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We begin our in depth discussion of the various provinces of Shalrodan with the Isles of Kolothys, the northernmost part of Shalrodan. Kolothys is a beautiful land with tall rugged snowcapped mountains, forests, lakes and streams, and lush green meadows in which the famed Kolothyn stallions run about. The legend of the expedition which eventually discovered the isles of Kolothys and the great mainland beyond is detailed in chapter nine of my first book, "Earth of Fire, Sky of Ice".

"Tarshish well stocked the ship with supplies. The three desired to set forth with their families and to find a new land that they could claim for their posterity. It was a new world, much of it unclaimed and unexplored. Soon word of the voyage spread. Word of the expedition buzzed through the village like wildfire.

Rodanim had one son named Rhodim who was his eldest. Rhodim had already married, and so he chose not to join the expedition. Rhodim tried to discourage Rodanim from taking this journey, but the spirit of adventure within Rodanim was far too strong.

Although many others called the three visionary and foolish, there were many others who also had a spirit of adventure, and desired to sail forth with them. Among the followers were several large Anakim (misunderstood and shunned by men and looking for a land of their own), along with a few of their fiercer cousins, the Zamzumim. In all, four ships and over three hundred set sail on that clear spring day in the 108th year of the emergence, 1765 years since first father stepped forth upon the Earth.

The ships sailed southward for many days following the coastline of the lands of Ramah. During the voyage, the ships stopped into one of the coastal villages, for supplies and water. It was there that the ebon Lashad and his family joined the expedition, for they too had the spirit of adventure, and desired a new land as an inheritance for their posterity. The three leaders decided that if they were to discover a new and uninhabited land, which they would need to sail forth into the great unknown. They sailed forward into the ocean, and had not seen land for many days when one day, a mighty storm arose. The storm lasted for six days. Finally when the weather broke, the ships regrouped. The ship with the Anakim and Zamzumim were nowhere to be found and were presumed to be lost. Those on the other ships were tired, and discouraged, and wanted to turn back. Even the great sailor Tarshus was ready to forsake his dream and bow to the pressure of popular opinion.

Just when it seemed that the voyage was doomed to failure, Rodanim came forward and spoke. He spoke with such power and inspiration, that he convinced the voyagers to continue forward.

Four days later, the rugged peaks of the new land were sighted, where they soon landed. A few days later, Rodanim’s youngest son Koloth was born, and the islands were named Kolothys in honor of the occasion. The first native of the new land had been born! The island was used as a base for exploration, and the mainland was soon discovered. Rodanim first sighted it one clear morning when he climbed to the top of the Kolothyn Mountains and cast his eyes southward.

He exclaimed that from these mountains, you could see to eternity. The mountains there still bear the name. He excitedly returned to the camp with the news. The very next day, they set sail for the mainland, and landed right here in what is now Shaldor. Rodanim, (who because of his inspiration and vision, had been named leader by the voyagers) was the first man to set foot upon this great land which was named Shalrodan or the Land of Rodanim in his honor."

In the half century following the birth of Kolothys, while Rodanim still ruled the entirety of Shalrodan, many of the descendants of Koloth moved away to the mainland, however, some remained in the isles of Kolothys. Those who remained became sailors and called themselves the Corsairs, who prided themselves on the fact that they never left the isles of Kolothys.

So now let's dive into the lineage of the ruling families of Kolothys. In commemoration of Rodanim's one hundredth birthday, a great Council that was held in the 165th year of the emergence (presumably referring to the emergence after the great flood when, Noah and his wife, and his three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth and their wives emerged from the ark onto dry land).

In that council, Rodanim saw wisdom in dividing the land amongst his children and with Lashad and his posterity. He gave the Isles of Kolothys to his youngest son, Koloth.

Koloth was a good king and was well loved by his people, as was his son Kalanth.

It was during the reign of Kalanth that most all of the descendants of Koloth returned to the isles of Kolothys, not exactly to the approval of the Corsairs who had remained behind, and had tamed the land and made it much more habitable.

Kalanth as a king did much to unite the Corsairs with those who had returned to the Isles of Kolothys. However, Kalanth had two sons, Kalarath, and one who is only known as Graymare. The story is continued in chapter twenty two of "Earth of Fire, Sky of Ice" when the physician Dairel happens to meet by chance, Galen Graymare, the ruler of Kolothys. In the chance meeting, while Galen and Dairel are sitting by a campfire waiting for the northern Dramarak gate to open, Galen tells Dairel the tale.

"Those were uncertain times for Kolothys, the isle was still adjusting to all of the changes that occurred when lord Graymare wrested the throne from his older Brother Kalarath.”

“I don’t believe I’ve heard that tale. It would seem that we have some time to wait for the gate to open, and would much like to hear it, please, tell me.”

“Very well. I will tell you the story. You no doubt have heard the tale of how Rodanim’s expedition first landed upon the isle of Kolothys. When the mainland was discovered, most of the people moved on to what is now the great city of Shaldor which was the first settlement here upon Shalrodan. Some, however chose to remain behind in Kolothys. Upon old Rodanim’s 100th birthday, a great council was held. The whole of Shalrodan was divided, and as you know, the Isle of Kolothys was given to his youngest, Koloth. It was fitting since Koloth was the first native Shalrodian, and the first born upon Kolothyn soil.

Soon after the great council of 1821, a great exodus began as the various people left Shaldor for their various new lands. Koloth and his son Kalanth and all of their posterity returned to the Isle of Kolothys, excited by the prospect of starting their new life there. Those that had chosen to stay, (who called themselves the Corsairs) had been upon Kolothys already for over 50 years and were not so enthusiastic about the decree.

