Autia

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Autia is a fantasy/steam punk/diesel punk setting made on /tg/ in early 2021. The initial premise was to create a setting based on whatever unusual or interesting images you had in your folder, but it became gradually more fleshed out. This page was mostly created to help keep track of lore for different regions.

Contents

General Info[edit]

Firearms in the world are similar to firearms from the mid 16th to mid 17th century. They are useful against armour, but like in real life, very heavy or strong armour can stop firearms. There are no Bayonets yet in this world, and many states have adopted firearms to different degrees, with even some states ignoring them internally. Firearms are very common in central states like Sneed, who used them great effect against Aesaneria in their war, while Alkor has made them the main range tool of their armies. Magic and Firearms can work together, usually in the form of special powder and enchanted rounds. There's more, but the point is that each nation uses different magic on their firearms, with some being very enthusiastic about them while others aren't.

This world is heavily based on sea-bound trade because of the hostility of the interior, and therefore ports are the most important places in the world. The most dominant power in the maritime sector is the Empire of Alkor, having colonial holding over a very large distance. Some states try to form trade blocks to benefit a region. For example, the Gravlind Sister system that almost completely collapsed after the Iron Crown - Rig'Nood war was a victim of such a trade block. The Union is one of the more successful federations that have also established regional trade power. Despite all of this naval power however, most combat during wars are still land based, with all states having a connection to the mainland.

Birds are not used as couriers in this world. This is due to a deadly contagious disease known as Smelter Disease that can easily infect birds and thus infect the soldiers. Instead, a species of dog-sized but docile spiders immune to the Smelter Disease are bred and trained specifically to bring messages across the lands. The species were gifted by the grasshopper people (Eritroans).

Cameras are a recent and incredibly rare invention. Only four have so far been built, and two of these are owned by the Alkor Global Press newspaper company. The AGP uses these to document images of lesser known incidents and cultures around the world.

Raw photographs are colourless and fuzzy, so the AGP usually hires artists and mages to edit the photographs unless it's very urgent.

For reasons that vary wildly across cultures, horses are generally viewed as sinister creatures across all known cultures. They are not wrong.

Explanation on the Diversity of Races and Cultures[edit]

Portals everywhere: There are many alternate dimensions, and occasionally large groups are able to migrate from one dimension to another

Outsiders[edit]

Outsiders: Refers to groups that migrated in from other worlds and dimensions far away. Most came by portal, but a few came by spaceship (Alprobe, High Magitek). Basically a catch-all group for those that don't fit in elsewhere. Some have been partially absorbed into other cultures, but most are isolationist, leading to small isolated nations that don't resemble their neighbors in any way, or marauding bands of monsters lacking a homeland. Includes; orcs, eritroans, hiisi, dragons, kobolds, dwarves, mindflayers, kangoos, snake people of deep desert, dreeght, akasa-prabuharu, mousterians, xiklik, pengu, the amazon tribes, and humans (though humans are so dominate they generally don't have the same isolationist traits as the other outsiders). Outsiders rarely remember that they came from another dimension, and instead assume the gods simply created them the way they are.

Spirit Worlders[edit]

Spirit Worlders: Refers to groups from dimensions that are "close" to this one, allowing for fairly frequent trips between dimensions. Generally categorized as fey, dead souls, and demons, though some cultures don't make any distinctions at all, simply treating them all as spirits.

Fey: Generally known for their wild magic and strange ways of thinking. Some groups like several of the elven races, goblins, and ogres have spent so much time in this dimension that they have lost their ties with the fey dimensions and spend all their time in this dimension. The elves, goblins, and ogres once ruled large empires, but these eventually collapsed, creating an opening for the rise of human cultures. Races include elves (sartyrian elves, drow, fairie elves, valkyrie elves, drow, and lapus elves), goblins, ogres, several types of giant, harpies, hags, ents, gepids, oni, spirit animals, and most of the aquatic races.

Dead Souls: Restless souls either trapped, or who deliberately linger on the edges of this dimension. They have no nations of their own, though they are more active in some areas than others. Certain magic users can either bind them to their will, or banish them from the area, such magic is particularly common in ercaenmedi, yr, and unkor.

Demons: Wildly considered evil, and fortunately unable to exist long in this dimension without being bound to something. Certain cultures like yr, aesanaeria, hagarta, the unravellers, the bridge tribes, hags, and certain Emerald Isles tribes have learned how to bind demons into inanimate objects or living beings to anchor them to this dimension.

Humanity[edit]

Humanity: Humanity arrived in several waves from different places, at different times, but together have been the dominant culture of this world for many centuries now.

Nantic humans: Belkor, Belkan, Ercaenmedi (culturally), Westphallica, Gabaet, Hagarta, Falconhead, Republic of Free Men, Skyr-nada, the Puppet-Clans, Alkor, Harlbourg, Hoogivs, Unkor (partially), Tavern Woods, Nantes, and Yr. European-type humans that specialize in mundane technology and mixing technology and magic, leading to a steampunk-ish culture. Many similarities between nations, but also many differences in terms of accent, language, fashion, religion, etc. as a result of centuries of cultural drift. Have also partially absorbed certain other races like the Ercaenmedi, gnomes, and the northern dwarves. Some isolated Nantic colonies have regressed technologically like Skyr-nada, Desolate Isle, and the Puppet Clans.

Jinsanic humans: The Union, Freedom Coalition, Union Puppet, The Iron Crown, Rig'Nood, An, Napan, Shahdom, Four Sisters, Temple Isle, Bridge Tribes, Gib'Dunes, San'Barg, Ercaenmedi (racially). Asian-type humans with little in common besides shared ancestry and history. The southern nations are technologically backwards due to their small populations, isolationism, and skill at magic, while The Union is fairly advanced technologically, but militantly anti-magic. The Shahdom and Napan are somewhat between these two extremes. The appearance of Jinsanic humans varies by region due to intermixing with other races, exposure to magic, and environmental conditions. Some other races have been absorbed into Jinsanic cultures, like the goblins and Nantic humans found in the northern parts of The Union. Likewise, the Ercaenmedians are believed to be in some way related to the inhabitants of Napan, but their culture is heavily influenced by Nantic culture.

Eldrian Remnants: Shore Mages, Taur Tribes, Sneed, Brazilistan, Luver, Ander City, The Unravellers, Second Empire, Pumkin Kingdom, Kornheiseria, Persquaria, Unkor (partially), Alana, Duckers, Eldr, Northern Wastes, Rust Desert, Underwater Ruins. Extremely diverse set of nations with little in common aside from having to live in the fallout zone of what was once the Eldrian Empire. No one really remembers what the Eldrians looked like, or if they were even human, though many powerful magic users in the area are believed to have some Eldrian blood. Humans in the area seem to have been taken from all the other human races present on this world at the time of the Eldrian Empire, though racial mixing is surprisingly rare. Also present are the many strange races created by the Eldrians for their amusement, including the pumkin, duckers, taur tribes, and horsemen. The Eldrian cultures that haven't regressed into barbarism shun technology and magi-tech, and instead favor their own magic traditions.

Sorgos humans: Soukos, Voluntas Pact, Aesanaeria, Brazilistan. Mediterranian type humans. Once had colonies along the coast of southern Rinolsol, and southwestern Autia, but their Autian colonies were taken over by the Nantic and Eldrian Empires. Shun technology and prefer magic. Although the dwarves of Brazilistan are widely believed to descend from ancient Sorgos colonies, no one remembers the reason for the physical differences between them and other Sorgos peoples.

Shaobon humans: Miqdaad, Second Empire (Flickfowl component), Fantal Islands. Dark skinned humans who have inhabited Flickfowl and the Emerald Isles for ages. Some nations are fairly advanced in terms of technology and magic, others have become primitive and isolationist.

Malsolia humans: Group of dark skinned humans isekai'd to the cold continent of Lapus. Scholars believe their appearance is due to magical radiation

IBRU humans: Group of humans from Russia and Brazil recently teleported to the cold continent of Krraurah. Other cultures are only vaguely aware they even exist.

Other Miscellaneous Facts[edit]

The Ancient Orgrillon-Sartyrian War[edit]

The Orgrillons consider all of the north western land to be their home, and consider themselves the natural and rightful inhabitants of it. In far ancient days, a time nearly primordial to the race of men, they found themselves to be nearly the most powerful civilization in existence. From a fractured and tribal state, they had unified and militarized, becoming mighty, strict, and structured. The pride from their power led them to ambition, and over many generations they set forth subjugating vast swaths of lands to the south. Early humans were one of many races that served under their heavy fists and massive boots. Disciplined and powerful legions of the hulking Orgrillons crushed all opposition, and they ruled for an era without challenge.

That was until they met a foe that came north from a land they had little knowledge of. The Sartyrians of Ignis were the first enemy that the Orgrillon could not simply crush with sheer force. Ageless and endlessly skilled, the elves were powerful. More powerful than the any opponent the Orgrillon Empire had faced.

Many Krolgar were ecstatic at this new found threat. Glory, bloodshed, and conquest could be theirs. Others were less convinced. The first landings and fights with the elves had gone poorly, and they only won a decisive victory after a string of sudden and surprising defeats.

The Orgrillon had managed to secure the southern coast of Autia and were busy with fortifying it in their usual manner of massive and unbreakable fortresses in order to repel anymore attacks from the south, but it wasn't finished in time.

The true might if the Sartyrians was unleashed. Their forces struck the southern coast with a fury. A wave of destruction the Orgrillonnhad never been on the receiving end of.

The Sartyrians were a force of nature. They swept across the southern coast like a series of hurricanes, leveling entire strongholds and executing the sitting Gorkargin. The Sartyrians pushed north, taking nearly the southern third of Autia before the war ground to a standstill. For nearly 500 hundred years the battle lines moved little, both empires gaining and losing ground at sporadic intervals. But what was several generations of war for the Orgrillon was but a single short conflict for the Elves.

The chaos and turmoil of the war had a detrimental effect on the Orgrillon hierarchy. Numerous Gorkargins were found to be lacking, and nearly as many were killed in battle. The Krolgar were struggling to unify, always blaming each other for failures and claiming each others victories. The tides seemed to turn when a new Gorkargin, Grozt Or, had a serious of stunning victories and some felt they could finally retake lands that had been long lost to the Sartyrians. This would not be, as a bitter Krolgar challenged him for the position of Overlord, and killed him in single combat. A ritual that was meant to strengthen their people backfired, for while the upstart was a ferocious fighter, he was not anywhere near the strategist that Grozt Or was, and all of the now dead Gorkargin's victories and advancements were quickly undone.

This set in motion the true collapse of their empire. Defeat after defeat caused their domain to crumble. A war of attrition ground them down, pushing them farther and farther northward. In only another two hundred years they would be pushed all the way back to their frigid home. From here they dwindled. No longer do they elect Gorkargin, and they don't even have the numbers to hold the entirety of their native land.

"We were powerful. We were very powerful. A long time ago..."

Undead Outbreak[edit]

A recent curse has begun to struck the land. The dead began to rise all around the continent.

Weirdly though, they do not interact with the living. It appears they can see and hear only people of their own kind and the world around them, though somewhat influenced by memories of their time.

At first it was inconvenient as the rotten skeleton of a farmer who passed away three generations ago would plow your field in the middle of the day. or walk into your home and sit by the fire cooking something it cannot eat. Then those who have died during battle have begun to rise up. At firt they were fighting each other, then they soon began to think that the living were enemy soldiers.

While at first the curse happened on occasions during specific time of the year, its occurences have grown more and more to the dismay of the population.

A group of mages who have been atempting to make contact with them have had limited success (at least with those who arent soldiers)

Gods With Widespread Followings[edit]

Though not necessarily popular anywhere...


Zmugtazu the Black Hearted One:

An ancient pagan jungle god said to steal away young brides out of jealousy if no virgins are sacrificed to him upon every new moon of the year. In the ancient past many rituals were attributed to him, but this practice stopped when he got sick of it and manifested materially to clear the air. It turns out he's actually a pretty chill dude and now runs a non-profit charity for misrepresented gods.

Grumpypoo, the God that Hates Being Worshipped:

Is ironically quite popular in a number of nations. He is worshipped in Napan as the God of Hermits, in Harlbourg as the God of Spinsters, by harpies as the God of Cuteness, and strangely enough is considered the Consumer of Souls by certain goblin tribes. Several more secular cultures consider him a good luck charm, and bronze statues of him are common throughout the continent.

Gaelhalla, Goddess of Lust:

Obviously a quite popular figure, she is worshipped in many forms in many lands. In the west she is depicted wearing a round green hat which is considered extremely pornographic by locals. In Napan she is Go-Hana, the Five-Flower Goddess, Mother of Beasts. All five races of Amazon consider her to be their matron Goddess. Oddly, in Hoogivs, she is only a minor Goddess associated with tea flowers.

Itch-Monger, God of Minor Irritation:

A highly obscure god, Itch-Monger started out as a Plague God associated with unusually high concentrations of whale lice among whalefolk.

Eventually his worship travelled inland, where he is occasionally worshipped by social outcasts who hope he will give those they are envious of lice or genital crabs.

Ballsack and Sackball:

A pair of anthropomorphic raccoons who delight in tea bagging strangers with their massive testicles. They are numbers 69 and 96 on The List of 666 Minor Demons of Napan assembled by famous scholar Chibi the Pendant.

Deadicorn, Harbinger of the Rainbow Zombie Apocalypse:

One of the most hated of all Gods, Deadicorn was said to have been created from the merged essence of several Evil Gods who sought to destroy all creation (plus Bob the Unicorn God who was convinced it was a good idea while he was high on god dust). Deadicorn is worshipped by anarchists, rapists, murders, insane magic users, necromancers, evil fairies, hags, as well as misguided youth who think he is "cool" and "edgy".

He grants his followers power over undeath as well as the ability to shoot rainbow death rays.

The Incoming War[edit]

The world is on the brink of a world war, with several nation strenghtening their armies and tensions running high, one of the many wars being fought is about to escalate into a larger conflict.

Maritime Law[edit]

The Autian Port Federation is, technically, not a real country. It has no language, no religion, no ethnicity, no culture. Covering nearly all of Autia's massive coastline, the A.P.F. is a judicial and legal organization run by and dedicated to mariners. Any region seemingly blocked off by it still has full access to and control of their coastal territory. The Autian Port Federation operates and maintains inns, taverns, marketplaces, docks and courthouses all across the coasts of this mighty continent, relying on locals to run it all. Their main focus is standardizing laws involving the high seas- which is legally under the total jurisdicition of the A.P.F. No matter where one is on the high seas, a dispute between any number of parties can be settled anywhere along the coast of Autia at a courthouse. If a sailor from Belka and The Union get in a fight off the coast of Halem, or an Eritroan and an Ercaenmedian argue over prices down in Pumkin Kingdom; the Autian Port Federation is there to provide a safe place for everything to get worked out without dragging entire nations into diplomatic and military disputes. They are, unfortunately, not very well off finanically and are infamously corrupt, taking bribes and handing over mariners to local law enforcement with little hesitation. This is due to the fact they are a nonprofit, dumping literally all of their funds into maintaining their buildings and fleet of rescue vessels, as well as paying their workers. The nation they border ultimately has full control over what happens on their coastline, and the level of influence they exert over the A.P.F differs wildly from nation to nation. Some run everything themselves, only using the A.P.F.'s name; while others take a very laid back approach, letting the coastline act as its own autonomous region. Despite the local issues of control and legality , a sailor in Autia can generally expect food, shelter and safety no matter where they go.

The Guild of Undead Swordsmen[edit]

On occasion in Autia a god may choose to bring a servant back from the grave, equip them with a magic sword and start them on a heroic journey that only once completed will they finally be permitted rest. The Guild of Undead Swordsmen is a support group for these at times reluctant heroes, offering them suggestions for other ways to fulfill their oaths or for mercenary companies they can find work in. Because while the ability to not die is often tempting at first, gods can be very impatient and will inflict curses on their champions if they feel that they are lacking motivation. In Amazon run territories the Guild of Immortal Swordswomen holds sway, with the two guilds holding a bitter rivalry, and operates several offices. Pictured are three Swordsmen who have joined into an adventuring group to aid each other on their quests.

Economics[edit]

Commoner wealth is based on a mix of agricultural land owned, size of house, possessions owned, and access to magic, so it is somewhat biased against nomadic people and fey

Elite wealth includes both the wealth of the elites, but also the size of the elite class in relation to the rest of the population

Total national wealth is total, not per capita, so biased against nations with small populations

Belkan: Medium, Medium, High Ercaenmedi: Medium, Medium, High Republic of Free Men: Low, Low, Low Falconhead: Low, Medium, Low Westphallica: High, Extremely High, High Gabaet: Medium, High, Low Hagarta: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Srechund: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Orkistan: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Hiisikunta: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Sparticia: Very Low, Low, Very Low Afrozil: Low, High, Medium Voluntas Pact: Low, High, Medium Kingdom of Eritroans: Low, Medium, Medium Alkor: Medium, High, High Harlbourg: Medium, Medium, High Hoogivs: Medium, Low, Low Unkor: Low, Low, Low Persquaria: Low, Low, Very Low Halem: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Tavern Woold: Low, Low, Very Low Wolf-Kin Band: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Soulwood: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Fleshmolders: Low, High, Very Low Pirate Haven: Low, Medium, Very Low Nantes: Low, High, Medium Yr: Low, High, Medium Fluffwood: Low, Medium, Low Northern Wastes: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Freedom Coalition: Very Low, Medium, Low Union: Very Low, Medium, High Puppet State: Very Low, Medium, Very Low Iron Crown: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Napan: Medium, Very High, Medium Shahdom: Low, Medium, Medium Rig'Nood: Very Low, Low, Very Low Gib'Dunes: Very Low, Low, Very Low Alprobes: High, High, Very Low Bridge Tribes: Very Low, Low, Very Low Four Sisters: Very Low, Medium, Low Kornheiseria: Low, Medium, Medium Pumkins: Low, Low, Low Temple Isle: Low, High, Low San'Barg: Very Low, Low, Very Low Second Empire: Low, High, High Unravelers: Low, Very High, Low Alana: Very Low, Low, Very Low Forgotten Place: NIL Brazilistan: Low, High, Medium Sneed: Medium, Medium, Medium Ogre Clans: Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Ander City: Medium, High, Low Luver: Medium, High, Low Wizard Coast: Medium, High, Medium Taur Tribes: Very Low, Low, Low Aesanaeria: Low, Medium, Medium Poole Harbor (Harpies): Very Low, Very Low, Very Low Sartyrian: High, High, High IBRU: Low, Medium, Low Afrolia: Low, High, Medium Fantel Islands: Low, Medium, Low Crescent Islands: Low, Medium, Very Low Tortle Realms: Medium, Very High, High Duckers: Low, Medium, Low Peaks of the Heavens: Low, Medium, Low Copper Plains: NIL Deep Desert: Very Low, Low, Low Sultanate: Medium, High, High Kangoo Tribes: Very Low, Low, Low Puppet Clans: Low, Medium, Low Nicsenor Collective: High, High, High Pengu Empire: Very Low, Low, Low Khurultai: Medium, Medium, Medium Ar-Haugthra: Very Low, Low, Low Sheeple Folk: Low, Low, Low Dun Costa: Medium, Medium, Medium Dalavchtai Khanate: Low, Medium, High Skvoenbard: NIL Crocida: Very Low, Low, Low Crocuba: Low, Very Low, Low Jade Empire: Low, High, High Shattered Edge: NIL Illician Isles: Low, Medium, Low Utopia: Low, Medium, Low East Alkor: Medium, Medium, Low Vespins/Karelia/Mordiven: Medium, Medium, Medium Malsolia: Very Low, Medium, Low East Union Company: Low, Medium, Low Bloodsap Forest: Medium, High, Medium Mousterians: Medium, Medium, Low Dright: Very Low, High, Medium Lepre Khans: Low, High, Low Lindgrub: Low, Medium, Low Ogrillons: Very Low, Medium, Low Belkan Arktikos: Low, Medium, Low Ercaenadhorn: Low, Medium, Low Land of Frost Giants: Low, Medium, Low Skyr-nada: Low, Low, Low Belkor: Medium, Medium, Medium Soukos: Medium, High, High

Dragons[edit]

While Sartyrian and Nicsenor hold the largest amount of the creatures alongside the largest specimens their dragons are not the most well known of the species due to the vast distance between the southern elves and most races. In most continents dragons are a rarer breed having gone extinct in western Autia altogether following the Chromatic Dragons in Srechund going extinct with only wyverns remaining but the aforementioned Storm Dragons do exist in regions like Napan and the Iron Crown where in rare circumstances they assist an army in battle. Other lesser subraces of dragon found throughout the world include the wyrms and lindworms belonging to the Puppet Clans alongside feral variants inhabiting The Dead Man's Hand, Lapus and Krraurah where races like the Orgrillons sometimes make use of them. Meanwhile the population of wyverns are the greatest in Rinolsol, specifically the mountains in Ercaenepolis while the population of drakes is greatest in Flickfowl where they are used by the armies of the Second Empire and the Sultanate while the golems have sentient metal variants. Rinolsol is also home to a few more subspecies such as their hydras and their drakons which resemble giant versions of wyrms more than actual dragons. Tismo also has a few subspecies such as the Black Dragons who are similar to Storm Dragons in nature but with breath of fire and a black appearance instead of the blue one belonging to the Storm Dragons and are used in many different forms by the Khanate.

Additionally the lizardfolk nations of Tismo possess with them, alongside the dinosaurs inhabiting their rainforests which they use to great effect in repelling Sostenfielian and gnome assaults on their land a race of great winged serpents called ampitheres. These creatures are seen as bringers of good harvests by the lizards whenever one is spotted and as such they commonly try to find the eggs of one and raise them. Ampitheres are by far the fastest out of all dragon subspecies outspeeding even the fastest purebred Ercaenmedian wyvern and are among the most deadly tools the lizards use to defend themselves mounting their greatest heroes and mages atop them and outfitting them with ancient magical gear said to be crafted by their froglike elders and mysterious god Kek. It is because of this these creatures they successfully managed to hold a lightning fast raid on a fleet of Sostenfielian airships alongside many companies of pterosaur riders headed their way smashing the mechanisms keeping the aerial battleship the fleet brought with them making it crash to the ground. Because of this and another similar failed attempted with a few smaller ships being destroyed that time the Sostenfielians have given up with sending airships into the communist lizards territory as they're busy sending most of their airships into more important endeavors and having planes bomb Union facilities manufacturing anti-magic weapons for the upcoming war. I've gotten extremely sidetracked but the final dragons and dragon subspecies I have to list are the ones belonging to the southern elves. I've already mentioned their dragons which still are the most numerous and largest among their species but the southern elves do have other subspecies such as the great wyverns and drakes they have living in their mountains.

The lizards and southern elves do have merwyrms too. Krraurah probably has a few icy dragons with wings of literal ice or something like that with the Pengu taking some eggs and raising them up until the dragons grow older at which point they leave to find a mate. This is because I'm not sure if the Pengu have the magical capacity to make a dragon obey them or the manpower with enough strength to break one into submission like the others I mentioned here do. If they do have good magic or just commission their snow elf neighbors to make some magical headdress to make the dragon obey them then they keep it. Living in a similarly icy area as the Nicsenoreans they probably grow pretty big too from the conditions and fighting other predators. Not sure if there is enough of them for the Pengu to have more than a handful though as Krraurah is large and they're probably dispersed throughout it with enough distance between them to make finding a mate to breed with difficult.

Concerning Half-Elves[edit]

Many elves are distant creatures, far from human contact. This has led to the elves either becoming very isolationist and primitive in the case of the Jhazai and Arctic Elves or the belief of inherent superiority to humans through superior skill, magic and monsters as shown by elder southern elven dragons essentially being walking nukes. This belief is echoed in the southern elves, the Sartyrians and Nicsenoreans with the fire elves being far more up front about it while the snow elves act polite to humans but constantly act superior and harbor a sense of disdain for them in the back of their minds. The Drow also count in this category as most with the exception of a few Autian Drow cities see men as in more than livestock to capture. The fairy elves just hate everyone. Middle ground does exist however with many elven tribes being more open minded to men as a result of merely having longer lifespans instead of immortality and living closer to them. The Lapus elves, Desert elves of Flickfowl, Valkyrie elves, Autian elves and Sun elves dispersed throughout Tismo on a lifelong pilgrimage count in this category. Even then most of these races still remain quite aloof when around non-elves but in some cases, mostly from the rather plain elves of Autia and the Lapus Elves some gain close companionship with a human. Knowing the powerful emotions possessed by elves this relationship will most likely lead into a child being bore and should the birth be successful a half-elf is created. These halfbloods are very strange creatures and are quite free willed compared to the strict traditions and noble houses who’ve lasted for centuries that elven society is made up of. They are quite rare even by the standards of the elusive elven race with 1 existing for every 3 elves from any given tribe and usually end up nonaligned to any particular tribe.

This rarity does not mean that half-elves are harder to find than pure elves however, rather the exact opposite. Most elven population centers are too far away from most men and have enough magic wards for them to not even think of being able to enter. Because of this you’re far more likely to meet a half-elf as a byproduct of their adventurous nature meaning they travel far from home. It’s far easier for halfbloods to get along well with humans during these encounters as a byproduct of their human side giving them a far more down-to-earth look on things compared to the whimsical and confusing nature of their pureblooded kin with their elven blood granting them a beautiful appearance only adding to their sociable demeanor. This is about where their elven heritage ends however as the only real separating traits from a half-elf and a man are their pointy ears and a slightly increased rate at which they learn things. They possess none of the inherent magic elves have or their inhuman reflexes leading to many elves seeing them more as weaker cousins rather than kin or as repulsive pretender elves and in the case of the mercenary Desert elves, fools who adventure for fun instead of coin. The issues don’t end there however as the wanderlust of half-elves can lead to many choosing to work in professions that are not considered perfectly legal such as thievery just for the thrill of it. No matter how fast they rise up the ranks of their newfound unsavory friends a spot of bad luck can lead to their activities being caught on to. Because of these impulsive desires it’s quite common to see at least one half-elf jailed in the gaols of larger cities leading to a negative stigma against half-elves from those of higher social standing.

Concerning Drow[edit]

Each individual city-state of the Drow can muster tens of thousands of forces used for both self-defense as their cities serve as fortresses and aboveground raids. Their individual armies typically comprise of several hordes of slaves sent in first to be shredded down and occupy the attention of enemy forces while their main regiments await to strike. Their proper forces are comprised of free Drow using weapons like spears, advanced crossbows and swords with each of these weapons being coated in poison. These regiments are deployed extremely quickly as their mages part the earth and allow them to come out from the ground to flank their opponents. These forces are led by nobles each with decades of combat experiences or priestesses, their term for their mages using shadow and blood magic in rituals to drive their forces and themselves into a murderous frenzy. Additionally they hire Mind Flayers and the tortured creatures that strange race produces as mercenaries. Lastly, they make use of many underground monsters such as giant spiders and lizards, both of which are also ridden as cavalry, great bats and rarest of all the strange wingless wyrms that dwell underground which are smaller versions of Soukan drakons with deadly poisonous fangs as warbeasts.

Concerning Mole-men[edit]

Ubiquitous with the world below, the L'rrrrrglrn mole people are widespread throughout the myriad caves and tunnels. Having been here since before the rise of civilization itself, the mole men may very well be native to the dark depths. They wander far and wide, being found anywhere peoples gather and even some places they don't. Many of them make their lives as traders and travelling merchants. Nearly every city in the under dark sees them pass from time to time. Few civilizations know the full extent of the mazes and hidden places beneath the world quite like the L'rrrrrglrn, save perhaps the dwarves. They are generally peaceful in nature, but quite strong when threatened, if not a little slow. They love wonderous technology and items from the surface are astounding to them, resulting often in eager trades for these good that may not even benefit the mole.

While they are ever present below the surface, they have two centers of civilization that act as their homes in the dark. The Nest of Princes below northern Flick Fowl, where 100 noble moles rule a patchwork of tunnels and hollows. Under the Union in eastern Autia lies the Queen's Hold, a a maze of tight corridors and caverns that sprawl mindlessly in every direction with a grand chamber in the very center shared by seven joint queens of their race. The moles see themselves as one people and the distinctions between their leaders and homes mean little, with many traveling between the two places regularly. They are a favored slave of the crueler drow and the fear to wander too close to the Xiklik in eastern Tismo.

The North (Continent of Autia)[edit]

The Nantic States[edit]

Steampunk Europeans/Koreans, but with magic powered stuff instead of steam powered stuff. Were once one Empire, but now separate nations, still pretty powerful though thanks to magic-powered industry.

Regional Religious Practices[edit]

The Nantic cultures are polytheistic, with each Nantic successor state worshiping a wide range of Gods that feature in their myths. Most of these are minor gods, either imported from other cultures, or are ancient heroes that have become deified, but a certain set of primary gods appear in each Nantic culture which share similar traits and roles in the local mythologies. For the most part, Nantic peoples simply accept that no one knows for sure which interpretation is right, and amicable "god X is really god Y" conversations are common when people of different cultures meet. The Core Gods are as follows:

Sky Magic God: Almost all Nantic peoples consider this figure to be the father creator of the Nantic race, though surprisingly only the Belkans consider him their Chief God. In the western nations he is known as Ace, but only the Belkans worship him heavily. In Westphallica, Falconhead, and Gabaet, he is seen as a fickle trickster god primarily associated with the weather. The Ercaenmedi barely acknowledge him at all, since they come from a separate racial stock than other Nantic peoples. Instead they consider Okamiokami to be their father figure. In the eastern Nantic cultures he is Alcar, God of Nantic racial primacy and magic. His worship has largely died off as these areas became more multicultural.

Fertility Goddess: Seen as the mother goddess of (almost) all races. Generally depicted as terminally a unfaithful lustful goddess who created the various races by sleeping with various other gods and goddesses (though Belkans insist that Ace cheated on her first). Amongst other creations, she made the Nantic peoples with Ace/Alcar, the dwarves and gnomes with Gayin, the Amazon races by herself, and the elves, fey, and sentient animals with Neir/Weir/Wyrn. Originally associated with fertility and magic, since the invention of contraceptives she is increasingly associated with love and lust as well. Belkans call her Lune, the Ercaenmedi and Napanese call her Go-Hana, Alkor call her Gelune, and pretty much everyone else calls her Gaelhalla.

Forest God: Associated with forestry, woodwork, hunting, agriculture, and fey creatures. Worshipped in the west as Neir, and the east as Weir, he is generally seen as a helpful father figure, though some worship his "True Form" of Wyrn, a callous nature god associated with Grumm. It is commonly believed he created the elves, fey, and sentient animals with Lune/Go-Hana/Gelune/Gaelhalla.

Smith Goddess: Associated with mining and metalwork, she is called Gayin in all Nantic cultures and her role and appearance is surprisingly consistent. It is said she created the gnomes and dwarves along with Lune/Go-Hana/Gelune/Gaelhalla, and is considered to be the mother goddess by these peoples. Previously considered a bit of a niche goddess, she is becoming increasingly powerful in the industrial powerhouses of Alkor and Belkan. Also associated with knowledge in some areas where some minor god hasn't taken that role instead.

Ocean God: Associated with all things ocean. The people of Belkan also associated him with managing "the Brine", where evil spirits are sent to suffer, though the people of Alkor just see this as a sign of how afraid of water the Belkans are. Belkans call him Shull, but everyone else calls him Shomdar. The Alkor see him as their principle god, but most other nations only consider him moderately important, unless you are a sailor or fisherman, obviously. It is said Shull/Shomdar helped Lune/Go-Hana/Gelune/Gaelhalla create all the aquatic races.

The Psychopomp: Tasked with managing the souls of the recently deceased, she is always known as Liik, though her role and appearance vary greatly in each region. In Belkan she is the fresh water spirit, who guides souls to either the Brine or the Other Sky to await reincarnation. In parts of Bagaet and Unkor, she is the Raven Goddess, who watches over souls who linger in the Shadowlands. In most other places (including several non-human cultures) she is the chief valkyrie, who coordinates the efforts of the other valkyries in collecting souls.

The Predator: A highly controversial god, said to be a demon who allied himself with the gods during an ancient war between the gods and demons. Associated with strength, self-reliance, and necessary evils. Fills the role of war god in some areas where Ace/Alcar, Vanille, or some ancient hero isn't given the role instead. In Alkor, Nantes, Yr, and the Wolf-Kin Bands, he is Grumm, a giant wolf made of iron and fire. In Ercaenmedi, he is Okamiokami, a seductive shadow wolf-man. Several other nations have banned his worship entirely, seeing him as an evil demon whose followers have re-written history to justify his worship. It is believed that those who serve Grumm/Okamiokami well will be reincarnated as powerful being to serve at his side for all eternity. The souls of those consumed by a follower of Grumm/Okamiokami are said to be bound to their consumer as a slave spirit in the afterlife, which is likely the reason for ritual cannibalism among some Ercaenmedi and Wolf-Kin.

The Protector: Probably the least popular of the eight Core Gods, the Protector is associated with charity, protecting those who can't defend themselves, and other selfless behavior. Never particularly popular among the Nantic elite, who are firm believers in encouraging self-reliance and nationalistic military aggression among the common folk, sometimes she still comes in useful in weaker nations that fight primarily defense wars. In modern times she is most popular in Harlbourg and Westphallica, where knightly orders of bored nobles, usually women, raise money for charitable causes, and sometimes engage in vigilante behavior. Although often mocked as foppish idiots, the fact these nobles are armed to the teeth with the best possible magi-tech items means they rarely lose a fight no matter how unskilled they are. Usually known as Vanille, but sometimes just referred to as "The Protector".

Regional Magical Traditions[edit]

Like in other regions, magical ability appears somewhat randomly among the Nantic people, with few having it, and innate ability varying wildly. Nantic magic using tradition is focused on utility and codified academic principles rather than the mysticism found in some other regions. Usage is tightly controlled by the government in most states. The main schools of magic are as follows:

Aether Manipulation: Technically all Nantic magic starts with aether perception and manipulation (sensing and altering the raw magic energy that binds all things) though in its purest form it is useful for sensing magic and disrupting the spells of others. More powerful users can move objects, or even create invisible permeant barriers of pure magic.

Material Alteration: The most common school, it relies on academic knowledge and control rather than raw power. Users can alter and combine different materials in order to change their properties. Used to strengthen metals, sharpen blades, and create the raw energy crystals that power most magi-tech. Usually used on inert objects, but can work on living things as well, though it takes lots of unethical experimentation to get any good at shaping flesh. Generally too slow for combat use, though there are some exceptions.

Energy Creation: The main combat school, uses a variant of aether manipulation to create raw energy by "tearing" the aether, then directing the energy at a target. Somewhat unpredictable and dangerous even with lots of practice, though the results can be impressive with training, fine control, and raw potential.

Dimensional Magic: A rarer form, it involves tearing holes in reality to move between dimensions, jump between locations, or more commonly, to siphon the magical essence from other dimensions in order to infuse an object or living thing. Requires large amounts of raw power and control, not to mention a strong academic grasp on the nature of the various alternate dimensions. Very few mages achieve a high level of mastery of it, particularly as sooner or latter many users will teleport themselves into solid rock, open a portal to a dimension incompatible with life, or try to summon a succubus from one of the hells.

Enchantment: A cute way of saying mind control. Used to alter moods and emotions, plant suggestions, create illusions, and in extreme cases reprogram minds entirely. It is not based on Nantic magical principles, but rather uses brute force combined with intuition to create the desired result by means not fully understood by academic study. Technically illegal in most Nantic nations, users are in high demand by government spy agencies, while others use it to aid them in non-magical crimes, or to attempt demon binding, necromancy, or other dangerous rituals.

Necromancy: Rare and generally illegal form of magic that involves using dimension magic to recall spirits from other dimensions, then enchantment magic to bind them. Some religious groups use necromantic principles to fight necromancy or calm the restless dead, while others like followers of Okamiokami openly embrace it.

Regional History[edit]

The Nantic Empire:

Basically had the northwestern third of the continent, covering from the kingdom of yr, through Halem, crossing through Harlbourg, Alkor, the very tip of Aesanaeria, then going up through Gabaet the top of Sparticia and Afrozil, and all the way up to Belkan, potentially also had the Goblin Island and the Desolate isle but had little interest in them.

Basically 1800's French and Austrian nobility, was brought together by a king Arthur/Alexander the Great expy called Darius "the Land-Hungry" Iceus, who is often regarded as the ideal example of a warrior king, unfortunately died just as he was beginning a war with the Union which was taken over by his son Andarius who was able to push the Union to create the Iron Crown wall, and due to peace deals created through Andarius' marriage to the southern princess Hachisena there was really no-one big enough to conquer, causing the Empire to sit on it's laurels, which unfortunately for a warrior culture lead to a lot of in-fighting, which was quickly enough dealt with by the creation of the Alkorian games, a series of faux-millitary contests that kept the army strong but stopped the nation from killing each other outright.

Fast-forward 15 generations, everyone's inbred to fuck, magics going wild and the Alkorians, Belkans, Aesanaeria and Afrozil have claimed independence, the Empire of Nantes then faces a mass peasant revolt (Imagine a gun-less French Revolution and you'd be there) and was rapidly reformed into a republic, unfortunately losing even more land, with the remaining nobles making the Kingdom of Yr and Alkor retaking some of the main-land only to start showing it's own signs of friction which would lead to them separating into the Empire of Alkor and the Free City-States of Harlbourg, meanwhile, Belkan has been helping out all sides in the war which stops them from realizing they're fracturing between the original Belkan and a new nation called Ercanmedi

Belkan and Ercaenmedi:

The Eras of Peace that came after 13th, 57th, 85th, 113th, 164th, 199th, 213th, 269th and 274th Belgan - Ercaenmedi wars almost had the two nations unite, or at the very least swore to never fight one another.

Yet almost always, something went wrong; A Belgan Trade Ship was hijacked, or Ercaenmedi test fired Skycannons causing a nearby Belgan town to be destroyed by an avalanche. A tragedy would happen upon Belgan, they would investigate and find Ercaenmedi responsible, Ercaenmedi denies it, Belgan wouldn't believe them and declares war on Ercaenmedi. It has been like this for centuries, and neither side is wise enough to notice.

In reality, these tragedies where caused deliberately by the Union. Why? Well no-one really notices, But Ercaenmedi and Belgan are incredibly advanced compared to the rest of world, let alone Autia. Even the Union, which has the best non-magical technology and is plentiful in resources would barley stand a chance against them individually, let alone together. And would likely be the hypothetical Belgaenmedi's first target. It's a miracle they're more interested in Idol Singers and Superweapons.

The Totally-Not-Immortal Union Elite known as Konoranna the Clever was the first to notice this, and during the first Era of Peace decided to secretly intervene with the two nations. The idea was to exploit the aggressive culture of Belgan and use it to keep them and Ercaenmedi busy while destroying each others technology and killing their mages.

It was a partial success, while it kept the Belgans shortsighted on war and the Ercaenmedians paranoid of an invasion. It also made them improve their guns and armies to be even stronger. Ercaenmedi wasn't even well armed before this. Nevertheless it kept them distracted, away from the Union.

For now...

The War in the North:

The Ercaenmedian people have long suffered incursions by the Belgan Empire, the cause of their seemingly endless series of wars as they view any border skirmish as sign of something greater, but only once have they seen the true power of their foe and it remains a stark reminder that they must remain vigilant or their nation will be lost to the sands of time.

A full two centuries before the 299th Belgan-Ercaenmedian War High King Felix Boesch of the Belgan Empire turned his eyes south.

In the past Ercaenmedian lands were once part of the Empire but these lands slowly drifted away from its control as the Erc and Meddan tribes would move into the area, soon falling under their sway and declaring their independence. Later confederation the Kingdoms of Urrr, Augh and Leibwitz to form a kingdom rivaling the Empire in size if not population.

In spring soldiers under the banner of the Golden Griffin stream through the mountain passes of the Crooked Smile mountain range into Ercaenmedian territory. Using a combination of superior maneuverability, numbers and firepower the Belgans are quickly able to overcome Ercaenmedian field armies, with State War Mages often times using their air magic to conjure gusts of wind strong enough to take entire Regiments over or above enemy lines. The battles of Shurwood, Erickstown and the Well Beaten pass showing the willingness of Ercaenmedian soldiers to fight to the last man to delay the invaders , with certain songs about the bawdy hero of Shurwood Captain Yut Ro Ihn still being regarded as classics in the Ercaenmedian nation, but still their fight is in vain as by winter Belgan soldiers occupy the capital and force the Supreme Patriarch and his government into exile.

The Belgans do not just stop at the conquest of Ercaenmedia and soon after it is occupied they March further south into Westphallica as the Ercaenmedian government in exile desperately pleads for a Coalition to be formed to deal with Belga.

The unprompted assault on Westphallica soon leads to the Kingdom of Eritroans and Alkorian Empire to declare war on the Empire of the Griffin, with the Alkorians mostly only caring about taking Belga's overseas colonies. For the next ten years the three empires battle in the lands of the Southern nations, with a line Ercaenmedian Strike Wyvern pilot earning fame in a number of battles involving the destruction of multiple Belgan superweapons. Finally ten years after it had begun Belgan Soldiers are forced to relinquish their overseas colonies and possessions in Ercaenmedia at the Peace of Altor. The Northern War would be extremely devastating for all of the Western nations but would lead to the Alkorian Empire becoming the ascendant regional power in the West, with the Belgan Navy completely destroyed at the battle of Trabalar. The Belgan victories at Crosswind and Afrograd would remain in military textbooks for the next two centuries as prime examples of the use of the combined arms of magic, polearm and sword and the value of having a profess battle mage force. But for the Ercaenmedians it would be a prime example of a new lesson, never trust a Belgan...

The History of The West, Archibald Razgriz, Volume 10: The Belkan War

Miscellaneous Info[edit]

In the western lands, where the concept of underwear is frowned upon, hats are considered extremely provocative and sexual. Each style, color and material involved in their creation means volumes in both visual shorthand and intent.

Belkan[edit]

Nantic nation, home mostly to Nantic humans (north Europeans). Prone to aggression. Has strong magi-tech air force and doomsday weapons. Ostentatious steampunk Germans led by a meritocratic military aristocracy.

Belkan

Ercaenmedi[edit]

Considered a Nantic nation, but actually most are Ercaenmedians (Koreans with blue hair). Steampunk Korea with a heavy dose of k-pop, also some of them are religious cannibals, so think twice before accepting that tea invitation at the starlet's manor.

Home to blue-haired humans. They're more or less friendly people to be around, except for, of course, the one in every ten who happens to be a cannibal. Those are still friendly, to be sure...they're just also cannibals.

People:

Although considered a Nantic State, the Ercaenmedi are from a different ethnic group than those found in other Nantic nations. They have many similarities with the Napanese, and are believed to be distantly related. Their most distinct visual trait is their hair, which tends to be light blue, blue-ish grey, or blue-ish green, said to be a sign of favor from their father god Okamiokami.

Religion:

The Ercaenmedi mostly worship their "parent" gods, Go-Hana and Okamiokami. Go-Hana is associated with love, beauty, fertility, and lust. She is honored at elaborate soirees and rowdy parties where worshippers dress in their most elaborate, provocative clothing, and dance and cheer to songs sung by prominent vocalists known as "Idol Singers". Mass enchantment magic is sometimes used to whip up the crowd's excitement, as are the narcotics often taken at these events. Okamiokami is associated with strength, self-reliance, seduction, and Ercaenmedian national pride. His followers believe they will be reincarnated as powerful demons in his service, and that those they have killed and/or consumed a part of will be reincarnated as their slaves for all eternity in the afterlife.

Magic:

Ercaenmedi has an unusually high percentage of magic users, many of whom are quite strong. Although they follow roughly the same magic traditions as other Nantic states, they place less emphasis on academics, and more emphasis on honing raw power. They have a far higher percentage of enchanters and necromancers than other Nantic states, though their necromancers prefer incorporeal spirits to rotting zombies.

Military:

The Ercaenmedian Army is a strange mix of old and new. Although they have access to the latest technologies, they also have a soft spot for the old ways and are always on the lookout for an excuse to fight with katanas, glaives, and short bows rather than flintlock rifles and cannons. Uniforms vary greatly by formation, and even by individual (noble officers love to stand out, as do prominent champions), but tend to have a base of grey or black, with contrasts of white, teal, light blue or red. When armor is used, it is usually decorative rather than practical.

Defense against Belga is top priority for the EA, so much of the military budget is spent on skycannons, static defenses, as well as maintaining aerial mounts like griffons and wyvern. However, Ercaenmedians value individual valor over technical supremacy, and countless times it was the reckless bravery and noble sacrifice of common soldiers that have won battles rather than brilliant tactics or fancy toys.

Ercaenmedians mages are an often overlooked element to the Ercaenmedian Army. Numerous combat mages help even the odds in terms of firepower, healers summon life energy from other dimensions to heal wounds and banish fatigue, and enchanters and necromancers demoralize and confuse the enemy with illusions and summoned ghosts, or create new spies with by mind controlling or possessing enemy soldiers.

The border between Belkan and Ercaenmedi is littered with gigantic watchtowers. These are built and used by the Ercaenmedi military to spot any Belkan fighter bird/griffon/jet/flying carpet attempting to invade Ercaenmedi airspace.

These 1000 feet tall spires were built by Ercaenmedi during the 213th Belkan - Ercaenmedi war. It was built after the government had discovered that out of all nations, Ercaenmedi was almost always the first to get punched due to being the closest and weakest nation.

If an hostile aircraft is discovered, the guard will point spotlights & shoot fireworks at the target, this helps the ground crew below with were they have to aim their Skycannon.

Shooting down one of Belkan's eagles is considered both as a great achievement and a great feast for Ercaenmedian soldiers.

The Skycannons are little more than big artillery guns that shoot Belkans straight out of the sky. While primary used for defense, some models are modified to be used offensively.

During the 267th Belkan - Ercaenmedi war, the EA decided to put Belkan in it's place by creating the first Ercaenmedian superweapon.

Nicknamed "David the Dangerous", this Moving Skycannon was sent in to obliterate the Harlan Tower. Surviving Belkan troops would often mistake David as one of the Mechanical Monsters that roam the Kingdom of Yr, and feared that the Kingdom had allied itself with Ercaenmedi. The Ercaenmedi ended up partially damaging the Harlan before getting immobilized by a Flying Carpet Bomber. The EA tried to repair David the Dangerous but was forced to retreat after they got ambushed by the Belgan Cockatrice Cavalry.

Most of the Belgans understanding of the Ercaenmedian Sky-canon model comes from researching David.

History:

The history of the Ercaenmedian people is hopelessly buried in nationalist propaganda and myth. The only constant is their constant warfare with those who dwell to the north of them. On several occasions, Belkans have conquered the Ercaenmedi, whether as an alliance of petty kingdoms, as part of the Nantic Empire, or as a single unified nation. Sooner or later, the Ercaenmedian will drive them out and the process begins anew.

Economy:

Most of Ercaenmedi is fairly rural, with countless cozy farming hamlets nestled in valley, under large groves, or along the many winding rivers, though market towns and small cities are rarely more than a day away. Ercaenmedi focus most of their magi-tech and conventional industry on their military, leaving country life rather low-tech. Ercaenmedi is far from poor however, food is plentiful, famines are almost unheard of, and gold and jewels are mined in abundance. Even a small village will have many merchants and craftsmen, and even the poorest farm girl will have at least one racy costume in which to attend local concerts. Magic is fairly commonplace, and it is not unusual to see large owls and broom mounted witches delivering mail, or a mage specializing in healing magic fixing a sprained ankle. Ercaenmedi spends much of its surplus food, gold, and jewels on magi-tech, gunpowder, and rifles from Alkor and Gabaet.

Westphallica[edit]

Nantic nation, mostly Nantic humans, but also dwarves, gnomes, drow, half-drow, Ercaenmedians, and other assorted minorities. Wealthy nation obsessed with the new and exotic. Very powerful, but prefer to buy stuff rather than conquer it. The drow resort town of Myr'klyt is located beneath its surface.

