Later Hassunai History

In -1200 BR, the Leader of the Elven People, Poqentus, declared The Opening of Hassuna. Prior to this, Hassuna had been an insular realm, largely isolated from the outside world by both desire and geography. The expansion of trade with other realms was halting and irregular, but eventually bustling—albeit long-distance—trade routes were born. Over time, non-elven races, primarily humans, began to settle semi-permanently and permanently in three coastal cities of Hassuna—Bel’Thedas, Bel’Sammara, and Bel’Isin. These new residents were viewed with bewilderment and disdain, though their value to the Hassunai economy could not be denied.

In -1003 BR, the Elven Council unanimously passed the Codex of Laws Relating to Non-Elves in Hassuna (usually known simply as “the Codex”), a series of laws that restricted the rights of non-elves across the realm. The settlement of non-elves was restricted to certain areas of the three specified coastal cities, non-elves were forbidden from holding public office, and half-elven offspring were relegated to casteless status, with the option to enter into the lowest tier of the Caste of Coin upon approval by the head of the caste. Though these laws—still in force today—relegated non-elves and half-elves to what is essentially second-class status, there have not been any instances of formal or widespread persecution. Non-elves are essentially considered to be simply below the notice of elves and, as such, not worth the bother.

Most of the non-elven settlement in the coastal cities of Hassuna was related to merchant houses and companies, so the Codex’s impact on the non-elves was fairly minimal. The largest consequence of the Codex was the casting out of half-elves from nearly all aspects of elven society. Though elves rarely, if ever, formed lasting relationships or bonds with humans, the latter were still considered exotic (and barbaric) enough to be alluring, and half-elven children were by no means unheard of.

Half-elves were—and are—usually integrated into the human community where they were born, though some still take up the possibility of joining the Caste of Coin. The lower castes are generally more tolerant of half-elves and will often raise them with the rest of their family without incident. Totally disowning half-elven offspring is considered uncharitable and distasteful, so half-elven children of members of the upper castes are usually also raised in the households of their respective families, but they are usually kept out of sight as far as is possible.

The intolerance shown to non-elves and half-elves in Hassunai society occasionally results in the departure of elves and half-elves from Hassuna to friendlier locales. Before the fall of the island to hobgoblins in -113 BR, Liria—though distant—was the destination of choice for these emigrants. Since then, the tolerant nature of Penwithan society has meant that immigrants from Hassuna usually find their way there. Brightwater, as the largest city in the Penwith Islands, receives a plurality of these immigrants, though the rest of the cities receive them, too.

Some Hassunai historians claim that Liria itself was an Hassunai colony, though this is generally denied by historians in Penwith. The absence of records from Liria itself, as well as the patch-work nature of records that survived the Wars of Blood and Fire in Hassuna, has led most historians to consider the matter basically unsolvable at present. The presence of what appear to be elven architectural features in some structures, like the Light-Bearers, that pre-date the oldest records of both Liria and Hassuna seems to imply that Hassuna’s claim to be the homeland of all the elves is erroneous, and the possibility that both Liria and Hassuna may be colonies of some other, more distant, elven homeland has been raised.

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Later Hassunai History

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