Kaer Andaryan Background

Starting area background

Where we’re starting:
The sealed kaer of Ardanyan. It is divided up into 3 sections:
Khar Rhuz— populated mostly by dwarves
Shal Minar— populated by elves
Okoros— populated by the other races

The populations are segregated due to “The Separation”. There were major disputes over mining rights in the mines rich with gold and silver. Originally the riches were to be distributed to everyone throughout the kaer once it opened, but much of the Mining Guild felt they deserved more, as they were doing the mining. The Council (populated by a mix of all the races) decreed otherwise, generally with the dwarves disagreeing (mostly dwarves in the Mining Guild). Thus the Mining Guild opened a secret tunnel, and hid a lot of riches, and hid it with illusion. Eventually a temple was built above said tunnels, not knowing what was underneath. The temple collapsed, lots of people died, when they went to retrieve the bodies, all the hidden treasure was uncovered, and there was a big ole schism, and the Elves and Dwarves (which made up most of the population) would not relent and sealed themselves off from everyone else. However the three divisions could not support themselves, as each one produced food or goods essential for continued survival, so after a bit, they began doing some trade out of necessity.

The Kaer is now has some mingling, mostly out of necessity, but for the most part there’s a good deal of distrust between the dwarves and elves with the other races pretty much caught in the middle. T’skrang have been in hibernation for the past 400 years, unaging but mostly unaware of what’s been going on, under one of the lakes in Okoros. The two Obsidimen have mostly been in a dream-like state for most of the Scourge. Everyone else it’s life as usual.

The Silence of Shal’Minar
Being the home of Kaer Ardanyan’s elven population,
Shal’Minar is the main source of food for the whole kaer.
Idyllic fruit-gardens, wide fields, small forests, and huts
woven from living plants define the landscape of this hall; even the
sidewalls are covered by ivy and wine. Horses, cows, sheep, and
goats run freely here, guarded by shepherds. Ghandoz designed
Shal’Minar with the elven and windling races in mind. Each of the
huts dotting the landscape is woven from living plants, although
only the roof is visible. Most of the huts extend further underground;
some even have extended cellars.
After the Separation, most Namegivers of the other races decided
to leave the elves alone and moved out. There has not been much
change in Shal’Minar as a result—elves grow very old and have only
few children. Additionally, the elven population has seemed to have
an increasing rate of deaths due to a mysterious plague over the past
decades. Even though Shal’Minar was always sparsely populated,
only five hundred Namegivers now live under the domed ceiling.
The windlings make up at least half of the population.
Scholars suspect the illness is just a random event, as there are
no clues indicating Horror taint as the cause. Their investigations
counter the rumors in which Leldrin brought back a disease from
the expedition. The hero was examined several times for Horror
taint, but always with negative results. Now, about five decades
after he returned, no one dares to accuse the kaer’s greatest hero
without hard evidence.

The Chaos of Okoros
When the people of Okoros decided to separate themselves
from the rest of the kaer, the hall became the
home of almost all Namegivers not of the dwarven
and elven races. Okoros is filled with houses of different architectural
styles, each one dominating a different district. Everyone
began building using their own plans after the Separation, with
no visible concept.
The large longhouses of the kaer’s trollmoot stand right next
to the orkish and rather hive-like Castel, which looks like a large
number of buildings placed on top of each other. Simple but elegant
houses with shops on the floor level dominate the human
district, while the t’skrang hibernated in their underwater houses
beneath Lake Vross. The two obsidimen known as the Sleepers
have no house at all, living on the streets or with anyone who provides
them with shelter.
Remarkable is the unity that binds the different cultures together,
despite the fact that Okoros is only a few Namegivers short of being
overpopulated. The 1,700 Namegivers show their heritage openly,
and tend to side with each other as soon as they deal with anyone
not from Okoros. Outsiders are sometimes treated like intruders, as
there is a definitive mistrust towards elves and dwarfs. More jokes
about elves and dwarves make their rounds than jokes about orks
and trolls, although that might be for a different reason…

The Mines of Khar Rhûz
K har Rhûz roughly translates as Home of the Rock-eaters. It
was the first hall to begin mining. Dwarves mainly populate
this hall, but a handful of humans and orks have
immigrated in the past few years to work and learn here. About
one thousand Namegivers live in Khar Rhûz.
Many people say that there are as many holes in the sky of Khar
Rhûz as in a colander, because the illusion of this hall’s blue sky is
disturbed by a large number of frames, pulleys, and stairs. Each
stairway leads up to a mine entrance in the domed ceiling, the
entrances appearing like holes in the heavens.
Ore is processed in large workshops, and the fine smoke rising
from the chimneys along with the constant noise of hammers hitting
countless anvils adds an industrial feeling to the hall during
the day. Khar Rhûz has only limited space for plants and animals.
Sheep and goats, along with chickens, ducks, and geese are housed
in a small number of guarded corrals. Fast-growing and nutritious
grain and crops fill the small fields, but none of the harvest is used
for trade in Council Hall—it’s barely enough for the dwarfs.
A small grove consisting mostly of bal’nesh trees serves as a small
park and recreational area. These trees grow relatively fast and are
mainly used to fuel the fires in the forges, as they produce almost
no smoke when burned. Several ponies spin the wheels on the
shore of Lake Goch to transport the water into a system of small
channels running above the houses to fill the cisterns distributed
throughout the neighborhoods.

Council Hall
T he central hall of Kaer Ardanyan is nothing more than
a very large square with several buildings huddled up
against the walls. Four gates dominate the hall. The three
largest gates each lead to one of the other halls, while the fourth
one is smaller and opens to Freedom Gate. The way to Freedom
Gate is opened only during the Passing of Years festival, when the
entire kaer celebrates the beginning of a new year.
The large gates leading to Council Hall are usually closed, but
the kaer guards let travelers pass between the halls. The gates open
only in the early morning of every third day, when the designated
merchants enter Council Hall for business. During these hours,
the large square turns into a colorful market. The merchants offer
their wares and deliver orders. They buy or trade for items their hall
needs, depending on demand. The merchants from Khar Rhûz are
known to be the greediest, using their position to sell everything
at a huge profit to their own kin.
Travelers passing through Council Hall must check with the
kaer guards of their own hall and the guards of their destination.
They need to file their Names along with their estimated duration
of stay, which must include at least one night.

Kaer Andaryan Background

Misadventures of Legend djgerth1