People:

Westphallica is a multicultural nation where wealth counts more than appearance. Although Nantic humans are the most common, there are large minorities of dwarves, gnomes, drow, Ercaenmedians, duergar, goblins, ogres, mind flayers, and many people of mixed origin. Lightly populated, but almost impossibly wealthy, the sprawling palaces of the wealthiest families often dwarf the nearby resort towns and bohemian cities.

Religion:

The main gods in Westphallica are Gaelhalla (beauty, lust, artists, and magic), Gayin (dwarves, gnomes, miners, smiths, craftsmen, and engineers), Liik (ravens, shadows, the afterlife), Vanille (adventurers, knights, vigilantes (essentially the same thing in Westphallica)), and Okamiokami (greed, ambition, schemes, vengeance, necromancy).

Magic:

For the most part Westphallica follows the standard Nantic magical traditions, but their great wealth allows them to recruit magic users from around the world, and magic is more common in day-to-day life than in other nations, particularly in the entourages of the wealthy. Westphallicans are an open minded sort, and have no problem recruiting necromancers, demon binders, hags, fleshmolders, voodoo witches, dark aether channelers, mind flayers, and other sinister magic users as long as they stay within the limits set by their employers. Many Westphallican nobles are themselves magic users, given them more confidence when dealing with foreign mages.

History:

A former part of the Nantic Empire, the gold mines of Westphallica funded the Empire for generations, but as the Empire crumbled, many of its most cunning and dangerous nobles and mages flocked to the area rather than fight to maintain power elsewhere. They bought the loyalty of the locals, bribed their rivals in other nations to kill each other, and hired the best mages and soldiers to guard their borders. Since then they have ruled their nation peacefully, with all the main families tacitly agreeing that vigilance and solidarity is key to their continued decadent lifestyle.

Economy:

Westphallica has produced much of the continent's gold and gems for countless centuries, with more veins are always being discovered, and its miners and smiths are well paid for their loyalty. Others work on hobby farms, at hunting lodges, as craftsmen, smiths, architects or engineers in the many craft shops and foundries, or as artists, servants, cooks, or scholars in the mansions and resorts.

Miscellaneous:

The nobles of Westphallica see the relatively modest bowl hats popular in several other nations as dull and modest. Extravagant hats, the more eyecatching the better, are seen as a sign of sexual prowess.

The Drow City of Myr'klyt is located deep beneath the surface. Often rumored to be a nexus of the illegal slave trade, it is actually just an exclusive BDSM themed resort.

Falconhead[edit]

Nantic nation, mostly Nantic humans. Small, backwater nation. Along with Westphallica and Gabaet, they are attracted to hats, but have lower standards than their neighbors.

Falconhead

General:

Similar to the nearby nations of Westphallica and Gabeat, the people of Falconhead are known for their strange obsession with hats, and convoluted social customs. Aside from this, they are seen as hopelessly backward by other Nantic Empire successor states, and only ancient treaties prevent them from being conquered by either Westphallica or Ercaenmedi. The Amazons of Afrozil and Sparticia constantly raid them, as do other monster races of the mountains and the underworld.

People:

A small nation consisting of a single city state, its surrounding territory, and large stretches of sparsely inhabited mountains, most of its population is Nantic human, but there is a decent number of dwarves as well. Although by no means poor, Falconhead can't afford the glamorous fashions and parties of Westphallica, or even Gabaet, so the middle-upper class of landowners, merchants, lawyers, and skilled tradespeople settle for understated clothing and complex social customs that range from boldly quirky to incredibly subtle.

Religion:

The main gods in Falconhead are Gaelhalla (arts, fashion, social status, hats, courtship), Neir (farming, forests, nature), Gayin (dwarfs, craftsmen, books), Liik (ravens, crows, vigilance, protection, death), Shomdor (manages the punishment of evil souls in the underworld), Ace (minor god of storms), Ayalla (Amazon version of Gaelhalla, worshipped by collaborators with Amazon occupiers)

Magic:

Falconhead follows standard Nantic magical practices, but has few practitioners since anyone with talent goes to Westphallica instead.

Military:

Falconhead has no real military other than the City Watch of Falconburg, and the assorted rural militias. The militias use blunderbusses and crossbows as their main weaponry, though many will carry a pitchfork, wood axe, or hunting bow instead to defend their fellows while they reload. The City Watch uses truncheons for day to day work, but have flintlocks, swords, and pikes for serious work. Anyone with a shred of fighting talent goes to Westphallica unless they are unusually patriotic, so the ruler of Falconhead is often forced to pay tribute to foreign rulers in Westphallica, Sparticia, or Afrozil in return for soldiers when even minor raids by Amazons, undead, or wild fey cause a panic among the population. Adventurous young people sometimes join mercenary groups known as Ti'Eftu to wander the continent in search of fame, fortune, and hats.

History:

When the Nantic Empire fell apart, Falconhead was essentially created from the areas that Westphallica didn't want to bribe or protect. A series of weak royal families have ruled from the city of Falconburg, but are often nothing but puppets for neighboring states. During one particularly long period in which Falconburg was under occupation by a coalition of Sparticia tribes, the mostly rural northern half of the country separated. It went on to become the Republic of Free Men, a haven for anyone with a grudge against Sparticia and/or Afrozil.

Economy:

Much of the country is mountainous, the small population is mostly clustered in the fertile valleys of the northeast, near the city of Falconburg. The city and the nearby countryside is relatively prosperous, but the foothills are poor quality farmland and home to a strange mix of hermits, free spirits, exiled Sparticians, dwarven prospectors, solitary goblins, and strange covens of witches, hags and harpies. The country is fairly self sufficient, and any surplus goods are usually sold to Westphallica for gold and luxury goods.

Miscellaneous:

The hat-centric culture is so strong in those nations that that many choose to join mercenary companies, called the Ti'Eftu, and fight in the service of kingdoms across the continent for the promise of rare and exotic hats.

Principality of Gabaet[edit]

Nantic nation, Nantic humans plus dwarves. Basically steampunk Switzerland, but with tea, and lots of ravens and crows.

General:

Culturally similar to the nearby nations of Westphallica and Falconhead, the people of Gabaet like their hats, preferably warm hats since much of their territory is high altitude mountains. Famous for hot teas, abnormally large numbers of ravens and crows, and several strategically important rail lines. Most of the population is human, but dwarves, goblins, and other races are fairly common.

People:

Gabaet is home to a mix of Nantic humans, dwarves, plus a scattering of other races living in the wilds like goblins, orcs, and kobolds.

Religion:

Gabaet follows a similar interpretation of the Nantic pantheon to its neighbor Falconhead. Gaelhalla (arts, fashion, social status, hats, courtship), Neir (farming, forests, nature), Gayin (dwarfs, craftsmen, books), Liik (ravens, crows, vigilance, protection, death), Shomdor (manages the punishment of evil souls in the underworld), and Ace (minor god of storms). Gayin is generally the dominant god due to the large percentage of dwarves, miners, and industrial workers. In the southern region of Hagarta, some people worship Deadicorn, Grumm, and other dark gods.

Magic:

Gabaet follows standard Nantic magical traditions for the most part, but in the lawless southern parts of the nation informally known as Hagerta, some people practice darker forms of magic.

Military:

A frequently overlooked neutral state, Gabaet consists primarily of several dwarven holds mixed in with towns supporting the rail lines, and isolated farmsteads in the lower valleys. Although a small but well equipped royal army exists, most of the actual fighting against marauders is done by the rail guard and the dwarven armies. All fighting forces in Gabaet wear heavy clothes, use gunpowder or magi-tech fire arms, and often wear heavy armor. Many of them of veterans of several skirmishes with orcs, hiisi, trolls, ogres, giants, and dark magic users.

History:

A former Nantic state, much like Falconhead, Gabaet was formed from parts of the southwestern Nantic Empire that Westphallica wasn't interested in. Since then, it has largely abandoned its claim to the monster filled regions south of it, and focused its efforts on the more profitable gold mines and rail lines in the north. Although technically neutral, Belkan sometimes tries to sabotage the rail lines since they are one of the main routes in-between Alkor and Ercaenmedi.

Economy:

Gabaet's economy revolves mostly around mining, particularly gold, and maintaining the rail routes as they pass through some of the roughest mountains on the continent. Small scale agriculture does exist in the few mountain valleys that fall within Gabaet's borders, but it is not a significant part of Gabaet's economy, aside from some popular teas like White Dragon and Gobbler.

Empire of Alkor[edit]

Nantic nation, uber-strong naval power with colonies throughout the continent. Ultra-Imperialistic steampunk British.

General:

The Empire of Alkor were the first to conqure the seas over which magic doesn't function, leading them to expand, hosting islands and shore territories far from home.

People:

The inhabitants of Alkor are mostly Nantic human, but immigration from its colonies is not uncommon, as a result, many of the cities are fairly multicultural.

Religion:

Like most Nantic nations, the Alkorians worship a variant of the Nantic pantheon. Shomdar is the god of the seas, wisdom, and knowledge, and is seen as key to Alkor's military power. It is said he is represented by an immortal prophet who wields much power behind the scenes. Gayin is the goddess of industry and commerce, and is nearly important as Shomdar. Alcar is the god of magic and Nantic racial supremacy. Once one of the senior gods, he is being increasingly sidelined as Alkor becomes more multicultural. Of lesser importance; Gelune is the goddess of fertility and courtship, Weir is the god of agriculture, Grumm represents the darker, but sometimes necessary side of war, Liik collects the dead, and Vanille is a minor goddess associated with Noblesse Oblige and bringing civilization to barbaric lands. Aside from the main gods, the Alkor have a number of national heroes who have been raised to demi-god status. The foremost among these individuals is the Queen Mum, a centuries old individual whose descendants form the current royal family. It is a mystery how she remains alive, but is seen as a living symbol of the strength and perseverance of the Empire of Alkor.

Magic:

The Alkorians follow typical Nantic magic using practices, but place heavy emphasis on material alteration magic. These "aetheric-engineers" work tirelessly to churn out an endless supply of magical equipment for use by the Empire of Alkor. Unofficially, the Alkor sometimes use enchanting, necromancy, and other forms of magic seen by the general population as unethical, but have generally avoided demon binding ever since what happened in Yr.

Military:

The Alkor possess a massive professional army and navy that allows them to maintain a colonial empire that spans the continent and beyond, while still fighting frequent wars with powerful neighboring states like Belkan, Harlbourg, and Nantes. Although some argue they rely upon quantity over quality, their forces are very well equipped considering the sheer number of troops they field, and they possess a wide range of specialized units. Their main strengths however are their massive navy, incredible industrial base, and strong grasp of realpolitik. The Alkorians rarely overstretch themselves when they can manipulate rivals into fighting one another, and even when they do suffer losses, they can replace equipment far quicker than most nations.

Armed Forces of Alkor:

- Large professional army and navy

- Soldiers wear well-tailored trousers and jackets with elaborate frogging. Trousers are white, jackets are red (infantry and marines), blue (navy), or black (intelligence, political enforcement)

- Some shock troops still wear half plate, but only certain elite formations wear full plate, most regular soldiers don't wear armor

- Regular infantry use flintlock guns backed by thin swords, though navy crewmen make do with boarding hooks, axes, and cutlasses, and some shock troops use blunderbusses, maces, and war hammers. Magically enhanced gear is mostly reserved for officers

- Navy is main source of power and includes a large merchant navy, fast patrol ships and privateers, and increasing numbers of "dreadnaughts" large iron clad ships powered by magic paddlewheels and with large magically enhanced cannons mounted on rotating turrets

- Small air force of griffon riders is mostly used to fend of Belkans, has also been experimenting with dirigibles

- Elite ground forces are large knights mounted on large lions wielding large glaives (occasionally men in Alkor grow 7-9 feet tall, with unusually well developed musculature, the reason for this is unknown, though appears to be genetic)

- Use oxen, giant goats, and donkeys for logistics, sometimes use (shudder) horses and even unicorns for scouts, lancers, and cuirassiers

- Experimentation with "Iron Beasts" (proto-tanks) is ongoing, but slowly, as granting them sentience with infused essences has been banned after what happened in Yr. For now they are usually sticking to self-propelled iron clad magic wagons with flame launchers or multiple small cannons and firing slots for flintlocks

- Mages are too valuable to waste on the front lines, though many are quite adept at battle magic

History:

Like the rest of the Nantic states, Alkor was once part of the wider Nantic Empire, but they separated once it had become clear that the Nantic Empire was in decline. Much like Yr and Belkan, they harbor dreams of rebuilding the Nantic Empire (with themselves in charge), and from there conquering the entire world. Their greatest success was during the Northern War, where they allied with a number of other nations to crush the newly formed Belkan Empire and seize control of most of its overseas colonies. Unfortunately, the strain of the War inspired rebellions in the eastern part of their country, leading to the formation of the Harlbourg Free Cities. On other fronts they have conquered territory once held by Nantes and the Shahdom. Recent alliances with their frequent rivals Aesanaeria, Ercaenmedi, and Belkan has allowed them to refocus their efforts on reintegrating Harlbourg into their Empire, though Belkan is in fact supporting both sides.

Economy:

A fertile and prosperous land, Alkor is unusual in that it uses magi-tech for relatively mundane purposes like farming, mining, and forestry, thus allowing more of the population to work in the forges and navy. Although even the common folk enjoy fairly prosperous lives, some feel their lives would be even better without the high taxes needed to pay for the constant wars, and the high rents charged by the deeply entrenched noble classes. Some of these nobles still possess the heavily inbred traits associated with the Nantic Empire, but others have managed to sort out their gene pool by marrying industrialists, bankers, decorated officers, and other individuals possessing wealth, power, and desirable genetic traits.

Alkorian Nobles:

The average Alkorian noble is capable of great and incredibly powerful magic, but is in poor health due to literal centuries of inbreeding. This results in an external body that is incredibly strong due to magic, but an internal body that is only kept alive due to said magic. (Seriously one man's heart is the size of a peppercorn and stopped beating two days ago, we might have a lich problem again.)

Free City States of Harlbourg[edit]

Nantic coalition of city states, mostly Nantic humans, but lots of minorities including goblins, harpies, snake people, and giants. Basically your typical D&D clusterfuck, but upgraded to Victorian/steampunk era.

Free City States of Harlbourg

General:

Neighbour to the empire of Alkor, The Free City-States of Harlbourg put up a fierce resistance. Along with their technology and numbers in soldiers, they have teamed up with the tribes that live in the plains, deserts and forests for their magical potential and powerful beasts. They're not unlike revolutionary America if it were still fighting the war against Britain.

The Reconquista/Resistance war has involved many countries and is effectively the Land's first World War due to the amount of combatants. It is a known fact that while Belkan officially supports the Alkorian's reconquest, due to their highly militaristic and often battlelust-y nature, they have sent a chunk of their army to serve as mercenaries for the Harlbourgs to gain great honour.

People:

Harlbourg is primarily home to Nantic humans, but also includes many "monster races" such as goblins, harpies, snake people, and giants. The monster races mostly live in the southern barrens and in a number of large, untamed forests scattered throughout the nation.

Religion:

Harlbourg follows a fairly standard interpretation of the Nantic pantheon. Gaelhalla (magic, femininity, fertility, the moon, love), Weir (forests, agriculture - sometimes worshipped instead as Wyrn for hunters and some fey creatures), Gayin (industry, commerce, labor), Shomdar (oceans, fishing), Liik (collector of the dead), and Vanille (justice for common folk). Alcar and Grumm are occasionally worshipped, but have fallen out of favor as war gods with focus instead on Vanille and a group of demi-god revolutionary figures known as the Founding Fathers.

Magic:

Harlbourg follows standard Nantic magical traditions for the most part, but also sometimes relies on the strange magic of the forest fey and the southern monster tribes to give themselves the edge.

Military:

The primary enemy of Harlbourg and more recently Alkor's allies among the Aesanaerian tribes. Due to the massive land borders they must defend, plus the decentralized nature of the state, they rely heavily on volunteer militia bolstered by mercenaries from less civilized nations, and magi-tech equipped private armies from the wealthier towns, cities, and noble families. No standard uniform exists, but blue is seen as the national color, while purple is popular with those worshipping Vanille. Knightly orders dedicated to Vanille are particularly common in Harlbourg, but they prefer to keep out of politics and focus on vigilante actions against those that harm the common folk instead. The militias are surprisingly well equipped, almost every family has at least one privately owned firearm, usually several. Crossbows and magi-tech guns are sometimes used by militia members who are particularly rich and poor respectively. Swords are seen as archaic by militia members, but hatchets, clubs, and long knives are brought along in case fighting becomes up close and personal.

History:

Once a part of the Nantic Empire, and later the Alkor Empire, "East Alkor", as it was known at the time, was a prosperous, but politically overlooked region. Angry at constantly paying taxes for wars they didn't benefit from, and egged on by intellectuals making impossible promises, a widespread revolt swept through "East Alkor". Unable to decide on a new form of government, the leaders of the various rebel factions met in the small town of Harlbourg and signed a series of defense and trade treaties, leading to the formation of the Free City-States of Harlbourg. Despite its massive economy, Harlbourg has yet to emerge as a leading power in the region. It has alternated between fighting and allying itself with several nations in the region, particularly Belkan, Alkor, and Aesanaeria, though alliances with Alkor are rare. Harlbourg also frequently has to deal with internal fighting between different city states, as well as political factions like Utopia and Swabonze. Although internal power struggles are frequent, they rarely lead to open warfare, though assassinations and riots are common.

Economy:

Harlbourg is a wealthy nation, with rich farmlands, a large industrial base, and many merchant fleets. The lack of one central authority to direct the economy is sometimes a positive, sometimes a negative.

Miscellaneous:

The City-States are known for their secret military police mounted on mechanical horses assassinating those who want to rally the states into one power.

Each city-state have one or more order of knights, which are mostly if not entirely made of females.

One of the Burgomasters of Harlbourg was known to be a bit of an asshole. A travelling witch turned him into a giant cat to help correct his behavior.

Unfortunately the witch forgot that cats are also jerks. The Burgomaster in question retains both his position and his cat form to this day, and is notorious for knocking valuable objects off tables, shredding important documents with his teeth, and leaving dead fish, rats, and birds in random places around the council chamber.

Attempts to remove him from power have failed since he sparkles threateningly whenever someone reminds him his term ended years ago. Also his main rival was defenestrated by a pack of rabid cat lovers.

Republic of Nantes[edit]

Nantic nation, once core of the Empire, now faded and corrupt. Mostly Nantic humans, but with some fey in the south, and some fleshmolded creations in the north. Basically steampunk France, but insanely corrupt and decadent, also under invasion from all four fronts.

General:

All that remains of a vast Empire that once spanned the northern half of the continent, the Republic of Nantes is on the verge of finally crumbling under the weight of expansion by the Kingdom of Yr and the Empire of Alkor to the east and west, raids from Fluffwood from the south, and atrocities committed by Fleshmolders in the north.

Although they remain famous for their magic and magi-tech, the elite of this nation have lost interest in the affairs of the lesser folk and are mostly on the payroll of Yr or Alkor. Few will mourn the loss of Nantes though, since the nation is notorious for snobbishness and arrogance.

People:

The inhabitants of Nantes are almost all Nantic humans except for border areas where more diverse factions are slowly taking over.

Religion:

Like most Nantic states, the Nantians are worshippers of a variant of the Nantic pantheon. For the Nantians, the main gods and their portfolios are as follows; Alcar (magic, Nantic racial supremacy, nostalgia), Gaelhalla (art, courtship, lust), Weir (farmers, homesteads), Wyrn (forests, fey creatures, hunters, seen by his followers as the true form of Weir), Gayin (forges, mines, industry), Shomdar (oceans, fishermen, not very popular these days due to association with Alkor and the fact that Nantes has almost no coast line left), Liik (guide to the afterlife, chief of valkyries), Grumm (beserkers, fighting fire with fire), and Vanille (protection of the weak).

Magic:

The Republic of Nantes follows the standard Nantic magic practices (which is not surprising since it helped develop most of them). One unusual outlier is the Mymen, who use a powerful, intuitive, variant of aether manipulation to conjure up all sorts of invisible objects. Most of them use their powers for entertainment, but some have become vigilantes.

Military:

The Nantian military is archaic and crumbling. The officer class is bloated with arrogant urban middle class academics who often ignore or alter orders as they come down the chain of command, while the common infantry is poorly paid, demoralized, and heavily reliant on conscription. The air force is almost non-existent, and the navy has essentially been abandoned, leaving just the army, which although surprisingly well supplied with flintlocks, cannons, and mortars, is often outclassed by the Iron Beasts and other monsters of Yr, the elite skirmishers of Fluffwood, the freaks of the north, and the better led and more numerous troops of Alkor. Aside from certain ceremonial units, the Nantians rarely wear armor, but their uniforms are generally quite fashionable, though nothing compared to what is worn by the nobility. Although Nantes has many magic users, they prefer to work for organizations that are higher paying and less dangerous than the military and its foundries.

History:

Once the core of the Nantic Empire, a peasant rebellion that killed off many of the oldest noble families allowed the various provinces of the Empire to separate into new nations, and caused most of the remaining nobles to flee to Belkan, Westphallica, Alkor, and Yr. A new nobility (though they don't officially call themselves nobles) was formed from those that profited from the peasant rebellion the most, and a republic was formed in order to share power between these new nobles. Unfortunately, both Alkor and Yr remain obsessed with the idea that retaking the core cities of Nantes is the first step in reestablishing the Nantic Empire (even if the capital of said Empire would remain in Alkor/Yr). As a result, Nantes has faced countless invasions from both Alkor and Yr, which has steadily eroded this once wealthy region. Due to this weakness, Nantes also faces raids from Fluffwood to the south, and the north is now ruled by pirates and deranged flesh molders.

Economy:

Despite all its problems, Nantes is still a fairly wealthy country, though unfortunately a large chunk of its magi-tech and conventional industrial base is geared towards supplying luxury goods to its remaining nobles. Most of the rest either makes goods for the middle class or supports the military, with the rural class and urban poor fighting over the scraps. Mines, farms, and lumber camps are still abundant in the center of the country, though many along the borders are abandoned due to constant raids. Although the lower classes know they are being taken advantage of, they know a revolt would provide an opening for conquest by either Alkor or Yr, both of whom are hated enemies. The upper class feels Nantes has been a lost cause for decades, and although many have already left, many of those still in the country would rather abuse their position for as long as they can before the inevitable flight into exile.

Kingdom of Yr[edit]

Nantic nation, mostly Nantic humans and some demons. Basically steam/dieselpunk Germany ruled by demons and demonic tanks.

General:

Long ago, the Kingdom of Yr mastered the art of granting iron constructs sentience and mobility by binding demonic spirits into their hulls.

Unfortunately, these "Iron Beasts" rebelled, enslaved most of the Kingdom's population (except for a few traitors) and are now embarking on a campaign of terror and destruction against neighboring nations.

People:

The inhabitants of Yr were originally made up almost entirely of Nantic humans, but in recent times, its rulers have started recruiting or enslaving anyone or anything able to aid it in its never ending campaign against Nantes. Demons and demon forged machines are becoming increasingly common, as are goblin, orc, ogre, wolf-kin, and mutant mercenaries from the Northern Wastes. Necromancy, flesh molding, and magi-tech lobotomization are also used to create cannon fodder and slave labor from corpses and disloyal subjects.

Religion:

Religion in Yr was once more in line with other Nantic countries, but these days, most people worship a cabal of demon lords who are said to be the true forms of the various Nantic gods. According to this new mythology, the Nantic pantheon was watered down during the decadent, complacent peak of the Nantic Empire, and the Nantic people lost sight of the traits that allowed them to conquer such a vast empire to begin with. The demon lords of Yr are Althazar (magic, fire, storms, raw demonic essence, strength, trickery), Gogotha of the Whips (beauty, seduction, betrayal, ambition, succubi), Wyrna (dark fey creatures, monsters, stealth, hunters), Iron Gyyn (mother of constructs, demonbinding, bondage, heavy industry), Shaleheart (water, ice, salt, darkness, caves, torture, punishment), Lykian (eternal servitude, necromancy, the undead, death), Grumm (bezerkers, madness, cannibalism, redemption through violence), and Wanilla (oppression of the weak, nobility, manipulation, leadership).

Magic:

The Kingdom of Yr once followed typical Nantic magic practices, but came to rely increasingly on demon binding and necromancy as the war with Nantes dragged on. Unfortunately, this meant that demon worshippers and their summoned allies were able to corrupt the Yrian nobility from within. These days, almost all magic users use demonic magic, though thanks to the wide range of demons they worship, they have a wide range of magic available to them, including energy creation, enchantment, dark fey spells, flesh molding, demon binding, dark aether channeling, and necromancy.

Military:

Never heavily populated to begin with, the population of Yr has dwindled thanks to constant warfare, and now relies heavily on dark magic. Although normal infantry retain their trademark dark uniforms, they are often augmented by demonic essence infused magi-tech components, or mutations induced by flesh molding. Large numbers of "Iron Beasts" (demons bound to a mechanical structure) follow them where ever they go, as do summoned demons, shambling waves of undead, powerful magic users, and brutal mercenaries from the Northern Wastes.

History:

Once part of the Nantic Empire, Yr split away following the overthrow of the royal family by a peasant revolt in central Nantes. The nobles who fled to Yr swore to one day re-establish the Nantic Empire, starting with the destruction of Republic of Nantes. Unfortunately, Yr is a hilly region not suitable for heavy agriculture and never had a large population. Instead it relied heavily on mining and industry to give it the edge, but when that wasn't enough, it increasingly relied upon demon binding to animate its mechanical contraptions, which in turn led to most of the noble families being subverted by demons.

Economy:

A hellish realm, unskilled labor, particularly in mining and manufacturing, use undead, lobotomized workers, demons, and flesh molder creations in order to free up the remaining population for semi-skilled and skilled jobs, as well as military service. Farms and lumber mills still exist, but it is the mines and foundries that are seen as critical to the war effort, and is where the magic users and their creations and dark allies focus their efforts.

Other Northwestern Nations[edit]

A strange collection of minor states living in the shadow of the western Nantic nations.

Desolate Island[edit]

Mountains, pine forests, wandering bands of orcs, trolls, other monsters, and humans descended from Nantic humans. Known for strange pyramids.

Aetherites[edit]

A strange small island only inhabited by beings nicknamed the "Aetherites", strange shapeshifting beings of pure light and Aether roaming the isle without any apparent goal. The level of magical energy there is extremely high and any living thing staying too long there explodes, meaning that forms of life exist here besides some aether-resistant moss, plants and fungus.

Goblin Island[edit]

Magi-tech experts who sell unreliable weaponry to the Belkans and freelancers. Mostly goblins.

The Goblin Island is inhabited by an unusually intelligent subspecies of goblins talented in engineering, their technology is potent but often very unsafe so only Belkan and some scaredevil mercenary groups buy their weapons.

Republic of Free Men[edit]

Highly diverse nation made up of exiles, malcontents, and fugitives from other nations, particularly Afrozil and Sparticia. Was once a backwater province of Falconhead (itself a backwater) but eventually rebelled. Most of the leadership of this nation trace their roots back to the Amazon clans in some manner or another and seek to prove they are equal to Afrozil and Sparticia.

The Republic of Free Men was founded by men from Afrozil and Sparticia Mountain Clans, they actually are good with their women quite well (much better than the amazons with their men) but have a strong rivalry with the two female-dominated nations and want to prove to them that men are the equals of women.

Afrozil[edit]

Black Amazon slavers. Female only race that rely on bribery, slavery, and other means to find mates. Major hub for slavery, banditry, and piracy, but also has several popular port towns for ships going up and down the west coast.

The Banana Commune is a small tribe of Monkeymen present between the borders of Afrozil and the SMC. They love to continuously loot and annoy their Amazonian neighbors, with much success. An Amazonian caught sleeping with a Monkeymen and vice versa is seen as desperate.

Sparticia Mountain Clans[edit]

Greek Amazon mountain dwelling raiders. Female only race that raid neighboring nations for mates. Rivals with Afrozil.

General:

One of the so called "Amazon Races", the Sparticia are notorious slavers and raiders who have been a thorn in the side of their neighbors for countless ages. Although not particularly adept at magic, or skilled with technology, their strong sense of racial unity and heavily forested mountainous homeland have allowed them to endure many attempts at conquest by neighboring nations.

Their most hated enemy are their fellow Amazons in Afrozil, and squabbles over slaves are common among border tribes.

People:

The Sparticians are one of the all-female Amazon races, and as a result, they sometimes raid other nations for mates when they can't bribe or lure men in. The children of Amazons (always female) are inevitably Amazons of their mother's ethnic group, but their mates are recruited from several sources, usually from Falconhead or Voluntas, but they also have a strong dislike of the Republic of Free Men, and will raid them frequently anytime they are able to move through Falconhead freely. Raiding Afrozil to steal their mates is also popular. Orcs, goblins, and hiisi are also technically options, but only the most desperate Spartician would mate with them. Aside from mates, orcs, goblins, hiisi, ogres, minotaur, harpies, and giants all freely roam the more remote and inhospitable regions of Spartician territory. Although they appear human, Sparticians, like most other Amazon races, are stronger, tougher, and faster than a human in their weight class. They also age slower than a human once they hit puberty, and it is not uncommon for them to reach 200 years old assuming they are not killed in combat first.

Religion:

Sparticians, like most Amazons, worship Ayalla as their sole goddess and creator.

Magic:

Sparticians rarely use magic, preferring martial skill and stealth to accomplish their goals.

Military:

Sparticians have no standing military, but all clan members of fighting age are trained in combat. Their favorite weapons are short swords, javelins, spears, bows, and chakrams. Much of their gear is purchased, stolen, or looted from Voluntas. They tend to avoid using firearms even when they have the opportunity to loot them during raids. Their favorite targets are Voluntas, Afrozil, and the Republic of Free Men, but they sometimes bully Falconhead into submission to move more freely through their territory. Luckily the men of Falconhead are seen as weak and rarely targeted. They sometimes have to defend themselves from raids by orcs, hiisi, and other monster races.

History:

The Sparticians have been around for as long as anyone can remember. Only during its strongest periods was the Nantic Empire able to force the majority of the tribes to swear fealty, otherwise they roam their mountainous territory and attack their neighbors freely, except Falconhead, who often bribes them to leave them alone.

Economy:

The Sparticians are hunter-gatherers who roam the heavily forested Sparticia Mountain Range. Their crafting skills are minimal, and almost all their clothes, weapons, armor, and other gear comes from raiding Voluntas. They will only use things looted from other nations (except mates) as a last resort, as they see both the Nantic humans, and orcs and other monsters as barbarians, while Voluntas still uses technology from what Sparticians see as the Golden Age.

Kingdom of Eritroans[edit]

Humanoid grasshoppers, raise various large insects for trade.

General:

The Kingdom of Eritroans is Birthplace of Grashopper folk. While its separated from most of the continent by mountains, the country itself is mostly made out of fertile plains and forests. Its people are known to be great woodcrafters, especially when it comes to musical instruments and ships.

Military:

Thanks to additional strength from chitin armors, grasshoppers are formidable archers.

Voluntas Pact[edit]

Ancient Greeks, except they all wear metal masks. Fight with Amazons and Hiisikunta. Isolated branch of the Sorgos People (Mediterranean).

General:

Voluntas people are known for their individualistic mindset, to a point were they hide their identities behind masks made out of metal to separate themselves from outside world. Their country acts as a direct democracy in ancient Athens style, with ancient Sparta style slavery. All of the northern part of the country is under generational slavery. Additionaly they have friendly relations with Grashopperfolk to the south and west, and are in constant war with northern tribes.

People:

Most inhabitants of the Voluntas Pact are humans of Sorgos descent, but slaves and free men from other regions are not uncommon. Citizens are the top of Pact society. After having completed their mandatory military training, many go on to become soldiers, while others become landowners, businessmen, artisans, and bureaucrats. All citizens in a given region have the right to attend the regional assembly and court and vote on a range of matters including trials, laws, military actions, and the election of officials, though many won't attend sessions unless a topic of personal interest is being voted upon. Citizens can only be the children of other citizens, and due to low birth rates and occasional high military casualties, the percentage of the population made of citizens is slowly dropping. Below them are foreign free men known as metics. Relatively rare, metics still often fill a valuable niche by bringing foreign ideas and skills to an otherwise socially conservative region, or doing jobs not really seen as suitable for a citizen, helot, or slave. Next are helots. Making up a large portion of the population, they are similar to the serfs found in certain other backwards nations in that they have more rights than slaves, but are still highly constricted in terms of mobility, profession, and military training. All are Sorgos since the position is hereditary, and there is no mechanism for anyone to be promoted or demoted to helot. At the bottom are slaves. Some slaves fill relatively high status roles like teachers, scholars, concubines, foremen, and artisans, but most are laborers or domestics. Most slaves are Sorgos (descendants of those on the wrong side of civil wars and revolts) but slaves from exotic locations are highly fashionable with wealthy citizens (typically from the Second Empire via Afzen middlewomen). Slaves are rarely freed, but many are kept motivated by the thought of securing a more comfortable posting.

Religion:

Religion in the Pact is a strange fusion of the Sorgos and Nantic Pantheons with the primary gods being Zeupiter (a mix of Zeupiter and Ace/Alcar), Shull (mix of Nepseidon, Hadiese, and Shomdar/Shull), and Aphrodinus (mix of Aphodinus and Gaelhalla, Ayalla).

Magic:

Members of the Pact see direct use of magic in combat as cowardly, and overall aren't super keen on magic, though they do make use of healing magic, enchantments of weapons and armor, and occasionally divination. Although a highly controversial topic, it is believed many of the greatest warriors "cheat" by either using subtle magic to improve their combat prowess, or getting others to enhance their speed, strength, and reflexes with magic.

Military:

The Pact military heavily emphasizes individual martial skill and valor. Spears, javelins, swords, and round shields are the preferred gear, though many prefer more exotic melee weapons to better stand out. Bows are sometimes grudgingly used, though most would rather reach melee combat as soon as possible. Armor is often showy and impractical, though of course masks and visors are worn whenever possible. Siege warfare is almost unheard of since there are few functional fortresses in the area, though Pact soldiers sometimes hire themselves out as mercenaries, in which case, they typically rely on other to break the defenses before plunging into glorious melee combat. They also don't do great against modern artillery or massed gunfire, and as a result are usually employed as skirmishers, flankers, and raiders. Pact citizens are taught to treat martial combatants with respect, and usually try to ransom, trade, or sometimes simply release skilled combatants that were too injured in combat to continue. In contrast, captured conscripts and citizens are humiliated, neglected, abused, and sometimes tortured.

Most Pact soldiers are citizens, but occasionally during major wars helots will be conscripted, though their training and equipment is abysmal, and their commanders seem to delight in needlessly getting them killed. Some wars are believed to have been deliberately started just to thin out the helot population a bit.

The Pact's relations with its neighbors is complex:

The Hiisi and other monster races living to the east sometimes raid the Pact, and other times are targetted during glory seeking raids and hunts. No serious attempt has ever been made to conquer the Hiisi though, since to do so would deprive the Pact of one of their favorite foes.

The Spartician Amazons also raid the Pact for weapons, armor, and mates. Likewise, counter raids are not uncommon. Captured Pact soldiers who fought particularly well are sometimes taken as mates by the Sparticians, while a defeated Sparticians will sometimes fall in love with particularly skilled captors while waiting to be ransomed. Needlessly to say, the relations between Sparticia and the Pact are complex and strange to outsiders.

Relations with the Afzen Amazons of Afrozil are poorer. The border between these two nations is poorly defined and a frequent source of conflict, as is illegal slave snatching from both sides by greedy landowners. However, wars rarely last long since economic ties between the two nations are strong, particularly the Pact's reliance on Afzen Amazons to acquire new slaves for them to purchase.

Relations with Eritroans are generally good, mostly since the Eritroans never give the Pact a reason to fight them. Some Pact generals have tried to start wars with the Eritroans simply to have something new to fight, though cooler heads have always prevailed, since deep down the elites of Pact society know they may need a reliable ally if they are ever threatened by a major power.

The city states that make up the Pact frequently fight among themselves, and relish any chance they get to put down a revolt by helots or slaves, or even the rumor of a revolt by helots or slaves.

History:

In the time of expansion for the Soukans, the world was a friendlier place. While some younger nations may have been rapidly expanding, the Soukans were content merely to take key pieces of land and greatly expand the infrastructure of them to make new city-states and then carry on with their spread. In those times progress was quick and the Sorgos colonies as they were known soon were vastly spreading in size with vast swathes of land being built upon and regions like what is now Aesanaeria mined for the abundance of jewels and natural resources they had. Each city-state back home had their own colonization initiative active at the time and the region which is now the Voluntas Pact was a former colony of Sparathus. This is evident from the similar appreciation for martial excellence shared between both sides however the Pact has taken things a step further from Sparathus, which while still preferring melee combat freely uses magic in their fighting styles to greater enhance their lethality. Even their greatest warriors, the Black Blades (soldiers in black plate armor wielding huge enchanted obsidian greatswords that consume combat drugs in battle hashashin style to pull off bullshit usually reserved for elder elves like deflecting bullets with your sword) use magic in their techniques and use enchanted weapons. This shift in ideology was primarily caused by the isolation of the former colony, leading to the settlers left behind and the locals to change their doctrine from one of slow outwards expansion to one of aggressive defense from Amazon neighbors. Essentially it ended up devolving from constant raids and losing the magical abilities from their homeland through procreation with the locals leading to the current situation. Recently however the Soukans have showed back up again but aren't very well loved by the people who see them as posers who don't respect the art of melee as much as they do magic. Their leaders however understanding the use of magic to augment your martial prowess have gotten along well enough and trade has restarted between the nations with captured slaves and Spartican/Afzen warriors being sent back to the republic to work or fight in the colosseums in return for jewelry and higher quality weapons being sent by the Soukans.

Economy:

A somewhat backward nation economically, the Pact relies heavily on dirt cheap slave labor to make up for its low technology levels. Attempts to modernize have been strongly resisted by wealthy landowners invested in the status quo. The Pact exports good quality grains, meats, and vines to a range of nations via ocean trade routes. They also sell arms and armor to the Eritroans, Sparticians, Afrozil, and Aesanaeria, though many other nations arrogantly feel such equipment is too primitive to be of interest to them. The ruling class dislikes technology, but imports a wide range of exotic foods, jewelry, clothes, and other status symbols, particularly slaves. Mercenary work and adventuring are looked upon favorably, and Pact mercenaries are common in Eldrian States, and sometimes Sorgos and Nantic States.

Miscellaneous:

Voluntas Klephts are known to mostly make their masks out of plaster.

Hiisikunta[edit]

Look halfway between orcs and trolls, basically behave like orcs. Hiisikunta is high chiefdom of hiisi people ruled by High Chief Vainamo. Hiisis are greyish creatures having similarities with trolls and orcs. They aren't that developed civilization but instead most of their lands are rural wilderness. They also enjoy raiding neighbouring realms.

In Hiisikunta Hiisis are worshiping different spirits of nature. They also have sauna ritual in which they go to smoke sauna to clean their spiritual selves and to gain divine guidance. This ritual will be performed always before going to raiding and war. Even though Hiisis are technology wise behind their neighbours they have individuals who can perform powerful magic, mostly related to nature and woods. And there are stories that Hiisis hold powerful weapon called Sampo that they would use if needed.

Orkistan[edit]

Orkistan is a relatively recent nation founded by a huge orc warband that decided to settle down to the west of the central continent where they were active. Nowadays they are mostly building their country in more sustainable and peaceful ways, they still enjoy mercenary work but never against their neighbors, Aesanaeria is currently their biggest client. Those on the coast are also often pirates avoiding their own peninsula but instead targeting the Southerners like the Wizard Coast, Luver, Ander and the Unravelers. Culturally, they are known for sophisticating orc traditions and arts, mostly notably creating parades and a new style of music based on their ancestral war chants.

Hagarta[edit]

Hagarta is a small informal country of witches and warlocks living in the wastes between Gabaet and Sparticia. They live in isolated covens (varying in size from a master and one apprentice to an hamlet) and avoid interacting much with each other to better stay hidden from the neighboring nations. Almost all of them are able of magic because they kidnap children with magical talent and abandon, kill or sell to slavery their magicless biological children. They know almost all forms of Nantic magic and practice many dark ones. Their only export is talented magic users leaving to work for Westphallica, they tend to eventually come back to found their own coven. Their religion is mostly similar to the ones in Gabaet and Falconhead, with the addition of the god Deadicorn and a more magical variant of Grumm.

People:

Most of the inhabitants of this region are Nantic humans, but harpies are fairly common, as well as the occasional hag, horseman, dwarf, amazon, goblin, orc, hiisi, troll, ogre, giant, dire bear or kobold.

Technically it is part of Gabaet, and most of its inhabitants consider themselves to be citizens of Gabaet, but many call the region Hagarta, which also the name of the loose organization of witches and warlocks hiding in the region along with the slightly more benevolent Briar Ravens and Blood Wolves.

Religion:

Most inhabitants have religious practices similar to that found in Gabaet and Falconhead but darker and more rural. Their gods are Gaelhalla/Ayalla (sex, fertility, also important god for harpies and amazon), Neir/Wyrn (farming, forests, nature), Gayin (for the few dwarfs in the area), Liik (ravens, crows, vigilance, protection, death, she far more prominent here than most parts of Gabaet), Shomdor (manages the punishment of evil souls in the underworld), and Ace (storms).

Grumm and Deadicorn are also worshipped by users of dark magic.

Magic:

Although technically a part of Gabaet, Hagarta is sparsely inhabited, ignored, and effectively lawless, which makes it the perfect place for the practitioners of questionable magic to gather.

There are three main rival magic traditions here:

The Hagarta are the most prominent. Made up of humans, harpies, and hags, they study any and all forms of magic, and pay tribute to many dark gods, though Deadicorn is by far the most important. They believe only magic users have a place in their society, and kidnap children (usually female) with magical talent, while killing, transforming, or selling into slavery any of their own children without magic talent. They live in small groups, and are often served by enchanted slaves, the more exotic the better.

The Briar Ravens serve Liik, and specialize in anti-undead operations, though they also hunt demons and other monsters. Like the Hagarta, they include humans, harpies, and a few hags in their numbers, and they use many types of magic, but shy away from flesh shaping and necromancy. They are highly skilled at divination, and their agents sometimes carry out morally dubious assassinations to alter future events.

The Blood Wolves serve Grumm, and consist of magic using cannibals (again humans, harpies, and hags) and lycanthropes. They don't seem to have any long term goals other than covering up each others attacks. They can use a wide range of magic, but prefer enchantments, curses, necromancy, and demon binding.

Military:

Hagarta doesn't really have a military. The non-magical locals tend to rely on militias and posses for law enforcement and killing wandering monsters. The magic users generally keep their identities hidden to prevent retaliation. Their immediate neighbors can usually guess which are magic users, but rarely know what affiliation they have. In return for not snitching to authorities in the more populated parts of Gabaet, even the Hagarta and Blood Wolves rarely carry out attacks on their immediate neighbors, instead sneaking into neighboring regions, particularly Sparticia and Gabaet proper.

Anonymity isn't their only defense however, many of the larger enclaves are located near portals to the fey world, allowing them to disappear entirely should major trouble approach.

History:

Long a small and overlooked region of foothills and valleys of little worth, Hagarta was part of the Nantic Empire, and later Gabaet, though it always had a dark reputation.

Economy:

Only the hardiest and most desperate folk try to scrap by a living in this monster infested region. Most are either outlaws, or poor, illiterate folk who are too clannish or ignorant to move elsewhere. Prospectors occasionally make major finds in this area, abandoned mines are everywhere (some of which make nice lairs) and most non-magic users can trace their origins back to a past mining boom.

Despite their magical ability, none of the three magic using organizations in this area seem to consider material wealth important. Some will get bored and work in Westphallica for a bit, but will eventually get bored of luxury, and spend their remaining money on rare magical components before moving back to primitive lairs and shacks in the Hagarta region.

Srechund[edit]

In the central regions of Autia, where there now lies the nation known as Srechund there once was a thriving population of dragons long ago. The beating of their wings filled the skies as they battled and found nearby villages to raze. This lifestyle abruptly came to an end following a long and chilling series of winters leading to these dragons needing to hide in their great caverns as they slowly starved to death. And when dragons gather, a host of fervent Kobolds stalk and worship them, as is in their nature. The loss of their masters devastated the creatures and the shambling masses of grieving kobolds proved a perfect target for the nearby population of direbears, cruel creatures that would've been the apex predator in this environment should there not have been dragons. Rather than pouncing and consuming all the pitiful creatures, the direbears chose to put some to work and enslaved the entire race. Years after years of neverending labor lead to constant deaths, either of starvation or the conditions they worked in however one fateful night some kobolds stalked into the caves of their dragon forefathers for advice. They found pools of almost dried up blood which they used as face paint and to their shock found the blood empowering them. Specifically it enhanced the power of metal magic, where they could control all kinds of metal. Knowing this they snuck droves of curious followers into the caves and they used these powers to drag out great veins of ore and revolt against the direbears. It was a hard fought fight but with enough hit and run tactics they brought their captors low as they fled. They created a great iron wall along the mountain border next to prevent the return of these beasts and have set to try and build a new civilization with this knowledge of metal magic founding Srechund.

Drow City of Myr'klyt[edit]

People:

The main residents of Myr'klyt are drow, but half-drow are becoming increasingly common. Some other underground dwelling races are allowed to live in the city like duergar, mind flayers, and goblins, but only after they have been carefully vetted. Some enchanted monsters and demons can also be found in the more high end niche brothels. Some humans also live here permanently, often actors and actresses posing as slaves.

Guests are mostly from Westphallica. Myr'klyt's true nature is a well kept secret to increase its exclusivity, though the existence of Myr'klyt is well known in the region. Many falsely believe that Westphallican nobles sell unwanted refugees and wannabe immigrants into slavery to Myr'klyt, a rumor Westphallica does nothing to dissuade since it already spends lot of money deporting undesirables.

Religion:

The drow who founded Myr'klyt where refugees from drow cities run by various evil gods and goddesses back in their home plane of existence. Some of them still worship their old goddesses like the Masked Lady, while others have converted to local gods like Gaelhalla, Vanille, or Gayin.

Magic:

The drow of Myr'klyt don't have a particularly high number of magic users by the standards of their race. Those that do learn magic focus on combat magic or illusions or enchantments that can boast their profits in the tourism business.

Military:

Myr'klyt frequently has to defend itself against other underground races, particularly other drow. Like most of their race, their preferred tactics are stealth, hand crossbows, and offensive magic.

Westphallican nobles will sometimes send their mercenaries and operatives to help protect their investments in Myr'klyt from attack.

History:

Drow cities first began to appear beneath the surface many centuries ago. Found beneath Aesanaria, Nantes, Ercaenmedi, Afrozil, and many other nations, they quickly gained a reputation as hubs of slavery and evil, thriving despite having to compete with many other evil creatures beneath the surface.

However, Myr'klyt was not like most other drow cities. Smaller and less evil than other cities, it suffered from frequent raids from other drow cities before the ruling council came up with a rather unusual way to firm up its alliance with Westphallica. Noting the existence of entire palaces and towns based around a single erotic theme, the Matron Mothers of Myr'klyt allowed their closest allies in Westphallica to set-up private retreats and brothels in exchange for high taxes which they used to buy magical components and weaponry to defend their city. Over time, the tourism industry came to dominate the city, with almost everyone working at least a side-gig in tourism.

Economy:

A small isolated city, Myr'klyt relies almost entirely on tourism from Westphallica to run its economy.

Activities that can be found here run from the relatively benign like swimming, watching play, dance halls, shopping, going to restaurants, gambling, and watching races, to hardcore like themed brothels and orgy dens, elaborate roleplaying, and erotic fight clubs.

