The Heartfolk are the first blood of Cyflawnau, heirs to the loose collection of tribes and petty kingdoms that dotted the island before the Gwerin landing. Now nominally Gwerin, the Heartfolk of the present balance a fierce pride in their loosely-grasped ancient roots against a practical understanding of the Gwerin cultural hegemony. Were a monarch to once again sit the High King’s throne in Anterthadwy, he (or she) would be crowned ruler of both Gwerin and Heartfolk. This does little to conceal the political reality, however, that the Heartfolk boast few nobles and fewer artisans or merchants. The few Heartfolk who publicly proclaim their identity tend to be rural and isolationist. Heartfolk clans herd flocks in the high pastures of the Northern Reach and farm the remotest valleys of the Westwold. The last Heartfolk nobles occupy the faded halls and stony fields of the Heartvale, surrounded by the barrows of their once-dominant ancestors.
Finding a pureblood member of the Heartfolk is likely to be impossible in the present day, but Heartfolk features are recognizable by any Kingdom-dweller: longer and leaner than the archetypical Gwerin, with broader cheekbones and darker hair ( or the occasional wild red mop). The broad lantern jaw and bushy beard of the iconic Heartsman is a common subject of ridicule by the boorish, and one of studious avoidance by the polite.
The history of the Heartfolk is largely lost to the continual war, trade, and intermarriage of the Gwerins’ first centuries on the isle.