Nelqora: Country of Mariners


The Nelqorana were a proud and strong race that lived in the far, far north -- well beyond any current known regions of the world. They ruled an ancient empire many thousands of years ago from their seat of power in the island of Nelqora. Their land was one of ice, snow, and frost. But their difficult land didn't halt their rapid expansion across the Orridental and Erub after the fall of Gevurah. Their cities were large and beautiful. Their warriors were terrifying. The Men of Nelqora were above all men of the sea, and their fair sails emblazoned with the golden swan were the heralds of a race come to save a world being harassed by the ancient Elves of the East and the remains of the Black King's kingdom.

History

As with all Men, the Men of Nelqora first arose in the fields of Baantar. They made their way into the Altaic country and learned much craft from the elves there, who were, at the time, untouched by Gevurah's influence. Even today the Altaic elves are the least like their Orridental brothers. In the Altaic countries the Nelqorana were not yet come full stature though, and were still organized into tribes which collectively were called the Corodwalt.

Eventually, the Corodwalt tribes were betrayed by their elven friends and were reduced to fighting a guerrilla war in the north. Their many tribes often drove the elves to despair at ever quenching this unkillable race of Man. Their efforts were invaluable and provided much relief for the kingdoms of Erub. It was during this time that Calmacil the Half-elven arrived in the cold north with Men of the House of Bel, and he established a federation between the tribes. Though Calmacil died in the Seventh War of Hate against the dragon Young Purple, his great-grandson Fareacil became King of the Corodwalt, and at this time the tribal men had grown in strength, stature, and skill; and so now could rightfully take the name Nelqorana: the High Men of the North.

A Divine Gift

At the end of the Wars of Hate the gods granted the Men of Nelqora and their king a boon. The Nelqorana would be granted an island. They need only to tell where, and the gods would shape the earth. This isle would be beautiful and rich in resources. The dirt would be black, and a casual throw of seeds of any sort would reap a bountiful harvest. The weather would be fair and even. The cliffs would be tall and provide a far view. The woods would be thick and dark and easily purposed for shipbuilding. So long the Men of Nelqora took care of this isle, they would live in abundance.

But the Men of Nelqora loved the lakes and snow-covered pines and firs and the desolate plains of the north. The Northerness was in their blood. Furthermore, because the Altaic Elves had shown them kindness before, they dared not to encroach at all on the elves' old territory. So they asked, almost sheepishly, that they could rather have a cold land far to the north.

The gods granted their wish, but, because they chose according to where their hearts called - even though it gave them a hard life - and because they had chosen out of kindness for friends long turned enemy, the gods gave them a bounty greater than their original offer.

The woods were not only thick and dark and easily purposed for shipbuilding, but also grew quickly. A forest cut down could regrow in a year. The cliffs were tall, and also made of mineable salt. The weather followed the needs and desires of the people who farmed the land. It rained when it needed to, and no snow ever fell on the Great Gift of the Gods, which was called the Vale of Abo. Though the island was mostly snow and tundra, the Vale of Abo was ever fertile and warm. The land was warmed by the hot river Nyslott, which sprung from the waters underneath the great volcano Asklja which sat at the island's center. The hotness of the river didn't kill the crops and instead nourished the land to be rich and easy to farm. The Nelqorana were granted long and strong lives. But the greatest gift of the gods were the Great Eagles, whom the Men of Nelqora tamed and rode on like steeds of war.

So a cold and white isle (with a strip of green) had arisen in the far north. It was shaped like a round-headed tadpole. Minor islands in the south trailed in a line like a tail. These islands were ever covered in snow. Everything the gods said would be, was, and the Men of Nelqora were happy and prosperous. The gods reascended to Heaven with Gevurah in chains, and the world rebuilt itself.

Grinding ice soon grew up around the island, and ships could only reach Nelqora by means of the southern pass Koraxka. The southern pass Koraxka was calm and free from ice entirely.

Rise and Fall of an Empire

The rest of Nelqora's history and her people is one of growth, colonization, decadence, and then destruction. The Men of Nelqora spread across the world on their long, white ships and brought learning and understanding to people still suffering from the aftermath of the Wars of Hate. With iron from the Mountain Helsingfors they created wondrous tools to build and create with. They also made weapons to combat malevolent forces. As said before, their white sails emblazoned with the golden swan was a sign of joy.

But after many years this benevolent industry soon turned to greedy conquest, and the Nelqorana stretched their empire across the northern hemisphere. The heart of their empire, the island of Nelqora, grew tall and fair and strong. The tundra and snow were layered in spires of ice. Palaces were chiseled from the mountainsides. The eyries of their Great Eagles grew so tall that they could be seen from the northernmost tip of the Altaic Country. The ships of the Nelqorana became many sailed and large and dominated the seas with their fires that could freeze water. Even the misted lands of Moinen were penetrated by the Nelqorana. Nothing was unexplored or unreached by them.

