|Flora and Fauna|
The island of Kelmoria, once known for its bustling mining colonies and quartz deposits, has now devolved into nothing more than an abandoned wasteland of volcanic rock and ash. Sitting between Regalia and the colony of Silverwind, the discovery and exploitation of Kelmoria had a great impact on the economy of the Regalian Empire. The old military outpost grew over time until it was a ripe colony frequented by miners, traders, and sailors alike. After the volcanic eruption in 303 AC, the island, once bustling with life, was now home to nothing but heaps of igneous rock. With little to offer after the eruption, the entire island is considered a dead zone.
The island of Kelmoria was created by hundreds of years of volcanic eruptions happening every other century when the volcano would become active, erupt, and start the cycle of life on the island over again. Beneath the topmost layer of soil on Kelmoria lies eons of volcanic rock and petrified biological matter. The island was uninhabited due to its small size and location which was all too close for comfort to the warring Regalian Kingdom; the area was in turmoil, and it was never clear who was going to expand their territories as far as the Island. Only the occasional pirate ship would dock there temporarily, as before the year 174 AC, the riches of the island had yet to be discovered. Very little was written down of Kelmoria’s history because it had almost nothing of note. Passerbys of the small island spent only short durations there, as nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. Due to the island’s erratic biological nature, any evidence of the Cataclysm’s effects on Kelmoria has been buried under several layers of volcanic rock.
In 174 AC, only shortly before the Regalian Archipelago was conquered, explorer Drusus Kelmor was tasked with charting land further than the Regalian Archipelago for possible military outposts. Kelmoria, named after Drusus Kelmor, was discovered early into the history of the Regalian Empire, starting off as a small military port with a low population and a low impact on Regalia’s economy overall. After discovering the island was rich in minerals, it rapidly evolved into a bustling hub for prospectors and mining companies. The port gained military leadership from the Regalian Empire, and sales of the island’s copious resources belonged only to the Empire. In a short amount of time, Kelmoria became the largest quartz exporting island in the archipelago, also sporting minor veins of gold and other precious metals. The volcano lied in wait as the population of the island surged into the tens of thousands, host to mainly Ailor, yet it was not uncommon for minorities of Dwarves to reside there temporarily, drawn by the promise of wealthy veins of minerals and slaves of mixed races to work in the Empire’s quartz mines.
Over the next century, Mount Kelmor lay deceptively dormant, and was titled the largest volcano in the world. Minor volcanic activity, such as earthquakes and volcanic smoke, were simply dismissed as “regular happenings”, and the population of the island remained unaware of how much destruction the mountain brought every few hundred years.
In 303 AC, volcanic activity became more pronounced and earthquakes became bigger and more threatening. A large portion of Kelmoria’s population fled for the Regalian Archipelago, aiming to set up somewhere with less tectonic activity. In combination with that, the resources of Kelmoria had almost completely dried up due to the decades of constant mining. Not without warning, in the same year of 303 AC, the volcano erupted, killing off thousands of settlers whilst destroying the entire port, most of the fauna and flora, and rendering the entire island nothing more than a volcanic wasteland. Essentially, Kelmoria is now a dead zone, home to no settlers - not even pirates - as the land is completely inhospitable. Ships avoid docking on the island altogether, preferring to pass it from a safe distance rather than anchoring off its coast.
The island of Kelmoria is located in the Great Middle Sea between the Regalian Archipelago and Silverwind. Once a rich landscape of jungle trees, shrubbery, and exotic plant life, the island is now only home to tons of volcanic rock, ash, and occasional lava flows. The eastern part of the island hosts a relatively flat area, with only small hills to interrupt the otherwise flat horizon. The western part of the island is a gentle slope until it meets the base of Mount Kelmor, where it then takes a steep upward incline. Several smaller chunks of land, no larger than a mile in diameter, surround the main landmass. These smaller islands, while less impacted by the eruptions of Mount Kelmor, still have rich soil concentrations of volcanic ash, causing their environments to remain inhospitable to many types of the previously native flora. Currently, the smaller islands are home only to a small variety of birds and insects as is common for the many years following the eruption of Mount Kelmor.
