A desert takes up most of the duchy of Aridefort, while forest and farm occupy the rest. The duchy is named for the desert, named Aridefort by the Trassian cartographer who accompanied the delegation sent to unite Saldecla.
Modern Aridefort is known for being the center of the kingdom's military might. There is little mineral wealth; it has cotton-growing farms in the west, and some lumber industry. Glaziers from the desert regions are often sought after by the wealthy to create delicate glass decorations.
Aridefort has the most friendly and charitable population in Saldecla, and the second highest population density. The people come in two subtypes, based on where they live. The desert people are tanned, with higher melanin counts after living there generations. There are small outposts out in the desert where patrolling troops typically stop to rest. The forest people are paler, without the increased melanin. The forest people tend to be more muscular, and live on cotton farms or in towns laid out in careful spirals.
Regardless of where the people live, everyone wears similar clothing when outdoors, called "whites" that are unisex. The whites consist of an undertunic, an overtunic with long, puffed sleeves that end in buttoned cuffs, a vest that ties in the front, and pants that are loose and cuffed at the ankles like the overtunic's sleeves. A skirt may be substituted for the pants, but the person who wears the skirt must be able to run in it. Typically, the desert-dwellers wear either a stiff, starched turban with a long flap for wrapping around the face during sandstorms, or a hood with a similar flap. Belts are optional, and often highly personalized.
Climate and Geography
Aridefort is split into two halves-- the desert and the coastal forests. The desert is heated and dried up by winds from the southeast, and is covered in sands and bare stone. In the forested half, the air is not heated by the southeastern jetstream, and the land is covered in hills and manicured forests that are harvested in planned patches.
In the desert, there are many ruins, which house illegal slavers, harpies, bandits, and others who prey on the weak. This arid land is often avoided, and only the suicidal, poor, military, or very rich make their homes within the dry region. The duke always sends out troops to patrol the ever-shifting border with the neighboring country, and to try to capture or kill the criminals that thrive within his lands.
Economy and Agriculture
The most common monsters found in the desert are harpies, dire worms, and energy slimes. In the forest, slimes and goblins (and lutins and orcs) are the primary threats, with a rare demon occasionally seen in the north, near the mountains.
The Brightcloud family rules over the Duchy of Aridefort. Headed by the order-obsessed widower, Achille, the family is known for its redheads and a recent history of promiscuous women, including the heir, Achille's daughter Morella.
- Morella's engagement.
- Increased harpy activity along the Southern cliffs.