Half-Krolvin colonies is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
The Colonies of the Half-Krolvin
I am Pla'dushte gno Krol, and a wanderer. I have sailed many seas and gathered countless stories. These stories cannot be heard with open ears if one does not know from whence they came and of whom they are of. For this purpose, I will tell you more of the people you may know as the half-krolvin.
The Wandering Blood: Half-Krolvin without a Home
The "Wandering Blood" or "Pla’dushte gno Krol," as those like myself have been called by other half-krolvin, are those who are the product of isolated relationships between krol and non-krol, or half-krolvin and non-krol, sometimes romantic and sometimes violent. The krol view us as slaves ("p'tuu") in the same manner they view any half-krolvin. The Half-Krolvin of Krint views us most often with either pity or dismissal. The pla'dushte gno krol are considered inferiors by those of Pla'dush gno Krint, for either being born outside of the Krint bloodlines or for their Krint bloodlines being "weakened" by the combination of a Krint half-krolvin and non-krol. The Pla'dush gno Krint believe themselves superior due to their bloodlines, the ultimate combination of krol and non-krol.
The pla'dushte gno krol are most often found along the western coasts of Elanith, particularly from the areas north of the Turamzzyrian Empire to the arctics. Among the Pla'dush gno Krint, be it on Krint or colonies of the Pla'dush gno Krint, we are undesired visitors. The Pla'dush gno Krint take great pride in their familial bloodlines and will not tolerate the possibility of outside blood entering it. For a pla'dushte like myself to be allowed to remain in one of these communities, he or she would have to undergo some form of physical act to render them unable of contaminating the bloodlines. Such pla'dushte, eunuchs as they might be called elsewhere, are given the title Tre'jod and treated with respect. Such tre'jod can often rise to high positions under the belief that they have shown true loyalty by volunteering to take the most drastic step to preserve the purity of the dush. The Pla'dush gno Krint do have a special and very rare ceremony known as Tikkak Gno Pla'dush. The ceremony, an initiation ritual, may vary from community to community, but often has the commonly shared attributes of multiple members of the dush swearing that the pla'dushte are worthy to join the bloodlines and a recounting of what deeds or achievements support this belief. More traditional forms of the ceremony required a form of combat or the performance of a task that required the combination of intelligence, cleverness and strength. All such ceremonies generally conclude with a literal mixing of blood with the participants, the pla'dushte and supporters, slicing their palms into a single container and the pla'dushte being marked with this blood. While extremely rare, those pla'dushte who undergo the ceremony are treated as Pla'dush gno Krint and allowed to marry into the bloodlines. To be granted this great honor is a pla'dushte must show that their blood is of equal value to the dush's.
Beyond the Pla'dush gno Krint, the pla'dushte are often left to wander without ever truly finding a home. Due to their wandering, they often develop skills and abilities that might ingratiate them to communities or sustain them in the wilds of their lineage based isolation.
Geography of Colonies
The colonies of the Blood stretch wide across the six oceans and more are established with the passing of every year. They are not restricted to the continent that many know as Elanith, but are spread out upon islands and archipelagos, and even farther, more distant lands. Their placement often comes by trade and rumor, as no member of the Blood can accurately speak of every place of settlement. Navigation requires the ability to locate one, and from there to another, and then another.
Around the southern tip of Elanith they have sailed, and beyond the cursed isle of ruins and nightmares, where even the elves that slip across the waves do not visit. In the forgotten places of the continent Atan Irith, the Blood have settled. Our sails have crossed the forsaken straights of mists and maelstroms to the south of that continent to the place that reaches out to the frozen lands at the bottom of the world. It is a place new of memory, but littered with ancient ruins and mountains that shield our people from knowing the depths of its secrets. Some wonder if this was the burnt land, the origin of the krol and where they were cast out, and others wonder if it is the place they destroyed around themselves, and then others doubt the krol ever had settled its shores. Ever eastward our sails have been pushed along by the winds of the Winged One to the place of endless islands known as the Shattered Continent. Here the Krol are strongest and the Blood is weakest. It is a land that one day we will take as we drive the krol into the depths of the seas and into the forgotten places of the conscience. This place of countless isle lies in the northern seas with its farthest islands cursed in eternal cold and winter, while to the south, joined by so many of these same islands is another place. It is three islands, but too big to be called islands, and too small to be separate continents. Perhaps once they were one continent, but by what reason Khar'ta separated them, we do not know. A race of humans once dwelled upon one of these islands, it is said by those who recall such things, but it was a time many centuries ago. Over the ages, some of them left, but legend claims others remain, hidden on one or the other of the vast pieces of land, hidden from the outer world, hidden from the krol. These small continents lie west as the storm eagle flies from the human occupied bay of Maelstrom. The Shattered Continent lies in the same manner, but away from the place the krol call Glaoven.
