While I have spent the majority of my lifetime in Haute-Ondes, there are few places in Cardavia that I never visited, mapped or otherwise studied. I worked many years as a cartographer, and even when certain locations were inaccessible to me, I found that travelers were always willing to talk for a price. The below represents only a fraction of my geographical knowledge, though I imagine it is more than enough for any layperson.
Vincent Sterling of Haute-Ondes
Cardavia: An Overview
Cardavia was so named by its colonists only three centuries ago, when the Cardan people reached what was then the continent’s northern coast, near present-day Haute-Ondes. Having fled the destruction of their archipelago homeland, our ancestors proliferated, explored and populated many regions towards the south of the continent, until it became necessary to do war with and to subdue the native Endine. Having fought to survive years at sea and decades in the wilds of their new home, the Cardans were quick to secure victory, and the Endine submitted to Cardan rule after the briefest of wars. Their loyalty, however, has always been in question, especially throughout the Age of Uldeen.
Only decades after the Endine War, Cardavia saw a new monarch: the Queen Flavie. Later known as the Crimson Queen, the Red Queen or, in subtler curses, Uldeen’s Mother, Flavie was a tyrant and worked Cardavia to the bone for her amusement and greed. Rebellions broke out across the continent, but none were ever successful until Flavie was tricked and slain by Vayle, a rebel she mistook for a loyal lover. Vayle was crowned and the illegitimate children of the Crimson Queen were drowned in Long Lake.
At least, so the stories say.
On the night of the children’s deaths, the whole of Cardavia was ravaged by a storm so violent it would change the continent’s shape forever. Haute-Ondes beach cracked and the city rose up from the sea; a valley developed where there had once been calm waters and sheer cliff faces replaced the sandy shoreline. More than half of Ends was plunged underwater; its inhabitants, its artful buildings and history drowned. Throughout the midlands, the ground shook until buildings and mountains crumbled, and The Rift opened like some wide, endless mouth, splitting the forest and cutting off any further exploration to the east. It is in this state that Cardavia has survived for centuries since.