The Kingdom of Caligonia
Ruler: King Anlos D'Aust
Caligonia is a land almost completely desolate. Away from the coast, only sun-baked earth
and rugged rocky ground lies. The west is almost a desert although stone spires stick out every mile
or so around head height. The east is more pleasant with oasis and small lakes and is far flatter. The south is mountainous, and barren enough that without native knowledge it is essentially impassable, although small brooks do exist nearer the mountains. The coastal stretch however is a single long expanse of beach with very little to distinguish any of it, which gradually meets the sea. It is generally referred to as The Expanse. The only exception is in the east where a rocky granite outcropping leaves high cliffs. This area is known as The Banner and is where the seat of power lies, at the city of Kinright.
Aside from this, many towns and villages populate the eastern section of coast, most notably the trading port of Outreach, which nicely bisects the region. Also worth mentioning is the Dust Fountain, around 20 miles south of Outreach, which is a traditional meeting place for tribespeople who live semi-nomadically in the south.
The temperature across Caligonia is generally hot in the day, and cold in the night, as usual in desert terrain, although it verges on mild on the coast, with snow being a rare, once in a life-time event. It is not especially humid.
The people of Caligonia are mostly defined by two groups:
The Calis: The more coastal dwelling group. These people are fair haired with tan skin tones, due to their coastal lifestyle. Originally From northern lands, after great strife forced them from their homes they took to sea to find new lands. The open beaches were their salvation, and they have lived there for around 250 years, enough to barely remember their original home. Calis usually dress in light robes of white or turquoise, and wear hats with wide open brims, as a symbol of their joy at their new home. Calis value openness and honesty, and have many festivals on the beach that last from tide to tide, with no one bothering about getting out the water for the duration. At their coming of age, children are often asked “Desert or Sea,” and must then prove their worth in their choice.
The Ligians: Those who dwell more inland. Darker skinned than their kinsmen, they wear robes that are usually described as dust coloured, to blue. These people dwelt as nomads in the land well before the Calis arrived and although the biggest local tribe, were struggling to live off the land. The arrival of the Calis with irrigation and seafaring won them over, and they adopted a somewhat more sedentary lifestyle in new towns and villages, although many do still travel as nomadic villages. The Ligians, having defeated other rivals in the region, value strength and courage in general, but do appreciate innovation and honesty. They never really have seen the point of a coming of age ceremony, and thus children are usually apprenticed into work, which they carry on usually until old age. They have a major festival on the third moon of the year celebrating an old pagan tradition of the third child of the moon being their patron.
The ancient history of the land is mostly unknown, as the Ligians did not keep records of their history, while the Calis came were essentially refugees whose earliest record comes from an account of the journey to Caligonia. However, in a period known as The Septim War, around 260 years ago, the Ligians drove off other local tribes and competition but almost starved themselves from the lack of infrastructure and food. Meanwhile, the Calis arrived 250 years ago, with knowledge of fishing and some livestock, but no local knowledge. Some type of trade was inevitable, but as noted, aside from a few early skirmishes, both sides remained remarkably amicable, giving them a reputation for idealism. The alliance and later kingdom has withstood the test of time, and hasremained remarkably strong. This is mostly because Caligonia is almost completely disregarded and forgotten by most powers, as it is essentially barren. The only period of strife occurred around 70 years ago, where a town settled on the coast by Ligians was attacked by Calis merchants, who being somewhat hot-headed, mistook it for a pirate base. After a few months of skirmishes, the King, a Calis at the time, handed the merchants over to Ligian chiefs, who apparently killed them on the next full moon.
Recently, no one would consider Caligonia to be aspiring for empire, as they hardly prosper as they are. They would need a reason, or at least a leader with ambition to galvanise them. But that would never happen...
The government of Caligonia is centred around the defensible city of Kinright. When the peoples first met, there was at first much skirmishing and raids, which almost escalated to war, which would likely have doomed both sides. Both sides sent a delegation and surprisingly enough, both sought an alliance and trade agreement. After ten years, it was decided to make this permanent, and the leader of the Calis, Regus Insulus, and the Ligians, the High Chief Albert D’Aust, wed families between prominent figures on both sides, and declared all future rulers would come from those wed that day.
Caligonia therefore, is almost an Oligarchy, although it would be far more accurate to call it a Electivist Monarchy. The monarch is absolutist in power, with many nobles from both sides serving as advisors. Generally, land warfare is left to local chiefs, and pirates to local seamen, but the word of the monarch, or a designated marshal will unite armies without question. Recently, the merchant class, while not disliked, has been making inroads into power through the one absolute right all have in the realm, to petition. As honesty is a trait valued highly here, merchants are viewed with a tinge of…unease.