Everything is based around what Westphallicans think an evil drow city should look like, but drow that work in the tourism industry find the whole thing very unauthentic, and particularly when combined with the sexual aspect, rather degrading. Many drow and half-drow have left the city as a result, usually staying in Westphallica, but some going to places like Falconhead, Hoogivs, or Utopia, where people are both relatively open-minded and peaceful.

Other North-Central Nations[edit]

Assorted minor nations living along the crumbling edges of the eastern Nantic nations.

Silvermoon Prim-Commune[edit]

Technology rejecting religious cult goblins who fled The Union to have somewhere to focus their mental energies and turn into angelic creatures known as Ceraphim.

Messaiah of Silvermoon valley has reformed goblin tribes that previously lived in Union lands into united entity, and then traveled acoss the continent with them to find new land for his kind. Recently he was seen south of Alkor.

Silvermoon's followers reject all technology, after freeing themselves from the Union, taking land from the waring free-states and Alkor.

The Ceraphim are messengers of Silver Moon. To become ceraphim you have to strip yourself from all the greennes of goblin kind, and embrace silver skies with procelan skin and multiple wings. Only after the transformation is completed they are giver permision to become conduit of god's power.

They posses powerfull magick, but can not survive during the day away from moon god temples.

Canton of Hoogivs[edit]

Minor nation of Nantic and Ercaenmedian humans as well as dwarves. Protected by various ancient treaties. Basically the Shire with tea and a large LGBTQ community.

General:

In the small canton of Hoogivs, literally nothing interesting ever happens. Everyone lives in comfy villages and the day is traditionally started by spending an hour drinking herbal tea and talking about the interesting things that happen in other countries.

Also the canton is unusually progressive in regards to gender roles.

Belkan hasn't gotten into a war with Hoogivs is that the Hoogivs, being in a warmer yet wet enough environment can actually grow and harvest Cocoa beans, necessary for Chocolate, which is seen as a delicacy almost everywhere on the main continent

People:

The inhabitants of Hoogivs are mostly Nantic humans, but there is also some dwarves and Ercaenmedian humans. Peaceful harpies, goblins, and fey live in small numbers in the border regions. Rumors state that this area is under the protection of ancient Eldrian creations.

Religion:

More or less a Nantic state, Hoogivs follows the Nantic pantheon with minor cross overs from other cultures. Weir is god of agriculture and community, Gayin is goddess of craftsmen and artists, Liik is the guardian of dead spirits. Ace, Shomdor, Grumm, and Vanille are acknowledged, but usually seen as gods favored by foreign trouble makers. Gaelhalla is rarely talked about in public, but is said to be frequently invoked during private activities. If asked, the inhabitants of Hoogivs will say she is the goddess of tea.

Magic:

Hoogivs has very few magic users, anyone with potential usually moves elsewhere. Those that stay rarely develop their abilities.

Military:

Hoogivs doesn't have much of a military. Each community has a small militia that handles basic law enforcement. Weaponry usually consists of a few crossbows and clubs for more serious militia members, and repurposed tools like hunting bows, slings, pitchforks and wood axes for everyone else. No one has ever tried to invade Hoogivs in recorded history, a strange anomaly which has vexed historians for ages, though aggressive animals, drunken travelers, and the occasional bandit aren't completely unheard of.

History:

Historically the Hoogivs region was part of a no-mans land between the Nantic and Eldrian Empires. Following the collapse of these empires, it remained empty for a while as people migrated closer to main population centres. It was eventually absorbed into the Alkor Empire, but due to a weird diplomatic compromise it became a de facto independent nation during the Harlbourg revolution. These days it exists as a small island of civilization in an otherwise empty region. Merchants and adventurers from Harlbourg and Unkor sometimes visit, but not often. Although Hoogivs borders on Aesanaeria, Aesanaerians rarely go near it due to their dislike of forests in general, and the forests of Hoogivs specifically. Belkan once proclaimed they will never invade it due to the quality of their cocoa beans, though it is unclear if this was a serious proclamation.

Economy:

Despite being close to the dry grasslands of central Autia, Hoogivs is a temperate and fertile land with high agricultural potential. The central territory is covered in farmland and hamlets with the town of Hoogivs in the middle. The border regions are covered in large expanses of empty forests and meadows. High value crops like cocoa beans, peace leaves, and tea leaves are traded with Harlbourg in return for luxury goods like manufactured cloth, clocks, fireworks, and exotic spices, but for the most part the people of Hoogivs seem to prefer living in the past, and have made no moves to embrace plantation style farming, factories, or magi-tech. Instead they grow and make what they need to live comfortably, while using their abundant free time to live lives of idle leisure. The population is surprisingly stagnant, and many villages remain almost unchanged over centuries.

Unkor[edit]

Former backwater Nantic province now home to the refugees and outlaws from all over the continent. Widely regarded as cursed. Basically a very multicultural Transylvannia / mishmash of horror film tropes from around the world.

Unkor, pushed up against the eldr, alone, severed due to the breaking off of the free states. They needed reasorces and men and attempted to reuse there corpses, something something eldr, something something Iron Crown the whole main land is cursed.

Unkor Shamenmes are well known for their talents and their storytelling abilities and magic. They are usually elders from major villages and perform great acts of storytelling call Mulans which explains their gods and past. they also perform rituals base on age as a sign of a person's growth. there are more rituals, but most important is the giving of dowries, weddings, and feast anouncmets. they do not take part in violence but after a battle, they walk around the battlefield giving pray to the fall so they can find the Minbim (Final enlightment) and save those that are dying with magic.

People:

Most inhabitants of this region are Nantic humans, but its abundance of free land and limited law enforcement means it attracts refugees and outlaws from a wide range of neighboring lands, including wolf-kin, actual lycanthropes, fey, orcs, harpies, hags, and goblins. It also has an unusually high percentage of individuals of Eldrian descent, some of whom have been living in the area since the collapse of the Eldrian Empire, while others have arrived more recently. Of the southerners, southern dwarves, Shaobon humans, and pumkin are the largest groups.

It most famous inhabitants of course are the undead. Due to the unnatural energies of Eldr, the spirits of the dead, as well as sometimes reanimated corpses, periodically appear in the region, sometimes in large numbers. Many of these beings are obvious to the fact they are dead, and are often unable to perceive the living, or even other undead. Others can and will interact with the region, sometimes hostilely. Sometimes more powerful undead creatures like vampires and liches are drawn to the region from elsewhere.

Religion:

Variants of the Nantic faith are most common here. Gods include; Gaelhalla (courtship, beauty, seduction), Wyrn (hunters, foresters), Gayin (commerce, mining), and Liik (primary god in region, ravens, death, afterlife, protection against the undead and other evils). Bands of fanatics of Grumm known as the Wolf-Kin have long troubled the region. Evil necromancers tend to worship demons like Lykian and Deadicorn.

Some of those of Eldrian descent follow southern gods like the Green Titan, though those of Shaobon descent usually follow animal spirit worship they brought with them from Shaobon.

Magic:

Despite being a former Eldrian province, Eldrian/Southern Magic is fairly rare here as most Eldrians trace their roots to former slaves, refugees and outlaws. But most Shaobon communities have Shamenmes (shamans) who can do minor healing magic and dispel curses.

Nantic spellcasters are also pretty rare, since the area is too poor to offer meaningful opportunities to skilled magic users. The main exception to this rule is necromancy. The dead are often restless in Unkor, and necromantic spells are more potent here, so it attracts those interested in necromantic experimentation or who simply want to get the most out of their magic. Such individuals are often versed in other forms of magic as well.

Due to the presence of so many necromancers, anti-necromancy organizations like the Briar Ravens and other Liik worshippers are common in the region. Such individuals are typically skilled at dispelling magic, among other abilities.

Military:

Unkor doesn't really have a military. Lacking a central government, each village has its own militia that defends itself the best it can. Despite the region's cursed reputation, not much actually happens here most of the time other than the occasional restless dead, dark fey, or Eldrian monster causing problems. However, when problems do occur, it is often on a larger scale than the militias can handle, and people hide rather than fight.

During bad periods, necromancers and other evil spellcasters often attract followers and become warlords due to their ability to handle undead, fey, and Eldrian monsters more effectively than others.

History:

The name Unkor comes from the name of a pre-Nantic nation inhabited by proto-Nantic humans. It was part of the Nantic Empire at its peak, but later became part of the Eldrian Empire at its own peak. When the Eldrian Empire destroyed itself close to 400 years ago, reality was damaged in the surrounding areas, and in the case of the Unkor region, lead to a thinning in the walls between our world and the realms of the dead.

Although no one really wanted it anymore, the Nantic Empire reclaimed the region following the collapse of the Eldrian Empire, and it was later inherited by Alkor. When Harlbourg rebelled, Unkor, like Hoogivs, stayed neutral, mostly since no one cared about it enough to try to occupy it.

Economy:

Most of the inhabitants are simple farming folk, but the lands are much less fertile than they should be, and most struggle to feed themselves in bad years. Most of the inhabitants are just to stubborn to leave though, while others have no where else to go.

However, for the truly fearless and/or unethical, reasonable money can be made serving necromancers, looting old Eldrian ruins, or even trying to enter Eldr itself.

Persquaria[edit]

Bunch of nutjobs obsessed with squares, to the point of fighting wars to try to make their borders perfectly square, and molding their skulls to be square-ish. Mostly Nantic humans, but others of their kind have essentially disowned them. Historically and culturally they have more in common with the South

Persquaria is realm of perfect order, even its borders have perfect square shape. Well almost, because if there is order, there must be chaos. And chaos of ELDR prohibits Persquarians from ever achieving their ideal shape for extended preiod of time.

The opening of eldr is a big festival in persquaria where folks gather on the eldr border to celebrate the perfection. Even though it is of short time, it is the biggest holiday in that country and even King Kubius the squarest attends this fest. It is a dangerous tradition as the monsters from the Eldr slay thousands of civilians everytime. Those are considered martyrs for the greater cause.

The Eternal war for the bottom right corner of Persquaria has been ragin for almost 15 generations.

The Fairy Lands (Soulwood, Tavern Woods, Halem, Fluffwood, Wolf-Kin Band)[edit]

Wolf-Kin Band:

Hardcore worshippers of the wolf god Grumm. They wander the Northern Wastes and Tavern Woods stirring up trouble. Nantic humans, but consider themselves to be part wolf (incorrectly).

The Tavern Woods: No-man's land home to isolated taverns and communities catering to travelers. Home to a small nation of magic snakes who sell their venom at a certain tavern. Mostly Nantic humans.

Halem: On the north coast (between Fluffwood and Harlbourg) lie a people who everyone calls gepids who State is called Halem. They aren't humans but have the same back structure, they are very reclusive and don't usually interact with visitors, some wear bodysuits that cover up all their fitters to seem less hostile to humans, but there true from is one of squid-like, with hair and legs replaced by tentacles with sometimes the occurrences of eyes on their head. they don't really fight wars but when someone invades there usually completely destroyed but not by killing them but by causing such fear with scar tactics and illusion magic that only after a few casualties whole armies run. usually, no one is killed and the injured are return. they are peaceful people and they want it to stay that way.

Fluffwood: Home to evil fey creatures, though some of them are kind of cute. Basically weird fairy tale stuff plus giant corgis.

Within the endless forests of Fluffwood and other such places, one can find the Fairy Elves and their giant corgi mounts. Although they appear harmless, they are actually famous for brutally torturing trespassers and leaving their writhing bodies bound to trees at the edges of their territory. They also sometimes mount raids on neighboring communities in order to capture slaves to sell to the hags for magical experimentation. Attempts to launch reprisals against them have almost always failed due to their high mobility within the dense forests, and ability to flee back to Fairy Land (aka the Third Layer of Hell) via hidden magic portals.

Soulwood:

South of the Tavern Woods, spread a vast and convoluted series of great trees and a gentle sunlight shining through the canopy. Would be travelers typically find themselves right where they started to their immense confusion and irritation, however this is more than just bad tracking skills as the forest has a primitive intelligence to it and seeks to repel intruders. When a particularly skilled tracker or force of warriors enter they may be able to bypass this primary boundary, however this is merely the first of many defenses as the forest twists and weaves itself to impede these beings and should they still have the resolve to pass through the path they started on they will encounter the forest's children, the ents. Being a slow-witted and tranquil race the ents merely seek to wander about as they discover new trees to grant sentience in the manner they have been uplifted. A delicate ritual is undertaken to coax out the spirit in the tree and imbue the spirit with a magical core allowing it to move around like a mortal being would. These rituals are undertaken by the ents mages, elderly trees with great wooden harps that they play. These harps form the primary source of ent spells alongside a crude form of healing magic and this auditory magic serves as a means to entrance and command the many creatures of the forest alongside controlling the very earth itself. These spiritsingers, as they are called by the other ents can perform tasks like making a seed become a tree in a day with their talents leading to them becoming respected elders among the treekin. Occasionally an ent seeks to explore and find another forest to give life to in the manner that the soulwood is, embarking on a generation long voyage to find a suitable home and another generation to begin the process of granting sentience. This immense slowness means the ents are a reclusive people, knowing that direct confrontation will end in doom. This had led to a general separation from the outside world.

Military:

The ents lack any kind of military, rather relying on diplomacy and gifts such as the many wooden crafts they can create to convince outsiders to stay away. However each ent possess great strength, being a living tree and when put in a situation between life and death they will crash around bringing devastation to the troops around them. The primary of these instances is where their high prophet organized a group of warriors who assaulted some wolf-kin attempting to use the trees in their land for fuel. Alongside this they commonly dispute with the people of the tavern woods over their usage of trees, however these instances are sporadic and they are typically placid beings.

People:

The Fairy Lands are home to a wide range of fey creatures, though the ents, gepids, hags, and fairy elves dominate their respective sections of the forest. Other inhabitants include harpies, red caps, goblins, ogres, satyrs, dryads, lepre-khans, as well as a wide range of other fey that defy easy classification.

Nantic humans can also be found in the area. Scattered hamlets, taverns, and trade outposts can be found in the so-called Tavern Woods, while fanatical worshippers of Grumm known as the wolf-kin roam the deeper parts of forests.

Religion:

Each race of fey seems to have its own set of gods they worship, who are generally more powerful versions of themselves. Many dark fey also worship demons, particularly Deadicorn, Grumm, and Wyrna.

Humans usually follow certain gods within the Nantic pantheon, particularly; Gaelhalla (courtship, beauty), Wyrn (hunters, foresters), Gayin (commerce), and Liik (protection against the undead and other evils). Bands of fanatics of Grumm known as the Wolf-Kin have long troubled the region.

Magic:

Fey races all have their own forms of innate magic, though the specific abilities and strength of said abilities vary greatly by individual. Some fey like hags and harpies also learn the magic traditions of human races like demon binding and alchemy.

The humans in the area with magical potential have few opportunities to develop it unless they are luckily enough to live near some magically skilled hermit. However, the hags of Fluffwood sometimes take on human students, for a price...

History:

The fey are believed to be among the first intelligent beings to arrive on this world, entering via portals from one of several "fairy worlds", alternate dimensions where magic is common and everything is a bit brighter and stranger. Communities formed anywhere where the barriers between worlds is thin, but over the centuries, most of the communities were swept away by more organized races like the Ogrillons, Sartyrians, and various human empires.

The Fairy Lands are one of those few areas where the barriers between worlds is so thin that portals are everywhere, and eradicating the fey is impossible. Instead, the Nantic Empire, Alkorians, etc., grudgingly left the area alone.

During the time of the Nantic Empire, a heavily guarded road was cut through the Fairy Lands with brute force to connect the central and eastern sections of the Nantic Empire, however, with the collapse of the Nantic Empire, the road was largely abandoned, and its many forts, inns, and other rest stops left to rot. Only the western portions of the road were partially maintained, and are now the so-called "Tavern Woods", where hunters and frontiersmen live in isolated homesteads, and sometimes earn a bit of income trading rare alchemic materials.

Economy:

The inhabitants of the Fairy Lands are very self sufficient. The only trading that occurs is generally done in the Tavern Woods.

Military:

There are no standing armies in the Fairy Lands, but the inhabitants are more than capable of looking out for themselves. Skirmishes are not uncommon. The inhabitants of Fluffwood raid their neighbors relentlessly, looking for fresh meat for their twisted games and experiments. The Wolf-Kin are also very belligerent to anyone who crosses their path. Skirmishes sometimes break out between the ents and the inhabitants of the Tavern Woods over logging, and the gepids sometimes drive out pirates trying to establish lairs on their coasts.

Miscellaneous:

It is known that the fey of Fluffwood enchant the normally harmless fungi of the forests to horribly disfigure their captured victims, but on rare occasions this ends up backfiring.

You see, the fungus is transfigured to pierce the skin of people in horrifically painful manners, and puncture its victims vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and brain. But the fungus can sometimes assimilate these organs instead. This would still kill the person, but leaves the body intact and slowly connects its nerve system with the fungus. As this transformation reaches its completion, much of the altered body regains motor functions under the fungus control.

To the fey these bodies look like nothing but zombies, shambling corpses barley capable of standing up right. But this couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, this is a facade. Since the brain tends to be intact most fungi end up becoming sapient and gain the memories of their former victims: Their hopes, their dreams, the friends and enemies they made during their magnificent adventures and so much more. But they especially gain the memories of their victim's horrifying death, and the fey carelessly laughing as if the innocent life they just ended was just some children's toy. Nowadays the fungal men work in secrecy to sabotage the fey's attempts at kidnapping and raiding innocent people.

Fleshmolders and Gullet Pirates[edit]

Sadistic fucks terrorizing the lawless northern provinces of Nantes. Specialize in molding living beings into horrible creations.

>To the north there lives a cruel lord >He can shape flesh like putty >Has turned most of the local villages into optimized, perfect abominations >This small hamlet's approach is expanding south. Lesser nobility are taking up his craft.

Soon the village of Viké tried to imitate this craft. They started chopping up their animals into unrecognizable parts and let the local artisans remodel them as they wish. Since they only do this for the shits and giggles, the abominations get released and now roam the countryside as peaceful animals. Travellers mistake them for unholy monsters and try to kill the chimeras.

To the east of the fleshmolders is the Pirates Haven of Gullet. they are defacto vessels of the fleshmolders and work for them in the collection of the bodies for their experiments. they have raided as fair as the San'brag and are universally hated but are too dangerous to attack because of the Fleshmolders armies that will work with the pirates in defense of the region. they commonly get mutation and body ungrades from the Fleshmolder in exchange for bodies with living ones being worth a lot more, but they also take money. they do not raid their close neighbors simply to not draw their ire but they hate Alkor for multiple attempts invasions that all failed and so they raid them with glee.

High Magitek[edit]

Weird ruin. Former alien colony, though no one realizes this.

On the isle that sits in the great bay north of the Republic of Nantes and the Kingdom of Yr...there is no nation, but the remnants of a great work of the empire that Nantes is the last active remnant of.

The Ruins of High Magitek is a dangerous island where ancient wonders still roam amid deep running corridors and maligned intelligences from experiments from the old empire that sleep and wake at the peril of those who would venture to this island to claim its bounty of material or technology.

Some say the isle fell to ruin because of experiments binding fey or fiends into their machines of iron and mage metals...

Others say it was because of a spire antenna of orihalcum with a pure selenium core meant to open a gateway to a distant star that let...something through.

All I know is, I can get ten Republic Crown coins a head for ferrying people over there for the risk. Don't often have to bring'em back neither.

The inhabitants ironically never didn't die, they packed up and left to their homeworld as the island was meant as a colony project that unfortunately had its funding cut. If one were to go deep into the island itself, you might be able to 'phone them home'.


High Magitek is a strange place, filled with gigantic structures, moving ruins and types of magic that no mage has ever encountered before. Yet, there is no sign of any residents despite there being clear signs of habitation. This has led many to explore the island only to never return. The people of Autia fear those men had met whatever killed the natives.

However, the people of High Magitek (or "Colony FB7" as they call it) never actually died. They simply left back to their homeworld in the Andromeda galaxy after the Tesseract Corporation cut their funding. Their research on the several magical crystals present on the planet was already as good as completed anyway, so there wasn't really any reason to stay. After activating the Rocket Factory they took to the stars and flew back home to sip synthetic martinis on a hoverchair. However, they forgot to send back a drone to deactivate the four maintenance AIs and pack up the rest of the structure. Thus for the next few millennium the colony remains to this day relatively unchanged.

As for the adventurers that entered this place and disappeared, many went to explore the Rocket Factory as it is the biggest structure on the island. Here many would inevitably climb into one of the metal towers inside, curiously press the big red button labeled "launch" and involuntary take to the skies.

Aesanaeria[edit]

People:

A large though largely empty nation, Aesanaeria is mostly home to humans of the Sorgos ethnic group (Mediterranean), but orcs and half-orcs are not uncommon.

Religion:

The Aesanaerians traditionally worshipped a mix of Nantic and Southern gods, though worship of the Brass Lord has become increasingly common instead. A powerful demon who the Aesanaerians allied themselves with to break free from the Nantic Empire centuries ago, the Brass Lord taught them the secrets of demon binding, dark aether channeling, and enchantment magic, knowing the such magic would gradually corrupt the Aesanaerian people.

Magic:

The Aesanaerians once used a mix of Nantic and Southern magic, but these days most magic users are followers of the Brass Lord. Such mages spend most of their time creating so called Brass Knights, a strange caste of warriors that wear armor and carry weapons composed of fluted brass tubes. The equipment of a Brass Knight gives it exceptional durability, and the ability to launch "sound attacks" by manipulating the aether to smash their opponents with raw aethetic energy. Unfortunately, such armor also removes most of the free will of the user, and the demonic energy infused into the armor gradually corrupts the form of the user.

Military:

Aside from the famous Brass Knights, the Aesanaerians prefer light, mobile skirmishers that travel around on large warthogs, and fight with javelins and bows. Clothing is minimal to show of scars and body paint, as well as avoid over exerting themselves in the dry deserts and grasslands, though many warriors wear masks. Followers of the Brass Lord almost always wear brass masks, but others wear more traditional masks of wood or leather. They also frequently make use of orc mercenaries, particularly those of Orkistan.

History:

Like other Sorgos peoples found in the western portion of the continent, the Aesanaerians were dominated by the Nantic Empire, but later broke free. Since then they have become increasingly under the influence of the Brass God, who has convinced them to ally with the Alkor in order to focus their resources on wars with Sneed and the Taur Tribes.

Economy:

Aesanaeria doesn't have much of an economy. A barren region of mountains, desert, and grasslands, most of the inhabitants live in wandering tribes that survive by ranching and foraging. However, there are a few towns and cities dedicated to supporting the larger of the mines, supplying trade routes, or worshipping the Brass Lord.

The Hordes of Swabonze[edit]

The hords of swabonze are a religious group of plunderes and mercenaries who follow the code of swabonze. Swabonze ones was a prophet who promised his followers liberation from the problemes of sedentary society like class struggle or a wealth gap by returning to lifestyle of a hunter and gatherer. To be able to survive that life he advocaded for strengthening ones body and getting rid of thing that weakend one, like alcohol or overreliance on tools. After his death his ideals quickly became warped in a dark way. Because most land was already claimed by sedentary societies, which was always expanding which meant claming more land, the original message of getting rid of weaknesses became about getting rid of the weak and not the weaknesses you as a person have. Sedentary society was seen as inherently weak which made them their main target. To liberated the people who live in a Sedentary society they began raiding villiages. As they only wanted the strong to survive they forced everyone in the villiage which they were raiding to bring them 2 heads. The people of the villiage thus became stained in blood if they wanted to survive which broke main of them. As the murderes they where forced to become they didn't have a role in normal society which forced them to join swabonze. The group leaders also added drugs to everybodys food which made them even more aggressive and less . This continued for a long time, but as they began to run out of villiages to plunder they faced food shortages. They tried to raid cities but because of their lack of siege tools they failed. Instead they began to work for the cities for food. Nowdays the are split into 2 factions. Those who wish to became mercenaries and those who want to continue their crusaed against Sedentary society.

They don't have a Territory, as they are constantly on the move, always looking for villiages to plunder or work. Currently they are operating near the free city states of harlborg. They have a rang of influence around them in which they can strike. If it's only to plunder a small villiage a small group will split form the main group and do just that. Those who don't return after 4 days are to be killed on sight. There group is organized into 4 subgroups. The freshborn are those which only have recently joined. They are only armed with rocks and sticks. There food is poised with the most drugs to quickly turn them into people without morales besides survivale of the fittest. If they have gathered 10 heads they become reborn. The reborn are allowed to possess swords as they have proven that they are capable of survivale even without tools to relay on. There food has less druges as they have already mostly lost their sense of right and wrong completly. They are allowed to command freshborn which are forced to follow their orders or risk getting killed. To become a member of the blooedborn a reborn has to either present 50 heads or kill a bloodborn in a fiar fight. The bloodbron are allowed to carry any weapon and armor. They aren't allowed to command reborn or freshborn as the they serve the scourge of swabonze directly. They are more of an elite group of guards than actual soldiers. The ensure their loyalty their food is posied with a lot of drugs making them nearly breainded and which leads to a quick death most of the times if they stop taking the drugs.To become part of the scourge of swabonze they have to stop taking drugs and overcome their addiction which most often ends in death. The scourge of swabonze are the rulers of the horde. They know how to produce the drugs, command everyone else and decided where to move next. Around 50% are Freshborn, 40% are reborn, 7% are bloodborn and 3% are part of the scourge.

The East (Continent of Autia)[edit]

Regional History[edit]

The Jinsan Empire[edit]

The Jinsan Empire was once the entire Eastern coast of the continet, even reaching down through Napan, the Shahdom and into the Bridge isles, once the seat of the Heavenly dynasty of Haise, they were known for their mastery of air magic which allowed for the creation of incredible fighting styles.

Originally conquered by the first Empress Jinsan Haise, a native Dragon woman from Napan who's army size was only matched by her Harem's size, she had many children and unfortunately forgot to decide a successor leading to the unification wars, a series of wars that would take nearly five generations to complete, ending only when the three remaining factions (The Seijin, Miejin, and Ohjin) joined forces to create the Iron Crown wall to keep the invading Nantic's out, leading to the creation of the Haise Triumverate, with each leader: Sosun Haise (Seijin), Gin Haise (Meijin) and Haruhi Haise (Ohjin) joining forces to keep the land safe and unified. This however did not sit well with the deposed leader, then retainer of the Ohjin Kagayun Haise, who decided to leave to the Shahdom and begin plans for the Shadow war, the shadow war itself was a series of assassination attempts, subterfuge and discreditation that lead to the deaths of Sosun and Gin alongside their families, leading to Haruhi assuming the throne, only to be called out for killing her fellow rulers, leading to the people of those nations to raid the Ohjin palace while Kagayun safely seceded from the Jinsan Empire to form the Shahdom, the ensuing Revolution lead to the loss of Napan and the Bridge Isles as well until finally ending with the death of the last of the Haise's dynasty line, leading to another unification war that was only stopped by the creation of the 'The Unified Pact'.

'The Unified Pact' was a coalition of powerful warlords who simply wished to stop the loss of life, and to do this, they took a Seven step plan: .The first step was to destroy the opposition through military or subterfuge .The second step would be to then create a unified government, involving members from all conquered lands in a minority while the conquering lands would be in a majority .The third step would be the disavowing of magic and warfare (At least openly) as a whole so as to avoid further conflict .The fourth step would be to enact a eugenics plan among the surviving warlords to create the perfect mage . The Sixth would be the inevitable destruction of the Iron Crown and the creation of puppet states on the Western Continent .The Seventh step would be simply conquering the continent through various means The plan was agreed upon by all remaning warlords and was codified as 'The way forward' a secret tome that is only to be read by Union state leaders after showing their loyalty to the union, and with that, the Haise empire fell, and in it's place, the Union had emerged

Miscellaneous Races[edit]

In the east of Autia, there exists a relative of the Ogre clans, though some may not realize that is what they are. Known by the people of Napan as Oni, they are vile and solitary creatures. The product of isolated and desperate remnants of the ogre-kind, they prey on livestock and humans alike. They are of a foul cunning, but what kind of intelligence they truly posses is not certain. Any being that has managed to communicate with one has never lived to tell the tale.

They are believed to be rare, or perhaps they avoid larger human habitations. They are said to have been nearly exterminated within the Union, with any survivors having fled into the Iron Crown mountains, though it is hard to say for certain that none still exist there. Some tribes of the Rig'nood claim to have killed some of monsters when they have wandered down into their lands, but this has yet to be thoroughly verified.

Origin:

The Oni were once members of the Orgrillon race. In far ancient days, the Ogre kind was capable of wielding magic at a comparable rate to any other people. Throughout the ages, as the Orgrillon culture developed and advanced they began to value physical strength and the power of the machine that was their military might. In contrast to this, those of magic potential would often push their people in other directions and pursuits. While still prideful, they saw less value in the hierarchy of the legions and militarizing nature of their wider culture. As time passed, the rift between warrior and sorcerer grew, and it was the warriors that were elevating their people to the heights of their glory. Eventually, those of magic were maligned. What value was there in weaker and less courageous individuals wielding such a disproportionate power that magic offered? They were shunned, outcast, and at times killed for supposed treachery. To this day the Orgrillons still hold the use of magic as taboo. Not all those of magical affinity were destroyed. Many found a home on the fringes of the their empire, far to the east of Autia and even beyond their borders. Here they eakes out simple lives away from the strict codes and laws of their people.

When the calamitous war with the Sartyrians erupted, many of the ogre kind were swept aside and their great fortresses toppled in a cruel foreboding for what awaited their entire empire. Those that were not pushed back north were usually killed, often times hunted. Those that remained survived through tenacity or guile. While the group that would become the Ogres clustered in family groups and hid in dense swamps, others were not able to find security so easily.

In the east, nearly all of the Ogre-kind either fell in battle or were exterminated outright. Only the few that still possessed and practised the magical arts were able to survive. These individuals were, even at this time, few in number and the crumbling of their society scattered them. From desperation, these wielders of sorcery turned their power inwards, infusing their very bodies with magical essence and at times even sustaining themselves with it.

Over the centuries, this changed them in both body and mind. Cruel and reclusive, the Oni are nearly monsters to all who behold them. They are carnivorous, and will eat any living creature they can get their hands on, with a strong draw to wielders of magic for it provides energy to them far beyond what any flesh ever could. They are also drawn to physical locations of power, feeling the arcane energies in the air like a shark drawn to blood. They will often choose to inhabit such places, for they offer them a steady source of the magic they crave. While no longer casters of grand or ornate spells, they have an innate affinity for and resistance to magic, with weaker spells simply sizzling on their skin or even seemingly empowering them outright.

These are solitary beings. Rarely coming together in groups of more than two or three. Their fight for survival has made them distrustful and greedy. They are no less intelligent then their Orgrillon ancestors, but are possessed with a malicious nature. They have a reputation for setting traps for weary travelers, and at times hunting casters for days at a time without rest. In desperate times they may even devour each other. Those who live in eastern Autia may go a lifetime without encountering one, but they are well known and regarded with fearful revulsion.

The Union and Its Breakaway States[edit]

Weird fusion of grimderp Medieval Europe and North Korea. Strangely, people keep trying to leave it.

The Union[edit]

Has a rigid racial caste system with Nantic peoples as mage hunters and priests, Cored peoples (Chinese/Korean) as scholars and bureaucrats, and goblins as slaves. Nobles and peasants can be either Nantic or Cored, but are restricted to their respective provinces. Officially rejects use of magic, and aggressively hunts unsanctioned magic users, but secretly the elites are very adept at it. For the most part looks like an impoverished medieval dump, but the ruling class lives in sinister, but well decorated palaces.

General:

Out in the East is a Nation known as The Union. A state made up of 7 previously independent nations merged as a result of their collective hatred of magic. They are militaristic and well renown as mercenaries to hunt rogue wizards and any other magical being.

This is of-course a propaganda piece as, they are manipulated from the top down, by their hypocritical leaders, who push their extreme rhetoric to deceive people into giving up their magic veins so the leaders could sew the veins into themselves.

People:

The Union is home to Nantic humans in the northern states, and Cored humans in the southern states. Assorted monster races can be found dwelling in the more remote areas, particularly goblins, who are also sometimes used as slaves by The Union.

Religion:

In ancient times The Union worshipped a mix of Nantic faiths, Carastion, Southern gods, and a wide range of animal spirits. In modern times, faith in the gods is highly discouraged, and instead people are expected to idolize living and historic heroes of The Union.

Magic:

The elimination of magic-users is one of the founding principles of The Union, therefore they are quite rare here. However, in secret, many members of the ruling class are powerful magic users. Several competing organizations of witch hunters hunt mages (as well as political dissidents) ruthlessly.

The most infamous group of mercenary witch hunters from union is called "Burning crosses". This name is derived from their tradition of crucifying captured mages, and then placing cross with their body still on on burning stake. Because of crucifixion victims can't scream, and so whole process is called silent cleansing. Their fanaticism caused even union leadership to consider them too rabid to keep at home, so they are permanently hired off to highest bidders abroad.

Military:

The Union is rather notorious for its wasteful methods of warfare. Due to its relative stability and the protection afforded to it by the Iron Crown, The Union does not maintain a large standing army, but when needed, it will conscript large sections of its population to create an expendable hordes. The best equipped soldiers are members of the elite Dragon Guard, who use cutting edge equipment like zeppelins, primitive gatling guns, and large caliber rifles. They are generally seen as too valuable for front line duty, and instead do important tasks like escorting nobles or gunning down conscript hordes that try to flee the battlefield. Below them are the standing army, whose appearance varies by province, but whose equipment consistently includes flintlocks, swords, clubs, and cannons. Below them are the conscripts and peasant levies, who fight with spears, bows, fire lances, hwacha, and sometimes crude, unreliable muskets. Unlike many nations, the Union still makes frequent use of heavy armor.

Being a military nation at heart, not to mention one that shuns the use of the arcane, the generals and nobility of the Union have invested much time into developing tactics and equipment to counter magically-inclined enemies. The soldiers of the Union are famous for their use of heavy armor and firearms, with perhaps their most famous technological endeavor being the firelance, a particularly potent combination of a polearm and a rifle that allows for effective combat at close to medium ranges. Even more feared are the experimental firearms given to the Union's elite anti-mage units. While extraordinarily powerful, even the smallest mishap in the firing mechanism can cause such a weapon to violently detonate, incinerating its user. It is common practice for the obliteration of these unfortunate souls to be reported as magical in nature, adding yet more fuel to the Union's technology-focused dogma.

To make up for their lack of ranged magic, the Union has also invested heavily into artillery. The most heavily employed of these is the Hwacha, touted by Union officials as a "two-man archer regiment." The Hwacha uses gunpowder charges to propel arrows a great distance, after which a pyrrhic point it bursts in the air, raining fire down on those caught below. Due to the spectacular visuals of such a weapon, many Union footmen believe it to be near-divine proof of the superiority of technology over magic, and it is a common affair to hear calls for "scorching rain" on a Union battlefield.

History:

Formerly the core of the Jinsan Empire, The Union was formed following the collapse of the Jinsan, by a coalition of warlords who wanted to end the pointless fighting (and secretly to one day rule the world). Since its formation, it likes to present itself as a peaceful nation, but it has gotten in frequent minor wars with neighboring states, local rebellions, and separatist colonies. It is usually considered one of the strongest nations on the planet, but has yet to prove it can fight frequent major wars the same way that Belkan, Ercaenmedi, or Alkor can.

Economy:

The Union has a large population thanks to its vast swathes of fertile land, however, the nation is generally considered to be a poor one due to overcrowding and an underdeveloped industrial base hobbled by nepotism and conservative thinking.

Freedom Coalition[edit]

Unstable alliance of rebel groups that have embraced the use of magic. The livelihoods of common folk are still pretty shit here, but at least the magic users are having fun, when they aren't accidently blowing themselves up.

The Freedom Coalition is a rogue territory of the Union controled by rebels who have discovered a way to pool their magic veins together to form magical gestalts powerful enough to protect themselves from the Union.

True "Free Men" are considerably more free and happy than the inhabitants of the Union but they often force the locals to become magical conscripts not faring much better than before.

Union Puppet[edit]

Basically the same as the Freedom Coalition, but secretly still ruled by The Union to justify continued oppression.

The Union Puppet, is an enemy state that is used to give the people of the Union a false enemy to beat, but never make any real ground.

The Iron Crown[edit]

Iron clad mountains with a massive iron wall on either side. Some Buddhist-style monks live here, who are naturally very good at martial arts. Basically uber-Tibet.

The Iron Crown is two walls of Magic Iron with Mountains covered in iron between them. Made by the leaders of the Union, to prevent real countries who can use magic properly from breaking their strange hold over their people. Of course the story from the Union, is that the people built it without magic and iron can stop magic.

The Iron Crown isn't entirely barren, there are small enclaves of monks who eek out an existence there, finding cracks in the iron and setting up temples. They have pledged themselves to an ascetic life of discipline and hard work, which they say leads to ultimate life satisfaction. They spend most of their time training and tending to the grounds of their temples.

Due to repeated efforts by The Union, these temples are frequently burned down and re-built or re-located. The history is found in the lineage of the monks, some of whom are families that have been in the order for generations upon generations. They are largely populated by people who have fled The Union, but some come to learn the martial arts and tactics that have been forged in the crucible of constant battles done with the Union military.

The history is wrought with political turmoil. Sometimes, as it is currently the case, the Union will throw whatever spare forces they have at the monks in an attempt to wipe them out and prevent a future rebellion. At other points the monks have been invited into the Union as culturally significant and important parts of the country to be celebrated. At one point they became an anti-magic enforcement arm and developed non-magical techniques that could effectively combat magic users. While they are no longer a part of the anti-magic arm, the methods they developed are still taught and trained in many temples.

These monks are effective warriors, fearsome hand to hand combatants, and meticulous housekeepers. If you could convince one to leave the temple and work for you he would be the ideal butler/bodyguard. But first you have to figure out what someone who has sworn off material pleasures could possibly want that you could give?

The Unravelers[edit]

An extreme version of the Freedom Coalition that left the region entirely and moved to the south of the continent. Practice any and all forms of magic with no sense of ethics. Basically all your mad scientist tropes wrapped into one nation.

Contrary to the Union there is a small community on the southernmost peninsula calling themselves "the Unravellers".

These people dedicate themselves to solving the mysteries of the world they live in. Mostly through magic, but every type of scholar is welcome.

Some say it's more of a magic cult. Because everything is legal, as long as it expands the Library, where all of the gained knowledge is stored. There are no Taboos, not even life itself is sacred.

It is said the alchemists managed to create Aether, which allows them to infuse their abominations with life.

Noone, except the highest of their members actually know it's a disgusting imitation. Natural life seeks to sustain itself, Aether on the other hand tries to end itself at every opportunity.

It is a very powerful combination together with mind control magic, that supresses the urge to suicide.

An[edit]

Vassal state set up by The Union to handle trade with outside nations. Ruled by elites from The Union, but most of the locals are still natives to the island.

The City of An is a client state of the Union and a sort of economic free zone used as a middleman between the mainland and the outside world.

Things are more relaxed here although the government is occasionally very brutal to ensure that the city stays in the control of the Union.

Is it the biggest trade hub east of the Iron Crown.

The Southeast Islands[edit]

Home to the Gravlind Peoples (mix of Central Asian, East Asian, and Native American), a collection of wildly different cultures bond by blood ties. Basically Edo Japan (with sentient animals) + Plains American Natives + Central Asians (specifically Sogdians)

Napan[edit]

Described as "populated by powerful beasts and their weak men" (though they do have human ninjas). Basically all your Japanese fantasy tropes wrapped into one nation with particular focus on anything that would appeal to furries and other such folk. Allied to the Shahdom and once supplied most of the navy for the alliance.

The mountainous island between the biggest island and the mainland. Is populated by Powerful Beasts and their weak men. The land is called Napan.

Legends tell of the beasts of Napan awakening their true selves, and gaining untold powers, by falling in love.

Many men have ventured to this land. Some to gain might, and others to find what they were missing.

The beasts vary wildly, generally large animals with mild departures from their normal counterparts. Napites are not a unified state, the cultures differ depending majorly on which beast tribe they serve. They spend most of their time working against clans that serve other beast tribes, and even clans with-in the same tribe might betray each-other to gain additional favour from their mistress and masters.

The ninja clans of Napan are a brutal society of assassins, but in the snowy winter months they volunteer their time as ski patrol and plowmen to clear the the roads of their beloved country for the benefit of civilian travel. Jobu, the Profane Beheader became a national hero when, on a particularly harsh year of blizzards, he took it upon himself to plow the imperial road free from one end of the country to the other in a scant three weeks of continuous marching until finally collapsing dead at the gate of the bustling port city Shimuzukuzimuze. A festival in that city is held every year in his name but there are also assassin themed gift shops year 'round run by the clans.

People:

The inhabitants of Napan are known as Napanese, a term which can refer to both the native humans, or the "spirit animals", a diverse race of shapeshifters that can take on many forms.

The native humans are a Jinsanic race, though they can be distinguished by the fact that they have finer features and paler skin then their closest neighbors, believed to be a sign that almost all of them have at least a bit of spirit blood in their veins. The people of Ercaenmedi are believed to be their closest relatives, though history does not record how the Ercaenmedians ended up so far from their homeland.

The spirit animals are believed by many to be a form of fey, through the Napanese don't distinguish between fey, demons, and dead souls, seeing all as spirit worlders. Each spirit animal has one humanoid form and one animal form they can switch between. The animal form sometimes just looks like an animal, but most are larger than their normal animal equivalent. Some humanoid forms can pass for human, but most retain animal feature, and in some cases only have the upper body (or much more rarely just the lower body) of a human. There are thousands of "breeds" of spirit animals, some of which have fewer than a dozen members, but there is never any risk of a breed dying out, spirit animals can mate with any other form of spirit animal, and sometimes one of the rarer breeds won't show up on the lineage again for generations. When a spirit animal mates with a human, the children are usually human, and the grandchildren almost always are, though some non-human traits may continue for generations.

Spirit animals aren't the only fey living in Napan, many others can also be found here like harpies, fey goblins, fey dragon breeds, nymphs, sprites, oni, and several forms of giant.

Napan attracts many immigrants and visitors, particularly from its neighbors and parts of the Nantic States.

Religion:

Napan has a complex religion with thousands of acknowledged gods and other powerful spirits, though some of the more powerful ones are recognizable as gods worshipped by outsiders. The most popular gods are; Go-Hana (mother goddess, love, lust, beauty, fertility, fashion, creation, music, magic, sex), Okamiokami (father god, self-reliance, self-improvement, trickery, rage, male seduction sex), Reinboyunikon (less evil version of Deadicorn, strength, dominance, ambition, power, freedom, dark magic, male virility, sex), and Hoippuredi (less evil version of Gogotha, pain, manipulation, female seduction, creativity, betrayal, loss, sex).

It is often noted that Go-Hana and Okamiokami are worshipped in a fairly similar manner to in Ercaenmedi, which is often seen as proof of the strong ties between these peoples.

It is also often noted that the top four gods in Napan (plus many of the minor ones) are in some way associated with sexual activity. Taboos are far more lax than in other parts of Autia, mostly thanks to the semi-animal nature of its dominant inhabitants.

Aside from the main gods, many in Napan see it as "cute" to choose obscure gods like Grumpypoo, Itch-Monger, or Ballsack and Sackball as their personal patron deity.

Magic:

The spirit animals all have innate magical powers, though some are more powerful than others. It is possible to expand these powers with training and academic study, though many don't bother. The Napanese humans also usually have high innate magical potential, and some can use powerful magic intuitively, though most require training. There are few types of magic that aren't practiced on Napan, though necromancy (except summoning non-corporal spirits), dark aether manipulation, mind control, reckless demonic magic, and flesh molding are all frowned upon.

Spirit animals typically have far more innate magical potential than Napanese humans, allowing them to fill a dominant role in Napaese society despite their lesser numbers.

The innate magical potential of Napanese spirit animals and humans decreases the further they get from Napan.

Military:

Napan's standing army is really nothing but a bunch of bureaucrats that enforce laws and recruit militias when needed. Powerful magic users and martial arts academies are always willing to due their patriotic duty when asked, though a lot of minor issues are dealt with by free-lance bounty hunters known as monster hunters instead.

The standing navy is more powerful, and handles the threat of external invasion. The wooden sailing ships of the Napanese may seem bulky, primitive, and overly ornamental, but they are heavy enchanted, and typically carry many powerful spell casters.

Martial arts academies teaching a wide range of martial traditions (of varying practicality) are common in Napan. Some, like the ninja clans and sword mages, have lots of battlefield potential, while others are used more to help focus emotions and improve physical condition.

Most militias have access to gunpowder weapons, but mastering such devices is seen as more of a necessity than a talent to be proud of.

Napan lacks an air force. Certain types of spirit animal (particularly those with a dragon form) are dangerous in the air, as are friendly harpy tribes and true dragons, though unfortunately all of these beings are notoriously fickle and risk adverse.

History:

Napan was once home to the capital of the Jinsan Empire, but lost its status as the Empire split into several warring factions. It split off to form its own independent state, but was drawn partially into the orbit of the Shahdom through a series of marriage alliances and treaties, becoming a so-called "Sister State". Although the Sister State system has largely collapsed in modern times, it still maintains close ties to the Shahdom and Rig'Nood due to linkages in the royal families in each of these nations.

For the most part, Napan is a fairly isolationist state, though it sometimes uses its navy to protect its "Sister States"; the Shahdom and Rig'Nood, such as during the disasterous Walker War when The Union, Alkor, and Kornheiseria ganged up on Rig'Nood and the Shahdom after a minor conflict between an Iron Crown monastry and a Rig'Nood tribe escalated.

Pirates based in the Bridge Islands sometimes raid the island, but it is generally rare for hostile powers to set foot here, aside from two failed invasions by the Union.

Economy:

Napan is a lush, magical nation where all the necessities of life are abundant. The spirit animals dominate politically and economically, and have a hierarchy based mostly on age, magical ability, and breed. Most spirit animal breeds can live for centuries, during which time many become skilled artisans, bureaucrats, performers, mages, politicians, and martial artists. High status spirit animals typically have large numbers of students, servants, and a harem of willing mates seeking wealth, power, knowledge, or who are genuinely infatuated. These hanger-ons are mostly humans, but some lesser spirit animals as well. Those who have learned sufficient skill from their masters often branch off to set up independent operations elsewhere, though it is rare for a human to achieve the level of mastery required to join the upper class. At the bottom of the social order are outcasts seen as too socially inept or ugly to become servants. But even these individuals usually live comfortably due to the charity of others and/or participating in the grey economy.

Napan is self-sufficient, but sometimes trades high quality luxury goods and enchanted gear for top end technology and foreign novelty items.

Shahdom of Gravlind[edit]

Based on the Sogdians, a Persian influenced Central Asian culture. Once ruled over much of the Southeast, but now limited to the main island, though has many alliances with the other nations and cultures.

Shahdom of Gravlind

Rig'Nood[edit]

Native Americans with horse motif, though actually terrified of hooved animals (and magic). Originally a vassal state of The Union, but got retconned to an ally of the Shahdom.

The fork at the southern edge of the Iron Crown is inhabited by the tribal Rig'noods. A people that used to live near the Taur Tribes and suffered greatly at hands of the hooved beasties. They eventually abandoned their home and moved east, choosing to live in the open land between the arms of Iron Crown out of their own innate fear of magic, believing it gave rise to the man-beasts of their ancient home.

They style themselves as hoof having creatures in an attempt to scare their opponents and children. Through Union has begun to take tribute from these people, which Rig'noods give graciously ad they believe the Unions Iron Crown is all that protects them from the magic and monsters of the wider world.


The Bridge Isles (Gib'Dunes, Bridge Tribes, Alprobes, Four Sisters Confederacy)[edit]

Gib'Dunes:

Native Americans with a seabird motif. Broke away from Rig'Nood to ally with Alkor.

