Story of the Khalifate

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max_torch
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Story of the Khalifate

Post by max_torch » December 12th, 2014, 3:09 pm

Well the whole Khalifate faction has been designed already so one of the things this faction needs to improve its integration together with mainline is a good story. I propose we come up with story ideas, not just random background elements but an actual narrative. Part of this is to have ideas for what should be their mainline campaign.

I'll start this off by showing my idea:

Forming a nation
The Khalifate are not seen in any mainline campaigns so far because the Khalifate are actually not on the Great Continent yet. They live in another continent, different from the Green Isle. (Any name ideas for this continent?) This continent is a dry, hot desert and rocky continent with an unforgiving landscape, and the fact that the Khalifate had managed to stake a living in this land is a testament to their hardiness and determination. This land features giant scorpions, horses, sand worms, rocs, and other strange desert creatures. At first these people were not called Khalifate. These people learned how to tame the scorpions and horses and used these creatures as beasts of burden and transportation. There were many warring tribes in this land but one day a greater threat came in the form of other barbarians from beyond the sea invading their land. At first these barbarians made significant conquests but the warring tribes rallied together and drove out the invaders. They eventually formed themselves into a nation. Their domain consisted of small towns and villages and one capital city.

The Khalifate is born
In the capital city there was a school of magic and mages and non-mages coexisted peacefully. Eventually however some of the mages became corrupt and started abusing their power, they were controlling the city politics from behind the scenes and started imposing taxation and slavery on the people in and outside of the capital, proclaiming that anyone who did not worship the mages deserved to die. But after decades the people got fed up from living in fear, losing their loved ones, and rallied themselves and in a great battle stormed the main palace and slaughtered all the mages they could find within the capital city. Some mages were able to escape and the remaining mages throughout the kingdom scattered and fled. This people formed a new government, a 'Khalifate' from the word Khalifa which meant non-magical. This new Khalifate tried to erase the existence of magic from the records, and treated stories of magic and mages the way we tell children stories about ghosts and demons. They people pioneered technologies like chemistry such as the naphtha and the great experimenters with this are the naffat, and studying the human body which led to the wandering order of the hakim. They also pioneered structural mechanics and produced wonders, bulidings, and statues that are more fabulous than any seen on the great continent. There was still the occasional barbarian raid every now and then, but the unity of the Khalifate was able to hold against these raids. People soon started to forget about the mages....

Exodus
About three centuries later after the great mage purge a strange army appears. It consists of sea folk, barbarians, golem constructs, nightmare creatures, and sand worms tamed by magic, for this was not any of the usual invasions that the Khalifate had repelled, but this was an invasion led by mages, the survivors of the mage purge, who out of desperation went to extremes to keep their order alive by dabbling in dangerous magic and transferring their essences/souls into different host bodies. While they were banished they discovered almost by accident a new kind of dangerous magic but this kind of magic required a sacrifice. This magical power and life essence could only be taken from living humans so they made a plan to take revenge on the Khalifate by enslaving them in order to breed them like livestock and simply harvest the human essence for magic and enhancing their own life. The people in the capital tried to fortify themselves by the time the enemy arrived but the defenses were breached. Out of fear and terror, realizing that all hope is lost, the Khalifate flee. Those who have boats sailed outwards beyond the sea, hoping to find a new home. Eventually they find themselves on the great continent....

Well any thoughts?

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zookeeper
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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by zookeeper » December 12th, 2014, 4:22 pm

I wrote an alternative geographical origin idea for them recently, might as well post it here:
The Khalifate originates on the Old Continent. They were in conflict with the Wesfolk (who were prominent dark magic users), and when the Wesfolk were losing (both to the khalifates and to the "every form of monster imaginable") they migrated to the Green Isle, while the Khalifate stayed behind to fend off whatever enemies and monsters remained.

