Synopsis: the Kitori role in the early reign of Belintar

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Fri 01 May 1998 - 19:22:00 EEST


This is an attempt to summarize my view on the history of the Haunted Lands
north of the Shadow Plateau. I tried not to contradict Peter's objections,
but didn't succeed all the way.

BTW, the name "Haunted Lands" is taken from the Dragon Pass map in the RQ2
rules, where it describes the land of the Shadow Plateau as well as the New
River valley. I use it as a collective term for the Runnel, Creek-Stream
River and upper Marzeel River valleys.

In the Dawn Age, the Kitori started out as a human darkness-worshipping
tribe providing a warlord of the Second Council.

After their founder died, they took a secondary role in the councilic
affairs, until the trolls, dragonewts and Heortlings broke off from the God
Project.

The Kitori stepped into the gap left by the trolls in the God Project as
worshippers of Darkness, returning into the favour of the rulers of Dorastor.

The dissenters were crushed in a number of battles, and the troll
strongholds of Dagori Inkarth and the City of Black Glass were laid under siege.

It is hard to tell when the Kitori took in trolls into their tribe. It is
possible that they offered the trolls of the Troll Woods shelter and asylum
while the Obsidian Palace was besieged, but this needn't be the case.

Neither is their relation to Palangio the Iron Vrok or Arkat well
documented, so it is hard to tell on which side they participated in the
battles for the liberation of Kerofinela. They might even have been
eradicated during this time.

It is a known fact that the mixed tribe of trolls and humans ruled the
Haunted Lands north of Shadow Plateau, south of the Crossline early in the
Third Age. This may have started as early as 1042 when the government of the
Third Council was assassinated by dragonewts and trolls. The Remakers to
their north continued to rule the area of modern Beast Valley and Upland
Marsh (then still the Lakes) until the Dragonkill War in 1120, when one
their leaders, Delecti, turned the Lakes into the Upland Marsh, and himself
into an undead.

After the Dragonkill War one band of Troll Woods trolls (led by Vamargic
Eye-Necklace) fought against Dagori Inkarth warbands in and for depopulated
Kerofinela. Vamargic was of very unusual ancestry, being a great troll born
to a pair of cave trolls. They finally allied with their former foe
Kajak-ab Braineater against the Stinkwood boar riders led by Karastand
Half-Troll, who was overcome when he sought the alliance of non-trolls.
After that they remained united and warred with the other elder races of
Dragon Pass until 1222, the battle of Uz Eat Dragonewts. They did, having
crushed advanced forces, but then the reveling trolls were surprised by
Beastmen and slaughtered in large numbers, and burnt afterwards. The ruined
EWF city siite was called Smoking Ruin afterwards.

This catastrophe may have been another logical period of weakness after
which the troll component of the Kitori may have originated.

In the early the Third Age, the Kitori were dominating the valleys of
Marzeel River, Creek-Stream River and Runnel River south of the Crossline.
Their troll component allowed them a limited trade across Dragon Pass, which
they did trough a route via Whitewall, then in their hands. They ruled over
numerous scattered clans and tribelets whom they oppressed probably as much
as the Vendref are suppressed by the Grazers - i.e. they were very limited
in their military potential, forced to pay strong tribute, etc. I don't
think that the Kitori had a mythical explanation for this tribute, strength
alone sufficed.

The clans they lorded over were remnants from earlier Heortling settlements,
perhaps even predating the Dragonkill War, but included also those clans
desperate enough to leave the southern lands and to dare to live right next
to the unknown border of the Crossline. This included clans from the
Esrolian North Marches, and from Heortland proper. The only known clans from
this time are those which formed the Volsaxi, although a number of Sartarite
or Vendref clans would qualify.

One of the first blows to their dominant position would have been the
formation of the Lead Hills and the swamping of much of the best river
valley land in 1318. If you look at the Shadowlands map in Uz Lore, you will
see that Blackwell and the surrounding Lead Hills occupy the centre of the
Haunted Lands (it also calls the lands directly north of the Building Wall
the Grazelands). The human Kitori may have lost some of their best land
under the hills.

This also forced many of the clans into migration. It is quite possible that
the first clans enslaved by the Grazers were just refugees from the flooding
of the Haunted Lands. Other clans would have moved into the Marzeel valley.
KoS p.196 makes it likely that the land occupied by Sun Dome County was
Kitori land.

Beginning around the time Belintar conquered the Holy Country, clans,
families and individuals dared crossing into Dragon Pass again, fleeing the
fighting or persecution in Kethaela.

Many immigrants from northern Kethaela had been living as tributaries to the
Kitori, not as as proud and free Orlanthi as they want to see themselves.
IMO the Colymar belong to this sort of immigrants (unlike the Malani, who
were a warband with noncombatants dragged along rather than settlers waiting
to recultivate the land).

The northern half of the Esrolian March has never been as densely settled as
the river valleys. Neither Longsi Land nor the North March are as densely
settled as the plateau of Heortland, either, or have ever been. Esrolia's
riches lie in the river valleys, not in its Skyreach foothills. That's also
the reason why the people living there are closer to standard Orlanthi than
the riverine population, though still with a stronger matriarchal slant.

A lot of the refugees from further south in Heortland came from the border
between the lowland (plateau) Hendriki and the highland clans when the
westernized Hendriki expanded their feudal system into the lower valleys
from 1320 to 1350 (at least). The hill clans had the choice to resist and be
crushed, to submit, or to pack up and leave. Most submitted, some left for
higher valleys (already settled, compare the Sambarri arrival in Torkani
lands), some for new opportunities (Praxian Marches, Dragon Pass).

The Volsaxi tribes were formed as full tribal entities only when their
tributary and suppressed status by the Kitori was lifted. Before, single

clans may have cooperated now and then, but I am not even sure that the
tribes of the Kurtali, Sylangi and Bacofi existed prior to Tarkalor's
involvement.

Sources:

King of Sartar
Uz Lore
Broken Council Guidebook
RuneQuest Adventures #4 (Fall of Whitewall)
RQ-Con 1 con booklet or Convulsion '94 con booklet
Questlines 2 (Secret History of Sun County)

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