The northern most island is inhabited by a splinter group of the Rig'Noods. They found it absurd to dress as hoof demons to terrify their own children and the occasional enemy.

They are known as the Gib'Dunes, and instead they dress like seabirds. They did not trust the Union to protect them and did not want to pay them tribute like the rest of the Rig'Nood tribes chose to do. They also decided the best place to live where hooved horrors couldn't hurt them was on an island. They now pay tribute to the enclave of the Alkor Empire to their south, which seemed like a superior arrangement to them for some reason.

They are less frightful than their mainland cousins and survive a bit more independently, they are not an uncommon site in the cities and lands of the southern oceans, being more willing to travel about in places with plenty of water between them and the mainland.

Bridge Tribes / Alprobes:

Pacific Islanders who hang out with Grey-type aliens and do piracy and voodoo and stuff occasionally.

Distant relatives to both those who live in the Shahdom and Napan, the Bridge Tribes claim to be the purest descendants of those who made the many bridges connecting the islands of this region. Living in small tribal fishing villages, the Bridge Tribes are deceptively primitive, but in fact are capable of powerful magic, particularly curses, divinations, and potentially overwhelming visual illusions.

For the most part, the Bridge Tribes mind their own business, but they sometimes engage in piracy via sleek catamarans and captured foreign vessels. Most raids target ships of Alkor, their hated enemies, but they have been known to raid as far east as Napan and as far west as Temple Isle. No body really likes them except for the strange, long fingered beings known as the Alprobes.

Four Sisters Confederacy:

More Pacific Islanders. Were once part of the Shahdom but broke away.

On the small islands on the southeast side of the continent lays the Four Sister Conderancy was the original sister state to the shahdom, but they rebelled against the Shahdoms control removing the sisterly connections of the states to it during the war. they diced to make new sisterly connections and form new ones with each other creating a confederacy base on mutual protection.

The state is made up of four allied states; Huma, Toga, Sola, and Grim. even do they broke away from the sister system but are still under the influence of the Shahdom. they are well known for their seamanship and boats which have navigating a whole continent. they do have special crafts of the islands but they more prefer to work as shipment believers.

People:

The dominant cultural group in the Bridge Isles are the Bridge Tribes, a branch of the Jinsanic racial group. Sometimes the term Bridge Tribes is used specifically to refer to tribes unaffiliated with Alkor or the Four Sisters, but usually it refers to the culture as a whole.

The so called "Colonists" are Bridge Tribers who settled in the ruins of the Eldrian Empire, but later gave up, settling first in Rig'Nood, then some returning to the Bridge Isles to create the nation of Gib'Dunes by conquering smaller tribes. Although closely related to the Bridge Tribes, they have a number of distinct cultural traits like their worship of Gull, and their strong aversion to Taurs and other Eldrian creations.

The term colonist can also refer to the Alkorians who have taken over much of the Bull'Limb Island and parts of Gib'Dunes, though the majority of people on Bull'Limb and Gib'Dunes are still Bridge Tribers.

The most rare and distinct beings living in the Bridge Isles are the Alprobes. A short race with long fingers, scrawny limbs, large heads and almond shaped eyes, they are unlike any other race found in the world, though the few who are unfortunate to have encountered both say there is some similarities with the underground dwelling mind flayers.

Religion:

A wide range of gods are worshipped in the Bridge Isles.

Tiki is the traditional god worshipped in the area, and still has many worshippers, particularly among the smaller, unaffiliated tribes. He is associated with creation, magic, and ocean weather. Figures similar to Tiki can be found in many of the oldest ruins, suggesting he has been worshipped in this area for a very long time. Various animal and nature spirits, and even some demons and undead spirits, are said to be servants of Tiki.

Some of the smaller tribes also worship the Alprobes as servants of Tiki, though most don't. Some tribes offer "sacrifices" to the Alprobes, though such individuals generally reappear weeks later, perfectly fine if a very shaken and disturbed.

Gull is the most prominent of Tiki's servants, and is associated with the freedom of the ocean. He is the patron of sailors, as well as the Gib'Dune peoples, who worship him as their main conduit to Tiki.

The Eldrian Gods; Primolt, Great Mother, and Green Titan, are worshipped by some in the Four Sisters and Gib'Dunes, though they are seen as distant, abstract gods.

The Alltimer is worshipped in some parts of Bull'Limb, the Four Sisters, and Gib'Dunes, but even though his followers try to keep a low profile, they still unpopular due to the belief that they will try to suppress other religions like back in the Shahdom.

Nantic colonists follow the Nantic pantheon, and some Bridge Tribers have converted too, though Alkor does not see missionary work as a priority.

Magic:

The magic used by the Bridge Tribes is usually known as voodoo by outsiders, though the term actually originated from the Fantel Islands. It is a powerful form of ritual magic that has many uses, including placing invisible curses on places or people, necromancy, demon binding, alchemy, divinations, enchantments, illusions, and weather magic.

Under the Sister System, the Shahdom tried to suppress the use of traditional magic, a source of irritation among the common folk which contributed to the departure from the Sister System of Bridge Tribe nations.

The Alprobes have a form of magic on their own known as mind magic which allows them to control the thoughts and emotions of others. They can also absorb memories, and wipe or reprogram minds with prolonged physical contact.

Military:

The Bridge Tribes rely on loosely organized tribal militias. In the case of the larger tribes/nations like Huma, Toga, Sola, Grim, and Gib'Dunes, a feudal type system is used where the rulers can call on each subtribe to supply militia to a larger national force. Traditional weapons of the tribes include spears, bows, clubs, and hooks, but many Bridge Tribes use modern weapons like muskets and swords when they can afford them.

Armor or heavy clothing is rarely worn due to the semi-tropical climate and need to frequently canoe between islands or wade through swamps.

Canoes and catamarans are the preferred naval vessels for raids, but many modern vessel can also be found among the Bridge Isles being used for merchant operations, piracy, and coastal defense.

Voodoo isn't really suited for direct confrontation, but when combined with the guerilla tactics preferred by the Bridge Tribes is in fact very dangerous.

There are no records of the alprobes fighting, or appearing in large numbers in one location at the same time. The three confusingly named "Gravlind - Alprobe Wars" were in fact between the navy of the Shahdom and Alkorian Naval Squadrons posted at Fort Alprobe.

Alkor has many forts and military garrisons among the Isles to protect its holdings. It frequently recruits Bridge Tribers into auxiliary military units, and such is their effectiveness that they are often posted to Alkorian colonies in the Fantel Islands and certain remote equatorial bases as well.

History:

Although typically considered a Jinsanic people, the Bridge Tribers claim to have been in the region far before neighboring Jinsanic cultures, and take credit for the many mysterious ruins in the region, including the massive bridges connecting the islands.

The whole region was absorbed into the Jinsan Empire, but broke off into a series of independent tribes followings its collapse. The Shahdom was eventually able to lure the five largest tribes (Huma, Toga, Sola, and Grim, known as the Four Sisters Confederacy, as well as the tribe of Bull'Limb) into their "Sister System" via marriage alliances and treaties. The Four Sisters later expanded onto the mainland, creating the nation of San'Barg in the ruins of the Eldrian Empire. However, before long, San'Barg was all but destroyed by the Taur Tribes and the refugees settled Rig'Nood, and later created Gib'Dunes by conquering weaker tribes.

Rig'Nood and Gib'Dunes joined the Sister System as independent states alongside the Four Sisters and Bull'Limb, but ties between the Bridge Isles and the Shahdom were always weak at best, and both the Four Sisters and Gib'Dunes formally separated after the Walker War seriously tarnished the reputation of the Shahdom, though Rig'Nood remained. Bull'Limb was outright annexed into the Alkor Empire.

Skirmishes between the Four Sisters Confederacy, Gib'Dunes, Rig'Nood, Alkor, and/or unaffiliated Bridge Tribes are not uncommon, with the Shahdom frequently backing Rig'Nood, and sometimes backing the Four Sisters in hopes they will rejoin the Sister System.

Economy:

Most Bridge Tribe inhabitants live simple lives as fishermen, farmers, and hunters. A number of cash crops like fruit and spices are grown in plantations, particular in the territories controlled by Alkor.

Another backbone of the local economy is salaries earned by Bridge Tribers who work as sailors. A number of shipping companies operate out of towns and small cities in the Bridge Tribes, and many other companies employ Bridge Tribers.

Of course, not all sailors are interested in fishing and shipping, piracy is also fairly common in the region.

The South (Continent of Autia)[edit]

Regional Religion[edit]

The southern cultures don't have a very unified religious tradition but still generally share three gods : Primolt, personification of the Aether and father of everything. Great Mother, personification of the ocean, daughter and wife of Primolt, mother of the first ancestors and the Green Titan. Green Titan, personification of the land and life.

They are rarely directly worshipped but exist in the creation myths of all southerners in some form.


Regional History[edit]

The Eldrian Empire[edit]

Basically the entire southern part of the continent that hasn't been claimed by Nantes or the Union, their main capital was in Eldr but the original Eldrians may have come from the ocean if the ruins out there are any indication.

They're your lost empire archetype, think Atlantis or Lemuria, beautiful and long-lived people with access to the original forms of magic, had very little ethics when it came to magic, leading to a series of poorly thought out creations including most magical creatures witnessed on the Continent, had a lot of political schisms that would lead to an eventual civil war after an attempted ban on 'World Magic' after the sinking of Berumas, an island to the South of the continent, this lead to the deployment of a World-Magic classed WMD being deployed on the main cities of Eldr, Rais (Now the Rust Desert), and Goswood (The Northern Wastes) the weapon lead to the destruction of the land through mystical radiation that warped all the land and those caught in it into new and often horrific forms, Eldr itself was eventually forced to be trapped inside the 'Widow's Veil' a magical shield that unfortunately killed off most who cast it and leaving the few survivors too mad to be classified even as sentient anymore, in order to stop the ambient magical radiation from leaking out and rendering it's evil upon the rest of the continent.

The destruction of Eldr lead to the release of many magical experiments who went on to create their own lands, the Pumkin Kingdom just below Eldr, the Taur Tribes to the South-west and even the Peace-emitting people's of Hoogivs are the main examples, it is theorised that the Theocracy of Alana, Persquaria, the Wizard Coast and the Unravellers were all descended from Eldrian mages, but little evidence has come forward to support this.

Regional Magic Practises[edit]

Magic in the South is a bit different from Nantic magic, generally being considered "arcanic thaumaturgy" in the academic classifiation of the Nantic mages (mostly because from their viewpoint this form of magic sort of use the Aether as if it was a god).

The key difference is that southern mages coax out the Aether into creating magical effects directly instead of forcibly manipulating its energy, a major advantage is more inherent power and needing a lot less of intellectual effort making spells unrealistically complex for Nandic magic possible but there are many cons like a much stepper learning curbe for fine control, a high level of unpredictability and a complete lack of metamagic like nandic aether manipulation because the Aerther can't manipulate itself.

Practice of southern magic is conceptual and ritual, generally involving a symbolic sacrifice to make the Aether itself "figure out" something appropriate, getting the Aether to really do what you want is the hard part and even the most talented southern mages often need to improvise with what they get.

Main southern schools of magic :

Alchemy : The main school in the Wizard Coast, the elaborate alchemical processes are actually just a complex way to ritually define what kinds of effects should a potion be granted by the Aether, the potions can be used for many things like healing, reinforcing materials or even doing some menial work without a workforce. Possibly the most reliable school but slow and time-intensive. Also surprisingly useless for magitech, to the disappointment of many Nantic mages.

Life Magic : Used everywhere but accidentally perfected in Sneed and main school of the Taur Tribes, is it the organic equivalent of Material Alteration (there is some overlap but most of biology is too complex to be used in Nandic magic) Includes shapeshifting, self-enhancement and body modification (can become hereditary changes if done by great masters), modified plants able to grow biological substitutes of most materials,etc... More or less potentially able to do anything wholly physical and not overtly supernatural but Life Magic like life itself is fuzzy, unpredictable and hard to constrain. Most of its greatest and worst feats are accidental, side-effects are a constant and the greatest life masters are merely talented with getting what they want with side-effects that they can live with or find uses for. Things created or altered by Life Magic tend to mutate over time (often developing a resistance against hostile life magic), even after a long period of apparent stability and are likely to find a way to self-replicate. Creating living servants is very useful but they have a nasty habit of growing smarter, both resistant to and talented at Life Magic over time, although the effect seems both weaker and more benign if they are not kept in captivity and to a lesser extent just treated well.

Oath Magic : The main school in the Kingdom of Luver and the basis of their social order. Can create "magical contracts" manifesting as very strong mental compulsions to fulfill and not break them, very powerful contracts can bind the descendants of the signatories. There isn't really an upper bound to what this magic can do but is it limited to pure psychological effects, doesn't enhance the willpower of those affected in anyway (someone bound to be a soldier will fight but may still be paralyzed by fear), fall short of true mind control, can't be used on the unwilling (although pressuring someone is possible) and all parties involved must be bound to fair duties and obligations towards each others (you can't bind someone to become your slave, but you can enter a somewhat idealized lord-vassal relationship with them). Also VERY vulnerable to creative interpretation of the contract and those with the dominant role in the relationship are still as bound as their subjects. Outside of Luver, this school of magic is generally used for roughly egalitarian short to mid-terms literal oaths and contracts, very rarely life-long superior and subordinate relationships. Has an unexplained side-effect of weakening the immune system of those actively using it and eventually cause a magic-resistant form of lymphoma with overuse.

Spirit Magic: A simple form of magic allowing the users to make the Aether create subservient short-lived pseudo-spirits. They are weak but can do a bit of everything, more experienced users can create more powerful specialized spirits and above all the school is easy to learn and incredibly cheap to practice, making it very popular with savage southern people such as the Taur Tribes and the Theocracy of Alana but also as a "lesser magic" for the poorer folks among the developed southern nations. Is it not uncommon for both groups to forget that these "spirits" are artificial and to confuse this school with a form of actual spirit summoning. Spirit Magic being associated with both lack of civilization and poverty means that it has quite a bit of unexplored potential.

Divination & Dream Magic : All southern people (even the Taur Tribes) have some individuals either able to have some insight in the most likely future a the time (very limited outside of a few true oracles and never true prediction of "fate") or to manipulate in some ways the dreams of others. Both have a lot of variation (some divinators just have a very good intuition, others can enter a trance state where they can see glimpses of the future,ect...some dream magicians can manipulate dreams while awake but a lot need to sleep too) and they never really improve once their talent manifests itself. Most Nandic scholars think that these two forms of magic interact with the Aether but otherwise are mostly biological quirks.

Dark Aether Channeling : The rarest main southern school of magic, only practiced by secretive and hated mages. The only way for southern mages to get something similar to Nantic Aether Manipulation is to channel a strange form of Aether in your own body, the most basic use of Dark Aether is in the form of destructive miasmas but the true power of the school is to corrupt magic, others and even the user himself. A dark mage can destroy or even subvert other forms of magic, weaken or mutilate enemies and exploit corruption for his own gain. The school is always corrupting but a good practionner can mostly sacifice others to get power or even corrupt himself in benefitial ways such as ravaging their own body with Dark Aether but increase how much they can store in themselves and slow their aging as a sort of lich. The major incovenients are that it's very hard for those using it to not corrupt themselves to the point that even the other schools they know are corrupted (that make them more destructive but much less capable overall) and most destroy or mutilate themselves sooner than later. Generally more potent the closer you are to the Eldr but also harder to control. The Theocracy of Alana may or may not have dark mages.

Sub-Regions of the South[edit]

Temple Isle[edit]

Babylonian/Sumerian theocracy ruled by mage-priests and a priest-king. Build fancy ziggurats and the whole society is geared towards their faith. Occasionally send raiders over seas for artifacts and captives. Large festivals periodically draw outsiders to the island with the intent that some will be converted or be forced to stay if they don't leave in time. Some warriors are periodically selected to pilgrim about the world for information, relics, and proselytizing. Likely distant relatives of the shahdom and other islanders.

Temple Isle

Pumkin[edit]

The Pumkin are an escaped magical experiment from the ancient Eldrian Empire that has built a kingdom of their own and spread moderately across the lands. They're a race of pumpkin-like flora beings that come in many sizes and shapes, but are commonly short and stout. Particularly tall and lean Pumkin are often but not necessarily put in important positions. Their reproductive methods is still a mystery to many races of Autia. Don't be fooled into thinking they're harmless, they're carnivorous and might happily attempt to eat anyone who wander into their territory. For some reason though, they find Elves strangely attractive and are significantly less likely to consider them food. There are a few places where Elves and Pumkin live in the same community in harmony.

They have a patron deity, Via, a minor goddess of plants, vegetables and seeds. When the Pumkin population grew to the extent that it threatened to overpopulate the world, Via made a deal with other deities; she'd control the Pumkin population, but in return they will be welcomed to the afterlife. Because they're guaranteed access to it, Pumkin will gleefully charge into combat, as they have no innate reason to fear the consequences of death.

The Pumkin Kingdom is ruled by the Pumking, a seemingly immortal and mighty Pumkin mage that regrows itself whenever its current body expires. It laments its immortality and consider it a curse, for it wishes to join the afterlife and join its brethren. Many of the Pumking's plots and schemes are made with the intention to find a way to achieve its final expiration and go to the afterlife it covets so much.

Anders City[edit]

Ander City is a southern city-state where the usual rule of spirit magic being despised by the developed southerners doesn't hold true. A spirit mage once created a much more powerful spirit than is usual, one able to eat other spirits to grow stronger and extend its short lifespan. Already more respected than normal, the Guild of Spirit Mages got much power thanks to the budding entity and evolved into the semi-hereditary noble-priests of the God of the City. The unusual spirit was quickly worshipped as a God by the inhabitants of the city and most of the local economy and magical scene now revolve around producing enough spirits to feed the city god in exchange of its "miracles". The city is powerful for its size but begin to have trouble feeding their evermore ravenous "God".

Desert of Rust[edit]

Morgov, The Defiler:

The Desert of Rust was once home of the city of Rais, which was in charge of a council of mages. Under these mages was Morgov, a very egocentric man yet respected by his intelligence and knowledge of the art of magic, seeking the best for Rais and it's people while at the same time trying to gain full control of the city for himself. It was this wizard, who caused a civil wear between him and his followers against those who still were loyal to Rais. Secretly study the art of necromancy for years, the fight against Morgov turned out to be difficult as he grew stronger and so the remaining wizards who fought him where only able to trap Morgov inside a tower, where he should stay for eternity, known as the Throne of Rust. The end of this brutal civil war however led to the cities downfall until only the tower was left. But with the wizards gone the spell around the tower start to weakened and soon, Morgov, kown in history as the Defiler, the Curse of Rais, will rise as a lichlord to finish his quest for power.

The Cult of Morgov (members often referred as Morgoviths), is a cult of mad driven necromancers or dark priests, dedicated to the lich Morgov who's they also refer as the dark god or the father of necromancy, even tough it is unknown if Morgov was the first ever lich or necromancer at all, yet he was known of being one of the most powerful, so that he was unable to destroy and had to be imprisoned to keep him at bay. The cult was found by a man called Marcus Revalt, a young wizard student who failed to absolved his goal in becoming a powerful wizard because of many other student being way more better then him. Devastatedand full of grief, he was an easy target to manipulate and he was even the first one who heard the call of the lich. The voice led him to the Desert of Rust, to the tower where he was ordered to built a cult in Morgov's name and spread his name and influence. Marcus started in small towns where he soon gained followers. Bigger nations however got notice of the cults activities in the regions and started to hunt down several hideouts and location they controled, leading Marcus to be captured and sentenced to death. The death of Marcus however wasn't the end of the cult, survivors and new members are hiding in the Desert of Rust, prepearing the day that there dark master will emerge from the Throne of Rust and lead the army of dead against the nations of Autia.

Brazilistan[edit]

Brazilistan is a nation of brown skinned dwarves directly bordering Sneed. Brazilistan is a poor nation, while most dwarves would establish strongholds and fortresses in the mountains and sell their services as miners to the human kingdoms, the dwarves of Brazilistan make their livings in the magic tainted wastelands and forests of the South. Dwarves for the most part resemble shorter versions of humans except hardier and more resistant to the elements, the Brazilistanians live in conditions that would make a regular Man turn blue which is the secret of their success. The Dwarves of Brazilistan make their livings slaying magical beasts and harvesting alchemical components from some of the deadliest sources on the planet, and subsequently selling them to the Human nations for astronomically high prices. Due to this trade the Brazilistanians have remained fairly neutral with their army mainly used to fill rebels full of spears and police the population with the Dwarf nobles or "Senators " as they call themselves collecting and redistributing the nation's wealth leading to great inequality in the nation and constant riots. The King or "President " as he likes the title to be known is supposed to be elected by the populace but more often than not these elections are controlled by the nobility though their have been a few good Presidents. The Brazilistanians knowing the magical wealth of the nation safeguard themselves from invasion by having numerous plans to completely destroy the natural environment and leave it barren of any value, as a simple deterrent of course.

Second Empire[edit]

The self-proclaimed "Second Empire" is a nation extremely proud of its Eldrian heritage and seeking to recreate the fallen empire. The Empire was once a confederation of several (mostly) human southern kingdoms that fully merged together because a pan-nationalistic eldrian movement became dominant in the region (after the purge of the most stubborn "nationalist reactionnaries").

They are very friendly with all and any nation of eldrian heritage and strangely enough consider the sapient descendants of Eldrian experiments like the Taurs and the inhabitants of the Pumkin Kingdom as being fully Eldrian (causing some diplomatic awkwardness because of the skirmishes between Sneed and the Taur Tribes but both appreciate the zealous help that the Empire give to them against Aesanaeria). Their closest allies are the Theocracy of Alana and the Unravelers, the Empire enjoys their drive for ancient eldrian knowledge and is always to help them. All non-Eldrians living in the land belonging to the Eldrian Empire (unless they are limited in numbers and accept the authority of Eldrians) are their enemies but they especially hate Aesanaeria and Brazilistan, the former for expanding in the South and the latter for holding so much southern land. Caricatures of foreigners as "Sorgos mongrel half-dwarf mulattoes" are very common and by law having sex with a Taur is legal but sex between an Eldrian and even human non-Eldrians is considered bestiality.

All schools of southern magic, including dark aether channeling (regulated by the state and mostly limited to the military and government research) are common, well-developed and supported by the state to stay competitive with Nantic magic although the more "experimental" wizards are often sent to the Unravelers. They loathe magitech and trade heavily with An for the non-magical weaponry of the Union to supplement their purely magical warfare with more acceptable pure technology.

They are ruled by an Emperor elected for life from the hereditary provincial governors who themselves descend from the royal families of the Kingdoms that made up the Empire.

Ironically, their semi-official religion is an henotheist cult of a syncretic form of the primordial southern goddess Mother Ocean and the Nantic Fertility Goddess : Eldrians are the only legitimate children of Eldria while non-Eldrians are merely lesser bastards only deserving to be tolerated as second-class minorities or in the barbarian lands outside of the Empire.

People:

The politically dominant race in the Second Empire are the so-called Eldrians, magically talented humans who descended from a mix of human races conquered by the Eldrians, and in some cases, have some blood ties to the original Eldrian race. However, the Eldrians ran a multi-cultural empire based on racial castes, and thus so do the rulers of the Second Empire. They are keen to re-absorb any peoples who were once a part of the Eldrian Empire, including both magical creations like the taurs, pumkin, duckers, and horsemen, as well as former client peoples like the southern Nantic cultures, western Jinsan, and northern Shaobon. Many such individuals can now be found in their holdings on Autia and Flickfowl.

A strange exception to this rule are the Sorgos dwarfs of Brazilistan. Once near the bottom of the hierarchy in the days of the Eldrian Empire, their continued resistance to any attempts at being integrated into the Second Empire has caused the leaders of the Second Empire to label them as foul foreigners.

Despite their self-professed hatred for foreigners and their ways, the elite of the Second Empire have a keen interest in foreign martial styles, and foreign mercenaries are a common sight in the entourages of the wealthy, particularly the wealthy, and the radical mages known as Unravellers.

A handful of Bridge Tribers still live in the remnants of San'Barg, now reduced to a worthless stretch of coastal swamp. The Second Empire claims control of this area, but makes little effort to collect taxes, enforce laws, or hunt down rampaging monsters.

Religion:

The Southern Gods associated with the original Eldrian Empire; Primolt, Great Mother, and the Green Titan, are strangely not particularly respected here, instead, Mother Ocean is worshipped. Seen as the goddess of the original Eldrian people, she was only worshipped by pure blood Eldrians at the time of the Eldrian Empire. It is believed that the modern version of her faith was created by combining elements of Gaelhalla with the Great Mother, along with a healthy dose of nationalist propaganda and historical revisionism.

Magic:

Mages in the Second Empire practice all forms of magic invented by the Eldrian Empire, now known as the Southern Magic Tradition. They have an irrational dislike for other magic traditions, particularly those from the Nantic States, but turn a blind eye to the fact that the mages of the Zandra Peninsula (known as the Unravellers) openly practice all forms of magic. Although technically a part of the Second Empire, the Unravellers are a law unto themselves, and many mages and nobles from other parts of the Second Empire make frequent use of their services, and they are a key component to the Second Empire's military, intelligence, and "industrial" organizations.

Mages who are seen as too radical, particularly users of dark aether channeling, are often sent to join the Unravellers, however, many Second Empire mages use forms of magic considered unethical in other lands, particularly Life Magic to create strange new creations from unwilling subjects, still a cornerstone of the Second Empire's military.

Military:

The Second Empire refuses to use Material Alternation and Aether Manipulation to make so called "magitech" devices, a strange self imposed rule since the Eldrian Empire freely used magic copied from other cultures. However, it sometimes uses Life Magic and Dark Aether Channeling to achieve similar results. The Unravellers ignore this rule.

Life magic is also frequently used to create new races as shock troops, though the more extreme experiments tend to come from the Unravellers.

They buy weapons from the Union for their non-magical troops.

The Second Empire uses its military to bully its neighbors, or help former Eldrian nations fight against non-Eldrian nations like Aesanaeria.

History:

The original Eldrian civilization was believed to have emerged from beneath the waves of the North Emerald Ocean. Although the centre of Eldrian civilization gradually shifted north, where magic could be harnessed more efficiently, a number of important coastal cities remained.

Alongside unimportant rural provinces like Sneed and Kornheiseria, and strange cults like the Theocracy and Persquaria, some of these coastal cities were the only parts of the Eldrian Empire to remain relatively intact.

For nearly a century, the coastal cities struggled to rebuild, while the interior was left to former servant races and out of control magic creations. Some foreign nations also founded colonies in the area, including the short lived Bridge Tribe colony of San'Burg, which was largely abandoned due to repeated attacks by the taur tribes and roaming monsters.

Eventually political factions in some of the coastal cities on both Autia and Flickfowl joined forces, purged their enemies, and formed a new government with the goal of reuniting the old Eldrian Empire.

Progress has been slow in Autia, where they face considerable resistance from their former servant races and rampaging monsters, however, they have made gradual progress, and are currently on a diplomacy blitz in both Sneed and some of the Taur Tribes. They have also long courted the Theocracy of Alana, seeing them as one of the last pure descendants of the Eldrian Empire, however, although considered allies, they don't fully understand the Theocracy's values and motives.

More success was to be had in Flickfowl (known by the Second Empire as Shao-bonham), where their member cities there were able quickly reestablish control over the northern portion of the continent with help from the more powerful Autian city states and provinces.

Economy:

The Second Empire is ruled by nobles who trace their descent to the nobility of the Eldrian Empire. Magic users and nobles (who are also usually magic users) tend to own anything worth owning, including land, buildings, and hoarded wealth.

Common folk do their best to get by in a land filled with rogue monsters and other creations, both recently created, and left over from the Eldrian Empire. Many work on planation farms, or as domestic servants.

The Second Empire imports technological devices, and exports potions and strange monsters and items made from life magic.

Unravellers[edit]

General:

Contrary to the Union there is a small community on the southernmost peninsula calling themselves "the Unravellers". These people dedicate themselves to solving the mysteries of the world they live in. Mostly through magic, but every type of scholar is welcome. Some say it's more of a magic cult. Because everything is legal, as long as it expands the Library, where all of the gained knowledge is stored. There are no Taboos, not even life itself is sacred. It is said the alchemists managed to create Aether, which allows them to infuse their abominations with life. No one, except the highest of their members actually know it's a disgusting imitation. Natural life seeks to sustain itself, Aether on the other hand tries to end itself at every opportunity. It is a very powerful combination together with mind control magic, that suppresses the urge to suicide.

People:

The Unravellers are a mix of native Eldrians and exiles from other realms, but the Union in particular. The Eldrians have also maintained their ancient traditions of "creating" new races, and all sorts of strange entities are bred, forged, raised, and conjured. In particular, followers of Deadicorn have been infusing slaves with demonic energy to create abominations known as "horsemen".

Religion:

The Unravellers aren't particularly religious, but some old school Eldrians still worship Primolt. Others worship any entity that helps expand their knowledge of magic, including demons. Deadicorn is particularly popular.

Magic:

The Unravellers have dedicated themselves to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with magic, and therefore will explore any and all magical traditions, regardless of ethics or morality. They sometimes visit users of dark magic in other nations like the demon binders of Yr and Aesaneria, the occultists of Hagarta, the Fleshmolders of northern Nantes, and the hags of Fluffwood to compare notes.

Military:

The Unravellers don't bother with a standing army, but history has shown on many occasions that the Unravellers are more than capable of defending themselves against any dumb enough to interfere with their studies. Those captured or killed during these attacks will often be used as raw material to create even more horrific creations to defend against future attacks.

History:

The swamps of Zandra Peninsula have long been used as a refuge by the most reckless and unethical of the Eldrian Empire's magic users, and when the Eldrian Empire collapsed, these mages simply continued their hobbies. The area didn't get its current name until recently, when a large influx of mages fled The Union and sought sanctuary in Zandra. Recognizing the value of the incorporating foreign magical traditions into their own on such a large scale, the mages of Zandra began promoting themselves as the Unravellers, a society where anyone skilled with magic could come to safely carry out experiments, free from the fear and jealously of non-magic users and the petty restrictions of religion, law, and morality.

Economy:

Although some of the senior Unravellers have set up farms, plantations, mines, and factories to aid their experiments, most live in isolation or in small groups, accompanied by their servants, slaves, and creations. Their wealth comes from selling information, creations, and their services to wealthy buyers, with Westphallica, Yr, and (secretly) Alkor being their main customers.

The Majorate of Kornheiseria[edit]

People:

Kornheiseria is home to mix of races that were once vassals to the Eldrian Empire. The ruling elite are simply known as Kornheiserians, believed to be cousins of the Nantic human ethnic group. Other inhabitants include the descendants of human slaves from southeast Autia and the southern continents, as well as duckers, pumkin, goblins, alprobes, orcs, taurs, orges, trolls, giants, bullywug, swamp elves, crocodile men, horsemen, and minotaur.

Religion:

For the most part, inhabitants of Kornheiseria worship a variant of the standard Southern Pantheon of Primolt (magic, creation), the Great Mother (water, womanhood), and the Green Titan (land, agriculture).

Magic:

Kornheiserians tend not to be as adept at magic as many other former Eldrian states, but users of alchemy, life magic, and oath magic are fairly common and fill important niches in Kornheiserian society.

Military:

Kornheiserians have never been able to maintain a national army, but most cities and rural townships have at least a semi-professional militia, or in some cases a small standing army. Muskets are the most popular weapon, but many keep a hatchet, pitchfolk, or frog spear as a backup.

History:

Formerly a backwater region of the Eldrian Empire, Kornheiseria was relatively unscathed by the destruction that ended the Eldrians. Although it has fought several wars against its neighbors, it mostly prefers to keep to itself.

Economy:

The forests of the northern part of the country have largely been cleared away in favor of grain fields and pasture lands. The southern swamps are home to hunter-gatherers. Lacking the technology of the Nantic States, and the magical ability of some of their neighbors, Kornheiseria is usually seen as a poor and backwater state, but the strong mercantile instincts of its inhabitants, combined with the popularity of the many sporting events it holds gives it more influence and wealth than one might first think.

The importance of its sporting events goes beyond just economics, since Kornheiseria lacks a central government, its patchwork of city states and rural counties are constantly jockeying for influence, and the success of local teams in the more popular leagues is a huge status boast.

Taur Tribes[edit]

In the southern plains there is a large band of taur nomads, each tribe having the upper body of a man and the lower body of an animal.

Centaurs, donkey taurs, zebra taurs and lion taurs are the most common but there are dozens of smaller tribes like the elephant taurs, the rhino taurs or the elusive boa taurs.

All tribes can technically interbreed (although in practice some can hardly have sex together) with the offspring always inheriting the mother's type.

They are all more omnivorous than humans but eating the flesh of the animal associated to any tribe is considered taboo while eating normal men isn't.

They can be very powerful if an exceptional tribe leader unite all the tribes and become the intertribal king but is it a very rare event.

Shore Mages Of The Wizard Coast[edit]

The Wizard Coast is a small region of coastal towns ruled by "wizard mayors", long-lived archmasters specialized in different schools of magic.

They are all prosperous, quite comfy and well-protected but the influence of their eccentric masters make them odd by the standards of the outside world.

Sneed[edit]

Sneed is a peasant republic south of the Taur Tribes (with whom they often fight over the control of the southern plains), only landowners can vote and their vote is proportional to how much land they own. The republic was formerly "Chuck's Kingdom", a dictatorship created by a rogue archmaster from the Wizard Coast but his serfs managed to assassinate him and divided his domain among themselves. Despite this, they are not really anti-mage and have a pragmatic view of magic : wizards can be dangerous but they are good tools and especially useful when fighting the Taurs. The biggest towns have surprisingly good magical schools especially near the frontier because of this.

Story 1:

The three Furred Fools of eld once dealt with the ivory horse. Chancing across it in the dead of night, it was a welcome reprieve- the horse gilding them with gifts, and promising them a prosperous rule at the head of their kingdom. It only asked that they endure a small measure of pain- and so the three Furred Fools accepted. The pain they endured was nothing short of a hellish torment, however- and mere moments after accepting the ivory horse's bargain, the Fools were transformed into horrific, writhing entities of pure suffering. They ravaged the old Chuckian countryside- their brutality and wickedness still preserved in folk tales today.

Ogre Clans[edit]

The small peninsula to the west of the Unravellers is home the Ogres. They live in small isolated clans. The land is low along the coast and very swamplike, and the ogres are fiercely territorial.

The Ogre Clans in southern Autia are a cruel parody of their former selves. They are one of the few remnants of the once vast Orgrillon Empire in Autia. While some form of kin to them exist across the continent in the form of creatures such as oni or the twisted ettin, they alone retain some semblance of a society.

When the Sartyrians invaded, much of the southern edge of the continent was quickly overrun with their magic and sheer prowess. A number of the ogre-kind managed to survive this assault, and while the war ranged on across the continent, for hundreds of years they were always there. At times they engage in raids and guerilla warfare against the Sartyrians, attacking them from within the territory they controlled. While the Orgrillon Empire waged a war of mass bloodshed through attrition and colossal clashes, those within the south managed to be a constant thorn in the side of the elves. About halfway through the nearly eight century conflict, the elves had decided enough was enough and mounted a ruthless genocidal hunt for any ogre-kin within their newly conquered domains. Alone and isolated, many ogres were completely annihilated with only stragglers surviving in the wild or hiding in the mountains. The modern Ogre clans were one such group. The peninsula they inhabit is covered in a dense and foul swamp, and even the ogres could hide here. Through the millennia they remained. With any contact with the Orgrillon empire long lost, they survived in a pitiful existence. The years have not been kind to these once proud people. Twisted, depraved, inbred, and desperate they have clung to life in a dank and dark land.

These creatures are largely devolved compared to their relatives in the north. Their intelligence has greatly dimished and they only exist now in squabbling clans, incapable of any greater cohesion or organisation to better their circumstances.

They ogres now live in small family groups in isolated villages. The only true means of diplomacy they posses is that of brute force and warfare. Occasionally a competent member of their people manages to unify a few clans, but this usually does not last long. What they cannot get for survival within their swamps, they try and take from their neighbors if at all possible. This amounts to little more than desperate raids on small villages and isolated farms. They are fiercely territorial, a remnant of their once proud heritage, but they spend as much time squabbling amongst each other for mires and ponds as they do with anyone else.

They are diminutive and foul compared to their cousins. While the average Orgrillon could reach close to 10 feet in height, the ogres of the swamps rarely pass 7 and a half feet. While an orgrill of the north could live between 115 and 130 years of age, the ogres rarely surpass 60. They are bloated, dirty, ugly (even for an ogre) and smell so bad that a human will likely know they are near before seeing them. Cruel and raucous. Cannibalistic and simple. Superstitious and spiteful. They are not devoid entirely of intelligence, but they are far short of the empire forging and fortress building legions of their ancestry.

A lingering sense of pride exists within them. Through tradition they retain a faint memory of what they once were. Of the power they once held. Some within the clans still yearn to "rule all" again, but for the ogre clans this is a fantasy as much as it is a legend.

They make occasional slaves for the other peoples of the world and even at times they are pressed into the front lines of some war or another, often used as expendable shock troops and cannon fodder.

Kingdom of Luver[edit]

The Kingdom of Luver is a small nation mostly located on the westernmost peninsula of the southern part of the continent. An old relative of the humans of the Wizard and Sneed, it has little technology and magitech and prefers instead to focus on pure magic. The govermnent state is mostly local, rural and feudal with the King being little more than a figurehead for the land-owning nobles. A notable trait of the Luverian nobility is that they descend from magicians instead of warriors and even today are supposed to have nominal magical skills although they mostly delegate their magical duties to specialized wizards who are either commoners or landless minor nobles. Because of this, scholars from Nantic cultures such as those working for the Alkorian Foreign History Department often theorize that there must be a connection between the Kingdom of Luver and the Wizard Coast (and their wizard-mayors) but their knowledge of the southern mainland is sparse (although it doesn't prevent some from claiming that Luver is an archaic remnant of a greater ancient Luver-Wizard Coast-Sneed culture) Another particularity is that their magic rely very little on enchantment besides a developed form of alchemy (often a substitute to many things that would use enchanted or technological items elsewhere) and an impressive oath magic that is essential to their feudal system.

Theocracy of Alana[edit]

On the southwest side of Eldr there is a theocracy called Alana. they have rejected everything that would make a person civilized. the following no taboos, take part in rituals with art extreme but unsettling most cultures enter Eldr as a way of gaining power and also see it as a religious duty. under their Patriarch, they wish to take control of Eldr but have lost many members in the attempt. the land they control more huge round Eldr, and so got creative in how they would servie with the average person being a settled hunter-gather. barely anyone goes there other than adventures and academics who wish to use the local population as guides for their own journey into Eldr.

People:

The few inhabitants of The Theocracy are of "Pure Eldrian Stock", which is to say a mix of Nantic, Jinsan, Sorgos, Shaobon, and other humans that intermixed while living in the core areas of the Eldrian Empire at its peak. They descend from survivors of the magical devastation that wiped out the core of the Eldrian Empire. It is believed that some of them may have blood ties to the true Eldrian race.

Religion:

All long term inhabitants of Alana are considered members of the Alanian Cult, and what happens to anyone who turns their back on the Alanian Faith isn't worth risking your sanity to consider. Despite their seemingly tribal and chaotic nature, each member of the Alanian Cult knows exactly where they fall in an ever shifting hierarchy that contains many levels leading up to the mysterious Patriarch. Green is the their holy color, so senior members of the cult can generally be recognized by their green robes. Many cultists also wear strange asymmetrical masks, but these don't seem to have any bearing on their status within the cult.

Their God is Alana, and she is rarely worshipped outside the Theocracy. An anarchistic and nihilistic god, she teaches that civilization is false and a source of weakness, and that each person can do whatever they want to themselves and others assuming it is in their power to do so. They believe all evil and destructive gods are alternate faces of Alana, and all other gods are false.

Magic:

The inhabitants of the Theocracy have an unusually high percentage of magic users, including many powerful ones. Their magic traditions derive directly from that taught by the elite of the Eldrian Empire, and it is said some of them remember things that even the Unravelers have forgotten.

They use all forms of magic currently practiced in the South, though they seem to find Spirit Magic the most useful. They are also said to understand Dark Aether Channeling in ways that others have forgotten, which some say is the reason why certain worshippers of Alana are rarely seen without masks, and why senior members of the cult like heavy robes.

They loot magical artefacts of the Eldrian Empire like wands and staffs whenever they can, and the senior members of the Theocracy sometimes even enter Eldr itself to try to retrieve the most powerful of the ancient Eldrian relics.

Military:

Members of the Theocracy rarely work together in large numbers, and when they do, it is only under the orders of senior cult members. Magic is the primary form of attack and defense, but most members will also carry crude or looted weapons, the more exotic the better.

It is said the senior members of the cult can bind the monsters of Eldr to their will, though reliable first hand accounts of this are rare.

Members of the Theocracy will sometimes attack visitors or common citizens of neighboring states if the mood strikes them, often capturing slaves (who are generally short lived).

History:

This region was once an agricultural zone located just outside one of the core areas of the Eldrian Empire. When destructive magic rendered the area all but uninhabitable, most of the original inhabitants fled, but some powerful mages from the main cities settled in the region due to its remoteness from other pockets of survivors.

In trying to convince themselves the destruction wasn't their fault, they fell prey to the insane prophet of a new god named Alana who told them that destruction and chaos were merely the natural order of things, one that should be embraced. These days no one knows what they are up to, but the few who are aware of the origins and faith suspect it is something dark.

Economy:

The inhabitants of the Theocracy use their magic to ensnare beasts (and sometimes beings) to torment then eat. They spend their lives practicing magic and working on strange projects no one but themselves seems to understand.

They hate reliance on others, so own nothing they can't make or loot themselves (which is often very little in the case of junior members). Craftsmanship is a very low priority compared to practicing magic, so most inhabitants live in caves and natural shelters, wear crude animal hides, and use tools no more complicated than sharpened sticks and rocks.

They ignore almost all taboos of other races, and are widely seen as insane and cruel, so only the naïve, reckless, or powerful will willingly deal with them, usually to gain magical knowledge or get their help entering Eldr. Senior mages from the Second Empire and the Unravelers see them as kin, but even they don't entirely understand what the Theocracy's goals are. However, members of the Theocracy are usually to work alongside powerful mages from Eldrian cultures, particular followers of Deadicorn and other evil gods, who they see as misinterpretations of Alana.

San'Barg[edit]

Native Americans who live in a swamp. All that remains of an attempt of some southeast islanders to migrate to the mainland. Ancestor of Rig'Nood, and thus Gib'Dunes as well.

San'Barg is all that remains of an attempt by the southeast islands peoples to colonize the southern jungles of the main landmass. Once much larger than what it is now, San'Barg was constantly raided by neighboring states, particularly the Taur Tribes. Eventually most of the population left and settled Rig'Nood and Gib'Dunes instead. All that remains of San'Barg are scattered fishing villages along the coastal swamps and sandbars. A cautious, and primitive people, the inhabitants of San'Barg fight bravely enough when needed, but usually hide or flee by boat from superior opponents, particularly those with hooves.

Rinolsol[edit]

Belkor[edit]

The Belkor republic, as it's name may hint at, is the former Belkan colony that was taken by Alkor during the fifteenth Belkan-Alkor war, a host colony for most of it's life, it has only become it's own entity over the past one-hundred-and-twenty-nine years ago on the fifth of Aceed (January-and the start of Febuary of the Nantic Calendar) 171 ANC (After the Nantic Collapse). Has heavy influences of both nations that once ruled it, leaving it to be the currently closest nation to resemble what the Nantic empire once was. The Belkor Republic itself has yet to have fought in any wars, seeing as it's still building itself up as a national power, however it has become home to many mercenary groups as it's newfound nationhood seems to come with a degree of diplomatic immunity, and it's incredibly well preserved trade routes have left it a rather rich place to live. It is one of the few nations to both be known to Belkan that hasn't been attacked by it at any point, possibly due to it's descent from Belkan The Belkor Republic is also a well known vacation spot, and is frequently visited by various nobles and rich merchants.

The Invasion of Belkor:

On the 27th of Alcus Year 1589 the State of Belkan declared war on the Alkorian Empire with the support of the Free City-States and Soukos Republic with the Shahdom as a co-belligerent. Citing the levying of several new trade restrictions by the Alkorian State and their growing influence with the Ercaenmedian Kingdom. On the same day First Division of the Belkan airfleet with the support of several Carrier Zeppelin landed the elite 10th and 15th Corp on the island. The Belkan forces were able to make easy gains initially with Shock-Halberdiers and Griffin Knights able to take numerous strong points with the aid of local Belkan sympathizers. In a few weeks time the Belkans had managed to take Erengrad, Elvani and Sotovai, splitting the nation in hal, but being stopped at the Alkorian Naval base of Knudsgar as the Imperial Marines rallied the local populace and turned the port into a fortress badly mauling the 76th and 55th Divisions in several frontal attack. But the intervention of the Ercaenmedian forces suddenly stalled the Belkan advance, blocking the advance of reinforcements from Soukos in a particularly deadly naval battle at Cawl's Reef. Now the Island is in stalemate with each side waiting for reinforcements and supplies from their mother countries, with the Belkans having to scavenge from the local population to make up for their extremely long supply lines as they were not prepared for an extended campaign.

Soukos Republic[edit]

Soukos

General:

Only now many lesser and uncivilized races have made claims of power and superiority, however the mighty Soukos republic has always remained among the premier trading nations and in the eyes of Soukans, the peak of culture and beauty. The tales of this land are heavily romanticized, however there are kernels of truth in all the prose and hyperbole used. Once these lands were home to aetheric spirits that wished to create a land in their own image. Seeing the many tribes of the area they revealed themselves and said that they would protect the mortals, so long as they worshipped the spirits as gods. An agreement was struck and the majority of tribes agreed, with dissenters being slain as the new pantheon created many natural defenses to separate the newly named Soukos from the rest of Rinolsol. Quickly a unique and intricate culture of city states evolved and each mustered a fleet to begin trading. It was in this aspect that Soukos shined brightest as the aetheric connection to the lands made by the spirits led to a great many unique flora being made. Rare fruits and herbs could create many a concoction, and some of them served as potent stimulants allowing the Soukans to produce works of fine art at a pace far greater than even the other world powers of the time. However the independence of the city-states also led to a great deal of bickering and petty squabbles between each other. Recently this has changed as the waning power of the land, in both military might and trade due to relentless war has been put to better use by the glorious Dimitar the Benevolent, originating as a prince from the northern region of Macedinios. Dimitar quickly became a leader of great renown and it was with this prowess he soon launched an attack on the weakened city states, unifying them under one banner, one purpose. This purpose was for Soukos to regain her glory and control the trade of the world once again, with its drugs and rare materials coming into demand now more than ever.

People:

The Soukans are a slightly tanned race of seafarers and poets, being the original Sorgos humans. As such when they restarted contact and trade with their former colonies it was clear the maps of who were descendants of them was correct given the similar appearance and skin tone. Sorgos humans in general are generally hardier and slightly taller yet less naturally nimble then most Nantic humans and use this to their advantage with powerful spear walls or armor to reinforce their already powerful frames.

Other races in Soukos include Nantic, Jinsanic, Malsolian and limited amounts of Shaobon humans are foreign traders and expatriates with dwarves and elves seen as far more exotic foreigners yet they both have small quarters set aside for their population in the city-states.

Religion:

Magic:

Military:

A Soukan force is one of great class and prowess, much like the rest of their glorious nation. In fact their constant boasting and singing irks possible allies. However this pride is made up for by the rigorous training and concoction a warrior receives to become a master of his chosen craft on the battlefield. Alongside this the siege engines and whimsical creatures brought along to battle are all great assets to even the playing field between the great firepower modern nations possess. Said siege engines are often brought to shrines of the Soukan pantheon to be blessed with unique properties and it is so that if an artillery piece survives long enough it can get a name of it's own with it's awesome power.

