The Unknown Past
Shakalan History Part 5
Shakalan History Part 5: The Last Two Thousand Years
s the cleanup from the war continued, King Justintine decided to honor the civilians who assisted in the war effort and provide that their services would be available if needed in the future. To do this, he ordered that new agencies be created to empower the groups to build their membership and advance their skills or art. He made the members of his war council from each group the leaders of these new agencies and with their input drafted the laws of the realm that created the agencies, now officially called Factions. The kingdom laws also put in place the basic bylaws of each agency. Both the kingdom laws and the faction bylaws were made a matter of public record so that every member of the realm would know what role each faction was expected to play in society and what rules the followed in playing those roles. The first line of each law creating the faction and the first line of each factions bylaws states that the faction’s existence is owed to the king and exists only at his pleasure.
The first faction was created the first year of the cleanup and was for the engineers, architects, and wizards that assisted the war effort. Their charter established the existence of a public institute of advanced studies known as the University of Shakala. The governing body was called the Circle of Learning, and they were tasked with providing a location for any persons wishing to advance any of the approved arts and sciences to study to meet and openly share ideas. The king then told the circle that if they would provide the manpower he would provided the resources to get them to help create the first campus for the advancement of technology and the arts in Paladius.
The second faction that was created was the Guardian Council. The Guardian Council is the governing body of the various knighthoods of the realm. It required that each knightly order create and maintain a chapter house, that they each accept any noble’s son that is not first born as a page, and that they accept any freeman as a page that can pass a standard series of mental and physical tests. Each knighthood will have a single Knight-Marshall that will sit on the council and any rules created by the council shall apply to all knighthoods equally. At the first meeting of the Guardian Council the various Knights-Marshall were hotly debating the locations of their chapter houses and training grounds. The king tired of the bickering and created Chapter Prime. Within Chapter Prime was a centralized walled training facility where each knighthood was required to build a regulation sized chapter house. All pages must be educated and trained at this facility. The Knights-Marshall decided that the training duties would be a shared responsibility of all orders and that a page would not be assigned to an order but selected by an order as they rose to the rank of squire. This selection is now a massive Naming Day event in Paladius that is looked forward to by all of its citizens. The knights display all of their finery and provide an evening banquet for all that will fit within the walls of the immense Chapter Prime.
The tradesmen guilds were the third group to be honored with seats on the Royal Council. Their faction is known as the Trade Assembly. The king’s charter for the Trade Assembly defined them as the leaders of each of the national worker’s guilds. The initial charter included the artisan guild, the maker’s guild, and the laborer’s guild. The charter also defined the responsibilities of this faction as: be the voice for all workers of the realm, make sure that their needs and interests are addressed in all gatherings of the Royal Council. Each of the faction’s divisions is required to maintain an open guild hall in every major city of the kingdom and to protect the interests of both the members and the clients of its members. This rule forces each group to maintain at least 5 guild halls and that there be an open meeting area in each. Most guilds maintain a guild hall in every region with the requisite meeting room. In most facilities, the artisan and maker’s guilds additionally provide a secure vault space in their guild halls for securing resources belonging to the guild, its members, and its clients.
In the reign of king Dorentine, the trader’s guild was added to the Trade Assembly charter.
The Conclave of the Divine was the fourth faction to be given their seats. The conclave is made up of the highest priest or priestess from each of the acknowledged religions of the realm. The role of the Conclave is to bring the will of the gods to the attention of the Royal Council and help the council protect the souls of the citizens of the realm. Each of the approved religions is required to maintain a place of worship within a quarter days walk from each of the duchies capitals. These places of worship can then be sanctioned by the Royal Council and they may then become a sanctuary for any peoples the god wishes. It was decreed by King Justintine, and committed to by every king since, that the only way to remove the king’s promise of sanctuary from any space that has been sanctioned is to dissolve the Conclave of the Divine completely.
The fifth and sixth factions were added five years after later by King Justintine to address issues that he had seen within the Council and the nation.
The fifth faction, the Tribunal Primus, was added to create a justice system for the growing realm. As the population grew, the issues that people had with each other became too numerous for the king and his dukes to hear them all in a timely manner. The long travel time to court along with the some times week long wait for an audience, caused more and more individuals to take things into their own hands. To assist the citizens of the realm in solving their problems, and maintain the peace the king created the Tribunal Primus as the judicial arm of the government. The Tribunal Primus is responsible for applying the king’s and the Royal Council’s laws to the situations that crop up around the kingdom. They are also tasked with acting as a neutral party in disputes between citizens. To provide these services to all citizens, the Tribunal is required to maintain a court house and a small armed contingent to enforce its rulings within one days travel from any accepted village. It was also required to establish a hierarchy that dissatisfied citizens can follow when they are ruled against. The final court of this appeal process it the King’s Court that meets four times a year.
