History of Khan'Kel Bazaar
History of Khan'Kel Bazaar is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
A Brief History of the Khan'Kel Bazaar of River's Rest
Located in the town of River's Rest, the Khan'Kel Bazaar feels like stepping into another world for many, with its lebbek trees, minarets, and haphazard (and crowded) layout. Built up sometime before the First Elven War, the bazaar was founded by a traveling troupe of half-elves and dark elves (and later joined by Shakat) eager to settle and find a bit of permanence while allowing their fellow traveling families a place to temporarily sell their wares.
Because of the transient nature of the bazaar, and its confusing, maze-like layout, it became a natural focal point for underground business in River's Rest. Local "River Rats" either lived, conducted business, or both in the bazaar, and its reputation for fomenting rebellion was unmatched for decades.
During the First Elven War, several homes, buildings, and other structures were destroyed as a punitive measure meted out by Emperor Krellove's troops. Intent on setting a firm example, all men from the bazaar between the ages of 16 to 40 were brought forward to the town commons and their ranks decimated -- one in ten slaughtered in the Emperor's name as punishment for smuggling during the war (said smuggling allegedly including espionage for the elves and not the human empire).
The bazaar was rebuilt and continued for centuries as a home for those oft considered outcasts or unwanted, and its warren-like nature was reinforced with each new addition, drawing smugglers and other River Rats like a moth to a flame.
When the great quake of 5018 nearly destroyed River's Rest, the bazaar was no exception. What wasn't leveled was burned, but the ruling families of the bazaar were no strangers to rebuilding, and even as the town itself was rebuilt, so too was the bazaar.
Over the centuries, little has changed. The bazaar is predominantly a refuge for half-elven, Shakat, and dark elven travelers, and they maintain a firm grip on the bazaar's operation but do so entirely within the shadows. While it has grown and features several pockets of wealth and relative tranquility, the Khan'Kel Bazaar still draws the rebels and revolutionaries and those seeking a life free of the yoke of oppressive rule.
Names and Language
Several of the names found in the bazaar are believed to be an amalgamation of Tehir, Dark Elven, Common, and perhaps even a bit of old Kannalan. Rumors abound as to whether these are isolated terms or the remnants of a secret trade language, not unlike the Tehir's cipher. Of the archaic script found about the bazaar, none will say, but its heavy reliance on stylized swashes and curls is hypothesized to be a written version of this possible trade language. Regardless, those of the bazaar, if they know, are not open to sharing their secrets on that yet, but information was provided on some of the more common terms found throughout the bazaar.
El Mikimen and El Kiza: While these are not actual names, the River Rats of Khan'Kel believe these terms honor The Phantom Tempest and The Crooked Dragon, a pair of much-celebrated smugglers (and, some say, assassins) active just before the earthquake.
Galabia: Sold at the Shop of Abdul, galabias are common amongst the travelers and denizens of the bazaar and are believed to have originated there. They are ankle-length, collarless tunics or robes with a loose fit and wide sleeves. It may or may not have buttons; hoods are rare. It is traditionally worn beneath a shroud or kaftan.
Khan'Kel: This was the surname of the half-elf leader of the first group of travelers who chose to break from their troupe and set up a permanent home. She was said to be a strong, practical leader.
Qasr al-Shawg: One of the first victims of the Elven War decimation, Qasr al-Shawg is still spoken of in reverent terms if one listens closely. It is believed that he was the leader of a massive espionage and smuggling operation.
Taquynian: This is perhaps a small region or village in the Southron Wastes, at least according to the cafe proprietor. It may just be a marketing ploy to sell his coffee and whiskey, as no one has yet to confirm an area by that name.
Tibek: While they refuse to translate the term itself, bazaar denizens will admit it has something to do with the remarkable statue in Tibek Circle. Whispers hint at an Onarian cult, but any questioning is met with blank stares and cold shoulders.
Yelek: A collarless, sleeveless vest or waistcoat, typically heavily embroidered, with a small pocket on each side, yeleks are often worn by those residing in the bazaar. For any wishing their own, Abdul is happy to oblige.
- Written by GM Xynwen, 2023
- Thanks to GM Gyres for their ideas that helped tie this together
- A Premium Neighborhood that is home to:
- Al'Khalili Coffeeshop
- Basket Merchant
- Shop of Abdul
- And several lovely opportunities for a home!