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Location of Steelhelm within Etrand
|State||Kingdom of Etrand|
|Ethnicities||Humans (72.3%), High Elves (3.1%), Half-Elves (2.6%), Dark Elves (4.2%), Dwarves (6.5%), Gnomes (3.7%), Wood Elves (2.94%), Halflings (1.16%)|
- Not to be confused with: Kingdom of Steelhelm
Stélhelm (Etrandish: Stélhelm ; IPA: [steɪ̯łhɛłm] ) or Steelhelm - also known by its Dwarven name Ashtíl Kålåm (Dwarven: wasxtxylv kqalqam ; IPA: [ˈaɕtʲiə̯lʲ ˈkɒłəmˠ]) - is a city within Etrand and arguably the most ancient city within Etrand proper, if we disregard the various Dwarven cities. Stélhelm is also the capital of the Margraviate of Steelhelm.
The city's name undoubtedly comes from the Old Dwarven 'Ëśtíľ Qalam (Old Dwarven: 'ËŚŤYĹ KALAM ; IPA: [ʔəɕtʲiːlʲ kɒlˠɒmˠ]), literally meaning "warm tower". It is important to note, that in the Steelhelm dialect of Old Dwarven, the voiceless dark dorsal stop /q/ was pronounced as a fricative [χ], yielding [ʔəɕtʲiːlʲ χɒlˠɒmˠ]. This was loaned into Proto-Human as Stílhalm (Proto-Human: STILHALM ; IPA: [s̺tiːlxɑlm]). This evolved into Stélhlm (Old Etrandish: STILHLM ; IPA: [steːlhl̩m]) in Old Etrandish, Stélhelm (Middle Etrandish: Stélhelm ; IPA: [steːlhɛlm]) in Middle Etrandish, giving rise to the name in contemporary Etrandish, Stélhelm (Etrandish: Stélhelm ; IPA: [steɪ̯łhɛłm]).
The name of the city is largerly derived from the original Proto-Human or Etrandish root:
- High Elven: Stílhalma ; IPA: [stiːl(h)ɑlmɑ], from Proto-Human
- Wood Elven: Stélhɛlm ; IPA: [steːlhɛlm] (Artaburro), from Middle Etrandish
- Wood Elven: sutiqirukarun ; IPA: [s(ʉ)t͡ɕiːɾʉkaɾʉn] (Dragoc), from Proto-Human
- Gabyrian: `ëštilxal'm ; IPA: [ʕəʃtiːlxalm], from Proto-Human or possibly Old Dwarven
Originally, Steelhelm was part of the northern limes of the Ancient Lizardman Empire. No evidence for civilian settlement survives, and most likely, there was no civilian settlement at all during the Ancient Lizardman period, considering how Lizardmen have low tolerance for cold weather. Most likely, Lizardman-era Steelhelm was a purely military "settlement" - an outpost, to help to defend against invaders from the north.
- See also: Kingdom of Steelhelm (Dwarven)
When the Ancient Lizardman Empire fell around 3000 BEKE, the region around Steelhelm was settled by Dwarves. Around 2700~, Steelhelm became the most powerful entity in the region, clearly distinguishing itself from the surrounding clans and villages by becoming a powerful city-state that had the capacity to project enough power to influence the region around itself at a large degree - the Dwarven Kingdom of Steelhelm was founded, lasting for around ~1580 years.
During the period of the Elven colonization of Artograch (2000-1500 BEKE), Steelhelm built massive fortifications - fortifications that are said to be such masterpieces that no one could build such means of defence even two millennia later. However, history would show that strong fortifications are not enough to hold a city.
Around 1120, the forces of Fathred's Confederation captured the city - much of the original Dwarven population was either exterminated or expelled. Dwarven historians claim that nearly all of the civilian population was evacuated out of the city through several tunnels that lead to the north, but archaeologists are yet to find any of these aforementioned tunnels. After this massacre or expulsion of the Dwarven population of Steelhelm, the city was settled by Humans.
- See also: Kingdom of Steelhelm (Human)
After the capture of the dwarven city, Steelhelm became a human settlement. For the next fourteen years, Steelhelm would be part of Fathred's Confederation, becoming an independent kingdom after the fall of Fathred's Confederation.
The vast majority of the original dwarven-built structures remained intact despite the violence that took place during the city's capture, however, nearly all of them had to be rebuilt to fit the height of humans. The inhabitants of the new Steelhelm learned the Dwarves' ways of building by reverse-engineering their constructions and rebuilt the city. For the next eleven centuries, Steelhelm was literally the only urban settlement in Human Etrand, the rest of Etrand inhabited by semi-nomadic or settled tribes that lived primarily in hamlets and villages, showing zero urbanization.
During the centuries to follow, the Human Kingdom of Steelhelm would extend it's influence to the territories the Dwarven Kingdom used to dominate. Trade would be re-established with the Dwarves, which led to the re-introduction of technical conveniences that were invented by Dwarves.
During the Miracle at Heathen's Grove, the population of the city disappeared mysteriously - the empty city was occupied by Corlagonid forces, repopulated by prisoners of war and other opportunists from the region.
The city of Steelhelm would stagnate for the next century, and wouldn't reach its previous size until it was inherited by the Osrikings.
- See also: House Osriking
During the reign of King Osric the Usurper, Steelhelm temporarily served as the de facto capital of Etrand. After Osric's execution in 108 AEKE, his son became the de facto founder of House Osriking, taking control of the city. and the surrounding Margraviate. Under Osriking rule, Steelhelm regained its former glory and even surpassed it starting from the 4th century.
After the Etrandish annexation of Northern Etrand, Dwarven immigrants started coming to Steelhelm, bringing in dwarven technology, architecture and engineering - new fortifications would be build that surpassed the old ones.
The total population of Stélhelm as of 831 AEKE is 34,447.
Believes in Titanius constitute 77.55% of the city's population.
11.14% of the city's population practice the Dwarven religion.
The rest of the city's population practices various other religions, mainly the Cult of Nature.