Regarding the Half-Krolvin
Regarding the Half-Krolvin is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Drawn from the collected libraries of Illistim by: Meachreasim Illistim, First Master of Lore First Published: 15 Jastatos of the year 5103 Modern Era
The Isle of Glaoveln, located somewhere in the arctic waters far west of the trading post of Pinefar, is inhabited by a large faction of Krolvin. The Krolvin are a barbaric, militaristic people. Frequent raids to other parts of Elanthia bring in slaves, foodstuffs and other bounty, upon which the Krolvin people survive. Krolvin have no actual government and are not generally ruled by any specific individuals.
The more prosperous Krolvin are the ones who own the most slaves, return from raids with the most bounty or kill the most people. One such Krolvin, known as Krintaur, owned his own ship and many slaves. He also had quite a large following of other Krolvin, since he'd proven himself to be extremely dangerous to rival ship owners as well as being savagely fierce in battle raids. Krintaur was also known for being fiercely ambitious and slightly more adept at thinking than the average Krolvin.
- 1 Geographica of the Isle of Glaoveln
- 2 The Breeding of the Half-Krolvin
- 3 Details of Krintaur's Story
- 4 The Story of Krintull
- 5 The New Home: The Isle of Krint
- 6 About Half-Krolvin
Geographica of the Isle of Glaoveln
Surrounding the military stronghold of Glaoveln are pristine beaches and rocky cliffs, starkly black and white. The landscape is tinged with a hint of steely blue-grey reflecting from the icy waters surrounding the island. Only the occasional rotting corpse and other debris of war mar the short expanse of rocky beach. Fairly well-maintained watchtowers preside over slaver-ships and warships of the mercenary navy. Krolvin soldiers occupy the watchtowers, their beady eyes scanning the horizon for invaders from the sea. Deadly catapults guard the ships and ports, manned by Krolvin soldiers, their ammunition stocked by slaves.
Ice formations cling to the cliffs and rocky beaches of this foreboding isle, the temperature obviously unfit for tropical beings. The Krolvin occupants, their grayish-blue skin blending into the surrounding frozen terrain, appear oblivious to the cold. Not so for the many slaves inhabiting the island, their freezing forms wrapped with mismatched layers of cloth and poorly tanned fur.
Rocky beaches, covered in ice and snow, give way to a ring of thick forestation. Icicles hang from the branches of the trees like stalactites in a frozen cave, ever ready to impale an unfortunate adventurer. The forest is deathly silent, though definitely not uninhabited. It forms a sound-muffling barrier to the inner island and a perfect trap for invaders, as evidenced by the weather-beaten arrows of past incursions protruding from the snow and trunks of trees.
As the forest thins out, wild fields of hay and crude wooden pens holding ragged, but hearty livestock comprise the landscape. A multitude of slaves completely covered from head to toe against the cold, attend to the animals for their Krolvin masters. Krolvin guards, their thick, blue-white hair blowing in the freezing wind, patrol the roads leading into the fortified city.
The walls of the city are constructed of layers of rough stone from the rocky island itself. Slaves can be seen hauling rock to the outer walls for repair, their Krolvin masters cracking their whips and grunting their guttural language loudly at them. Krolvin soldiers patrol the battlements and gates into the city proper.
The City of Glaeve
The Isle of Glaoveln is not large enough to support a truly sprawling population. As a result there was never a need for the population to spread beyond one main city that is used as a location for trade and commerce. This central city goes by the name of Glaeve.
What could be called a city square serves the market area for the majority of Krolvin trade, including the slave market that provides the laborers upon which the Krolvin existence relies. A large, primitive platform in the middle of the square is used to display slaves for sale as well as serving as the site of countless executions. Surrounding the square are ragged tents and stalls offering goods for sale or trade.
