After the Storm
Halflings have long lived in the Moot, a province created by the decree of Emperor Ludwig the Fat in 1010 (in folklore, in thanks to his halfling chefs, according to some historians more in response to the Elector Countess of Stirland refusing her hand in marriage).
The area was already inhabited by many halflings but had been part of Stirland and Averland both of which were antagonized by their loss of territory. The folk of the neighbouring provinces hold the loss of this land as another reason for a grudge but halfings insist it was desolate until their talents made it bloom.
The Moot’s territory southwest of the Aver had been a prosperous barony, the Aver March. The Emperor’s troops forced all the humans to leave at spear point according to some folk tales.
Others call the province Mootland and title Hisme Stoutheart its Elector Countess, through her actual title is Elder of the Moot. The Moot exports beer, tobacco, preserved meats and fish, and cheese.
The Moot is a fertile region of many small self-governing communities. In Imperial terms, every halfling community is a freistadt in which all adults are citizens regardless of whether or not they own property (even the women!) – this alone is enough to prove the madness of the little folk.
The Moot’s banner is a fighting cockerel on a field of green and its militia tend to wear green and yellow.
In 2502, when halflings opposed Averland’s attempts to build a road through the Moot, the Grand Countess Ludmilla von Alptraum gave her son-in-law Marius von Leitdorf full command of the state army as Feldmarshal in command of her army and loaned him the Averland Runefang, The Sword of Ruin (also called Mother’s Ruin).
At the Battle of Nearstream, Marius defeated the armies of the Elder of the Moot, and ordered the death of every halfling standing against him.
The venture was due to Averland eying Stirland’s trade with the dwarfhold of Zhufbar. A road through the Moot was to create a trade route through Averland instead. The incursion came during the interregnum between Emperors. Shortly after Nearstream, the new Emperor Karl-Franz was petitioned by Stirland and the Moot and expressed his concern at provinces intruding on each other – meaning the victory by Averland in the Moot became moot.
In the 20 years that have passed since then, most humans and Averlanders now just recall this as another of Marius’ mad acts (as of 2522 attributed to a curse by witches). Halflings generally remember the Massacre of Nearstream very well, and hold both Alptraums and Leitdorfs to blame.