Hallis Island was named for the ranger Kalen Hallis. Kalen spent most of his life patrolling the small island, apparently after he was ship-wrecked there during a freak storm. Colonizers of Duke Stomalin arrived in 850 Avard, looking for precious metals and raw materials. The town of Gridolin was founded in 864 Avard, and handled some of the few metals and materials flowing down the over-sized stream known as the Salem River. Mount Grisholm proved to have a small trove of silver, but was mined out within five years. After this, Gridolin was more or less abandoned by the mainland. Some few people remained, and the town grew a bit, and then shrank, over the intervening years. It was finally abandoned in 1132 Avard.
In 1324 Avard, the town was reopened by the new King of Rakore, who included in his domain Hallis Island. A baronet was formed out of the city, and its colonizers, in the aftermath of the War of the Undead. The city was intended as a prison facility, to house ne'er-do-wells from the mainland. The thought was that, even if they should escape, there was nowhere for them to go. The island was large enough (at 10,000 square miles) to accommodate a considerable number of criminals, and the supporting industry. That the island also had forests with good timber was merely a way for the criminals to work off their debts, as far as the king was concerned.
In the spring of 1328 Avard, one of the king's foremost knights and magicians purchased the title of Duke, and asked for Hallis Island to be his duchy. King Graniteshoulders readily agreed, and Gridolin and the island were turned over to a new feudal lord. The Baron Angus Orcbane was retained to administer the prisons. After the destruction of Tulish and its shipyards in the autumn of 1328, Rakore and its primary money-maker, Gideon Enterprises, decided to build a new shipyard at Gridolin. The city was then expanded considerably, after receiving the attention of the Chosen of Arpelos. The High Priest of the Church of Arpelos purchased the old Grisholm mines, and converted them into a monastery dedicated to studying and destroying the undead. The monastery, The Burning Sun, is a joint effort between the Churches of Arpelos, Xoriah, Galgiran, and Curiss, with occasional aid from the Churches of Lul and Habrem.
During the War of the Four Winds, Duke Henrik Kamus was not only the duke of Hallis Island, but also the adviser on magic to the King of Rakore. An accomplished mage, Duke Henrik sacrificed himself in a blast of aether-magic that wiped out a sizable chunk of the ogran forces. The duke's sacrifice bought Rakore a significant victory, and a statue to Duke Henrik was erected overlooking the harbor of Gridolin.
After Duke Henrik's passing, the King entrusted Duke Orcbane to take care of Hallis Island until Henrik Kamus' grandson Genesee Shalamarteen was ready to take on the title of duke.
Hallis Island is regularly patrolled by Duke Travandale Orcbane's flagship, the Iron Bear, and by his mounted guard, the Kalen Corps.
The Kalen Corps is named for Kalen Hallis, the fabled ranger for whom Hallis Island is named. Unlike Baron Orcbane's guards, who watch only the prisoners and Gridolin, the Kalen Corps watches all of Hallis Island. The Corps draws on ranger skills, fighter training, rogue tactics, and magical might to maintain the thousands of square miles of land on the island. The over one-hundred men are mostly concentrated in Gridolin, though many patrols range to the Burning Sun, and throughout the island.
Captain Moror Stonehelm: Perhaps one of the toughest fighting men in all of Rakore is the dwarf Moror, commander of the Kalen Corps. Moror is a mountain dwarf like all the remaining Stonehelms, wearing heavy plate and carrying his greataxe as easily as most people wear cotton. Moror is about 4'4“ and weighs in at 165lbs in cottons alone, and is a lean, mean, fighting machine. An accomplished smith, Moror has made his own armor and weapons, including a belt full of throwing axes that have seen their fair share of battle. Tough, dour, and ruthless when he chooses to be, Moror is also fair and loyal to the core. Moror fought alongside Duke Henrik during the War of the Four Winds, and now also mentors Duke Henrik's heir, Genesee. Moror's greatest treasure is his axe, enchanted by Duke Henrik. 'Brettil' is made of mithril, and upon command can burst into flame, either for light like a torch, or to seriously burn his enemies.
Liftenant Talak Orcbane: The anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive armorer for the Kalen Corps is a nephew of Duke Orcbane. Talak is a short dwarf with a sharp tongue, but he knows his trade as well as or better than Captain Moror Stonehelm.