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An Introduction to Kanlai

Written by J Wall

A military state in defiance of its own name, Moderation is both the name of the smallest country on the continent of H'Jrar, but also the now flourishing central city it encompasses. Situated inside of an enormous crater caused by a meteor impact tens of thousands of years ago, up until recently this nation had fallen to the wayside for the rest of the world, with little regard given to the goings on inside its borders. Outside of its only notable feature being this ancient impact, it was considered “normal” enough.   It would neither grow, nor decline, there was no real progress, but neither was there major stagnation. Moderation simply “was”. The people were happy like this however. Strife was almost non-existent outside of the occasional bandit groups, there were no high expectations of where life would take those that resided there, and peace was a constant. They stayed out of the affairs of other countries, having neither the military at the time nor the capability to assist with wars or other emergencies.   The region’s guard, the Orl Overseers, were previously a mercenary company employed to perform the standard duties one would expect of a land’s sentries, at least to a “satisfactory” level. Now officially working for the protectorate that Moderation has newly become, they allow the denizens of this thriving territory to feel safe, for the most part. Additional funding, training, and a tighter grip has resulted in a much more reliable and strengthened force compared to ever before.   Referred to only as "V.", the ruler of Moderation has always been shrouded in secrecy for some odd reason, but is said to have somehow been the same individual for over 1,000 years. Formerly passive in their control, decrees are becoming far more frequent, and almost dictatorial at times. Descriptions of "V." vary, but the one thing that all stories agree on is that they must be an entity with vast power, one that they dare not upset.   It was 50 years ago that great strides started to be made suddenly by the smithies, as they discovered the metals they would use were peculiarly imbued with incredibly potent energies, distorting their crafts but granting deep magical properties to any and all creations they could conceive. Weaponry, armour, tools, and all manner of other works required new processes to form as old methods were not sufficient to retain these newfound qualities: the identification of these inert traits was by mistake in fact, but surely they could not have existed for all this time without being exposed?   The metals created under these new forging techniques come under one umbrella term: Valnite Steel, named after the first moon and the year of its revelation, Valna. Folded several hundred times over, anything made in this way is practically shatter-proof, razor-sharp if formed into bladed arms, and splendid in presentation: distinctive patterns reminiscent of flowing water decorating them.   Kanlai's people are all magical by nature, for most though manifestations of such are nothing more than in appearance: glowing eyes, pointed ears, animal-like horns, shifting shadows, cloven hooves, and more bizarre but fantastical characteristics. Very few are capable of utilising their inborn quirks in any meaningful way. Close proximity to these enchanted inventions empowers all types of creatures though, especially those native to Moderation, “unlocking” the hidden potential contained within.   The rest of H’Jrar and the world of Kanlai are beginning to take notice after turning a blind eye as Moderation did to them too for so long. Still clueless to this day about the miracle that emerged, it cannot be long before others realise their boon as well…


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