Beyond the market area are crude stone dwellings. Most of these larger homes are occupied by those who most likely owned enough slaves get them built as well as the current leaders of the groups bringing in the most booty from raids or other mercenary activities. Circling away from the square down dirt-filled alleyways are smaller cave-like homes, taverns, inns, and other buildings, their shapes all blending together into the characteristically short, blunt shapes of Krolvin architecture. Each of the buildings boasts little to distinguish it from its neighbor beyond the occasional hanging sign -- the buildings have no trim or facing, no paint or carving. No bright flowers or hearty plants enliven the small plots of snow-swept ground that each building squats upon.
The city square bustles with Krolvin traders, soldiers, mercenaries and slaves. The slave trade and near prosperity of the island increases as Krolvin ships bring in more and more slaves captured in their many successful raids upon the peoples of Elanthia.
The Typical Krolvin Dwelling
Crude and strong, sums up Krolvin architecture as displayed on the Isle of Glaoveln. As a warring, barbaric people, solid construction proves necessary for survival and the natural rock of the Island, is extremely useful for this purpose. Dwellings were built with more of an eye to defense and protection than any other purpose. Towers, if they existed at all, were built as lookouts and a high ground for archers -- not for the potential ornamentation to the structure they might present. Most Krolvin architecture was primarily built on the square or rectangle, as these shapes made the most use of available land and building materials. Ornamentation on rooflines or gateposts or walls was simply not present, after all, something that frivolous could obscure a guard's view or give an opponent a potential handhold.
The larger rock dwellings were built haphazardly around the market area with the outermost buildings inhabited by average soldiers, sailors and workers of the slave and ship owners. Crude rock storage buildings were also interspersed within the other buildings for holding weapons, food and other spoils of war. It is said that tunnels were also built beneath the more prosperous Krolvin dwellings which held stockpiles of supplies against siege as well as their more precious items stolen in raids, such as gems or silvers. Krintaur was one such Krolvin who had built a series of cellar-like rooms beneath his dwelling. Explorations into the cellars beneath Krintaur's home revealed that his cellars extended nearly to the outer walls of the city. Holding pens and cells provided evidence that these cellars were used for other purposes than just storage.
The Breeding of the Half-Krolvin
The beginnings of Half-Krolvins, as a race, dates back to around 4050 M.E., just after the Krolvin flotilla began military aggression against River's Rest. As slaves, captured in raids and brought back to the Krolvin home island of Glaoveln, became more and more common, startling discoveries came to light.
Certain Krolvin began to use captured females of predominantly human descent as concubines and inevitably, the first of many half-breed children were born. Human slave women produced half-breed children to their Krolvin masters with little more difficulty than a regular pregnancy and delivery posed. Giantman women were captured rarely, but of those few captives, it seemed they too could occasionally bear children to the Krolvin with little more danger to their health than bearing a child to a Giantman man posed in the ordinary course of things.
Although elven women were captured as well, they did not last long once they were forced into the bed of a Krolvin. Apparently, though the elven women became pregnant shockingly quickly (the mix of Krolvin and elf was extremely likely to result in conception) the pregnancies led to certain death or permanent barrenness for the elven women. Around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy the elven maids would miscarry a hugely developed and terribly disfigured child. In most cases, the miscarriage would mean the end of the elven maid's life, and if they survived the miscarriage, without fail they were barren from then on.
Halfling slaves subjected to these violations did not survive even as long as the elven women, their bodies rejected the Krolvin spawn violently, ending the unfortunate halfling's life shortly after any conception occurred.
Contrarily, those of Dwarven stock did not seem to suffer any of the dangers the elven and halfling women faced. Throughout all the verbal lore of those taken captive by the Krolvin, there is not a single mention of any Dwarven maid being impregnated by a Krolvin -- it would seem that Dwarf and Krolvin are completely unable to reproduce together.
