Age of Legends
“We have called this land our second home, and so it is. Yet it is not we who have laid claim to Mierodran; rather she has claimed us as her own. For all our striving Mierodran remains as wild and mysterious as the day we first set foot upon her. Cast your eyes about this land and you will find it is rife with the memories of those who have gone before us. What are Men to this untamed land? We are but lately come sojourners to Mierodran, and, for the sake of hospitality, she has allowed us to partake in her much grander tale.”
-Teradith Etheborne, Knight of Caldoranth.
ust before Endrathador fell during the Demonspawn Wars, a small band of refugees led by a retired military general named Oberlund fled the kingdom to take refuge among the Dwarves in their impregnable city in the mountains. The refugees were granted asylum by the Dwarves who yet recalled their love of Barathund in the elder days. After the war was ended, the exiled remnant of Endrathador slowly began to build a new city in the north under the auspices of the Dwarves. Twice dispossessed of their lands, the men of Caldoranth have struggled throughout the centuries to recover a sense of their national and cultural identity. For many, the memory of Endrathador has been tainted. At the height of its power Endrathador had succumb to pride and decadence. Of course reforms had been made after the nation’s first defeat. Yet in the wake of the utter ruin of the city in 1,800 S.A., the pride of her few survivors was broken—the destruction of Endrathador was final. Still, in the clefts of the Hammodrans old covenants were renewed and the lives of men and dwarves become mingled once more as they were in the days of Endilar. The men of Caldoranth began to remember with longing, the elder days. The legends of Barathund and Dorul were recounted in the halls of the dwarves, and the men of Caldoranth found strength in the memory of their fathers of old. The kings of Caldoranth took up the mantle of their fathers. Their standard is of a white ram upon a field of violets trimmed with gold. The Ram recalls the noble beasts that roam along the moor country, the violet symbolizes the lovely heather of Barathund’s meadows, and the gold stands for the wealth of the nation.
While progress was slow, and often impeded by the ravages of goblins, orcs and the occasional dragon, over the course of centuries the city of Caldoranth began to grow, and its men were granted leave to govern themselves within the former lands of the Dwarves. The city was carved right into the base of the great mountains. Though neither exceedingly powerful nor wealthy, Caldoranth has grown in size (around 21,300 denizens) and status. While still a fledgling nation, the men of Caldoranth are a proud people who seek to recapture the glory of their heritage. Rooted within this burgeoning culture is the commitment to one day reclaim the lands of their fathers from the hands of the infidels.
Caldoranth first gave birth to its daughter city, Endrell along the shorelines of the Fenlands of Aduthal. The territories of Endrell soon expanded into what is now known as the Duchy of Endrell. The Kings of Caldoranth have also expanded the nations influence beyond the Hammmodrans by cultivating the Downs of Edigroth along the Kings Highway. Hidroth Lea and Duruland Knoll are the two most prominent towns in this region, and are the political centers of Hidroth county and Duruland county respectively. Thunland Dell is Caldoranth’s most prominent town dwelling along the Dantalig River, although the nation has also settled a number of smaller communities, known as the Western Baronies, along the River just southeast of the Tindor Forest.
The primary language of Caldoranth is Endilaran, though nearly all Caldoranthians also speak the Dwarven tongue Ondros. Many among the nobility, military and parvenu Merchant Class also speak Vindish and Tindorin.
Quite the inverse of Igladon, Caldoranth began as a small city state at the base of the Hammodrans, which grew into a nation state as it gradually annexed its surrounding southern territories which were left desolate after the destruction of the cities of Mierodran. Caldoranth is a feudalistic, autocratic Monarchy. The King retains absolute authority both in the realms of military and law, and also in the appointment of Upper nobility, and the distribution of newly annexed territories. While the King controls the nation of Caldoranth at large, he has vested a large degree of territorial ruling authority in the upper royalty, which consists of Dukes and Counts. These rule over, and establish militaries within their own territories, known as Duchies and Counties. These Duchies and Counties are in turn subdivided into smaller territories called Baronies and Manors ruled by the lower nobility, which are appointed by the Dukes or Counts. The Lower nobility consists of Barons and Landed Knights. A Baron rules over a territory that contains one or more manors. A Landed Knight is the ruling Lord of but a single manor. A Manor consists of a House, a village, and several parcels of land that are worked by many of the villagers in return for the lease of their homes.
Over the centuries the city of Caldoranth has built up a respectable army (nearly 4,000 strong). The Duchy of Endrell also has a standing militia 2,000 strong. Hidroth County has nearly 1,000 men at arms, and Duruland County has nearly 700. The western Baronies can assemble a joint militia of nearly 1,000 men at arms. The military is generally led by landed or life-titled Knights of the Ram. The men-at-arms that make up the militia are a distinct class that constitute the standing army of each territory. The lower nobility can supplement the militia with peasant villagers, yet these are not generally well trained. Factions of the Caldoranthian military regularly accompany the army of Igladan in its campaigns within the southern lands. The valor of Caldoranth’s men in battle has not escaped the notice of their enemies, and Escalatharn has begun to launch its own campaigns into the northern lands.
While the King of Caldoranth retains supremacy over both the political and spiritual affairs of the nation, the nation does recognize the secondary authority of the Magesterium in spiritual affairs. Hence, all of the major theological tenants of the faith, and the Canon of the Tilandriad established at the Council of Iterad are upheld. In fact, two of the twelve archdiocese of the Magisterial Order are located within Caldoranth. The first archdiocese, located in the city of Caldoranth, covers the ecclesiastical province of the Hammodrans. The archbishopric resides in the Basilica of Caelovarod. The second archdiocese, located in the Town of Hidroth Lea, covers the ecclesiastical province of the Downs of Edigroth. The archbishopric resides in the Cathedral of Ilandriol. Beyond Caelovarod and Ilandriol, devotees of Eridial, Arnulad, Ondurial and Unduliod are also common within Caldoranth.
Caldoranth has its own system of coinage, though Mierodran currency is used just as frequently. The Caldoranthian currency is modeled after the currency of Dwinovar, containing Gold, Silver, and Copper coins. The gold coin is referred to as a “Ram” and is equivalent to 1gp. The Silver piece is called a “Ewe” and is equivalent to .1gp. A copper piece is called a “Lamb” and is equivalent to .01gp.
The Feudal, Manorial power structure of Caldoranth has, up until very recently, caused the nation to be a strictly agrarian economy. In years past Caldoranth’s chief export has been textiles and food-stuffs grown and raised to feed the population of the city of Igladon. While trade in agricultural goods remains the mainstay of its economy, the city has begun to branch out into other areas. In the last couple of centuries, the men of Caldoranth have begun to export timber to the lands of the south. Yet conflict with the wood elves has precluded this from being a larger enterprise. More recently those of Caldoranth have begun to mine into the mountains (thus risking provocation of the goblins that dwell therein), and have developed a prosperous trade with the south in precious metals and stones. Moreover, in the last two hundred years the the fall of Taladun in the south, and the re-cultivation of the Downs of Edigroth have both helped to open up lucrative trade relations with the southern lands. As a result, a small but growing middle class of merchants has begun to arise within Caldoranth. While they have yet to achieve significant political clout, these nouveau riche have begun to gain considerable wealth, thereby upsetting the manorial economic system. Some of these merchants have managed to intermarry with minor landed nobles, or even to purchase such titles from upper royalty. These social upstarts are, however, generally despised (and somewhat feared) by nobles.