These are the seas that our people have sailed, and the lands on which colonies are settled or will be settled someday.
The Islands: Dekhat and Kakhan
In a time forgotten by my human ancestors, the nations of the Blood were bound by violence into an empire, and such a thing directed the expansion of the realm controlled by ship, sail and suffering. In the East, they found a great island, Glaoveln, they named it, and from it they raided the continent just over the horizon. Gloaveln lay to the north and so others sought a place to the south, and there they discovered an archipelago of islands in what the humans call the Great Western Sea. The largest was known as Dekhat, which in the old tongue means 'First Among Lessers,' and the second largest, Kakhan, which loosely translates to the things left to slaves after the Blood have eaten. Under the shadow of a volcano, the nation of the Blood raised the banner of settlement, but the peace of empire did not last and eventually, the fear to stay as one gave way to the greed of the many. Rivalries formed, blood was spilled, and the settlement on Dekhat was fractured. The losers fled to Kakhan, and it was at that time the island received the name it now carries.
For many years, the two settlements knew only a fragile peace with each other. Conflict was not rare, but it rarely conflated into a true battle of peoples. In time, the two islands forgot why they had originally loathed the other and subsisted purely on the outrages of the recent. They jealously guarded the shoals and beaches of their respective islands and enjoyed from afar any perceived misery of the other. By chance, several damaged human vessels, the remnants of a fleet sent to combat piracy between the Isle of Kezmon and the city of Tamzyrr were forced ashore by a tempest on Kakhan. The crews of these ships became the third party in the cool conflict between Dekhat and Kakhan, and for many years, these humans and the krol of Kakhan were relentless in their hatred for the other. It was a much needed alliance between the two against the clan of krol on Dekhat that began the change in relations, one which eventually resulted in the laying down of arms and the creation of a new unified clan of human and krolvin. Divided Kakhat became one, but Dekhat refused to become anything but the enemy of its sister island. If they had forged one community instead, perhaps they would not have fallen so easily to Keelagh the Scarbeard.
It was whispered in that time Keelagh had once been a Blood Fist, second only to a Czag Dubra, but had been exiled for blood magic. Despite being outcast for dabbling in something so terrible the krol forbade it, Keelagh still managed to gather those whose lust for wealth outweighed what moral consciences can be found in their Krolvin minds. He left the Shattered Continent with a navy of ships and sailed to find a new place from which to prey upon the human continent and to experiment freely in his magic. That place was the archipelago, home to Dekhat and Kakhan, and upon Dekhat his forces landed and subjugated the krol who had long settled those shores. Slavery is common on the Shattered Continent, but with the advent of raids upon Elanith, it was rare to enslave the full-blooded krol, a traditional right of victors over the defeated in battle. Upon these slaves, the Scarbeard began to experiment. Due to its forbidden nature, little can be said of what blood magic Keelagh engaged in, but it is something often cruel and always with punishment upon those whose blood is involved. The enslaved krol often would escape to Kakhan to seek sanctuary among their former enemies, but their flight only drew Keelagh's attention to a fresh source of candidates for testing.
Keelagh's hunger for more victims, however, drove his enemies together, uniting the krolvin of both islands and the humans, too. In time, that cooperation leads to the merging of the three communities and then into the mingling of bloods. A new race, strengthened against the blood sorcerer and his pirates, overwhelmed Keelagh and his men and slew them. The entrances to his tunnels and lair in Dekhat's volcanic mountain were sealed with avalanches and so it seemed the past was buried and the emerging half-krol people would live a peaceful existence. These islands were not discovered in peace, but were born in the spilling of blood, and so peace will never find its home among them. Decades passed and one day a Krolvin vessel sailed into sight. It was a small vessel and commanded by a horribly scarred krol by the name of Sankir the Bloodfist. The people of Dekhat and Kakhan had treated all krol neutrally and if they came in peace, so they left in peace. Sankir came in peace and soon began asking questions of Keelagh. The foolish among the people spoke of the pirate and the buried secrets of his lair. So began another plague of terror upon the archipelago, as Keelagh's successor discovered his work and turned it to his own dark desires.
When the blue comet traced the sky, Sankir departed to join a great krolvin fleet set upon the island of Teras. In this breath of time, the elders gathered and recognized that perhaps Sankir could be defeated away from his stolen home. Sixteen brave heroes, eight men and eight women, lead by Colgan and Airn, departed with specially forged weapons to hunt down Sankir and his supporters. They did not return home, but did make peace with a group known as the Fortuneers, who brought an end to Sankir's reign.
