Sutemi writes "East from Hepmonaland lie the islands of a powerful Touv civilization called
the Kingdom of Qinlo. Magic, mystery, gladiators, sea monsters, jungle druids,
doppelgangers... This and much more awaits for you in this African-themed lost
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The Kingdom of Qinlo
Ruler: The Chief of Chiefs and Supreme Ruler of the Islands, the King of
Government: Feudal monarchy
Qinlo (12,700 inhabitants), Tu Touv (700 inhabitants)
Provinces: One island
divided into three provinces; one island divided into seven tribal areas with
loosely defined borders and one autonomous village
iron, gems (III, mostly pearls)
Coinage: Greatcoin (pp), gold crown (gp),
silver crown (sp), common (cp)
Population: 129,000 – Human 99.5% (Touv),
Other 0.5% (doppelgangers and hobgoblins)
Languages: High Touv
Religions: Unkulu, Touv pantheon
Allies: Merchants of the
Doppelganger Island (weak)
Enemies: The Doppelganger Island (mistrusted)
The kingdom, located in the Sea of Sharks, is comprised of two islands: The
larger one, called Adda, is half a day sail from Hepmonaland (called Melavi by
the islanders) and the smaller island Haiapo is located southeast from Adda. One
mile of sea separates their coasts.
Haiapo is the main island of the kingdom. On its northwest coast, just two
miles from Adda’s shores, lies their capital and only city Qinlo. The northern
and western coasts are nominally under the direct rule of the king, but his
court officials keep contact with the village chiefs and take care of taxes. The
inner province (without coastline) is ruled by the Great Chief of the Mountain
and the area is best known for its Daitta mountain, which is the only mountain
within the kingdom. All the kingdom’s iron mines are located here and it’s an
ideal hiding place for criminals. Gala Falls of Daitta is remarkably beautiful
and home to mischievous fey that sometimes get hostile with intruders.
Southern and eastern coasts are ruled by the Great Chief of the Shores and
they are dotted with fishing villages.
Adda is called the Sister Island. Tu Touv (“Home of Touv”), right across the
sea from Qinlo, is the unofficial capital of Adda and the only tribally
unaligned village in the island. Nearly everyone on the island is a farmer and
the densily populated island is mostly farmland. The landscape is flat and has
very few forests. The ruler of the island is the Princess of Adda, and
traditionally she is the most magically adept daughter of a king (past or
present). She can be found from Tu Touv and is well protected by her all-female
In Qinlo, the king and his court rule from the Royal Palace which is, by far,
the most magnificent building in the kingdom. The position of king is hereditary
and the heir is always the oldest son of the current king. Kings rule for life
and their power is absolute.
The villages are ruled by village chiefs, and they report either to the Great
Chiefs or court officials (in Haiapo) or tribal chiefs (in Adda). There are
seven major tribes in Adda and each of them has one tribal chief. The seven Adda
tibes are Bueoul, Ma-Ahra, Mosali, Kharbo, Raffa, Tuhelu and Xaan. These tribes
are more mixed in Haiapo, where their membership is less important. The royal
tribe of Haiapo is Kanlal, and all its members are nobles. They are also the
smallest of tribes, although many of the Kanlal belong to other tribes through
intermarriage. In marriage, women change their allegiance to their new tribe.
All tribes are monogamous and having more than four children is frowned upon,
due to the ancient traditions which reflect the limitations of the small
islands. In their culture, the number five is believed to be a bringer of
The climate is hot and tropical, but not as much as it is in the jungles of
Hepmonaland. Both islands, especially Adda, are fertile and yield taro, rice and
cassava throughout the year. There are many bird species and small mammals, but
other than those the island doesn’t have that many native animals. There are no
horses of any kind.
Fishing is vitally important, but the islanders are not seafarers. In fact,
the sea around the islands is supernaturally dangerous and filled with
monstrosities of the worst nightmares. Swimming is suicidal due to sharks.
