All about Kendermore
From "ALL ABOUT KENDER" by Roger Moore, Dragon Magazine #101
"If an asylum had turned loose it's inmates and a jail it's thieves to run
the city, the end result could not have been more atrocious. I have been tormented
by a hundred thousand questions, been told a million lies, and been run to exhaution
by my guide. Half the population wants to make a gynosphinx their mayor on the
grounds that they have never had one before, and the other half has left in
search of one. Gods take me if I ever set foot in this land again!"
The oldest kender civilizations were established by Balif. The kender settled
the land just east of Silvanesti in 3043 P.C. (pre- Cataclysm). They called their
nation and their city Bailfor. Three other small kender cities also sprang up
from this time until the Cataclysm but the names were lost in the passage of time,
much like the cities.
The Cataclysm decimated the land of Bailfor, turning it into a deserted waste.
The kender left their homeland to barbaric desert nomads and migrated north.
They founded the small forest city of Kendermore on the edge of a human ruin
(now called simply "the Ruins" by the kender who explore it). Some kender believe
the Ruins are the remains of one of the missing Towers of High Sorcery.
Kendermore resembles most human cities, but a short examination can reveal
many differences. Kendermore is located on the Goodlund penesulia within a large
forest. It's is sometimes called a forest city, but it is much more than that.
Kendermore has buildings similar to any human settlement: Taverns, Stores, Inns,
and a Town Hall. The most noticable difference in these buildings is that some
of them are incomplete. Some buildings are missing one wall or are missing doors.
Other buildings are complete, but they are a mix of different architectual styles,
representing the views of the kender who helped create them.
Getting lost is very easy in this city. Many streets double back on themselves,
or dead end in places where the crews got distracted and wandered off. One or
two streets travel through kender's houses! A guide is a must in this city.
They are easy to aquire, but sometimes hard to follow. The names of streets
usually do not match the actual description, ie Direct Route Drive is a spiral
that ends in a circle. Kender are the best map maker's in Ansalon, but for some
reason maps of this city are horribly inaccurate. Asking directions is equally
as bad: "Just take straight street. That one over there that curves around the
grocer's and double's back around the tailor's. Just take that about half way
until it dead ends for the second time right before the sweets shop. Then walk
through that shop and out the back door, that will lead you to a little back
alley that extends through most of the city..."
Kendermore is about 90% kender and 10% of the other races. Not many other races
choose to live in a city full of kender. It can be very hard to cope with the
kender race for extended periods of time. This city is also not the first place
most adventures choose to stay for the night.
The population ranges between newborns to twenty year olds, and kender around
40 and up. The age range from 20 to 40 are usually out on wanderlust.
After the age of fourty most kender tend to loose the lust for traveling and
return home for good. These kender will become the new merchants, farmers, politicians,
tailors, woodcutters, fisherman, and countless other jobs that need to be performed
to run a city. Kender from the mid-teens to the early twenties are apprentices.
The younger kender between the ages of newborn into the early teens actually
go to school...
School is a loosely termed word here. The kender community is hard to comprehend
sometimes. Kender children do not go to the same building everyday. That would
be impossible to achieve, but instead children are taught by the members of
the community. They are taught to read and write by other kender that decide
that these children need to learn how. The children WANT to learn how because
of their inate curiousity. When they find out that they could read all the secrets
that the magic users are keeping from them, they learn to read. When they understand
that they could taunt a goblin if they only knew how to speak goblin, they learn
it. When they realize that they might be able to slip into the Great Library
if the only had a proper note, they learn to write. Kender also learn to hide
in shadows, and scale walls, and pick pockets*. These are
just the kind of things, every good kender learns how to do.
The people of Kendermore feel that constant change is the best course for their
leaders. This city has had more leader's than anyone can remember. Even Astinus
himself has lost count of the number of mayors, kings, khans, warlords, councils,
judges, and priestlords that have tried to rule over this everchanging city.
It has been a rare occurance when one of these leader's has gone longer than
a month, before being replaced, or being ignored. It's a good chance that if
someone visits Kendermore more than once that it will be run by a different
ruler. On rare occasions kender can be gathered together to create a formidable
army. Kender can be quite serious when their homes are threatened.
This is a difficult concept to understand in kender society. Since kender view
possesion in a different way, it is difficult for outsiders to understand what
is considered stealing and what is not. It is safe to assume that any outsider
that enter's into a kender city has a good possibility of loosing anything she
or he brings into the city. Some of the time the possesions will be taken by
the town guards themselves. Just because a kender ceases to wander does not
make the kender any less curious. A kender is always a kender no matter what
If a kender is caught picking something up, any simple excuse will usually
excuse the action. If something is found on a kender and it belongs to someone
else, it is considered to be very impolite. But it is still not considered to
be stealing. In fact "stealing" in a kender city is practically unheard of.
So, if a person "looses" something it usually considered their fault.
The main trade of kendermore is Maps. Many retired kender will tade or sell
their maps. One kender's map is not always accurate, but when many are collected
together an accurate map can be created. Any map that is passed around the city
for a couple of years will be about the most accurate map that you can buy.
Do you need to pay money in Kendermore, when they usually find interesting
objects of more value?
It really depends what your buying in Kendermore. If your going to pay for
a service performed, some kender will take an interesting object over money,
but if your going to buy materials, armour, weapons, and things of that nature,
most kender will take the money, because they have to deal with outsiders who
will not trade "a pretty green rock" for a chainmail shirt. It usually depends
on the nature of the business, and the mood of the business man.
* Note: Even though it says "Pick Pockets" it's
not meant in the way a theif would be taught. Kender are naturally inclined
to be curious about things and older kender know that curiosity can kill a kender,
thus they assist younger kender on refining certain traits so that they will
not get themselves into too much trouble later on in life. - Kip