Hallandren is the most powerful kingdom on Nalthis. It is unique for its jungle environment and the Tears of Edgli, which grow nowhere else. It is home to the Hallandren Iridescent Tones, the religion that supports and is led by the Returned.
”A paradise hidden between the mountains, a land with pleasant rains that never grew cold, a land where succulent food grew spontaneously.
Hallandren sits in a valley bordered by both the Bright Sea and the mountains. Hallandren encompasses a third of the Bright Sea's coastline, and the capital city itself, T'Telir, sits on the sea and is a major trade center. The Tears of Edgli grow only in the soil of Hallandren. The valley has a moderate climate that is never too cold and rarely experiences harsh weather. The climate allows food to be grown without difficulty. Powerful earthquakes are a frequent occurrence there.
Government and Religion
Hallandren is a theocracy ruled by the Pantheon of the Returned, headed by the God King. The Iridescent Tones, which grew out of the Cult of the Returned, is the religion behind this theocracy, and is responsible for the worship and care of the Hallandren Returned. Each Returned is given a palace in the Court of Gods in T'Telir, and served by a group of attendants and priests. The priests organize the interactions between the Returned and the citizens, including the weekly offering of Breath that the Returned require to survive and the daily hearing of petitions.
As part of the government, each Returned is assigned specific administrative duties, such as maintaining the city sewers or commanding part of the army. The God King can nominally make any decision he pleases, but in reality much of the day-to-day government decisions are made by the priests of the various gods.
The Court Assembly is a standing commission of the Court of Gods that provides decisions to Hallandren's citizens. It meets daily to make small judgments, but important discussions are reserved for weekly meetings of the full Assembly. The Assembly is made up primarily of priests and priestesses, and meetings are held in a large arena at the back of the Court of Gods. The Returned do not sit on the Assembly, but many of them regularly attend the weekly meetings to watch from ornate stone observation boxes, including Susebron. Some Returned do not concern themselves with politics and rarely attend, while others find the meetings boring because they believe their opinions do not matter. During Assembly meetings, arguments are brought forth regarding various topics such as relations with Idris; Siri was also presented to the Court at the Assembly. The Assembly's discussions are often full of rhetoric and politically savvy Returned try to influence the direction of the Assembly. Attending the Court Assembly is thought of as a privilege by the people of Hallandren; there are only four benches in the arena for citizens to attend, so only people who are rich, influential, favored by a god, or have at least fifty Breaths attend regularly. Average citizens may enter a lottery to win a token to attend the Assembly.
The regular Court Assembly is not empowered to make major decisions such as a declaration of war; instead, all of the Returned must attend a gathering known as a "main" or "general" assembly so they can all cast a vote. These special assemblies are rare and often very crowded, as citizens who win lottery tokens to attend an Assembly often save them for a main assembly so they can see all of the gods together.
The Hallandren Lifeless army was split into four sections of ten thousand troops, each commanded by a different Returned in the Pantheon. They are kept underground in darkness and have people to maintain and exercise them.
The commanders prior to the Pahn Kahl rebellion were Lightsong, Hopefinder, Allmother and Mercystar. Blushweaver convinced Mercystar to share her command phrase and traded her vote on the council of social ills to Hopefinder in exchange for his command phrase; she later changes both of their command phrases, thus giving her sole control over half of the nation's Lifeless. Blushweaver attempted to do the same with Allmother, but failed to persuade her. Lightsong, however, gained Allmother's trust based on their former association with Calmseer, and they shared their command phrases with each other. Lightsong withheld these phrases from Blushweaver, and later changed both command phrases to one that only he knew, leaving him with sole control over half the total forces of Halladren. During the Pahn Kahl rebellion, Blushweaver was tortured by the rebels until she gave them her command phrase. Upon seeing Blushweaver die, Lightsong despondently gave up his new command phrase out of fear for Llarimar's life.
There are also human city guards, but the bulk of the army is still the Lifeless.
The valley where Halladren is now located was discovered by the sea-faring people of the Chedesh. The tropical climate and abundance of food made the region a paradise compared to the mountains and deserts elsewhere. The sailors founded a kingdom known as Hanald on the shores of the Inner Sea. The only other inhabitants of the jungle were the native Pahn Kahl people, whose "kingdom" was in reality a collection of fishing villages.
The First Returned
The First Returned, Vo, was born during this time. It was the people on his ship who founded Hanald. He declared the Five Visions before dying a week later. His wife became the first Queen of Hanald, and governed over the kingdom's early days.
The Tears of Edgli are a unique resource only available in Hallandren. The flowers produce dyes that work in any cloth and have a very vibrant color. The kingdom used this to their advantage, trading the unique dyes to other kingdoms. A vast mercantile effort combined with the opening of the northern passes made Hallandren rich. They controlled a lucrative region, and this gave them powerful bargaining power.
Roughly 300 years before the the Pahn Kahl rebellion, the Manywar was started by Hallandren. While accounts differ over the real start of the war, they all revolve around the creation of the single-Breath Lifeless and the other discoveries of the Five Scholars. Kalad the Usurper took control of Hallandren in some fashion, and started the war for unknown reason. Eventually, Peacegiver stopped the war by bringing Kalad's Phantoms (which formed the bulk of the army) to take control of the kingdom.
At the conclusion of the Manywar, the Returned were firmly established as the rulers of Hallandren. Furthermore, the royal family (descendants of the first queen) was exiled to Idris. Peacegiver also gave the first God King a treasure of fifty thousand Breaths and entrusted his priests to see that it was cared for until he needed it again.
The Pahn Kahl Rebellion
Three hundred years later, a Pahn Kahl named Vahr made an attempt at stirring up his people. He spent over a decade working to that that end, but was ultimately captured and imprisoned due to Bluefingers' information leaks and killed by Vasher. Bluefingers himself planned an extensive subversive campaign centered around starting a war between Hallandren and Idris: he brought mercenaries and Pahn Kahl Awakeners into the tunnel system below the court, manipulated Siri into distrusting the Hallandren priests, and hired Denth's crew to increase tensions in the city. When his plans were nearing completion, he tortured Blushweaver and Lightsong in order to get the Command phrases for Hallandren's Lifeless army, changed the Command phrase, and sent the army towards Idris. The attempted rebellion was defeated when the God King, with his newly healed tongue, used Peacegiver's Treasure to storm his palace with an army of Awakened cloths. Vasher decided to give the God King the Command phrase to Kalad's Phantoms, which he then sent after the Lifeless army.
Hallandren and its inhabitants live a very colorful life, as they are sitting on the Tears of Edgli. T'Telir, in particular, is famous for having color everywhere and anywhere it can be displayed. Society is fairly well-off, with a middle class that doesn't exist anywhere else with similar technological development.
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|Characters||Vasher · Vivenna · Siri · Lightsong · Denth · Susebron · Llarimar · Bluefingers · Blushweaver · Nightblood|
|Places||Hallandren · T'Telir · Idris · Kuth · Huth · Tedradel · Court of Gods|
|Magic||Awakening · BioChromatic Breath · Drab · Heightening· Ichor-alcohol · Lifeless · Returned|
|Mythology and Lore||Endowment · Austrism · Five Scholars · Iridescent Tones · Manywar · Kalad's Phantoms|