The Sea of Stars
A Short History of the Ocean Shard of Kali
Written by famed Elven historian Buana the Literate (1215 – 1391 KE)
Published 1399 KE by Iman Kuwat (1376 – )
I, Buana the Literate was orphaned at a young age by a tidal wave destroying my island home of Tion in 1230 KE. Were it not for my parents sacrifice I may well have followed in their footsteps of pottery making however after my life was saved I was taken in by Putri Kali of the Sect of Trasin. During my time with the Sect I was taught to read and write in order to assist help Putri record the oral traditions that had led to the founding of the Sect. This education was provided by the good will of scholars from the Star Tower who also commissioned this text. The year I completed recording the most prominent histories and holy stories of Kali I was renamed “the Literate” in honour of my ability to speak and write not just one but three languages. I was the first person from Kali to master the written form of Kalimadu, the common ancestor of this great shards many languages, Zentish, the language of the Star Tower and Sylvan, the language of the fey. I have more than one hundred years of experience in the field of archaeology and the study of Kali artefacts, and have written multiple essays on identifying features of Kali pottery and cooking utensils. This research informed much of my research into the anthropological history of Kali.
The following was written by Iman Kuwat, after the unfortunate disappearance of Buana in the year 1391 KE
This history was commissioned by the Kali representatives at Star Tower with the support of the Cosmologica in the year 1344 KE, however after compiling research for more than 30 years without providing a report the Cosmologica lost faith and discontinued support. The next 25 years were spent digging archaeological sites with the assistance of Iman Kuwat. In 1391 KE during an underwater dig Buana went missing and was never found, however the volume was almost complete. Using Buana’s remaining notes I, Iman completed the volume and travelled to the Star Tower to have it published, which happened successfully 2 years later, 9 years after the disappearance of Buana.
This History is dedicated to Putri Kali and Buana the Literate and the historians of the Cosmological who trained Buana (whos names I have not been told)
At least 5000 years BKE – In This History of the Kingdoms, Pietro Leth claims that the Ragnarok can be given the approximate time of ‘3000’ years before Landoch’s The Last Rite of Asmodeus however this remains speculation.
(Little is known of this period in Kali as almost all evidence has been lost or destroyed during various wars. However, artefacts from this epoch arise from time to time, whether they are authentic or not would require information from the Cosmologica or other archives we lack in Kali).
4000 – 3000 BKE – Cave illustration from an ancient civilisation indicate this 1000 year period saw a large change in landmasses across the shard due to constant large scale volcanic activity from the shards many various volcanos specifically Mount Kelmera and Mount Rinjani to name the largest.
3100 BKE– Archaeological findings of pottery and clay sculptures show the existence of two similar but distinct cultures in Kali – the Kimbirra and Trasin – both primarily consisting of Humans and Aquatic Elves.
3000 BKE – Evidence found from old Kimbirra settlements showed idols and places of worship that were destroyed by the Trasin suggesting a war started at approximately this time. Reliefs and models found in ruins dated this time suggest the Kimbirra worshipped a fish-god of some sort, probably an ancient Sekolah (now considered the god of Sahuagin and the Hunt).
2985 BKE – Huge eruptions from Mount Kelmerra seem to cause vast casualties to both sides, burial grounds have been found with numerous bodies from both sides of the conflict.
2990 BKE – It has been speculated that while war lasted approximately ten years between these two cultures, a sudden difference in the tactics and ferocity of the Kimbirra led them to finally destroy the Trasin.
2989 BKE – One season after their victory (discovered through the finding of agricultural artefacts) the Kimbirra culture ceased to exist for no apparent reason. Homes were abandoned despite being in working condition and household items were left in their houses including clothes. (Luckily the eruptions of 2985 preserved many houses in their original condition).
Approximately 2000 BKE – While smaller earthquakes and volcanic activity always affects Kali, around this time there is a serious of rapid and violent eruptions, wiping all the flora and fauna from the island we now know as Makki
1900 BKE – First evidence of established culture, arts and religion found since the Kimbirra-Trasin destruction. Pottery and decorations (terracotta pottery covered with dried banana leaf and volcanic sand) closely resemble the Trasin style (depictions of the banana leaf) which leads me to believe that other, smaller tribes found and appropriated the Trasin style for themselves. I have named these the Neotrasin.
1200 BKE – The widespread finding of various common agricultural and hunting tools suggests widespread migration from the satellite islands towards the home of the Neotrasin. Indicating they were widely known to be the largest tribe and would offer the most security against the dangers of island life.