They weren't seafarers, so they never discovered the sea route to the Old Continent (they might have found the way to the Green Isle eventually, sometime after the Islefolks' exodus, possibly leaving them to battle with the orcs over control of the island), but in later centuries they did migrate en masse through a perilous southern land route and ended up south of Wesnoth. Seeing that Wesnothians were partly descended from their hated enemies the Wesfolk, this put them in conflict with Wesnoth, but they were quickly pushed back to the southern deserts due to the long journey having drained almost all of their resources. They couldn't go back (uncertain whether their original empire still stood), so they settled the coasts and hills and oases of the southern deserts and began rebuilding.

Problems solved: no need to culturally diverge from wesnothians in a short amount of time, no need to pre-exist on the Great Continent, exoticism explained by Old Continent origin. The southern land route can be made distant and perilous enough that basically no one on the Great Continent would know of its existence. I'd imagine it'd be a land route through the southern pole of the planet. Possibly it could have been sealed off somehow (magic, natural disaster, man-made construction) after them, or even opened up to allow them to pass (both options would be a major event in their histories), and/or their anti-magic stance could be tied into it somehow (implying that they were magic users in their Old Continent days).
I'm not terribly interested in trying to develop it further, but there it is in case someone finds some use for it.
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max_torch
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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by max_torch » December 12th, 2014, 4:57 pm

^well what was the reason that the kalifate migrated north zookeeper? I don't get it, you said the kalifate stayed behind to fend off the monsters.
Edit: after reading again i understand what you said now. so after those centuries of fending off the monsters, why would they migrate en masse up that southern land route?
Last edited by max_torch on December 12th, 2014, 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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zookeeper
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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by zookeeper » December 12th, 2014, 6:07 pm

max_torch wrote:^well what was the reason that the kalifate migrated north zookeeper? I don't get it, you said the kalifate stayed behind to fend off the monsters.
Edit: after reading again i understand what you said now. so after those centuries of fending off the monsters, why would they migrate en masse up that southern land route?
That would be a gap to fill. A lot of the usual explanations could work; maybe their empire got overrun, or maybe they sent off a large expedition, or there was a civil war and a big chunk of the population was driven away.

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max_torch
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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by max_torch » December 12th, 2014, 6:09 pm

That would be a gap to fill. A lot of the usual explanations could work; maybe their empire got overrun, or maybe they sent off a large expedition, or there was a civil war and a big chunk of the population was driven away.
Some of what I posted above could be the story of why they had to migrate, and using your idea of land bridge as migration path sounds better to show that they are not seafaring and also shows why so many of them are able to migrate to the great continent.. Conflict with wesfolk is what united them instead of conflict with barbarians, but after the wesfolk left barbarians started bothering them..
Having the revolution vs the mage lords and then the mage lords taking revenge solves the problem of why they are antimagic stance and why they had to make a mass exodus.
It would have to be a major, powerful threat that could overrun their whole empire..
Soon I will give an idea as to what happened to them once they reached the great continent.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by firefox » December 13th, 2014, 9:28 am

this sounds very interesting.
although i don't know much about those stories, i still have an idea that i want to propose to you:

as far is i know, the magicians of the green isle were the first lich lords.
so what if the khalifate magicians "stole" the lich lords magic in order to fight them.
that would create a possible explanation why the magicians became corrupted and hated by the khalifate.
they were using the same dark arts as their enemies, wich was interpreted as treason to their own folk and so the fighting began ...

and that is why the khalifate hate magic. they only know the magic used by their enemies and never studied magic on their own.
may the source be with you
=(^.^)= nya~

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max_torch
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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by max_torch » December 13th, 2014, 11:48 am

Okay I'm going to incorporate some of what firefox and zookeeper has said and tweak the story:

