|Location||De Hooghlanden, Northern Attia|
|Current Stadhouder||Silas Moetiour - van Leuveren|
|Grand Pensionary||Dominika van Gravendrecht|
The Hooglandsche Vrystate, or in plain common the Highland Freestate, is a northern settlement built by the van Leuverens. Silas Moetiour-van Leuveren established the settlement; he is a descendent of van Leuveren, Emperor of Catamora, Stadholder of the Highland Freestate, and heir to Al-Jabrid in the year 1529. The Free-state is the culmination of a decade of turmoil in the Empire of Hadriana and mostly consists of the exiled House van Leuveren and the old Hinterland loyalists. The settlement is populated by humans of Hinterland descent who believe in Makerism. The population is adapted to living in the cold environment of the north and seeks to reclaim the values and virtue of their previous might. In addition, the Freestate doesn't act as a monarchy but is ruled as a proto-republic with a syntax of a hereditary Stadholder, Grand Pensionary, Regents, and the Staten Generaal or, in plain common, the Estates General, an elected body of citizens which compromise the legislative branch of the government-in-exile.
To describe the Hinterlanders, terms such as tolerant, organized, and cordial come to mind. Vise Versa the Hitch is also known to be quite blunt or direct. This has led many Hinterlanders to pursue a mercantile approach to the world of Eden. The world's riches are theirs to be taken, and pursuing them may portray them as greedy. They do not particularly fancy jousts and tournaments because their recent integration into the colder climate has adjusted the Hooghlanders to fighting monsters instead of knights in shining armor. Yet the handshake of a Hinterlander to signify any deal or agreement is regarded most of all as honest. In addition, the recent skirmishes in the Empire of Hadriana have made the people of the Freestate rather hostile to Hadrians, who they view as having murdered their last liege lord. Because of the aid given to them by the Kingdom of Luminion, the Freestate has amiable and friendly relations with the High Elves. The culture of the Hooghlanders is summarized as upright, mercantile, and independent.
Festivals & Celibrations
- The day the United Provinces first ever seceded from the Kingdom of Hadriana due to the coup that happened there is regarded as a day of the national celebration held on Rainswraith 12th.
- Saint Nillias Day
- The day originates from the priest Saint Nillias who performed multiple miracles and pilgrimages to become so famous. He gifted children who behaved presents and those who did wrong were given a piece of charcoal, symbolizing an unhealthy future and bad luck. A sign of disobedience. Today, children are told to behave even better by their parents. A priest from the local church will visit them, judge the children and perform the same tasks as Saint Nillias. The children must sing for the priest at home or outside in little choirs. Even visit other homes to sing in front of their doors.
Marriage & Romance
Marriages are more liberated in the Hooghlands, except for the usual prejudice accompanying a Makerist settlement. As usual, a party is thrown, and the ceremony has to take place in the church, and the one that leads the church should give their blessing to the marriage. The head of the family often has to permit the bride to be married. This way, arranged marriages are still part of the United Provinces, usually for economic gain. But the bride can end the marriage on the altar at the clergyman's final offer. When married, the bride and groom make a holy vow on a Dictus to support each other in times of hardship and well-being.
Death & Funerals
In Veil's Dike, the deceased must be given a proper burial. Graveyards are not considered scary or blighted places but a place of refuge to try and connect with the recently deceased. Families pay and invest a lot in the decoration of tombstones. At a proper burial, a Makerist priest should be present. People that commit suicide are decapitated before entering the grave, as suicide is frowned upon by the Makerist church.
Through the centuries, the old Hinterlands had been home to a different set of tribes. Other than their Attian kin in the north, the tribes of the Hinterlands stayed divided for a long time, and a lot of infighting ensued. In this early phase of the Hinterlands, the idea of a general assembly of townsfolk to issue their demands to their local chieftains was born. The chiefs of the early Hitch tribes were replaced when they, for instance, did not function properly. It is said that in these town meetings, the first general principle of the republic was formed. In the later years, during the 90 Years War against the Kingdom of Hadriana, the chieftains briefly united under a common crown. During the Age of Kings, the people of the Hinterlands copied the lordly system of the Hadrians, and noble houses were formed like the Van Leuveren family.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the Hadrian kingdom, the Hitch gathered in Wakkerdam. Having been inspired by the ancient town meetings of the ancient Hitch and the ancient Attian consular system, they created a General Assembly dubbed the Staten Generaal. After the collapse of the United Provinces, the idea of a state without a monarch was continued in the Freestate; however, it was improved a bit.
