The History of Khallum
Khallum was originally founded two thousand years ago by stranded sailors and passengers on penal colony ships for the dwarven empire of Zhadun that were headed from the large continent of Estral to their territory across the Carridion Sea to the coast of Tura. Tura is a lush and humid continent to the southeast of Estral. Zhadun had at one point begun to forcibly immigrate their elven citizens to their territory in Tura in order to improve their relations with the Elven nations of Khara and Valis by increasing the visible ratio of dwarven to elven citizens. The sea frequently had tsunamis and hurricanes during a territorial war between the native elementals and a fledgling goddess of water from the Iris Plane, which capsized the transport ships. Although the goddess prevailed, the restless fragments of the elementals created a maelstrom from which none could escape without elemental protection. These colonists, when they were stranded on the island, took advantage of their status as full citizens of Zhadun to become the local aristocracy, and began to attempt to establish contact with the empire. The vast majority of the penal colonists were human and elven, as the dwarven criminals were typically shipped off to the western mines or used as conscripts in the Imperial Outriders. Over time the humans interbred with the more progressive elves, until there was almost no pure human left on the island. Some of the dwarves settled inland, and isolated themselves from the other races to begin mining labyrinthian cities inside the island. The remainder of the dwarven criminals stranded on Khalum became the primary blacksmiths and architects for the new cities. Half-orc sailors from the Turan land of Setera were also frequently forced into the maelstrom by rogue tsunamis and storms, and joined the lower classes of Khalum’s monarchy, while forcing the current aristocracy to also put into place a parliament for representation of the lower races.
The Elven aristocracy, after two hundred years succeeded in contacting the by then declining empire of Zhadun. Zhadun had suffered a rebellion from their Turan colony, and had just begun a civil war over the worship of the sea goddess Noquis who was viewed as an interloper by the imperial deity of stone, defense, loyalty, and stubborness, Kugrubal. The Empire agreed to grant Khalum independence, if they, and the island of Bidra, which had undergone a similar situation, only with human traders between the Itran States and the Turan nations, would agree to send military aid to the Empire. The two islands agreed, and Khalum’s aid came in the form of four ranger companies lead by Adral Simara. Khalum’s monarchy was started by an elf woman named Insiri Ekrail, who was the spokeperson for the unificationists and conservatives among the elven aristocracy. Bidra sent several frigates and an artillery unit, under the protection of the god of water Ossullim. Despite this, the goddess Noquis conquered the coastal portion of the empire, and Kugrabal loyalists fled to the plains of Hannal, and formed the Drusal Republic. The survivors of both delegations, one company’s worth of rangers for Khalum, and two frigates and a single engineer from the artillery company for Bidra, fled to their respective nations, and proposed an alliance in case of an assault from the Zhadun Empire.
In the wake of the war between gods, many groups of refugees snuck into this plane, including the slave population of the Prince Dagara of the Quivlish Plane, commonly known as the Demonic Plane. These refugees, transformed from their previous forms into tieflings, were granted refuge in Khalum, in order to replace the dwarf workforce population who had joined Bidra. Adral Simara, unpopular with queen Inisiri, was appointed the liaison with these refugees, and began to organize the construction of the south eastern ports and temples.
During this time period, Adral, increasingly uncomfortable with the elven god’s philosophy, the racism and arrogance of his followers, turned to a new god of justice, Dokrun. Dokrun, through Adral, became the primary advocate for the tiefling refugees redemption, and they almost wholesale converted to him. Adral began a paladin order under Dokrun, starting with the survivors of his ranger company, and they named themselves the Stormbreakers.
About the time when Adral completed the temple city of Udrasin, dedicated to Dokrun, Inisiri learned that the original penal colonists had encountered and temporarily defeated the natives, a savage, brutal race with ties to lycanthropy known as the shifters. These shifters had been tricked into infighting, and had retreated from the coast into the jungle and the mountains for the last hundred and eighty years. The last dwarven settlements were slaughtered by the shifter’s new horde, and the Queen was at a loss for how to deal with this new threat. Her nephew the Prince Caias Dolumun, the only ranger veteran who served under Adral and survived the attempt to aid the Zhadun loyalisys but did not join the Stormbreakers, convinces Inisiri to send him as a diplomat, and attempt to convince them that the current government is unassociated with the dwarves of old, and negotiate a settlement. Although Caias does make headway, Adral catches wind of the negotiations, and demands that the shifters surrender those who slaughtered the civilians for justice, and the shifters refuse to surrender the warriors, or name them. This begins a guerrilla war that lasts for the next ninety years, until Caias, as the new king of Khalum due to his aunt’s only son’s death during the war, makes a settlement with them, and inducts the shifters into the nation. Adral has died at this point, and the tiefling Bojrn Vraq who succeeds him as Dokrun’s high priest accepts the decision.
In order to assure the cohesion of the nation, Caias altered the government structure of Khalum from a standard monarchy with a supporting aristocracy to a monarchy with a high council of five chancellors, one from each race. These chancellors handle the day to day jurisdiction of the Law Courts, the military, trade, magic, and diplomacy. Although the first council consisted of a tiefling Chancellor of Magic, an elf Chancellor of Diplomacy, a half-elf Chancellor of Trade, a shifter Chancellor of Law, and a half-orc Chancellor of War, the composition varied over the centuries.