Helvetia is a land marked by beautiful snow-capped mountain peaks, excellent craftsmanship, and a shrewd determination to remain neutral. Nestled in the heart of the Dragonspine mountains, surrounded on all sides by other nations, their uniquely difficult terrain, and the clever use of that terrain by its locals, has allowed this country to remain unconquered for the majority of its recorded history. Because many of the best passes through the Dragonspine lead through Helvetia, its towns and villages became a sanctuary to travelers and merchants, which gradually developed into an entire culture based on the neutrality of merchants. This has lead to significant worship of Berryl, the Thracian God of commerce.
The culture of mercantilism extends even to warfare, because though they are a neutral state, they are also home to many substantial mercenary companies who sell their services to neighboring countries. Helvetian mercenaries are highly skilled and sought after by those in need of additional military aid in their conflicts, and there are a number of large companies to choose from. Smaller companies rent out guards to caravans traveling through rough or dangerous terrain, and have even been known to hire out to guard exploratory expeditions.
Though the majority of the population is human there is a substantial Dverg presence in the country, as well as a stout exclave of Taelgranis. The locals are practical people, and shrewd negotiators, but also master craftsmen. Many magnificent mechanical creations can be found in Helvetia, as they have mastered the mechanations of clockwork. Helvetian cities are often marked by massive clock towers, and there are shops which sell all manner of automata statuettes which perform on their own as if animated by magic.
The Dwarves here consider themselves something of a group apart from other dwarves, with a clan culture that puts greater emphasis on production crafts, from stonework, to traditional smith craft, to an ever growing segment of fine mechanical devices. The long standing partnership between humans and dwarves here has furthered this art greatly.
An exclave of Telgranis make their home in cave systems that run under the mountains ringing Helvetia. Semi-participant in Helvetian government, the neutral stance of the nation allows them a freedom and protection to pursue research and craft. They have a friendly, though sometimes mutually antagonistic relationship with the Dwarves of the region.
A large portion of the population is devoted to Berryl, though other worship is permitted. The Temple Berryl in the capitol is one of the most carefully crafted religious structures in the world, though not the largest. Shrines to other gods dot cities as they find worshipers. Helvetians are an industrious people who value the price of work and tend to be shrewd negotiators.
How the society is structured
Customs and Holidays
What days matter to the people
Arts and Exceptionalism
Working as a group, skilled Helvetian Human, Dwarven, and Telgranis craftsmen have made strong advancements in producing complex mechanical objects. The fruit of this work can be seen in many clock towers all around the country with automata and other moving objects that most visitors assume function with magic. Rumor always circulates that their work produces further miracles of science, but these discoveries, should they be real, are guarded with obvious jealousy.
Organization of the Land
How the power structure is divided regional (i.e. Duchies, Baronies, Lordships, etc.)
Due to geographic barriers, Helvetia has had limited ability to conquer or be conquered during its existence. Officially, they are neutral to all countries, though state sanctioned (but privately organized) mercenary companies offer services to nations both local and abroad. The conflict of interest can cause occasional tension, but ultimately the deniability of the state prevents more than posturing. This contrasts strangely with the banking efforts of the government, with these relationships being held sacred even when mercenary work seems to put the country in conflict with a nation or individual.
History since the Dragon Wars
Major Modern Events
What events will have shaped the experience of characters having grown up there
The physical lay of the land