Forming a nation
The Khalifate are not seen in any mainline campaigns so far because the Khalifate are actually not on the Great Continent yet. They lived in the Old Continent. This continent is a dry, hot desert and rocky continent with an unforgiving landscape, and the fact that the Khalifate had managed to stake a living in this land is a testament to their hardiness and determination. This land features giant scorpions, horses, sand worms, falcons, and other strange desert creatures. At first these people were not called Khalifate and had no collective name for themselves. These people learned how to tame the scorpions and horses and used these creatures as beasts of burden and transportation. There were many warring tribes in this land but one day a greater threat came in the form of other humans who were sharing the same continent with them, the Wesfolk. At first the Wesfolk made significant conquests but the warring tribes rallied together and drove out the Wesfolk, who then fled out into the sea. Most perished out in the ocean never finding land and sinking in storms and maelstroms, but some reached what would become the Wesfolk land and Islefolk land. The people who would be Khalifate eventually formed themselves into a de facto nation. Their domain consisted of small towns and villages and one capital city. A palace was built where the leaders of the tribes held council.

The Khalifate is born
In the capital city there was a school of magic and mages and non-mages coexisted peacefully. Eventually because of the temptation that comes with power some of the mages became corrupt and started abusing their magic, they were controlling the city politics from behind the scenes and started imposing taxation and slavery on the people in and outside of the capital, started torturing people, and proclaimed that anyone who did not worship them deserved to die. But after decades the people got fed up from living in fear, losing their loved ones, and rallied themselves and in a great battle stormed the main palace and slaughtered all the mages they could find within the capital city and throughout the nation. Some mages were able to escape and the remaining mages throughout the kingdom scattered and fled. The people formed a new government, a 'Khalifate' from the word 'Khalifa' which meant non-magical. This new Khalifate tried to erase the existence of magic from the records, and treated stories of magic and mages the way we tell children stories about ghosts and demons. These people pioneered technologies like chemistry such as the naphtha and the great experimenters with this are the naffat, and studying the human body which led to the wandering order of the hakim. They also pioneered structural mechanics and produced wonders, bulidings, and statues that are more fabulous than any seen on the great continent, the main palace was renovated and enlarged to become a grand towering symbol of strength. Occasionally there were barbarian raids (barbarians that come from different places in Irdya not even discovered yet in mainline) every now and then, but the unity of the Khalifate was able to hold against these raids. People soon started to forget about the mages....

The Fate of the Mages
After they fled the mages settled on an island somewhere near the north coast of the old continent, where they were glad to just have survived the purge. They were so angry and filled with hate for the Khalifate, because almost all of the mages were killed and almost all the magical records and knowledge burned and destroyed. They made a promise that one day they would conquer the Khalifate and enslave them. They decided to build a settlement on the island and to research lethal and destructive magic. After a few years they detected a powerful magical energy emanating from the north, and knew right away that it had to be a source of great power. They made boats out of magic and followed this energy until they reached the Green Isle. They encountered the first lich lords and then 'stole' or 'learned' the lich lords' powers (Please someone who has played mainline campaigns that talk about this part of the timeline maybe you have input for this part?). Having learned how to cheat death, they decided they would take their time to perfect their destructive research, and to grow themselves an army by enslaving people to fight for them and by creating nightmares and when the time is right they would return to conquer the Khalifate.

Exodus
About three centuries later after the great mage purge a strange army appears. It consists of sea folk, barbarians, golem constructs, nightmare creatures, sand worms tamed by magic, and undead, for this was not any of the usual invasions that the Khalifate had repelled, but this was an invasion led by mages, the survivors of the mage purge. The people in the capital tried to fortify themselves by the time the enemy arrived but the defenses were breached. Out of fear and terror, realizing that all hope is lost, the Khalifate flee. Some went north and some went south and west. Those who went south and west were eventually engulfed by the mage army, having nowhere else to run. Those who went north and east found a narrow perilous land route and they decided to take the journey through it, knowing that it would be difficult for the enemy army to follow them through. They knew that many or all of them could die making the journey but they decided to take the risk.