Soukan forces primarily consist of well trained and potion enchanted warriors and many are equipped with a 2-3 meter long spear known as a doru. They are drilled in several formations to fight in and are unparalleled by other nations standard infantry in single combat. Long ago that had been enough to win them the seas, however times have changed and with gunpowder weapons on the rise the Soukans have reluctantly adapted to using these so called “barbaric, ungraceful tools”. Through heavily modifying several of their earlier siege engines such as ballistae and rigorously blessing them at shrines to their gods they have developed weapons such as modified mortars that can fire off a swift and deadly bolt alongside flame spewing devices that release Soukan fire, a deadly alchemical weapon. They are backed up by the many fantastical creatures in the area such as minotaurs and Pegasi who have all been fitted and adapted into this army. However their primary flaw is their lack of desire to constantly train new recruits due to no pressing war concerns leading to a thinly an often spread army across the region.

As war is considered merely another art for the Soukans to perfect, it is therefore inevitable that strategy and fighting techniques are passed down from generation to generation alongside the constant addition of new warmachines to the army. Hoplites have and still remain the basic foot soldier of the city-states host and through battlefield experience each soldier chooses a specialized path to embark upon where their talents will shine brightest. This method of training has produced exemplary results however commonly results in infighting as rivals battle for the highest positions of power in their regiment. Some of these specialized troops include the Flamespitter Sarissas, Gladius Sailor Guard, Fonias-Pattern Repeater Crossbowmen and the Drakehead Ashtongues. With the art of gunpowder being much more easy to learn than that of the blade and of magic, a few commoners have begun to take up arms as well, known as the Armatoloi. This levy is quite notorious for deviating greatly from the Soukan military tradition, with them preferring sneak attacks rather than direct combat. Their appearance reflects their fighting style, with them being armed to teeth with multiple guns and a sword, which is used only as a last resort. Despite them being looked down on by more established groups, the unorthodox and pragmatic methods of the Armatoloi brings undeniable results. Released into the battle as well is a myriad of the exotic creatures populating the region, originally mutated from the aetheric radiation of the gods residing in the region such as bonded cyclopses taken from their home island of Sicilia, satyr skirmishers, centaur reavers, warsphinxes, manticores, battle hydras, Soukan harpies, possible the originators of the entire harpy race should the myths written centuries ago be true as they were made far before any other documentation of the harpy race and chimeras, the revolting results of procreation between these beasts. Alongside the rank and file are siege engines such as the trusty ballista, an ancient artillery piece commonly modified with magitech addons and the support of battle mages and oracles, a strange subclass of mage who are supreme advisors to the army due to their inherent gifts of foresight.

Navywise, the Soukans have kept mostly to their original ship designs with the neo-trireme serving as their transport across the sea. With reliance on rowers removed for automated engines allowing for more consistent sailing it has become possible to vastly increase the size of these ships and shove the former rowing ports chock-full of cannons and other such weaponry. Lastly use of small airships and planes have been seeing widespread use as troop carriers, with Soukan Skyslicers being useful in bombing raids and to observe the surrounding terrain. Alongside this the exerevnitis, or explorer in Common Nantic as they call their airships has served as an extremely useful transport dropping a regiment of troopers directly onto the combat zone or wherever they are needed granting a powerful level of maneuverability to the Soukans. As mentioned several times, neo-triremes are the primary vessel of the Soukan Navy with the automated portion of the battleship/trade ships replacing the many holes for rows to stick out in the lower decks with a cannon in each. This has led to an extremely devastating broadside belowdecks as the amount of cannons crammed into the boat is staggering. Abovedecks however dragonkiller ballistae are employed as rotating turrets to fire and destroy the hulls of ships or do substantial damage to the armored portion of enemy ships. Alongside this, Skyslicers and Exerevnitis airships fly ahead of the main force performing quick attacks before fleeing.

History:

The ancient realms of Soukos are known as the city-states, called such for being independently acting realms for the most part throughout history. Across the rocky coasts of Soukos through the small whitewashed fishing villages and peaceful hamlets arise these gargantuan realms each with a unique and storied history. Due to this each city-state has a unique trait that embodies itself in the mannerisms and manufacturing of that land. Typically these cities are located on the coast and visitors travelling there for the first time would be met with buildings resembling seeming to stretch into the sky at impossible angles, great temples to the local pantheon and a crowded harbor being filled with neo-triremes, merchant boats and all sorts of smaller crafts in a cramped merchants quarter. And this is just the port, the many districts of these city-states stretch inland with many a wonder being found to anyone travelling through. Due to this scale, even the small and relatively minor city-states have extremely dense populations of at least 100,000 due to centuries of growing and a constant influx of merchants and travelers coming to seek their fortune. The size and unique traits of these cities result in massive armies being formed and used as a city-states personal militia rather than a national army being sent out to fulfill the cities own purposes rather than assist in a greater endeavor. This has led to a lack of understanding between say, Crætians and Cornithians to use two major regions as an example and many, many civil wars. The shocking level of pettiness and spite between supposed "paragons of order" has often lasted for many generations with periods of halt from some new ruler or revolutionary technology allowing the disunity to be stopped with one specific faction rising to the top and dominating the others. These have either led to another, larger civil war or a golden age for the republic with the last one of note being just before the Eldrian Empire had reached its peak where the areas now known as the Nantic States were all explored and thoroughly mapped out, resulting in the modern day map of Autia being made alongside many settlements being established and trade being made with the then tribal locals. This "age of expansion" was put to an end with all forces being recalled to the homeland as the city-states had engaged in yet another civil war, this time kickstarted by Sparathus against Athíens. In the two centuries it took to resolve this conflict the former colonized portions of Autia developed their own cultural identities resulting in the modern day Sorgos humans inhabiting those parts in places like Aesnaria, Brazilistan, Voluntas Pact etc. These ages are also periods of great change with formerly small city-states rising to power, recently the land subject to this transformation has been Macedinios having birthed Dimitar. Through his impeccable leadership and usage of tactics adapted from his homeland such as the phalanx he assimilated several neighboring city-states and seemingly overnight successfully invaded Thïbesse, a feat of such magnitude quickly made many other major city-states swear fealty to him and lead to a new age of prosperity following the unification of the realms. It has been two hundred years since that time and Soukos has restarted contact with its former colonies, trade has increased by almost double and the land has slowly pushed against the northern border aiming to find the ideal time to strike again and take all of Rinosol during the upcoming war.

Macedinios: The youngest city-state to gain the major status and northernmost of them all, Macedinios is famed for the skill of its sarissamen and is attributed to inventing the phalanx military formation. Some regional units of note from these parts would include the Flamespitter Sarissamen and their flaming spear which can fire magical beams of pure heat capable of melting a hole in a steel sheet and the Amazons who inhabit those lands.

Cornithus: A city-state constantly at the forefront of innovation, seeking only to further the arts which results in stunning pieces of clothing and armor coming from the land. However the Soukans consider war an art too and in this front the city isn't lacking as it manufactures the great ballistae, repeating bolt throwers, sanctified missile launchers and other artillery pieces used by the Soukans. Covering the coast of the city on white lighthouses are the fabled dragonkiller ballistae, named such for piercing and destroying the skull of a world dragon when they were first unveiled in an attempted Sartyrian raid on the land. The most famous unit from this land are the Gladius Sailor Guard, well trained soldiers and sailors who patrol the coast and stop any piracy occuring and in some cases even facing against beasts like a rogue cyclops.

Crætus: The land of beasts as it is known to most is located on an island and filled to the brim with great mutated monsters roaming and terrorizing villages. With the assistance of Centaur Reavers and Satyr Skirmishers, two units of great renown from this region these beasts can be subdued and serve as the warbeasts used in a greater Soukan army. These include the Bonded Cyclopses, Warsphinxes, Manticores, Battle Hydras, Centaur Reavers, Satyr Skirmishers and Soukan Harpies, the last three being friendly and assisting the Soukans capture these beasts.

Athíens:

By far the most populous of all the city-states, Athíens is first visible from miles away because of their great lighthouse (which also serves as a potent beam weapon like the Harlan Tower but this is kept a secret) as a sprawling mass of spires, balconies, airships flying around and weapons being tested, overall a shockingly vast scene. In fact by this point the city has reached such size and age it could be reasonably be called a megacity, a term coined by a scholar from one of the many universities dotting the realm. While the size may be impressive Athíens itself it famous for being the most pious of all the city-states, setting up a great hill filled with temples to every god on the Soukan pantheon be it major or minor. These shrines serve great use outside of prayer as well for Cornithus often sends massive weapons shipments over which are brought inside a temple and blessed with a trait belonging to the god, granting in most cases enough strength to blow an iron beast of Yr in half. Typically each blessed artillery piece has one or two blessings but in some rare cases a weapon can rise to such notoriety and age that it gains the blessings of all the gods on temple hill receiving the title "everchosen", the most recent of which being an ashtongue of great renown. These weapons are then interred in shrines to be brought out in times of great need. Some famous regiments from these parts include the Fonias-Pattern Repeater Crossbowman who use their crossbows to fire a volley bolts that can pierce a mans heart in a single shot and the Ashtongues, a recent invention consisting of a drake shaped mouth letting loose a stream of Soukan fire. This fire is said to be able to burn even under a river with a current going through and has been mounted to the prows of ships allowing them to burn through almost everything in front of them alongside a newly formed regiment using smaller versions as some sort of "flamethrower" as they call it.

Delphus:

A city-state slightly inland from the coast and resembling more of a long series of farmland than one of the densely packed standard city-states with its vast population with them instead being more dispersed out across the small villages making this region up. The primary attraction of this land is the massive Temple of Apolion, god of the sun and prophecy and one of the major gods of the Soukans (I'll make a list of their major gods after this, won't be as long as this one but I'll also make a currency they use and such) with even Athíenans grudgingly admitting they have the superior temple. This temple serves as a great school of all those Soukans who seek to hone the inherent magical power gained through secondhand exposure to aetherroot alongside the home of the oracles, a subclass of mage with powerful divination powers. Both these battle mages and oracles are the famed regiments from this land capable of performing great feats such as trapping the enemy in an illusion so powerful they kill themselves off before ever reaching the hoplites or a key, if vague insight allowing the Soukans to win a battle through this prophecy. Aside from the temple, Delphus is a relatively quiet and peaceful place famed for the quality of the food and woolen crafts grown there which are often sold in markets all across the republic.

Sparathus:

Being a rare example of a landlocked city-state, the great halls and arenas of Sparathus are primarily connected to the outside world through the Eurotasse river and long ago they were the most powerful of all the city-states through their lust for expansion. This lust came to use when the Soukans spread out throughout Autia as the Sorgos countries formerly consisted of tribesmen ruthlessly and forcefully banished from their lands and put into bondage as slaves for the Sparathans. These slaves would be taken back home and put to work as the helots, the term used for the lower class in Sparta as aside from performing most manual labor as the Sparathans pursued more martial professions. Alongside that a tithe was always extracted of fifty young men from the helots per every two months to participate as gladiators in the massive arenas known as colosseums the Sparathans built. While all city-states in Soukos have at least one collosseum the Sparathans took great enjoyment from the deadly battles occuring in the pits as wild beasts were released and gladiators made to fight each other. In the time of Dimitar he demanded the Sparathans to cease the tithe and use the helots for something outside of free entertainment however in order to avoid a civil war between the easily angered people of Sparathus, in exchange for the helots receiving a degree of freedom they shared a massive debt they had to work off to their overlords. As such in the modern time not much has changed with the slave class simply becoming a brutally oppressed lower class made from the families of the former helots. Regimentwise, Sparathus has a great deal of (in)famous regiments due to its vast military history and being the original city-state to employ the hoplite as standard foot infantry. Some of their greatest regiments include the Black Blades, unparalleled swordfighters wielding enchanted obsidian blades with such strength that even a slice from the sword of a Sartyrian Steelcutter could not break it and Steelcutter in question soon losing his head. Alongside this the Bronze Boar Riders are extremely tough cavalry riding the massive bronze boars, descendants of the giant Erymanthian Boar captured by the first hoplite Heraeclesse and the national hero of Sparathus as part of his ten great tasks. The boar was brought back home and through several alluring female boars a whole new generation of boars far exceeding the standard size a boar should grow to being born. These boars had tusks of bronze like their father and were adapted into the greater military. Lastly, any gladiators who go past their first month in the colosseum without being slaughtered gain their freedom through forced service in the army, using their combat experience against warbeasts to serve as potent shock troops.

Thïbesse:

A city state obsessed with all forms of transportation, Thïbesse is a well ordered city split into several districts with machines such as chariots and trains constantly driving around heading to whatever destination they seek. In fact, several buildings are in towers only accessible by flying up to that height allowing the engineers at the top to sketch concepts for future airships in peace. As a byproduct of its love for transportation, historically Thïbesse has produced among the finest charioteers in the world with its pegasus and holy eagle chariots being famed for their ability to swoop over their enemies and fire down. The most famous pegasus chariot rider was the hero Bellepheron who is known for slaying the deadliest chimera ever to live before tragically falling off his chariot to his death. This story, immortalized in myth has brought the pegasus outside the negative stigma most horses are seen with due to its clear divinity and lack of connection to deadicorn. Alongside this the holy eagle chariots serve as incredibly versatile scouts by surveying the nearby terrain and dismounting to launch an ambush on a raiding party. That is not to say that Thïbesse hasn't modernized either in the current era, as it has developed two noteworthy devices that allow for flight without the training of an animal. Firstly there is the Soukan Skyslicer, a beautifully crafted fighter plane with far more speed than most other fighters can hope to achieve, typically employed in fast bombing raids as they sail by destroying the enemy garrison and leave in a flash. In exchange for being manufacturable and not needing a rider, the Skyslicer takes far more specialized training to use in order to pilot and use the many levers attacked to it and release the bombs in the correct area in order to not hit an ally behind you.

Economy:

As the soil is more suited to growing magical crops only growable in these lands rather than much food crops, the economy of Soukos is mostly trade based with these luxury goods being sold alongside assorted works of art, wine and olives. Otherwise all food is imported into the city-states and sold in the vast markets located within the merchant districts. A good portion of the magical plants they sell are also kept by mages to consume in battle and raise their already powerful magical abilities to an even higher level for a period of time. The drachma is the accepted currency all throughout Soukos following the removal of unique currencies for each city-state.

Among the primary exports of the Soukan republic, the chief among them is clearly aetherroot. A thin pale root which can be ground into powder and consumed for a boost to ones comprehension of the world, mental processes and ability to comprehend aetheric occurrences this ability is highly in demand within circles of magi leading to a vast market around the product. Along with this are a variety of medicinal supplements, tonics and fine art produced by the artisans of the city-states. Many a noble seeks to purchase a quality piece in an auction house to place in their own home and serve as a sign that they are a patron of fine art

Miscelaneous:

There are those among the Armatoloi who desert their levy and become bandits. Commonly known as Klephts, they usually reside in the mountains, keeping watch for any wealthy looking caravans. Bringing the Armatoloi's philosophy of pragmatism over tradition to its logical conclusion, the Klephts can function both as brigands and as mercenaries, depending on which is the most profitable. There aren't really any requirements on becoming a klepht. Even though most of them were originally Armatoloi, as long as you know how to shoot and are willing to get your hands dirty you are pretty much welcome to the team. Tolerant to a fault, they have no issues recruiting foreigners like Nantic people, Goblins and even Grasshopper folk. With them being a stubborn stain to the beauty of Soukos, the Klephts have contributed greatly to the Armatoloi's terrible reputation.

Flickfowl[edit]

It is named many things by many people The Belkan's called it "Ace's Right Hand" and believe it to be their holy land The Union called it "Lemortia" their fabled land where one could speak to the spirits of the lost without aid of magic Alkorian's called the northernmost stretch of land "New sharnom" after their capital city The Second Empire believes it to be "Shao-bonham" the remains of the Edrian's first colony Brazilistan called it "Nungunda" a land where one could find sacred metals that would grant one the powers to meet the stars The Shahdom called the Western Half "The Kingdom of Cun (Pronounced Key-Un)" and it was their first colony

The natives of the land call it "Fickfowl", and it's a hot fucking mess that'll try to kill you before setting you up with it's sister over a cup of Findeligh High Tea

Mainland[edit]

Second Empire[edit]

The main focus of the Second Empire (mostly because of their inability to expand in the mainland) is to colonize Shao-bonham, rightful Eldrian clay. Their attitude towards the natives depend on whether or not the historians sent by the government think that they descend from the Eldrians or were created by them, in this case they are considered citizens and accorded some regional autonomy but "invaders" are conquered and used as much needed servile workforce serving the Eldrian colonists.

Duckers[edit]

The Duckers are a confederation of duckmen living in coastal towns and swamp villages. Choleric, mercurial and yet cowardly they are despised by the natives because of their bad personality but they have a culture strangely similar to the one of the ancient Eldrians and claim to be the cursed descendants of a glorious fallen empire, earning them an alliance with the Second Empire.

They worship some Gods like those in the Eldrian Empire with the addition of many local spirits (especially in the swamps) and only practiced Spirit Magic but since then the colonists of the Second Empire tought them all of the southern schools besides Dark Aether Channeling.

Peaks of the Heavens[edit]

Beneath the Upper Empire lie the vast Thandara mountains, known to outsiders are the Peaks of the Heavens. Within these mountains lie strange multi-tiered pagodas of many colors and an even stranger people residing inside them. The race of birdmen known as the Akasa-prabuharu in their home tongue call these buildings home however as their elders say they once ruled the entire continent, however a series of devastating losses in battle between the Upper Empire and the races of the South led to them being forced to flee into the mountains where they reside to this day. Many a bird perishes in the conditions found in these peaks as they were never meant to reside in this climate and it is clear the race is a dying one. However they simply wait, content to survive as long as possible seeking trade with nearby settlers.

Sky-Lords Military:

The Sky-Lords have lost the ability to field enough numbers to match a typical army for decades now, so they have adapted the philosophy of doing much from very little. Scattered in outposts and small towers across the Peaks of the Heavens gaze ever vigilant eyes belonging to keen eyed trappers and rangers. Their main advantage comes not from single warriors however, rather the mountains that they reside in. After all “the peaks may be our captors, but they remain our defenders” as a commonly spoken sky-lord proverb goes. A small group of rangers, given the right amount of preparation they constantly remain in set up deadly traps such as triggering an avalanche right on top of a marching army or luring them into a herd of furious ox-goats. Right during mating season where they remain their most aggressive. When forced into combat however the dexterity and marksmanship with a bow remains unparalleled among any other race leading to many a sky-lord to leave their home to seek fortune as a mercenary and send back the money earned to their home, in hopes of securing a better livelihood for their family with the appliances such as modern furnaces they purchase. Many a ranger bring with them the prized beasts they battle in the mountains and even in some cases tame, such as the aforementioned ox-goat or chillmane tiger, most likely a distant relative of the dread dire tiger the Maritime Khuluritai so love. Magic remains a possibility among the birdmen of Flickfowl as well, with these abilities being translated into a method to boost a rangers stealth even further. These mages commonly form the very peak of sky-lord warriors each being captains of a trapper squad as a group of rangers is called.

Copper Plains[edit]

Centralized in the west of Flickfowl, lie dry plains with certain arable parts caused from the many rivers flowing from the Thandara mountains. These seemingly standard lands have a bloody history of revolt however as living races no longer rule here. Far in the past a group of mages had settled in this area and through several experiments, discovered the method to create autonomous constructs powered by a magical core. The first of these golems were made from clay leading to these lands being named the terracotta plains. In their pride following this great accomplishment and extreme arrogance they deigned it fit to grant these creatures a mind equal to that of a mans. This would be the mages greatest mistake as once they deployed a legion of iron automatons to push the sky-lords who once lived in the area away and bronze constructs to be servitors. As the golems returned to their homelands a plan was hatched among many of them and by stirring their comrades into a hateful frenzy their greatswords and lances were pointed towards their mage overlords who were all slaughtered. Following this time the newly freed golems have been feverishly studying the techniques once used to create them as they can no longer replicate themselves however when they battle they never tire and will stop at nothing to defend their homeland.

Military:

When the golems of the Terracotta Plains march, it is to defend their homeland. These armies consist of golems with skin of iron and massive weapons such as greatswords, poleaxes and glaives. Following these regiments of unflinching warriors come several more exotic and rarer constructs, created as shows of power among the ancient mages who ruled them. Steel birds, lions, even a great iron dragon was constructed to serve as a defense for their capital before the revolt. As for magic, while golems have cores of magic there is no way for them to tap into this power as magic is very much their lifeblood and not a means to fight with.

Kangoo Tribes[edit]

In the warm southern end of Flickflow lives a species of humanoid kangoroos species known as kangoo. They are known for being good hunters and aggressive fighters, it not hapopens rarely that two full grown male kangoos fight to the death for one female during mating season. Each kangoo tribe is led by two people, a chieftain that has to be skilled in the art of fighting and a shaman as spiritual leader, who is the oldest and experienced of the entire tribe and an advisor in difficult times. Shamans are so wise and respected, even by the rivaled tribes that it can happen that one shaman can interferre in a fight between two tribes to stop it. One day a month, shamans from every tribe, gathered on the big island in south around a hill for a session in times of crisis or rituals to call the spirits for help. The kangoos do not believe in gods but in spirits, each spirit has one purpose, most populare one are a spirit of war to increase the morale and courage of the warriors or a spirit fertility who assist a female kangoo during birth.

Deep Desert[edit]

The Deep Desert is a dry wasteland occupying most of Flickflow's central regions. Few can stand its harshness besides the local Snake People, bizarre snake-like beings with a single human hand at the end of their tail that they use for tool-making and magic allowing them to have a simple civilization in the desert. Despite being predators rarely encountering outsiders, they are quite gentle and respectful towards all other sapient races.

Puppet Clans[edit]

Starkly contrasting the great peaks and warm regions Flickfowl possesses, the southwestern regions are a grim and cheerless place. Relentless storms constantly chip away at the stone cliffs, mysterious creatures stalk the lands, presenting a stark contrast from the eastern Kangoo Tribes. Only savages would deign this land fit to live in, and savages there were as many tribes of foolhardy warriors call these lands home. Initially they attempted to hunt the animals found within the mainland and the 4 large islands dotting the coast yet the prey quite often snuck off into the mist. Raiding soon became a far more viable option for these tribesmen to partake in so they found the mightiest and most brutish among them, named them the leader and set sail crossing the coast. Raiding proved a perfect alternative to hunting as they attacked small towns, large ones were to be avoided as they surely would be repelled. Even with their new lifestyle, the tribesmen hungered for more. They could not travel far as they dwelled in among the most distant regions a man could live in and the demand for food and supplies kept increasing. This came to a head when they discovered a mysterious sort of tower hidden right in the center of the three southwest islands. A presence seemed to beckon them towards it as they opened the heavy door to enter, unknowingly removing a seal that had been placed there for good reason. The spirit they released immediately broke free and his malevolent presence addled the minds of the unfortunate clansmen who had entered the tower. Soon their minds warped to the point where they could understand what the entity had to say, it knew their desires and claimed that it could fulfill them. The clansmen cheerily returned home informing the tribes to meet this entity and hear what it had to say.

The next day the entire population of the land had come forth to see what the spirit could do that would allow them to see the farthest lands and take the most exotic of spices for themselves. They were shown a marvelous and psychedelic sea, claimed to be a part of the aether and if one travelled through, they could enter whatever part of the world pleased them as long as they had the right coordinates. Pleased to hear this the tribes pledged eternal loyalty to the spirit, and unknowingly began the process of becoming thralls. Thrall meant slave in the tribes language and as they entered the sea of souls as this parallel world was dubbed, their minds became filled with dark thoughts and started lapsing into random fits of madness. Mortal beings were not meant to be here and they quickly lost the little sanity they had left, and the spirit chuckled as its plan had been finished. These wretches of former men were now his slaves and he would send them to raid for an eternity. Now, twisted ships appear at small towns and mutated monstrosities disembark to loot and pillage. Unfortunate souls who get captures are fed to the thralls master and before the proper authorities can arrive, the ships have already left in the mist.

Military:

Being a nomadic horde, with no clear homeland minus the south of Flickfowl, when they occasionally return to it the Puppet Clans have a very disorganized military. Each longship is filled with crazed wretches who hurl themselves into the nearest fight and each have some sort of bizarre mutation, like tentacles or claws for arms or two heads. These berserkers primarily comprise their forces with gibbering wizards in the back instinctively using dark aether channeling to poison the land and bring devastation. Following them are unholy, animalistic beasts which may have formerly been clansmen or monsters they brought with them.

Sultanate of Miqdaad[edit]

Flickfowl is covered by deserts and plains, there's no way around it. The heat is intense and wherever you go you'd most likely just see rocks. Therefore the east coast should also be a desert with nothing much of value, yet a traveler would see shining oases and gilded temples sprawling out into the sunset. This is due to the wondrous art of celestial magic that is the lifeblood of the region known as the Sultanate of Miqdaad. A nation firmly built on the principles of astrology and faith to the one true god Miqdaad, master of life. Through searching the heavens and the teachings of their holy prophet Aasub who first imparted the teachings of Miqdaad, the pitiful nomads who populated the desert brought rain down and made the sands into a paradise by essentially fixing their desire for food and water. In the current day the Sultanate is a land at the forefront of magecraft and divination, constantly inventing new devices to further enhance man's understandings of the stars. Within their capital of Isbillyah lie a thousand telescopes and orreries pointing to the sun and moon and a league of hunched scholars poring over the meaning behind these celestial bodies movement and what it spells for the future. Comfortably far from any major attackers due to the magitech weapons that line their homes and border alongside the battle wizards who twist the winds against their enemy and benefit the fleets of their homelands by always giving favorable sailing conditions. The courts are as decadent as it's people, constantly bickering over who should rightfully become the next heir to the Sultan or spending shocking amounts on pleasure palaces. In fact this had led to quite a rivalry against the celestial college who need this money to purchase new equipment.

Military:

Mostly used for either border defense or homeland security the army of the Sultanate is made of scimitar wielding conscripts and archers. However the nations real power comes from their celestial weapons capable of unleashing deadly blasts at anyone who even dares approach their lands with malicious intent, quickly blowing their ships to smithereens. Alongside this, mages are among the most feared and respected individuals of the land as without them, it would not be the lush paradise that it is.

Chief among their weaponry are the strange weapons known only as Heavenly Eyes. These are great telescopes with a secondary system of glasses and magic cores allowing it to shoot off a magic projectile at blindingly fast speed which is sure to leave a dent if not completely pierce anything it hits. Knowing the power of these weapons crafting variations and other such devices is the primary concern of the army.

Following the mages and scimitar wielders, follow soldiers wielding slender firearms known as Jezails. These weapons are typically decorated by their wielders and similarly to the shahdom found far to the west, camels are a popular means of transport inside the nation due to their capability to survive the farther and more barren reaches of the countries, the last vestiges of the desert that formerly encapsulated the eastern coast. Some assorted nomad tribes live in these regions and serve as auxiliaries, being skilled scouts in travelling the desert alongside attacking and riding back into the sands.

Transport: Camels are the most widespread means of transportation, respected for their hardiness and ability to bear a load, great beetles found across the dunes that are ridden by merchants traveling around the cities to trade at a fast pace (the army even has a flying regiment of great armored scarabs who serve alongside the drake riders as flying cavalry) and flying carpets which are reserved for mages and nobility.

Currency: The golden talent is the currency of the land and is recognized by all nations in Flickfowl and many beyond. Alongside this bartering is a favorite pastime of the locals who frequently partake in it within their great markets known as bazaars.

Religion: Miqdaad is the one and only god worshipped by the Miqdaadites as the father of life, his gift of life is represented in the form of rain. The people of the Sultanate refuse to hear slander against the one true gods name and can be worked into a frenzy over their interpretation of the faith.

Magic: Magical potential is a highly respected gift among children and these blessed children are gladly given to the celestial college for training. celestial magic remains the primary school of wizardry in the land however aetheric magic involved in spirit channeling and healing magic have their users. Alongside this some female leaders of the nomad tribes have the curious ability to control sand in the area.

Fun fact 1: The Sultanate is centered near the ruins of an ancient farming civilization known for building magnificent pyramids and colorful art pieces in a pictographic tongue. Perhaps the blood of these people still runs today inside of the Miqdaadites?

Fun fact 2: Recently the Golems have made an ally of the Miqdaadites and have agreed to guard the western coast in exchange for access to the Blue Library, a massive repository of medicinal, arcane and all sorts of other knowledge. This is a wonder of Isbillyah and a common bragging point to foreigners.

Exports of the Sultanate:

Being a nation with a large amount of land and a warm climate, made tropical thanks to terraforming efforts by celestial mages, the Sultanate has been a major part of the so called "spice trade". Several culinary spices and fragrances with names such as Frankincense and Myrrh. Alongside this spices such as Coriander and Turmeric serve as excellent additions to a meal. The growing hunger for these spices have served as a mainstay in the Miqdaadite economy and will continue to remain so, as they jealously guard their spices from outside merchants.

Navy: The Miqdaadites possess a vast trading network due to their role in the lucrative spice trade, commonly at rival to Soukos over oceanic mastery. Due to this they possess a massive merchant fleet. Sleek dhows skirt the coast of the land fishing and selling their wares to nearby locations. Pictured above alongside some other ship types a dhow can greatly differ from a small trading vessel to a swift merchant ship filled with compartments for fish, spices, jewelry and indeed, some hidden openings to store some more “policed” goods as the traders call their clearly smuggled items. Second to this, a felluca is a ship made to sail the oceans and thus is the main means of international trade the Sultanate possesses. Equipped with 4 slots on each side for cannons and renowned for a swift speed at most times so long as the wind favors its sails, a felluca is used for many purposes, from trade to naval battles where they sail by employing superior speed and skirmish tactics alongside their magical sails enchanted by celestial mages which allow for permanent good wind conditions by subtly altering wind paths letting them perform shocking bursts of speed and maneuverability. And let it be known that the ironclads and paddleships of Alkor have not gone unnoticed as the Sultanate have developed a standard ship of the lune known as a baglah. A massive warship outfitted with an ornate back alongside 3 levels each with 7 weapon ports per side and a hardened hull ready for ramming, with a steam engine powering it and commonly several magitech modifications. Such ships being able to constantly be produced in the shipyards are the pride of the navy and help police the waters from the endless threat of pirates. Should a mage choose to follow a ship or fleet one day you can commonly see them sailing by gently on flying carpets as they survey the surroundings and foretell if there will be storms, attacks or other conditions by studying the stars.

Funnily enough even with devices like flying carpets, the idea of flying machines beyond carpets never crossed the minds of any mage of scientist until the recent rediscovery and subsequent alliance between the Miqdaadites and their estranged northern descendants, the Belkans (before you ask yes this has been discussed before. Belkan sees Flickfowl as the holy land of their religion alongside a shared magitech obsession and an anon who I assume made Belkan put this idea forwards initially) allowed them to see the airships they fielded, the one key discovery keeping them from being among the technological level of the Nantic states. Due to this they immediately set to work using the specialized talents their celestial mages possessed to establish their own brand of flying transport. Currently two patterns of magical airship have been produced, both being supremely powerful yet difficult to manufacture airships. Firstly the efreet-class strike cruiser is a fast and deadly elemental airship shooting forwards and launching a powerful double beam attack due to the two heavenly eyes, harpoon cannon, bombs and fiery ring surrounding it allowing for a powerful wave of heat to be released. Secondly, the djinn-class carrier is a massive armored war machine capable of unleashing shocking amounts of damage due to the 6 heavenly eyes, 12 cannons, 2 harpoon guns and cohort of armored scarab riders surrounding it. Together these weapons have been the key to victory in battles such as a skirmish against the Puppet Clans due to their ability to quickly reach the combat zone and fire upon the longship used by the foul, mutated warriors before they could board and escape into the Sea of Souls once more.

Desert Elves of Arqilis-Malkor (Copper Plains, Deep Desert, Crescent Islands, Sultanate of Miqdaad, Second Empire)[edit]

History:

The Desert Elves, or the Litsequendi as they call themselves in their own language are a relatively young branch of the elves. Being leftover colonists from the peak of the Sartyrian empire, they have spread across Flickfowl offering their services as mystics and mercenaries. In fact this behavior has been going on even before the majority of the Sartyrians fled home as they were struck with a case of Smelter Disease. This departure enabled a group of mages to populate this colony now known as the Copper Plains and when the travelling elves returned they found they had been abandoned and their homes taken. However unwilling to give up they travelled into the Deep Desert and set up a new home and base of operations as they continue their ways of travelling. While they have dispersed throughout the continent they have the most holdings in the northern half of the Deep Desert known as Arqilis-Malkor, a contested region between the local snakemen who populate the southern half of the desert. Regardless of arguments between who the land belongs to, the neighbors are relatively friendly and allow each other to travel across their half of the desert ignoring borders.

People:

The elves are brown in skin and slightly taller and thinner then most elves, being perfectly suited to live in the desert they have resided in for the last few hundred years.

Religion:

Having lost most contact with the Sartyrians the elves do not strictly follow a single god, though their roving nature has made it so that they have picked up the gods of the area they currently reside in.

Magic:

The art of fire magic has been diluted through the ages due to their distance from the World Flame resulting in a loss of their native pyromancies. Instead they have picked up magic related to enhancements such as enhancing their ability to hide without making a sound.

Economy:

Believing greatly in the concept of individuality and the fact that Arqilis-Malkor is always half full with elves coming and going a permanent economy for the region is yet to be established. Instead each elf with the money earned from their fat wages as wandering swords-for-hire sends a portion of it home. Serving as mercenaries and travelling the world is their chief goal leaving the only thing they really export being the fine pottery they make.

Military:

Having most of their men and women serving as either wizards or mercenaries, martial prowess is quite important to the Desert Elves. As such from a young age they are drilled in the art of melee and ranged combat with their primary strategy being to hide in the shadows until they find the perfect opportunity to strike with lethal force. Their entire style of fighting is built around stealth surpassing even the legendary ninjas of Napan and makes them quite good assassins should they choose to get involved in that sort of trade. While they are most skilled with melee weapons as part of their trade most Desert Elves pick up marksmanship with either a bow or a gun on their travels as they have seen the uses of such weapons.

Their common tours as mercenaries have led to most their warriors having decades of experience under their belt without feeling the effects of age, however this leaves their homeland relatively unguarded as most elves are halfway across the world. Should a battle be inevitable, the bellkeepers in Arqilis-Malkor who are all retired warriors will ring a magical bell mentally signaling every desert elf possessing an amulet linked to this bell to come home. It will take a week at least for most to return however leading to the aid of the snakemen and the nomads of the Sultanate being hired to repel any possible attacks. The nomads are slightly difficult to convince as they know the elves as mysterious spirits of the desert and many fear them as part of their legends.

Ghol (Underground)[edit]

The city of Ghol is unique, even amongst the dwarves. This place is not nearly the stronghold that their people are known for, rather Ghol is a city of learning and craftsmanship. The city is home to the Gholi dwarves and a large number of stone elementals. The two sets of beings live symbiotically, with each providing for the other. The elementals aid the dwarves by building the very city and its infrastructure while also protecting the dwarves, and in return the dwarves provide the elementals with comforts and amenities that they crave. Nearly the entirety of the city was made by the elementals. The dwarves settled here specifically to live a amongst the earthen denizens of this area. Built in an old cavern of a great lava flow that has ceased moving and lost its heat a millennia ago. The old flow runs right to the edge of the Great Shelf, a precipice in the dark. The shelf is an immense drop off that reaches down to the deepest depths of the earth and is as large as an inland sea. The murky black and sheer size of the hole means no living being has even been to the bottom, or at the very least not made it back up to speak of it. It is on the old lava flow, against the edge of the Shelf, that they dwarves chose as their home.

The Gholi dwarves are a diaspora of an old Hold that existed under the ground between Autia and Lapus. The stronghold was sturdy and the dwarves were proud. They prospered for generations without turmoil. That was until a great earthquake rocked their civilization. Nearly everything they had built and worked towards was destroyed as the entire world around them trembled and crumbled. The survivors of the calamity reported that at the height of the rupture, when the cracking and moaning of the earth was at its most intense, they heard a deep and ominous voice groaning from the walls, floor, and ceiling of the earth around them. This, they decided, was the great Spirit of Stone. This Spirit is reportedly a sentience of the very stone that comprises the solid world itself, and they believed that through some transgression they had incurred the wrath of this great spirit. Their survival would depend on righting this wrong, and living in harmony with the stone of the deep places. They wandered through the dark for a generation until they found the location to build their city. The place they chose was full of earthen elementals, and rested on the edge of a great chasm. This chasm was important for the Gholi, as they believed the Spirit of Stone resided in the deepest depths of the world. Here they made a pact of companionship with the elementals and built a society that reveres the very stone around them.

The earthen beings that comprise the other half of the Gholi society are nearly ageless. They are slow, calm, and methodical. Even when they move it is with a careful deliberateness. They are truly spirits that inhabit physical stone, animating it and even living as it. They come in a variety of rock and exist in all shapes and sizes. They can be a stone parody of a dwarf to great masses of boulders larger than buildings. The elementals are capable of shaping solid stone as if it were clay, and perform incredible feats of building on behalf of the dwarves, construction nearly every building and work of rock within the city. They also comprise the bulk of the cities defense, like an avalanche crushing their foes. In return, the dwarves provide the elementals with heat and water. High temperatures and hot air loosen the stones that comprise the elementals. With enough heat they become more active and mobile, with their general lethargy subsiding and being replaced with an almost youthful energy. The water is a comfort, flowing streams diverted through the city provide a place for the stone spirits to lounge and relax. The water rolling over their forms is very soothing for them. Without these amenities the elementals can lay inert for extended periods of time being nearly indistinguishable from a pile of rocks or a cavern wall. They are naturally drawn to this place, living on the old lava flow, still hoping for the long lost heat of the place. In this way, the dwarves have provided them with the warmth they desire.

The dwarves now have a culture of scholarly pursuits, with geometry and geology being of chief importance. Magic is prominent among them, using powers of fire and light widely. The dwarves here differ from much of their kin in that martial pursuits are rarely undertaken. With the elementals making up the bulk of the physical might of their society, they dedicate themselves to power and thought. They do have a conscription force for defense but this is a minority of their armed forces, only making up about a third of the cities army. For these reasons, the Gholi are not known for creating great weapons and armor like some dwarves, but instead their forges and craftsmanship are directed towards metalworking for the sake of precise tools and refined jewelry. The furnaces of the city are always alight, and the heat they produce is deliberately sweltering for the comfort and needs of the elementals. The City of Ghol is always basked in the warm glow of their many fires. They have a very good friendship with the Moles of the Nest of Princes to their immediate north, and trade with them often. They despise Drow, making no distinction between the different cities, and would never allow the "slave-makers" near their scared home.

Emerald Isles[edit]

Fantal Islands[edit]

The Fantal Islands are a cluster of demon inhabited jungle islands that Alkor is trying to colonize since they have lots of gold, but it is not going too great for them.

People:

The local tribesmen are members of the Shaobon human ethnic group. Culturally they are split between those that have accepted and rejected civilization. Also present are a wide range of foreigners. Alkor has colonized parts of the Fantal Islands, but rely heavily on other foreigners to work and guard their lands, particularly individuals from their holdings in southeast Autia, and Afzen Amazons from nearby Afrolia. The Alkorian colonies are a popular jumping point for explorers and mercenaries in the Emerald Isles, and folk of all sorts are tolerated here as long as they respect local laws.

Religion:

Foreigners practice whatever religion they followed in their homelands. Missionary efforts are discouraged for political reasons, even for religious organizations favored by Alkor.

Zmugtazu the Black Hearted One is the main god among the civilized Fantal Tribes. Once as bloodthirsty as other gods worshipped by the Fantal Tribes, a prophet appeared who told them to stop sacrifices and demon binding, and start practising a form of pragmatic pacifism. Some of Zmugtazu's followers refused to change their ways, and those that did tend to rely on the Alkorians for protection, as now all the rest of the Fantal consider them to be heretics.

Among the hostile Fantal Tribes, the main god is now Mon-k'e M'e-me, a nihilistic god who avocates for destruction for the sake of destruction and hates civilization. Others still worship the old version of Zmugtazu, a hurricane demon believed to be another form of Shaleheart, the vampiric twins Golga and Lyki (believed to be local versions of Gogotha and Lykian), or the Dead One (most likely Deadicorn).

Magic:

Foreigners use whatever form of magic they practised in their homelands. Most civilized Fantal Tribesmen have given up on magic, but the hostile tribesmen still practice magic given to them by assorted dark gods, particularly Mon-k'e M'e-me. People:

The local tribesmen are members of the Shaobon human ethnic group. Culturally they are split between those that have accepted and rejected civilization. Also present are a wide range of foreigners. Alkor has colonized parts of the Fantal Islands, but rely heavily on other foreigners to work and guard their lands, particularly individuals from their holdings in southeast Autia, and Afzen Amazons from nearby Afrolia. The Alkorian colonies are a popular jumping point for explorers and mercenaries in the Emerald Isles, and folk of all sorts are tolerated here as long as they respect local laws.

Religion:

Foreigners practice whatever religion they followed in their homelands. Missionary efforts are discouraged for political reasons, even for religious organizations favored by Alkor.

Zmugtazu the Black Hearted One is the main god among the civilized Fantal Tribes. Once as bloodthirsty as other gods worshipped by the Fantal Tribes, a prophet appeared who told them to stop sacrifices and demon binding, and start practising a form of pragmatic pacifism. Some of Zmugtazu's followers refused to change their ways, and those that did tend to rely on the Alkorians for protection, as now all the rest of the Fantal consider them to be heretics.

Among the hostile Fantal Tribes, the main god is now Mon-k'e M'e-me, a nihilistic god who avocates for destruction for the sake of destruction and hates civilization. Others still worship the old version of Zmugtazu, a hurricane demon believed to be another form of Shaleheart, the vampiric twins Golga and Lyki (believed to be local versions of Gogotha and Lykian), or the Dead One (most likely Deadicorn).

Magic:

Foreigners use whatever form of magic they practised in their homelands. Most civilized Fantal Tribesmen have given up on magic, but the hostile tribesmen still practice magic given to them by assorted dark gods, particularly Mon-k'e M'e-me.

Economy:

The Fantal Islands contain rich gold veins, but attempts by Alkor and others to exploit them have been limited by sabotage by hostile Fantal Tribes. Plantations of cash crops are also frequently sabotaged. Despite this, the Alkorian colonies generate reasonable profits.

In addition to resources, Alkorians and locals also make reasonable profits serving as the main gateway to the region for human adventurers looking to explore ruins. Supplies and accommodation are sold with a high mark-up, and the weaker exploration parties often sell treasures and artifacts to brokers in the Alkorian colonies at fraction of their true worth rather than risk getting robbed while trying to transport them to auctioneers in Autia.

The Fantal Island also serve as a useful staging point for Alkor and certain allies and neutral parties to process large scale shipments of goods coming to and from a certain race of turtle like arms dealers further to the south.

Although slavery is illegal in Alkor, the local authorities turn a blind eye to slave raids by Afzen Amazons against hostile tribes, and the use of slavery by more civilized tribes to pay debts. Many Afzen business women and landowners also openly own slaves.

The hostile Fantal Tribes are hunter gatherers who seem vehemently opposed to civilization and prioritize raids against mines, logging operations, and plantations.

Crescent Islands[edit]

The first archipelago located immediately west of mainland Flickfowl, the Crescent Islands known of course for their crescent shape are famed for ancient stone statue dotting the many islands with menacing faces of ancient warrior-kings leering down upon passerby. These lands were once unified by a vast seafaring empire, known for building magnificent stone temples with statues of their mortal god and his serpentine companion alongside a vast canal system dotting their ancient cities. Archaeological examinations of murals from this time alongside clear signs of battle in the cities show a great civil war fought with unknowable hidden weapons capable of raining hellfire from above and tracing a path of pure destruction across anything in front of it. The many burnt and cracked portions of the islands only prove to certify this fact but any remaining weapons of this nature are well hidden and for now attempts to find them have ended in failure. The islands have vastly devolved in the passing centuries with the few cities remaining on the isles being lawless places where might is the one driving factor to success. This is not exclusively due to the current state of the island, rather the fact that a great deal of the lands populations are mercenaries. Due to the uninhabited state of the now ruined cities the once carefully cultivated gardens and formerly sprawling if the murals are to be believed farms and gardens have grown unchecked only adding to the already convoluted forests covering the landscape as many powerful and exotic creatures who were once kept as curiosities in the capital's zoo have escaped and bred. These nightmarish conditions are enticing to many a headstrong mercenary captain as these lands would serve as prime training for a mercenary company, should they survive of course.

These cities are also frequented by many an archaeologists seeking to sift through the debris of the ruined cities and canals searching for the fabled superweapons that all information about these lands point towards. Weapons of course aren't the primary feature as the bits and bobs of random items will fetch quite a price for them at home. Many an "authentic" piece of Crescent jewelry or ointments pop up on the market, and while most are quickly ousted as being fakes the truly valuable ones can sell for ludicrous sums in auctions. The price is jacked up further due to resistance from a mysterious local tribe of women who seem to share many traits with the Amazonian races scattered across the world who occasionally assault would-be explorers during their hunts. Sailing across the islands with their slender ships these warrior-women seem to have the singular goal of hunting the invasive beasts now populating the jungles in the name of their moon god, whose symbol is coincidentally enough a crescent. This god too can be traced back to the ancient empire that inhabited the isles (fuck I just realized I called my Khmer empire knockoff an empire when I wrote kings earlier) as the lover of the as of yet unnamed patron god of the lands who's statues are a common sight in the many temples found here.

The Tortle Realms[edit]

Dotted across the Emerald Isles are a series of lush and picturesque islands teeming with strange life that seems to exclusively be centered inside the region, these lands are collectively known as the Tortle Realms due to the excitable and positively ancient race of bipedal turtles inhabiting them. As the story goes, in a time where no nations dotted the Earth a great rift between the Sea of Souls and the planet split open as the divine turtle Aru-Tama swam forth seeking a calm region to settle down and hibernate in. For the next 900,000 years she slept without disturbance, however during that time she dreamt of many great and fearsome things. Chief among these thoughts were the desire to foster children like her and this intense desire manifested in the still-opened portal to the Sea of Souls releasing several turtlefolk who awoke to see a vast lush landscape of islands that had formed from portions of their mother's shell and the vast and magnificent Great Turtles that swam across the coast. Soon after exploring their strange and new surroundings as children would they set up small wooden villages around the time the Ogrillons began to form and nationalize and slowly studied their surroundings, soon discovering and beginning to research the art of alchemy. Their intense isolation and amiable relations with the then-formed Khimere Empire in the Crescent Isles, sadly reduced to ruin in the modern age allowed them to devote all their time into this endeavor. And through strange diagrams that grew in complexity as they discovered the specific combination of materials needed to invent and manufacture the wonderous material now known as gunpowder to the modern races when they finally figured out how it worked themselves many years after the Tortles. This bizarre invention was considered their greatest work yet and a fascination to experiment and further develop uses of it grew to the forefront of every Tortles mind.

Decades after their initial discovery of gunpowder by their forefathers, the use for gunpowder to serve as a propellant for this device was brought up. This led to an entirely new interest in the material and it quickly returned to the primary material for research into, eventually returning to the form of a simple firearm. This quickly escalated into devices such as fire spears, cannons, better guns, better cannon sized guns and a slew of other inventions. These were placed onto everything, their forts, ships, homes (for celebratory purposes as fireworks) and even on top of the Great Turtles they had since allied with and sailed alongside their newfound fleet of turtle ships, great armored boats serving as their primary means of transport. During this following period of slow weapons creep an earthshaking civil war broke out in the Khimerian Empire with the opposing sides in the conflict using the mighty weapons the Tortles had sold them alongside their own magitech doomsday devices, and as some fool of an official targeted their own island during this war to clear off the enemy it lead to a sudden and painful destruction of everything they had built. Horrified and partially at fault for the destruction of their greatest trade partner and ally the Tortles split themselves off from common society for a century as the Eldrian Empire expanded and entered a period of quiet reflection choosing to breed the Great Turtles and produce even stronger variants. While research continued, it was at a far slower pace however they remained the top producer of ballistic weaponry and as the current era crept forwards the time to reconnect with the surrounding world had arrived. By developing canals they sailed their fleets into the Sea of Souls, the portals to which remained open as they resisted the corruptive effects of the plane, being originally born from it and all.

