The focal point to Aeldenwood is the fractured state of an old kingdom. The various factions of Kal Maran are what define the land in which shattered Caleria lies. Within these diverse groups are powerful personalities, old hatreds, past betrayals and uneasy alliances.
In the coming days I will detail each of the seven distinct cultures/regions that have arisen from a broken kingdom. For today I will give only a brief explanation for each faction, hopefully giving some background to the story and details that will soon follow.
The Northern Council
A loose collection of city-states, situated in the northern half of Kal Maran form the Northern Council. Led by a council of Lords that rule separate cities, the Northern Council has been the voice of status quo in the land. Hesitant nobles, afraid to play with the delicate balance of power that resides among all are viewed as cautious and slow acting by the rest of the land.
Although very similar to their northern cousins, the Protectorate leaders are men who continuously push for change, attempting to push policies that would unite the fractured city-states of old Caleria. Full of high energy, charismatic and power hungry men, the warmer southern climes have also become a breeding ground for corruption and greed.
The Iron Shield
The four border forts of the Shield were formed after the second great incursion by the goblin hordes of the Wilds. Garrisoned with many of the castoffs of society, hard men with troubled pasts, the Iron Shield has become a warlike boundary that divides the civilized lands of broken Caleria from the untamed wilderness of the far north.
The Innes Vale
The merchants of Innes Vale hold the reputation of being the most corrupt and greedy of all. Situated in the large, closed vale, the cities here answer only to the guilds. Countless merchants from the Vale have made exorbitant profits of the warring states of the north and south. In the Vale, success is defined solely by profit. Any service can be bought, any item sold.
The Drayen Lands
The descendants of the old nobles of Caleria reside in the grasslands of the Drayen Lands. With a large wall protecting their northern border, the Drayenmark clansmen are the remains of the disposed nobility after the fall of the High King. For two hundred years the Drayen have crowned their own King, a true descendant of the royal line and remained at odds with the rest of the world.
For decades the dwarves of Alerond have closed their borders to almost everyone. Arriving on the shores of what was once Caleria, fleeing from a calamity that is never spoken of, the dwarves remain uninterested in the affairs of men.
Dividing the Northern Council and Protectorate lands, the Aeldenwood remains the greatest mystery to the people of old Caleria. Once the home of the lost Gorimm, the wood has since grown out of control, swallowing smaller nations and cities without mercy. With the death of the last High King and the departure of the ‘Tree Tenders”, (the Gorimm) the Aeldenwood grows at a rate that is unprecedented. The Lumber Guild, great men who hew the wood daily, was created in an effort to stem the march of the wood but after two centuries, the land continues to suffer. And beneath the tangled eaves of the wood also lurk dread beasts, creatures from nightmares.
*A map will soon be forthcoming.