THE NORTHERN ISLANDS of A'QUILAH
This page and story is currently in development and open for a short time as a preview for Game Day 2: Grisla's Retreat!
quil or kwil– plume, feather or panache (both for a helmet and for style like in English)
quilah or kwila – plumed
Quileth– the sigil the eagle, means ‘the great plumed one’ but it also means something like ‘the one with great style’ or ‘the one with singular panache!’
aw or a’– great
khad – fortified city
taruk– an evening star, also a visitor or door knocker that comes in the night
Il’ - town or dwelling place
geal – bright
gazul – plentiful
ad – a blessing
aden – a sanctuary or blessed place (literally means blessing’s or possessed by a blessing)
ud– an stringed instument
Zoë– A woman’s name, also meaning life or life force
S’Baa– a woman’s name, also morning
Elenz– a woman’s name from an ancient word for beauty – many Iztanic towns are given women’s names
Bran– an ancient Khargan Hero
ëalë– laughing from ëalor – to laugh
ëalëa– means something like ‘laughing place’
Noënor– means tip of the shield
sha – peace, rest, absence of worry
shaan – peaceful (literally means ‘owned by peace’)
emet– an emirate
uëlë– crying from uëlor – to cry
Uëleth– the crying one
Beth– the first one
THE NORTHERN ISLANDS
There must be a blazingly beautiful reef off the southern shores of the northern islands that makes travel by ship very dangerous, but also makes fishing an incredibly lucrative industry. Many on the islands pay homage to an ancient Iztanic sea goddess. Perhaps this is the same whom the Hákkarlans call Sutherhluta.
The present day A’quilan seat of power originally established by Grisla the Redeemer and her surviving 11 Paladins is in the A’quilan Sea Islands and the land called Il’Labor.
Let’s start with what the islands look like and what the climate there is like compared to the rest of the Realm. The islands are in a very temperate region with warm or cool summers and very cold winters, but it is far from sub arctic. While the main continent in this northern latitude sees the beginning of boreal forests and taiga, in the islands the forests are still primarily deciduous.
Who were the first people to settle the sea islands? In early times Wyddans likely settled there during the attempted colonization of Tor Alséa. Maybe some of the Wyddic folk on the islands escaping Tor Alséa then set sail to explore the western fjords on the main continent. These early explorers would not be the same people who formed Hart and Draech and their society in the fjords would be connected to the society of the islands. Whatever happened to the people of the islands, these early fjordlanders would have suffered the same fate. The Wyddic culture that leads to Draech and Hart really starts in Mabon and the Icén River Valley from a very specific group of people who came from Atál an Teá and who stopped at Tor Alséa for a generation. That story has already been laid out.
THE ELDER WARS and the VALLEY of MABON
The Iztani Empire arrives in Realm Year 0 and attempts to colonize everything, even Tor Alséa and the sea islands. By this time the Wyddans have been established as simple fishing villagers in the islands for millenia and in the Valley of Mabon as the House of Hart well past the apex of their civilization at Dumnonia. On the islands however it’s not known what happened to the simple Wyddic farmer-fisher villagers – they were likely wiped out or enslaved as the islands became a base of operations for the Empire. Later on, Iztanic bvillages came to settle the land in the wake of Empire.
To diverge a minute here: the Iztani eventually travel up the Icén river as well but never topple the Wyydic Batreas or permeate very far into Mabon. We know the Empire had conquered Dagorbatrea for a time from Cruach Dagorbatri, seeking new paths to the fertile valley of Mabon. Though it’s not likely that Dumonbatrea (the site of ancient Dumnonia) was ever conquered. The towns just down valley from that fortress are all highly fortified castles of monstrous size and probably formed the front line against incursion in the valley by Iztan.
I am sure the Valley of Mabon was assaulted many times and hosted numerous battles and was probably razed and plundered a many times. It’s quite likely that for a time the entire valley was under a sea of Iztanic control with the Wyddans holed up in the Batreas, and perhaps in Almacil, Nogencourt and Talencourt. We know there was a famous siege at Taloncourt. But Mabon was never totally razed or permanently incorporated into the Iztani Empire. Icénia certainly was, as was the entire southern shore of the Realm all the way up through what would some day become Arkoland. I am guessing the Hunigtoth likely landed at the site of the future city of Heorot and that’s where the Hartians first encountered them but at that time the Empire had already started to pull back – if the Ghodds of the Hunigtoth had landed earlier, they most certainly would have been seized and taken as prisoners to viceroys of Iztan. The knights under Turnik Leesh who encountered the teh Hunigtoth were part of a great mop up detail slaughtering any mercenaries left behind and plundering and burning any military structures left.
Weirdly after the fall of the Khad Zhere and the end of the Elder Wars of Empire many Iztanic towns were left alone as were the some of the warriors of the Khads on the southern shore. In no small part because they were no longer Iztanic towns and even some of the Captains of Empire spoke Wyddic as their first tongue, not Iztanic! The Iztani had been in the Realm more than 200 years! As the Empire receded culture had already been highly syncretized in the Icén River Valley – again these places were no longer Iztanic – the Iztani themselves were no longer Iztanic in the the sense of living of the culture of Iztan. Thoughthe Bracelet of Knights specifically persecuted overtly recognizeable Iztanic families in reaction, driving them from their land. Merchants tell teh stories of being driven from their offices and their ships confisctaed or burned as potential "Enemies of Iztan."
Back to the islands… as is told in the story of Ranraki the Golden, Grisla leads the survivors out of Khad Zhere. What is not told is how they travel up to the Islands through a path that enters the Toerc Amrhet. Some Iztani stay in the Toerc but after Grisla and the surviving Paladins reach the Iztanic island towns a religious/political revival under Quileth the Plumed Grows and a new seat of governance and organization with it. This that time the Reign of the Paladins wll begin. The islands were all very Iztanic and hardly syncretized at all of course.
OTHER IZTANI in THE REALM?
Interestingly, the Paladins and the syncretized people of Rhaétia are not the only surviving Iztani to remain in the Realm. In an unrelated sequence of events, a group of Citrákan mercenaries stationed in the enlightened province of Toerc Amrhet drop out of the war and disappear. The secretive Shaani Emirate forms in a place east of the Aillachs known only to its denizens as Emet Shaan. They have dealings with strange civilizations to the west in temperate realms of Gorhälen and Sylhälen of the Great Gulf.
THE FALL of the EMPIRE
A final note on the fall of Iztan: some say the Curse of Tor Alséa had is what finally toppled the Empire in the Realm.Certainly there was an already existing crisis of leadership bewteen teh LIch Queen of Iztan and her disciples in Kharga. And we know Iztan was suffering rebellion and economic catastrophe. But the ancient Elvish curse against humanity left at Tor Alséa, may have been the final nail in the coffin. They say the more you throw yourself at the Curse of Tor Alsea the more that ancient elven curse grows to match your resistance.