The sixth faction was called the Ministry of War. The ministry of war is made up of the marshals of the rangers, the soldiers, and the navy. The marshals are the acknowledged leaders of each branch of the military. The Ministry of War was added to the Royal Council to be sure that no matter how peaceful it becomes it is never forgotten what is needed to maintain the peace of the realm. The king declared that in exchange for being included in the Council the marshals must accept any volunteers for a minimum of four years within one of the branches of the military. The goal for the minimal time served is to provide the volunteers with survival skills and a sense of self-worth.
The Creation of the Five Duchies
Country’s boundaries became solid over time thanks to the efforts of the dukes. The king offered a Grant of Borders to any duke that could prove that he had tamed a specific area of the realm. The Grant of Borders allowed the duke the right to collect taxes and levy troops from that area. The duke was then responsible for the safety and productivity of his duchy. Any noble who failed his citizenry also failed his king and was removed from his post.
The Duchy of Misandhal in the southwest was the first to receive the Grant of Borders from the king that defined a specific area as the responsibility of a duke. The borders of Misandhal were defined in the grant of borders to be on the southern edge where the Sea of Mists meets the Dragon Razors then east along the Sea of Mists. The eastern edge is from the most western edge Myrtle Wood due south to the Sea of Mists and due north to the southern coast of Lake Rinok. The northern edge of the duchy begins on the east along the southern side of Lake Rinok then follows southern bank of the River Rinok until it joins the River and heads due west into the Dragon Razors. The western border is defined as a winding line 25 miles, as the raven flies, into the Dragon Razor Mountains. Technically the original grant of borders for the Duchy of Misandhal includes the Halfling Hills (foothills of the Dragon Razors), but the over the years a loose treaty was reached between the humans and the halflings that excepted the Halfling Hills from the required taxes and levies to the duke. In practice this has made the Halfling Hills almost its own kingdom, albeit a kingdom that is surrounded by the Duchy of Misandhal with no border protection. The dukes have maintained the peace on the roads and in the open spaces with in the hills, with the halflings policing and protecting their towns and hamlets.
The next to be given a Grant of Borders was the southeastern Duchy of Prisenby. Its western border begins in the north at the western edge of Myrtle Wood and heading almost 350 miles due south to the Cerulean Sea. The southern border runs along the coast of the Cerulean Sea to the border of the elven lands.The eastern border of the duchy begins in the north at the north eastern edge of the Wenyatavas Forest, following it as it travels south, then proceeds due south to the Cerulean Sea. The northern border follows the northern side of the Wenyatavas Forest to the west, it crosses the Luunoyar River just south of where the Nuenolwa River joins it, then proceeds west across the northern side of the Myrtle Wood.
The Duchy of Shakala was created by King Justintine shortly before his death to allow the king an area of land to draw unfiltered taxes and levy troops without relying on the dukes. It is a circular plot of land that has a 50 mile radius from the outer walls of Paladius. The king named his oldest brother, Maugan, as duke. Upon Duke Maugan’s death, King Trisentine named his oldest brother, Valkor, to the post thus establishing the pattern to the right of ascension for title of Duke of Shakala. This duchy exists completely within the borders of the Duchy of Prisneby.
The fourth duchy, Rinok, was granted its land by King Trisentine. This duchy is located in the northwest of the kingdom. Its borders are defined on the west as a winding line 25 miles, as the raven flies, into the Dragon Razor Mountains from where the Crystal River leaves the Dragon Razors in the north to the border of Misandhal in the south. The southern border is shared with the northern border of the Duchy of Misandhal. The eastern border follows the east coast of Lake Rinok in the south then north along the east edge of Triumph Forest and continuing north until reaching point where the Blood Claimed Hills meets the Knife’s Edge Mountains. The northern border follows the edge of the Blood Claimed Hills from where they meet the peaks of the Knife’s Edge mountains in the east to where they run into the Crystal River in the west.
The last duchy to receive the Grant of Borders was the Duchy of Feltingara in the northeast. Feltingara shares a southern border with Prisenby’s northern border, and shares a western border with Rinok’s eastern border. The northern border defined as 25 miles, as a raven flies, into the Knife’s Edge Mountains. The defined eastern border is much softer. The official definition is from the eastern most edge of the Darke Harte Forest due north to the northern border and due south to the border of Prisenby. The area of protection that is requited by the king is defined as 25 miles east of the eastern most settlements. This is due to the Darke Harte Forest, which sets on the eastern side of the duchy, being mostly within The Wilds and the loss of life that would be required to secure the official borders has not yet been acceptable to the king or the duke.