The Krolvin slaver, Krintaur was apparently more capable than the average Krolvin occupying Glaoveln. He kept notes, and in one passage of those notes was the story of one of the lower ranking Krolvin guards, a promising young Krol by the name of Tryagke, who became secretly involved with a Dwarven woman who went by the name Marleynta. Marleynta was captured along with many others from her village, as well as her two children she had borne to a Dwarven husband. The relationship was apparently a love match on both sides, one of those hopeless romances doomed to a sad end. Krintaur notes that he watched the couple's entanglement from afar, allowing it to continue to see if the relationship would bear fruit. There is no record of a child being born of this union, though Krintaur's notes indicate that Tryagke had sired several bastard children on human slaves. From this evidence, as well as the failure of his experiments to ever produce a child of Dwarf/Krolvin stock, Krintaur concluded (correctly it seems) that it was impossible for the two races to mix.
Any Half-Krolvin child born on the Isle of Glaoveln was automatically considered a slave by other Krolvin. Only the non-Krolvin parentage was taken into consideration, and any non-Krolvin on that island was considered property.
Details of Krintaur's Story
Krintaur was fairly prosperous by Krolvin standards. He owned his own ship, many slaves and had a rather large Krolvin following. Krintaur's fierceness in battle raids and his penchant for thought, allowed him to amass a small fortune. With his many slaves, he caused a fairly large dwelling to be built, as well as tunnels and cellars beneath it. Krintaur took special note of the rising numbers of Half-Krolvin children in service to various households and began studying these half-breeds.
During his studies, he noticed the innate quickness, their ability to be trained and the ease with which they picked up cantrips as well as games of physical agility. He realized that though they would never rival those of pure Krolvin blood for sheer power, they could be shaped into a flexible, multi-talented force worth reckoning with.
Information gleaned from Krintaur's notes reveal that he began to buy up newly arrived human and giantman slaves. He also began buying the half-breeds as they became available for auction (many Krolvin slave-owners did not wish to keep their half-breed children, as a faint stigma was attached to those Krolvin households that sheltered the half-breeds). Thus, Krintaur's breeding program began.
The majority of the experimental births were engineered through a loyal Krolvin male of low rank being granted a female slave for his own use. The results of these unions became the property of the Krintaur. There are only a handful of recorded instances of a Krolvin woman giving birth to a half-breed child.
The Story of Krintull
One such Krolvin woman, as noted in Krintaur's journals, did appear to have several half-breed children. Krintull, apparently a sibling of Krintaur, became enamored of a human male slave of her own. Krintaur speaks of this relationship in disgust and repulsion, but it did not stop him from taking the children of Krintull and using them in his growing army of half-breeds.
From the stories handed down and from some cryptic records, it seems that Krintaur intended to breed an army of Half-Krolvin answerable only to him, and with it, make the Isle of Glaoveln his own, as the first ruler of the Krolvin people. Unfortunately for him, before he had the time to breed enough soldiers, certain jealous ship owners became suspicious of his slave buying and breeding habits and planned a raid upon Krintaur's home to confiscate his slaves and goods for their own.
Krintaur got wind of the planned raid through certain contacts that remained loyal to him and he and his "experiments" boarded ship that same night and fled before dawn.
As the sun rose, spyglasses trained back on the Isle of Glaoveln showed that they had left none too soon. Krintaur's home was marked by a brilliant red-orange glow on the barren cliff line of Glaoveln - his dwelling and possessions were being burned to the ground in the icy dawn.
The New Home: The Isle of Krint
Krintaur sailed from Glaoveln and eventually landed on another cold, rocky, desolate island in the same arctic seas. Reminding him of his home isle of Glaoveln, now forever denied to him, he decided to stay there and continue his breeding program, using his existing slaves and their half-breed children to construct a new home and provide him with the labor necessary to build his domain.
Many years after establishing the island as the new home, Krintaur's breeding program resulted in a veritable population explosion. As Krintaur' s breeding program continued and the older slaves eventually became feeble or died out, the majority of the population on the island shifted until it was comprised of Half-Krolvins who were born and matured on Krintaur's island. As time passed, these half-breeds naturally began to gravitate to each other and form small bands or clans. One clan, known to the other Half-Krolvin as the Gob'tak, were more aggressive than the other clans and began to devise a plan to rid themselves of their oppressor, Krintaur and gain their freedom. When the other clans, the Bar'toth (a clan of mostly builders and artisans), the Hos'tau (made up primarily of those more adept at magic), and the Swu'lin (the caretakers and growers) heard about what the Gob'tak had planned, they too joined in the conspiracy. Once these clans banded together, they did, indeed, become a formidable force and easily vanquished their oppressors, including their former master, Krintaur.
