Empress College, Nydds
Master of the Archives, Fentol Braunich
Year of Our Lord Emperor Aurmont, 5109
[A Note On This Document: This document was recently brought to the Empress College archives by the survivor of a shipwreck, who had been rescued by a ship of half-krolvin hailing from the Isle of Krint. Never before have we come across a document written by that race of such brutal heritage, especially as their very existence was only lately revealed to the wider world. According to the sailor, the captain of the vessel was taken back by what had been written of his race, and wrote this brief document to offer the most accurate knowledge of his people. Underneath is a short parchment written by the sailor, who had tried to ask questions to further understand what the captain had penned.]
They do not know us, our ancestors' descendants. Not the humans. Not the giantmen. Not even their neighbors, the scholarly elves. They do not know us. They write as if they do. They speak as if we do not hear and make judgments as if our lives and fate have already been settled. We, of Krint, and those from Krint, live different lives and for the sake of our dignity, we tell you now of who we are, so not to allow our story to be written by others. For now you shall know the word as we have made it and know the truth. Let us then beginů
We do not worship the Gods of this continent. The Gods of our ancestors died in the slave pens of the Blood. We send sacrifice and fire to the sky to the Gods who gave us freedom and solace in the age when our ancestors suffered as slaves. They are the Gods of the Blood, and they saw the weakness of our capturers. They punished them for their vain pride and divisiveness. The Blood were punished and we were granted what the Blood had lost, dominion of the seas and the freedom of the waves. We kneel first before He who rules the oceans, the powerful Khar'ta. His temper is like the waves and by his grace, we possess the right to know every swell and journey beyond the stone beaches of our home. He is of the Three Face; that who reaches to the highest mountain, he who walks the sands of the depths, and she, the destroyer of Tyrants. He will be one or three, and to him we bow in submission. For the four corners of the seas, we gather every four months and offer our thanks for raising us above the Blood before his eyes.
We offer thanks to the Starbringer, Czag'herndra, who provides the maps of the heavens. Who dies in fire, to emerge as the Czagpritz, only to die in flames again at the end of day. We offer nothing to the Beast that desires the night. He, the Czagprozdmordg is an enemy of our Gods. He is an enemy of our people. Nor do we forget his companion the Serpent, who wraps itself about the necks of the Blood, speaking as they speak.
For all the klinasts, each has their God. The Strong One. The Nurturer. The Winged One. The Builder. The One Eye. For each there is a shadow, and that shadow is also honored. To all else, we offer nothing. We owe nothing. Except for the Krefkra, its Guardians, and He Who Waits within it. She of Winter and She of Sight, we submit ourselves to their worthiness as guardians, and to allow us passage to He Who Waits, Tiktez'te. Then we will be nothing, released from the final chains of bondage, no longer to suffer. Free of this world, lest it continue, the unworthy to walk the earth tez'te and cursed until the great consumption of the lands and the sky. This is how we worship. They are the Gods that lived and delivered us from the Blood, taking from the Blood what once was their right, and giving it to us. These are the Gods we worship.
The eyes that have seen Krint are our eyes. The feet that have walked Krint are our feet. Anymore who may claim to know of Krint, who are not of us, speak of nothing but the rumor of the Others. Only the Blood have known Krint, but they do not know it anymore. It is the Council that rules on Krint. The Council is made of the elected, two from every Klinast, to offer the wisdom and the guidance of the ways of our people. It is the Council, but it is not the only council. Beneath it and obedient, are the other councils, for every village, for every town of Krint, where resides the people of Krint.
The councils judge the law, but it is not the only law. We abide by the older law alongside the new, and grant justice that is found in the arena of battle. Blood can be shed for justice, as well as gold offered in balance for loss of that blood; an offer that cannot be refused. This is the way of our justice, both old and new, beneath the skies and above the seas, and open to all, those of klinast, and those of not. The latter are the greater, but the path is open to them to become the former, to seek their own role to join the council and speak of justice.
[The sailor's addendum]
I have sailed the many coves and bays of the Great Western Sea for many years, and met not just the many people of the Empire, but the many races found north of our borders. Never before that day, when the Lady Niima guided the vessel of the half-krolvin to my rescue, had I met a people so alien. For all that they were different, the half-krolvin that I encountered on the vessel were a good, if guarded people. It was only through the course of the voyage that I was truly able to befriend them and have the opportunity to learn more of them and their ways. Their religious beliefs were of particular interest to me.
On its face, it would seem that they worship different gods than we, but actually, I believe they are the same gods of Liabo and Lornon, though revered and respected differently. As the elves offer different perspectives than ours, the half-krolvin have their own. Perhaps the most different is their belief regarding life beyond the Ebon Gate. They do not quite acknowledge the Ebon Gate, but refer to it, I think, by the name Krekfa. I am not sure what Krekfa means, but simply that within it resides a god which will destroy their souls. As horrifying as this sounds, they see this as a positive! From some point in their history, they believed that our world is one that exists to suffer and be enslaved within. Thus, one escapes only by dying, and even then, they know that even souls can be enslaved, so only when that soul is destroyed, will it finally be free.
As much as I might argue with them, that souls are safe beyond the Ebon Gate, they refute my points by saying that nothing is ever safe. As a result of this view, that only in death's destruction are they free, they have little fear of it. They do not court death, for it will come when the "guardians" allow and dictate for it to come. They believe that to actively seek death, or to kill one's self, offends the guardians by disregarding their will. Like much of their religious beliefs, I found it quite convoluted.
I tried to learn of their society on their island home of Krint and elsewhere where that culture had spread, but could gleam surprisingly little. While they do organize themselves around trades and skills, I was told that it is the old way and not followed by the majority of the population. Only those who are truly driven to these paths seek entry into what they call "klinasts." If I understood the captain, though, the klinasts are like our guilds, in that they are gatekeepers to certain activities. If a half-krolvin wishes to build a boat, he must gain the permission of the appropriate klinast before embarking on this venture. It is not unusual for members of the population to live with the klinasts, who themselves live separate and communally within the village, or town, or even city of the half-krolvin. There they learn the trade that they can apply toward livelihoods, but with a debt toward the klinast that seems to continue through the rest of their life.
There was much more to these people that I was unable to learn in the little time I had aboard their vessel. They are a proud race, but seem to carry within them all, a quality of sadness for a reason I could never quite identify. This is not to say they are a somber race, for there were moments of gaiety that surprised me with their level of enthusiasm. I wish we could learn more, for they seem to hate the krolvin even more than we of the sea do, and would make fine allies. It is an odd hatred, built on a belief in superiority and in a culture that seems more akin to the krol, than to ours. Nevertheless, I have hope in the future for better relations between our two peoples.