Following the destruction of the Duchy of Dunlapp at the hands of the war god Ghraal, the nobles of Arulan have built the Ghraal Temple Complex. It serves as both a monument to Ghraal's divine rule and as a military and civilian training base dedicated to the art of war. Its fields and arenas serve as the primary center where commoners and nobles alike train and spar with each other to test their mettle in the heat of battle.
Its construction began 100 years ago after Ghraal killed the Duke of Dunlapp and all of the nobility in the duchy. Before that there was a mass execution of commoners who were caught in possession of weapons. They had their limbs broken on the rack and then their bodies were left to rot in gibbets. The purpose of this grisly event was to terrorize the populace into compliance and quash any notions of resistance against the despotic rule of the Dunlapp ruling class.
Ghraal took notice of this and was angered at the fact that the nobles dared to keep the lesser classes defenseless. In retaliation he initiated an invasion of the duchy to make an example of the arrogant upper classes. Daemons of Ghraal poured out into the world and proceeded to slaughter every person in sight. Cities and castles burned to the ground, estates were reduced to ruins. The entire land was stained with the blood of the fallen.
The destruction of the duchy did not go unnoticed by the rest of the kingdom. Panic spread throughout Arulan and every region feared it would be next. In an effort to restore order, King Rothland communed with Ghraal and asked him what was required to make him happy.
Ghraal demanded that no one, not even the king, shall forbid the populace from baring arms, ever. If criminals were to be punished, it must be via combat. Finally, a great temple must be built in his name. One that would be larger then all of the other temples in the kingdom. Left with no other choice and not daring to defy the will of a god, the king agreed to the terms. After 5 years, the temple was completed.
The Ghraal Temple Complex is divided into 6 sections, each with a specific purpose.
The first section is the Halls of the Melee. This is where all of the training and sparring in melee combat is done. People use spears, maces, warhammers, swords, daggers, and other melee weapons in this section. The best swordsmen are made here.
The second section is the Halls of the Ranger. Here all of the training for ranged combat takes place. The use of bows, crossbows, slings, throwing weapons, and such can be found here. Some of the best archers have trained here all of their lives.
The third section is the Halls of the Hearth. The residential sections such as barracks, rec rooms, kitchens, and other living spaces are here. Mostly this is where the warrior priests that maintain the temple complex and conduct instruction live but visitors and long term trainees also can be found staying here too.
The forth section is the Halls of the Forge. Weapons and armor of the highest quality are researched and forged here in this section. Those who wish to obtain the best of the best will have them crafted here or are bought here for gold. The best craftsmen in the kingdom work here crafting weapons and armor and experiment with different crafting techniques and materals.
The fifth section is the Halls of the Arcane. Weapon and armor enchantments are researched and made in this section. Mages that specialize in war magic constantly look over ancient tomes and perform experiments to make the best enchantments that equipment can carry.
The sixth and final section is the Halls of the Sacrificed. Convicted criminals are kept here as fodder for the fighters to practice on and for weapons testing. The dungeons in this section can hold thousands of prisoners and the arena is constantly covered with the blood and guts of the poor sods who are killed. Arena fights are also held here where people convicted of lesser offenses can fight for their freedom.
However this place has not been without controversy. Some of the weapons created in the Ghraal Temple Complex have been deemed cruel and inhumane by neighboring kingdoms and have thus been banned from use on the battlefield. Ghraal cares not how the blood is spilled nor who spills it. Just that it is spilled in combat. A few of these banned weapons include:
Barbed Weapons. While effective in disabling enemy fighters, these weapons will often rip the guts out of the body and cause the opponent to die a slow and painful death. Such barbed weapons can include swords, spears, axes.
Weapons with cruel enchantments. Some enchantments while being effective in combat, have turned out to be quite cruel in nature. These enchantments can include necromantic effects, effects that cause intense agony, and others that turn out to cause needless collateral damage.
The Kingdom of Arulan is very combat oriented thanks to Ghraal being the patron deity of the entire land. Its laws and customs are centered around combat and this has resulted in some interesting situations. Such as one particular neighbor known as the Ogithen Kingdom will actually send prospective members of their elite troops to Arulan for additional combat training. After all, Ghraal says, the more warriors, the better.
It is also because of Ghraal, that a lord crossing weapons with a peasant in a duel is a legitimate thing in the kingdom, though it is not encouraged. Unlike neighboring kingdoms where this is considered extremely taboo and unbecoming of a noble one to the point that there are entire laws to prevent this. The people of Arulan justify this because Ghraal says at the end of the day, social status becomes irrelevant when someone engages you in combat.
Which means that if you are dumb enough to try and pick a fight with anyone in Arulan, be prepared to back that up on the field of honor because the person you are provoking is likely to accept your challenge. Though yielding to your opponent before the first strike is a perfectly legitimate way to end a fight because more often then not, the opponent will accept that yield and stop combat. Be aware that some people might call you a coward if you do this however.
The Nobility of Arulan have taken to fighting alongside their subjects when called to defend the kingdom from threats. This is not only to strengthen the morale of the troops but because Ghraal will grant them his blessings in battle for their extraordinary courage. Ghraal knows that none of the kingdoms that border Arulan command their armies from the front. Because Arulan happens to be the exception to this cowardly trend, Ghraal deems them worthy of his favor.
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? Responses (2)
Do the warriors of Dunlap ever tyre?
Added some additional lore about the kingdom and a few words of caution for PCs who are quick to pick fights.