Arrival on the Great Continent
Finally after several years they arrive in the Great Continent which presented to them new challenges. They had to learn to survive in a land that had different creatures in it, a land that was more green and humid and cold and home to different races. They got shocked to encounter a land that was so infused with magic in the forests, the caves, the mountains. They soon entered into conflict with some of the races on the Great Continent. The proper timeline for this arrival would be at a time after the mainline campaigns but before the UtBS and the fall of wesnoth.

to be continued
any thoughts? :D
UPDATE: I just saw this thread discussing the people of the green isle http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=39347. perhaps it would be good to incorporate the story of the Khalifate with some of the lore of that thread? The story I made needs to be further edited to have agreement with canon. I am inviting the people who made discussion on that thread to join the discussion on this thread.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Tascheter » December 19th, 2014, 5:34 am

That is a pretty good start, but it mirrors the regular Wesnoth story too much (powerful kingdom gets invaded and the survivors come to the Great continent). The whole Revenge of the Mages thing doesn't make sense either, and there is no way they would still refuse to use magic after they received such an unholy ass-whipping. Instead, why can't the Khalifate be from a part of the world that never learned how to use magic (or it went extinct long ago and they thought it was a myth), and they created a vast empire purely by cunning and strength? And the first contact with the Great Continent is a sort of advance party sent off to conquer new lands. In this way, they can mirror the battle of Tours, where there was a huge culture shock between the force of a mighty empire that overreached itself and a declining region of the world that is on the verge of being blotted out. Except in this case, the Great continent has magic and is a radically different environment, so the odds are more even. So simple story; Khalifate conquers old continent (great campaign and opportunity for new factions), an unpopular and illegitimate ruler (maybe he murdered the true heir or something like that) sends a great army north to discover and conquer new lands, and then they bump into Wesnoth, discover that magic is real, and the Khalifate has to readjust its entire worldview. And that initial contact is where we can start work on a mainline campaign. Very theoretical of course, but it feels more original than the story we have going now

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Tascheter » December 19th, 2014, 6:47 am

Here's a more polished entry of what I was thinking;

FORMING A NATION

The Khalifate was borne of the harsh deserts of the Old Continent. Originally the Kurwaish were no more than an insignificant tribe of herders and hunters among mighty empires, this all changed when (Work'n on a name), a mysterious and charismatic mystic, declared himself the Khalifa, meaning "Borne of the Sun", and embarked on a mighty campaign of conquest. Driven by fervor, greed, and near-suicidal bravery, The Khalifate destroyed the empire of Gemedia, reduced the merchant cities of the west to vassalage, and proved their diplomatic finesse by contriving the annexation of the Kingdom of Harum, then without an heir. The death of the Khalifa provoked a painful civil war, and when stability we re-established, an efficient bureaucracy ensured that while men still killed to be revered as a demigod-ruler, the Khalifa was in fact a figurehead, while the Viziers who made and unmade them behind the scenes held the actual reins of power.

THE GOLDEN AGE

Once the conquest of the Old Continent was largely complete, the Khalifate proved it was skilled in the ways of peace as well as war. They built a splendid capital, Al-Shizirad, on the banks of the Cloud River, and formed a thriving economy based on trade and agriculture. in time, their conquered subjects came to appreciate the peace and prosperity the Khalifate had created. Science, literature and architecture became as highly valued as war, and literacy and a love of culture began to permeate the rough desert-dwellers of the Khalifate. However, they never understood magic. While the ancient Sorcerer-Kings of Gemedia and the Warlocks of Harum had once been feared, by the time of their conquest, they had grown so impotent that they could hardly muster parlor tricks when the Khalifate wet their blades with their blood. The Khalifate preferred logic and science, and magic became a myth used to frighten children.

INVASION OF THE GREAT CONTINENT

The Golden Age of the Khalifate widely widely believed to have ended in the year 722, when the nephew of the Khalifa, in a plot to seize power, murdered the Khalifa, his children, and his Vizier. While a skilled liar and manipulator, he proved a poor ruler, and when the common people groaned and muttered under high taxes and the army privately talked of insurrection, the foreign Banuk tribe, (superb horsemen and archers that had become an integral part of the Khalifate Armies) seized the opportunity and attempted to conquer the capital. The rebellion was put down at the cost of tens of thousands of lives, including the usurper Khalifa, and in an uncharacteristic act of vengeance, the Khalifate exterminated the Banuk, including women and children. While stability was re-established, the Khalifate never regained its confidence and vitality. Each Khalifate and Vizier was forced to increase taxes more and more to pay for the soldiers to keep the restive provinces in line. Finally, in the year 916, The Vizier decide it was time to find new lands to bow to the Khalifate and pay them tribute. A vast army was raised and the command given to the most promising noble in the Khalifate, and they are sent to the far North. Soon, they find a thriving kingdom called Wesnoth, and decide to attack...

