Kel Saratose
The cane-fields and mountains of Kel Saratose sit at the crux of three of the great regions of the world. To the west, the poisoned vastness of Battlewaite, and the mountainous and rugged Mhul Pont; to the south, the Goblyn-scattered wilderness of the Farland; to the north, the placid waters of the Inner Sea; and west the rolling grasses of the Taurvann. And so it is all the more surprising that Kel Saratose is peaceful - even bucolic - its towns and villages living in a peace and prosperity that must surely mirror that of the elder days of the Kelorn Federation.

Tech Code: 7
Governments: Constitutional Monarchy under the en-Sara Counts of Kel Saratose
Religions: The Old Way, Various Cults of the Sea Dev, Ishi's Road.
Industries and Trades: Agriculture (Sugar, Rice, Corn, Wheat, Barley, Flour, Milk and Dairy, Wool, Olives), Pickled Meats, Cheese, Wine.
Major Terrain: Flatlands, Mountains, Rivers.
Primary Languages: Kelorn, Kena'ku, Irian.
Major Settlements: Ashkel, Bakul, Caprani, Chanabad, Gillbad, Gillbesh, Harabad, Hildago, Janapani, Kosh, Marad, Merlook Vale, Mountaintown, Pallen, Salani, Taursmarge, Trokel.

Geography


Physical Geography

On the southern shores of the Inner Sea, and hemmed in by mountains on two borders, the vast, rich, fertile river-plains of Kel Saratose stand in stark contrast to the barren borders of Battlewaite a mere hundred miles to the west. Bordered by the inner sea in the north, specifically the Saran Sounds, the river Yanasali to the east and the Sushan in the west flowing out of the Breshan mountains, Kel Saratose is dominated by the westernmost plains of Taurvann. The lush greenness of the plains, and the pleasant stands of shady hardwoods make Kel Saratose seem idyllic and peaceful. And in many ways this impression is true.

Temperate and usually sunny, but with a fresh breeze and regular cooling showers, the Mhul Pont shelters Kel Saratose from the harsh winds and desert climate of Battlewaite, and the breshans shelter it from the storms that blow up over Taurvann, meaning that the entire realm sits in a calm pocket, where only the warm winds off the inner sea blow, and storms tend to drive past its borders bound for the northern shores of the sea. There is a rainy season after the spring melt in the Pont, which brings with it heavy mists and regular morning frost, but even on the mountains snow is nearly unheard of.

The plains are especially well known for isolated freshwater springs. Small settlements are often founded around freshwater springs, usually in pleasant valleys where the water has formed small pools or shallow stony streams. These streams keep the land lush and rich, and are also home to flashing silver fishes and vocal waterfowl. Where the foothills rise up in the south and west the grasslands become hardier, and occasional outcroppings of bare rock break the horizon, as well as large ant mounds, visibly swarming with the creatures. Many areas are made utterly barren by the presence of these ants, and their predations lead to dusty clearings that warn off the wise traveller.

Political Geography

kelsaratose.jpg

The County of Kel Saratose boasts the most ancient ruling house of any land in the basin, perhaps this is due to the relative safety of its borders, its position away from the major hubs of intrigue and conflict in the world, or the presence of a major mage clan within its borders, or perhaps the relative security of Kel Saratose is some Divh-given blessing. Whatever the case Kel Saratose has proven to be one of the most peaceful and stable realms on the face of Allornus, and while wandering Org prove a serious threat, their numbers are small, and for the most part they are the realm's only concern.

One of the original seven Imperial Counties of the Kelorn Empire, Kel Saratose has lost much from its borders in the millennia since the collapse of the empire, but the nation still stands, and its rulers still boast a lineage that descends from one of the seven houses eligible to be elected emperor. In Kel Saratose there is history, a glimpse back to an era long past, and a fleeting mirage of the height of kelorn grandeur. The realm is ruled by a Count, but the count also claims the now-defunct title of Senator, by which he would have been known long ago. The Count is served by a council of emissaries, who serve as his advisers, and chief agents. The wealthy, landed families of Kel Saratose all quibble to be appointed emissaries, which is the equivalent noble titles, and families who go several generations without an emissary in their number usually dwindle in wealth and importance as they are thrust further and further from prominence. The army is also represented by an emissary, elected internally from amongst the most seasoned commanders, and similarly the Primarch of the Reküm traditionally carries the title of emissary, although the Count has not called on the Primarch in eight generations.

Each of the emissaries is given responsibility for enforcing the law, protecting and collecting tithes and taxes from one of fifteen divisions of the county. An emissary is allowed to keep a portion of what he collects to compensate his having to employ a judicar for his district, and that judicar in turn will need a body of clerks, guardsmen, excise-men and priests to enforce the law and collect the taxes. A district might have anywhere between one and five judicars for this purpose. Judicial proceedings are always overseen by a priest, as only one who is held in the sight of the Divh is worthy to judge another man, but often a judicar or his clerks will be charged with making a case against a criminal and with handing down punishment to a guilty party. Of course, anyone with enough influence can appeal to the count for asylum.

Social Geography

Were it not for the presence of the Inner Sea, Kel Saratose would be an isolated land, wedged between the insular Mhul Pont and the Taurvann horselands as it is, but thanks to the bustling sea-trade it remains as cosmopolitan as any of the smaller northern realms. Home to a great many Hobgoblyn and Landsman communities, Kel Saratose is also home to the only major Kenu population to be found anywhere in the world, in their city in the mountains to the south. Because the land has been settled for so long, and has seen little tumult in the past century so so, settlement is different here, and the bulk of the population has moved away from the cities into the country, where settlements are ancient and where the space allows an ambitious man to make his fortune working the land. Kel Saratose is the hub of agriculture for the entire Inner Sea Basin, and despite the great size of Ashkel, the sprawling port is the only major city in the whole county.

Like much of old Kelorn lands social class is clearly and regimentally divided, but an individual has the freedom to improve his standing within his lifetime rather than being born to a specific class. Of course this means that an individual can also move down the class ladder should he see poor fortune. On the bottom rung of society are the marls, the farmers and vinters and herdsmen who work the land. A marl can rent land, though all land belongs to the county, but working his own land does not grant him elevated status except above members of his own class. The amu, or merchants and traders, wield great wealth in Kel Saratose, but because they are though to have no real skills, merely profiting from the skill of others, they are held in quite low regard, and even a marl who managed his own estate will treat a merchant with disdain. The next class, the uru, are the artisans, craftsmen and other skilled or specialized individuals. Within the uru there is a complex strata, for instance a jeweller is of greater prestige than a blacksmith, and a blacksmith is of greater prestige than an architect. A healer is one of the least regarded professions, not because their role is not valued, but because they are seen as corrupted and unclean because of all of the disease to which they are exposed, so no one wants to live next to the village healer. All craftsmen know their place in this strata, and behave, and value their services, accordingly. The upper class are the aria, the scholars. Knowledge is well respected, and wisdom is seen as the primary attribute required for the right to rule, so scholars and priests are much respected, even if they are often poor.

Faiths and Worship

The new seat of the Old Way since it departed Kord scant generations ago, Kel Saratose does not have the ancient and proud history that Kord does, and the still modest compound of this once empire-spanning temple is a stark reminder of how far the Old Way has fallen, but it enjoys little competition outside a few Sea Dev cults in Ashkel, and benefits from the peace and seclusion of its new home. And there can be little doubt that the people remain devoted to their old faith. The cult of Ishi is known amongst traders, though they often also recognize the Old Way.

History


Timeline

date event

fluff title

fluff content.

People


Races and Nationalities

Kel Saratose is dominated by landsmen of Kelorn descent, almost to the exclusion of all others. There are a series of large Kenu communities in the breshans that have allied themselves to the count, but aside from those creatures and the occasional Kai nomads crossing the border from Taurvann there is little diversity. Hobgoblyns have chosen to remain in the Mhul Pont, where they are not beholden to any landsman overlord, and stay clear of the place, and the goblyns of the fells have not crossed the rough terrain of the pont to colonize Kel Saratose. The land has also had a number of counts who have not been welcoming to goblynkin, considering them nothing but spies and agents of the org in the west. Still, Ashkel has districts of goblyns, hobgoblyns, and even kenu within its limits. The Mhulak tend not to leave their mountainous homes to the west, but a few hermits can be found scattered around in places of ancient import to their kind. Unfortunately the mountains, especially in the south-west, see raiding parties of caliban, and lairing ogres who make leaving Kel Saratose by land dangerous.

Setting Trait (2): Machinations of the Stork-Men Nowhere in Allornus is the presence of the Kenu felt more keenly than in Kel Saratose. They hold nearly all of the offices of civic or religious import outside of the en-Sara family, and they scheme day and night to sieze title and power from one another - and frequently do. The political landscape of Kel Saratose is in constant flux, as these intrigue lovers weave plot upon plot against one another, and powerful individuals rise and fall monthly.

Flora and Fauna

maintain formatting

Notable Individuals

mm, Supreme Primarch of the Old Way
mm

Kloris en-Sara, Count of Kel Saratose
Kloris en-Sara claims descent, more direct than any in the region, from the founders of Kel Saratose. The eminent count can trace his line back for nine hundred years, and for that entire time they have borne the name en-Sara, suggesting that there might be some credence to the claim. Kloris is advancing in years, his head and beard are quite white, and his dark eyes are tired, but he is wise and learned and these things have made him much respected. Still, the count's family are clamouring for him to name his successor, each striving to outdo the other to earn his favour. The old count has spent a lifetime trying to outmanoeuvre the machinations of the Kenu, who manoeuvre for rank and station as much out of an inborn need for titles and authority as any desire for power, and it has made him cunning. Unravelling intrigue upon intrigue woven by the Kenu like a fine tapestry has made him a near unequalled diplomat who has learned to expect every eventuality, and his prospective heirs aren't even amateurs by comparison.

Monkhier en-Sara, Preceptor of Kel Saratose
The Preceptor of all Kel Saratose is the count's nephew Monkhier, a grim man who is one of a very few who understands the extent of the caliban threat to Kel Saratose. He sees the people of Kel Saratose living their lives as if there is nothing that could threaten them, and knows that scarcely thirty leagues to the west are seemingly innumerable tribes of the most brutal warriors in all Allornus, hardened by a life in a deadly wasteland. Even with decades experience, he knows that one of these caliban is the equal of ten of his soldiers, and dreads the inevitable day that they surge east in such numbers that there is no hope of overcoming them.

Otyk the Unyielding, Primarch of the Reküm
The man who carries the imposing name of Otyk the Unyielding, Primarch of the Reküm, may not seem like a major player in the political scene of Kel Saratose, but as the leader of one of the three remaining mage clans, and guardian of one of the greatest stores of magical lore Allornus has ever seen, his unwillingness to compete with the en-Sara family, the Kenu enclaves and the ambitious emissaries of Kel Saratose for relevance in the county is in no way a reflection of his impotence. A serious man who realizes just how dire and important the position he occupies is, Otyk is a titan of self-discipline. The Reküm have never accessed their forbidden libraries under his leadership, and while they have also long ago ceased to seek out new material for their vaults, it is a testament to Otyk's tremendous willpower that the study of magic has not become the acquisition of magical power, and that he has continued to study their accumulated lore, not with the intention of understanding how to use it, but rather understanding how to neutralize and control it.

Ugly Mabhe
Ugly Mabhe is something of an enigma, a fixture at the social gatherings of the nobility of Kel Saratose. While she is known for capable and sometimes potent witchcraft, her fame comes chiefly from her legendary hideous ugliness. Despite the fact that men quake in her very presence, small children cry, and women often go pale and faint away, Mabhe never seems to be short of suitors. Men, attracted by stories of her wealth and power, flock around her, and she handles their attention with the shy flirtation of a débutante. She giggles and preens with her constant exhausted wheeze, yet no man has ever managed to catch Ugly Mabhe’s heart for long. Seemingly oblivious to her hideous, debilitating ugliness Mabhe prides herself on her many suitors, and waits for her destined beloved to sweep her off her feet. He would require the strength of a giant to do so.

Culture


Social Etiquette and Customs

maintain formatting

Arts and Entertainment

maintain formatting

Architecture

maintain formatting

Diet and Eating Customs

maintain formatting

Fashion and Dress

maintain formatting

Religion and Philosophy

maintain formatting

Transportation and Communication

maintain formatting

Common Pass Times

maintain formatting

Political


Political System

maintain formatting

Legal System and Enforcement

maintain formatting

Military

maintain formatting

Technology


Architecture and Construction

maintain formatting

Daily Living

maintain formatting

Major Industry

maintain formatting

Medicine

maintain formatting

Economy


Trade

maintain formatting

Setting Trait (2): Sugar The western Inner Sea region is known for its oddly warm conditions, and for its exotic spices, but one thing has made Kel Saratose the most celebrated amongst these spice-lands: sugar. The bruise-black sugar cane of Allornus seems to grow exclusively in the broad, lush basin formed by the breshan mountains and the shoulders of the world, and the price a Saratosi sugar-ship can fetch in foreign markets is staggering, being almost worth its weight in coin.

Major Export and Import

maintain formatting

Money

maintain formatting

Today In Place…


maintain formatting

The Domains of the Inner Sea Basin
The Taurvann, Cal Manar, Amir, Bakkar, Kel Wacuite, Kord, Taal, Lodel, The Inner Sea, Kel Saratose, The Mhul Pont, The Goblynfells, Camar, The Crooked Plains
Director's Miscellany Amenities, Gear, Prices, Professions, Random Encounters, Sample Characters, Series Loglines, Small Settlement Generator, Supporting Cast Generator