Malakoth calls itself the City of Brotherhood, but most of the rest of Cendra calls it the City of the Dead. Long ago, Malakoth was a great stone city, a kingdom who lived in peace with the dangerous, elemental forces of the Renkat Mountains. When a young king ascended the throne, however, he hungered for more. Condemning his peaceful ancestors as complacent and weak, he resolved to expand Malakoth by warring on its neighbors; but first, he had to secure the mountain passes by destroying their guardians, the stone giants.
The king plotted to destroy the giants as their chieftains arrived at the city for his coronation, when he was expected to pay his respects to them and promise to uphold peace in the mountains. Instead, the king ordered catapults to be hidden just behind the city walls. When the chieftains arrived, they and their guards were crushed under a hail of boulders flung from the great catapults. The king stood victorious, believing that the leaderless giants would withdraw deeper into the mountains.
The king was wrong. Giants from across the Renkats rallied and marched on Malakoth. They attacked the city and tore down the walls before massacring the hapless inhabitants, including the foolish king. What few survivors there were fled the mountains, knowing they could never return to their ruined city.
The trek from the mountains was harsh and unforgiving. The wounded were abandoned, as well as the sick. Bodies were left where they fell. Raging at their king, the survivors swore to never again follow a single man. They exulted in the heroism shown by the average citizen, praising their fellows who helped the group as a whole by finding food, water, or herbs, healing the sick or stoking fires through the frigid nights. Despite their new-found brotherhood, the Malakothians numbers continued to dwindle on their trek to the plains, and found themselves facing a long, dark time before they could hope to found a new home.
Driven by dark necessity, they turned to the forbidden arts; necromancy. The refugees could no longer allow the dead to go unused. Though their necromantic spells were weak, the dead could be made to serve for a time, acting as sentries, foragers, wood choppers, and other menial tasks in their camps. When they entered the plains, the Malakothians found the need for workers only increased as they set about founding a new home. The dead still needed to serve.
Eschewing kingship forever, Malakoth became a Brotherhood where all citizens serve the good of the society under the eyes of an elected Circle of Twelve. Performers of great deeds are officially honored as Acclaimed and their statues litter the new city of Malakoth. All citizens strive to join their ranks. The Honored Necromancers continue their work, raising the dead so that the deceased brothers and sisters labor is not squandered. Why should the dead go to waste when they can continue for the good of society?
Now, Malakoth is a great and powerful city on the Plains of Bhal, built upon the backs of the dead. While their practices are looked upon with distaste by much of the rest of Cendra, Malakothians are secure in the knowledge that theirs is the best of all possible societies, working together in harmony, high and low, dead and living.