Of Krolvin and Reivers
Of Krolvin and Reivers is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
I have a people, but not a home. I am from the Krolvin, and I am from men. I know of the Half-Krol of Krint, but I am not one of them, but I share their heritage. I share their history and I know their enemies. Be it through bondage or be it through the search for a home, of men and Krol I have gained a wisdom. This is the story of the Krol and of the men whom they drove to become the Reivers.
It is best to speak of the Krol first, so as to understand what they are and how they came from across the seas to infect the coastlines of Elanith. They are an ancient race that come from their own lands to the far west. More than a thousand years ago, they arrived and began their raids. Upon an island off the northwest coasts, they established a colony and called it Glaoveln. It is a corruption of their older tongue and means, "hunting grounds."
Glaoveln remains an important, though diminished, colony of the Krol. From its icy abode, slaves and wealth are directed west to the nations. It has no government because none is needed and is ruled by the will of the most powerful of the captains. Much of this has been reduced by the naval power of the human empire. The presence of that navy does not dissuade those who sail east to Glaoveln to make a name and fortune from the ships that ply the coastal waters of the continent. Some return to the nations, others remain content with the lifestyle they can build through plunder and violence.
Someone at some time now forgotten called the nations the Shattered Continent. It is a place of seemingly endless islands, some great, many small, and it is where the Krol are centered. It is not their homeland. It is said of their home that they were either driven out or burned it down about themselves and thereafter left. It is an exodus mostly forgotten. Their origin before the time of exodus is lost to them. All that remains is myth and tales of birth of the original Krol bursting from the stomach of a sea beast.
For all the bloodshed, the atrocities with which the race has painted the seas and their shores, the Krolvin are not monsters. By the considerations of the many races of Elanith, they are barbaric. They are savage. They are what nightmares dream to be. Yet, they are not monsters. In the Nations, there is a semblance of society. There are some who take pride in art and others in science. They are the exceptional few, but they exist. There is a culture rich with music and dark with the pleasures of the race. There are children, there are families, and some who have a many gloried history by the values of the Krol. Children are loved, perhaps not in the way most who read this are accustomed to, but they receive attention and are taught the way to be Krol. It is a rough and brutal childhood, and not too rarely, some do not survive it. It is seen as a pruning of the blood. There is no place for the weak in Krolvin society.
They have a faith, and if one knows of the half-Krol men of Krint, then he also knows some of what that faith follows and believes. They are navigators and take much from the skies and apply it to the world about them, finding paths across the waters and through the passage of time. There is an order amongst them that guards these secrets of divination and pass on the known and hidden traditions of the religion of the Krolvin. They feed the night sky with blood and flames and sail to war when comets near.
They are united by blood into great families, and those families into tribes. Those tribes in turn through centuries of warfare have ordered themselves into arrangements of nations, ruled by the strongest. From time to time, one tribe comes to dominate the rest, and the leadership changes. Within the tribes, the same occurs amongst the families. Of the nations, they form a loose confederation, and from time to time this confederation sends forth armadas to burn the world.
There are few enemies of the Krolvin. The humans have posed a considerable barrier with their navy. The elves, when they deign to venture on the seas, often pose some risk to the Krols' ships. Yet, there is but one race that the Krolvin truly fear. By any normal observation, one might call them elves as well. It is a label they refuse to acknowledge, and they claim no relation to the elven nations of Elanith. They ply the seas at times in single ships, and other times in small fleets. They are like gypsies of the waves and rarely speak of a permanent home. Only their captains know of those places and more often than not, they congregate in floating villages which can quickly be dismantled with little trace remaining of their existence. When faced with attack they are ferocious and fierce. They have no mercy for their attackers and take particular delight in extending the suffering of Krolvin storm crows. They will prey upon the Krolvin, pirates of pirates, and take what they wish and need. Little more is known of them; rarely has there been opportunity to learn of anything but what is observable from afar.
The Krolvin also had another enemy at one time. Today, their descendants are known as Reivers. The Reivers were once men, great men, in fact, as legend tells. One can suppose that they are still men, but lacking something that men should have. It may be rumor, it may be myth, but the stories speak of a once great kingdom in a place which has seen not a few such kingdoms and empires. Its name is forgotten and has been forgotten since the time before the Kannalan raised their banner; of a time when some men were free, and the others wore the chains of elven making.
The Krolvin have retained knowledge of them like a trophy of a defeated foe. That which has been passed down speaks of the people who became the Reivers, leaving the land of Elanith in a great fleet. Not all left. Some remained, and little is known of their fate. Of those who sailed forth, it was said they did so out of intent to stop a golden evil. What that evil was, and if it was stopped, is unknown. In time, the people from Elanith settled on a new continent located to the south of the Krolvin nations. There they built a new kingdom, one which rivaled that which had been left behind. There a great many beautiful thing was wrought before the Krol found them. They were a good people of good heart and upon meeting the Krolvin, they believed it their duty to destroy the Krol, as their ancestors had stopped the evil in the past.
What entailed was a war of decades. How the Krolvin defeated these good people is a mystery, but they shattered them as much as their own continent. The kingdom across the seas was destroyed and the remnant peoples of it fled across the waves in search of havens. The Krolvin pursued, hunting them like game. Those who survived that period were forced to change. They had to change their tactics, their views upon the world, and in the process, something was lost. The Krolvin would say that something was gained. They found their erstwhile prey had become something more like themselves.
Speak with a Reiver and you may tell no difference between them and a man of the empire of Turamzyrr. Yet, there is a viciousness within them, a willingness to do what other men would hesitate to think. A friend is a friend for life, but a foe who risks the lives of their blood is one who must be destroyed. Their settlements are often located in extremes, in mountains, in places of ice, and on isles that have longed been thought deserted. They raise their children like their fellow humans, but impart the lessons of the breaking that happened so long ago that only the pain of its lesson is remembered. The process shattered not only their people, but their faith in the Gods. Now they worship a different faith and a religion alien to most. It is a faith based on both forgiveness and vengeance. It teaches from a book, a relic of a time when such things were considered most holy. They remember that wisdom came from tomes, even if they no longer fill their halls and homes with them. Ultimately, the Reivers are a people who wish only to be left alone. They desire to live in peace, even if they prepare always for war. They are a lesson to what happens when the good are humbled by the savage.
Thus I leave you a short history and teaching of the two races bound and shaped by conflict of generations. Learn it well and know that one races destiny is never one endured alone, but may be shared by any.