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September 17, 2018 0 comments

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Having fun updating my game world of Kelleemah to VsD

Legends of Kelleemah - The Kalahroh

I recently talked to a Captain, who claims to have seen a Kalahroh. A storm had blown his ship off course and he found himself near the coast of Pulauranah. It was late so he anchored near the shore. He set a double watch for the night, for the waters around Pulauranah are plagued by small sea serpents of various kinds and an odd form of drake.

Sailors have reported hearing the singing of the Kalahroh, beautiful and haunting melodies. Some have even claimed to have seen movement along the shores. But until now, none had seen one up close. Kalahroh is said to be the lost spirits of the Anginperak who were left behind to die on Pulauranah.

The Captain rose early the next morning and was walking the deck. He gazed through the early morning mist and saw her. She appeared as a wisp of a girl with Elven features. She was armed with a primitive spear and was fitted with some type of hide armor, a red tattered skirt, and sandals. Bones were tied to one arm and she wore the skull of some beast on her head. He could see her so clearly and thought to shout out to her, but the mist closed in and she disappeared from view. He waited there for six hours to see if he could spot her again. But, he finally gave up and set sail once more.

I wonder, could there still be survivors on Pulauranah? If so, how come none of the expeditions that were sent to find them have ever returned?

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.

Elena Arda,

The current ruler of Elena Arda is High King Alca. It is located in the mountains north of the sea of the Kraken’s Den. They have many cities, towns, and villages throughout their many fertile valleys along the southern side. The Star Elves used to be the ruling clan of the Elven people, but after the Faith Wars, the High Kings of each of the clans sent representatives to form the Hosta Eldain. It is this council that now leads all of the Elven people, such as it is. But most of the Elven Kingdoms maintain their own realms. The Hosta Eldain is mostly an advisory council but does step in if the need is great. They are mostly concerned about the possibility of a 4th demonic war and the rise of new Darkmasters. The Elves of Elena Arda lost almost two-thirds of their people in the last demonic war.

They lost more than most and as such, they recruited the Mannish tribes of the Sali to settle in their southern lands along the coast in return for fealty to the High King. Per the settlement agreement, the Sali provided levies for war. The best of them would be chosen to lead the initial assaults against the foes of evil; for the Elves were loath to waste the lives of their own kindred in such efforts. They preferred to form their units into regiments of medium cavalry and to charge into combat once the levees and knights had broken up the enemy battle lines.

Even though the chosen mostly died in the initial assaults, those who survived became great leaders among the Sali. The Elves called those that they chose, the Mereka Mati, Those to Die. For the Sali, this was an honor and their warriors tried their best to be chosen. Eventually, the number of survivors had grown large enough that they formed an elite military order of the Mereka Mati. The adventures of this military order are the stuff of legends, and their renown has spread far and wide. Besides the Sali, the Elena Arda also have other fiefdoms that have sworn loyalty to King Alca. The three shires of the Halflings and the minor kingdoms of the Limitanei.

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.

The Sali settled in the lands of the Elves and serve the Elven King. They are independently governed though with many Fiefdoms, Duchies, and Free Cities. Thanks to the patronage of the Elves, they are one of the most advanced of the mannish tribes. They are famous for their warrior culture (treat as High Men). They form the center of trade in Kelleemah with trade routes to the North, West, and East. Their ports serve those to the South.

The Sali does not worship a particular pantheon but worships a variety of foreign deities which a council of priests manages and adds to when needed. These deities are chosen by these priests and they then commission the temples for them. They only do so when omens of possible doom appear. They are detailed in their research and careful of what deity they choose. They even have a temple dedicated to the unknown gods, one dedicated to the lesser gods (those that have lost their immortality), and one dedicated to the dead gods. The populace though, worships many deities that are not approved by the council. The popularity of these individual gods comes and goes with new faiths constantly popping up. They are often referred to as Mystery Cults. The religious council of the Sali has the greatest archive of knowledge on the individual gods and the pantheons.

The three of the council's temple complexes that are dedicated to the unknown gods, the dead gods, and the lesser gods are well guarded and hidden in secret locations. The priests of the Sali fret over offending any god. As such, the religious order of the Diisignotis worships the unknown gods. For there are many gods that are still a mystery. There were so many gods that were drawn into Kelleemah during the last demonic war. Many were evil, several claimed the same title, some that died were replaced by a new god using the same name, and some only had a small village of worshipers. Strife was inevitable. The belief is, that by worshiping them as a whole, they will keep from offending any of the gods.