Fishermen stay close to the coastline, but sometimes even that doesn’t save
them. Every now and then sea monsters rise from the sea and enter the islands
causing havoc. Luckily few are capable of such feat. The lack of lumber has also
diminished the readiness for sailing. Sailing short distances is safer during
early summers and particularly in daytime, when sharks and other monsters are
less active near the coasts.
There are a nearly three hundred hobgoblins on the islands, all descendants
of slaves taken from failed hobgoblin pirate raids (every attempt in the written
history has failed). They are fully adapted to the Touv culture and don’t have
that much information of their pre-slavery history. They suffer from
discrimination and tend to be quick to anger. Touvs simply call them “goblins”.
Nowadays the hobgoblin pirates avoid venturing to the deadly waters of the Sea
The islanders aren’t particularly religious, although ceremonies such as
weddings and funerals are observed with piety. Funeral pyres are the norm.
Different tribes have their own beliefs and there are no major temples in the
kingdoms. Unkulu is the deity of magic, arcane knowledge, foresight and balance,
and he is popular among the learned folk. In fact, Unkulu is an alias for
Boccob, who has some unknown interest towards the islands.
The kingdom regards Hepmonaland as a sacred place. It’s believed to be the
birthplace of humanity and the kingdom has a strict non-interference policy with
the natives. The druids of the islands are non-religious and sworn protectors of
the jungles. It’s a custom that every fourth male child of each family is sent
to druidic training when they are five years old. The wildlife of the jungles is
deadly to the extreme, and the druids are trained and well prepared on the
islands for approximately 16 years before they set to Hepmonaland. Their
mortality rate is high, but most druids believe in the survival of the fittest
and accept the short lifespans of their brothers and sisters. The druids have no
formal organization; they are merely bonded by the mutual goal of protecting
In addition to Hepmonaland, the islanders are aware of only one place outside
their realm: The Island of Doppelgangers. The small island is situated not far
to the east. The fear and revile of doppelgangers is deeply rooted within the
hearts and minds of the islanders, but occasionally they trade with the
independent doppelganger merchants. All doppelgangers found within the kingdom
are imprisoned and subjected to gladiatorial fights, but in history some have
found immunity from persecution (e.g. diplomatic immunity granted by a
The most renowned warriors of the islands are the Blood Brothers of Light.
Originally they were the bodyguards of the king and lived in his palace, but one
hundred years ago the king sent them to protect the coasts from amphibious sea
monsters and granted them a knightly status. Many believe that the frequent love
affairs between the Blood Brothers and the royal princesses were the main reason
for this arrangement (the new royal guards are exclusively eunuchs). The Blood
Brothers are tattooed warriors, bards and spellslingers who are all connected
through a chain of blood oaths. Any man who tattoos his body and face with the
elaborate and colourful symbols of the order and takes a blood oath with one of
its members is elevated to a high and respectable position within the islander
society. A member of the order may only take two blood oaths during his
lifetime, whose names are tattooed on their fists. They are forbidden to marry
unless they were already before taking the blood oath. All Blood Brothers are
always expected to defend the islands at a moment’s notice and maintain public
order at all times. Currently there are almost one hundred Blood Brothers in the
Gladiatorial combat is a source of controversy within the realm. The
2,500-spectator arena in the capital was built and used mainly for
slave-gladiator fighting, but after slavery was banned, it has been used for
executions and professional gladiator fights.
Only murderers and violent criminals who are non-citizen face execution in
the arena, mostly by monsters. Successful non-citizens can win their freedom,
but this is highly arbitrary and relative to the crime. Such criminals will be
exiled from the islands for life.
There are dozens of professional gladiators in the kingdom and virtually all
highly trained and exceptional individuals. Conservative citizens revile them
and boycott gladiatorial fights while more liberal ones adore them and pay for
the expensive admissions. Gladiators have a large and devoted fan-base.
In the arena, professional gladiators fight near-death combats against each
other, foreign criminals and monsters (non-cooperative opponents are quickly
subdued once defeat has been signalled). Sometimes gladiators are killed in
combat, usually by an accident. Non-citizen criminals always fight to the
Gladiatorial fights are arranged four times a year during festival weeks.
