The Forged Kingdom

Geography

The lands of the Dur, the Forged Kingdom, is comprised predominately on, under, and above the Grausale Mountains which divide the continent of Calydon into east and west halves. Much of the terrain of the Forged Kingdom is rocky and mountainous, rich in mineral ores and natural gases. The western slopes of the Grausale Mountains are covered with conifer forests and alpine habitats growing out of the more lush deciduous forests in the foothills northeast of the lands of their Nisse neighbors. The eastern slopes are drier as the mountain peaks bar most rainfall from making it to the other side, and flows into the drier scrublands which flow into the Goblin territories.

Mount Grausaule is the largest (though not the tallest) mountain in the world and is also the seat of the Dwarven multinational state, The Forged Kingdom. Durheim, the Carved City, is located on the northern face of Mount Grausaule, and is the Vuono Dur capital. It sprawls halfway up the mountain side and extends out into Grausaule Vale below it. Durheim itself is divided into three sections, The Lower City, The Upper City and Old Town. The Lower City consists of all of Grausaule Vale and the communities found at the base of Mount Grausaule. The Upper City consists of the structures carved directly into the mountain face which give Durheim its nickname. Old Town consists of the area within the walls of Durheim Keep (the ancient castle at the very top of Durheim itself) and the underground sections of Durheim. Deeper into the mountain, beyond the Upper City and Old Town, are the Aurum mines that have enriched the Vuono Dur, and the Forged Kingdom as a whole.

Settlements
Vrachos Dur Territory

Most Vrachos Dur settlements have very limited space within their cities. Homes tend to be stacked into buildings that are between three and four stories high. Most of the space is taken by trade warehouses, pubs, musical halls, and government buildings. The poor and homeless are rarely seen within the city proper because they are typically driven out into the Sunless Roads by the Merchant and Ruling class. This makes the underground routes near Vrachos cities dangerous to travel alone unless one is connected with the various criminal gangs that spring up. Mercenaries from all over the world can typically find work with the Vrachos trade caravans. Steam Technology is also uncommon in smaller cities and settlements, not because the Vrachos do not have access to steam technology, but because an abundance of steam tech within a city requires a greater deal of ventilation caves and tunnels. The Vrachos, being generally xenophobic, tend to keep outsiders, even those in Vrachos employ, to the outer ring sections of their cities, typically near the city gates.

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Vrachos Dur Settlements Map
Vuono Dur Territory

Vuono Dur settlements, in turn, are the opposite. They tend to sprawl across the side of a mountain or along the hilltops of the surrounding countryside. Buildings can range from single stories to as high as six stories, though most of these tend have half the building underground. With the constant trade that happens with the Vrachos, the Nisse, and the Humans, the Vuono cities are quite cosmopolitan. The poor tend to live further away from the rich manses on the mountains, settling instead near industrialized areas or in rural suburbs. Vuono have less of a utilitarian view of the world than Vrachos do, and their cities house some of the greatest artists and sculptors of the Forged Kingdoms. In fact, King Ivannar Stoneforge the First is known for his love of music, and is patron to several court musicians and bards. His people seems to have taken a cue from their leader, and it is not uncommon to see music halls and piano bars in even the seediest parts of a Vuono city.

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Vuono Dur Settlements Map
Ouranos Dur Territory

All major Ouranos Dur cities are technically twin cities. The large floating cities that ring the tops of mountains are accompanied by a smaller settlement on the ground. These settlements are typically trading posts, warehouses, and cheaper inns for travelers and merchants. They also house aethership hangars for the smaller ships that taxi people and goods from the ground up to the city proper in the sky. Ouranos cities take some getting used to as the clank of machines and bellows is a near constant. Most of the poor and criminal element lives in the network of pipes and machines in the recesses of the floating cities. Despite the Ouranos being even less xenophobic than both their Vuono and Vrachos cousins, their cities tend to be populated by mostly other Ouranos, as very few among the other races feel comfortable living in a constant high altitude.

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Ouranos Dur Settlements Map
System of Government

The Forged Kingdom, as the name implies, is a former patriarchal monarchy which in modern times has shifted to a parliamentary democracy. The Durren King is mostly a political figurehead who unites all Dur under a single banner, but leaves much of the actual development and implementation of policy to the Durren Parliament. Though the ancient noble houses have had their direct authority disbanded and replaced by elected officials, these noble house still hold power in the form of mercantile prowess and their ability to influence the opinions of key governmental figures. The Forged Kingdom also maintains the largest bank in the world, and it is the Durren Kroner which serves as the universal currency of Sha'uru.