During the Faith Wars, many gods were slain. But, the religious order of the Mortuss Deos does not believe that a god can ever be completely destroyed. By appeasing the "Dead Gods", they dedicate themself to their comfort in the hope that they will never rise again. The religious order of the Deorum Sanctorum, the Sanctuary of the Gods, is even more secretive. It is not known if this place truly exists, but is rumored to contain the greatest multitude of temples. Some say that each temple is built for a Lesser God that has lost its immortality. It is said that each has agreed to come there so as to be protected and worshipped. Other rumors say though, that the gods are not there willingly at all and are in fact prisoners. Indeed, records in the archive show that an elite unit of the Deorum Santorum has been sanctioned to capture these lesser gods if they become a threat.

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.

The Limitanei consists of various minor kingdoms from the North-Western realms that have joined the lands of the Elena Arda and serve King Alca.  They settled in the northernmost region of the Elena Arda and man the border walls and fortresses against the various barbarian tribes of the north. All of these petty kingdoms come from those very same lands; for there is much fighting between the northern tribes. Many have had to swear allegiance to their conquerors or flee to the borderlands where they petition to join the Limitanei and serve the Elven King. It was the Sali that convinced the elves to offer this arrangement as well as the name, Limitanei.

In addition, as the Faith Wars came to an end and the Chess wars were just beginning, a relative period of peace existed within the lands of the Dwarves, Sali, and the Elves along the Northern coastal waters of the Kraken's Den. The Dwarves of Sudri-Hanarr were busy churning out metal goods, the Elves were busy with the formalization of the Hosta Eldain, and thanks to the patronage of the Elves, the Humans known as the Sali were the most advanced of their kind.

During this time, King Alca had taken it upon himself to tour the lands of their allies, the Sali. Unknown to the King and his royal guard, a large band of hill giants had come down from the mountains of the Sudri-Hanarr and were waylaying caravans. Three haflings, John Fardearg, Tom Hoberd, and Bobby Clurichan knew of the giants and warned the young King. Armed with this knowledge and the help of the Hafling clans, King Alca took the fight to the giants, killing them or driving them away. Afterward, the King gave each of his saviors sizable land grants within the wildlands between the Sali and the Sudri-Hanarr. They were granted sovereignty over their own lands, but like the Sali, were subject to the summons of the King of Elena Arda during the times of war.

They mostly live in small settlements, preferring lands that are normally safe. In cities, Haflings band together in small well-maintained neighborhoods with many gardens. They get along with Mannish people, Dwarves, and the Fay as well. Throughout the world of Kelleemah, there are only three lands where Haflings rule themselves. They are the lands given to the Haflings by King Alca, who is fondly known as Alca the Fair. John Fardearg chose the rolling hills along the Southeastern borders. His clan built many hill towns and named the land Eorthbuend. They live the simple life of a farmer and deal little with the outside world. They are skittish and distrust strangers. Tom Hoberd chose the wild woods of the west and his clan built villages of wood along the many waterways that flow from the springs of Sudri-Hanarrr. They named their land Greneweald. They are very fond of their orchards and are a tough bunch, love to explore, and a few even travel great distances making beautiful maps of strange new lands. Bobby Clurichan chose the Northern lands along the trade routes between Elena Arda and Beorgumende to the Northwest, the Gold Road towards Sellevolk in the far North, and the Eastern Road to the far East. He named his land Wyrtgeard. His clan has proven to be good merchants who travel far and wide plying their trade. They dress well and have collected many trophies and oddities from their travel.

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.

The Sudri-Hanarr,

The Sudri-Hanarr have been stalwart allies of the Elves of Elena Arda since their arrival in Kelleemah. The Dwarven King, Eskidana, stood beside Alca when he was crowned as King. Sudri-Hanarr is best known for their detailed metalwork, from the finest jewelry to highly decorated armor and weapons fit for royalty. But two years ago, King Eskidana passed away after enjoying a long and fruitful life. He left two sons behind. The oldest is Qarabir, who became King; and his youngest is named Azatiiq.

