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Basic Information

The profession of hetheleder is a fueller who harvests, dries, and sells branches of heather for fuel. Heather (also known as Calluna or Ling) grows rapidly and plentiful in places with fairly acidic soil, such as bog or moor areas. In the era before the harnessing of electricity and natural gas, burning heather was an important way to heat cities that were not close to major forests. In addition to being good for burning, heather has a number of other uses (roofing, used in leather tanning, medicinal effects, etc) as explained on the Calluna page. A hetheleder may also sell heather for those uses (see thacker), and/or dabble in other foraging work in boggy territory (see leech-collector and bog-iron hunter for some ideas on the moonlighting possibilities).



Game and Story Use

  • A boggy forager is an interesting line of work for an older ranger or druid who's no longer an adventurer, and with their knowledge of the local fens and swamps, they'd make a good guide should the PCs need to pass through the region.
  • The enmity or competition between different fueller types, such as a hetheleder and their rival charcoal-burner team, could provide some local color and sidequest material.
  • If your fantasy world has magical plants with properties that would make them an even better source of fuel (such as burning for a long time, or at a really high or low temperature, or having an enchanting / healing / pharmacological effect on those who inhale the smoke), it would make sense for something like a hetheleder profession to exist in your setting. Bonus points if the valuable plant is a carnivorous plant and the hetheleder analogs live very exciting lives.
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