"He was seated on a deck chair, overlooking the crashing waves that surrounded the home she shared with her twelve-year old son Ja’suuk. Elevated on massive pillars anchored into the reef, the circular two-story building was surrounded on all sides by the ocean, set out from the volcanic mountains that edged Baldin’s main continent."

Baldin's main continent covers 10% of the planet's surface. High, jutting, stony mountain peaks rise from the center of the landmass, and are surrounded by dense jungle growth on all sides to within 5km of shore. Then the jungle begins to thin, leaving the last two km sandy soil spotted with trees, giving way to white-sand beaches. It is in these last two kilometers that the Baldiin make their homes.
Most Baldiin buildings are 2 to 3-story, sprawling homes which house entire families, often with as many as 30 individuals from great-grandparents to young children sharing a single building. The main support posts of made up of the almost steel-strong wood of the trees of the mainland, while the walls and roofs are crafted from the softer wood of the outlying islands.
There is a recent "retro" trend in some parts of the culture, in which smaller, early colonial homes, huts built mostly of branches and fronds, have become popular. This trend is largely found among those with enough wealth to have a private vacation home, those who have offended their elders and been kicked out of the main family home, and young couples who can't bring themselves to live with either set of in-laws.
A large number of islands encircle the Baldiin mainland, though not all are habitable. Those islands not consumed by dense jungle or volcanic activity are usually populated by sea-farmers and fishermen. Hut-housing is more popular in these areas than on the mainland, and family homes are usually one-story only, due to the scarcity of the heavier (and non-bouyant) support posts from the mainland.
The only other continent is on nearly the opposite side of the world, and is populated by the Krish. Spotted with deep, interconnected pools, marshes, and sinkholes, this continent was deemed unsuitable by Baldin's other settlers, but it suits the Krish just fine. There is also considerable volcanic activity in the outlying portions of the island, which causes sea-farming to be more difficult. Baldiin geologists theorize that the continent originally started out as a chain of volcanic islands that eventually grew together, which would account for the unusual structure of the land mass.

Special Thanks to Sam Garrett

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