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Kam Ultdour
A large landmass, about 3/4 the size of Oksa, located to the east of the Necklace of Plenty. It stands far enough out to sea that it's not usually worth bothering with, but in recent years the Merchant's League has developed a profitable trade route through its single port, Besperthan, to and from Vaarta.

Kam Ultdour is usually not bothered with because of its form of government, which can be described as "Paranoid Radical Thaumarchy," although not too loudly because any who does runs the risk of being turned into a pigeon. Because Chaos has a slight edge over Concordance here, magicians effectively rule the entire island or, rather, rule it de facto, because the last thing you'd call an administrative magician is effective.

In the distant past of Kam Utdour there was a lot of all-out magical warfare, resulting in strange kinds of warps to the territory not usually seen outside the Second Continent (for more on that, see sidebar for the Gap of Ybrim). It eventually occurred to the magicians that, if they continued at their current rate, there wouldn't be much left of Kam Ultdour to fight over. The open fighting eventually subsided into a perpetual cold war, with each magician sitting in his place of power glaring at the others and putting up more and more wards and shields, while enemy agents sneaked around the back and set fire to his bed-sheets.

Each magician has nominal control over the region immediately surrounding his stronghold, and it's a testament to his power and political skill if he holds any more. The general pastimes of magicians consist of maneuvering for power, out-maneuvering his power-grabbing neighbours, maneuvering and out-maneuvering his underlings and picking out a successor who wouldn't, say, drop-kick him into the well at the slightest hint of an opportunity.

This leaves the mundane of the islands in a pickle. They are under the control of sorcerous overlords, but those overlords couldn't care less if the villagers lived or died, as long as they keep turning out the food and don't get any fancy ideas about what to do with those torches and pitchforks. Farmers and herders tend to work in loose communes, while the few towns and villages appoint a Petitioner who theoretically presents pleas to the ruling magician (when they are certain of who that is) but really acts like a mayor. The most contact many commoners have with the wizards is when a minor flunky comes to collect their taxes once a year. (In some of the more hotly contested regions, the Petitioners have developed a practice of handing over part of the taxes to any man in livery who shows up, twisting his moustache and glowering at them. It seems safest, and has the added bonus of making the regions less hotly contested.)

The exception to this rule is Besperthan, which is ruled by a magistrate appointed by a general council of magicians (i.e., the ones who aren't too paranoid to participate in some teleconferencing via bowls of water, black mirrors and the like.) It is, technically, outside the rule of any one magician, which just means that all the magicians are trying to rule it without getting caught. It was built specifically as a trade enclave when it was discovered that the Merchant's League was willing to trade in prandeshins (a round, head-sized, melon with a characteristic dark red rind), giant ferrets, native wool cloth (rumored to have the durability of chain-mail if kept clean) and a few other commodities. In return, they could import luxury items, foreign food and animal products (cherries, horses and Vugs have been hot sellers) and, most importantly (to the magicians), items of foreign magical lore which might give them an edge over competitors. The one commodity that they don't export, which the League would sorely like them to, is the Red Jade sometimes found in the mountains.

Overland travel is not something that regularly occurs on Kam Ultdour, simply because the mundanes rarely have a reason to and the magician's operatives have other means. However, road-building is something that the Kamites pride themselves on, and even the most remote herding camp will likely have a wide, well-marked path which, if not actually paved, probably gets a fresh layer of sand and gravel from time to time. This is because getting lost on Kam Ultdour is generally a terminal proposition.

In terms of pure geography, the terrain is remarkably forgiving; the problem lies in the additions to that geography that several hundred years of mage wars can accomplish. There are hidden craters, invisible barriers, and other places where space or time (or both) have slipped a gear; there are the ruins of towers and citadels blasted into gravel generations ago; there are mysterious barrows and mound, sometimes coincident with ruins but all the more distressing when they aren't; and there are variations on the local wildlife you definitely would rather not tangle with. The occasional mauled body cannot logically be caused by thrushes...can it?

As a result, the Kamites have taken a robust approach to roadbuilding. They use the rivers for transport whenever possible, and are generally quite fond of boats (except at certain locations on the coast, where the dangers of the land may be hidden underwater, and some small islands are still unaccounted for). They have an elaborate system of markings for roads, are not afraid to circumnavigate suspicious patches of land, and never, ever, ever use a shortcut. In some of the mountain regions, it's not unusual to find wooden boards on the sides of roads to prevent travellers from wandering off in bad weather.

The main island is roughly comma-shaped, with a rugged strip of mountains called the Walls of the Winds defining most of its northern coastline. The bulge in the comma consists of a rich plain of many rivers, which eventually all flow out to sea at Besperthan. The main crops grown here are barley, sorghum, chickpeas and potatoes, plus prandeshins. Large goats are herded in the mountains, where temperate fruit trees like apples, peaches and urda have caught on. Although horses and tembu have been imported by the Merchant's League, most Kamites still rely on large, sturdy native dogs for their heavy larbor. They also sometimes hunt with giant ferrets.


Merchants League
Empire of Splendour
Necklace of Plenty

Giant Ferrets
The giant ferrets of Kam Ultdour are domesticated versions of the native weasels, that have been bread to be very large (about the size of a medium dog) and very fast. They are used primarily for hunting (usual game is geese, turkeys, rabbits, foxes, and small deer, and occasionally the penguins who live on the northern coast) or as guard animals. This is because the native variety of dog has been bred as a pack animal--they are larger than a St. Bernard but about as wooly, with thick legs and great big shoulders. You can't ride on them, but you can hitch them to a cart or plow. Some people have also been known to make rope from their hair, although fibers derived from prandeshin vines are usually used for this purpose.

Gap of Ybrim
The Gap of Ybrim is a deep strait which divides the main body of Kam Ultdour from a roughly trapazoidal extension to the west. The channel is perfectly straight and sheer on both sides, being cut directly through the Wall of Winds Mountains. It is never, ever sailed through, except by the stupid or insane. Legend has it that Ybrim was a powerful mage-lord who, in a fit of pique at being outfaced by a rival, cast down his staff. The staff blew a hole not just in the floor of his tower and in Ybrim himself, but in the entire island. This was allegedly the event that made the other wizards re-think their policy of "Keep flinging curses at him until he's dead or at least well-transmogrified" and led to the current state of affairs.