Haunt of Magic
On Halflings and Yealdath By Hadarai
Yealdath is nominally ruled by a Count, who is human, as it was when part of Belshurr the real power lies in the Merchants. It is a land of trade being the only land not bordering the Swathe the creatures of the Diamond Spike Mountains and the blood swamp are trivial matters in comparison. This and its geographical location has led to the rise of Yealdath. It is considered the wealthiest land. It has mines a great number of livestock and can import anything it needs, while its merchants ship almost all of the goods and food from Land to Land.
Yealdath is also the main reason the lands have not totally abandoned each other. It keeps communications and trade flowing in what was once Belshurr. Most of the merchant activities are run by Halflings. While during the reign of Belshurr Halflings mostly pursued trade overland in caravan that is very impractical at present. So the Halfling turned to the sea and became unparralled shipwrights and sailors. They create fast and sturdy ships while Halfling Ballista crews are deadly accurate. So while Yealdath does not have much of a standing army it does have a considerable navy. In addition the merchant vessels are built to survive a fight and can even win them depending on the captain and crew.
The major threat to Yealdath comes from Go-lin and the goblinoid pirates. Whether they are small mostly goblin crewed swift attack ships or the large Man O Wars crewed mostly by Bugbears and Hobgoblins. The Yealdath navy and merchant vessels are well versed in fighting or escaping these opponents as needed. In an agreement with Teeshaltan Yealdath provides a substantial amount of food and equipment to assist in the fight against the creatures of the Swathe. In exchange they are provided with some archers, warlocks and warriors to supplement their navy crews. The merchants of Yealdath see this as a small price to pay for their security. If Teeshaltan were to be overrun Yealdath could not put together an army quick enough to block the few paths through the Diamond Spike Mountains.
Several large merchant consortiums truly run Yealdath. While the number varies there have never been fewer than 3 or more than 7 consortiums. Which consortium yields the most influence shifts and flows like the tides depending on their fortunes, favors and prestige. Most merchants, Halflings or otherwise based in Yealdath, at least nominally belong to a consortium. This helps in the finding quality deals, opens doors and increases profits. While Independent merchants are not unknown they are fairly rare.
What was perhaps the greatest triumph for Yealdath was when the consortiums got together and decided to find a better way to ship the food of Brastedham. What they came up with was a way to enchant crates to keep vermin out and to preserve food so that it could make long sea voyages with little or no spoilage. This perhaps more than anything has contributed to the stability of all the Lands.