In the North
Several of the oldest colonies are found in the lands of ever winter. The first colony of Krint holds special honor and is known as Burzte. Almost of the same size as Krint, it is known for its fine leather goods made from the abundant and large sea creatures that live in the frozen north. Ice is used second only to wood in the construction of its buildings and structures and form the majority of the thick walls the city has raised along its perimeter for protection against those krol foolish enough to attack the colony. Few who are born in Burzte venture from it for long periods of time; it is a place of pride to those who are native, for they live as examples of the strength of the Blood. They dwell where no halfling or even giant would reside, and call the white landscape their dominion. The members of their Gob'tak are legend in their ability to disappear in the most frigid conditions and to take the unwanted by surprise. In the heart of winter, the colony is safest by their reputation, as no race as of yet has dared to test the line between fact and myth.
Not far from Burzte is an island kept warm by the currents that sweep up toward the top of the world. Here is located Onnalak. Onnalak was the third colony established from Krint, but the second oldest. The second colony disappeared many years ago and it is not spoken of by those who keep to the older traditions. Onnalak is a heavily timbered island and thus, a place renown for its shipwrights. The goorts and goort dubras of Oonalak are highly prized by the Blood who seek lives upon the waves, be it transporting cargo, fishing, or harassing the krol. The relative abundance of timber means that Oonalak is a city of wooden towers. Each klinast in Onnalak have halls that rival or surpass Krint's in their height and decoration. Unlike Burzte, which is a place of strong old tradition, Onnalak is a city of the young with youthful ideas. Tradition is welcomed, but open to interpretation and alteration. The pla'dushte are most welcome in this colony and most often accepted without the extreme sacrifice required to become tre'jod. It is not a coincidence that those native of Onnalak are often required to prove their worth to those of Krint or Burzte out of fear that their bloodlines have been weakened by such lenient polices. Despite this higher expectation of strength, the most acclaimed members of the Lar'toth often call Onnalak home.
Beyond the Western Sea
There are an ever-growing number of colonies beyond the Western Sea as the humans call it. Those colonies are often founded by the Rafi'kaes from the established colonies of Elanith. Among those of Krint, these founders are held in high regard for with every colony they strengthen the claim of the Blood to the seas. They brighten the flame of our race and erode the fear that inhabits many races of the unknown, of the unobservable horizon. The seas are open and they are free, and the Blood shall know them. The colonies dot the coastlines of the other continents, even in secret within the Shattered Continent, where the ships of the Blood seek out the slave galleys where those not of Krint, but of the blood, remain in chains. For decades the krol have traded slaves from the east to the west, and so for decades there have been born into bondage those who know nothing but the life of a p'tuu. These who are our kindred in spirit, if not by lineage, must be saved and so the bravest of the Blood will dare the darkest waters of the krol to rescue them.
The age and isolation of a colony can be spoken of to its fires by the shore. Beacon fires are often lit to signal the entrance of safe harbor and sometimes false ones to guide those unaware and unwelcomed onto rocks nearby. Other fires, holier fires, also burn signaling the departure of ships or fleets, depending on the size of the settlement. These fires are rarer and hark back to an older belief, one inherited from those who once dared to call themselves our masters. The krol often celebrate with bonfires their departures and returns, and lit them with offerings of lives to the God Khar'ta. Into the flames they cast their p'tuu, captured enemies and criminals to appease Khar'ta and to be granted good fortune on their hunts or to thank him for a wealthy and productive return home. The ashes they collect and cast into the sea to transmit the offering. We of the Blood do not perform such savage acts.
It is true that sacrifices are still made to Khar'ta but it is only those who volunteer to offer themselves to him. No greater gift of praise can be made to him, than to offer one's own life. Some communities, in an effort to separate themselves further from the krol, volunteers will chain themselves in a sacred hole exposed in the rocks at low tide and there await the rising waves and the embrace of the foam and water. These volunteers will adorn themselves with weights shaped like tears, worn about the neck and waists.
There are also sacred sites, wrested away from the unworthy krol to belong to the masters of the sea. These places are often remote, on islands or cliffs, and frequently visited by only the most revered religious leaders of our colonies. Sacrifices by coral daggers are often performed at these places when the times, events, and needs require such things. As there is nothing that waits us but to be devoured by Tiktez'te beyond the Krefkra, there is no reward for those who volunteer but the knowledge that they have aided their friends, family and people. Sacrifice for our people is never meant to benefit those who sacrifice themselves.
For lesser sacrifices, other things are often offered, be it creatures or herbs or material goods from far away lands. Temples or sacred places for all the gods are honored.
These are the people of whom my stories are born. They are whom I belong to, but will never be among as dush. Their sails are always full and their goorts always chasing the horizon. When you know them, then I will tell you their tales and sing their songs.