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HULE (Hagiarchy of)
Location: North of the Savage Baronies and the Gulf of Hule, continent of Brun. WB, SC
Area: 256,000 sq. mi. (663,040 sq. km.).
Population: 1,000,000 (roughly 65% human, 35% goblinoids-mainly bugbears, gnolls, kobolds, orcs and ogres-and 5% demihuman-dwarves, elves, and hin).
Languages: Hulean (several dialects).
Coinage: Lira (gp), kuru (sp), piastre (cp).
Taxes: Net worth tax of 5% assessed every two years and an annual 10% tithe to the Holy Men of Hule. Hule's major roads also have tollgates every 24 miles charging 1 piastre per person and 2 piastres per large animal.
Government Type: Hagiarchy (ruled by holy men).
Industries: Agriculture, textile (fine cloth, wool), glasswork, trade, conquest.
Important Figures: The Master (The Master of Hule).
Flora and Fauna: Nearly every creature native to the continent of Brun can be found in the large territories owned by Hule.
Further Reading: The Savage Coast online document, X5 The Temple of Death, previous almanacs.
Description by Piotr Drobnjak.
Hule: the land of mischief. I've not actually visited Hule yet, so this report is just the results of several weeks of research at the libraries and inns of Slagovich. I intend to visit Hule (as well as the other city-states) soon, so that I may offer you a complete report in the future.
Hule, also known as Great Hule and the Sanctified Land, is a large nation northwest of the Black Mountains and north of the Savage Coast's city-states and Savage Baronies. It stretches from the edge of the Black Mountains to the Risilvar Escarpment in the south and the Dravish Steppes in the west. Its southern border includes a tiny slice of the coastline, just north of Slagovich, giving the nation access to sea trade. Much of Hule consists of low, rolling hills blanketed by farms and pastures. The farmlands are dotted by small and simple villages and farming communities. There are also several larger towns that serve as bustling centres of trade.
Western Hule encompasses roughly half of Niwhelm, the Dark Wood-a great oak forest still mostly primeval. The woods contain Lake Tros, also known as the Lake of the Deeps, a large (4,500 sq. mi.) and seemingly bottomless freshwater lake.
Hule is a melting pot of races and species. Only humans have an active role in government, although non-humans may act as advisers to the human officials.
Hule is a hagiarchy, a government run by "holy men" and clergy. Any person that has been shown to be especially favoured by Bozdogan may have an important role in the government, not just His priests.
The people of Hule are divided into many classes: holy men, diviners, hermits, prophets, clergy, and commoners. Holy men are the rulers; men who have somehow been touched by the Immortals. Diviners are law enforcers who travel the land searching for criminals; they wear a red robe and black mask. Hermits are people who claim to have had a vision from Bozdogan, telling them to lead secluded lives in the wilderness. Prophets are people recognised for their wisdom; they travel the land and act as judges. Clerics operate the local temples and shrines; their task is to guide and instruct the people. Commoners are farmers, soldiers, crafters, merchants and so on. They're looked down upon but are considered necessary for the nation to survive.
Priests of any religion other than the official religion of Bozdogan, as well as bandits, troublemakers, and mages, are considered outlaws and traitors.
The goblinoids of Hule do not fit into the above-mentioned class system. All goblinoid tribes are nominally independent and treated with care and respect mainly out of fear. These tribes, however, find it very profitable to ally with the Master of Hule, the highest and most powerful of the holy men.
Demihumans are quite rare and are objects of curiosity to the humans of Hule.
The Master, a mysterious individual, is currently in control of Hule. Much of his army relies on goblinoids, in particular goblins, though a vast corps of dervishes defend the city-temples. Among these dervishes are a number of elite troops with red steel scimitars. These dervishes have regularly repulsed barbarian invasions from the north, thanks mostly to their red steel equipment.
Recently, the Master of Hule sent his minions to the Great Waste to conquer the eastern lands. He gained control of Sind in AC 1005. From there, his goblinoids, janissaries [Hulean cavalry. Ed.], and desert nomads drove into Darokin. The armies of Darokin, Karameikos, and the Five Shires managed to drive the desert nomads out in AC 1006, but the Master's forces still held on to Sind.
Hule also attempted to conquer the Savage Baronies at the same time, but the baronies ended the wars between themselves and united against this common threat, forcing the Hulean forces to retreat as well.
In AC 1014 Hulean forces, mostly goblinoids, invaded and conquered the City-State of Nova Svoga. Hule is currently at peace with the nations of the Savage Coast, recovering from the last set of wars. Huleans still plot and spy, however, and minor events related to Hule occur all the time, especially in the city-states and Savage Baronies.
Though its neighbours generally have failed to notice the change, Hule's policy has changed since the beginning of AC 1017, as its tactics shifted to subterfuge, intrigue and deceit, rather than brute force; this alteration in policy is due to a new phase in the Master's quest for Immortality.
Hule is probably worth missing as a whole, but if you really need to go there, please avoid entering goblinoid reserves and don't go too far from the coastal cities.
The Temple of Death, also known as Greatrealm, is the Master's capital city: a huge temple complex lying on the shore of Lake Tros. It lies away from the cities, and people seldom visit it. From here the Master watches his county and the progress of all his military forces. His desires are made known to the people by the diviners or other messengers. This is a place to avoid at all costs.