According to the legend, the ancient Touvs of the Kanlal tribe migrated to
islands approximately 2000 years ago. Relative isolation permitted them to
distance themselves from the constant tribal fighting of the mainland and the
relative security enabled them to build a fledging civilization, with
technological advances such as irrigation. The Touv of Kanlal Dynasty progressed
quickly in their tiny paradise. One century after their arrival, the Mosali and
Ma-Ahra tribes splintered from Kanlals, and within the next few hundred years
four more tribes migrated from the mainland. Kanlals has managed to remain in
power and in peace with the other tribes to this day.
A little over a millennium ago began the so-called Age of Enlightenment.
Thereafter the islands have had many sages and poets as the skill of writing has
since been widespread. In 95 CY the Kingdom of Qinlo was established,
along with the current chronology. The King Xunath was the first king, and the
ancestor of the reigning king Tuwaga.
The title of Princess of Adda was established in the mid-200s after the
failed title of Queen of Adda. One of the ancient kings only had daughters and
in 192 CY he created a law which has never been broken: The ruler of Adda must
be a female royalty. This didn’t go too well at first, because the Queen of Adda
was infertile and since the island has always been populated by farmers, this
was seen as a great curse. A king should never reverse his decisions, so he
decided that the female ruler should be a virgin for life. After the so far only
Queen, all other rulers have been Princesses for life. This has always been seen
as a great blessing in Adda, because virgin noble women are believed to have
great magical powers. And this has been mostly true, because a majority of the
princesses have been powerful sorcerers.
Since the beginning the islanders have had slavery. The slaves were
criminals, captured Touv savages and hobgoblins from Hepmonaland. Children born
to slaves were slaves as well. Slavery was losing its favour as the islanders
began to embrace more humanistic worldview and finally, some 50 years ago,
slavery was abolished without much resistance. There were around 700 slaves
within the kingdom at that time and over half of them were gladiators in the
slave pens of the capital. The descendants of the slaves carry social stigma and
many have turned to crime.
The Doppelganger Island was found in 454 CY when a young prince and famous
sea captain Nasulu sailed for three days to the east and discovered it by
chance. The expedition didn’t end well as he and his crew were captured by a
gang of doppelgangers. The doppelgangers took the vessel and attempted to
navigate it, but they didn’t have the necessary naval skills. They forced the
young captain to sail it straight back to Qinlo. When the doppelgangers arrived,
they tried to impersonate the crew, but the king noticed something strange in
the way they had sailed to the harbour. Immediately he had hugged his “son”, he
called the guards to detain the impersonators. The doppelgangers were revealed
and the young captain was rescued. The king, known as Megono the Wise, is still
one of the very few who has been able to “smell” a doppelganger without
Future expeditions to the islands were much more cautious, with mages and
heavily armed guards. Over the decades, the kingdom has found some allies and
many enemies from the island, and engaged in lucrative trade with doppelganger
merchants and fought off bandits and pirates. So far no known doppelganger
vessel has been genuinely seaworthy, although there are rumours that they are
building their first sailing ship. The Doppelganger Island itself remains as a
High Touv is a dialect of the Touv language, with a considerably larger
vocabulary and significant differences in pronunciation and intonation. Written
Touv and High Touv are mutually somewhat intelligible, but communication
requires great effort.
The current year is 496 QY (Qinlo Years). The counting starts from 95 CY.
Days of the week are Cloudday, Waveday, Ironday, Sandday, Goodday, Marketday,
Months and festival weeks are Winterfest (festival week), Forging (Winter),
Birthing (Spring), Thunder (Spring), Spingfest (festival week), Storm (Low
Summer), Calving (Low Summer), Weaving (Low Summer), Summerfest (festival week),
Herding (High Summer), Mining (High Summer), Fire (High Summer), Autumnfest
(festival week), Harvest (Autumn) Feast (Autumn), Lovers (Winter).
Typical boy names: Azmer, Dauabe, Hiale, Mweba, Negassi.
Typical girl names: Adis, Awa, Belala, Lawabe, Shetunde.