Kelmoria is also home to a number of interesting geographical phenomena. Pillars of black stone, some up to forty feet in height, line the coastal areas near Mount Kelmor. It is speculated that these formations were the result of some sort of ancient ruins being coated in lava, eventually cooling and hardening into the familiar obsidian-black stone that covers many miles of the island.
A number of abandoned cave systems are still accessible, shielded from lava flows by the cliffs on the western side of the island. Adventurers looking for a score of rare metals scale steep surfaces in order to reach the croppings of cave systems long forgotten by Regalian miners.
Today, Mount Kelmor lies latent, the magma still and dormant within the crust of the island. The beaches of Kelmoria are rich in black quartz sand, making the shores appear alien in comparison to the lighter sands of the Regalian Archipelago. The eastern side of the island slopes gently down into the ocean, leaving about four miles of shallow, clear blue waters. This area of shallows is home to a number of shipwrecks, as high tides makes the area look deceptively safe, only to maroon the ships of unfortunate sailors when the tide lowers again.
The flora of Kelmoria and its small surrounding islands can be described as sparse, at best. On the coasts of the island, the volcanic ash that saturates the sandy shallow areas gives off the perfect amount of nutrients for small colonies of Corpse Weed to grow. Other than that, patches of shrubbery that can survive in the black soil of the islands are few and far-between.
Kelmoria is not known to have any unique types of animal species. In fact, very little fauna is able to survive in the hostile environment of this island. The only creatures are a few species of fish, insects and a number of seabirds who make their home in and around the island. The most notable animal species on the island is a type of pelican. Interestingly, the pelican was once a symbol for the island port before its destruction. This species of pelican, the “Kelp Pelican,” can be found in Kelmoria, Silverwind, and the Regalian Archipelago. The bird was given its unique name because of the very long, hairlike feather structure that, when laying flat, looks like tangled forests of black kelp. Some people find this to be quite off-putting rather than charming, as the stark difference in the black feathering compared to the otherwise white body seems quite unnatural.
Politics and Demographics
The only political power ever to inhabit the island was the Regalian Empire, and they were close enough that their navy was able to easily control the island. The colonists were fairly happy under Regalian rule, and their involvement in the quartz industry helped to support the local economy of Kelmoria. Due to the eruption, the region is now essentially off-limits. The incident at Kelmoria has been considered as one of the largest failings in the Regalian Empire in the minds of foreign populations and critics.
Nickeltown, the name of the site of the original military outpost, was once a bustling cultural and economical hub. The central site of quartz mines, this area was plentiful with people of all races, but most numerously Ailor. The buildings were crafted out of stone, some structures boasting intricate stonework and brick laying. The windows of poorer districts were slightly tinted black, as the sands used to create the glass were gathered on the island itself. Those who could afford clear windows had to have the glass imported from other areas of the world. All that remains now is a ghostly silhouette of what used to be; a ruined stone fort and the crumbling, ashy ruins of anything that was once wood.
Mount Kelmor, the island’s main feature and number one catastrophic element, was named after explorer Drusus Kelmor. It is considered the largest volcano in Aloria to date. This pivotal landmark is what gives the island of Kelmoria its name. Currently, the volcano is in a state of dormancy, as will it remain for the next century or so.
The Screaming Maw
The remains of an underground cave system, the Screaming Maw gained its name from the lava that melted over the edges of the opening, making it appear like a screaming face. Inside the cave is a similarly ghostly site of an abandoned mine, pickaxes and rotted wooden tables laying about. While the miners were successfully evacuated, they left behind whatever they had at their campsite as well as the quartz they had been hauling. The entire site essentially looks like a ghost town to outsiders - all activity having halted in mid-process.
- There remains a total of nine active lava flows on the island.
- Kelmorian Black Quartz sand is highly prized on the market due to its ability to be melted down into black crystal and forged into windows, goblets, and jewelry. Unfortunately, it is hard to acquire as the island is mostly off limits to citizens and explorers.
- Kelp Pelicans instinctively know when to migrate to other areas before the volcano is about to erupt.