They appeared outside of many a settlement offering to trade wares such as Great Turtle shell armor, one of the toughest materials in the world and indeed, some of their guns. Weapons such as great whirring turrets firing a an deadly volley in a few seconds went up and for the richest buyers, some sort of rare "automatic" rifle, though of course such claims are most likely bogus. How could such a thing exist after all? Through their wares they became well known by supplying blueprints for new models and deadly weapons throughout the world, uncaring about who they sold to so long as they swore to use them only for self-defense and their Great Turtles. Living battleships of beasts that tower over hydras and are covered in mounted turrets and other such weaponry should combat somehow ensue. And most likely to serve as a warning never to overstep boundaries with the Tortles, lest the wrath of their firepower be turned upon you and conveniently sold specifically to all your military rivals in a week. Back at home the great school of alchemy they founded years ago still stands and produces fresh new magitechnicians and engineers while their trident wielding sailors serve as an honor guard and expert riders of the Great Turtles.

Recent events: Travel through the Sea of Souls has vastly increased in danger recently. Even the most well armored Turtle Ship has the capability to be stealthily snuck up upon and boarded by the Puppet Clans who call this strange portion of the aether home. With their foul mutant berserkers, skin fighters, corruptive mages, two-headed wyrm and other ungodly creatures many a traveling ship has been overwhelmed. To make matters worse with the revolting powers they have been gifted with, even the noble Great Turtles can be corrupted and shifted into the temperamental and maddened monsters the rest of the Clans warbeasts are. Thus war has been declared against the Puppet Clans inside the Sea of Souls to finally end their foul taint.

Religion: Soon after awakening upon the Turtle Realms the Tortles found that the ground beneath them was not as unliving as they once thought, rather a massive resting organism resembling a turtle had been the basis their homeland was made from. They soon deified this creature naming it Aru-Tama, the god-turtle and while they do not know the exact circumstances why she is sleeping, they still give prayer and thanks for all the life inhabiting the islands of her making. And in a traditional Tortle funeral, the deceased individual is put inside a casket and lowered to the bottom of the sea near the head of the god-turtle, which resembles more of a great cliff than a real head. This is so they may join the god in her great rest and when she finally reawakens one day, their souls will follow her to a new paradise.

Currency: Tortles accept nearly all forms of currency when trading however at home they prefer to barter and give favors rather than employ a common currency.

Language: Every Tortle is well versed in Turtlith, their native language however traders learn to speak Common Nantic or the most commonly used language in wherever they trade the most.

People: The Tortles are as they sound, a race of long-lived bipedal turtles. With natural armor in the form of a shell and a tranquil nature when at home and undisturbed many a Tortle devotes their life to furthering the knowledge of their combined race and maintaining the knowledge of the past.

Magic: The Tortles primarily have a focus on magitech rather than magic, producing wares such as a magically supported bubble surrounding a Great Turtle’s shell, making it so the weapons mounted upon it do not lose effectiveness and the Tortles remain able to fire them when the creature dives underwater. However, talented water mages have been known to come from the land and can create distruptive whirlpools and call to the surrounding wildlife to focus their attention on assault of the unfortunate target the spell was aimed at.

Army: Due to their fascination with magic and gunpowder weapons development, considering it a field of alchemy a well-equipped military had been structured by the Tortles over time. This self-defense force as they call it, consists of volunteers given the best weapons and guns affordable by the ruling body of village chieftains that serve as the de facto leaders of the islands. Alongside this they constantly breed the colossal Great Turtles for combat and a league of ironclad turtle ships with several massive turrets strapped onto them. This pattern of weapon mounted wildfire remains in use on land as well due to the presence of the Sharpshell Tortoises, a massive variant of a standard Tortoise and descendant of the Great Turtles. These serve as a hardy transport and are commonly mounted with a swiveling cannon or two for a rider on top to attack with. Some especially powerful tortoises are outfitted with a secondary armored shell of steel to wear, essentially turning them into a biological iron beast.

Other:[edit]

Issbjarn Hold[edit]

The Issbjarn are an enigmatic bearfolk who populate the southwestern Ninquabar Islands as their outposts and originating from the islands in between Flickfowl and Tismo. In the years since the Nicsenóreans first established a foothold within the islands and spread out they were shocked to find that another race had called these chilled lands home. They lived in great wooden halls laden with tapestries of their history where a constant stream of festivities were held in honor of their heroes such as the warrior known as Bearowulf. The bipedal armored bears inhabiting these halls observed the relatively small (by their standards) newcomers who came bringing strangely crafted gifts as a means to seek their aid. Enraptured by the strange devices shining with an inner fire allowing one to light a fire merely by switching a lever and weapons of mithril make the guards allowed the elves in as the jarls, as they called their leaders spread across the islands were called to speak with the diplomats. The bearfolk soon heard the requests of the elves for their maps of the region and aid in return for free trade between their people and a steady stream of tributes to be given to the jarls. A relatively simple treaty, but it was enough for the bears as long as they could be sent more food to last all throughout the harsh winters. So long as this prerequisite would be met their feasting halls would remain open to the elves and they would lend their aid as fighters should their skills be required.

People:

As of yet, the Issbjarn have no clear story in their creation being a race of intelligence bipedal bears. Both their island homes nowhere near even the farthest outpost of the Eldrian empire and their nearest contacts being the Miqdaadites who are very much human. Regardless of their strange origins, the bearkin tower over most mortals and have an animalistic strength to them. These martial abilities remain their defining trait however most would find their mental capabilities to be slightly lacking to say the least. Nevertheless the Issbjarn have stayed well fed and happy throughout their races lives and make good coin managing a series of tollbooths along the eastern trade routes of the world.

Religion:

The bears pay little heed to conventional religion instead choosing to deify their ancestors and legendary heroes. Heroes such as Bearowulf have great shrines depicting the epic saga that was their life spread throughout their great mead-halls and their names are spoken right before rushing into a hunt or battle.

Magic:

Little to no magic is found among the bears and those who have it never even realize they possess such a gift. However due to the nature of their inherent abilities of smithing, their armor has a shockingly high resistance to magic with all but the highest level spells dissolving the second it touches them.

History:

Much of the early history of the bears have been forgotten and the little that remains is most likely just myth. These stories told to their cubs speak of emergence from ancient caves into a harsh world filled with feral beasts who sought to devour them, lindwurms, drakes, dire bears, wolf packs, a whole menagerie was contained within these islands. With numbers too small to fight against the beasts forced to hide in their caves to avoid being devoured, in desperation they travelled deeper into the caves braving the dark and discovered many glistening chunks of ore. Through experimentation and a strange natural talent for metalworking they successfully produced suits of armor and battleaxes for each and every bear to don. Resplendent in their new armor they set out and pushed back against the monsters who sought to kill them and so the first great halls were established. From that time they continued to peacefully grow and seek greater achievements in battle, even coexisting with their more savage cousins the dire bears. Becoming the dominant race of their islands many bears seeking to expand their homelands influence chose to sail downwards into the lands now known as the Ninquabar islands and create new halls there. However trapped amongst a land of fierce snowstorms and ice they were unable to report their findings to their families resulting in the two similar yet separate cultures of bearfolk living in the world today. One with brown and black fur and another with fur of pure white.

Following their meeting with the Nicsenóreans and subsequent treaty alongside sharing of their lands ,the bears have served as bodyguards and shock troops for the snow elves and anyone else who seeks their talents and great suits of armor. In this fashion many Issbjarn travel across the world gaining renown as mercenaries with their elders staying at home managing the gates and tollbooths prospective eastern traders must pass through.

Military: The concept of a military is quite a strange one to the bears as they all naturally are warriors. Using their natural skill at forging each makes and wears a suit of armor specifically suited to their needs with weapons such as battleaxes and greatswords all being made with the strongest ores they find on their journeys across the islands. However when the need to hunt or defend their homes comes up the Issbjarn gather together to repel any prospective assault. Alongside a line of armored warriors they also bring dire bears, by far the most dangerous of the "dire" creatures which are essentially larger and deadlier versions of wildlife into battle. These bears who are brought out of their own caves through enticing berries, meat and all other kind of food being offered to them and are outfitted with their own suit of armor being either walked or ridden into a battle.

The only known skirmishes to have occurred by other nations on their borders have been a failed excursion by Dalavchtai nomads and an assault from the Second Empire seeking to seize their lands. Once the Eldrian's monsters were being torn apart by the claws of dire bears and their guns bouncing off the reinforced plate of angry warriors they realized their mistake.

Economy:

Strangely enough the bears make a good amount of coin by managing a series of humorously named "tollbooth castles" along the coast where would be traders have to pay up before being allowed passage. This makes them a steady stream of income from Autian and Shaobon traders yet they are most famed for the great suits of plate and weapons they export. These are strong enough to compete with even Great Turtle shell armor and slightly more common as the Tortles show up to trade sporadically. I say slightly as you have to specifically travel to the islands of the bearfolk and commission a suit of armor to be made. Typically one must wait a week for it to be forged as there are several orders to be taken care of.

Lapus[edit]

Imperium of Dwight[edit]

Dright is a heavily industrialized country populated by a large variety of races forced to adapt to the dangerously toxic air prevalent in Dright. The ruling race of Dright are the Dreeght, a strange species of magically-gifted, raptor-like and cruel humanoids that cannot survive with pure air and upholds a strict and draconian caste system within their realm, its population boosted by a large number of slaves they've gathered through raids, trades and other means. The Dreeght are not seen outside their empire without means to protect them from the clean air that are poisonous to them. Needless to say, nobody likes dealing with Dright.

Malsolia[edit]

Not too long ago, the Union conquered the small but resource rich nation of Malsolia and enslaved it's citizens to work in the mine shafts. While profit was at an all time high, so was piracy. Union ships would commonly be raided and the strength of the larger pirate fleets would quickly start to rival the Union Navy.

Things truly got out of hand however when the miners discovered a powerful magical ore that gave them great powers and started a rebellion against the union. The combined chaos of both problems forced the Union to retreat quickly, leaving behind many ships, weapons and even one of their smaller zeppelins.

But they'll be back, and the people of Malsolia are preparing for their return.

The magical ore, called Malorite when it was discovered by the Union, can cause rapid mutation in those who either inhale or consume it's powdered form, the mutations take the form of crystaline structures that jut out of random points on the consumer's body, The first time the Malorite's mutagenic effects were discovered was when Malsolian miners started growing these crystaline growths after inhaling the discarded Malorite dust during their duties mining it, while none of those miners live today, they did accidentally make the first "Malorite Ascension Ritual" wherein the "Initiate Consumer" would take a small stone and chip away at a ritually prepared stone of Malorite until they would pass out from the beginning effects of Malorite Inhalation

Mousterians[edit]

The cold region between Malsolia and the Imperium of Dwight is primarly inhabited by the Mousterians, the remnant of an ancient race. They are shorter, less dexterous, social, magically able and have less stamina than humans but they make it up with their greater strength, intelligence, resistance to the cold and talent with purely technological tools. Thanks to the isolation caused by most other races not being able to survive in most of their territory, they built an highly advanced peaceful civilization interacting little with the outside world with the exception of some adventurous tourists, academics and scientists needing to study something on the field, merchants selling strange devices to buy the few magical artifacts that their science can't duplicate and a few diplomats.

Maritime Khurultai[edit]

People: Mostly human, a few permanent residents of other species but less than a single percent.

Religion: In a word- complicated. Studies into folklore suggest a hundred goddesses and gods in a singular pantheon, but none have names. Titles exist, but they may or may not be distinct aspects of collective spirit clusters. There appear to be no defining set of scripture or doctrine, simply individual interpretation of the relationship between the divine and the mortal. While not concise by any means, it allows the society some comfort in accepting attitudes that are not their own.

Magic: The use of magic is highly limited to lifestyle magic rather than the typical uses of war or healing- to use them for anything more than small instances is considered an insult to the spirits which allow magic to occur. For instance, Magic might be used to create another pair of hands to work a loom while the caster dyes the thread the loom creates. There are workarounds: rather than creating massive fireballs to lob on ones enemies, a small flame might be produced to light a pitch-covered boulder prior to it being lobbed via catapult, and the ingredients of several dozen healing droughts might be magically combined while the droughts themselves are expected to heal the sick and wounded.

History: Unrecorded, save for third hand accounts. Oral tradition is considered unreliable in these matters. Few who have made contact with them have noted them with more than a historical footnote, though we know that they are attributed to the dissappearences of a few coastal cities over the last century.

Economy: Unimpressive in terms of scale. All indication of an agrarian society- focuses on textiles and aquaculture. However, this might be a front for external actors in order to give an illusion of poverty- for instance, we know their crossbows are among some of the most sophisticated non-firearm ranged weapons on the island, and are far, far quieter.

The Maritime Khurultai does extensive trade throughout the world, primarily with human-dominated nations, but most of its products are not recognized as coming from it. Instead, they are often mistaken for things coming from elsewhere. while many coastal nations have traded with them in the past, few recognize that they've dealt directly with their citizens until after they have left.

The Maritime Khurultai deals mainly in intricately patterned textiles, clothing, jewelry and leather goods in dozens of styles. silken lace is among their best known product, but that is comparatively rare on the open market. additionally, they will sometimes let a series of complicated puzzles out into the world, to better gauge the adaptability of the people who would buy such things in an effort to determine the character of fellow human nations. these puzzles are, by contrast, easily recognized and leads to the notion that the nation only produces silly baubles for trade that are not worth people's money.

These same traders also tend to purchase large amounts of local art, sculpture, literature, musical instruments and the raw materials to make such things. they claim they are in need of diversions...but who is to say if that isn't another carefully construed lie to cover up their real goals.

Miscellaneous:

one of the very few but well known things the Maritime Khurultai does export to other nations is their silk, which uses highly detailed patterns woven by hand, with each textile house using a style unique to their traditions. This silk is highly durable, absorbs dye easily and is soft enough to make people forget they're wearing it.

Available in spools, sheets and custom order items (with ever increasing amounts of production time), the silk is wore by the people who make it in a layered fashion, often to the point that any gaps in the pattern are covered by more silk. However, due to the cost in both time to produce and to secure a trade visa with the Khurultai, foreigners can rarely afford much bulk silk, so it is regulated to accessories or accents on other pieces.

surprisingly, it can often be found paired with leather jackets, gloves or boots as a liner.

Story 1:

There are few who dare to cross the northern seas in summer, for that is when the ice melts and monsters roam south. Once, people believed this to be a metaphor, a warning about tides and ocean currents. A myth to warn precocious children and reckless traders alike.

But all myths have a kernel of truth to them, and reality is a harsh mistress.

Isolated behind impenetrable mountain chains and their lava filled fjords, and seasonally trapped by a ruthless arctic wind that manages to freeze even the mighty ocean itself, the humans of the Maritime Khurultai would be no threat to anyone, if it wasn't for the local fauna they have managed to tame.

Using all the knowledge at their disposal, they use the resources on hand to bend the monstrous Dire Tigers to their will. Apex predators adapted to extreme temperatures and perfectly at home in the water, the people of the Maritime Khurultai know that they are the key to getting the one thing they have always wanted.

More land.

With each generation of tigers getting larger and larger, they know their dreams will become reality. Soon.

There are many who doubt the idea, upon seeing a Dire Tiger in the wild, that lowly humans are even capable of taming a single one, let alone enough to be a threat to other nations.

Yet humanity has proven resourceful in other ways before, and there are rumors of a journal that outlines the exacting process. Combining animal husbandry, aquaculture, herbalism, perfumery, hypnosis, even clothing patterns, music and dance, the species is lulled into believing humans are not a threat, merely a provider. Instead, through this process, the journal allegedly claims that those who threaten their caretakers become the enemy of the Dire Tigers.

But as of yet, such claims are unverified. If only observers could be placed in the City of Three Rivers, or Kyr'jtlan'isoune in the local tongue. if it even exists at all.

Nobody has ever returned from looking for it, as you well know.

have you ever seen one, the humans from the Maritime Khurultai? consider yourself lucky if you have, there aren't that many who can boast the same claim. I've only heard the description of them third hand, from a drunken sailor no less, but it was fascinating to hear about.

They cover themselves from head to toe, with no skin exposed to the sun, even their faces. But it is no simple robe or armor they wear, for they combine silk and leather, metal and fur, feather and bone, and more, all at once.

The silk is said to be comfort, dyed in wild and bold colors, yet it is almost entirely covered by leather stitched in intricate patterns. the furs of great animals make up their cloaks, but those aren't worn for the cold- they are used to obscure their heavily engraved armor segments. great plums of feathers adorn their helmets in times of anger, and bones rattle from their limbs in symbolic totems tied fast with woven reeds.

Yet it is their carved wooden masks with polished, inlaid glass eyes that remain their most memorable features. you can never follow their eyes, not really- even when you think you can see what they're looking at, they glow from within, obscuring the truth. is it a reflexive movement, a trick of the light? he didn't know, nobody knows.

There is just too much we don't know. the layers of clothing supposedly hide a lattice work of tattoos, scars and brands, but even the old sailor couldn't say for sure if that was true or an embellishment from somewhere down the chain. if it is true, what do they all mean? why obtain them at all if they are to be covered up when in public?

Just what else are they hiding, behind those masked eyes of theirs? or should we be grateful we don't know.

Story 2: Yes ma'am, what I have here is a genuine scent puzzle ball, straight from the Maritime Khurultai. My contact has authenticated it as having come straight from the capital city!

That's right, just spin the inner segments around and the scent becomes stronger or weaker depending on how the holes line up. and you can replace the incense inside once you make it through all seven layers, like this. like this....dangit, it was easier to do last time- AH THERE WE GO. see? just a tiny amount of the stuff produces a smell this strong.

and yes, i know, its a tiny sphere, less than 20 centimeters across, but just think of the envy your friends will have when you present one of the few items used in the modern Martitime Khuruldai. not some ancient relic with no purpose, but a functional piece of their culture! your reputation around here will skyrocket!

No, of course it's not real Dire Tiger fang. Do you think they'd let those out of the country? No, this is the commoner's version, made from ox bone powder and resin, but still, the fact they even allowed it to escape their borders is a minor miracle.

Wait, how did you know they make the larger ones out of tiger fang? huh? customs enforcement? I've never...wait, where did you get that spear from?

Story 3:

Look, we've tried to give you an accurate count of their military capabilities, multiple times. And all, all my agents who've even managed to come back are dead. The ones who were left behind? We don't even know. All we have are rumors and hearsay, and the confessions of dying men.

If we can trust such sources, and that's a big if, then we know the military is mostly occupied by women, and they are terrifyingly efficient. Highly skilled, tactically well organized, proficient in mid-ranged and melee combat. They prefer high-powered crossbows that fire spear sized bolts, and whips that change into spears with the twist of a handle. While they seem to lack siege capabilities, their mounts speed and agility more than make up for such shortfalls.

From what we can estimate, roughly 40 percent of their population serves in the military. Its not hereditary, but there are legacy houses of martial prowess, and entire schools dedicated to the study and training of future war leaders. I couldn't begin to tell you about the locations, tactics or strategies behind such organization because, again, all my agents died trying to find out. That's how good their security is against foreigners.

But here's the real kicker. I'm virtually positive that even these rumors and hearsay and deathbed confessions are only known to us because they want us to know. They want us to have just a taste of that kind of information, probably so they can mislead us with it and then change directions at the last second, when it really counts.

So again, I implore you, do not trust what we have without firsthand, verifiable intelligence on them. I will, eventually, be forced assemble another team of agents and see if they can convert some of the locals into aiding us, but don't count on it. I don't want to send people to their deaths over mere speculation. And remember, if anyone asks, this conversation didn't happen.

Story 4:

Esteemed Ladies, Gentlemen.

As you well know, the origins of the Maritime Khurultai beyond the 400 years we have known of their existence, have not been committed to publication, nor are there written records of any kind on the subject. However, there is, within the extensive and robustly worded oral tradition of the people, an origin myth.

To repeat the myth in its entirely would require several hours of your precious time, as well as an understanding of the local language that I am not qualified to relay with sufficient enough skill. In summary translation, we can say they believe they came from a convoy of refugees of a ruined homeland far to the south, one which persecuted them for their beliefs that slavery was unjust and should be abolished. That any who could work the land should be free, regardless of other factors. They feared for their lives and fled across the ocean in thirteen ships.

Most sank, and while some of their crews and passengers were saved, in the end, only four made it to their new land. When they arrived, they found the land plentiful in rich fruits, grain, vegetables, spices and materials for making homes, textiles, medicine and even tools for mining and metallurgy. Which, even I admit, seems implausible, but then how else are we to explain their alternatives to modern firearms?

But it seems that while they found an abundant paradise, the animals of the land were rare, and often dangerous. Even the fish along the coastal waters were quite deadly, almost as if they had adapted to be as deadly as possible in order to ward off some threat or another with their every waking moment. Mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians, they all seemed hostile to human presence, and hunting these creatures was an exercise in folly, for it killed more of their people with each attempt than their bodies could feed.

That is, until they discovered their Tiger God.

Pardon my interruption. A little wine always clears the coughing.

We don't know if they are referring to some predecessor species to the actual Dire Tigers they use today or if they met someone who merely impersonated a deity, regardless, this indivdiual didn't consider them a threat. If anything, it was amused by their attempts to change the nature of the land, and let them go about their business, occasionally following them as a curious neighbor might observe the habits of your pets.

The Tiger God watched their struggles, but didn't offer aid directly, merely leaving hints on occasion so they might discover the truths for themselves. As thanks, they would offer gifts of tribute, which, while quite elegant by our standards, simply served to make the god bored.

However, when the humans finally began breeding fish in their aquacultural gardens and preparing them for meals, the Tiger God took notice and began asking for offerings. The humans relented, and the Tiger God was pleased, offering the services of their children in exchange for regular meals. This bargain appears to lay the foundation for their domestication today.

Now, when most settlers or refugees arrive at a distant landmass, unless they have sufficient materials for housing secured, it isn't uncommon for people to cannibalize their ships for raw materials. This didn't happen in this tale, as the refugees had feared they would be followed, and thus kept their ships in order to evacuate should the land prove too formidable for them to live on.

However, as the people were beginning to discuss what to do with the vessels, the Tiger God was intrigued by these ships and their sturdiness, and they asked that their children be able to use them to play on as part of their arrangement. The people agreed, knowing they would also be useful for trade should they come into contact with others, as well as to find more marine life to hunt and eventually tame for domesticated food sources.

Again, my apologies. This damned cough.

But that is the tale, as told to me by my contacts from the Maritime Khurultai, have laid out. As you well know, the structure of the narrative is typical of a myth whose basis in reality has been lost to time. Not uncommon in particularly ancient civilizations without a readily available source of writing materials.

However, we have plenty of evidence that they do indeed have a writing system. The Litany of Poets even has three examples of their writing system within its text, though the translation is what most people care to read. So why then do they only chronicle their history in oral tradition?

I believe the key to this inclination stems from an axiom they use, away from open ears and in darkened corners. "Still words lie, moving words reflect the soul." In order to trust the words of a person, they must see the person say it, to follow their eyes, the movement of their hands and gauge the emotions of their voice, to carry a greater context with the words- a mass produced writing would be meaningless to such an attitude.

...I must say I am somewhat astonished that there hasn't been a single question about any of this thus far. Does anyone have a...Carl, have you even been looking for raised hands or...

My word. My assistant is dead. How...when...Someone, please call for a coroner.

Why is...no one is moving? What...what is going on...here...

Oh.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

If it's not to much to ask, may I have a final sip of wine first?

The East Unionary Company[edit]

While technically part of The Union, the EUC finds itself with a relatively high level of autonomy. Acting primarily as a trade hub for Timber and Furs to bring to the mainland.

Utopia[edit]

People:

The people of Utopia come from all over the globe, but most of them are Nantic followers of Vanille, Gaelhalla, and their variants. In addition, the Silver Goddesses clan of Amazons, the original inhabitants of the islands, still form a slight majority.

Religion:

The people of Utopia welcome all religions (except war gods, demons, male gods, and any god that pushes for the supremacy of a particular race (Ayalla's well known favoritism for the Amazon races doesn't count, for reasons)). The Amazons mostly worship Ayalla, while the Nantics mostly worship Vanille and Gaelhalla. Utopia itself is essentially a cult. Although its home base is in the island chain ruled by the Silver Goddesses, its followers can be found around the world, seeking ways to influence governments to embrace its multicultural-feminist-environmentalist creed, or overthrow those it cannot influence.

Magic:

Utopia has a fair number of magic users from all over the world, but particularly the Nantic States. In addition, unlike most other Amazon tribes, the Silver Goddesses have many skilled magic users, specializing in enchantments.

Military:

Members of Utopia stir up trouble all around the world, but prefer subterfuge and political riots to actual warfare. Enchanters are particularly useful to them. However, the Utopians are perfectly capable of defending themselves. In particular, the Silver Goddesses are almost all skilled at martial combat, and have many magic-users as well, causing them to be the main fighters of Utopia. Several attempts by Alkor, the Union, the Shahdom, and Dright to dislodge them from their islands have failed, and in retaliation, Utopia has teamed up with Malsolia, Aquatica, and the Freedom Coalition to engage in piracy and industrial sabotage. They also have a mysterious interest in Khurultai.

History:

The Utopian Movement was founded by Hanna Gannel, a minor noble from Westphallica and a fanatical worshipper of Vanille who believed in a world where everyone will live in harmony with each other and nature. The movement was very popular with activist nobles and intellectuals for a time, but gained a reputation for using violent and underhand methods to achieve their goals and therefore were driven out of one nation after another. They eventually ended up seeking sanctuary in the Silver Islands (now known as Utopia), since the Amazon tribes there largely agree with their politics.

Economy:

Utopia is an island chain off the coast of Lapus covered in temperate conifer rainforest. The indigenous Amazons live simple lives as hunter-gatherers, but foreign followers of Utopia have built several impressive fortresses and port towns with resources provided by wealthy sympathizers and enemies of enemies. Piracy and raids also sometimes yield useful resources and equipment.

Lepre-Khans, Lindgrub, and the Grassblade Commune[edit]

Lepre Khans:

Between the Imperium of Dright and the Maritime Khurultai lays a land neither dares to thread into. Known as the Lepre-clans these lands are primarily inhabited by leprechauns. The leprechauns are a race feared by all of Lapus, capable of feats of great trickery, incredible magic and clever deception, they can steal someone's underwear undetected while maintaining eye contact with them.

Lindgrub

The leprechauns are however not alone, a colony of Alkor named Lindgrub had settled east of the Lepre Khans. When news came out of Harlbourg's rebellion many of the colonists sympathized with Harlbourg. Fearing this might cause instability, the government ordered the Alkor Global Press to censor any information of the rebellion that would paint Harlbourg in a positive light. The people caught on however, and when the government attempted to imprison several whistleblowers, the colonist launched a revolt of their own. The leprechauns, wanting to cause some chaos, decided to aid the colonist in their battle. Together they kicked Alkor of the continent, and the Liberated Lands of Lindgrub remain in relative peace to this day.

Grassblade Commune

On the northernmost point of Lindgrub, east of Dright grows a tree so tall that its peak pierces the stratosphere. This tree is the birthplace of the leprechauns and other fae who roam the continent of Lapus. An entire city filled druids, ents, dryads and monkeymen reside within the the tree's stem, with a colony of harpies who have evolved to breathe in high altitude environments living atop the tree. These people refer to themselves as the Grassblade Commune.

People:

The main inhabitants of this region are the Lindgrubians. Descendants of an Alkorian colony that rebelled about a century ago, they have picked up many traits from the Lepre-Khans both before and after the rebellion, and these days can be easily identified by their strange accent and mannerisms.

Lepre-khans (also known as leprechauns and lepres) are the most common type of fey in the region, though they prefer the mountainous uplands to the coastal hills preferred by the Lindgrubians. Harpies and ents are also fairly common, and occasionally other fey are seen as well like giants, dryads, hags, and monkeymen.

Religion:

Lindgrubians have a strange syncretic religion combining elements of both the Nantic religion and the ancestor gods of various fey. The primary god is Gallywa, a nude corpulent, pig like goddess that combines elements of Gelune/Gaelhalla, Gayin, and the Lepre-Khan goddess Gorutt. She is associated with greed, fertility, and cunning. The Old Man of the Seas is associated with weather and oceans, and combines elements of Shomdar and Alcar. Liik is the Raven Goddess, and is worshipped in a similar manner to in Unkor, Falconhead, and Gabaet due to the fact that some of the original colonists were refugees from those areas fleeing upheaval at the time. Wyrn/Weir is the forest god, and incorporates elements of ent ancestor spirit worship.

The fey have a wide range of gods, generally more powerful versions of themselves.

Military:

Lindgrub is a poor and backwater nation, who have little to trade, and who are generally uninterested in trading with outsiders anyways. Despite this, they do have a reasonable number of cheaply made firearms purchased from The Union which are used by the Lindgrub Revolutionary Army. This army, more of a coalition of militias really, are constantly preparing for the inevitable Alkorian invasion attempt, though in reality, Alkor has shown little interest in trying to reconquer Lindgrub, which was only ever slightly profitable at its best.

In battle, Lindgrub uses a strange mix of Nantic and fey tactics. Raids and guerilla warfare is preferred. Humans use muskets, and the occasional cannon, then switch to swords, axes, spears, and repurposed farm tools. Fey provide support in accordance to their strengths (ents as heavy hitters, harpies as aerial skirmishers, lepre-khans as saboteurs, etc.)

Skirmishes with Dright and Khurultai are not unheard of. Thanks to their alliance with the lepre-khans, the Lindgrubians are one of the few nations that Khurultai rarely get the drop on. However, although they hate most foreigners, Lindgrubians prefer to be left alone, and have yet to launch an extended campaign against anyone, though rumors persist that The Union, Imperium of Dright, and/or Dun Costa have approached them to form an alliance.

Occasionally small groups from Dright and Khurultai will march directly on the highlands to try to retaliate against the lepre-khans, but bringing the wily fey to battle is almost impossible. Most of their strongholds are in fact located in the fey realms, and only one with strong ties to that realm can enter them. Even strongholds located in this world are just outposts for strongholds in the fey world, and can be cleaned of anything of value on short notice.

History:

For countless ages, the lepre-khans, lapus elves, and other fey from the Grassblade Commune roamed the continent of Lapus freely, but invasions by the Orgillons and Sartyrians in ancient times have convinced them to consolidate their communities mostly in hard to reach locations. Never seeing eye to eye, the lapus elves went west, while the lepre-khans stayed in the east and central highlands, however, other fey tribes settled in both regions.

In time, various other cultures settled in the coastal areas and flatter sections of the island. At first the fey usually avoided or fought with the outsiders, but in time it was decided that some of the human cultures weren't as bad as the Orgillons and Sartyrians of old. The lepre-khans formed close relations with Alkorian colonist that settled in the eastern portion of the continent, and about 100 years ago helped them rebel against their colonial masters.

Since then, the Lindgrubians and their allies among the lepre-khans and other fey have been stubbornly isolationist for the most part, though some ties exist with Dright, The Union, and Dun Costa.

Economy:

Lindgrub is a fairly poor nation with poor, hilly land suited for little other than potato fields and sheep. The lepre-khans are famous for their hordes of gold, but are extremely reluctant to part with it, despite the fact that some lepre-khans can use their magic to produce large amounts of gold. However, some lepre-khans are fairly generous spenders, thus allowing the more organized Lindgrubian militias to purchase weapons from The Union.

The more sadistic and amoral lepre-khans sometimes purchase slaves from Dwight.

Lapus Elves (East Alkor, Vespins, Karelia, Mordiven, East Union Company, Bloodsap Forest)[edit]

People:

The Lapus Elves are one of the more numerous but lesser known branches of the elven race. Many of them come from diluted bloodlines due to past mixing with that of humans and other lesser races and now lack the immortality certain other elven races are famous for, though only those with recent human ancestry are considered half-elves.

A number of other fey beings live here, particularly in the Bloodsap forest. Inhabitants include ents, lepre-khans, red caps, harpies, satyrs, dryads, and other, stranger creatures.

The region is also home to many colonists from Alkor, Shahdom, and The Union.

Religion:

The Lapus elves mostly worship a large pantheon of elven gods they brought with them from their home dimension, but a few have converted to human religions, mostly the Nantic Pantheon.

Magic:

Elves from relatively pure bloodlines usually have access to innate magic, though power levels vary. Their favorite spells tend to be illusions, enchantments, and elemental magic, but they can also channel their raw ability to learn human magic traditions.

Military:

Although individually skilled and arrogant, the elites of Lapus elf society see fighting against lesser races like humans to be wasteful and senseless. Instead, their greatest cities and mansions are hidden deep in the Bloodsap Forest, guarded by the vicious fey that live there, hidden by powerful illusions, and in many cases, located entirely within the realms of the fey. Any potential invaders will have to slog through dense forest full of traps, magical constructs, and dark fey hunters if they want to stumble upon a Lapus elf settlement.

Instead most fighting gets done by the lesser clans of Lapus elves living in the coastal swamps and rocky hills, who although are still fairly skilled magically and martially, are often outnumbered by human invaders.

Lapus elves prefer to fight with swords, bows, and spells, though some clans have also grudgingly embraced firearms as well. They much prefer guerilla warfare to open warfare, where their skill with illusions and knowledge of their misty pine forest homeland gives them a significant edge.

The various other fey creatures living in the area, particularly in Bloodsap Forest, each have their own fighting style, though stealth, misdirection, and fear tactics are generally preferred.

Alkor and The Union both have military forces in this region, which sometimes skirmish against the Lapus Elves, assorted other fey, as well as Malsolian and Utopian pirates.

History:

The Lapus elves were one of the first inhabitants of the Lapus continent back when it was a sparsely inhabited region home to small pockets of fey creatures that can trace their origins to the Grassblade Commune. As other more powerful nations conquered then lost Lapus over and over, and some of the fey living in the continent's interior became increasingly dark, the Lapus elves shifted their focus to the dense pine forests of the southwestern coast, where warm ocean currents and an extensive network of volcanos, geysers, and hot springs kept the air relatively warm but also frequently misty.

Over the past few centuries, they have repeatedly come in contact with humans from Autia seeking timber, furs, and mineral wealth like gold, jews, and malorite. At first these colonists were generally driven out, but the Lapus elf ruling class has grown lazy and decadent, and eventually a number of colonies were formed by those who had the military strength to protect themselves against minor raids, but also the brains and wealth to bribe the ruling elf clans and exploit rivalries between different noble families.

The main colonists were Alkor, The Union, and the Shahdom of Gravlind:

The Shahdom were the first to be able to set up trade relations with the Lapus elves, some alliances lasted for centuries, however, the Shahdom became increasingly bullying, in some cases even using marriage alliances with minor clans to claim ownership of entire regions, so few were particularly sad to see Alkor and their puppets among the Autian Port Federation drive them from the region, though some former Shahdom colonies still exist in the region as neutral towns.

The Union was the next to settle the area, setting up a number of colonies in the region, particularly in the malorite rich region of Malsolia (which the Lapus elves avoid due to the harmful radiation generated by the high malorite content underground). The Union eventually outright conquered the Malsolia region, giving them a powerful foothold in the region, from which a number of other smaller colonies could be set up, however, the Lapus elves dislike The Union due to their attitudes towards magic, and each new colony is only set up after considerable bloodshed and/or bribes to elven nobles. Eventually The Union lost control of Malsolia, which significantly weakened their position in the region, though they still retain a number of major bases in the island chains between the continents of Autia and Lapus.

Alkor is the most recent colonist, and generally the most successful. Much more willing to tolerate foreign religions practices, magic traditions, and cultural practices than other colonial powers, Alkor was able to establish good relations with a number of noble clans, and even the right to colonize and fortify the sparsely inhabited island of Twin Hills, now more commonly known as East Alkor. Many bored and adventurous elves and half-elves have immigrated to Alkor (and from there some to Westphallica, Harlbourg, Hoogivs, Gabaet, and Ercaenmedi). However, some noble families still don't trust Alkor, and are either isolationist or maintain ties to The Union.

Economy:

Lapus elf population growth is fairly steady (in fact currently falling due to emigration) so most elves live in well hidden communities that are centuries old. Some communities are hunter-gatherers, while others have some farming. Mining is also not uncommon.

Foreigners are generally interested in the tall trees, rare furs, and rich veins of gold, iron, gemstones, and malorite. Although uninterested in collecting most of those things themselves, Lapus elves do tolerate foreign colonies who mine, trap, and collect timber off of designated lands in return for payments in gold and jewels.

Lapus elves are sometimes individually very wealthy by the standards of other races, and often spend much wealth in decadent, open minded societies like Napan and Westphallica. Poorer elves sometimes spend decades in places like Alkor and Ercaenmedi, where their reputation helps ensure that elven craftsmen and mages often become wealthy quickly.

Some Lapus elves become bored due to their long lives and embrace all sorts of black-hearted activities in areas where taboos are few, and the poor have few rights like Yr, the Fleshmolders, the Unravelers, Afrolia, and the Second Empire. However, only the more powerful can take these risks, since elven slaves fetch high prices in these regions.

Dead Man's Hand[edit]

Orgrillon Domain[edit]

Far to the north, in a land of long nights and longer winters, sits the lands of the Orgrillon Domain.

This rough, windswept land is the home of a rough society. The Orgrillon are something akin to Ogres. In fact, they are the distant relatives of the primitive and brutish clans far to the south, being the uncorrupted and still proud originators of that crude race. Larger and more intelligent, they built a society of strict law which often incorporates heavy corporal punishment. Long lived and prideful, the remaining Orgrillon are small in number, only being a fraction of their former splendor. The size of lands they occupy may be deceiving, but it is largely barren and flat, with mountains making up the northern third of their territory.

They have no magic, and any youth born with signs of it are left in the empty tundra to die.

They despise humanity, seeing them as upstarts and usurpers. Indeed they maintain that they once held vast lands of all forms and ruled over peoples and creatures of all varieties. If this is true, it was so long ago that it was never recorded by the race of men. Perhaps their diminutive cousins in the south, the ogres, are some remnant of this ancient expanse. Fortunately for nearly all other beings, they no longer have the numbers to threaten the wider world and have long fallen behind the empires of man in the advancement of weaponry and technology.

They are long lived and short tempered. Even in their diminished state, they should not be under estimated and a foray into their lands is fraught with danger.

The Orgrillon, while capable of much brutality and being very martial and physical are far more advanced than the ogre clans. They build massive stone structures and fortifications, the likes of which many in the world could never hope to replicate.

They do not like to sail, and are distrustful of the seas. They subsist off of great herds of shaggy haired beasts. Their diet is nearly entirely carnivorous. There are few trees in their lands, forests are thin and sparse, but they have an abundance of mineral resources.

They worship no gods, considering the practice to have contributed to the fall from greatness.

The Orgrillon currently have a decentralized state. In the past they were jointly ruled by a court of the strongest and most experienced warriors and commanders of their people. These leaders were known as the Krolgar, a term being analogous with general or lord. Amongst these, one would serve as the highest authority, acting as a sort of dictator or overlord. This individual was known as the Gorkargin. This ruler was elected by the assembly of Krolgar, usually for their martial or tactical prowess, though in more peaceful times the Gorkargin could be selected for great feats such as building grand fortresses or other domestic achievements. The Gorkargin essentially held their position for life, but they could be forced to relinquish the position if a large enough number of the Krolgar deemed them ill suited for the job. The Gorkargin had the ability to contest this by a request of combat. Should he defeat a worthy challenger, he could then petition to retain his post. Often the Krolgar assumed to be the best candidate for the position of Gorkargin would be selected for this fight, but any could participate. In theory, every single Krolgar in the assembly could engage the Gorkargin in single combat until the matter was settled. Usually, however, the issue was resolved without going to such extreme lengths with plenty of sitting overlords simply accepting the ruling of the assembly without much confrontation. Although at least a single fight was common on such occasions.

As their power waned, internal strife hastened the crumbling of their expansive hold on the wider lands. This strife would manifested as chaotic and fractious assemblies, with many Gorkargin being replaced or killed in rapid succession. Eventually their lands and people diminished, and the number of Krolgar became far fewer than in their golden age. The assembly still convenes semi-regularly, but it has been a considerable time since a Gorkargin has been selected. The remaining Krolgar have taken to simply administering their individual territories without an overarching authority while maintaining their connections and identity as a single people.

Military of the Orgrillon Domain

The Orgrillons wage war in nearly the same manner that they have for thousands of years. Having never developed as far technologically as humanity, they still rely on strong formations with traditional albeit large weaponry. For the majority of their history, their sheer size and strength alone made them nigh unstoppable in warfare. A single Orgrillon can be physical a match for four men by itself, and their armor is often too thick for the hand weapons of the smaller races to penetrate. A single blow from one of the brutes is often enough to devastate a man. This means gaps in their armor were often the only sensible targets for their foes.

The structure of the military is to have their forces organized into divisions of 1,000 warriors. These are prominently infantry forces with supplementary units mixed in for more flexibility. Multiple division will often serve together when a large battle or conflict is anticipated.

The main means of engagement is a strong block formation, with the first two rows carrying large shields while behind them the preferred two handed axes and hammers are wielded. Starting from the third row back, each warrior carries a pair of six foot long javelins, which an average orgrillon can hurl 100 yards to devastating effect. These weapons can impale two men at a time when they hit their mark. The formation will march forward steadily to structured chants, with the javelins being thrown as they advance to weaken and disheartened the enemy units before an all out charge of the entire force, attempting to use their sheer size and strength to break the enemy through fear or the devastation of the impact.

The shields of the first two rows of the formation are incredibly durable and made of solid metal. While they Orgrillons have found themselves outmatched by the firearms and modern weaponry of humanity, the shields have proven to be capable of deflecting most small arms fire with ease, though larger armaments penetrate with less issue.

To supplement their forces, the divisions are often accompanied by large and powerful ballistas. These weapons have significant range and fire bolts as large as the trunks are great trees, which can level columns of enemy units when hit directly. These ballistas have been noted to sink wooden warships when they penetrate the hulls and can tear holes in walls of less than formidable structures. These weapons are often pushed along the rear of the infantry formations and begin to fire on the enemy while the steady march closes the distance to begin using their javelins.

Some of these weapons are structured to fore large boulders instead of deadly bolts. While these tend to have less range they are capable of inflicting significant damage with the tumbling rocks the size of grown men.

In addition to the steady and disciplined infantry that comprises the bulk of their armies, they Orgrillons also tend to bring some of their beasts of burden to war with them.

While an Orgrillon has a large stride and is capable of quickly crossing significant ground, they fight in tight and disciplined formations and often forgoe speed for cohesion. To compensate for the shortcomings of such a fighting style, they often drive herds of their woolly beasts to battle before them. These creatures are used to disrupt the enemy before the battle commences or are driven around the sides of primary infantry formations to harass and weaken the enemy forces from the sides.

All told, the tactics and weaponry of the Orgrillons are nearly archaic when compared to the war machines and firearms of humanity, and their lack of magic was a significant factor in their fall to the expansion of the elves.

While a single rifle shot is not likely enough to bring down an Orgrillon, a dozen certainly is, and humanities population has grown without end and the large empires have more than enough weapons of war to make up the difference. Gone are the days when the tribes and petty kingdoms of men could only resist with the strength of their own arms and bodies, and with them went the sheer supremacy of the Orgrillon race.

While a division of 1,000 Orgrillons is a physical match for a much larger force they now must contend with rows of guns, cannons, tanks, and all manner of technological and destructive machines.

They are still secure in what is left of their Domain, but alone they have little hope of taking on the full might of a human superpower and could never reclaim their empire, let alone the rest of Dead Man's Hand. While a human empire invading their domain without their full might would surely prove folly, the Ogre-kind themselves lack the means of truly waging an offensive war as well.

Belkan Arktikos[edit]

Belkan Arktikos is a region of Belka on Northern Continent bordering Ogrillion Lands. Following the ascension of the Von Erich family to power in Belkan a series of military expeditions were undertaken by the state to expand the realm and look for artifacts of ancient empires that may aid Belkan's war effort. Belkan Arktikos is one of these colonies being located in the lands on the ancient Ogrillion Empire, with the Belkan military subduing the local Ogre population and putting them to work looking for any relics the mythical Sartyrians and their enemies. The colony is sparsely populated compared to the burgeoning colonies of the Alkorian Empire, with only a handful of cities and native Orge and human tribes, but is heavily defended for its Wyrdstone mines. With the Wyrdstone of this area being crucial for Belkan superweapon development.

Skyr-nada[edit]

People:

The Nadians are descendants of an ancient Nantic Empire colony, though harsh conditions, subtle magic, and a high protein diet mean they are larger and stronger than typical Nantians.

Religion:

Nadians worship a primitive version of the Nantic pantheon; Gala (fertility, magic, nature, feminity), Akar (storms, thunder, might makes right), Shogor (oceans, fish, mysteries, forbidden knowledge), and Grumm (werewolves, animals, hunters).

Magic:

Few Nadians use magic, those that do are usually druids of Gala (almost always female) or much more rarely druids of Shogor. The magical traditions used have much more in common with the wild magic of the fey than the scholarly magic of the Nantians.

Military:

Most Nadians are local to their clan or village, but occasionally small, or even large alliances are formed between groups. All adults are expected to know how to fight, and get plenty of practice on the many threats of the region including goblins, hostile fey, werewolves, ogres, giants, restless dead, large predatory animals, and sometimes trespassing foreigners. Nadians prefer brute force weapons like clubs and axes, and don't wear armor, but aren't mindless barbarians and make frequent use of traps and ambushes to even the odds. Many Nadian tribes use crossbows and flintlocks purchased from foreign arms dealers. Nadians tame large fauna like goosaurus, bears, wolves, moose, and giant beaver to serve as hunting companions, guard animals, and mounts. They sometimes ally with outsiders and non-humans when needed.

History:

Nadians descend from a largely forgotten Nantic Empire colony. They sometimes clash with foreign mining, fishing, and archaeological groups, but are mostly ignored by civilized nations.

Economy:

Nadian are a self sufficient people that get by fishing, hunting, and practicing limited agriculture. Nadians build fortified villages from wood and stone but are always prepared to live off the land, even in winter, should their village be overrun by a superior foe. Although capable of mining and smelting in order to produce their own tools, weapons, and currency, they trade furs, gold coins, and potent alcohols for more advanced gear like fire arms and bear traps.

Land of the Frost Giants[edit]

People:

The dominant inhabitants of this region of course are the Frost Giants, but they share it with a handful of other races like goblins, ogres, and Nantic colonists (who are generally either slaves or trespassers, but sometimes foreign envoys, mercenaries, and merchants can be found in the larger clans).

Religion:

Frost Giants worship "Old Winter", a powerful fey spirit they see as their creator. They sometimes sacrifice captives in his name by leaving them bound in the open to die of exposure to the elements, or encapsulating them in solid ice.

Magic:

Most frost giants have innate magical abilities, particularly immunity to cold, the ability to make others immune to cold, control over ice and frost, and weather magic, but also sometimes necromancy, demonbinding, runic magic, and enchantment.

Military:

One of the largest races on the planet, the frost giants are dangerous simply due to their sheer size, and can easily kill several men standing close together with a single swipe of their club or axe. But in addition, many command powerful magic. Luckily they are relatively few in number.

Warriors typically wear chain mail and carry massive axes, clubs, swords, flails, spears, javelins and bows.