King Qarabir was not a favored son of Eskidana, but Dwarven tradition dictated that the Kingship pass to the oldest surviving son. Qarabir is an arrogant King that loves power and gold. He raised taxes and ignored the Council of Elders. He promoted his allies to positions of power instead of by merit. As dissent started to increase, he became ever more controlling. He established strict rules for the people to live by and enforced his will on the citizens through the guardians of each of the Dwarf Holds. When some of the members of the Council of Elders began to speak openly against him, he dismissed the council and placed many of its members within the dungeons. This angered his people greatly and mobs formed to protest his treatment of the Elders. King Qarabir used the mobs as an excuse to declare martial law. The final straw came a few months later, just short of a year after the start of his reign. The Dwarves of Sudri-Hanarr paid special homage to the gods Brokk, Eitri, and Sindri who were brothers. They are known for their exceptional smith work, jewelry, and the making of magical weapons that are used by many of the gods. King Qarabir destroyed their temple and declared Litvargr as the sole god of the Sudri-Hanarr. He is the Dwarven god of vengeance and murder. His priests are the Lovar, worshipers of death that can be hired as assassins. Their cult has been banned for centuries. Litvargr is also known as the "Burnt God", for his body is covered in burns and he has no hair.

Azatiig had stood by his brother at first, and then tried to remain neutral, but he knew now that this could not stand. He declared King Qarabir and his allies to be Dheurtrug, a legal ruling that brands a Dwarf as being the worst of Dwarven Kind. The Dwarves are banished; for they are considered evil, deceitful, and totally without honor. The remaining Elders declared Azatiiq the new King, but Qarabir refused to step down. The Dwarves of Sudri-Hanarr fell into civil war and the gates of the Dwarf Holds have been shut for just over a year. Only two places still remain open. Both are held by Dwarves loyal to King Azatiig. The first is the Port City of Azwatis, this is a vital city for the rebellion, for it allows resources to enter into the realms beneath the mountains. The second is the Fortress of Qabirga, which is part of the Limitan Wall that separates the lands of the elves and the barbarian tribes. The Fortress is jointly garrisoned by both the Dwarves of the Sudri-Hanarr and Limitanei.

Just last month, Qabirga came under assault by an army loyal to King Qarabir. They came from the most northern Dwarf Hold of Sogiskakna. It was not just an army of Dwarves though; for Red Caps, Orcs, and Trolls were within their ranks. Upon news of the approaching army, the Fortress Commander lit the signal fires and sent forth the outriders. Qabirga was already well manned, but it swelled to three times its number by the time that King Qarabir’s army arrived. The battle was fierce and lasted for three days. Even then, Qarabir's army only abandoned their efforts when they learned that an enemy allied army was quickly approaching. It consisted of the medium cavalry of the Elena Arda, the light cavalry of the Grey Elves, the Military Order of the Mereka Mati, and numerous heavy cavalry from among the Feudal Lords of the Sali. Redcap wolf riders were dispatched to harass and slow down the army giving the Dwarves the time they need to escape back to Sogiskakna.

At this time, we do not know much about the war beneath the mountains. Nor do we know who is winning. This is especially troubling for the three Halfling realms, for they were established in the wilds between the lands of the Sali and the Sudri-Hanarr. If King Qarabir wins, the Hoberd Haflings could bring our only warning of approaching armies.

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.

The Dheurtrug,

Although the term Dheurtrug is a legal term used for labeling and banishing evil Dwarves that are without honor from Dwarven society, it has now come to mean a lot more. When a Dwarf now speaks of the Dheurtrug, they are specifically speaking of King Qarabir and those that follow him. Indeed, this also includes the Priests of Litvargr that are known as the Lovar. Since the start of the war, news of the open worship of Litvargr has spread throughout the realms of the Dwarves. According to rumors, the Dwarves of Kelleemah are searching for any signs of the outlawed cult within their realms. They are afraid that the cult could be growing within their own lands and do not want to suffer the same fate as the Sudri-Hanarr. But, there have been no mysterious deaths of late that are often attributed to the Lovar.

I have read the recent reports from the battle at Qabirga. It is most disturbing. First, the fact that any dwarf would ever fight beside humanoids, is something that would have been dismissed out of hand before this battle took place. Obviously, we must re-assess the Dheurtrug of Sudri-Hanarr and their possible alliances with the denizens of the dark. Second, and the most disturbing, is the changes in the followers of King Qarabir. Since the Dwarves mostly fought at night to harness the full potential of their humanoid allies, the grey skin of the Dwarves was at first thought to only be ash smudged on the skin to help them blend into the night. Upon closer inspection of the dead, this assumption turned out to be wrong. The skin has lost its color and turned an ashen grey and their eyes have turned a blood red. The Dheurtrug are changing and we do not know what power is behind this; and, we do not know to what end. Even though the cult of Litvargr has been around for as long as the Dwarves remember, there has never been a report of his followers physically changing. When this news reaches the other Dwarven realms, I am sure that the intensity of their efforts will increase drastically.

Signed,

 

Athair, Hosta Eldain, Lord of Destiny, and the Patron Saint of Orphans.