“Kelasho, for those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit or the unfortunate fate of being born there, is perhaps the most contentious, violent district in the entirety of our great City. Yes, Jamali has laws governing where and when its various guilds may contest its resources. Yes, The Docks are wild, uncontrolled and populated with criminals and monsters. It is also true that Avadeen is home to many murders and other terrible crimes of violence. Nowhere, however, is that violence so endemic and intrinsic to the day to day operation of the district than in Kelasho.”
-Ergis D’vit, Lecturing to first-year Researchers on introductory Civics
“None of the districts survive by being unproductive. People will tell you that Kelasho produces nothing but corpses. It a’int true. We work more steel and stone than Periad, and we’re one of only a couple districts still pulling metal out of the earth. We have the best weapon-smiths in the city. You better believe if it’s more lethal than a spoon, someone in Kelasho made it, or could make it better. Enforcers from other districts come here to train. We’re the easiest district to immigrate to. We’ll take anyone. The rest of the city won’t give you a chance? Come to Kelasho. Everyone gets treated the same. We need porters, smiths, smelters, masons, people that can cook better than the Clans, which ain’t hard. The downside of producing corpses is that occasionally you need bodies to fill the space.”
-Gorzak, Enforcer Prime
“We control this gate, boys! We have this stronghold by the throat! If anyone wants to be fed, they’ll talk to us! We’ll eat like warlords and the gnomes will come crawling out of the walls and to our feet! Shore up the antechamber, sort their weapons, and drop their corpses from the windows! Dramakanks will hardly notice a few more in their streets!”
-The Idol Belrasad, before his death at the hands of Kelasho’s Enforcers
It is possible to lose a street in Kelasho.
The clans that control sometimes entire floors of the labyrinthine castle-district have made it a habit to seal up and break open the countless hallways of the stronghold. It is not uncommon to find a street one took last week has been sealed and a new passage opened nearby to circumvent the new obstruction. The warlords alone understand the strategic reasons behind these shifting walls, if there is any reason at all. It is not uncommon to find a passage one had navigated safely less than a week ago turned into a tense standoff between two rival clans behind stone and wooden barricades. Natives of the district get used to skirting skirmishes and street brawls as a matter of navigation. Those with poor spatial sense and terrible memory do not last long in Kelasho without attaching themselves to a more clever party, or paying the gnomes. Kelasho is chaos, at war with itself, and a miserable place to navigate, live in or worst of all: try to keep order.
During the long inward migration of the sentient races of the world to escape The Edge, many things were left behind. War was not one of them. As the Edge shrank in stages, consuming chunks of entire nations, people fought for the right to be farthest from it, to control the broad herds of animals that were the best supply of food without steady agriculture, and to be the last people to survive the world’s collapse. The clear winners of this conflict were the orcish clans. The clans did not, however, go on to wipe out all other races. Accounts differ, but the most well-accepted theory is that one or more groups of adventurers, flush with the treasures of the old world, infiltrated the clans and convinced them to recognize their own supremacy. Once it was clear that no other force in the world could contest the united collection of eighteen clans that had survived the migration, the orcs merely had to decide who would rule this brave new world.
That fight continues to this day.
Camps dedicated to the clans’ various warlords were erected, which quickly became palisades, which became stone walls, then castles. Stone hauled in from the massive quarry-site that would become Jamali quickly became the most valuable commodity in the region. A minor clan of gnomes and halflings sprung up to direct construction, selling architectural improvements and brilliant innovations at steep prices, along with controlling a small army of porters to transport and mine the stone from which Kelasho would be built. All through this process the clans fought. First ritualistically, then openly in the streets, then in all-out war. By the time they realized what was happening, however, their prison was built around them. In one last great raid, still idolized to this day in the clans’ oral history, the orcs of Kelasho ushered forth from its four gates and laid siege to every other district in the nascent city. They were met within hours by the first ringing of the Peace Bells. Within a month the Walls has risen, and the clans had been forced back inside their new, permanent home.