Kjellos

“The people of Kjellos are often called crude, or barbaric. This is a ridiculous conclusion to come to, and one that has clearly been made without the support of any observation whatsoever. Kjellans live in a land that was once ruled by the Second Empire and inherited its customs. If they are warlike it is because the true Troll-like barbarians of the northlands lie right over their border. If they are crude, it is because their appetites and humors are greater than the milk-men of the Thyrnian plains. Let any man look for the prophesized return of the Emperor, then let him look to Kjellos.”

In defense of barbarism, Baldus Vannanol, Oprian Scholar, X332-5

Kjellos

Introduction

The land of Kjellos is a hard one, born from the ancient province of Kelinum, once the farthest reach of the First Empire. The Karhart kings have ruled at Elborg for generations, having taken control of the lands of the old Tholhart invaders; all foreigners, of course, but the Kjella have since grown accustomed to their rule, and as it is the old Karharts are more like Kjella now than anything else.

Here I have written a description of the farthings of Kjellos, the people of the Kjella, and the history of the land. Like all the Sun Shores, it is a hard place, still somewhat wild.

-Baldus Vannanol

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History of Kjellos

Kjellos, Theris, Ambar, Hurol, and Voyoni were Valelan strongholds settled by the so-called “barbarian” peoples before the arrival of the First Imperial Mileans in the Fourth Age. These were not the Thegnari of the eastern imperial marches, but the northerly Valela who would eventually rebel against the empire in whole during the War of the Mages. The province of Kelinum was, itself, one of those who joined the armies of Rho’anir the Shapeless during the Second Empire.

The Valela barbarians filtered down from the north during the Third Age and drove out the indigenous goblin and kobold tribes, settling in a ring around the Bay of Ahrain, named after the goblin kingdom located on the bay isles. Their settlement was encouraged by the Greatwood elves, who used them as a buffer between the forests and the goblins of Rootwood and the nascent Tsaphanians and Negevens.

The region, known for the peninsula of Kjella (k-YEHL-a), was quickly dominated by outposts from the First Empire at the insistence of the elves. This became a naval base for the imperials on the Sun Shores as well as their armies; the Greatwood elves were bolstered by the presence of their allies so near, and the Mileans established order and law over the barbarian Valela. This began the Valelan settlement of the central empire, as many Kjellans were inducted into imperial administration.

During the civil wars of the First Empire (between the various Pretenders, Usurpers, warring Cults, and the Imperial Schools of Sorcery) the permanent imperial armies of Kelinum chose their own succesor-emperor to stand against the usurpers of the heartland. The general Thesus Spear-bearer, who had risen as a soldier to become the ruler of the rapidly diminishing western arm of the empire, having been proclaimed emperor by his men. After the death of Thesus Spear-bearer, the magnates of Sun Shores joined with Rho’anir the Shapeless, supplying men and means during the War of the Mages.

When the western empire finally collapsed (with the defeat of the High Mages of who stood against the Second Empire). The magnates fell to warring amongst themselves and Kelinum fractured into small principalities. Its major cities were warded from chaos by the Milean temple; Metropolitans were bastions of order in a mostly orderless wilderness. This group of Metropolitans banded together to found the Order of the Forge Divine, which knit together the northern Sun Shores during the Sixth and Seventh Ages. However, the Forge contracted to the outlines of Kelinum during the Eighth Age when the kings of the Sun Shores (particularly those of the infamous kingdom of Ambar) conquered the northern regions and displaced them.

The Ambarites were destroyed by reavers in the Eighth Age, and during most of the Ninth the
entire territory was ruled by the Agnarids, puppet-kings supported by the elves who had withdrawn deep into the Greatwood. The Agnarids called themselves Kings and high Kings for many decades until the coming of the Tholharts from the Reach.

Agnar fell in X.13 to the Tholharts; former tribal chiefs from the Reach, they came conquering in fire to overwhelm the Greatwoods puppets. The first Tholhart was Aegus the Stag, who established his capitol on the bay between the Kjella peninsula and the Greatwood Forest. He established a cotton and amber trade that became the envy of the Sun Shores and many of the nations of the Sea of Gold.

In the days of the Tholharts, the kingdom was known as Tholnia. It was the elven league of 280 that destroyed them; fearing encroachment and the legendary alliance between the Tholharts and their goblin tenants in the Bay of Ahrain. The elves found allies along the coast and fought a series of battles from X.280-2 that annihilated the Tholnian house armies. A rival Reacher family, the Karharts, seized the Kjella peninsula in X.285 and founded Kjellos.

Since then, the realm of Kjellos has been confined to the peninsula and the Reach, though once the province of Kelinum was all of Thurol, Ambar, etc.

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The Kjella

The Kjella, as they are called, are related both to the Valeli men of the north, the vanished half-elves of Yer’is, and the dark people of Opria and Golnia, from which stock I myself am descended. They are a hardy folk, not as tall as the Valeli but quite as broad in the shoulders. They trend towards lighter hair colors; red and auburn are not unknown among them, but rich blonds and golds are most common. Black hair is rarer, but not unheard of.

They are a mixed breed, with a faint strain of the elvish in them from the ancient Issan settlers but they are mostly the sons of the Valeli-men, both the pale and the dark. They are a fierce people, and they warred for centuries with the indigenous orcs, goblins, kobolds and other such monstrous foes that inhabited the Kjella peninsula before them.

They have a long tradition of goblin-slaying and almost as fierce a hatred of them as the dwarves, which has done much to endear them to the ironfolk. Indeed, Craftsman’s Reach is a second Arinnfal in the west, the two peoples are so closely knit.

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Life in Kjellos

Along the Kjella peninsula, life has become regimented and yolked to the nobility. Knighthood and knights are important to the Kjellans not in the way they are in Llyris, but rather because of their purely military roles; They are not necessarily bastions of chivalric behavior like the Knights of the Grove, but they are certainly able men and women with blades and armor.

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Kjellos

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius