Malar is a temperate, barren, rugged, and rocky scrubland. It borders the coast of the Borund Ocean to the southwest, the Spinefist Mountains to the north and the Akteran plains to the east. Malar’s most notable geographical feature and major holy site, the three-mile wide Kadabora Crater, is located in the Myra Hills, just south of the mountains.
Malar has few settlements, primarily port towns, mining towns or defensive strongholds. Most of the population lives in rural areas as nomadic herders. There are four significant cities. Bashkeran, a coastal city, is the traditional capital of Malar with an estimated population of 20,000, a mere shadow of the 300,000 it housed at the empire’s peak. Its great estates and temples are now mostly ruins. The port city of Kulkeran holds an estimated 17,000. It is the only city that has peaceful contact with the rest of the world, becoming a major stop for many merchant fleets. The stronghold of Tarkimet has a garrison of 4,000 that defend the Nokzor Pass, the only pass through the Spinefist Mountains leading into Malar. Kadaboran, a massive ramshackle of over 200,000, has grown around Kadabora Crater’s edge within the last two centuries to house the influx of pilgrims to the crater. The city is sorely lacking in amenities and infrastructure.
Malar’s three urban centres are each ruled by a Kovor (Governor) whose power extends to many of the settlements in the cities’ immediate vicinity. Each of Malar’s strongholds follows a strict military hierarchy, answering to the Hepar (General) of Tarkimet. The rest of Malar is split into tribal districts, each ruled by the most prominent local family. The alignment of Malar presently tends towards lawful neutral.
The closest thing the Malarites have to a central ruler is the Bropok (Widower). He is in charge of the pilgrims that stream into Kadaboran. Many look to him and his council for guidance and solace. In many ways he has become the spiritual leader of the Malarites, inheriting the role that the Emperor once held. The current Bropok is Undard Vorokis. He is the Kovor of Kadaboran and an influential person within the realm. He is well connected to the other Kovor and many of the tribal leaders. His council is made up of advisors, sorcerers, wizards and warriors whom he has selected to aid him in ensuring the well being of the Malarites.
Malar’s primary resources are coal, copper, iron, silver, goats and sheep. The primary industries are mining and herding. Steel, raw ore, wool and finished goods of bone and metal are traded at the markets of Kulkeran to foreign merchants in exchange for foodstuffs and wood. Malarite steel is highly valued for its superior qualities. The common coin is the silver Kabek.
The Malarite deity, Kunra, was considered the mother of the Malarites. She taught her people strength and pride. Her clerics held great power among the people. Each Malarite Emperor also had to be a cleric of Kunra. The coronation of an Emperor was akin to a marriage ceremony. Many Emperors refused wives, stating they were the “husband of Kunra”. When Kunra fell the empire collapsed and her faithful withdrew in disarray to Bashkeran.
The Malarites are hobgoblins. They are a sullen people, blunt and stand offish, but hard working with a driving need to prevail. Their pride is evident when dealing with others. They adhere stubbornly to tradition and are reluctant to change their ways.
For over 300 years the Malarite Empire expanded outwards from the city of Bashkeran, moving ever eastward. At its height the Empire encompassed all the lands from the Hukchin Desert and Kasshian Sea to the Spinefist Mountains and Borund Ocean, covering almost a third of the known world. The Malarites conquered all that stood before them. Their clerics were at the forefront of each battle, inspiring the armies with their words. In every land they entered the clerics of Kunra instituted the Malarite traditions and subjugated the local peoples. Soon a large portion of the world was forced to speak Goblin and follow the Malarite code of laws. The conquered people prayed for help. The gods took notice and approached Kunra. They asked her to rein in the Malarites. She refused, stating that if the gods could not protect their people, then those people deserved to be conquered. Enraged by her arrogance, the other gods slew her. She fell from the sky as a great burning orb. The impact of her remains created the Kadabora Crater in the Myra Hills. Deprived of their god the clerics became powerless. Leaderless and confused the Malarites faltered. The other gods rallied the conquered peoples. In a single bloody year, the Malarite Empire collapsed. 200 years have passed since Kunra fell, and within Malar old powers stir.
Dungeon Master’s Secrets
Note: Character levels and challenge ratings should reflect the campaign setting that Malar is being placed into.
The souls of the Malarites no longer have a deity to guide them to the afterlife. They walk the world as ethereal undead, looking for a way to cross over. They feel compelled to go to their deity’s final resting place. Thus, the crater is full of the souls of two centuries worth of Malarite dead.
When Kunra impacted with the Myra Hills, her essence was infused into pieces of the crater’s debris, which look like enchanted obsidian. These stones allow a character to become a cleric of Kunra, whose domains are Law, Strength and War. Possession of more than one stone confers no additional benefit. If a stone is lost, treat the character as an ex-cleric.
The Bropok has learned of the existence of these essence stones. He believes that if he places all the stones in the crater with the spirits of the dead he can bring Kunra back. He currently possesses an essence stone that he uses.
Many powerful magic items reside within the ruined temples of Bashkeran.
This chest of extraordinary craftsmanship is filled with numerous materials used for healing. It takes a standard action to open the chest, which activates it. The chest remains active for 5 rounds or until closed. It can only be used on one patient per activation. Once activated, the chest confers the following:
The user receives a +2 circumstance bonus on all Heal checks. This does not expend a use.
While the chest is active both the user and the patient are warded by a sanctuary spell (Will save negates spell on DC 12). This does not expend a use.
Each round the chest is active, by expending a use and taking a full round action, the user can bestow upon the patient one of the following; cure light wounds (1d8 + 5 hp), delay poison (5 hours), or lesser restoration (either eliminates fatigue; turns exhausted into fatigued; heals 1d4 points of temporary ability damage to one ability; or dispels magical effects reducing one ability score).