1000 BKE– Artefacts of war found on the ocean floor and hidden deep underground indicate a war between a race of trident wielding fish people known as Sahuagin who surprised and destroyed the Neotrasin civilisation with the help of Kuo-Toa and enslaved the majority of the population. Interestingly the weapons and nets of the Sahuagin showed similar craftsmanship (the use of Awls and Atlatls) to the Kimbirra, however, no tools could have survived the 2000 year period between the two events.
950 BKE – Erosion seen on cliffs and beaches suggests violent storms localised around the old island home of the Neotrasin people, these huge floods unfortunately destroyed much of the archaeological evidence to be found making analysis of the Neotrasin culture more difficult.
800 BKE – After 200 years of relative silence on Kali, family units began to group together again at the home of the Neotrasin, naming themselves the Kali. This societal change was made obvious by the discovery of mud huts localised to the larger islands to the east from this time period. Also worship of various water Deities seems somewhat common, with most people worshiping different gods from Kali’s pantheon e.g. Thor, Sotek, Deep Sashelas, and Aegir to name a few.
750 BKE – Evidence of small skirmishes tells us that there is another large tribe forming in the west named the Madu, comprising of a much higher percentage of gnomes and dwarves than Kali which is predominantly Aquatic Elves and Humans. Religious symbols on armour shows the Madu probably worshipped Njord, Bringantia, Manannan and Eadro
640-0 BKE – Kali is suddenly swept into the Astral Wars. Due to the lack of population or war machine technology to contribute to either side of the conflict, Kali is used as an outpost by a variety of different parties throughout the war. During this time, the people of Kali contributed food, resources and labour to the invading shards’ outposts without an understanding of who they were supplying or why – however, the power of the other shards left them no choice.
640 BKE – Historical accounts from Zhent and the Star Tower and since confirmed that this is the first time magic, either arcane or divine is practiced on Kali, albeit only by the invaders. This also marks the first sightings of Dragonborn and Teiflings on Kali.
442 BKE – During the third demonic crusade, Kali’s patron god Poseidon finally unequivocally appeared (after many and varied potential sightings throughout the years) and saves Kali from destruction at the hands of demons.
387 BKE – Poseidon’s appearance unites creates a religious fervour which strengthens the Kali tribe and they fight to free themselves from occupation and lose, creating animosity with their occupiers.
386 BKE – Poseidon disappears for over 900 years with the exception of speculative sightings, where he is reported to have saved tribes from huge floods and tidal waves. During this time various pantheistic rituals resurface to more water deities such as Paricia, Nammu and Tlaloc
383-373 BKE – Ten years of harassment and guerrilla tactics finally forced the invaders to abandon their outposts. The Kali tribe then attempted to rebuild after the horrors of constant war. Some evidence of inter-shard cultural influences are seen in the architecture and dress of the Kali tribe, however, many people reject any non-Kali influences.
197 BKE – Earthquakes near Madu cause volcanic activity and violent tidal waves which luckily leave no one harmed, many claim to have seen Poseidon stopping the waves and calming the seas however accounts from Madu are hard to verify.
0 KE – The Treaty of The Twelve Kingdoms was signed by representatives of all shards, and Star Tower was made the official neutral ground for inter-kingdom conflict. The Kali tribe sent a human and aquatic elf representative to Star Tower.
129 KE – Kali made its first military contribution to inter-shard conflicts during the secession, where it fought against the successors for a united kingdom.
300 KE – While there was a period of peace on Kali, the Madu tribe ceased trading with the Kali and cut off contact. It is speculated that during this period they developed a relationship with the Drow of Dro’Daen, who would have been some of the first inter-shard visitors in over 600 years since Kali freedom.
500 KE – Worship of the god Poseidon by a small but devout group leads to the creation of a church and Clerics become able to channel divine power. This is the first magic used by Kalimites. The church named itself the Sect of Trasin.
663 KE – A third, half-elf ambassador is sent to Star Tower.
691 KE – The fourth demonic crusade becomes a catalyst for a warmongering period in Kali history. Poseidon reappears briefly and many Kali volunteer to join the Order of the Star in an attempt to show the power of Kali and specifically the sect of Trasin, who are strengthened by their god’s reappearance.
902 – 1157 KE – The Gith wars result in a period of very little inter-shard contact for Kali. The lack of arcane magic on Kali means no mages can understand the portal technology seen on other shards. During this time many smaller tribes began to populate islands on Kali however Kali remained the largest and most dominant.
1230 KE – A tidal wave takes Tion (a non-military satellite of Kali) by surprise and nine people are killed.
1252 -1258 KE – Attacks by the dragon tyrants lead Kali once more into inter-shard conflict. Many warriors sought to test themselves, and many perished in the events of the conflict, however Putri Kali – head of the sect of Trasin, and daughter of Mawar Kali (leader of the Kali tribe) – travelled to the shards of the dragon tyrants and earned the title “Drowner of Dragons” and “Sea-bringer” in various conflicts.
