Eastern Borean Tundra
Kaskala is a port located in the eastern coast of the Borean Tundra and is the capital of the Kalu'ak tuskarr. At some point a group of Kvaldir invaded the town and the tuskarr had to take refuge in the nearby Unu'pe, a tuskarr village to the east.
In the RPG
Kaskala is the tuskarr homeland. At least that is what they say. It is a collection of villages, none of them more than 400 people but clustered so close together they create one larger unit. Tuskarr are extremely family-focused, and each village is a single extended family, all connected by blood or marriage. You could look at Kaskala as a single city divided into family compounds, but that is not entirely accurate because each settlement runs itself. The males of each village hunt and fish while the females raise the few crops that grow in the tundra, gather berries and roots, fashion and repair clothing, and tend to the homes and the children. Tusklord Hrak'kar rules the city.
Kaskala's oldest village is at least several centuries old, and the rest grew up around it as family members split off to start their own smaller families.
Tuskarr houses are solidly built structures of wood and stone, with thick, thatched roofs. They are only one story and sprawl rather than rise, which makes sense given the incessant wind. Heavy shutters cover the windows and short entry halls lead from the outer door to an inner one, which keeps heat from escaping and cold from entering. Their homes are radial, with a single large chamber at the middle and the sleeping quarters arrayed around it. They have large pits in the center, lined with stone, and keep a fire blazing constantly — it heats the entire house and has spits and trays for cooking food.
Tuskarr are fishers and whalers, and they use every part of the animals they hunt. Whale bones form support beams in their homes, and heavy sealskins and other furs cover the floors and the doorways. They create dyes from various squid inks and fish scales, and have colorful weavings on their walls. Their inner clothing is bright as well, under their thick furs and oilskins. When a tuskarr woman accepts a man as her husband she weaves him a vest and he wears that against his skin. She replaces it once they have children, and again if he becomes the head of their extended family. She repairs it when necessary but otherwise he never takes it off. When males die they are buried in their most recent vest, and the others are wrapped together to fashion a pillow for the body.
Each village is one extended family and handles its own affairs. The eldest male of the family is the village chief, and dictates where they fish and hunt and who handles which tasks. His wife oversees the women's activities and the children's education. The different villages trade together, swapping excess items for things they need.
Every tuskarr takes part in guarding Kaskala and patrolling the area for danger, but Tusklord Hrak'kar decides the schedule. He spreads the tasks evenly so no village bears the brunt of any task or has too few men to bring in food. If one village has a poor week fishing, the others pool their resources and share their food. No one in Kaskala goes hungry or unclothed unless everyone does. That doesn't mean they share equally. If one village has more success at whaling than the others but everyone brings home enough to feed their own families, that one village keeps its spoils. Yet if someone is hungry, the village with the most is the first to share. Tuskarr consider it a mark of honor to help support their people.
- Kaskala is an anagram for Alaska with an extra "k".
- Kaskala was originally going to be a neutral tuskarr town, but was later changed with the city besieged by the Kvaldir.
Above, Kaskala as seen during BlizzCon 2007, and then later. The town was also not ruined at these points.