Aureles began a massive social, military, and industrial reformation. The anti-magic movement, was galvinized and the Duke soon passed the Anti-Magic law, banning the practice of magic within Holsmere. The Holsmere Guard, which had been over the following cycles been growing steadily, suddenly became the main focus of the government's attention and energy, resulting in a large scale re-armament and re-organization of the army. The Holsmere Guard would come to include, in addition to infantry, cavalry units and an engineer corps. In the commercial district of the Duchy, the government- subsidized Ferrus Iron Works was constructed to mass-produce weapons and other goods through means of mechanization.
Secretly, however, Captain Aureles had been meeting with the Czar Armand-Augustin-Louis de Caulaincourt of Podolsky to procure newly pioneered gunpowder weaponry which had been used succesfully against loyalist forces during the Podolskian Revolution. The Captain and the Czar signed a treaty to provide Holsmere with the necessary know-how to produce cannons and the Redlock Musket both of which were soon in production by the Ferrus Company.
Amidst the feelings of industrial, military and nationalist fervor, attention of the Duchy began to shift to the outside world. Most Holsmerians knew little of the outside world. Coupled with the government adopting the view of outsiders being barbarous inferiors, the Duchy began to look for colonial aquisitions. As the ownership of Esamtar came into question, numerous polities began to prepare armies to take the deserty city. It was here where Holsmere could see it's aspirations realized. Mobilizing all availible manpower and resources, the already sizable military grew to a massive size. Captain Aureles called in help from his friends in Podolsky and their vassal of Dugo, the result; Holsmere was ready for war. In Shaeloth, 5996, The Holsmerian Army marched out the city gates west to rendevous with their Podolskian allies. However, once in the desert, the Czar and his men were nowhere to be found. Aureles cared not and pushed on towards the city, trapping troops from the Aranel Dominion in an abandoned desert fortress. Admid siege operations of the fort, a sandstorm blew in, allowing the men from the Dominion to escape relatively unscathed. As the city grew closer, troops from Hye Kin'Raa, prodominantly mages, charged the unprepared Halflings, breaking their ranks and sending them in disorderly retreat east.
The defeat snubbed the industrial fervor and militaristic aspirations of Holsmere and the Duchy fell silent for some time. A period of poor harvests followed, causing widespread hunger which eventually lead to plague outbreaks in the city where the weakened population succumbed easily to the illness. Calls to the government to take action went unheard by Duke Garfwin, who had since moved to the countryside to avoid plague. Discontent towards Garfwin and the aristocracy grew and grew. A peasant farmer, named Gilbert, who claimed to be the righful heir to Orwaldo Norfoot began to rally the citizens around him. Food riots were soon frequent and the Guard was often called in to violently put down protesters. Finally, one night in Solvs, 5996, Gilbert Norfoot and his supporters rose up in revolution. The unprepared Guard was not able to stem the tide of militia for very long and soon were confined to Holsmere Keep and the Ferrus Iron Works, which had came to become an image of Garfwin Norfoot's reign. The militas, lead by Alexander Harford, destroyed the keep's portcullus using looted artillery and stormed inside looking for Duke Garfwin, Captain Aurles and Royal Steward Elias Smith, but found the three had fled the city. The Iron Works held out for a little longer, but when Harford's men came in support, the troops stationed inside surrendered.
Gilbert Norfoot became Earl Nofoot of Holsmere and as a first decree, he split Holsmere's land into three Baronies; The Barony of Greenwood, The Barony of Harford which would be ruled by it's namesake, and the Township of Holsmere which would be administered by the Earl. The land reform were enacted to prevent any one ruler, such as Garfwin from ever having too much power. Additionally, the Holsmere Guard was disbanded and the mechanized industry destroyed by reactionaries during the Uprising. Late in 5997, Gerivald Oakbottom was made the third Baron of Holsmere to administer the Barony of Greenwood.