This duchy is also known as the Burning Mountains, the capital of fashion, the capital of wealth, and is a big exporter of noble fashions and metals.
Hauteflamme's populace is fiery, passionate, and artistic-- although not always creative, nor tasteful. They are nearly always warm to outsiders, and they are highly aware of social station, even if they often act as though they don't care.
The wealthy of Hauteflamme often dealt in and used drugs or fund importation of narcotics or collectables from the nearby People's Republic when trade was open, but they are harsh to those who harm people and animals.
Climate and Geography
Hauteflamme ranges from the southern edge of the northern marsh down to the northern border of the Aridefort Desert, with its earldoms splitting the land with as much fairness as the duke could manage during the duchy's founding. The duchy's namesake-- a giant, active volcano-- lies in the Hauteflamme Earldom.
There is a forest of evergreens in the north, and a rainy forest in the south. Everything on the north sides of the mountains is icy cold, while everything south is decidedly warmer. Along the middle is a strip of mountainous land known for horrific storms.
Economy and Agriculture
Hauteflamme's economy is based mostly on mineral and artistic wealth-- including fashion. The drugs dealt in Hauteflamme only rarely net profits. The people eat well because every family breeds some sort of animal that provides food, and they participate in subsistence farming.
The architecture of homes in Hauteflamme varies greatly between the north, central, and sourthern earldoms.
In the north, the people make small homes with no windows. Most are round, with a heat source in the middle. They often have metal or stone doors that are insulated with heavy pads of woven cloth, leather, or grasses. These simple homes are often decorated with wall hangings, which are typically made from old clothing. Typically, the more children a person has, the warmer the house, because as children grow out of clothes, they are converted into wall coverings.
In the central earldom, homes are built into mountainsides, and similarly decorated. Some homes still use the round template from the north for homes, but those in the bigger settlements build larger homes to house multiple families, separated by curtains to preserve warmth within the home. More modern homes tend to be square, with triangular roofs.
To the south, in Selvaluvais, homes are built in a variety of styles, ranging from the round homes of the north, to elaborate wood and metal designs that are decorated with wood and quickgrass. Homes that are not installed with quickgrass piping on the side to make rain music are uncommon.
Hauteflamme is home to slimes, goblins, orcs, lutin, and dire bats in large number. Less common monsters include dire rats and wisps. The most common monster elements in this region are ice, fire, energy, dark, and poison.
The Staves family rule Hauteflamme. Despite the amorous nature of the duke and duchess, they have only one child and no grandchildren. Their daughter remains unwed, despite eleven attempts to find her a suitor. She is on the verge of spinsterhood.
The northern foothills of the Saldeclan Mountains are often used as a hunting ground for trappers, and as grazing grounds for goat and sheep herders. Many residents take part in subsistence farming, but usually still rely heavily on what they bring in from a hunt.
This earldom is often called "Dejado" by its residents, because the nobility there spends more time in Volcana than at home. Because of this, the people avoid being fashionable and resort to illegal methods to make a living-- primarily cultivating drugs to sell (or use) to take the edge of the cold winters.
The earl is Pablo Beararms, and he has a large family who is in massive debt.
The official capital region of Hauteflamme, and home to the Hauteflamme Volcano. This region is narrow, but has a high population density. The earl is Marie Staves, daughter of the duke, but she is assisted by the unlanded Earl Jonas Arde, and his wife, Countess Elize Arde (formerly Elize Goldefont).
The people in this earldom are obsessed with fashion, and use the cool climate to justify very heavily-layered outfits. Even the people who are not wealthy join in on this pasttime if they can afford it, and often import skins and leather from the north if they can't afford cloth.
Volcana's capital city is just south of the volcano, on a mountainside just opposite it. It's impossible to miss the clouds looming over the volcano.
Considered also the capital of romance, rests on the slope of a mountain on the border between Saldecla and the People's Republic, and between the mountains and Aridefort. The earl is Gerardo Waterforest. This earldom is relaxed and tends to take advantage of its mild (if rainy) climate to make use of elaborate musical rain pipes installed into nearly every outside wall.
Selvaluvias is often considered a heaven to many a dreamer and artist, and many youths run here to find their dreams, only to find that the people do not allow newcomers to lounge about-- work is expected of every citizen.
Hauteflamme has the highest count of barons and baronesses, both with and without lands. They petition the crown for more writs of nobility than any other duchy, and the crown has recently had to enact laws to limit the amount of noble families a duchy can have after the amount of barons in Hauteflamme became a full fourth of a population. After this law came into effect, it became common for unlanded barons to lose rank over crimes committed to make room for new barons.
- The Hauteflamme Volcano is showing unusual activity.
Swirling dark clouds hang low over Hauteflamme Volcano, and the artifact there-- supposedly a staff left by the Hero of Light to seal something there-- is last reported to have been seen spinning in place by the last person to leave the crater alive.
- Travellers near the border with the People's Republic have been going missing.
People leave to hunt near the border, and don't return. There are rumors that one of the villages near the border in Selvaluvias is completely abandoned, too. Most people are too scared to investigate, and those that aren't too scared don't return.
- A troubling rumor is spreading that the Republic is going to start a war with Saldecla.
The closed borders and people going missing are the likely causes of this rumor. Nobody's heard any news from inside the nation in months.
- Dragons have been spotted near Hauteflamme Volcano.
More than one person has spotted dragons, and one person even brought back a dragon's head. Given the 300 year absence, their presence is troubling.
- Selvaluvias is growing in popularity.
Young people from across the country are going to this duchy to try to find their fortunes in the arts, seek an easy life, or find love. The duchy is experiencing a rapid population boom, and has called on the Aridetrop army to help return noble children to their families.
- Exams at Hauteflamme Academy are beginning.
While not usually difficult, exams at the academy are upcoming. This is usually the time when students wander off campus, and some don't return.
- Local wildlife is acting oddly.
Monsters aren't the only creatures acting strangely. Otters have migrated from Icesog to the rivers in Cieros Hielo, deer have been found with broken necks and spines among the peaks-- deer who are not mountain breeds, and bears and wolves are growing increasingly aggressive.
- The Duke's daughter, Countess Maria Staves, is quickly becoming too old to marry.
Despite all of his attempts, the Duke cannot find a husband willing to take his daughter. She's very skilled, wise, and knowledgeable, but plain-looking, and enjoys hobbies that most others find boring.
Major Historical Sites
- Hauteflamme Volcano
- Dark Tower Ruins
- Black Temple