Exports: Coinage, grain, land steamers, skilled workers, copper, various minerals
Mostly comprised of expansive grassy plains and gentle rolling hills, the scenery of Cardean has been the subject painters and poets since before time can remember. Staunchly neutral, the government of Cardean refuses to participate in world politics; for better or for worse. This militant neutrality, along with a highly specialized minting Foundry, is why the country is trusted with the manufacture and delivery of currencies around the continent. They charge a small fee for this service, which is enough to finance the small nations many large public works projects; from improving the capitals infrastructure, laying new roads to small farming villages, and building a large and robust national transit system. This wealth is also the key to its highly progressive social programs; grants for art, research, and exploration have made Cardean a focal point of intellectual life in Alaraes.
The Citizens Council overseas national policy of Cardean and is comprised of 11 members. There is one representative for each of the countries ten blocks, and one for the Silent King.
Outside of the two major population centers, Station and Folly, travelers can expect to find miles and miles of empty wilderness interspersed with state owned farmland, tilled by government employed workers.
Cardeans citizenry is laid back, and at peace with their way of life. They are allowed great lateral movement thanks to their state-subsidized income, and enjoy unprecedented access to education and employment. Citizens are encouraged to seek alternative employment should they be dissatisfied with their current career path. However, thanks to work-placement centers, this rarely happens. The people are open and friendly, and more than willing to take a day off work to assist a stranger in need. Travellers note that almost everyone they meet in Cardean is industrious and amenable, almost eerily so. Citizens rarely travel, and almost all cite the same phrase, “Why would I leave my perfect home and perfect life”.
Grimim is well known for its vocal style, and art style. Their songs are notoriously long. They are known for their explicit art.
Star Platinum is Cardeans flagship land-steamer. Larger than any other of her kind, she sits a full 175 ft tall from the base of her tracks to the top of her funnels, about 90 ft of which is spaced out for passengers, crew, and cargo, and 882 ft. bow to stern. Star Platinum is used to deliver coinage and other high-value cargo to the other nations of Alaraes. Due to the high level of security required to safely transport currency, Star Platinum is armed to the hilt and rarely takes passengers.
Also known as The City of Tiers, the capital city of Station is built like an open-walled Stonehold. Sweeping bridges and large plates are piled on top of each other, a dozen stories up, giving the impression of a small metal mountain. When a visitor first enters Station at the ground level, they enter the Market districts blocks and blocks of cheap taverns, low cost restaurants, and government subsidized housing for the population crammed into the crowded streets. Go up just a couple levels and you'll find yourself in the manufactorum districts. Row after row of docks and warehouses filled with Stations finest craftsmen, machinists, engineers, and other techno-workers who handle the manufacturing and assembly of any number of manufactured gadgetry. It is here where every land-steamer on the continent berths for repairs and overhauls that can not be performed in the field. This is because Station houses a large Foundry at its center that produces the advanced materials and components required to manufacture and repair land-steamers. Higher up in the city you will find the campus districts. Technical and vocational schools as well as arts colleges and engineering colleges thrive on a hybrid of private / public funding. Student dormitories are generously interspersed with private housing in these districts.
Finally, at the top of Station, sits the Polit Districts. Government buildings, the Citizens Council chambers, large private estates, and the kings palace take up the entirety of the top 3 levels of Station. If a citizen wishes to watch their government work, or needs to interact with the nightmarish bureaucracy of Station, this is where they go.
The main access to the undercity, folly was originally a rest station and resupply depot for adventurers who spent the majority of their time investigating delving into Undercities secrets. The populatiry of undercity as a location for scholarly research and source of treasure prompted its eventual growth into Cardeans’ only other major city. Unlike Station, Folly's layout is haphazard and slapdash, with streets being constructed as fast people emmigrated.
Many peple often wonder at the cities strange name. It was originally called Undercity Supply and Rest Depot, but was soon given the name after the poem “Third Folly” was published by a Cardish poet. The poem follows the dying thoughts of a young unnamed adventurer who laments his three foolish decisions before dieing in the undercity. As it goes the first was his decision to become an adventurer to seek fame and fortune. The second was deciding to delve into the Undercity seeking greater glory, despite having achieved some small noteriety in his native land. His third, and final, folly was entering the Undercity alone and without friends to aid him.
As Station goes up, so Undercity goes down. Undercity is a maze of ancient half-destroyed buildings that resided in a partially collapsed crevasse. Adventurers and scholars alike crawl in, over, and through its twisted and broken carcass, hoping to find lost technologies, forgotten magics, riches, fame, or any combination of the four. The upper layers of the city are well traversed and picked fairly clean, but the deeper in you go the more there is left undiscovered, and the more dangerous is becomes. It is recommended thrill seekers hire an experienced guide in Folly, or be certain the ancient map you've found is highly credible, before plumbing the Undercity's forgotten depths.