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by max_torch » December 19th, 2014, 10:48 am

Very cool writeup tascheter and thanks for your analysis! Well here's my thoughts:

-What i like about what your plot points is that it could make a way to make it easier to add the lore of the khalifate alongside the lore of TRoW.
-We could still say that some of the survivors of the khalifate conquest were the ones who fled to the green isle.
-So i guess rather than the khalifate being exactly anti-magic, they are just indifferent to it. I guess this sounds good given the fact that there are no specific anti-mage assassin units in their faction that have arcane resist.
-The golden age of the khalifate provides a reason for why they had not showed up in mainline yet, they simply were prosperous and had no need to venture forth.
-The fact that they are seeking to extort tax from others gives them excellent story motive to have conflict and war, good for campaign idea. But this makes them seem evil at this point, so i guess they would be lawful evil.
-whoever makes the story for when they enter wesnoth will need to have played son of the black eye, as that is the lates campaign in the timeline before the fall. One issue also is how to make lore of the khalifate compatible with under the burning suns. Personally, this makes me decide to play SotBe since i just finished descent into darkness anyway. I'll pitch in more writeups later or tomorrow, hard to do now as i am writing on a tablet.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Tascheter » December 19th, 2014, 3:51 pm

Thanks for the reply! And I guess they don't have to be "evil" per se, just under bad leadership, like the empire of Wesnoth under Ashiveire. And lawful makes sense too, the whole lore thing with the desert (only come out at dawn or dusk to fight) seems cool, but actual game-play makes this a tremendous handicap because they are running away two-thirds of the time.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Temuchin Khan » December 20th, 2014, 12:13 pm

I like it, Tascheter. The idea that every human who arrives on the Great Continent is running away from something is getting stale.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by zookeeper » December 20th, 2014, 2:58 pm

One thing worth considering is that there's plenty of other races on the Great Continent, so their backstory doesn't need to be designed to immediately put them in conflict with Wesnoth (although they should interact somehow), they could just as well encounter lands inhabited by drakes, trolls, dwarves, merfolk, elves, you name it. The existing campaigns are awfully human-centric already, so tying a new all-human faction into the existing world primarily by putting them at odds with the existing humans could be a bit tired.

Their primary antagonists on the Great Continent could be non-humans, and similarly their migration from the Old Continent could in a fundamental way be a joint venture with non-human allies.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Tascheter » December 20th, 2014, 4:38 pm

I totally agree, zookeeper. Perhaps there could be a race of Quenoth-like elves down by the Old Continent who have connections with the Aethenwood elves, or a faction of Southern Orcs (someone already did something like that in a campaign, I forget which). Maybe even there could be new races that fit with the middle-eastern vibe the Khalifate has going (Scorpion Men, Scarabs, Rocs, Genii, etc.) The only problem is that magic is going to constantly come up if we touch on middle eastern mythology, and either a modification to the no-magic rule or a better explanation is going to be required. If the Great Continent has magic, we are going to need a good reason why the Khalifate abstains if they are essentially human.

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Re: Story of the Khalifate

Post by Tascheter » December 20th, 2014, 4:46 pm

In addition, I played SotBE, and it really doesn't mention the South too much. Any addition to the lore of Wesnoth would work, I think, since its pretty hazy anyway. I just picked a date sometime after that campaign and before the fall. They never mentioned the exact date in the timeline for the fall, and the Khalifate, or a like faction, could easily be integrated into after UtBS since their used to the desert anyway. UtBS is beyond both record keeping and reliable dating, it could be tenthousand years for what we know

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