Magic users sometimes forgo chain mail for more comfortable furs since their magic allows them to regenerate many minor wounds anyways.

Frost giants have domesticated a wide range of local fauna like mammoths, frost wolves, and saber cats.

History:

The Frost Giants are believed to descend from a fey race that entered this world ages ago. Once found in both the northern and southern continents, the southern clan is believed to have wiped itself out centuries ago. The northern clans have occasionally worked with the ogrillons in the past, but cooperation is rare now that the ogrillons only possess a fraction of their former power. Still, there are some who worry the Frost Giants may ally with the ogrillons to rid themselves of the increasing numbers of Nantic colonies.

Economy:

The frost giants are self-sufficient hunter-gatherers, but sometimes trade with southern nations, more out of curiosity than anything. Some clans tolerate Ercaenadhorn mines on the edges of their territory in return for bribes, but frost giants are unreliable allies, and it is not uncommon for them to attack their former allies out of boredom, and they will rarely protect foreign mines from other giant clans, contrary to any promises.

Some more sedentary clans run mines and forges which supply the steel used in weapons and armor. Although some giants like forging, few like mining, and as a result, giants sometimes raid human, goblin, and even occasionally orgillon communities for slaves to work their mines, or better yet, metal equipment that can be melted and reforged.

A few massive castles, wooden fortresses, and elaborate (and gruesome) shrines to Old Winter dot the region, but few giant clans can stay in one spot for long unless they run a mine and/or forge they can use to trade metal goods for food. It is not uncommon to find a castle empty, and its inhabitants living in a natural cave or out in the open hundreds of kilometers away hunting for food.

Illician Isles[edit]

In the dark expanse of the barren sea lies the Illician Isles a collection of small storm swept crags and hardy islands, the climate is harsh with few plants but some hardy grasses and a few trees in the more sheltered of isles, the ilicians settled here, with cattle as their sole companion, they built towns, castles, and ships, they hunted the wild sea life, from mere fish swimming through the winding rocks of the coasts, through the great leviathans of the sea, their prowess in the sea is past comparing, but not all is well in these isles, the isles hide a terrible secret below the green meadows and the dark blue seas, for the dark stalks the lands, creatures alien to human eyes stalk the skies, light is the only thing to fend them away, some say to rely on the thunders gods mercy, some preach of fire, great and small, some to the wisdom of the all being, others, though, tell of blood.

Darhun Coast[edit]

People:

Darhun is primarily home to the Darhun human culture and the Jhazai elf culture. Both are nomadic hunter gatherers with little interest in the outside world, though those interested in exploring the world sometimes do mercenary work for the nations of Lapus.

The Darhun are a Jinsan race, though no one remembers whether they came from Autia, Tismo, or some other region. They are a blunt, pragmatic people, who have no mercy for the weak, but also see no shame in retreating or hiding from those with superior numbers.

The Jhazai are a little known branch of the elf race. They are sometimes compared to the elves of Nicsenor, but it is generally believed they arrived from the fey worlds separately. Jhazai are seemingly impervious to the cold, and dress lightly all year round. Aside from their manner of dress, fondness for elaborate art, more extensive use of ritual, and greater skill at ambush, their culture is surprisingly similar to the Darhun. It is unknown if they have the same immortality as certain other elf races, thanks to their violent way of life, few have been known to live for more than a few centuries.

Aside from the Darhun and the Jhazai, the area is home to orcs, goblins, orgillon, frost giants, and a few minor arctic fey races.

Religion:

Religion in this region is mostly limited to folklore and origin myths, many of which are unique to a certain tribe. Scholars from more civilized regions have long ago given up on trying to catalogue all the different gods and god-like entities worshipped here. Worship by both the Darhun and Jhazai includes erecting stone circles, carving large spirals into the tundra moss (or snow, depending on the season), and brutal ritual dismemberment of both living animals and captives.

Magic:

Some Darhun and Jhazai use ice magic, weather magic, enchantments, or necromancy, but overall magic isn't really there forte. However, they are sometimes able to cast powerful magic via time consuming and unreliable rituals.

Military:

The Darhun, Jhazai, and other inhabitants of the Darhun Coast frequently raid each other, particularly when food is scarce. Racial loyalty is not seen as particularly important, and it is common for tribes of different races to form alliances with each other against their own race. Although few tribes have the ability to forge steel, steel weapons are surprisingly common as steel is rare and valuable and the same blade, arrowhead, axe head, or bludgeon may be used for decades, carefully scavenged and repaired anytime it is broken or lost in battle. Firearms are rare simply because procuring ammo is difficult, though many tribes will have a few fire arms lying around for the rare occasions when they can loot or procure gunpowder and shot. Tribes that are short on steel weapons will use sharpened bone instead.

Stronger tribes often tame powerful creatures like woolly rhinos, woolly mammoths, bears, giant wolves, and saber cats to ride into battle. Both stronger and weaker tribes also love ambushes and hit and run tactics. Although the open tundra has few ambush points and is mostly left to the orcs, ogrillons, and frost giants, the coastal areas are covered in rocky hills riddled with caves, small forests of unnaturally hardy pine, and often dense coastal fogs that obscure everything.

History:

The inhabitants of Darhun Coast have been there as far back as anyone cares to remember. Several attempts by nations from Lapus and the Nantic States have failed badly. There simply isn't anything worth exporting in this region that justifies the strong military presence it takes to keep the region from being overrun by hostile tribal races.

Economy:

The tribes in this region are mostly self-sufficient hunter gatherers, however, a few minor trading posts are maintained by free lancers and minor states who trade surplus and outdated weaponry for furs and carve-able bones. These outposts are also sometimes used by nations like Dright and Yr to recruit mercenaries.

Sources of food include caribou, arctic rodents, migratory birds, megafauna like mammoths and rhinos, fishing, seals, whales, as well as harvesting certain berries, tubers, lichen, and fungi during the summer months.

Ignis[edit]

Sartyrian[edit]

In the Waters of the Southwest lies the continent known as Ignis and the Kingdom of Sartyrian. A nation of elves, the kingdom has existed for millennia, enduring on the strength of it's people and the worship of the World Flame. Once the Sartyrians had a mighty Empire stretching from Ignis all the way to the great continent of Autia but in their pride they thought they could live without the World Flame, the immortal fire which fuels the souls of all Elves, and it was left untended to. But from the colonies the people were struck with a strange disease, what would later be known as Smelter's disease, with much of the population being wiped out by the strange affliction. On Ignis the Fire bust into new life, burning the lands to ash and soon to Sartyrians would find themselves blackening as well as if they themselves are burning, with all compassion from them burned away as well. But the Great Fire gave them one boon, a cure for the Smelters Disease, the afflicted must walk through the World Flame and they will be cleansed and they will be immortal as long as the fire burns, but they will feel an agonizing pain as long as they exist. For now these Dark Elves see fit to practice their pyromancies and guard the flame from all who would assault it but who knows how long it will be before the world feels their fell might again...

They are famous for their destruction of the ancient Ogrillion Empire and scattering of that race.

Hakan:

Hakan is the heart of the Sartyrian Kingdom and the home of the World Flame. When the ancient Elves came to Ignis they were still mortal just as Men are now, but seeing the eternal fire burning in the land they decided to enact a ritual to draw on it's strength. The ancient Elves gathered around the Fire, and using the ritual magic for which they were known for, forever linked the souls of their species to the flame. The World Flame still remains in the same spot it was tens of thousands of years ago, guarded jealously by the Elves lest the younger races try to usurp their fire.

Hakan and the World Flame would come under siege multiple times oved the centuries though always unsuccessfully. The first assults would come from other Elven tribes that would try to steal the power of the Sartyrian Empire, than the Ogres in a fleet of massivd longboats which would be used as kindling by the Dragons and most recently by the Men of the Union, who's leaders craved the immortality granted by the flame.

The Sartyrian Military:

All armies are built around a core of heavy infantry In magically enhanced full plate armor. Primarily armed with weaponry enhanced with the flames of their cursed continent, Swords, Spears and Shields are all common armaments with Greatswords being less common. This infantry core is significantly smaller than what other nations can bring to battle but significantly more elite, Sartyrian warriors have centuries of experience, natural talent with pyromancy and all of the speed and grace of the Elvish race.

Making up the largest majority of Sartyrian armies are summoned or created fire elementals. Pyromancers can either create them before engaging in battle, by manipulating the World Flame to create life from fire, or on the battlefield as every Sartyrian army will carry with it a brazier carrying only a sliver of the power of the Great Flame in Ignis. These fire elementals come In a range of shapes and sizes with the most common bearing the shapes of Men or Wolves. These creations are imbued with malevolent if basic intelligences and must be guided on the battlefield by Mages if any sort of control is to be exercised on them. Their main value is in the numbers they bring and the fear that they inspire in the hearts of the living.

These creatures are often crafted into mounts for Sartyrian Knights, many cultures in Autia have stories of Black Knights riding horses fresh from Hell, the Sartyrian Knights are the elite of the Hosts of Ignis. They will often be seen riding Fire Elementals or Red Drakes into battle, they are particularly drawn to slaying the champions of other races and when not found in the army of a Lord they will search the world for a worthy battle.

The rarest sight of all in a Sartyrian army is a World Dragon, an ancient beast as large as the Great Turtles of the Turtles race, these massive creatures will be rode into battle by only the strongest Lords or Mages.

Krraurah[edit]

Pengu Empire[edit]

Bunch of sapient penguins chilling on the eastern parts of the antarctic continent they named Krraurah (Pronounced Kur-Ah-Ur-Ah), their land reaches ridiculously far north and close to the equator. Despite this the lands are colder than even the south pole due an old Frost Giantess that had been buried here. The empire has occasionally teamed up with Nicsenórean soldiers and IBRU firefighters to bully any Sartyrian pricks that tries to invade here.

IBRU (Isekai'd Brazil Russia Union)[edit]

West of Krraurah, put a massive territory spanning from the left to the center, not close to the Pengu Empire, this is where a bunch of citizens of Brazil and Russia as well as some buildings where mysteriously isekai'd too. Some say it has something to do with Eldr, other say it's because of the worldgates from the Puppet Clans

>Earliest archived notes of an IBRU inhabitant, notes where written by Norberto Leal Ferraz:

It has been 9 months since the maelstrom transported us to these frozen lands, had it not been for the Russians carrying that shipment of expensive fur coats we would have certainly been frozen solid by now. Our town can more or less sustain itself, and we are planning to set up our first expedition to explore this new world. Hugo has managed to fix one of the little firefighting planes and is planning to fly it over the land to look for anything of interest, it's not like we really need it for firefighting after all. Our diesel engines barley want to start in this weather.

>Second earliest archived notes of an IBRU inhabitant

Hugo had returned from his flight, he spotted a few other things that got transported here as well. A derailed train, ruined buildings of another town and a beached freight ship with something big below the ice besides it. For a week we marched onward through the snow looking for anything that we could possibly salvage. The train turned out to carry a military shipment of MRE's as well as some rifles, which will be useful for hunting. The town was less bountiful, aside from some canned food all we found were the frozen bodies of those less fortunate. We weren't able to reach the stranded ship, as it was quite a distance away from us. More worryingly, whatever was below the ice is no longer present.

>Third earliest archived notes of an IBRU inhabitant:

We have had another expedition deeper into the landscape, the group has set up a small stronghold in the ruined town that would aid us and others for future missions. Today we explored the beached freight ship. It was a sight to behold, not only because of its enormous size, but because it had a noticeable hole the size of a small car in its hull. As well as another ship near it, although I couldn't tell what kind of ship that was as it had gotten severely wrecked.

Walking closer to the freighter we discovered we weren't the first ones to explore this wreck, as there were chain ladders hastily attached to its side. We climbed the ladders, and Raquel found scorched marks on the deck. He also found the body of a Russian man, we thought at first he succumbed to the frost until I noticed he had some nasty burns on his skin. Raquel found several other bodies, many of which were wearing security uniforms and wielding rifles. While others were unarmed and riddled with bullet holes.

The later ones looked quite strange, they were quite tall and wore some some strange uniforms. If they weren't so badly charred, I could swear that it looked like they were wearing medieval armor. We explored the ship's interior and saw more evidence of a fight. Bullet holes, blood splatters, burned furniture. We even discovered that the metal around the hole was molten at one point, and yet we found no tools that could start these fires. Eventually, we left with some new rifles, canned food and a lot propane tanks.

Despite our best efforts we did not find the Thing Beneath the Ice. But upon returning home Hugo showed us a picture he managed to take of it. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is.

>Fourth earliest archived notes of an IBRU inhabitant, notes where written by Norberto Leal Ferraz:

It has been 9 months and 2 weeks since we've been tossed into this place by the maelstrom, I think we have been transported somewhere close to the poles as the sun hasn't set in the last three days. Hugo has spotted something new. A large village located inside of a crater, he didn't recognize the architecture. But it seemed to have been inhabited, as he saw smoke coming from it. We're planning a expedition over morrow. Furthermore we also had met some other Brazilians, they had been using a riot truck as a makeshift snowplow and drove it across the ice. They said that there is a derilect airliner further south, but avoided it as they saw some big creature flying around it. Speaking of big things we still haven't heard any reports of the thing below the ice.

Nicsenór Collective[edit]

If a traveler is foolhardy or adventurous enough, often a mixture of the two to travel to the far south of the world then they'd find an alien world of ice caps and strange creatures travelling through the ocean. These creatures are often unfriendly and as such all attempted expeditions in the modern era undertaken by Autians to try and reach these fabled lands under promises of rich minerals to exploit with the most recent being a supremely well funded expedition by Alkor into these regions. From what little information was gathered following the disappearance of the crew it's most likely that a pod of the fearsome blood whales that swim across the Pengu Ocean attacked and sank their ship. And as unreachable as these lands might seem to Autians, the locals know them as a unique ecosystem of neverending harsh winters and chilled earth. The possibility for any normal being not being orginally from this environment to even visit let alone live in these lands with the murderous fauna seems an impossibility yet for ages the Nicsenór Collective has stood firm and even thrived here. This occupation was not a willing one however as the first Nicsenóreans were formerly Sartyrian elves during the great Ogrillon-Sartyrian war who saw the great devastation and murder their kind had wrought upon the ogres and questioned whether they had strayed too far from their initial roots. These traditionalists as their faction was called following its emergence sought a restructuring of the Sartyrian system of governance vastly decreasing the militaries grip on the nation and quietly planned a coup against this government. The head members had strong ties in the government as advisors to access and perform a ritual to reawaken the then dormant World Flame under the belief that the resurgence of the ancient flame would restore the true nature of the Sartyrians.

In order to perform this ritual of revival, the traditionalists assaulted the palace of the Sartyrian king as a distraction while the heads all gathered around the World Flame and began their ritual. Yet the plan was seen through by the king who sent a force of his most elite warriors to quickly surround and capture the traditionalist leaders fearing the World Flame would punish him and his people for their heretical acts against it and the lack of worship. The reinforcements arrived just when the ritual could've been finished with the World Flame only half awake as the traditionalists were rounded up and mercilessly tortured into revealing all their members. A massive crackdown happened that night, with many families being split apart and the traditionalists being brought before a jury to be sentenced for high treason. Eventually the verdict was that rather than executing them all, leaving them to painfully die in the western regions of the world which were intensely cold and the anathema to Sartyrians who were used to an extremely warm climate would be a far crueller and more fitting punishment. As such these elves were sent on a ship to a series of freezing islands and marooned there with only three days worth of food and water to draw out their death. The islands in question even today are probably the deadliest place in the world for any life that isn't a Pengu to live in due to an ancient curse left upon the lands long before even the Khimerians built their first cities. For the Frost Giants in the north too had cousins in these regions who were ruled by a might giantess queen. The queen was seemingly infinite in her years and such with such a lifespan one grows accustomed to their companions and the day her lover alongside a scouting party he was leading were swept down a mountain in an avalanche falling to their deaths her heart seemingly snapped in half.

A portion of these lights came out and melded with the bodies of the Nicsenóreans as all hunger and fatigue vanished from their bodies and they rose, uplifted with greater power than ever before and knowledge of all affairs related to the soul. They would be the champions of the Stag God and in return, would gain dominion over soul magic and use it to bring life to these lands. Quickly as is the nature of elves, they sought to mastering these newfound abilities and used them to produce fires of rebirth that allowed them to plant and almost instantly grow crops with their magics shielding the food from the cold. With survival being taken care of they took to crafting great halls of ice and marble containing the fires of rebirth burning away on great braziers to drive away the harmful effects of the cold. The next step undertaken by each of the elves who had began reproducing and populating the lands with their kin was to use the art of soul magic to draw forth lost souls and release them into their respective afterlives embarking with Lossfea into the aetheric realms and in return for aiding the Stag God use the surplus of leftover life essence from the now emptied vessels used by the dead souls to create and summon massive familiars out of ice and snow, with this tradition of creating a great ice familiar being a coming of age ceremony among the now fully established Nicsenóreans who used their gifts to create a multitude of giant beasts, enough to drive back and eventually make peace with the primordial ice mammoths, wyrms, dragons, dire wolves and other such creatures dominating the land and outfitting these reformed creatures with suits of mithril made from the aforementioned metal that they found in droves beneath the mountains through mining. And lastly revenge has been the driving factor as through the upcoming war the elves of Nicsenór will launch an attack with their great iron arks and lay waste to their former Sartyrian oppressors.

Military:

The icy peoples of Nicsenór are constantly in a state of training and development for their eventual great war and battle against Sartyrian. Due to the nigh-unlivable environment they have to live in when travelling outside their holds they are faster and quieter than any human could hope to achieve, looking like blurs while running to most of them and wield weapons such as enchantments twinblades with enough potency to freeze and crack the skin of their adversary with a single hit. Shadowing them are their ever loyal familiar constructs, produced from ice and taking forms like a great icy lizard with enough strength to knock a giant down when charging, a massive white serpent slithering along with them and other such creations. Should one of these somehow be killed, be it through several shots with a cannon or a surprise attack where they sacrifice themselves to safe their master fragments from their artificial soul return to their creator who reforges them into a new beast bearing their former companions image. Aside from this they are followed by the war mammoths and ice dragons that fill this land who have slowly through the combination of both soul magic enhanced glamours and gifts been persuaded to cease their murderous ways and assist the Nicsenóreans in their endeavors. These creatures are outfitted with shining mithril plate and are trained for the day of invasion and revenge. Ice elementals who have been summoned by a mixture of ice and soul magic can also assist in combat by letting loose a hail of icicles or tearing through a crowd. Some other assorted creatures who have been trained and used in the military include dire wolves serving as mounts for cavalry, sabertooth tigers given reinforced tusks of steel and many other reformed creatures wandering the icy plains.

Magic:

Since the founding of the Nicsenòr Collective, soul magic has been the primary tool and key to survival employed by the snow elves. It is a magic used through channeling the power of ones own soul or lost souls who are purified and let free, leaving behind a powerful life energy as residue. Being the chosen children and champions of the Stag God himself, the ability is one every Nicsenórean possesses and since childbirth are trained in its many uses. Using your own spirit energy you may release a colorful beam of soul in a spirit shaped projectile to burn right through an enemy or focus it around a natural object like a plant to speed up its growth rate and ignore the surrounding conditions. Many other personal uses such as a dive towards the ground releasing a shockwave of energy and a screech upwards releasing a wave of soul energy through your mouth (no these aren’t literally just Hollow Knight spells what are you talking about) and focusing this energy around yourself to heal wounds at the expense of staying still for a few seconds. The second usage of soul magic comes from the residual energies of dead souls brought peace that can be used in forming the massive icy constructs employed by the Nicsenóreans to defend their keeps and serve as a lifelong companion. As such, the greatest mages commonly follow Lossfea on his journeys into the aether assisting him in his tasks of bringing lost souls to their rightful afterlives gaining a strange shadowy appearance as shown in the image in exchange for even greater powers.

Aside from their initial magic type of soul magic, ice magic is primarily used in construction and combat. It is used to construct the great keeps belonging to the snow elves which is why they can build large cities as ridiculously fast as they do, alongside summoning ice shards, weapons and even elementals of ice into battle.

The natural magical abilities and speed lead to the Nicsenórean heavily relying on these two abilities as they can easily dodge most forms of artillery and warmachines just wouldn’t be able to keep up with the constant fast pace they embark at, another parallel between their Sartyrian cousins. Alongside standard soul magic, strange abilities of the golems to rend souls from their original bodies and out them to use in terrifying weaponry cute a dark parallel to the soul arts which are built upon helping others while the golems merely steal what isn’t rightfully theirs. The elves of Nicsenór seek to teach them the correct way to use these powers and maybe in exchange for becoming faithful servants of Lossfea as well they could learn the means of creating new golems they so desire. The only issue is the golems absolutely refuse to serve any greater being once again as they once served the mages of the Copper Plains.

Navy:

Shown in pic related is a massive dragon ark sailing beside some extremely confused Alkorian merchant ships. This dragon ark is a model of iron ark, the term used for the Nicsenórean’s massive ships even challenging and surpassing in some instances the Castle Ships of the Tortles. These floating palaces are the primary creations where the raw ores mined in the mountains dotting the islands the Nicsenóreans inhabit are spent on with 50 having been made in the 400 centuries since the elves exile from Sartyrian and they will serve as the warships for their future assault upon Ignis.

Aside from the expensive works of art that are iron arks, the Nicsenóreans maintain a fleet of smaller seagoing ships with a powerful hull meant to pierce the ice caps dotting the coast for trading and fishing purposes. And while they may have a broadside of cannons, they aren’t meant for battle. Rather, the massive shipments of turrets purchased from the Tortles in exchange for a large quantity of Mithril have been used to further increase the deadliness of the iron arks alongside the many creatures that are carried atop them. To add some perspective, mammoths can comfortably be stored on these ships due to their size.

The Nicsenorean Air Force

The concept of a race of elves, who are generally agreed to despise rampant industrialization and prefer to live with nature rather than against it may seem laughable to most. Those who've attempted to bypass the icy Pengu Ocean using an enchanted zeppelin made to withstand the cold conditions to enter lands under the jurisdiction of the snow elves would state otherwise however. For your opinion on the aerial capabilities of the race would quickly change when a ray of multicolored magic pierces the balloon hull of your zeppelin making an inferno out of your craft through reaction with the flammable gasses within. This is an example of the primary tactics used by the Nicsenorean Air Force, an organization comprised entirely of flying monsters and riders of those monsters. The Ninquabar Islands are covered in mountains and as such many creatures lurk in lairs within, settled next to regions naturally heated by nearby volcanoes. These creatures include ancient drakes, wyverns and dragons which are far larger and more ferocious than the more docile ones up north due to the harsh nature of the land. It is the oathsworn duty of the Scale Guard, a conclave of greatsword wielding warriors to seek out and tame these creatures with the aid of several spells soothing the mind of the ferocious creature. These creatures are then taken to their headquarters and adorned with a suit of mithril to further defend them and symbolize their status as a mighty mount alongside receiving training to turn it into an incredibly swift and dangerous killing machine. These creatures are then appointed to particularly talented mages who use them in synergy with their own spells to wreak devastation from above as a storm of magic tears apart whoever dared challenge them. All of these mages are individually a nightmare to take out due to their speed and several magical items created by them atop their steed doing things like making it far harder to see their presence.

This coupled with the deadly fire breath of their mount (not sure if the Ercaenmedians wyverns have this but hey these are essentially the big brothers to those wyverns so it works) and the magical supremacy of the mounted mage means this combination of mage and dragon can take on foes several orders of magnitude larger than them such as a combat zeppelin in the example I showed earlier and as shown in the previous picture the ability to raze a cathedral to the ground. A group of these wyern/drake mages with enough planning can take on a complete enemy airship fleet not because of their size but because of the extreme difficulty in shooting one of them down coupled with their incredible firepower. It is not enough however the rely on a single unit for your entire air force leading to the Nicsenoreans developing alternate means of aerial combat in addition to this such as creating aerial versions of the soulbound constructs they make. These constructs in general are reminiscent of what the Sartyrians make however they are more challenging to create, requiring the residue left from a purified dead soul to be brought to life. This additional effort is well worth the time however as these constructs are not tied to a power source that if destroyed instantly kills them alongside having the skills of the warrior chosen to be placed inside them. As such the most powerful warriors turned into dead souls the Nicsenoreans can get their hands on from the aether are placed inside these constructs, a process that has gotten significantly easier to do given the nonstop wars raging across the world leading to a surplus of warrior souls coming their way. The icy constructs produced for the airforce are quite varied in design with giant eagles with sharpened talons being a particularly common one alongside smaller versions of the assorted draconic creatures used in the air force and airborne ice elementals which don't really count as a construct but they are still used.

These creatures comprise the "basic" troops of the air force and form the main core of the army in direct aerial engagements to occupy and battle enemies while their most dangerous warbeasts come out. I speak of course of the almighty and massive frost dragons that form the apex predators of the islands the Nicsenoreans found themselves in. These are creatures incomprehensible in their size and majesty, fierce residents of the highest mountains who only submit to the elves when through a mix of stealth and spells an enchanted circlet is attached on them which allows the elves to dominate its mind and coax it into following their orders. When they deem it fit to release these creatures onto the battlefield they resemble a living wind of death and destruction rather than a living animal as they swoop through the air tearing through whatever impedes its path with both claws and flame. Unlike most other creatures belonging to the Nicsenoreans making armor for the dragons to wear is simply unfeasible and unnecessary as its scales are durable enough to withstand a full broadside from a battleship without any noticeable marks. The eldest of dragons in their repertoire have tough enough scales and are large enough (nearing aerofortress size by this point in age) for the Scale Guard to confidently state that they're unkillable by the weapons of most races with only creatures like an equally ancient Sartyrian World Dragon really being able to give it an equal competition.

Economy:

The Nicsenóreans prefer to keep to themselves for the most part, however they do sell goods such as walrus and mammoth ivory on the market alongside the extremely powerful and expensive material that is mithril as these islands have the largest supply of it in the world. At hone they instead trade and give favors to each other rather than use a single currency yet they accept whatever type of currency they get outside of their borders.

People:

Nicsenóreans resemble the lean and fair elves most have come to know in the world, however similarly to their Sartyrian cousins they do have several strange traits that make them look quite different from your standard elf. Firstly they are pale even by elf standards, almost look like ghosts in appearance, secondly they all share a bizarre silvery looking hair and lastly they are far more resistant to varied weather conditions than most elves and races in general. Alongside this as mentioned before they can move at speeds making them resemble fast moving blues and stay still and quiet for a lengthy period of time.

Religion:

Lossfea is the single god worshipped by the Nicsenóreans as the god of life, deer, souls, peace and light. His holiest days are during an occurrence of the Aurora, a natural phenomenon caused by the sun which has been forever entertwined with phenomena such as souls and magic ever since the aether began interacting with the mundane world. On these days the elves of Nicsenór quite literally glow with energy and their power reaches its zenith with them bake to perform feats such as summon the Great Stag himself to commune with alongside bring ancient spirits back to life for the duration of the lights to commune with and question.

Miscellaneous:

While they may not have an air force, their great ice dragons which are comparable in scale to world dragons belonging to their fiery counterparts and the snowdrakes produced as a construct familiar type are more than enough to overpower and destroy any airship that’s foolish enough to fly near their lands.

They are ruled over by a court of nobles centered in their capital of Mir-Engel Cheb who in turn serve as bureaucrats and advisors to the elected soul king, regent of Lossfea who wears a great crown of shining white antlers. These are antlers shed by the deer god himself and form a supremely powerful magical item.

There is little formal rank structure aside from a clear leader among the ranks of the snow elves, as each have known each other for decades if not centuries and know perfectly well what their role on the battlefield is leaving no need for formal ranks.

They are absolutely terrified of storks, the reason why is long lost but for some reason they have an ingrained fear and hatred for storks.

The Great Ruinlands[edit]

This refers to a region in Krraurah that is filled with the ruins of several different civilizations. There can be ruins found here from the Nicsenór Collective, abandoned Pengu villages, old Issbjarn strongholds, destroyed Puppet Clan colonies, the beached ships of some terribly lost Alkorians, evacuated military bases belonging to the Tortle Realms, the forgotten homes of some southern Ice Giants, the settlements of the original Sartyrian Colonists and even some evidence of habitation by the Kangoo Tribes.

The area is even more cluttered with ruins thanks to the buildings and vehicles that were teleported into the region when the inhabitants of IBRU where tossed into this place.

Tismo[edit]

The Shattered Edge Mountains[edit]

A vast mountain range of sheer cliffs and jagged peaks, the tallest disappearing into the clouds. Known as the Shattered Edge mountians, this range is a maze of dense narrow valleys and clusters of peaks that stretch north to south for miles. This is a dangerous and precarious place, with hardly any room for cities or villages. Dangerous and wild, a variety of beasts and monsters call this place home.

Perhaps worst of all are the horrific creatures known as the Xiklik species.

The Xiklik are of an unknown origin, though it is theorized that these mountains have always been their home. They are endlessly numerous and vicious horrors. The Xiklik live in deep caverns and caves of the Shattered Edge mountains, and it is believed that they infest nearly the entirety of the range. Below the surface, far from the light of the sun, they reside. Gnawing and multiplying without pause. To get lost in this range of mountains is very dangerous, for every moment spent here is another moment that you risk wandering into one of their lairs or being found by some number that have come to the surface world for unknowable reasons. The minds of the Xiklik are alien to humans. No signs of compassion or intelligence show in their eyes. They build nothing and do not appear to speak any language intelligible to any other beings.

In truth, they need none of the trappings of civilization that other races cling to. They live in a vast and dark system of caves and tunnels that wind and web their way through the mountains in a dizzying fashion. While seemingly mindless to outsiders, they truly posses a terrifying intelligence that is hard to discern. For most people simply avoiding the mountains all together is more than enough to avoid a gruesome fate. However, once every 50 or so years they burst forth, the mountains no longer being able to contain their swelling numbers. They spread across the neighboring lands in a horrifying swarm of death and savagery, attacking everything that moves or breathes with a seemingly mindless recklessness. But mindless they are not. While the minds and ways of humanity are as alien to them as they are to us, they are more than mere beasts. Everytime they rampage they seem to have more specific targets and seemingly begin to account for the tactics or defenses of their prey. Avodining firing lines and circumventing defenses. They are an ever present threat to all who call the eastern half of the continent home.

Crocida and Crocuba[edit]

Crocida is a loose federation of crocodile men living in a peninsula full of warm marshes. They are generally solitary and mostly want to be left alone so they are ruled by a minarchy of bureaucrats who are the only ones interrested in running even a minimal state. Their technological level is roughly at a Middle Ages level and they don't care much about magic outside of some basic magitech simplifying the maintenance of their infrastructure but the marshes are inhospitable for most other races and they have very strong natural form of regeneration making them almost unkillable through violence. Their main export are wresting matches for Kornheiseria and stories about the crazy shit some of them do.

Crocuba is almost the same but the higher population density forced them to have a bigger government so they settled on a socialist state doing everything for them, the relative simplicity of their society and how little politicians and bureaucrats can gain means that is it mostly working fine. They are a little more advanced than Crocidians and are mostly known for being less crazy than them and having the only decent doctors in the region.

Dún Cósta[edit]

In the northern edge of Tismo sits the lands named Dún Cósta, or the Coastal Fort. So named because the inhabitants here fled the powerful empires of Autia before they fractured and crumbled. The people moved here and built a series of forts and tower houses to protect themselves along the edge of the continent and a few islands off shore in the barren sea.

The coast of this area is often steep and rocky, and small rain showers occur almost daily being swept in off the barren sea. The land is flat or comprosied of rolling hills and is frequently a lush green. Trees are few due to frequent cloud cover but smaller vegetation can grow in abundance. Farming and pastoral life is efficient here.

The people here are proud and clannish, with infighting not being uncommon. They claim an old and proud lineage that they travelled back to before their exodus from Autia. Though feuding is common, the people here are of a shared identity and always rally and unify for mutual defense against outside threats.

They subsist off of farming and livestock, which provides them with all the necessary food they could need, often having large underground stores for hard winters or times of strife.

The clans tend to congregate around their fortified tower houses, which is where the land gets its name. These range in size from simple three story buildings to large structures with walls and additional defensive fortifications. A powerful clan can have several tower houses to their name, often with a preeminent holding being the central point.

Most of their modern arms were initially obtained through trade with outside powers, but they have since begun to replicate and create weaponry of their own to match that of the more powerful empires from over the sea.

The people here take to war readily, but firearms are still less widespread in this land than in others. It is considered a mark of manliness and bravery to go to battle with conventional melee weapons, though there is no taboo against the use of ranged weaponry.

The locals hold to the legend that they fled here as the first human empires of old took hold of Autia. Their greatest hero was reportedly named Balor Manannan, a leader of a small clan, he was a renowned sailor. It was said he could commune with the seas and knew the language of the waves. He was the first to recognize the danger their people faced, and he alone urged them to set sail and head east for a new land. He was challenged on this by the leader, or rí túaithe, of the largest and most influential clan. This came to a head when the two engaged in a duel to settle the matter. The younger and smaller Balor won the fight, and most of their people then agreed to take to the ocean and leave. Balor Manannan seemed to know the exact course to take and exactly when to leave, guiding the clans over the rough seas to their new home. Balor called this place An Baile Glas, or the green home. Here they would start anew, prosper, and flee no more.

Balor Manannan is regarded as a near godlike figure by his people. They say he still sails the world centuries later, always roaming and exploring. It is said should they ever face destruction again, Manannan would return from over the waves with his guard and save them from such a fate.

The Balorians, as they now refer to themselves, fight war in mixed units of men with rifles and others with melee weapons. They are not above a well coordinated ambush and often consider it an exceptional talent to catch the enemy off guard.

When facing a foe in a pitched battle, the rifle armed men tend to let a few volleys loose to weaken and disrupt the enemy, which is quickly followed by a rushing charge of those wielding hand to hand weapons.

Cannons have begun to make an appearance in their forces, which they prefer to use at shorter ranges right along side their rifle fire to maximize damage and the psychologically disrupting impact it can have on the enemy.

When the ancestors of the modern Balorians arrived on Tismo, one of the first tasks they undertook was to erect their traditional Standing Stones. These sites are religious and magical in nature. It is within these standing stones that the people gather under the guidance of the draoithe, or druids, to engage in ancient rituals and ceremonies. From these locations the people are said to have opportunities to commune with the dead or glimpse aspects of the future. It is here that the most dire of matters are settled, the most desperate of prayers made, and the most joyous of festivities are held. The druids of the land are held by custom to be impartial in the affairs of the clans, so that they can fairly arbitrate disputes and that their power cannot be used against their own people.

It is when their lands are threatened from the outside that the draoithe act with the height of their powers. It said they can conjure storms, powerful gales and whipping rain to hamper their adversaries or shroud the land in so thick a mist that invaders would wander almost blindly through the countryside. Rumors abound that through sacrificing one of their own, they can even conjure the wailing spirits of the dead to run rampant through the fog and assail the enemies of their people.

Balorian men are not an entirely uncommon sight outside of Tismo. Those that are low in line for inheritance or have fallen afoul of their own laws will often end up venturing into the world as adventurers and even mercenaries. Their services are often welcome amongst the prominent empires as they are typically adept scouts and skirmishers.

Skvoenbard[edit]

Skvoenbard is a dark and twisted land on the continent of Tismo. A land once comprised of noble Knights and horsemen, it's Lords warned upon their neighbors for centuries till the reign of King Heinrici. You see King Heinrici and the petty Lords of Skvoenbard had long worshipped the Deadicorn, under the name Posen Lord of Horses, since the lands creation with the Dark god looking at their worship with amusement but Lord Heinrici wanted to summon the full power of the god itself. He called upon all of the mages of the land, all of the Knights and Soldiers in the kingdom, for one great ritual that would see them blessed with the power of their god. But the ritual twisted them into abominations, Centaurs, and stripped the life from their bones giving them an unnatural existence where they would be forced to consume the souls of sentient creatures or see themselves fade into nothingness. With the great and evil land often calling Black Hunts across the continent to bring more food back for the masses.

Sheeple Folk Confederacy[edit]

The sheeple folk are an half-human, half-sheeple race living in a band of mountains and surrounding marginal lands. Sheeple women are lithe, fast centaur-like humanoids while the men have a more robust bipedal body plan and an affinity for air magic. They are organized in clans generally ruled by a female warrior and a male shaman-wizard and most are part of the sheeple folk confederacy, a loose intertribal state mostly regulating interactions and judicial matters between clans to avoid blood feuds. Males rarely fight but either do most stenuous menial labor and craftmanship or become shamans Shamans almost always learn to both draw power from countless local godlings and master a form of arcanic elemental magic highly specialized in winds and air. Women are either warriors, messengers or most jobs relying on speed. There are of course exceptions like war shamans, craftswomen and so on but they generally only exist on a individual level.

Ssthvarak socialist republic[edit]

For the longest time the various races of lizardfolk in Tismo were relatively unorganized and very tribalistic, only really banding together when their shamans saw the sings of Nergal, signs that heralded the next Xiklik incursion upon their lands. When such signs did appear all the tribal chiefs would put their differences aside and gather their warriors to face the horde. Century after century they kept this up, and century after century they ended up being less and less of them, it was clear that things needed to change before the only thing that was left of their people was dust in the wind and the laughter of thirsting gods. Each one of the surviving tribes send out a team of their strongest and most cunning warriors to search for answers beyond the western sea. The Son of chief Suusaandar blackscale, Isiratuu the soothsayer Brought back gunpowder, and new methods of smithing from the mainland of Autia, thus greatly improving the quality of their gear and production methods. The son of chief Balathu yellowscale, Nikanuur the clairvoyant managed to trade magical secrets with the The Unravelers expanding the capabilities of their shamans making something closer to proper wizards. The daughter of chief Kurigalzu greenscale, Zakiti the stalwart brought back knowledge of some of the greatest Autian architects and engineers giving them the ability to create structures that would easily outlast their creators. And then... there was the son of chief Asardin redscale, Shagaraktiyash the bold... he drifted off to IBRU (Isekai'd Brazil Russia Union). He was taken to soviet brazil and brought back, much oh so much forbidden knowledge. Shagaraktiyash or as the locals started calling him, shaggy brought back communism. Okay it wasn't just communism. His accidental contact with the people of IBRU granted him much knowledge that no mortal from that plane should have ever held.

Dalavchtai Khanate[edit]

It is a name whispered in hushed tones by the people of Tismo, that of the Dalavchtai Khanate. As beyond their borders lie endless steppes, unchanging minus the great peaks that stretch up beyond the clouds all throughout. And these lands were, and still are inhabited by a group of ancient tribes of undiscernible origin. The only thing that is known of the Dalavchtai peoples is what has been scavenged from the ancient tombs scattered across the continent, monuments to ancient khans with whoever formerly guarded them being long gone too.

Initially the steppe clans were as separate as usual, but instead of targeting their aggression upon other forces they instead repeatedly battled each other. Wearing themselves down it was no problem for their vast territories to be quietly taken by the Empire of the Jade Pyramid to their east. And yet the tribes cared not in their lust to have their own people be secured as the mightiest in the steppelands to please their foul horse god known as Khar Mori. An alter ego of the Deadicorn, Khar Mori had appeared in ages long past within the minds of several senior warriors and khans. Granting them the promises of deadly horses beyond comparison in endurance and strength to these warriors who sought such beasts to traverse the cold and windblown plains, merely in exchange for following his tenets of travelling the lands and laying wastes to everything you could see. The khans of each clan were awed by the visions showed to each of them and all swore fealty to the horse god. Soon a competition then being held where the leaders of each tribe battled with the winner being crowned Supreme Khan and being the high priest of their new god and overlord of the clans. The contest lasted for weeks on end with no Khan willing to back down, however with the power of his great griffon mount, massive even by griffon standards swooping down and in less than a day bringing the khans to heel.

Formerly the victor of the competition was merely known as Temur, khan of the mountain dwelling Dalavchtai people but he was soon crowned Supreme Khan Temur and high priest of Khar Mori. And as promised by their new god, right after the celebration the nomad's scouts had discovered a new breed of horse wandering the steppes. Massive, strong and most of all wrathful, this new breed of horse proved a challenge for the nomads to drag to their festival grounds due to attacking the ones dragging it but once the deed was done they were named takhi or to outsiders merely greathorses. With such a powerful new creature at their disposal the nomads who had been renamed the Dalavchtai in respect of the original clan of Temur began breeding and in time they had amassed a host of horses and riders thousands strong. Alongside this, being the new rulers of the Steppes the formerly isolationist original Dalavchtai people revealed their own army of griffon riders, as the griffon is claimed to have originated from these lands as over time it migrated across the seas to rest in more peaceful lands. However the griffons who stayed behind are nothing like the noble griffins of Autia, rather they are far larger and feral beasts who need to be forcefully wrangled and have an iron mask put on to restrict their eyesight to properly ride. Alongside this the Dalavchtai nomads have a tradition of stealing griffon eggs and training them specifically to be mindless killing beasts or carriers to drag their magical flying yurts kept afloat through a similar means as the flying carpets of the Sultanate. With this force they mounted a revolt against the gnomes who dared to claim the steppes for themselves. Through an endless wave of both horses and undead resurrected by the dread powers of Khar Mori the gnomes were repelled from the territory with a neverending battle going on between both sides for ownership of the steppes for the next hundred years.

During this time the khans, who had essentially become liches by this point due to the effects of the dark god they worshipped had planned eastward expansion. As such a large force of griffon riders was amassed setting east to discover what was there to see. To their great misfortune however a sudden typhoon broke out weakening the griffon riders as they struggled to maintain a grip on their beasts and when they finally reached the lands they desired they were quickly shot by the alarmed air mages of the Jinsan empire reacting quickly to the new threat. An attack that would have previously not phased them in the slightest was the one to finally bring the force of outriders down due to their exhaustion from the journey and the survivors reluctantly headed home to the fury of the khans. With their dreams of eastwards expansion quashed with the scouting force they sent being repelled due to bad luck and a lack of a real seafaring navy to have a second go at it seeing as all griffon riders were sorely needed in the conflict the khans instead just continued business as usual. Since then an Autian alliance had served to eliminate the colonies of their far luckier gnomish rivals and the new forces have been curiously observed. They greatly mistrust horses unlike the nomads who in this long period had made several advances such as the bomb catapult, a device they carry dozens of into battle which each fire a powerful explosive known as a naptha bomb decimating anything it hits and their numbers now in the millions befitting their status as an endless horde being enough to prevent all attempted incursions on their land and caches of stolen firearms replacing the arrow for their weaponry. And in the modern era this balance has remained for the most part with constant battles against the Balorians, Gnomes of the Jade Pyramid, Khuluritai and even their possible allies the Ar-Haughta and Skveonbardians.

This animosity against followers of a similar god as them is stemmed from the fact of them despising other worshippers of Deadicorn for their repulsive obsession with rainbows and the vast majority of them not truly going with the destruction aspect of the god. And in terms for their current state of events the Dalavchtai have had a stroke of good luck raiding a Yrrian colony of scientists. Fascinated by the iron beasts who were observing the human scientists and attempted to fight off their griffons swooping in from the sky to no avail, the steppe nomads through months of relentless beatings and other forms of torture have "convinced" the scientists to produce a model of iron beast for their use shown in pic related in a procession being followed by several other similar machines. This tömör alkhagch or iron walker in common Nantic has served as a deadly warmachine they have began to manufacture following their seizure of several small factories within other raided settlements and through this power aim to finally destroy the neighboring gnomes and their nation.

People:

Most Dalavchtai nomads are Jinsanic humans, albeit with slightly darker skin and a slightly more muscular body due to the region they live in. These men and women are the primary population within the steppes with any outsiders being either killed or scared off by a group of angry charging nomads. As such there are no other races living in the region minus liches. These liches are the still living bodies of ancient khans given unlife through the dark powers of their god alongside incredible necromantic power. Due to their fervent hatred for newcomers and usage of all the stolen technology at their disposal making it quite impossible to get into their homeland, Unkor is commonly seen as the home of undeath yet the steppes serve a similar purpose with the dark blessings of Khar Mori permeating throughout them letting skeletons walk the earth freely.

Religion:

While Khar Mori, god of horses, strength and darkness serves as the god most worshipped among the Dalavchtai each tribe still worship their old gods they possessed before the rise of the horse god. This practice is discouraged by the Cult of the Dark Horse, the official name for the Morian cult however knowing antagonizing their kin to be a foolish endeavor worship of these gods still continue. Some of these gods include Bugdaav, god of griffons, marksmen and the sky and Agruu Ej, goddess of fertility and war.

Magic:

While natural magic still has the same rare chance of existing as it always does, necromancy and dark aetheric magic has grow far more commonplace with a ritual of self mutilation being undertaken before an altar of Khar Mori by a cultist to get his attention and blessings. These blessings manifest in the aforementioned magical powers no matter the original power of the user and allow riders shot down in a charge to rise up and battle again alongside the corpses littering a battlefield to be put to better use.

One final known use for the nomad's necromancy is the production of enchanted spices. One such spice is a strange purple powder put inside a bomb and fired from one of their massive mortar/catapults into a crowd causing mass hallucinations and panic attacks among the unfortunate souls it was fired upon.

Economy:

Ever since the establishment of a Supreme Khan, a standardized currency has been established with a novel new idea being used at its forefront ever since its creation. Rather than the typical precious coins employed by most nations small strips of paper with a value on them have been put into effect instead. This currency is backed up by a large deposit of silver and gold coins allowing this far easier to produce system of banknotes to exist. As for trade, while extremely hostile to outsiders it is known for the Dalavchtai to trade warm animal furs, porcelain crafts and most prized of all rare griffon made materials. No sane Belkan or Ercaenmedian would be willing to do anything like sell parts of his or her prized pet so the sharp and deadly griffon claw daggers and weapons sold from this land alongside griffon feather hats and cloaks are quite valuable.

Military:

War has and remains the greatest calling for a nomad to seek, with a whopping 60% of their population either serving in the greater army or taking up arms to defend their tribe. Each of these warriors have about 3-5 horses they use while travelling to either carry a load or to switch between to quicker cross a location. Khans have been known to possess a herd of horses numbering in the hundreds and when not being mounted these horses are let loose into battle with their great bloodlust making them willingly charge forwards.

Other then the massive hordes of horses and riders fielded by the army which seem to have no end in sight when charging at an enemy, with this sheer amount of numbers being their main tactic bomb firing catapults and mortars are also brought into battle. These serve to cause great fear and damage within the heart of enemy ranks when they are fired however the most fearsome and famed group of warriors are the Dalavchtai griffon riders. A force that seems to blot out the skies with their numbers and great wings the griffon riders have unchallenged maneuverability and control over the sky with their wingbeats being the last thing most warriors hear before being mauled to death. Logically this is where their army would end yet looting has always been considered a viable option among the Dalavchtai as they commonly embark on raids across Tismo solely to steal the fanciest looking technology. This has led to results such as the aforementioned Iron Walkers alongside stolen Alkorian guns becoming the main projectile weapon for the hordes instead of arrows once they occupied enough munitions factories. The only issue is quite often they do not know how to operate these devices leading to some rather humorous results.

Kingdom of Sostenfiel[edit]

In the east, beyond the Emerald Ocean and the machinations of the Nantic States and their vassals lies the continent of Tismo. A strange land filled with beastly cultures of humanoid animals, ancient empires, and numberless hordes of worshippers praising vile gods. In such a land the influence of the common man is always impeded by these forces, being at the frontier of eastern civilization. However nestled within the vast mountain ranges shielding it from the murderous hordes of nomads lie the heartlands of the vast Kingdom of Sostenfiel. Characterized by foreigners for its piousness to their gods and a constant aching for invention shown in the great whirring gears and dials littering their cities working towards some convoluted purpose, it remains a bastion of order shining all throughout Tismo in defiance of the mongrels who yearn for chaos and destruction. And yet the origins of the realm describe of a great struggle to reach this point. Centuries ago as the Sartyrians made their rounds around the world and bringing ruin to whoever crossed them on their warpath the original Sostenfielians started out as an isolated group of mountain men in the north. They had built small settlements in the mountains they called home and became extremely adept at traversing them as their mountain god Fiel was said to do. Meanwhile in the south of their homeland a league of sailors had colonized the land choosing to sail the coast and build elaborate stone churches to their own god Sosten, a representation of their ideals of building and expanding. Very little contact between these two vastly different groups of people and they chose to stay separate due to no pressing threat. This tactic and their slow expansion worked perfectly for the time as they remained cheerfully naïve of what lay beyond their mountains. This blissful ignorance would soon be stripped away as right outside their territory within the vast steppes of the nomads Temur had just been crowned Supreme Khan.