This glorious but cruel age lasted many hundred years. The beginning of the end was when the last Emperor of Nelqora Kjan-Kullarvo (so named after the hero) at last invited the Arch-devil Abayin, lieutenant of Gevurah, to his court. The Nelqorana had long been dabbling in black magic and the cult of the pagans, but it was when Abayin began to advise the Emperor that the Nelqorana entered their most powerful and prosperous age yet. The Devil whispered potent words to the Emperor, but it was to deceive the Emperor, for the Devil envied the Nelqorana's great wealth and power, and he despised Men for felling his master, and he wished to destroy all that they had wrought.

The Folvkin Palace and Nelqora's Destruction

This final age was defined by the Folvkin Palace; the Palace in the Sky; the Palace that Reached the Heavens. It was a monstrous building with its foundations set on the dead volcano Makai. The palace was to be built higher and higher, like a spike, and then, when it, at last, reached the sky, the Nelqorana would, with the help of Abayin, pierce the sky and reach Heaven and take it from the gods who, in their absence, showed their weakness. Emperor Kjan-Kullarvo, who was forty when the project began, focused his empire's efforts on this project. He would grab Heaven as if it were an object to be taken.

After many years the Nelqorana were about to finish their palace. But before they were to set the final stone on the final spire of their palace, the gods beseeched Vahan. For too long had the Men of Nelqora ignored their warnings, and for too long had they been suffered.

The sleeping magma underneath Makai awoke. The little volcano erupted and melted away the stone keeps and the fine towers of ice and crystal. The Folvkin Palace came crashing down and fell upon the island. All the ramparts and all the magical safety measures failed as the rumbling of the volcano set off a dozen other mountains long thought dormant. Fire burst from the mountain tops and ruined the places of magic. The shaking of the earth tore the island in two, and the falling palace crushed the Vale of Abo, killing its inhabitants, and covered the green land under ice and crystal.

The Divorce of Heaven and Earth

Then Vahan took Sky and Heaven and divided them. The veil was torn away and Heaven was removed from the Earth. No longer could one ascend to the gods, as Amandil did with his white ship, for now, the sky only ever grew taller, forever and ever, and the confines of the earth were open to the starry expanse.

A sign was placed upon the world. Once a night, on the day that Nelqora was destroyed, at the very top of the world a pole of light would descend from the Heavens. If one could climb its full height in a day, then he should reach the gods. But it is impossible, as the pole stretches as far as the sky does: forever and ever, into the midst of the innumerable stars. This is the North Pole.

Resolution of the Destruction

Now, the eruptions, the earthquakes, and the falling palace - splintering and sending down shards like missiles - destroyed all there was on the island of Nelqora. The hot river Nyslott was chilled and the fiery bowels of Asklja were emptied. The Vale of Abo was no more. The iron of Helsingfors had been long stripped away. The wondrous towers and spires of the tundra were shattered and broken by the disasters and the falling palace. The fields of darkly wooded trees had been flattened and rendered impotent as shards of crystal filled the soil. Without their tools, the Nelqorana couldn't mine the salt of their cliffs.

There was nothing left of Nelqora but many ruins and a handful of people. The Emperor Kjan-Kullarvo had been at the top of the Folvkin Palace to oversee the placement of the final stone. He was dead - crushed like the seat of his empire. The Devil Abayin hadn't escaped a grisly fate, either. He had begun to believe his lies, cunning as they were, and, after seeing the might of Nelqora, he thought that they could challenge the gods and hurt the Heavenly Host. He, too, was destroyed with his Emperor at the top of the Folvkin Palace. They say that the Arch-devil can never take an unpained form ever again. He is forever pierced by a million shards of ice and crystal.

When many sought to escape their desolate island, they found the pass of Koraxkha had closed with ice. They were trapped and no one could help them. Their eagle eyries had been destroyed, and though the eagles flew away and escaped being crushed, they couldn't eat, for Nelqora was naught but ice and snow, now. The eagles traveled south over the sea to find food. All of them died during the journey but for one, the greatest of their breed, Flaxanavi. But he was weak and starved at the end of his travels, and with his dying breaths, he told of the tragedy of Nelqora to the villagers who found him crashed against a tree.

The empire quickly crumbled without their heartland. All that is left of Nelqora are ruins on the southern continents.

But they say that the Men of Nelqora are a hardy race, and it is possible some of them still survive to this day. It is impossible to know, as the ice is impassable, and in the vast sea, even Magic cannot locate where the island is.

Some say Nelqora was a myth, but their ruins say otherwise. Their legacy remains.

The full tragedy of the island of Nelqora is recorded in the Vahka Vanha.

Nelqora cover
by Lotr War in the North

Government Nelqorana Empire

Estimated Peak Population 90 Million

Notable Opponents Black King Successor States

Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Alternative Names
Kingdom of the North; Empire of the Tall Men; Empire of the Nelqorana; Country of Mariners; Country of Chalk and Salt; Enlightened Kingdom; Impious Empire
Power Structure
Transnational government
Economic System
Traditional
Related Ethnicities
Hail to the Nelqorana, men of the Sea! It is good to see the white and golden sails. Their lords stand on the bow, and the spray is good to them. Do you hear the white gulls scream above the beaches? To the sea, the heart cries, to the sea! the white gulls are crying . . . The lords of the north come to the southern shores, and they are magnanimous in deed and word.
— First lines of the Epic Vahka Vanha


Cover image: by merl1ncz

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil