- Parent: Nations
- Capital: Aisla
- Population: 3,246,040 (Humans 65%, Andra 23%, mustadi 4%, minotaur 3%)
- Government: Monarchy
- Religions: Nine Daughters, Shebolleth, mustadi
- Imports: Grains, magic, livestock, fruits, timber
- Exports: Beer, mead, liquor, iron, silver, gold, granite, marble, ships
- Alignments: LG, CG, CN, NE
Life and Society
Jorldom (YORL-dum) is an enormous swath of mountains and forests pressed near to the clouds of the world and kept cold and white by the region’s location and weather. Animals and Jorldanes together grow strong in this land or rarely survive long.
The djohame are the most numerous of people who make the Jorldom their home , hunting huge wolves and foxes, massive worms and polar lizards, and even giantkin and monsters for their bones, hide, and meat. Their cities are titanic, massive and sprawling complexes carved into mountains or rising proudly from the plains. Cunning use of geothermal sources heats many homes, sparing the sacred forests from axes and saws. Andra tribes and clans can number in the tens of thousands, spread across miles of wilderness and linked by bloodlines and hunting grounds. Were-creatures are numerous in the Jorldom, with werebear, werewolves and wereboars existing communally for mutual protection and defense. Other bestial races make their home here, families struggling through generations before finally adapting.
While every town, village, city and warren are independent and prideful of the freedom, all pay fealty to a king. The massive djohame Garlorn Iusagette (Ftr 17) currently sits the throne in Aisla. Peace finds him with few affairs of state, mostly wider disputes between newer citizens or acting upon times of natural disaster. War times would find him at the head of the largest army in the World Primordant, able to muster a host of battle-hardened citizens close to one million strong. Regional rulers hardly find reason to bother the king, but find him curt and emotionless in his judgement.
The Nine Daughters, their birthplace standing within the Jorldom borders, are the predominant worship expressed in the country. Visits to their volcanic birthplace are common for everyone in the Jorldom, and most every settlement, regardless of size, has a massive and ornate house of devotion dedicated to all of the Daughters.
Major Geographical Features
Glaciers and canyons rise and fall through the countryside, straddled by pine and fir forests. Great cliffs and peaks push upward where the landmasses meet, and cavern complexes honeycomb the hills and rifts. Giant races and humanoids vie for the caribou herds, bear sloths, and human settlements as sources of food.
Anvil is small range of mountains lying between the lake Kallsodj and the Galaci Coast. Separated from the Mallet long, long ago by sudden geological upheaval, Anvil now stands as its own range between the Kalspar and Slayn Rivers. The mountains are riddled with mines, some rich, some exhausted, with copper, iron, and tin being hauled from the ground in lucrative amounts. Most belligerent underdwelling races have been driven out or have fled, the djohame having made their presence felt with the numerous settlements in the area. Still, aberrations and the like are sure to be encountered, keeping everyone on their guard.
Arkessan White Sea
This enormous swath of arctic tundra marches north and west from the feet of the Crucible and The Nine Daughters, spreading for dozens of miles past the border with Ocrus. Flat windswept snowdrifts hide the bed of an ancient inland sea, once warm and teeming with aquatic life, but now filled with hundreds of feet of snow and ice. Polar worms, massive arctic bears, and spiders the size of merchant vessels are rumored to make this their home. Travel is not for the timid, with sudden sinkholes sending travelers dropping into the deep snow never to be seen again. The andra and djohame who live within the Arkessan make use of levitation magic to keep their snow boats from falling, and their sails can be seen for miles along the flat surface of the snow sea.
Bay of Dawn
First light send its rays across the Bay of Dawn, a beautiful setting lined with cliffs that weep tears to the sunrise everyday as the rays melt the ice. The bay is generally windless except when seasons move to change, and boats are seen moving quicker with banks of oars than under sail. Swordfish battle tuna for the heavy schools of sardines that fill the nets of fishermen, who barrel salt them for distant markets. The Bay of Dawn marks the eastern edge of the Coastal Trade Route, with many foreign vessels loading and unloading within sight of sounding whales and clouds of gulls.
Bay of Night
The west-setting sun gives this frigid bay its name, brilliant and moving sunsets casting light across a cone-shaped inlet infested with icebergs, sharks, toothed whales, and seals so thick it’s been said you could cross the bay on their backs without wetting your boots. Trade from Jorldom to Thule makes use of the waters to skirt the thick and impassable coast of The Greenfingers to the north.
This forest runs east-west along the eastern most reach of the Timber Coast. Fir and pine trees cover miles of wilderness from The Firejaw to the Ocrussian border, with the boughs of the trees decorated with inches of snow as well as inches of soot and ash from the belching of the Nine Daughters to the west. Forest fires occur often, with only the hardiest of sentinels escaping long-lasting damage from the flames. Fauna is abundant, deer herds gaining heavy numbers that are quickly culled by andra that fill their stomachs and trade posts on the plentiful supply.
The Crucible are the tallest mountains in Jorldom, with some of the peaks reaching more than two leagues into the sky. None stand taller than the mountain known simply as The Mother, a towering cone of granite that stabs the clouds with a snow-covered blade of rock continually hidden in fog. Giants of many types make the Crucible their home, whether dwelling in grand sculpted halls, glittering caves carved by time, or lava tubes burned from the softer rocks of the range.
Dowen Bear Greenwalk
This forest would be towering anywhere else in the World Primordant, but with trees barely averaging fifty feet in height, it is marked as the shortest range in Jorldom. Villages and towns can be found throughout, with andra making their sprawling home among the paths and clearings. Wild cats and wolves have dens here as well, and a few Ettercap communities have brought both trade and trouble to the area.
Pine, oak, birch, ash, larch and fir spread across hundreds of miles of border country between Thule and Jorldom where the Greenfingers march from the Bay of Night to the Silversweeps. Under the dense canopy, the ground lurches through hills and valleys, cliffs and defiles, the soil and ferns hidden among the twisted, gnarled undergrowth the quickly obscures game paths and covers evidence of passage in a matter of days. The flora here is robust, powerful, and threatening, with carnivorous trees, vines, and plants spreading everywhere. Travel through the Greenfingers is rough and ardurous, and inhabiting the wood is all but impossible except in the canopy where tribes of tasloi have staked their claim to the one of the few places in Jorldom not dominated by humans or andra. The minotaurs of Thule avoid these woods, cursing them as haunted and holding horrors best left to their white-skinned neighbors.
Kallsodj (kahl-SAHJ)is a salt water lake in southwest Jorldom, the feeder of three rivers that empty into the ocean on the Galaci Coast. Major cities and dozens of villages dot the coast of the lake, all invested in the fish, eel, and birds that gather on the lake, as well as pearls and candy-quartz that is found by intrepid divers beneath the surface. The lake never freezes, with ice crusting near to shore where the salt leeches to the soil but never more than a few feet out. Sharks are seen now and again, sometimes battling tentacle beasts that have made their way up river to the ripe hunting grounds underwater. Ravenous predators are hunted with relish, with the honor of the kill and the peace of the waters inviting rewards for those who succeed. The skilled Jorldom navies practice their Warcraft on the waters of the Kallsodj, with festivals and holidays attracting even more residents to visit the waters.
A twin range to the Anvil, the Mallet dominates the land northwest of the Kallspar River between Kallsodj and the Galaci Coast. It is renowned for the massive goats and peryton that fight their eternal battles along the cliff faces, and travellers that use the numerous passes back and forth from the Capital city will often find shattered remains of both along the roads. “Hit by a goat”, while an expression of surprise among the population, finds its literal origination and interpretation here among the spires of the Mallet. Safety is kept by many mounted and foot patrols, and the valleys have a history of producing tremendous spices that have acclimated themselves to the harsh weather and terrain.
This woodland area spreads along the westernmost stretch of the Galaci Coast. Tightly bound in darkness by a thick canopy of wide fir tops, the Nightwoods are historically treacherous with ice-covered paths, sudden drops and sinkholes, and reptilian infestations including crownwing lizards that use flaps of skin to glide down from trees and snakes that grow as long as fifty feet. Werebears roam and reproduce here, well away from intruders and hidden from even the king’s laws.
The Nine Daughters
The mythical birthplace of the goddesses themselves, the expanse of mountains embracing the nine volcanic peaks that are known as the Nine Daughters is a broken land of toxic fumes and oppressive heat surrounded by unforgiving cold and wind. Giants roam the lava-filled valleys and feast on condors whose wings could shade a battalion. Elk that can only be described as fireproof herd in gaps. The roads and trails that lead to the Nine Daughters are often broken, obliterated by earthquakes and shifts that force followers of the goddesses to find new paths over which to make their pilgrimage. Some say the goddesses can even be seen in the poisonous currents that flow between the summits.
This hard-packed plain is wiped clean of snow by the winds that power through the Valley of the Jade Giantess to the west, leaving the rock-hard permafrost open to frigid cold and bitter gales. Herds of caribou, elk, and white rothe cover the plain, chewing through the frost to crop the frozen grasses below. Spring time finds this area slushy and swampy, with animals getting stuck for the wolves that come down from the Crucible.
Valley of the Jade Giantess
This valley goes between the Voiceless peaks to the west and the Oil Peaks to the east, funneling the harsh winds of the Bay of Night across Jarldom. Settlements mark the many roads through the valley, and sheep, goats, and cattle are grazed along its hills. Travelers should be on the lookout for avalanches and attacks from goblins and gnolls that have risen from the Voiceless Peaks looking for prey and plunder. Legend speaks of a verdant valley from ages past, tended by a living tree that protected the foothills and planted the massive forests that tower above Jorldom, and those who believe often wish blessing from this, their Jade Giantess.
The westernmost tip of Jorldom sees the Voiceless peaks rise up from the valleys to the east and command towering views of the Pale Sea. Great drifts of snow, some as high as the mountains themselves, are dropped here by the sea storms that precipitate onto the western slopes. Sound is muffled here, the snow removing echoes, deadening all noise and giving the elevations their name. Eagles, condors and albatross nest in the heights. Remnants of a past kingdom lay broken in the rifts between the mountains. Exploration is beginning to grow into these mountains, with the long duration of the king’s peace making it possible to plan and prepare for excursions into the twisting gorges and canyons throughout the area.
The capital of Jorldom, as well as its largest city, Aisla sits on the northwest shores of the Kallsodj at the inlet to the Unsun River. Locks and canals thread their way next to the streets and avenues of the city, gradually bringing lake traffic up and down hundreds of feet through a cunning lock structure. Walls wrap around all of the city’s districts, and walkways among the shops, businesses and residences are often covered and heated with braziers against the oppressive cold. Even so, layers of ice often coat the walls and roofs of the buildings in the coldest months, and the whole city takes on a pearlescent shine. Were it not for the incessant winds howling through the Valley of the Jade Giantess, the smoke of thousands of fires would cover the city in a pall. Instead, a steady haze of grey streams from the tops of the walls throughout the city, carrying off to the lake and plains to the east and giving the capital its nickname: The Grey Crowned City.
The royal seat of King Iusagette sits in a grand hall atop the Peak District, and it is here that his majesty will usually be found in peacetime. Districts dedicated to the ministrations of the realm are here, as well as for mercantile interests and education, entertainment and slums, as most cities boast. All in all, Aisla is relatively lawful, with proud djohame dominating the citizenry and a sense of community infecting even transplants from other parts of the World Primordant.
Here on the western slopes of the Crucible, the long pilgrim’s path begins its eastern trail, an arduous and exhausting journey through the high passes of the mountains into the volcanic regions of the Nine Daughters, eventually exiting on the slopes at the Firejaw. A large town has grown around this area at the trail’s head, providing all the amenities to the many people making the trip. Taverns, shops, funeral needs, and even rival temples have found a place here. A small garrison for the King’s Chosen watches for assault and theft, but little is done to clear out the many beasts and marauders who have taken advantage of the passage and look to the wayfarers for loot and meat. Such dangers are considered part of the show of faith.
Standing sentinel at the southwestern shores of the Kallsodj, Bayhunder stands atop a five hundred foot high cliff dominating the scenery where the western stands of the Greenwalk begin. Waterfalls split the rock around and through the city, freezing to great spears of ice in the coldest months. The city itself has massive pines and cedars throughout. Neighborhoods are identified by these trees, and pride is taken in their maintenance and decoration through holidays and festivals.
The massive shipyards and piers of Bayhunder are underground, spread through vaulted chambers underneath the city and linked with the Kallsodj through a wide cave in the Cliffside. Whether a sturdy pontoon, small single-masted fishing trawler, or the massive deep-water triremes that carry the Jorldom’s custom abroad, the craft being built here is of the utmost quality and reputation.
This coastal city guards the outlet of the Slayn River on the south of Jarldom where the Galaci Coast meets the Timber Coast. Heavy seafaring traffic carries in and out of its harbor, Jorldanes loading and unloading heavy ships, transferring goods to river and overland trade routes. Timber, especially, is delivered and processed through many mills powered from the currents of the Slayne. The Jorldane navy has a large presence in Chela, elements of the Wolf and Bear groups patrolling well out to sea and all along the Timber Coast to the Bay of Dawn.
Twin city to Chela, this town is one of the more cosmopolitan ones in Jorldome, staying relatively warmer with the westerly currents bringing the waters from the east and populated with thousands of foreigners from hundreds of other lands. Apart from Aisla, Dowenpar has the most dedication to diplomacy, and certainly has more communication carried back and forth between the many embassies here and the leadership of Jorldom. Plenty of attempts of insurgency have been started here, with zealots dedicated to nations and religions struggling to plant the seeds of their faith and creed, only to have it rooted out, expelled, or even executed. The Jorldanes have little patience with attacks on their history and customs, and are willing to shed blood over maintaining their traditions and nation.
Wide cave mouths and considerable sulfur stench welcome pilgrims to the eastern entrance to the pathway celebrating the birthplace of The Nine Daughters. Tents, tipis and lean-tos are found here with merchants and trail guides offering services from temporary shelters. Permanent structures rarely last in this area, as tremblors and earthquakes are common. From the ash-dusted halls of the Firejaw, multiple paths lead off west, eventually to circle the volcanic summits of The Nine Daughters and link up with the ways west that lead to the Ashpan. Numerous adventuring companies work in these mountains, attacking the violent beasts and denizens with zealous glee or invading long-abandoned temples and ruins with a greedy eye.
Kallspar straddles the headwaters of the Kallspar River, a quarter-mile wide expanse of islands and fjords criss-crossed with bridges and webbed with canals that makes the entirety of the city seem fractured. Indeed, from high above in the Hamelspar, the tower that rises a thousand feet above the eastern districts of the city, the sprawling metropolis below resembles a shattered pane of stained glass, colors and lights filling the areas between avenues and seaways. Seals by the thousands frequent the islands and spurs of rock, oblivious to the nearly constant harvest that occurs to fill bellies with meat and lamps with oil. Gondolas, sleds, sledges, and elk trains all jostle along the wide bridges and roads back and forth across the river and down the Opcost Road and Nercost Road, twin highways that follow the path to either side of the Kallspar River off to the Galaci Coast to the south.
Oswark anchors the traffic from Kallspar along the river as well as along the roads that travel between the Mallet and the Anvil. A broad but shallow harbor prevents most deep water ships from tying off along the many piers, and heavy cargoes are either moved to wider barges, or off loaded at Ungu to the west or Chela to the east. The King’s Chosen garrisons this smaller city with four thousand soldiers, forever prepared to travel up or down the coast or inland to Kallspar should the need arise. Maneuvers and wargames are common, most often with the burgermeister’s son Tellor Hartgrame (Ftr6/Brb 6) astride a great polar wolf. Sorties into the Mallet and the Anvil to root out humanoids and beasts make for brisk business for all of the folks in Oswark, especially to sell and repair weapons and armor, as well burial services and coffins.
The Bay of Night grows shallow as it heads east, finally landing against the pine bluffs of the Greenfingers and the spreading harbor of Que-iula. Sandbars infest the bay, and little effort is ever made to dredge the harbors, so piers have spread west along the shore until the functioning ones now sit a good four miles from the limits of the city. Where the residents lack in harbormastering, they make-up for in brick and mortar engineering, with the Bay Coast Road being one of incredible construction and unmatched quality. Twelve wagons can ride abreast, and the surface is as smooth as glass.
The city itself stands as a last stop before reaching into the wild nations of the Western Shores, and a safe haven from the lethal dangers of the Greenfingers. Commerce revolves around trade with minotaurs of Thule, and goods intended for further north toward the Deleponesse.
The Unsun River empties into the delta of The Nightwoods, where thick and proud trees march to the coast and turn to stands of saltsifters, wide trees that sit in the coastal water, filtering salt from the briny ocean currents and leaving the mineral in thick sheets on its bark, there to entice deer, elk, and moose as natural saltlicks. Citizens of Ungu make jerky and stew of the meat from these teeming herds, potting much of it for trade in great casks stamped with the moon –and-tree sigil of the Nightwoods. Most of the city lurches into the forest, with architecture bordering on Gathelik in its intent, with the trees and boles of the forests edge being incorporated into the schemes. Jorldanes are thinner here, with a sleek look and obvious aquatic heritage.