“Great fortune awaits those who brave the wastes”
Out across the vast oceans of the mortal plane lies a strange place of conflicting ideas and goods being traded from across the world and far beyond. Taking the form of an island continent of smaller size, one might assume it to be just another barren rock peeking up from the salty brine, yet this is farthest from the truth. Christened Kaldor by its earliest inhabitants, this land serves as a hub of fabulous wealth and knowledge, being visited by a multitude of cultures and peoples from the farthest stretches of reality. It also serves as a hub of wayfinding sailors, aiding those travellers in navigating the lands of Aos and Eos.
The surface of Kaldor has almost entirely been settled and exploited, stacked shacks and high rising towers placed at every available place, all the while vast merchant bazaars bustle below. What was originally a barren and desolate rock has been transformed into a venerable cityscape, what land reserved for farming or cultivation of Kaldori Flowers, Saltcorn, and Stone-Faced Ram is used most efficiently, with these small plots exploited for the large profits they make. In fact, land and space are considered the most expensive thing on Kaldor, with fabulously rich merchants giving elaborate dowries of but a ten-metre square plot. The cityscape of Kaldor is divided into 3 segments, that being the north and south, with a central meeting area & bazaar positioned in the middle of the island. The more rocky north is primarily home to the dwarven populations, and the flatter southern portion is mainly home to humanity. At least, that is what was historical, the war having dramatically changed demographics and large portions of the city.
A multitude of smaller islands surrounds the main island of Kaldor, serving as receiving and exporting ports as well as residential for the more rural populations. Though still heavily exploited, this is where one might find the personal estate of a wealthy merchant-lord, or a saltcorn and kaldori flower plantation.
Due to its strange origins and the remaining energy from its creation, Kaldor itself bears a few strange properties of the metaphysical and mystical variety. Interplanar travellers of all sorts are attracted to it and seemingly bound to it, unable to easily leave until they escape the island by whatever means. This most often occurs on return trips to the material realm by planewalking entities. This is what has allowed the native residents to so thoroughly exploit the travellers, them restricting access off the island in exchange for goods and knowledge.
Kaldor is inhabited by a large variety of peoples and cultures in search of trade and knowledge, but the most permanent inhabitants consist of a smattering of Dwarven and Human families, vying for power and control of the landmass. These families and their resident peoples hold a certain understanding with each other, but conflict still occasionally flares in the form of brutal street warfare waged in the name of coin and glory.
The first people to settle Kaldor. The dwarven population traces its origins to an early golden-age exploration ship, which crash-landed on the island and whose hull was salvaged to form the first rudimentary dwellings upon the rock. Bolstered throughout the centuries by lost sailors and merchants, the dwarven population has grown large and wealthy, conducting trade and commerce in the name of Armakak and Grimdugan. Petty feuds have been formed between competing families and guilds, yet they are united by their intense rivalry with the human population of the island.
The second population to settle Kaldor, Humanity stumbled across the island some 100 years after the dwarves. Yet with ingenuity and the strong ability to adapt, they grew to quickly rival the dwarves for control of the strange island. This angered the dwarven population, who attempted a cull on the settling humanity, this failed horrendously, and further balanced the scales between the two races. Humanity has not forgotten this slight, and tensions are still dangerously high with the dwarves and their client populations.
FLORA AND FAUNA
An odd climbing flower which bears bright cyan petals, it was originally being grown in a far-off realm, but was imported to Kaldor at an early date. Kaldori Flower petals bear a strange property when dried and ground, acting as a stimulant akin to strong coffee or tea. Often mixed into hot water to make a drink or just consumed outright to give the user a wake-me-up.
A native of Kaldor’s rocky northern shores, the saltcorn plant takes the form of a small low-lying bush. It produces a dark green berry, which when dried and ground has a taste similar to black pepper. In addition to this, it contains an unusual amount of salt, absorbing it from the salty air and brine of the nearby sea. A popular spice and seasoning upon the island, it being traded long distances to far-away lands.
A form of unusually large hummingbird native to Kaldor, Emerald Flyers sport bright green feathers and black beaks. These hummingbirds fly about the gardens and arboretums of Kaldor, feasting upon nectar and bugs while delighting the rich residents. A popular icon upon the island, with several families incorporating them into their symbols and heraldry.
A small and feisty mammal, related closely to the sheep or ram of other lands. Stone-Faced Rams have angular and rock-like faces, giving them their name. Originally considered a pest by the early settlers, it was soon found that their tough wool gave way to a fine and soft fabric when pounded and carded, taking dye and other additives very well. This wool and its fabric soon became one of the principal exports of the early history of Kaldor.
The history of Kaldor begins when the island itself was raised from the sea by a powerful entity of unknown origin, whatever it was soon left for other lands, but its latent energy remained and acts as a form of comic beacon, beckoning travellers from other realms of reality. The island however remained barren for centuries, before a dwarvish exploration ship crash-landed upon its shores - with no way of escape, the dwarves used the remainders of their ship to build the first buildings on the island, them unknowing of the future that awaited them, or the distant past that lay behind.
The Golden Age - The Age of War
Some one hundred years passed as the dwarves built their civilization upon the rock named Kaldor, growing from humble origins to be a centre of local trade and commerce. Human traders took note of this and began to settle the remaining area of the island, this angered the dwarven population, who attempted to cull and drive humanity from the island - this ended horribly, the dwarven attack being driven back. When the dwarves returned home however, they found a group of strange-robed men wandering about the local market, picking up and examining objects, this marked the beginning of interplanar trade on Kaldor, with travellers trickling in to exchange goods and knowledge with each other and the resident population.
Both peoples prospered, Human and Dwarf growing fabulously wealthy from the exotic goods and knowledge landing upon their shores. It was a golden age of prosperity as the coffers grew, and grew, with gold comes power, and with power comes conflict… A conflict broke out between human and dwarf, with such small fire growing to an enormous bonfire of war, each side using the powerful weapons and knowledge gathered from the interplanar trade. The war dragged on, as the population of the island was depleted and the vast knowledge and technology lost to the sands of time, no end was in sight.
Seemingly after a millennium of war, an uneasy peace was signed between the two peoples, them recognizing that only ruin and death would come from a continued conflict. People began rebuilding as trade once more picked up. Some old families exhausted from the war gave way to burgeoning new guilds and institutions, while others dusted themselves off and continued their prosperous existence. It was at this point that many trade routes were reopened with the outside world, people and ideas once more beginning to flow to and from Kaldor.
This is the modern era of Kaldor, a time of rebuilding and change, deposed members of old families may leave for distant shores and merchants spread forth from the island to the world beyond. The vast wealth of knowledge and technology has been lost aside from a few relics, yet all know a new age of prosperity will come upon Kaldor in due time.
I wanted to try my hand at writing a piece of world lore that I go through with, I thought that location lore would be a good place to start and it is something that I am interested in. I’m hoping other people see the merit in the over-the-top merchantry aesthetic, and the creative potential that can be built atop it. Players could of course use this as background for their character, and ET could do events incorporating it, from treasures that have fallen to the ocean far away from this origin, to caravans and traders originating from Kaldor, or even bringing players to an event site on the island itself.
Writer : Titanium430
General Help and Consultation: Noobliusfourtythree