Rhulic History and Civilization -
Rhul is a very old nation boasting that the foundation of the Moot, the political organization that regulates fueds arising between Rhulic clans, was laid around 7500 BR. This is roughly 1,000 years before human civilization is thought to have emerged when the Canon of True Law was discovered by nomadic humans and worship of Menoth began (IKWG p. 12, 13). Only the Empire of Lyoss is thought to predate Rhul, which is founded 2,500 years previous in 10,000 BR.
Life in Rhul has been quite violent throughout the ages, with clan fueding, duels, and competition being a common part of life (PP website). Despite its nature, these feuds are handled according to a very strict code of conduct based largely upon ancient tablets thought to have been handed down by the Great Fathers, the thirteen dwarves that are worshipped as demigods (PP website). Even though this fighting is quite intense, if the nation of Rhul is threatened by outside forces fighting will stop immediately so that arms can be taken up against these external threats (IKWG p. 346).
The nation of Rhul has always practiced a strict policy of neutrality over the course of time. This has occasionally been broken in the past in extreme circumstances, the strongest example being the assistance of dwarvish engineers in the construction of the Colossals during the Rebellion against the Orgoth circa 180 AR. This policy has allowed clans to seek economic interests throughout Western Immoren by building conclaves in the nations of Cygnar, Khador, Llael, and Ord (IKWG p. 27, 346). It has also allowed them to trade in precious metals that can only be found in the mines of Rhul, like the alloy used to create Magelock Pistols for example (NQ6, p. 24).
The population of Rhul itself is around 2,350,000 strong with dwarves making up about 85% of its citizens. Ogrun, while a minority, are quite common and make up about 13% of the population. Other races include goblins, bogrin, and humans originating from various nations throughout Western Immoren (IKWG p.347). Ogrun, despite their minority status, are quite present in everyday life in Rhul, many holding important political office and/or being in positions of respect (IKWG p. 351, 356, 359).
Most dwarves are parts of clans, which are groups of dwarves with shared bloodlines. Some often boast numbers in the thousands, but many are much smaller, particularly new clans started by upstart youths wishing to make a name for themselves. Clans are governed by clan lords who have the responsibility of maintaining the clan’s continual activity in building, something that is considered to be a sacred covenant in Rhul. The orders of clan lords are to be followed absolutely, but clan lords are bound to follow the laws of the codex and obey the orders of the Moot and the Stone Lords, the most powerful of of the clan lords who “form the ultimate authority in Rhul”. These Stone Lords manage all of the most important political matters like dealing with foreign ambassadors. Most Ogrun are full members of Rhulic clans and serve the clan lord. There are some exclusively Ogrun communities, but they all share some semblance of loyalty to the clans (IKWG p. 348)
Rhulic industry is composed of several key interests. Chief among these are the aforementioned masonry, mining, and metallurgy. Rhul is also renowned for having several of the best weapon manufacturers in Western Immoren. Steamjack manufacturing is also a relatively important part of Rhulic society. Steamjacks in Rhul are designed as multi-purpose machines that are just as capable as tools for mining and industry as they are on the battlefield. However, Rhulic warjacks aren’t nearly as advanced as the warjacks of the warring nations of man due to the fact that necessity has not dictated that they advance their warjack technologies. The Ghordson Driller, the oft used steamjack of choice of Rhulic mercenaries, saw initial service in 446 AR, making its design only 16 years younger than the all-but-decommissioned Khadoran Berzerker (Escalation p. 85). The escalation of war in the south has recently motivated Rhulic steamjack manufactures to pursue the construction of steamjacks built for war, the most notable of which being the cannon-wielding Avalancher.
Present Day Rhul and the Searforge Commission -
Modern Rhulic history begins in 604 AR with the Khadoran invasion of Llael and Cygnar’s declaration of war on Khador. Rhul’s relationships with the nations of man are becoming difficult. Dwarven enclaves in all three nations make the safety of foreign Rhulic nationals tenuous, particularly considering the strength of the commercial relationships between Cygnar and Rhul as well Cygnaran resentment towards Rhulfolk from the reason that they are “providing a safe haven to a race refusing to assist them”. Travel throughout Immoren has become difficult for Rhulfolk shipping goods and supplies to their foreign enclaves. Khador has clamped down on the Black River, a main highway for Rhulic trade, and Cygnaran patrols and checkpoints police trade routes with extreme prejudice (IKWG p. 346, Superiority p. 196). In 605 AR, these difficulties lead Clan Searforge to create the Searforge Commission, a group that is dedicated to hiring Rhulic mercenaries throughout Western Immoren to protect Rhulic trade and shipping that serves the interests of Clan Searforge, but also accepts contracts from Clans Ghordson, Grundback, Serric, and Stone House Dhurg (Prime Remix p. 63).
Among the chief supporters and benefactors of the Commission’s efforts is the 33rd High Shield Gun Corps, a group that specializes in mountain and subterranean combat. The notorious mercenaries and weapon developers Herne Stoneground and Arquebus Jonne work with the 33rd quite often, supplying them with explosives while also being on retainer with the Searforge Commission themselves. The Commission will occasionally go to the effort of hiring warcasters for particularly perilous or high priority purposes. One such example was during an incursion of dragonspawn and blighted Nyss in an enclave near Skirov circa 606 AR when both Gorten Grundback and Durgen Madhammer were hired (Superiority p. 196). Gorten was brought into use his expertise to rescue trapped miners while Durgen was brought in to seal off and demolish the mine. Unfortunately, Durgen’s impulse control got the better of him and Gorten was forced to subdue his fellow warcaster (NQ11 p. 40-42).
Due to the recent liberation of Leryn by the Protectorate's Northern Crusade and a cease in hostilities in Southern Khador, trade routes are more open, but there is no guarantee of safety. The presence of Skorne armies in eastern Cygnar, the occupation of Llael by the less-than-tolerant Protectorate of Menoth, the threat of Cygnaran and Khadoran patrols, and the ever-present threat of Cryx continue to make trade and shipping difficult for the clans. Even now Rhul is threatened from within by an incursion of dragonspawn. These are busy times for mercenary Rhulfolk living abroad. As long as war continues to ravage the nations of man, the Commission will enthusiastically band together forces to maintain their interests.