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CHAPTER 2:

PLACES

OF

KALANDAR

Kalandar is in Coruscant's northern hemisphere and is approx. a region of 300 sq. Km. To its north there is one of Mount Manarai's many peaks and precisely one of the few outlying ramifications of the mountain chain that are not totally covered by the immense sprawls of buildings and architectures that cover the rest of the planet. The highest uncovered peak, mount Dahnn, that dominates the village of Ghastal, reaches 2000 meters in height.

During the last days of the Old Republic, Kalandar officially had eighty populated areas and this is the official estimate that the Imperial head-quarters in Ghastal still follow even if it has changed since then: many of the existing villages have been abandoned, while other clandestine settlements have come up from nothing. To the eyes of Captain Varn, responsible of the zone, a new installation that rises makes up for an old one that is abandoned, and so the official estimates are followed - also because any attempt of conducting a detailed census of the zone would be arduous.

From an environmental and natural point of view Kalandar is still a relatively healthy land that survives only thanks to thousands of years of cures received during the Old Republic; but less than twenty years under Imperial rule are having the best on fields, woodlands and mountains of the region. There was once a climate regulator that would protect the area from sudden changes in temperature and from pollution that clutches the rest of the planet, projecting isolating fields that made Kalandar a closed eco-system. The climate regulator broke down soon after the arrival of the Empire and since then it has never been repaired. It's vast complex has been ransacked many times and today no one goes near it for fear of explosions or breakdowns of machines still charged with energy.

Without climate control Kalandar suffers sudden and abrupt climate changes incomprehensible even to the most sophisticated weather probe. It is practically impossible to predict how the region reacts to the big air and heat masses that it gets from the rest of the planet and it is perfectly normal for those who live in Kalandar to find themselves covered in snow one day and under a burning summer sun the next. The Mounts Manarai, on the north-eastern flank of the region act as a barrier and inhibitor for many of the cloud formations that cross the zone and therefore Kalandar is often shaken by violent and sudden storms. Even if there are still villages that have an independent sustenance and a roughly civil life-style, the only populated area that can be considered comparatively official is Ghastal, in the mid-northern part of the region. Created inside the walls of an old archeological complex that might have been a castle of immense proportions or more likely an old city, it is today the heart of many of Kalandar's dweller's trading, along with having the only official Imperial presence inside the region.

It is almost impossible to determine which are the archeological structures that are still standing and which have been demolished or covered by the vegetation: all official documents on Kalandar have been cancelled and an estimate of the old buildings is an unpractical matter. But one thing is certain: as time goes by more and more findings will be destroyed or lost while the old buildings give way under the combined attack of pollution, lack of maintenance and the indiscriminate use by the clandestine inhabitants.

The many water-courses that were re-activated during Republic times or artificially created are still there, even if nowadays they are degraded to dirty and tired streams or still and lifeless water holes. The only exceptions are the mountain areas of the Manarai, where the unrelenting downpours supply a generous and constant change of water, and lake Lostreen in the heart of the region that collects the waters of all the region to then convey them to underground veins.

The worst region of Kalandar is doubtlessly the one at the edge of the sprawl of Coruscant. Here there is virtually no plant life, being poisoned or wasted by the colossal buildings that press to expand. Little by little that the land at the borders becomes sterile and polluted, an Imperial decree declares it unrecoverable and assigned as construction area. In that way in a few years Kalandar will be absorbed and disappear definitely.

The woodlands of Kalandar are still extensive but have changed a lot from the parklands and gardens they used to be. Where pollution has not poisoned the woods, nature has reacted in a strange way, adapting to and absorbing the new substances that are now in the air, soil and water and out of control, growing beyond measure and uncontrollable. Most of Kalandar's woods are a tangle of thorns and vegetation that grasp at and cover the old ruins of past days, inhabited - if tall tales told by the locals are to be listened to - by creatures equally mutated and gone wild due to chemical pollution.

Back to Kalandar Main

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