Every 1.5 years (72 days), a General Election is called in the Freestate. All adult republic citizens can put themselves up for election to the Estates General. This is the legislative body of the Freestate and consists of all representative citizens with the right to vote until a high enough population is reached to elect representatives. Within the Estates General, the chosen citizens vote for the Raadspensionaris, who will represent the Estates General with legislative measures for a term of one and a half years. The Stadhouder, leader of the executive branch, also has a vote in the Estates General and is the head of the State Army. The Estates General, for example, can vote on diplomatic issues, taxes, laws, and government structure, while the Stadtholder & Raadspensionaris exercise them.
The people of the Hooghlands speak in their traditional Hinterlands tongue, which is famous for its brutal pronunciation of the 'g' that often reminds people of demon sounds. The language known as Hitch does have some poetic phonations as it is often used in rhymes to explain fairy tales and morals. Other than Hitch, the people of the Hinterlands are also fluent in common, and some senior clergy members speak Ancient Attian when translating the Dictus.
The citizens of the Freestate believe in the Makerist church as it was first conceived. However, they look down upon the riches gathered by the Hadrian clergy, who they view as complicit in the partition and occupation of the old Hinterlands. Therefore the people of the Freestate have established their own independent structure of the Makerist church, a rift that can only grow or be mended in the future.
Compared to the old conscription system in the United Provinces, the Freestate now mainly focuses its military on the Orange Guard, directly loyal to the Stadhouder of the Hinterlands. The Estates General, however, establishes the budget for the armed forces, and through this body, the Stadhouder has to seek permission to start military campaigns. The Orange Guard is clad in the traditional colors of the House van Leuveren, orange and blue; however, due to the colder climate, furs and thick cloths recently made their way into the Freestate's uniform.
The Hooglandsche Vrystaet is named the opposite of the occupied Hinterlands, where the people of the former United Provinces of the Hinterlands held sway. During the second Hadrian Civil War between the Kingdom of Veronia and the United Provinces, which exploded after the murder of King Roderick I, the United Provinces were annexed by the Veronians. During the waning years of the Augassi reign, the throne returned to the lawful son of Roderick, Matthias Withmond. Now-Emperor Matthias, I restored the former lands of the United Provinces to the House van Leuveren. But after a diplomatic crisis with the Kingdom of Luminion, the House van Leuveren was branded traitors, and their Lord, Arnoud van Leuveren, was executed. During the collapse of the First Republic of the United Provinces, Arnoud's sister, Isabella Moetiour, van Leuveren fled to the colony of Catamora. She was declared Empress of the southern new world. The colony, however, was short-lived and a mysterious voidal corruption sought to eradicate all but a few survivors of Catamora. After being rescued by a Luminion expedition to the lost southern colony, Silas Moetiour- van Leuveren, son of Arndil Moetiour, brother of Queen Wendelin Moetiour - Augassi and Isabella van Leuveren was raised in the Kingdom of Luminion. In the coming years, he was greeted in court by old Hinterland loyalists who expressed their desire to reclaim their ancient homeland. On the brink of war between the Empire of Hadriana and the Kingdom of Luminion, the self-proclaimed 'Orange Guard' bearing the colors of House van Leuveren sought to set up a government-in-exile in the North of Attia. With High Elven support, they established a keep in the fork of the river (PLACEHOLDER), where they sought to regain the support of other exiles of the Hinterlands.
The newly declared Hooghlandsche Vrystaet was named because it lay not only in the north but also on a heightened plateau compared to the relatively low ground of the Hinterlands. Here the town of Veil's Rest was created in the year 1529. Starting as a minor settlement, the keep mostly attracted harsh and adventurous folk who sought to venture north in search of danger.