The five duchies were named after the house name for the noble family that was originally granted the land and the related responsibilities. While the duchies’ names have stayed the same over the millennia, the holder of the title of Duke for each has changed families every few hundred years or so as the king’s needs and whims dictated or sons were not born to the house. This occurs because the right to divide the duchy’s land into counties belongs to the dukes and the right to divide the county into baronies belongs to the counts, but the right to grant title and the responsibility of guardianship is reserved only for the king.
Once the duchies were strongly established, King Trisentine added the Council of High Lords to the factions of the Royal Council in SR 156. This gave the lords of the realms an official voice in the Royal Council’s gatherings. The Council of High Lords is made up of each of the Dukes.
Shakala’s Relations with the Other Races of Galvor
Over the many centuries, a respectful distance has developed within the human’s relationships with the elves and dwarves due to the difference in life spans and interests. Humans are not allowed in the elven forest cities any longer nor are they allowed in the dwarven vaults. Both races have built trading cities near the edges of their realms to allow for interaction of the races.
The barbarian and Shakalan cultures never merged due to the barbarian’s value of personal freedom and disinterest in politics and borders. Even after a royal princess married into a chieftain’s family, they never cared to be involved in Shakalan society more than as a trading and battle partner. In SR 191 King Dorentine, Trisentine’s son, ordered that the tribal lands of the barbarians were a tax free duchy and whomever they selected as a high chieftain would also have the title of Duke of the Dark Peaks. This Grant of Borders granted them membership in the Council of High Lords faction and with that a voice on the council. To this day the barbarians have yet to acknowledge the title of duke or their place on the council. Outside of the traders that travel from the north with exquisite furs, the most common interaction with the barbarian peoples is in the form of some tribes allowing their young men to travel to the Wilds to prove their manhood.
The race of halflings had been living in the foothills of the Dragon Razors for longer than anyone knew. The secretive and solitary hill folk generally do not involve themselves in the struggles of other races. Once the kingdom of Shakala had proven that they had a stable, beneficial, and respectable government the halflings decided that it might be interesting to open a dialog. When quizzed about the existence of the halflings; the elves, dwarves, and barbarians all admitted to knowing of them but also knew that they would hide if sought, as all contacts had always been on their time. In the following 621 years since that little boat with a group of 6 halflings showed up in Paladius and approached the Royal Council, the humans and halflings have become trusting neighbors. The halfling families have formed trading consortium that interacts most often with the Shakalan guilds and government. Many of the wealthy Shakalan’s will travel to the halfling hills to get away from the stress of the cities and enjoy the food, friendship, and fiction that are daily occurrences in a halfling settlement.
268 years ago the first of the dragonborn wandered out of the Dragon Razor mountains in small groups. Their first appearance terrified the townsfolk of Foundation in the Duchy of Misandhal. When the duke’s soldiers rode out to the group of 24 dragonborn they immediately noticed that they were beaten and harried. While the duke tried to determine what to do with these apparent outcasts a mage from the city learned their language and their story. The dragonborn have been wandering the Dragon Razors since the time of the Orc Wars. They had fought the Tieflings, undead, and the evil dragon kind in the mountains since the Demon Spawn wars without knowing of the Shakala’s battles in the forests, hills and plains. After the Shakalan armies won their war the damage done to the Tieflings allowed the dragonborn to finish their struggle also. After the last battle, the dragonborn could no longer hear the voices of their dragon parents, and began to search for them. None of the dragons that they found were of the kind of their parents and so the search continued. Much time passed and the groups of dragonborn became fragmented due to the continuous struggle for survival against the monsters and magics of the Knife’s Edge and the Dragon Razor mountains. The duke decided to allow them to say as long as they stayed outside the city walls. Over seasons more and more dragonborn arrived until, after a few years, the duke had to request that the king allow them spread across the realm. The dragonborn had proven to be totally honorable and hardworking in the few years that they had lived outside Foundation, so the king granted them leave to set up small communities outside any walled city in the realm. After two generations, the Royal Council ruled that the dragonborn had proven themselves to be valuable citizens of the realm and no longer needed to live in the camps. The acceptance of the dragonborn by the rest of the population was slow and took a few more generations. While the dragonborn can now be found in most every walk of life in the kingdom and have shown themselves to be trustworthy, honest, and hardworking over the many, many years, it can still be hard for some humans to get past the looks of the dragonborn.
Due to their history, natures, and appearance Tieflings and half-orcs are known but they are distrusted and scorned in all but the most uncivilized areas. Only the most charitable citizens of Shakala will even acknowledge a member of these two races without fleeing or making disparaging remarks. It is unheard of for one to be allowed into any city without a constant guard following them. In many cases they have been be attacked by the townsfolk just for walking too near a village.