Cald is a fiery and explosive realm, a dangerous place filled with sulfur, smoke, heat, and ash. Volcanoes, flaming geysers, lava flows and bubbling mud pits cover the landscape. Pumice paths wind between craters and cross the lava rivers. It is a violent land, filled with energy, and an inspiration to the Eliwan who settled here long ago.
Cald is one of the most unforgiving of regions in the moonlands. It lies south of Kybar's Teeth, at the southern end of the Moonlands continent. The land is covered with active volcanoes, lava flows, volcanic vents belching noxious fumes, and calderas filled with steaming mud pits. Cald is a rugged set of volcanic badlands, with few flat plains. In some places, a thin crust has formed over a field of lava, forming an eerie landscape where the rocks are lit by the magma below. The entire landscape of Cald is composed of igneous rock, from pumice and basalt to feldspar and obsidian.
Instead of lakes of water, there are lakes of lava and lava vents around the region. While there are a few streams of water, they tend to be sulfurous and too hot to drink. Some lakes have become mildly acidic due to the sulfur in the water; Calders have usually mark these with warning signs until they cleanse them. Cald settlements usually draw upon the water from the superheated geysers that form the source of the streams and lakes, and they maintain wells for their drinking water.
While Cald might seem to be an infernal nightmare of a land, it is actually quite habitable. The heat from the lava, while still quite pervasive, only reaches uncomfortable levels, never higher. One of the secrets of Cald is that the rock within Cald helps draw the heat away from the surface somehow. Visitors can safely cross through Cald, over rivers of lava, without extreme heat convection immediately incinerating them. Some Calders have theories about this, ranging from their spells drawing the heat away, to Cald's elemental node focusing it somewhere in the Dream Plane. Most Calders shrug and accept it.
While Cald is habitable, it is not comfortable to visitors. The temperature is always above 90°F. Visitors must make a Fortitude save every hour (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d4 points of non-lethal heat damage. A victim who falls unconscious begins to take lethal damage. If the temperature is above 110°F, the victim must make the check every 10 minutes.
While the rock of Cald reduces the dangers of heat convection, the heat of the lava rivers is still extreme. Touching lava causes 2d6 fire damage each round; total immersion causes 20d6 damage. See page 304 of the Dungeon Master's Guide for more information.
Because of its terrain, Calders have constructed a system of roads and bridges which link all Calder settlements. These paths also link Cald to the other regions in the Moonlands. The roads and bridges are constructed of the heat-absorbing rock, typically a pumice variant. In some remote sections of Cald, the bridges and roads may be little more than stepping stones. Because of their construction, travelers along the roads make heat checks as if they were in conditions one temperature category lower (e.g., no checks necessary until the air temperature is above 110°F).
Fortunately, the buildings in Calder cities are built with the same rock which draws heat away from the lava flows. As a result, a Calder dwelling protects visitors from the heat. Calder dwellings frequently resemble round hemispheres with chimneys.
The capital of the Cald, Aragonar is the center of Calder power. It is a larger city by Moonlands standards, with over a thousand inhabitants. The city has the usual Calder dwellings and architecture. The city is situated on a bluff along the coast near the southern tip of Cald, overlooking a bay of water. Paths lead down to the docks.
Aragonar is also home to Cald Keep. This imposing structure is a collection of connected cylindrical towers overlooking the primary road into Aragonar. It is the center of Calder government - Barak's Hall is inside. It also holds many rooms for magical training and research. Cald Keep was built long ago, when the regions were less civilized and conflicts were more common.
Cald Keep also holds the Cald College of Arcane Arts. This college provides a venue for Calders to learn about various techniques and applications of fire magic, healing, and other magical skills. THe college consists of a small library, a small duelling hall, and a few teaching rooms.
The magi of Cald have developed considerable expertise in manipulating energy. They control fires, redirect heat, and understand the energy inherent in any system. Their expertise has also led them to develop a strong expertise as healers - Calder healers are second only to those of Naroom for their range of talents. Calder magi excel at providing energy to bolster their creatures.
Cald is ruled by its Warlord, who attains his position through command of magical power (not necessarily seniority). Currently, Barak is the Cald Warlord. While as impulsive and violent as any Calder, Barak tempers his rule with rare wisdom coupled with his prophetic talents.
Another important role within Cald is the Bridge Builder. While this title seems trivial, the bridge builder is responsible for constructing and maintaining the paths and bridges that link Cald to the rest of the Moonlands. Without the Bridge Builder's talents, no visitor would be able to reach Aragonar safely. Previously, Valkan held the position, but was removed from the role for undisclosed reasons.
Elders in Cald do not receive the same veneration as they might in other regions. Since Calders pride themselves on magical strength, many elders begin to push the boundaries of their magical powers, sometimes using more flamboyant spells or acting even more impulsively than the younger magi.
The few plants that grow here have made peculiar adaptations to withstand and prosper in the intense heat and harsh conditions. Most plants in Cald do not have large leaves, but instead draw energy from the natural heat. They develop extensive root systems to find water, but have adapted to require less water than most plants of similar size. Still, Cald plants rarely grow above the size of shrubs.
Creatures dwelling in Cald are frequently composed partially of metal or stone, to help resist the heat. They have a wide variety of forms, some quite bizarre, and Cald is home to a bewildering array of life.
|Common (1-6)||Uncommon (7-9)||Rare (0)|
|1||Arbolit||Surf Diel||Ember Vard|
|2||Caldera Aq||Jakla Prowler||Magma Hyren|
|3||Coal Weebo||Lava Arboll||Toasted Yajo|
|5||Flame Trulb||Quor Pup||Smoke Xyx|
|6||Primat||Bone Grag||Cinder Hyren|
|7||Spark Chogo||Flambit||Dryte Fiend|
|9||Firefly Swarm||Braggle||Firestorm Orish|
|10||Coal Ergar||Lava Aq||Granas|
|11||Ergar||Magma Parmalag||Greater Vaal|
|12||Flame Rudwot||Raxis||Inferno Xyx|
|13||Giant Arboll||Core Grag||Saladarit|
|14||Kelthet||Lava Balamant||Stumbling Junjertrug|
|16||Flame Jakla||Drakan||Volcano Hyren|
|17||Magma Jile||Fire Grag||Ash Hyren|
|20||Karkik||Crag Quor||Rock Silth|
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