1254 KE – While Kali was at war with the dragon tyrants, the Madu tribe began to raid and pillage from the Kali (and surrounding) tribes in an attempt to steal the secrets of their divine magic, believing them to hold secret residuum from the occupation of the Astral Wars.
1256 KE – The island of Raharjo, sacred to the sect of Trasin was pillaged by Madu and their allies. The absence of Putri Kali at this crucial time led to widespread fear and uncertainty in the face of these attacks. A new leader was not elected, and the sect dissolved in the two years before her return.
1258 KE – While many turned to Poseidon to save them once more, their prayers went unanswered and the Kali abandoned their highly religious lifestyle in favour of a more martial focus. This is demonstrated in the almost universal culture of martial training for every child at the age of 16.
1259 KE – Putri returned to find the faith in Kali shattered. Evidence suggests that 200 year prior, there were religious idols of the sect of Trasin in 80% of households; however, upon Putri’s return it was barely 10%.
1290 KE – Kali petitioned Star Tower for help with the Madu but their requests were denied, and raiding between the two tribes continues.
Life in Kali at present can seem very primitive to travellers of the Star Tower. Most people on Kali live in small family units, some of which band together to make larger tribes, often no more than 100-200 people large. We do not have the land to farm crops on Kali like they do in other shards I have heard about, so many people still hunt and forage for food, or fish in the vast oceans that cover 90% of the shard. This fishing has become more dangerous recently due to the piracy of our rival tribe, the Madu, who are the largest threat to life on Kali. While divine magic has been present of Kali for 1200 years, arcane magic is never seen (or never acknowledged).
Other Information about Kali
How large is it (between manhattan and Africa)? Africa, but 90% Water
How much water is there (are waterstones common)? No waterstones, but due to its orbit around the star tower it almost always has a tropical climate including rain
How closely connected to the fey is it? Ley lines in the ocean are blamed for strange weather and various creatures coming through but usually only sea creatures. E.g. Dire sharks are likely to exist but dire wolves very unlikely. There are no ley lines on land.
What kind of government does it have (democracy, tyrant, monarchy?) There is an oligarchy of elders, membership is based on age and wisdom with the number of leaders varying depending on who decides to volunteer. Leadership is seen as more of a duty than a privilege since those in power receive almost no benefits.
How uniform is its culture and people? The Kali and associated tribes are somewhat uniform and the Madu is somewhat uniform but separate to the Kali. The Kali are mostly hunter gatherers, with a small sect of spiritual supporters, while little is known about the Mardu’s culture it is mostly populated by dwarves, humans, gnomes and supposedly drow. They have similar weaponry and fighting styles, it is assumed there was a common ancestor however there is no evidence of religion from Madu.
How technologically advanced is it? Not very. Many people live in mud huts, hunting is the most common source of food, masonry is unheard of however inks and writing is becoming more common.
What role does magic play in it? (common aid, controlled by a few, discouraged by superstition) Magic is believed to all be granted by the gods, regardless of source many believe all magic is divine. It is accepted in Kali and desired by Madu.
How much does it interact with other kingdoms? Very little, it has requested aid in dealing with attacks from the Madu in the past however to no avail. It is not able to provide military support for other shards, however it does have 3 representatives in the star tower, all of whom are from Kali, Madu is not represented in the star tower.
Is it mostly rural or urban? Rural
Does the God who saved the shard still reside there? Yes, he was believed to be seen once in the last 300 years though he does not take an active interest in the people it seems.
Humans – Account for roughly a third of the whole shard, difference in culture between human on Kali is more a product of geography than race.
Elves – Populate roughly 35%, often considered to make good tribe leaders due to their age and wisdom
Half elves – a large percent of the population, Half-elves live in harmony with both their elf and human parents in most areas of the shard.
Dwarves – Rumoured to live underground in the west somewhere, accounts for about 20% of the wests population are mistrusted and rumoured to cook and eat any people who go into their home
Gnomes – Also only found in the west, many in the east consider them to simply be intelligent but weak dwarves and do not acknowledge that they are a different race
Halflings – Rare but not unheard of, sporadically have tribes around the islands but take less of an interest in the conflict between East and West
Dragonborn – Rare, however usually trusted. Some more superstitious tribes consider them a good omen, offering them food and shelter to please certain gods. This is a cultural tradition that probably stems from fear of the dragon tyrants however now is mostly just considered politeness.
Teiflings – Never been seen naturally on the shard, visitors would draw a lot of attention