Much fighting and rebellion ensued, as both parties battled to hold what they felt was rightfully theirs. The fighting grew more and more intense; it was tearing both the island and its native son apart. When news came from Shaldor in 1826 that his father Rodanim had died, it proved too much for King Koloth. They say that he died of a broken heart for they found him in his garden that night, one hand clutching his heart, the other, his rich Kolothyn soil.

Kalanth, the son of Koloth, called a great council and made some concessions to the Corsairs, in the hope of bringing peace to the land. It was a wise decision on the part of Kalanth, who had already seen too much blood and resources wasted by the fighting.

Even though Kalanth’s forces outnumbered those of his opponents, the Corsair’s advantage lie in the fact that they were far more experienced in the art of war, and at sea their prowess as sailors is legendary. Upon land, they were tremendous fighters, but at sea, their skills were unparalleled. This is true to this day, why even the brazen pirates of Tyrrh will not venture to trade fire with any vessel of the Kolothyn Corsairs. Simply put, they know they are outmatched.

Kalanth was a good and fair ruler, and was well loved by all, and Kolothys enjoyed peace for many years under his wise guidance. Kalanth had two sons, Kalarath and the one who came to be known as Graymare. It is hard to imagine that the two were brothers, for they were as different as night and day. Kalarath enjoyed wearing his palace finery, and could generally be found in court, while his younger brother was content to wear tattered clothes and to spend his time in the stables. He would come into the castle covered with mud and manure, which amused his father immensely, but not so his brother. Kalarath would tell him, “You are a prince! It is time thou started dressing and acting like one!" The spineless Kalarath would safely keep himself in the castle, while his strong–minded brother would be out associating and working with the people. All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the reign of good King Kalanth. He died in his sleep one winters day in Krevoma 1872. His eldest, Kalarath assumed the throne upon his fathers death. He named his son Traboret as the crown prince, but as fate would have it, Traboret would never sit upon the throne.

The first thing that Kalarath did was to disown his brother, and had him put out from the castle. He ordered that his name be stricken from every record and never be spoken again. To this day, no one knows what his name was, or when he was born. He came to be known only as Graymare, because of the color of the fine Kolothyn steed that bore him everywhere he went.

The second thing that Kalarath did was to retract and invalidate the concessions that his father had made. The Corsairs were furious. They planned a rebellion. The Tyrrh, who were looking to increase their land holdings, planned to seize this opportunity. Many of the people at that point were ready to support the Tyrrh in their attempt to overthrow the throne.

Graymare was loved and respected by all, Including the Corsairs. He truly became a voice of the people. He denounced the policies of his brother, and understood the anger of the people, for he had seen homes and land that the Corsairs had spent their lives building, suddenly taken and destroyed by the Kings army.

Graymare unified the people. He knew the Tyrrhan invasion was imminent, and solicited the help of the Tuskaru in their struggle. The Tuskaru were dauntless warriors, and instructed the unified army in the logistics of war; how to use terrain to their advantage, how to dig and prepare traps and snares, and how to use every kind of weather to their advantage.

Despite the fact that the unified forces fought both the Tyrrh by sea, and Kalarath’s army by land, they were victorious! The Corsairs were instrumental in the victory at sea over the Tyrrh, and Graymare along with his friends the Tuskaru led the people’s army to victory over the forces of Kalarath, and wrested the throne from his older brother. Rather than restore his name, he preferred to remain known as Graymare, as a reminder that names and titles do not make one great, and that those who would be great serve those that they love in a great manner. Until the day that he died, he worked alongside with the people that he loved.”

Meanwhile, Graymare had made his brother Kalarath a noble of Kolothys, giving him a station worthy of his heritage. His son Traboret, he also made a Noble, but despite Graymare’s generosity, all his life, Traboret did all that he could to cause dissention for the Graymare line, and he died, an angry old man.

Traboret was briefly married to Gaiia, the Crown Princess of Shaldor and heir to the throne of Shaldor. The union was a tumultuous one, and Gaiia soon returned to Shaldor, quickly tiring of Traboret's angry disposition and tendency towards physical violence. Unfortunately, the union produced a child, Thetus, who his entire life blamed the house of Graymare for robbing him of the crown of Kolothys, as surely as he blamed his uncle, Iotheld for robbing him of the crown of Shaldor. When his mother, Gaiia died shortly after giving birth to Thetus, it was Iotheld, not Thetus that was named the heir to the throne of Shaldor.

In order to take his revenge against the House of Graymare, on the day of the wedding between Galen Graymare, and Princess Valrissa of the Valrimir, Thetus kidnapped Valrissa, and took her away to the mainland, hiding her in a cell deep in the mines of Dorga. Thetus further displayed his disdain for Galen Graymare when he forced himself upon Valrissa, ravaging her against her will.

This then is why there is such animosity between Galen Graymare and Thetus have always had such an intense hatred for each other, and why they are such bitter rivals.

Politically speaking, one could think of the Isles of Kolothys as a loose monarchy. By virtue of the fact that Galen is a direct descendent of Graymare the first, (Who married a Corsair woman) and being a direct descendant of Koloth and by extension, Rodanim, Galen is well loved by his people and is respected as a an inspiring speaker, a skilled negotiator and a cunning military strategist. Galen tends to have a fairly hands off approach, spending a great deal of his time on the mainland securing trade with Kolothys while searching for his missing wife and Queen, Valrissa.

Galen knows that given the opportunity, that his people will be able to use their hard work and industry to manage the day to day affairs of his kingdom, and that by so doing, his people will prosper. As Henry David Thoreau once is credited with saying] “that government is best which governs least”.

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