The Nation of Cardinia
Cardinia used to be the seat of power for a globe-spanning empire. Now it is the smallest country on the continent that bears its name. The people of Cardinia know little of their history, the first act of the new government after the fall of the Forgotten Empire was to ban, under pain of death, picking through the corpse of their former home. In the 531 years since, most of the wonders and marvels of the fallen nation have been lost or forgotten. Farmers tend fields where great cities once stood and run cattle across pastures that were once vast hunting refuges.
Cardinia is nestled in the base of the Northern Tormad Mountains. The capital, Summercliff, is the only path up to the Tormad plateau from the Ballar plains and serves to separate East and West Cardinia. Western Cardinians are sturdy, practical farmers and tradesmen who prefer a quiet, simple life. Eastern Cardinians are friendly but shrewd traders, craftsmen, and merchants.
The town of Goodhearth is the largest settlement in western Cardinia. It owes its success to a good location and hard working people. The town’s sawmill refines the raw timber from Griffondale and ships it downriver to the capital to be sold to craftsmen and artisans. The farms of Goodhearth grow corn and wheat which is traded with other villages on the plateau, some even makes it as far east as the Cliffside District in the capital. Because so much of it’s goods are shipped by barge along the river, there is a small dock and boatyard that produces canoes, keelboats, barges, and small sailboats. Most of the goods traded in Goodhearth pass through either the Brass Nail Trading Post or Southern Market. The Rubbing Goose Inn serves ale and a serviceable meal to weary travelers or thirsty farmhands and the Dragon’s Peak Inn usually has a vacant room or two for the more refined traveller.
Goodhearth is also home to several temples. Vurk, Auruhm, and Varuna all have places for the faithful to gather and there is even a library where the librarians and archivists spread the philosophy of Farrok.
Shieldcrest is the end of the line for many caravans or traveling merchants not willing to pay the fee to use the Gull Lake Ferry or transport their goods by barge. The town has few permanent residents, but there is a constant stream of traders, mercenaries, and workers.
Griffondale is the main source of high grade lumber in Cardinia. The timber harvesting operation is done in both the Southern Grove and in Berrywood, to the north. Due to the objections of the Druids in Glimmerwood, the timber practices have undergone dramatic changes and reformation in the last 10 years. Griffondale exports raw timber to Goodhearth where it is processed into lumber for use in the construction of furniture and other fine goods. The farmers in the area also grow beets which are traded with other towns on the plateau. Some of the beets are even offloaded and carted to the capital, where they are considered a delicacy. Many other goods are produced in Griffondale, but most are used locally, such as milk, eggs, and cheese. Raw Murphy sells timber and beets for Griffondale and is paid a small commission for his services.