The Shattered Ring
Heorot is a splendid garden world with a wealth of natural resources, studded immense and proud cities that glitter like jewels by night. It is said that Heorot is a world without want. The Children of Heorot (Heoroti) have a complex, highly political clan-like culture that values two things above all else: Honour and perfection. Dueling is commonplace, and warfare between clans not unknown, but the strict rules of etiquette and honour mean that this takes place on a very personal scale, with archaic weapons such as swords, spears, shields and small pistols being considered far more honourable than large-scale ordinance. Heorot’s cities are safe havens of technological wonder for the rest of the cluster, and her artisans constantly strive for perfection, producing some of the finest hand-crafted goods available. The famed shipyards of the Hall of Radagash orbit above Heorot and churn out excellent (the Heoroti would say the best) spacecraft capable of Slipstream travel, an expensive export to the rest of the Cluster.
Technology Rating: +2
Environment Rating: +0
Resources Rating: +1
- The Hundred Halls of Heorot
- Shipyards of Radagash
- The Metropolis of the Cluster
Heorot is home to a vast and ever-changing number of noble houses. Each of these has its own minor branches and offshoots, all of which are vying to become the next great house and join the Hundred Halls. The Hundred Halls of Heorot are the mightiest of the noble houses, but their ranks are by no means stable and the fractious squabbling of these extended families is the stuff of legend throughout the cluster. The endless cycle of alliance, betrayal, vengeance and redemption is part of the daily life of Heorot and consequently the political leadership of the Hundred Halls can seldom be relied to agree on anything short of an insult to Heorot itself. It’s said that nobody can nitpick like a Heoroti, and the honour-driven and hot-blooded Questing Knights will find insult on the merest technicality.
Honour and Perfection
The highest ideals of Heorot are those of Honour and Perfection. The Heoroti seek each of these at all times in every aspect of their lives. It’s often observed – and accurately – that there’s no such thing as a simple meal on Heorot.
Honour is a matter of intense import to the Heoroti. Insults are not traded lightly, unless they are between mortal enemies – and even then, they will be cautiously weighted not to cause undue offense to relatives or friends of the opposing party. Matters of honour are settled in duels of varying sort and intensity, although contests of skill are often substituted where spilling blood is not practical (e.g. in a dispute between two artists). The Deciders of Heorot, who observe each such challenge and judge the outcome, form a highly-respected equivalent of a Judiciary. Whilst technically a noble lord or lady can overrule their pronouncements, to do so is intensely dishonourable. This is not to say that there have been no disgraced Deciders with partisan views in the history of Heorot, but their names are taboo and are scoured from all record. To abuse the trust placed in a Decider is one of the worst crimes imaginable to the Heoroti.
Etiquette is carefully observed at all times, not least in battle, lest dishonour be brought on oneself – or worse, on one’s betters or their hosts. No small number of Heoroti lords and ladies have been forced to leave the world as the result of catastrophic disgrace, often over slights that would appear trivial to an outsider.
Whole treatises could be (and are) written on the etiquette of Heorot, but in three salient points are generally drummed into visitors for their own safety:
- Make no insult to anyone, Heoroti or not, lest someone contrives to be offended.
- Carry no armament, unless you mean to be engaged in a duel (and consequently the politics) of Heorot.
- Respect your hosts above all others, accept their offers of hospitality and show gratitude for the slightest kindness.
Typically more the purview of the Artist and Artisan Castes than of the better-known Warrior Caste, the pursuit of perfection is a far broader drive for Heorot than that of honour, although the tendency of the latter to produce more disagreement has made it more famous. The craftspeople of Heorot seek not only to outdo one another but ever challenge themselves to better their own work, seeking ever sleeker, more subtle and more elegant designs. Given the somewhat brash reputation of the Heoroti Questing Knights, it often comes as a surprise to outsiders to find incredible delicacy and refinement in many aspects of Heoroti culture. The cuisine of Heorot is incredibly diverse, varying between region and hall according to local tastes, but even the simplest fare is elegant and sumptuous. With an abundance of resources available on Heorot, none go hungry. Famine is practically unheard of, and minor shortages are recorded as terrible catastrophes in the histories of Heorot. The same abundance of materials makes metalwork and stonework pursuits of large numbers of Heoroti artisans, who produce works of art admired throughout the cluster. A recent trend for Tiridan Hall silver filigree veils amongst the wealthy inhabitants of the Prometheus Fragment in the Sundered Ring System has vastly elevated that house’s standing amongst The Hundred Halls.
Above all the artisans of Heorot, one house stands aloof. The Hall of The Heavenly Forge produces works of a quality that surpass even the finest manufacture of the other Heoroti Halls. Artists amongst artisans, this tiny house has ascended to the Hundred Halls under the guidance of its founder, Master Meredon. Acknowledged as the origin of the finest Heorot has to offer even by other master artisans, The Heavenly Forge produces only tiny quantities of goods each year – but those goods are priceless artifacts sought throughout the Cluster.