The Current Ruler is Anlos D’Aust, a direct descendant of Albert.
Caligonia has Silver as a major commodity, it being found both by the coast and in the lands south of the Dust Fountain mostly. Silver is valuable for trading, but is traditionally not made into ornaments; neither side particularly value baubles, although it is popular in Lunalta temples where they can be found, and a few Laskists have simple amulets made from it.
However, Caligonia lacks a vast amount of Livestock, as they are not native to the area, aside from some horses, and the Calis could not bring any. Goats are especially looked for due to their arduousness.
The trading posts in Caligonia are firstly the Port of Outreach, which is controlled very much by Anlos. Aside from this, the port of Bellease and the trading town of Pilm are also notable centres of trade.
The Calis are not Heretics, nor are the Ligians Pagans, at least that is the official message sent to the Church, and the local clergy mostly agree. While there is a presence of the Official Church at Kinright, many Laskists have come in recent years finding the land a relative haven, and thus it has a notable presence, especially in the town of Laskan, which holds several symphonises. Thus the land is essentially Laskist above all, as the clergy have decided that the only noticeable part is orthodox, and are currently unwilling to press it. Aside from that only the pagan traditions of Lunalta remain, which emphasises worshiping the moon goddess, Lunala Temalta, for her creation of the world, and always shining in her followers darkest hour. Many Ligians find a lot in common with this. Possibly the only reason the Orthodox church has allowed such deviancy is because Caligonia is for some strange reason often forgotten on maps, and the fact that by not having created any major fusses or spread heresy, it is largely beneath notice.
Religious node 1: Laskan: Laskist
Religious node 2: Kinright: Orthodox
Religious node 3: Lunalta (Ligian Paganism): has no current centre.
Spoiler: Terrain and Climate
The area of Newmouth is centred around a river which winds its way inland for miles. The area surrounding the river is surprisingly sparse, with only whispy, light grass for miles around. The terrain itself is mostly flat, with small hills in places which have smooth inclines. In the south, there is a small forest of all sorts of strange trees, which creates a dense overhead layer, blotting out most of the sun. The coast in the west is the only part with noticeable rocky outcroppings, with jagged rocks and small cliffs of dark rock. If it was not for the abandoned settlement, one would think the place uninhabited.
The climate so far appears to be quite temperate, with more mist than rain however. Mist seems to fall every night and rise every morning in the winter, with the summer months being far drier. It has not snowed at all yet, though it is not unlikely to.
There are certainly some natives in Newmouth. However, contact with them has been brief at best. They seem to be fair skinned, but for some reason have blue hair, probably through dye. The only meeting up close was when two Ligian scouts walked into two natives in the southern forest almost entirely by accident. The conversation was brief, as neither could understand one another, but apparently one of the natives pointed at herself and said ‘Liae’Gaw’, before carefully retreating. So far that has been their ‘official’ name. It would appear they live in or around the forest, possibly to escape the local wildlife. They appear to carry spears, and dress in robes of grey.
The most notable structure by far in Newmouth is the temple. In comparison to the University in Caligonia, it would seem to be around the same size as the Universities main building. Which is in fact massive. The temple seems to be made out of granite blocks, treated in some way to appear whitish. Outside, it has many spires, towers, and possibly rookeries, but of a massive side. No one has dared venture far in, as it appears to have become a nesting site, but it appears from a glance through the doors to have had a bright blue rug, and many, many matts. For now, it is known as the Blue Feather Temple.
Newmouth religious centres:
Blue Feather temple: Open
The Lammasu are strange creatures that inhabit this region. The few captured seem to have bodies similar to that of a lion, yet have wings not unlike those of eagles, and most unsettlingly, heads and faces that are almost, almost human. Maybe it is seeing a human face on such a strange an animalistic body that causes that strange feeling. Either way, the Lammasu can fly, are likely carnivorous, and possibly caused the settlement to be abandoned in the first place, as well as eating the original settlers. Yet, as one colonist has managed to show, they can be tamed. This woman managed to entice one with meat, and through training it somewhat like a horse, she managed to get it to fly her a small distance, although she did break her leg getting off. So far, those few tamed have all been given face masks, if just to give their riders a sense of security from riding something that has a humanlike face.
The primary nesting ground is currently the outskirts of Blue Feather temple, although a hill to the north also has some Lammasu gathering.
The inhabitants so far are quite happy, but if pressed, they would like Flowers, to help brighten up the somewhat bleak area.
Trading post 1: Temple outskirts: open
Trading Post 2: Lammasu hill