The Civilized Rhul of Aerk
The nation of Rhulgaard is home also to several clans of Rhul peoples; but these have long been living in not just hovels, but castles and towns as well. The initial push of the Karnite legions were into lands less broken by deep scars and rifts in the earth; in fact, the river valley that Rhulgaard sits upon is ideal farming land now that it has been cleared. Many minor wars and battles were fought here between Karnite Legions, Rhul Barbarians and even some Kos free swords from Ganov. When a Rhul horde broke the strength of the Karnites and forced them north, the newly free Rhul clans demanded freedom from the Horde and received it.
Since that time, the mostly civilized Rhul clans here have been ruled by a once elected Tyrant family that held onto power to this day after first being elected to deter aggression from the Warholds of Karn. The Rhul here still have territorial boundaries they fiercely defend; even against other Rhul clans. This fact alone has prevented them from forging a much more powerful nation; their wars against each other are just that: full blown territorial wars. The Iron Tyrant has had varying degrees of success preventing clan war; the current Tyrant having the most luck to date as he calls for many warriors from the clans for battle against one warlord or another from the Warholds of Karn.
The Rhul of this land are an industrious lot, famed for the mass quantities of military equipment shipped from their country in the form of heavy armor and weapons. The clan chiefs and Tyrant have invested this money well in fortifications, trade for fine goods and even buying allies. Were the Rhul of Rhulgaard to somehow unite further and stop the great number of feuds among them, they would easily be able to not only withstand the Karnite Empire, but may very well have within their grasp the ability to expand at the Empire’s expense.
Relations: The Rhul of Rhulgaard outright despise Karnites from the Empire and Heshans as well. They relate well to their cousins in the forests and mountains to the south, even inviting them to war alongside them at times. Dwur have many times sought to enter permanently into Rhulgaard to mine there, but have been rebuffed due to clan territorial claims. Minotaur mercenaries have recently come here to work for the Iron Tyrant and gained much respect from the Rhul. Kos and Corashite merchants are frequently found on the heavily traveled trade routes of this nation; bringing even more riches to the Rhul here.
Alignment: As devote worshipers of Vhal, the Rhul here are an ordered and religious people. Their sporadic wars against each other are more a result of complex laws of feuding than chaotic flexing of might makes right. Never as kind hearted as the Karnites that brought Vhal worship here, they are not evil men either. For these reasons, the Rhul here are essentially a Lawful Neutral people.
Civilized Rhul Lands: Rhulgaard is a land of farms and mines; always guarded over by watchful sentries in tall way post towers or thick walled castles and city fortifications. A patchwork quilt of clans control the land, and their borders ebb and flow with the success and failure of the various clans. Each clan is ruled by a Chief who is beholden to the Iron Tyrant that rules the nation. The cities here are not like cities in most nations, they are in truth only large fortified towns the clan lives inside of before going out to farm or mine. Each of these has a small section outside the fortified walls for non-clan visitors such as merchants. The soldiers of this land typically wear a brigandine coat, steel cap and large shield; while wielding war sword, heavy mace, poniard and crossbow. Cavalry will usually have mail hauberk, large shield and visored helm and heavy lance instead of the crossbow. Many Rhul here maintain their barbaric traditions and will enter combat in a mail shirt with a greatsword only, with which they wade into the enemy in savage abandon.
Religion: The people of Rhulgaard follow the teachings of Vhal, with only the rarest still holding onto the traditions of the Druids. No other faiths are welcome here, and in fact may find a martyr’s death among the religiously furious near barbarians of this land.
Racial abilities of the Civilized Rhul are: