History of Korindia

Korindia may have one of the strangest origins of any nation in Shaintar: it is a land peopled by a race that effectively created itself. Seeking a place of their own, they followed a powerful leader and ultimately created a nation unique in culture and disposition.

It is not we who have disappointed them: it is they who have disappointed us. We are not 'simply gifted' - we are especially gifted. We leave Landra' Feya not because of hate, but out of sadness and a yearning for peace. – Kor, 72 A.C.

No one man is an island, but Kor gave many bitter, disillusioned, and hateful M'adukar a place to feel welcome and call home. Korindia is an island nation located about 100 miles southeast of Shaintar's coastline. It is a place where a great many M'adukar (children born of Fae and human parents, more crudely called half-elves) exiled themselves and called home.

The birth of Korindia sprang from what occurred both during and after Vainar released his terrible plague in 300 B.C. Many thousands of Fae perished before a cure to Vainar's Curse was found. Not only did the Fae Nation face the challenges of rebuilding their once great civilization, but they also faced the problem of rebuilding their population. The solution came from an unusual union between the Faelakar, Solange Elswyth, and a human, Zemos Al'astur. Solange choose to take the Life Bond so that she would not have to endure the pain of living a life without him once he passed on. Because interracial marriage was taboo, they kept their union secret until the birth of twins in 45 A.C.. Word of children born from a union of Fae and human quickly spread and by 50 A.C., the Quo-Unias endorsed marriages between the two races, but forbade the Life Bond.

1,066 children were reported born to Fae and human parents in 52 A.C. Most were possessed of enough sulur-neh – “trueness” of blood – to still be considered Fae, though they were called Alakar (“new-blooded”) to indicate their mixed heritage. Joy turned to disappointment for many Fae, however, when a portion of those born displayed very little sulur-neh at all. Most of the children born between 52 A.C. and 57 A.C. were so far removed from sulur-neh as to be mainly human; they drifted to their human families, in most cases, and went on to begin bloodlines strong in leadership and magic. A very small portion of the offspring, however, could not easily identify with either heritage; these children were named M'adukar – the “weak-blooded.” Many Faelakar and Eldakar believed that these children could not live up to the potential of the Alakar and would not be a part of the survival of the Fae. Just as sad were the rejections of human society, unable to embrace beings so clearly different and apart.

M'adukar children experienced what is termed goltrai, the “song of sadness,” a very palpable, heavy sadness in the spirit of the Fae. While it remained unspoken in polite society, the M'adukar were made to feel unwanted and unfavored. Indeed, many saw Alakar children embraced by the Fae, and Fae-blooded humans doted upon by their human parents. No one embraced the M'adukar. “Tolerated” was the appropriate term for how most of them were treated, and some faced outright abuse.

As Kor (who was born to Solange and Zemos in 49 A.C.) and many other M'adukar grew older, they discovered they were barred from attaining any position of importance in Fae society: the elders believed that they did not have the gifts to accomplish the tasks of higher positions. Kor's mother believed that M'adukar children had great potential, and that they could achieve many things if simply allowed the chance. She became a champion for her son and all M'adukar children. Sadly, Solange was in the minority. While many in Fae society still accepted her, they pitied her choice of taking the Life Bond with a human. She was tolerated in the elder courts, but her words fell on deaf ears. Solange died a natural death in 72 A.C., shortly after her husband passed on.

Kor was bitter and angry over the treatment his mother and his fellow M'adukar had endured. With the death of his loving parents, he declared that the best of Fae society had died. A charismatic leader and speaker, he reached out to the thousands of disillusioned M'adukar living on the fringes of Fae and human society. He wrote, “The time has come for us to leave behind our parent cultures and make a stand on our own. For, just as the baby bird leaves his nest, so too must we, if we are to grow as a people.”

In 78 A.C., Kor and 2,258 M'adukar gathered in the port town of Sunset and purchased or built as many seaworthy craft as they could manage. They sailed forth, following a course set by Kor based (so the legend tells) on a dream. Some few chose to settle on the first land they came to – Salamander Island. Most, however, remained with Kor and set foot on a larger uncharted island farther to the west to begin a new life. The settlers established a small town called Kor-Davine and called their new homeland Korindia, in honor of the man who led them there. From the beginning, they looked to Kor to lead them, making him the First Speaker.

The first years on the island posed many challenges for the survival of the people who would come to be known as Korindians. Food, water and shelter were the primary needs, and the environment was hostile and alien for a people not accustomed to extreme heat, intense storms, and a large variety of new predators and other dangers. At least a fifth of the population died in the first ten years as they learned to adapt.

Early Korindians learned that, to survive, they must learn the ways of Nature and the nature of the island. They shunned the trappings of their parent societies, adopting a much simpler lifestyle in tune with their environment. Like his mother, Kor followed the Paths of Life, and instructed many others who took up the druidic calling. Many settlers, like Kor, had learned hunting and trapping skills from their human parents. Those skills quickly became a part of Korindian society. Initially, they built simple huts on the ground; they soon realized that living in the treetops, the custom of the Fae, would be much safer from predators. Today, Han'Dakor, the Korindian capital, is a magnificent tree city complete with wood and rope bridges connecting each building. The only structures on the ground are the pit ovens made of clay and rock for cooking fires.

In 85 A.C., hundreds of ships were seen approaching the island shore as the day dawned. Armed with nothing more than wooden staves, sticks, and bows firing stone-headed arrows, the Korindians stood to face the "invaders." What they found was more than 8,000 M'adukar, who had been lead to their shores by Kor's brother and sister, Tallis and Tegan. 

It is sung in ballads that Kor was happy to see his siblings, and he greeted the many newcomers with open arms into Korindian society. The ballads also speak that the twins did not stay, instead doing as their brother entreated them to: from 85 A.C to 203 A.C., the twins assisted more than 30,000 M'adukar to the island. Many Korindians today point to the two small islands far off the Korindian coast and will tell you, “they are the Twins, the two ships who heard Kor's call and brought many of our brothers and sisters here.”

Kor died in 117 A.C., but not before deeply ingraining the belief of unity, peace, and harmony with the environment into Korindian society. Many scoff at Korindians when they claim that Kor did not actually die. If one simply asks them to explain, however, it becomes clear that they do not mean he still physically lives; They point to their hearts and minds and state that he lives on in them.

Kor's primary set of principles regarding peace, unity, and harmony with the environment (commonly referred to as “the Law of Kor”) have survived many tests over the centuries. Sometime between 400-500 A.C., foreign invaders from the shores of Nazatir and the Pirate Archipelagos threatened Korindia's survival. Korindians were able to stave off the first violent encounter with invaders, but it left most of their beloved communities destroyed by fire. For a time, they retreated inland for protection, surrendering much of the coast to the invaders. A large contingent of Korindians nearly abandoned their ways of using what nature gave them for forged weapons when seeking a way to protect themselves from marauders. Sorin, believed to be of Kor's bloodline, rejected these plans, knowing they did not hold true to Kor's vision. After successfully leading a significant force of his people to repel the pirates and thugs, he founded a school to teach the fighting and self-defense techniques his family had long practiced. Taking cues from nature, Sorin and other accomplished fighters developed a style that used the hands and feet as weapons. The martial art of Kor-in was formed, giving Korindians a powerful and effective defense against marauders and slavers. Eventually, this training would prove vital against the Childer that swarmed the island when a Cauldron was opened in the Norshanos Mountains during the Dragon War centuries later.

Kor's principles of unity and peace were again tested in 2009 A.C. when hundreds of outlanders (mainly Alakar, Eldakar and humans) came seeking safe haven. Though they claimed that they had been led by spirits of Life in order to survive the coming dangers of a new and terrible Age, many Korindians felt that their own rejection so many years ago should not easily be forgotten. They claimed the Fae and humans should not be welcomed into Kor's homeland. The Council of Elders, however, deemed that mistakes of intolerance made in the past should not be repeated in Korindia's present. About half of the refugees had great difficulties in adapting to the Korindian culture and lifestyle, leading to strife between natives and refugees. The First Speaker and the Council of Elders, having already considered the inevitable need for contact and trade with the mainland, called for the building of a wall around the port town of Kor'Davine in 2020 A.C. Today, it still stands as the only place on the island to allow non-Korindian traditions, and all such practices must remain firmly within the walls of the city.

The latest major test to the Law of Kor can be seen in the cultural 'war' that exists between the Traditionalists and the Progressives. Sometime in the 2600s, an increasing number of younger Korindians began abandoning their communities on the rest of the island to take up residence in Kor'Davine, with a significant number actually boarding ships bound for other islands and the mainland. As more and more sought experiences beyond the simpler life of their people, others called for a reevaluation of the cultural norms of Korindia, claiming that the time had come for the people to rejoin the rest of the world. Increasingly violent and successful raids from the Kal-a-Nar Empire only further fueled the call for adapting to the times to better defend Korindia's shores.

What began as a growing philosophical debate grew into a near-revolution when it became known that prominent community leaders were hoarding material wealth and armaments. Things came to a head in 2992 when the First Speaker, Jantor, was revealed to be the leader of the 'Progressives' and his stockpile of coins and weapons was uncovered. Publicly shamed and exiled, his removal took a great deal of energy out of the Progressive movement…

… but those who believe Korindia must grow and evolve did not simply go away, and the culture 'war' between the Progressives and the Traditionalists is far from over.

- Jonkeph Skein, Korindia's Core Foundations