Kingdoms of Hero and Song
The Kellmark is a part of the Westbearn east of the river White. This region is made up of seven small kingdoms, often called ‘petty kingdoms’ by those outside the Kellmark. Each has a king and consider themselves and their lands independent entities.
This land and it’s people seem to harken back to older days, when the Kellsh ruled the entire Westbearn. That was a time of grand heroes and kings, of a pantheon of warrior gods and dragons, and a time when the Kellsh built mighty stone castles and made war on each other. They fought monsters, too, and their lore says that in the old days before the Hindal invasion the forests were haunted by many wicked things.
Today these pagan people live on, fewer but still proud. Their kingdoms still sometimes war amongst each other, but in a turn they unite against outside aggressors who seek to take the last bit of home they still have.
This land is also home to many tribes of Wood Elves, who keep to themselves mostly, but often help defend the Kellmark as well. The Kellsh respect the wood elves, but also are wary of their ways, and the two don’t often live in the same places.
The Seven Kingdoms of the Kellmark (and their current Kings or Queens) are as follows:
Uindell – King Lochlan Tuathal
Cronnach – King Feargus Duanshel
High Whiccte – Queen Eolwen Cosgar
Low Whiccte – Queen Andarua Ronain
Aelfraich – King Ragnall Aelfra
Munderlin – King Abney Cronnag
Dobbon – Queen Aifney Uisdane
The Kellsh ruled the Westbearn for many many years before the coming of the Carnoscans and the Hindals. According to their lore, in the ages of myth they were slaves to the Duanda, the ancient ancestors of the Elves. Their Gods helped to free them giving boons and artifacts to ancient heroes to make war on the elves. The elves either fled to the underworld Aghartha, or gave truce, and the men found themselves free in a post-Duanda world. Whether this tale is true, or whether all men were slaves of the elves or just the Kellsh, is hotly debated. For the most part, it is seen as myth, though Elven ruins do dot the Westbearn in small patches, and many more of them are scattered about the Great Northern Taiga.
The Kellmark itself was created when the Hindal tribes invaded the Westbearn, pushing the Kellsh and wood elves west and north. When the hero Aelfraich and his Red Company were able to ambush and defeat a huge Hindal host at a river crossing, a truce was made. Though this left the Kellsh tribes with much less land than before, the war had been punishing and the chiefs accepted readily. Many Kellsh structures in the Westbearn still stand and are in use today, usually old stone walls, bridges, towers, and castles.
The tribes for a time fought over pieces of the Kellmark until finally seven kingdoms were established. These seven kings were convinced to make truce with each other by the famous wise man, druid, and bard Talswein, whom led the ancient Druidic Order. Though the kingdoms would still battle each other over sleights and to bring each other to justice, the seven kingdoms must remain intact, and they must all aid each other in times of outside invasion.
The Druidic order is much respected by the Kellsh, and so a stone cairn was made in the very center of the Kellmark and each king chiseled his mark into it. This is now called the Wiseman’s Stone, and this small region is given over to the Druids of the Kellmark.
Not much has changed in the following centuries. The Kellsh answered a call to arms from Queen Avalynne during the Second Subjugation War, and this helped to further good relations between Rhoenia and the Kellmark, though the Kellsh still feel the hurt of so much of their ancient ancestral home being taken from their forefathers.
Currently an underground group of Kellsh called the Kellsworn seek to start a war with Rhoenia, a prospect much disliked by the current kings and queens.