Upon the death of their oppressors, the colony of half-breeds flourished on the small island. They continued to practice the skills Krintaur had forced them to learn; magic, swordsmanship, archery, building and the basics of engineering among others and were a formidable force in their own right. Eventually, their numbers began to expand beyond what the resources of the small island could support.
Many of the older adults remembered tales they'd heard passed down from their natural mothers -- the original slaves captured by the Krolvin forces. They recalled hearing of a vast and rich land, where they surmised that even half-breeds could find their fortune. Using the skills they learned as slaves, they built and outfitted enough ships to carry them to what they hoped would be a land of plenty.
Eventually, a cold, icy storm blew them to ground somewhere in the northern wastes. Fortunately, their hearty upbringings on the frozen island of Glaoveln, and later on Krintaur's island inured them to the cold. As well, their native Krolvin blood and long exposure to the northern sea storms bred a certain amount of immunity to cold into them.
In the northern glaciers they formed a small outpost to serve as a base while they ventured out into the world. Eventually, curiosity led them to venture south along the coastline until they began to encounter settlements, where they were unfailingly met with hostility. In those travels, they inevitably stumbled across other Half-Krolvins, always the result of rapes, usually during a raid or battle and its aftermath. Through those encounters they discovered that theirs was the only Half-Krolvin outpost known to exist.
Half-Krolvin most often wear their heritage in their bodies, an undeniable badge of identification. Most Half-Krolvin have pale skin, but their skin tones are within the range considered "normal" on a human, except that they often support a blue or blue-grey tinge, as you see on a human who has been overexposed to the cold. They also tend to be hairier than the average human, and much hairier than the average elf. Many Half-Krolvin tend to have out-of-proportionally long arms ending in long hands with elongated fingers and swollen-looking knuckles.
Often the elegance and delicacy of their fingers is remarked upon, along with some comment as to how the swollen knuckles mar the beauty of the hand. Also, in profile it becomes apparent that the forehead of Half-Krolvins tends to slope backward slightly into the hairline and they often have a concave chin shape. The most obvious attribute that is used to prove Half-Krolvin heritage is slight hair growth from the top four vertebrae of the spine. This is obviously easy to cover with clothing in most circumstances, but can be construed as damning evidence if a being's heritage is called into question of having Krolvin blood.
Half-Krolvins excel at physical tasks, but are also passable at magical endeavors, though they are not as gifted in that area as the elves. They will never be among the most powerful mages or sorcerers, but if the occasion calls for it, they are capable of learning the arcane arts. Half-Krolvin tend to be least suited to the more spiritual arts of the cleric or empath, though there are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Krolvins are superior warriors and physical rogues, though they have a harder time with lockpicking and magic skills that some rogues use than other races might. Their descendant's hearty stock afforded them a natural talent for physical, outdoor skills as well as a slight resistance to cold.
The Half-Krolvin as a race do not have separate religious convictions from the rest of Elanthia, nor do they have a patron god or goddess. It is most common for Half-Krolvins to have no particular deity that they follow, however, when they do follow a deity is it most common for it to be one of the Arkati that is devoted to violent or war-like pursuits. Their Krolvin bloodlines (and the penchant for war and conquering attendant thereto) and typically violent and terrible childhoods lend themselves to these beliefs.
There has not been an organized enclave of Half-Krolvin with any purpose beyond that of continued existence, since Krintaur was killed, other than a normal clan-type unity. As a result, there is no formal government of any sort among them. Their government is that of whatever city or town they happen to live in, insofar as each individual Half-Krolvin chooses to follow the government's edicts.
Even though the people of the original clans have been spread out among the general population of Elanthia, there are many Half-Krolvin that still cling to their clans and clan names as the only heritage they've ever known.