|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. The discovery and exploitation of Kelmoria, which sits between Regalia and the island of Silbrae, 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 little more than miles of igneous rock. The entire island is considered a dead zone though life tries to eke out an existence at the edges.
The island of Kelmoria was created by hundreds of years of volcanic eruptions happening every other century. The volcano would become active, erupt, and start the cycle of life on the island over again as evidenced by eons of volcanic rock and petrified biological matter located under the current crust. The Allorn Empire recorded the phenomena thoroughly until the Cataclysm when the island exploded violently due to the great event. The plume was so great, Ailor in Daendroc could reportedly see it. As time went on and exploration revealed the island, people were extremely skeptical in settling it. In 174 AC, this changed as Ailor explorer Drusus Kelmor was tasked with charting lands further than the Regalian Archipelago for possible military outposts of the expanding Regalian Empire. He discovered Kelmoria, and though the locals from nearby Talamoor and Daendroque sailors in his party warned of the great destruction the island brought, he just brushed it off. By that time, the island was lush and covered in jungles with the central volcano apparently inactive; he claimed the island in the name of the Regalian Empire and thoroughly explored it. In the coming years, it was named Kelmoria after him and a military outpost was set up. Further exploration of the island showed its rich mineral wealth and Regalia eagerly began mining. The second century came and went, with Regalia ultimately proclaiming the region had blown itself out in the Cataclysm and no more major eruptions would occur. With this declaration and the raw mineral wealth of the island, Kelmoria 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 extensive resources belonged only to the Empire. In a short amount of time, Kelmoria became the largest Quartz exporting island in all of Aloria, also sporting minor veins of Gold and other precious metals. The population of the isle surged into the tens of thousands, host to mainly Ailor, while slaves of mixed Races worked in the Empire’s Quartz mines. It was not uncommon for minorities of Dwarves to reside there temporarily, drawn by the promise of rich veins of minerals. 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 in neighboring volcanoes, was just dismissed as “regular happenings,” and the population of the island remained unaware of the danger. In 303 AC, volcanic activity became more pronounced and the earthquakes became more threatening. A large portion of Kelmoria’s population fled, aiming to set up somewhere with less tectonic activity. In addition, the resources of Kelmoria had almost completely dried up due to the decades of constant mining. Not without warning, in the same year the volcano erupted, killing off thousands of settlers and destroying the nearby port of Coppertown, most of the Fauna and Flora, and rendering the majority of the island to little more than a volcanic wasteland. In the wake of this disaster and various other world events, the Regalian Empire did not seek to resettle the region and has only recently sent teams to start extracting new wealth from the island now that Mount Kelmor and the three other volcanoes have calmed fully once more. While these groups do not live there permanently, they are set up for extended stays of several months long as they map, sample and discover new sources of minerals while receiving supplies by sea. What areas remain untouched by the volcanic event are minimal and scattered along the eastern coastline and it is highly likely within the next hundred years, new plants and animals will call the rich volcanic landmass home.
The island of Kelmoria is found northeast of the Regalian Archipelago next to Talamoor and nearby Silbrae, all helping form part of Corontium. It is located in the Great Middle Sea. While the landmass was once a rich landscape of jungle trees, shrubbery, and exotic plant life mostly from Daen, the island is now home to tons of volcanic rock, ash, the occasional lava flow, a small scattering of plant life thriving off the mineral-rich soil, and the few animals which were able to avoid the lava flows after the eruptions. The eastern part of the island hosts a relatively flat area, with only small hills to interrupt the otherwise flat horizon. It is also the area least affected by the volcanic explosion with minimal tree cover remaining in the area. The western part of the island has both a flat and cliffed coastline which proceeds into a gentle slope to the base of Mount Kelmor, where it then takes a steep upward incline. Several smaller chunks of land, no larger than two or three miles 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. The smaller islands are home to a small variety of birds and insects as they recover during the many years following the eruption of Mount Kelmor, however, the mainland’s new flora has begun to attract more and more of those birds and insects back to their original home.
Kelmoria also holds some 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 ancient ruins being coated in lava, eventually cooling and hardening into the familiar obsidian-black stone which covers many miles of the island. A number of abandoned cave systems believed to be ancient magma tubes 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 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 and often hosts the camps or landing craft of any who visit the island.
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 which saturates the shallow sandy 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. In recent years, there has been a return of some of the original flora that initially covered the island, though far more resilient. The island was once covered in towering jungle trees whose limbs were draped with thick moss, lush shrubbery, and all manners of exotic flowers in every color imaginable before the eruption of 303 AC nearly wiped it all out.
Kelmoria is not known to have any unique types of animal species. In fact, very little fauna can survive in the hostile environment of this island. The only creatures are a few species of fish, insects, and a number of seabirds which make their home in and around the island. Before the volcano’s eruption, Kelmoria was home to a variety of fauna typically found in dense jungles. Wild pigs, small deer, and the occasional predatory feline made their home in the underbrush of the jungle, whereas small colonies of monkeys found comfort in the thick branches that made up the canopies. Unfortunately the fiery destruction eliminated virtually all of them.
Politics and Demographics
The only political power ever to inhabit the island was the Regalian Empire. The colonists were fairly happy under Regalian rule, and their involvement in the Quartz industry helped to support the local economy of Kelmoria, Silbrae, and Talamoor. Currently, Regalia holds a dubious claim to the land, but all other parties have let them have the dangerous and desolate rock. Small Regalian groups have recently begun to set up camps on the outskirts of the island to begin planning for future excavations and operations.
Coppertown, the name of the site of the original military outpost, was once a bustling cultural and economic hub. It became the central site of Quartz mines though originally it extracted Copper from the ground. 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 bricklaying. 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 is Kelmoria’s most obvious land feature despite its gradual depression over the many centuries of erupting and cooling it has undergone. It is still considered the largest volcano in Aloria despite all of this, with a rim several miles in diameter. It is located in the center of the island next to three other lesser volcanoes, and the whole island rises to this point. Currently, the entire area is a blackened land of cooled volcanic rock, but before it was a destination of tourism, with various paths up to the rim of the volcano to gaze into the dim molten core barely visible from the rim. Nowadays, this core is still viewable but it has been slowly decreasing in size over the past three years. Anyone traveling here should be careful to watch their step that they do not go tumbling down into a fiery end or tumble down the hard and warped exterior.
The Screaming Maw
The Screaming Maw is the remains of an underground cave system formed by ancient magma flows which takes its current 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 rotten 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 had seemingly been halted in mid-process.
- There are 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.