The great khan turned his maddened and lustful brain towards greater conquests following the unification of the nomads under his command. His push against the Gnomes of the Jade Empire had been successful, why not seek to expand instead of simply repel? His machinations then turned towards the rest of Tismo, as a detachment was sent towards each corner of the continent. To the southwest a relatively small force (by their standards mind you), merely an outrider force of two hundred griffon riders and three thousand greathorse riders armed to the teeth. Such a force was incomprehensible to the mountain dwellers and even though several riders died on the tight mountain passes there were enough cavalrymen and griffon riders to successfully siege and raze their capital. No matter how staunch a defense was led against them it was fruitless. As they retreated to the south they eventually reached the settlements of the sailors who were extremely confused at their sorry state. After seeking a meeting with their lords the once proud and defiant nobles of the mountains prostrated themselves before the southerners pleading for a truce to be negotiated and their skills shared so they could repel the remaining invaders. The only issue was that their leaders seemed to always have conflicting interests with each other and as they quibbled over who should be represented most in the upcoming treaty valuable time was wasted. A cause was needed to rally around and eventually it seemed like religion could be this driving force, for a holy war can be a very convincing motive for some. The newly made treaty reflected this as it stated that an official church would be established worshipping a new god, a fusion of both their gods known as Sostenfiel. While no side was particularly pleased with this outcome they both agreed to rally behind this new deity in order to work together in a counterattack to banish these invaders.

And so it was that a war of reconquest began or as they called it a "Reconquista". Having held the line for long enough the defenders of the mountains who had been left behind had finally been slaughtered down to the last man, having thinned the numbers of the encroaching Dalavchtai by a respectable margin. That night the vile nomads celebrated believing that the land was theirs now that they'd occupied the north of it, little did the expect the series of assaults and traps sprung upon them in the mountains over the next week by a force twice as large and far better equipped then before. Through skilled use of hit and run tactics using superior knowledge of the terrain to trap their enemies in several choke points the newly established Sostenfielians had emerged victorious and had taken back their lands finally unifying in the process. Their crusade travelled through swathes of land to their north and east helping any other civilizations in the area who were being overrun and as they travelled their culture slowly grew in scope creating metal and glass cathedrals to Sostenfiel recruiting new converts from the rescued to pray in them. In this pattern of melding cultures their nobilities also married into each others bloodlines further establishing the newfound bond and four regions were marked out acting as the provinces of the kingdom. Naevare was the southern section belonging to their sailors, Aragonia was to the north encompassing the mountains that shielded them, Castilles was their eastern section and Portugel their northwestern territory. Having established themselves throughout the southwest of Tismo by this point their armies returned home to great fanfare as the focus shifted from military expansion to border defense.

Revolutionary inventions were pumped out with the tercio formation being particularly useful against horses from further Dalavchtai raids on their borders alongside several massive cannons and handgunners accompanying them utilizing their newfound discovery of gunpowder as a byproduct of their first encounters with the Tortles. However their crowning achievement was the discovery and mass production of airships to defend their borders from the neverending onslaught of nomad griffon riders that seek to break through. This was accomplished initially through the work of their mages, the vast majority of which being enchanters or artificers as they are known here. These mages enchanted balloons to lift up seemingly impossible loads with the aid of magitech produced by them lightening its weight. This is a pattern repeated even now with their aerial fleet (the largest fleet of airships in the world in fact) deploying unfathomably large airships whenever possible with enough guns to singlehandedly destroy whatever is troubling them. Meanwhile back on the ground the increasing sophistication that was being found in their airships had also began to apply to the Sostenfielians as well, with their artificers constantly pushing out new sketches for inventions with reckless abandon. Their sketches commonly incorporate several gears and levers in their design, enough to bewilder and confuse a normal person in how this mess even works. These nightmarish contraptions of dials and gears have spread into their cities as well with exotic animals being converted into fully functioning and tireless machine versions of themselves and devices such as trains and guns being enhanced with a bevy of expensive modifications being applied. Overall it just feels like too much for most. These enhancements have also become widespread in their military with even their lowest soldier having just enough to commission a suit of plate armor and have their rifle shoot twice per shot.

People:

Sostenfielians greatly resemble Nantic humans in appearance, having a fair skin and typically with brown or black hair. Other characteristics such as typical strength are also shared but fashionwise they choose to dress quite flamboyantly dressing themselves in black or brown clothes with a puffy white collar for men or colorful robes or dresses for women.

Religion:

Sostenfiel, god of mountains, building, home and invention is the only worshipped god among the Sostenfielians. His church is the one of the most powerful entities in the kingdom, directly advising the monarch and his family and is led by a pope.

Magic:

The gift of magic among the Sostenfielians is about the same as a standard country of men, with the vast majority of mages being enchanters. Strangely enough they mostly take up positions as inventors, allowing the strange clockwork contraptions that the nation is known for to exist with their work alongside various magitech pieces. Examples of magitech include technology that lightens an object that it is attached to and a limited gift of intelligence to their clockwork animals allowing them to automatically activate the levers and subsections of their body needed to perform certain actions.

Economy:

As wonderful as their contraptions seem when in action, the materials needed to develop them are costly and their creators eccentric. This means that the nobility funds the majority of endeavors related to their technology with these devices being quite expensive for an average citizen. This does not mean they are inaccessible however as through the nations export of magitech, olives in both their original form and as olive oil, weapons have left them quite rich and through family businesses selling these products citizens make enough money to comfortably buy a weapon modification or two. Additionally in some cases with enough bribes you may convince a trader to sell a clockwork animal. It would be a hard sell for sure but should you successfully attain one you'd have a beast with very high resistance to most forms of harm that never tires unless its mechanisms are opened up and broken. The term "clockwork animal" has become more up to debate as of recently however as rumors have been circulating that a primitive man with skin of iron that moves around by a series of levers and weights has been made. This metal man has been named a "robot" and is assumed to essentially be a golem functioning without the aid of a magic core. Lastly the final method of making money the Sostenfielians have made is through tourism, as their lands are about the only location on the continent being very welcoming of visitors leading to the kingdom's nickname of "the gateway to Tismo".

Military:

No matter how odd in clothing and behavior the Sostenfielians may seem, when it comes to battle they cast aside their petty concerns and with grim determination perform their duty. This is a byproduct of the Reconquista, as ever since that day the invading Dalavchtai were repelled they have forever earned the ire of the nomads who embark on great incursions against their mountains with armies that seem to grow in size every time they try.

As such the military is very well funded by the nobility with foot troops armored in plate armor wielding ranged weapons such as rifles or blunderbusses and either a mask or a helmet with a feathery plume on top. Alongside this they do possess melee weapons such as spears, pikes, halberds or rapiers as backup, all traditional weapons of their land. All well and good, however the most exciting point of enlisting for most is the tradition of each soldier modifying their weapon. These modifications are performed by the artificers in their regiment adding things like a mechanism allowing their guns to shoot several times in one shot or perhaps a magitech ring which makes bullets shot through it gain the added properties of lightning. The longer one has served in the army the more modifications of this manner they have. Following these dauntless warriors come a bevy of devices such as the aforementioned clockwork animals, iron beasts with three revolving turrets to serve as cannons, mounted knights with a mechanical steed and a lance mounted gun and other such wonderous contraptions. However the nation has its greatest strengths in aerial combat with massive airships releasing small fighters and metallic birds to sabotage vital points for enemies, blow anything below it to smithereens with several payloads of bombs, cannons and turrets or simply serve as a means of travel. When not defending their own borders some regiments help in defending the boundaries of other nations such as Dun Costa and the Sheeple Folk Confederacy. However there exists one more force within their borders, one well hidden from the public eye with the orders of "preventing dissent". The members of this order are known as Inquisitor Artificers and are outfitted with the best magitech weapons and armory available commonly inventing and using their own tools as well. They ensure there is no corruption among the nobility and serve as the spies of the church of Sostenfiel.

Miscellaneous:

The Sostenfiellen fleet is divided into three legions each commanded from a Heavy Battleship-class Cruiser

The First Air Legion, Headed by Marshal Alara Ailes is mandated with protecting Naevare. The most pretstshous of the legions, it has the most battleships under its command and is primarly served with defense of naval trade routes. Ailes , known for his good looks and charm has become a bit of a celebrity among the nobility.

The Second Air Legend, headed by Marshal Shah Reik patrols Castilles. As the Crocidians provide little threat, Reik has seen fit to embed themselves in lavish luxuries. Rumors of their parties have stretched across the kingdom and drawn the ire of their church for their disregard for mandates. The low threat has lead the second legion's airships to be the smallest of the three.

The Third Air Legion, patrolling Portugel is headed by Marshal Ora Ora Ahnt . Faithful to a T, she rose through the ranks of the Inquisitor Artificers before being "kicked upstairs" after a critical mission. Formerly the least armed of the legions, recent pressures from nobility have led to a build-up of arms on the border when the Khanate. Many feel Ahnt will pressure the Pope, whom she has a close bond to, into declaring a Fatwa against the Khanate as she and several members of the clergy are part of an aggressive faction of the church that seeks to expand the glory of Sosten by force. The current Monarch opposed this plan, but as they approach death, political forces circle like vultures to push this war.

The fourth region, the mountains have no dedicated fleet due to their relatively sparse population and hard to navigate airways.

The monarchy is elective, members of the nobility, clergy and militray are assigned votes based on prestige which are then used to select the monarch upon the currents demise or incapcitaion. The voting power of each voting party is weighted. The Pope has the most votes with 1000 while the lowest rank of soldier has 1. The commander of the first legion has 400 the second 300 and the third 200. Ora Ora Ahnt has been using the militray build up fo her region to pad her faction with enough votes to pick a zealot as the next monarch.

Story:

The following letter, marked urgent and bearing a pair of bloodied handprints, was discovered on the corpse of a messenger, 200 yards from the city gates.

“To Force Commander Javier,

Fort Ticonderoga Weekly Update Report #32

The scouts I sent on patrol have returned. Three died within sight of the fort, the other two are on deaths door, their wounds festering from poisons that we have no antidote for and are expected to pass by sunrise. They have sacrificed their lives to deliver the safe passage of a defecting servant of the Khan, one who claimed to have attended his former lord at a meeting between the Khan and the representative council of the Maritime Khurultai. Between his statements and what we have gleaned from our stubbornly silent prisoners, we have confirmed a number of the speculations surrounding the forces of the Khurultai.

First, the good news. We have confirmed that the silks, leather, fur and bones ‘accessories’ are actually indicators of rank and speciality amongst their military forces. Only the feathers attached to the helmets appear to be personal adornment of an independent nature, while the metal armor itself is prized for multipurposed functionality, rather than any sort of indicator of experience. Apparently the pattern and placement of bones indicate rank, while the quality of leather and fur indicate their assessed speciality. The silk tassels they wear indicate their training, woven in highly complicated patterns to indicate which of the twenty roles they have knowledge in, and while we know that the length of the tassels indicates more completed training courses, we’ve yet to identify the corresponding symbols for each regime.

We now know that all ranks carry a pair of inbuilt katars in their gauntlets as weapons of last resort, as well as compact repeater crossbows, which are typically loaded with poison laced bolts. Only the frontline medics carry the antidote, which may be as few as one in fifty infantry members. Those who do not handle the poison deftly are soon drummed out of the military. We’ve also confirmed that many of the more exotic weapons we’ve seen deployed- giant cleavers attached to lengths of chain, towering shields that resemble axe blades, anti-cavalry blades that resemble slabs of sharpened stone and the serrated rotating chakrams affixed to the arms- are thankfully rare. The larger repeating crossbows, however, are given to two in every ten of a platoon.

Sadly, that’s the end of the good news.

We’ve been utterly wrong about the sheer scale of their military strength, as well as the population in general. If this servant’s story is to be believed, and it bears some sincere weight, considering he is also on death’s door from the poison rained down upon my soldiers, the Maritime Khurultai might possess one of the largest military forces of the known world.

The representative council made it quite clear, despite the surprise of the Khan, that they possess seventeen combat command zones. Two are honor guards, confined to their largest cities for home defense on both continents, each at minimal combat strength and mostly serving as recruitment corps. Seven stand at full combat strength, four attached to the border on Lapus and three on Tismo. The remaining eight have varying levels of combat strength, three of which are spread across their nine fleets of ships as security.

Though this requires verification of the highest priority, this testimony indicates that the Martime Khurultai possesses well over one hundred million infantry forces, with enough naval capacity to move upwards of thirty million troops overseas in a matter of days. This is without factoring in the mountain sized tigers we’ve heard so much about. Needless to say, we share the Khan’s opinion of the sheer incredularity of such a capacity for war.

My lord, I’ve just been informed that a fire has started in the infirmary and that the prisoners have escaped. I am cutting this report short and handing it to a messenger to ride posthaste on my fastest horse. I fear we might all be dead by morning. Please, send my love to my wife and children.

Fort Captain Maximillion Estavez IV

For Sostenfiel.”

More Miscellaneous:

The great bulls of Sostenfiel are the national animal of the kingdom and a symbol of their god due to its resiliency. As such bulls are venerated by the Sostenfielians and it is a tradition for brave warriors to prove their strength by battling a bull in one of the many bullfighting rings spread throughout the nation. Should they succeed it is seen as a sign of favor by their god and their power is considered legitimized. Alongside its theological connections, the bulls and cows in general that inhabit the kingdom are remarkably easier to tame and ride than most other places. This has led to it essentially being the workhorse of the nation and their workaround to the stigma against horses. Alongside this mounted knights have since the nation's birth ridden atop great bulls with their heraldry shining proudly on the creature's sides and serve as shock cavalry for the Sostenfielian ground forces. Employing their powder-lances as they call the lances with firearms attached to them that they wield to get a few shots off from a distance, these knights are fearsome opponents capable of wreaking havoc in enemy lines from a charge.

Quick sidenote, clockwork animals are still used among the knights. Some instead choose to ride mechanical versions of the common bull or more exotic steeds like rhinos or elephants into battle however these knights come from high ranking noble houses possessing several votes with poorer nobles and squires settling for bulls. As such about 60% of knights ride bulls with their organization being similar to most other nations with knights having knightly orders. These knights however are officially endorsed by the Church of Sostenfiel and when inside their headquarters look more like preachers than seasoned warriors. Their fanatical nature and zeal in battle helps further cement this point.

While Sostenfiel may seem a nation heavily automated with great contraptions whirring away to accomplish some convoluted goal and an advanced army this rampant industrialization is mostly contained within an ever expanding sphere from each city. The countryside even today is renowned for stunning scenery with beautiful mountains and rivers. While a vast number of the population live inside the massive cities of the kingdom, the people who live out here are farmers and use the land to grow food for the greater populace. Alongside this nearly every noble house throughout the whole of Sostenfiel has some kind of retreat they visit in the warmer months or whenever they seek respite from the constant intrigue and schemes in the city. Some even take to exploring the roads and visiting the other regions to find worthy champions to duel. Dueling in question is a well respected art among the Sostenfielians where knights and nobles alike seek to challenge each other to duels of finesse and strength. It's a sort of unofficial prerequisite for Sotenfielian military commanders to have some dueling experience with many duelists being enlisted as melee specialists. The most renowned of these men and women are said to rival even the elves with their keen sight and speed and even a peasant who takes up the rapier should they be skilled enough can earn noble titles and knighthood. A known subgroup of duelist are the conquistadors, a sort of mercenary captain employed by the state who patrol the kingdom and beyond doing as they please so long as they send money back home. This includes raiding of Crocidian/Crocuban settlements and from the lizardfolk beyond as on their journeys they pick up skills beyond the rapier such as deft use of firearms and use of poisons. Conquistadors who show up in a battle may not have the equipment of Inquisitor Artificers but their tactical and martial skills alongside foolish bravery more than make up for it as they are sent to assassinate enemy targets.

Diplomacy with other nations and races are quite a mixed bag for the Sostenfielians. They first and foremost are eternal enemies with the Dalavchtai nomads to their northwest and as such see it fit to dispatch the Sostenfielian Free Armada to assist the sheepfolk of the Sheeple Folk Confederacy in fighting back the hordes. This has led to good relations between the Sheeple and the Sostenfielians as the sheepfolk have no national military force and as such the aid has led to an alliance between the sides with shipments of high quality wool, crafts, animals and scrolls of air magic being sent out of gratitude. The last one in particular is invaluable among the Sostenfielians as artificers employ the magic inside the scrolls to power the magitech devices used to remove the need of a massive open balloon to make an airship work by making the deck far lighter. Meanwhile in the south the Issbjarns are seen as trading partners and both sides simply trade and leave each other be. As for their stance on Autian nations, so long as they haven't been attacked by a nation they welcome just about anybody to come visit their nation to see the sights or engage in diplomacy. The main source of contact most Autians have with the Sostenfielians are the Free Armada who are currently stationed in Autia having been hired by the EU to bring the allied air force out of the picture in the invasion of Ercaenmedi, a job they have been performing quite admirably as of now. They have been holding back the Zeppelins, Aero-Cruisers, Aero-Maschinen and Aerofortresses sent by Belkan alongside its allies airships at the moment even with their status as the smallest Sostenfielian aerial fleet but the situation hasn't resolved just yet.

The Free Armada are essentially the fourth and smallest Air Legion belonging to the Sostenfielians being made up of mercenary vessels and endorsed by the church to travel outside of their borders and battle for the highest bidder. It is led by Marshal Nil Vaca.

Back in Tismo and their homeland however, the Sostenfielians are quite pleased with their affirmation of strength to the outsiders. The vast majority of their technology is still hidden to the Autians but what they've unveiled so far is enough to ensure no nation will desire to challenge them openly lest they find themselves at the business end of their aerial fleet's weaponry. Back to the races of Tismo however with the Empire of the Jade Pyramid. It exists on the exact opposite end of Tismo resulting in a situation where both sides know each other but haven't met very often. This leads to a neutral feeling between the two parties as neither really care enough to cross the whole continent just to engage in a diplomatic meeting. The Xiklik of the Shattered Edge Mountains also apply to this rule with legends of great insects swarming out of dark holes in the earth coming to the ears of the Sostenfielians but no incursion has reached their territory just yet. The Xiklik usually are softened up by the Gnomes of the Jade Pyramid and when they keep going west are finished off by the Dalavchtai once they enter their land. Dun Costa is just seen as a foreign race of strange people and little contact has been made resulting in a neutral impression between both parties of each other, quite a similar situation to the gnomes. This is the point where positive diplomacy ends as the Sostenfielians have either declared war or are heavily disliked by Ar-Haughtra, the Khuluritai, Skvoenbard, Crocidia/Crocuba and the lizards. The Ar-Haughtra and Skvoenbardians have raided Portugel on a few occasions tearing a path of carnage across the farmland. However after two days time the provincial capital of Libonna noticed what was going on and dispatched a regiment of foot troops alongside the order known as the "Knights Algraveia" to put down this incursion repelling the intruders back to their homeland and making an enemy of both races.

A fairly recent threat has been the infuriatingly enigmatic Maritime Khuluritai, constant reports of contradicting and clearly false intelligence have frayed the minds of the military at the amateur nature in how ludicrous the information they receive is in addition to the difficulty to even get this information in the first place. As a preemptive measure the Khuluritai have been marked up to being the second most pressing threat to the nation, second only to the Khanate with the Third Air Legion being on standby to deal with a possible assault. For now it seems the threat is sufficiently prepared for but the mysterious nature of the Khuluritai have led to the Artificer Inquisitor Zé Cardoso embarking into the lands of the Khuluritai seeking to bring home a broken captive willing to give away more definite information about the nature of the Khuluritai and their forces. And lastly the lizardfolk to their east are seen as ripe pickings for many conquistadors who venture outwards and sack their temples searching for both magic and precious materials such as gold and gems. Any further action has not been taken as the lizards refill their temples with new artifacts and gold to make up for what is lost leading to the exact same measures being taken of looting what can be found in the night and not getting eaten by the fauna.

As of recent one of the worst possible scenarios that could unfold has come to pass. When the Khanate comes charging at the borders of Sostenfiel the primary advantage between the forces has always been aerial superiority. While encirclement tactics and ambushes have worked well in the Dalavchtai's favor more often than not their griffon riders, regardless of the massive numbers they are fielded in have been defeated by airships. In a battle against the hordes of of the Dalavchtai in the mountains a group of frigate-class airships were cornered in the convoluted mountain passes by a force of griffon riders a thousand strong and were boarded and overrun. The poor souls of these unfortunate vessels were then dragged to the nomad's camp stationed next to the mountains on the other side with the wreckage of their ships and were subjected to unspeakable torture until they would reveal the secrets of building airships as they do. Eventually the pilots of the frigates gave in and production has slowly began of great red ships with bomb firing mortars stacked on each layer of the pagoda at their center and all throughout. And now when the Khanate rides to battle, as they always do they adapt the technology of whatever they take for themselves into their combat tactics. And these red ships now slowly stalk behind their giant eagles, griffons and black dragons.

This is a sort of apology as I went way too far when making these guys. Here are the most important weaknesses related to the Sostenfielian army which will serve to counter some aspects of it.

1. The spending necessary to maintain a professional military meant to defend the nation alongside the money needed to purchase magitech, specialized airship parts and clockwork animals and other such machines is quite frankly ridiculous. This has led to a relatively small force making up the army which actually functions as I’ve described in other descriptions of it. 70% of the army (which still is nowhere near the size of nations like the Union in the end) is purely just fodder levied spearmen, pikemen and halberdiers with a few arquebusiers thrown in who usually die on their first actual mission, lack any real discipline and have very little experience. The combination of these two issues often lead to Sostenfielian forces being dangerously outnumbered on the battlefield regardless of their technology.

2. The interests of the church and the military often collide leading to spats between the clerical representative in a regiment and the leader, this in turn leads to contradicting orders and a great deal of confusion among the ranks should the two be purposely stirred up into arguing.

3. The noble houses who have children serving in the army often work independently from any greater authority. This independence leads to many regiments having completely different goals than others with situations such as a leader leaving halfway through the battle because he saw his rival who he’d been aching to kill for the last few years was injured and alone in his tent leaving a prime opportunity open for the assassination. Immediately after hearing this the leader and his best men left the battlefield leading to a resounding defeat on the western front of the battle. This self-centered and arrogant leadership embodied by several leaders has been a massive problem for Sostenfiel ever since its founding.

The Troll Holds[edit]

People:

As the region known as the Troll Holds is split up into four individual warring countries, naturally each would be home to many types of trolls. In the northwest there are swamp and forest trolls, in the northeast there are ash trolls, in the southwest there are rock and crystal trolls and in the southeast there are sea trolls.

Swamp trolls are a subspecies mutated from living their whole lives in poisonous swamps that are feared for their ferocious stench which is likened to a deadly poison. They often battle and sometimes tame the giant alligators living in their swampy homelands as pets. They are good friends with the forest trolls.

The forest trolls, through staying in gloomy woodlands filled with mushrooms have became a host for many of these organisms as fungi freely grows on many parts of them. They use this fungi to practice a primitive form of medicine and grind it up into a powder and consume when the moon comes out going into a frenzy. They are good friends with the swamp trolls.

Ash trolls are the rarest out of all the trolls that have gathered in southern Tismo and evolved from living right next to volcanoes and bathing in them. They are massive, even more so than other trolls with a resistance to any forms of fire and black skin. They spend most their days sitting around lazily in pools of lava or geysers, using the scalding liquid like hot springs to stay alive during the cold winters.

Rock trolls live next to the great mountains that dot Lurk (the southeastern section of the troll holds) and are far more rotund than most other trolls, being quite durable as a result of this. They have a very chubby neck and commonly drag boulders around to throw at animals and each other as a sort of sport. The one who can throw a boulder the farthest is instantly crowned the leader of of their own tribe.

Crystal trolls have chosen to live inside the mountains of Lurk unlike the rock trolls who live atop them and have gained a far paler appearance because of it, having massive crystals growing out of their back. They rarely venture out of their caves where they spend most of their days sitting around chewing on crystals and rocks as a food source but when they do it's very reluctantly as they hate the sun. They absorb the crystals they eat into themselves leading to the crystals sticking out of their skin and can take on the traits of what they eat, with a troll who ate diamonds for example having extremely durable skin far surpassing plate armor with stronger teeth as a result of how hard it is to chew on diamonds even for a troll.

Sea trolls live in the southeast nation of Burk and as their name implies have learned how to swim due to the nearby islands having a wealth of food to eat. As such they live on both of the islands near Burk and on the mainland and are distinguished from other trolls by having a far smoother body and a fishy looking face.

Religion:

Trolls are animists, believing the earth around them has a life of its own and it is what their ancestors become a part of following death. They build towers of rocks scattered throughout the Troll Holds as a form of homage to their ancestors.

Magic:

Trolls do not have magic, instead they have a high regeneration factor and the ability to adapt to a new climate extremely quickly. This is why the trolls of the Troll Holds are so different from one another and why they in turn are different from the trolls in other continents.

Military:

The trolls do not maintain a professional army because they simply lack the intelligence needed to manage to logistics of a proper army. This does not mean they can't defend themselves however as individually a troll is quite tough to take out because of their regeneration factor, tough skin, giant weapons and their size being somewhere in between ogres and giants. Because of this a proper army isn't needed as when a troll sees intruders they will gladly smash them apart with their hammer. They use crude stone weapons such as giant stone warhammers, stone clubs, stone staffs etc. for their melee weapon. Alongside this each troll species has a secondary means of fighting with forest trolls releasing deadly spores, swamp trolls using their stench, ash trolls spitting out hot ash, rock trolls throwing boulders, crystal trolls using the traits gained from their food and sea trolls outspeeding opponents with their greater maneuverability from other trolls. The trolls do sometimes bring monsters with them such as giant alligators, lynxes, huge cave lizards and other such creatures that live near them.

Economy:

The trolls do not interact with the outside world much and hunt their own food so the only form of economy they have is occasionally exchanging items with each other in a form of trade. Trolls do sometimes leave their homeland should one be captured or bribed with a surplus of food with these trolls serving as warbeasts in the armies of others.

History:

The four nations of the troll holds have been there since time immemorial as the trolls within got acquaintanced with the surrounding world. Occasionally trolls stumbled upon each other leading to fighting over the best berry bushes and lakes and the trolls grew to resent each other. At one point however their leaders decided enough was enough and told their subjects to share the food as there was enough for everybody. Each hoped to make their trolls into a power strong enough to push against the Empire of the Jade Pyramid as while the gnomes never succeeded in their invasion attempts as they was always smashed apart the trolls never were able to take parts of the gnomes lands for themselves. The leaders of the trolls then tried to hold a conference so they could officially state their new truce but when they arrived at the conference table they realized there was one seat to little. None of them wanted to stand but as the delegate of the swamp trolls pushed aside the rock troll delegate to sit in the last chair, the rock troll struck the swamp troll hard on the head with a nearby boulder killing him. This drew the forest troll delegate into a rage as he attacked the rock troll with the crystal troll coming to defend his ally while the other trolls were aching for a good fight and started fighting each other too. The meeting collapsed and the troll onlookers decided that they were now allowed to fight each other and they started hitting each other with their hammers. The one chance the trolls had at becoming something greater was ruined by a single chair. In the end nothing much became of the trolls as the national divisions remained and they never made peace, leading to the current situation. The gnomes were never able to be invaded but they in turn could never enter the troll holds and the isolation of their lands from other threats led to the trolls never evolving past their current state.

Ral-Kota[edit]

Beneath Tismo, under the sheeple and khanate, lies a subterranean civilization of humans. These people refer to themselves as the Ral-kota and they have called the depths their home for a many generations. Their skin is pale and clammy, with eyes well adjusted to darker places. Their hair is often thin and jet black. Their civilization is centered around a great cave in the shape of a natural dome. They have carved their city and homes directly into the rock. The people survive off of the lake that sits centrally in the floor of their great cave, catching eyeless wriggling fish and harvesting mushrooms that grow along the banks of the water. These people rarely leave their designated home, for the dark beneath Tismo is no stranger to vicious creatures and treacherous passages. They have on three occasions in their history been subjected to Xiklik swarms, and all three times they survived only by collapsing the tunnels the insects were attacking from. They only wield primitive magic, and their weapons are dependent on the strength of arms to be effective, having none of the guns invented on the surface world. They are larger in number than may be assumed, with their great home cavern be very densely populated. How they got done here isn't known by any other peoples, but it is thought they must have fled sole great calamity on the surface ages ago.

Sin’rava[edit]

One of the graceful Solar Elves that inhabit Tismo. They were once a group of Sartyrian colonists, quite similar to the Desert Elves of Flickfowl who had began to try and set up a Sartyrian presence in Tismo. Their viziers spoke of a great valley under the sun on the continent where their dragons could freely rest in and they could establish a highly defensible base of operations to continue their expansion into Tismo from. This strange valley seemed a perfect place to establish their holdings in and as such the Sartyrians travelled far across the mainland whilst repelling the then-young Sostenfielians, Sheeple and Khurultai until they finally found this valley filled with life right next to the nations of the Lizardfolk. The valley was named Sin’rava the suntouched plain and a magnificent fortress was built as a city grew around it, a stark contrast from the traditional citadel to the World Flame typically made when a new city is founded and a reflection of how the Sartyrians at the time were steadily growing less reverent of the flame. Soon their lack of faith was noticed and subsequently punished by the World Flame as in a cruel act the Smelters Disease, which still remains the deadliest known disease in the world to this day emerged. The immortality of the elves proved meaningless as they perished in droves cutting their once plentiful and widespread population down to the far lower numbers seen today and as they watched their kin suffer the elves of Sin’rava came to a harsh realization. Even with the great speed of the Sartyrian fleet they were too far inland and far away from Ignis to be able to reach Ignis and receive the cleansing ritual of flame offered by the World Flame to cure them of the disease in exchange for their morality. With only a short period of time before they would all inevitably succumb to the disease and be wiped out the elves grew frantic trying to find any possible alternative means of purging the disease.

Through the tireless efforts and theories of their mages a possible solution was eventually discovered, by which point half their number had painfully perished already. They would construct a great enchanted basin made of thrice-blessed metals and cover it in runes to absorb the sunlight coming down that permeates through the valley which a mysterious group of plants absorb and convert into magical power to grant the land the magic-enhancing properties it has. The basin was soon ready and was placed atop the Radiant Fortress of Sin’rava as the sunbeams which touched it were absorbed and contained within forming a glowing pool. The nobles of the city would bathe inside this liquidified sunlight and should everything go right absorb a portion of it which would burn away the disease. Initial tests proved this process to be fully functional however an unexpected consequence occurred, the amount of energy absorbed was far greater than expected emptying out the basin meaning only one elf could be cured per day. Replication of the device was impossible as they simply didn’t have the materials needed to make another one meaning that only a small portion of the population could be cured before the rest would die from the disease. A council was held that day with a somber air as the most valued citizens among the elves would be chosen to be cured while the rest would be damned to a painful death. Over the next few days these chosen few were cured through the basin as the gates of the fortress closed blocking the others out sealing their fate.

The elves remained holed up in their fortress for the next few decades in order to start repopulating their number who has been vastly changed in both their appearance and traits. These newly dubbed “Solar Elves” due to their survival being through the sun which they had deified by this point as their new god had a fairer complexion than the ashen look of the Sartyrian, a far cry from the paleness of the Nicsenoreans due to the warmth of Sin’rava but still noticeably different from the Sartyrians. In addition to this they had lost the pyromancies that let them repel the races of Tismo in the first place during the cleansing in exchange for light magic. This magic allowed them to control the flow of energy itself to both heal others or remove the flesh from their face through a beam of searing light depending on what was required. As of late they have ended up spreading out from their fortress now having regained a similar population to what there was initially and repopulating their valley and some lands beyond. Even then there still is a overall melancholy in the air as a result of the oldest elves among them still remembering those who succumbed to the disease. Their present objective is to merely get used to the new state of the world they’ve found themselves in and to take the lands of the lizards to their west for themselves as they originally intended to do.

Tartes Imperium[edit]

People:

Having originally started out as one of the Sorgos colonies, the Tartes Imperium retains a population of mostly Sorgos humans with a relatively small population of harpies, centaurs and satyrs having also came over from Soukos. Their long isolation from their homeland has led to the Tarteans possessing a far paler complexion than the slightly darker skinned Soukans alongside being slightly shorter. The monstrous races also living in the imperium live closer to the outskirts keeping watch for possible enemies. Because of this they are well respected amongst the people living in these border towns and garrisons, a sentiment not shared by those who live in more civilized sections of the nation who treat them with mild apprehension which thankfully rarely escalates to anything beyond that level.

The same can not be said to the neighboring hobgoblins and the strange ashen people of K'eyi Meda however. Both are seen as barbarians by the Tartean senators and are commonly used as scapegoats to convince citizens to enlist in the army to defend their nation out of fear of a possible incursion into the imperium. Any among those two races who are caught within the borders of Tartes are subject to a most gruesome fate as their bodies are nailed to enlargened holy symbols to the Tartean/Soukan pantheon where they inevitably die from asphyxiation. These poor souls are proudly placed next to the roads and cities of the Tarteans where their forms writhe in pain.

Lastly there are the merchants and mercenaries, those from far beyond the nation. These foreigners are treated as honored guests among the Sartyrians due to the wares and information they bring of events far beyond Tartes. In exchange the Tarteans sell goods such as olive oil, furs, rare dyes, pearls and most importantly of all, animals.

While the merchants sell their stock in the streets, mercenaries are commonly seen sitting in the courtyard of a Tartean captain's villa writing out the terms for a contract. These mercenaries fill out multiple useful niches which aren't the primary focus of the military such as advanced long range firepower which could be strengthened by a hired regiment of Yrrian Iron Beasts or trench warfare which a platoon of Belkan riflemen could cover quite well. Most of these visitors are from Soukos due to the nation being the closest one to Tartes and are vital to the imperium because of the deadly magical ballistae and enchanted cannons they send over to maintain their technological superiority. This is particularly important when facing the gnomes to their south who hunger to restore their fallen empire and are a constant threat in the south constantly having to be fought off. Advanced technology helps particularly well against the wee men as unlike the infuriatingly fast and dangerous warriors of K'eyi Meda who constantly raid the western imperium, the gnomes see little value in stealth and wear thick plate armor you can see a mile away and line up a shot towards.

Religion:

The Tarteans incorporate a modified Soukan pantheon into their daily lives as well. Many gods such as Zeupiter and Hadiese remain the same but other gods have their names changed such as Mercuros, god of travel, trickery and thieves being a renamed version of a similar minor Soukan god who is much more important in the imperium due to the greater rate of travel between cities. Additionally completely new gods are added in some cases with Baelona being the Tartean goddess of war and strategy. The high priest of each major god's church all have a seat in in the senate reserved for them and leading to the religious side of the imperium holding a great deal of power because of how many churches there are.

Magic:

Similarly to their former homeland of Soukos, magic is regarded very highly among the Tarteans. The strange inherent magical potential within Soukans is not mirrored here however due to the long isolation from their homeland leading to a loss of that particular trait. While the percentage of people with magical potential among the Tarteans has been lowered to normal odds, it does not exactly mean they have lost the blessings of their gods. The most zealous of Tartean warriors may have the chance to be acknowledged and directly blessed by their god, becoming true paragons of their deities ideals and demigod warriors that are often seen directly leading Tartean legios. Conventional mages are still seen within Tartean forces however as whenever a citizen with magical potential is discovered, they are immediately recruited into the garrison and are directly trained by a mage of the magical school they choose to specialize in which can greatly vary due to the large amount of magical schools utilized by the imperium. These mages are given the great honor to bear a banner of their legio and wear a blessed lion pelt to signify their status as a fully trained mage.

Economy:

As mentioned earlier, the Tarteans primarily export olive oil, furs, rare dyes and pearls. There are two exports however which serve as their main products sold by the imperium, slaves and animals. Their animals are particularly important as many of them are magical creatures like hydras specifically bred to be sold to other nations for multiple purposes. These creatures sell for vast sums to outside buyers due to most nations flat out refusing to sell their warbeasts to others in order to maintain the advantage such creatures bring.

Most of the wealth in Tartes is held by a mix of senators and high ranking military personnel who use it to build magnificent villas and commission great artworks to be built, the common folk have to deal with a far more humble and frugal existence.

History:

During the golden age of Soukos it had seemed like the Three Fates had unveiled the world itself for them to explore. Day by day more land in southeast Autia was being seized but the slow the land was being settled at meant the city-states soon hungered for more while waiting to properly colonize the land. Currently their efforts were all focused directly to their east and while it may have proven a worthwhile investment with Aesanaeria being filled with natural resources and the dwarves of Brazilistan greatly improving their technology the west was still untouched. And so, in order to expand the ever growing republic a great fleet of triremes (I say triremes instead of neo-triremes because this was a long time ago so they just used magic triremes) made from the strongest of woods and given sails of folded silk was gathered together. Following several slight modifications allowing them to survive longer on the open ocean the ships set forth on what would be an arduous journey as triremes weren't meant for long voyages across an ocean. Storms of increasing magnitude broke out throughout the expedition and the loss of supplies and precious food in these events meant many ships were lost to the sea. This voyage did not end without a proper discovery however as when the triremes finally reached land they discovered a vast, warm land with plenty of space to set up holdings in. Overjoyed by this discovery, the crew quickly made landfall and began construction of a small village to serve as a home as civilization was brought to this new land. What they didn't expect however were many hidden pairs of eyes observing them performing their work belonging to those who had already inhabited this land, the men of K'eyi Meda. While a similar situation had happened to the Soukans before with the Sparticia Mountain Clans raiding their newly established city-states, initial contact was far later and this problem could be solved by building better defenses.

This strange new foe would not allow them the time to build proper defenses however as the scouts observing the encampment quickly mounted their amphibious steeds known only as "Kbahalis" and set back home to notify their chieftains of the newcomers. Sensing a splendid opportunity to captures these foreigners as exotic slaves, the chieftains petitioned to their king to travel to their western lands and attack these foreigners. Permission was granted and their swiftest warriors were mobilized to head east. Later that night the Soukan settlement would be attacked by a group of strange winged monsters known as "Kongamatos" who under the cover of dark flew above their homes and each dropped a bomb to wreak mayhem inside the settlement. This caused the settlers and their hoplite bodyguards to run outside in panic to find out what was going on, exactly as the black skinned warriors intended as many citizens were captured and flown away that night to be displayed before the chieftains as a sign of their superiority over would-be invaders. Those who survived the initial assault chose to take all their valuables and flee the settlement before another attack would begin and ran back to the triremes. Before a second attack would inevitably commence, a group of sailors were chosen to head back home and request a greater force be sent to the west to battle this unexpected resistance. Using their greater understanding of calmer regions across the Ignis Ocean the sailors made it home to Soukos safely and begged for aid before the senate to send more troops to take this new land which they'd taken to calling Tartes. Thankfully the senators back home still lusted for this new land and wrote off the Medans who were already inhabiting this land as weak savages who had to resort to stealth to win their battles. Almost immediately following this meeting, general Caelus Titillus volunteered to travel to Tartes.

Caelus was a general of great renown among the Soukans for his role in clearing the Sparticians from Voluntas, a campaign that had earned him the title of consul given by the senate. He had volunteered for this new expedition in order to test a new system of warfare he had thought up and had been building up an army of his own to utilize. These new tactics utilized several groups known as maniples, each a hundred men strong and made up of several ranks of soldiers such as Hastati or veteran Triarii each given enchanted shields capable of taking an arrow from a longbow without issue and javelins alongside a spear, sword or something else entirely. These formations would be led by ranks of monsters meant to disrupt enemy lines while the main force would get in and the artillery right behind them would fire away. His force of 500,000 men each dressed in his personal colors of red set sail later that week as the crowd gazed upon them with great curiosity as they were far more used to seeing hoplites. After what was now the third voyage back and forth from this new land Caelus's forces set foot on land and their greater numbers and training meant they had made a fortified garrison by the end of the day and a force of Velite skirmishers found the remaining original settlers hiding inside a cave. What commenced would be a fierce series of wars as while the Soukans may have had a force of veterans followed by monsters aplenty, the Medans had a greater understanding of the geography of Tartes, possessed dangerous creatures themselves and had a far larger force stationed in Tartes.

Initial Medan attacks on the garrison were failures as ballistae had been stationed to shoot down the flying monsters the people of K'eyi Meda were using to scale the walls but counterattacks ended in failure as maniples were very easy to spot and were repeatedly ambushed in both woods and mountain passes by wrathful warriors with iron weaponry and cowhide shields and terrifying giant serpents with elephant heads known as Grootslangs. To make matters even worse Caelus's subordinates were repeatedly coming down with illness due to some kind of voodoo magic being performed by the Medans from a distance. The magical warding of his armor protected him from such a fate but this campaign was steadily getting more and more difficult than what he initially expected. During the battles he had been in against the enemy tribesmen he had noticed one high exploitable weakness in the Medans structure however. Each tribe seemed to have been sending their own warriors who very rarely cooperated with those from other tribes. This meant that instead of trying to fight everyone at once, as long as his headquarters remained defended the general could send his army out and take out one local tribal militia at a time. Additionally he began to reach out to a few tribes with many luxurious gifts and magical tools being given as a means to ensure their cooperation, having them sabotage their allies under the belief that they would become the most powerful among the tribes that made up the Medans if they performed their job and received more weapons to arm their warriors with. While his forces may have been reduced to half by this point, he began a slow series of victories which eventually stacked up until the final Medan forces were encircled.

Terms of surrender were negotiated and the remaining leaders, who led the tribes bribed by Caelus in fact were let free in exchange for ceding Tartes to the Soukos Republic. Having triumphed over the tribesmen, construction of a proper capital began as Caelus crowned himself the provincial king of this territory. Over the next decade many Soukans immigrated into Tartes as it was swiftly becoming one of if not the most prosperous colony of Soukos and they sought to take large sections of land in the colony for themselves. Unexpectedly, this stream of newcomers would suddenly be shut of soon after as the city-states had initiated yet another civil war with almost all military personnel in the colonies heading back home to help in the conflict. This would not be the same for the Tarteans however as the great distance from their homeland alongside their leadership being mostly outside the standard Soukan hierarchy meant that many of them had started to feel a sense of separation from their homeland. So it was that the Tartes Kingdom as it was known at the time lost contact with its homeland and grew more involved in domestic matters. There were no longer city-states, instead there were simply more cities which while smaller than a city-state were far more closely linked together and to the capital of Rema. The years of isolation brought with them many times of change as well, chief of which was the White Coup. This coup, named such for the bloodless nature of it as the current king was strangled in his sleep was a plot against the royal bloodline who had gotten decadent and cruel. The ineffectiveness of the current heir would be his undoing as the Tartean senate who had been relegated to the position of advisors organized an assassination. Following the successful killing, the senate elected a new leader who would have earned his place through pure merit instead of inheritance. As such an emperor was crowned and the land was renamed to the Tartes Imperium.

Military:

The army has evolved and adapted much since the times of Caelus Titillus, with several reforms since the White Coup having changed how it is structured alongside modernizing it to keep up with their hobgoblin and Medan neighbors who both have adopted gunpowder in combat. The army is organized into multiple legios (legions in the tongue of the Tarteans, which is quite similar to the language of Soukos with a few minor changes) each 100,000 strong. These legios are comprised exclusively of human citizens alongside their warbeasts and are spread throughout the imperium and in some cases beyond its borders. The other monstrous races who serve in the army form a secondary arm of it known as the Auxilia with about a million auxiliaries existing as backup support. The mercenaries hired by the imperium in droves also count in this category as they are non-citizens. The standard Tartean soldier is known as a legionary, well disciplined warriors with many being veterans. They wield blessed scutum shields, multiple kinds of swords (depends on who's training them in their legio), spears and in recent times firelock guns. The strength of these soldiers comes from both their versatility given the variety of weapons a legionary knows how to use and their tactics. These tactics typically involve luring the enemy into a battleground specifically suited for the legionaries to fire into from a distance through gaps in a shield wall meant to deflect enemy small-arms fire whilst a hidden battle mage fires at and destroys artillery brought into the battle. Legionaries are led by centurions with the lower ranks wearing reinforced laminar armor whilst their higher ranks wear full plate and are given exotic enchanted weapons. Some other forces in the army include the Pegasus Equites, an extremely fast flying cavalry division and their Death Rays, the name is self-explanatory.

Miscellaneous:

Flaws in the Tarteans strategies such as a lack of large aerial weaponry i.e airships are covered either through mercenaries or just buying it from Soukos as the two nations share common ancestry and haven't ever directly attacked each other (though the Tarteans have had a hand in starting up the civil war back home so the attention of their homeland would be away from them and they could gain independence) leading to them trading freely. They do have big fiery dragons who live in the area as shown in an earlier picture though, they just aren't as big as a zeppelin per se.

They utilize advanced mechanical mangonels and eagle headed cannons as their artillery. The aforementioned Death Rays also count in this category. The rays in question are essentially just an enchanted mirror absorbing sunlight and firing it off as a projectile when needed.

Their navy is entirely made up of hired neo-triremes as the Tarteans aren't particularly fond of water and prefer for others to do the naval combat for them.

Their monsters are also mostly just a select number of the ones found in Soukos with the exception of some creatures like the Caladrius, a mysterious pale blue bird with healing properties used by the doctors of each legio. I say select number of monsters as they're missing things like minotaurs and warsphinxes.

Ocean Kingdoms[edit]

Kingdom of Aquatica[edit]

The aquatic kingdom of Aquatica is full of aquatic races like fishfolk, merfolk, nautilusfolk, whalefolk, geoduckfolk, and candirufolk.

They are at war with several human nations over the ambergris trade, dragnet fishing, misidentification during whaling, and abductions.

Phinmin[edit]

Much of the southern oceans are inhabited by the Phinmin, shy yet highly intelligent creatures. Any details about their culture are scarce and up to speculation. Some believe they have large complex cities made of coral and rock at the bottom of the ocean. Others say they can morph to have legs and walk about on uncharted islands and sand bars. Others say they are little more than creepy beasts.

They are known to change their behavior and temperament with the cycles of the moon. When waxing, they are docile and even helpful to fishers and sailors lost at sea. When the moon wanes, however, they become highly aggressive. They will swarm any being made of flesh in their waters and both devour and rape them without remorse or pause. With the new moon, they become a plague on nearly every southern port or ship, appearing in vast numbers and engaging in an orgy or violence and perversion.

Sea Elves[edit]

Sea elves are one of the most widespread yet unknown races of elves, in fact it's debatable if they're elves at all given how dissimilar they look to most other elves alongside not being immortal like a few elf tribes are though many elf tribes aren't immortal either so that doesn't matter much.

They live deep underwater in tribes and it's said that they have the largest population out of all elves though this is still very much unclear.

Usually when you're near or sailing over water there's a tribe somewhere around your area yet there aren't very much sea elves concentrated in a specific location, merely just small amounts scattered throughout the world.

Their tech level is fairly primitive with spears and grappling hooks being used alongside underwater monsters like octopi and sharks being ridden and inherent hydromancies they use.

They spend most of their days raiding unfortunate ships passing by from below and producing a mist to disorientate the people abovedeck.

They commonly assault other underwater nations and races and pillage whatever shiny things they can find.

They rarely venture above the water when not raiding but sometimes sail out for whatever purpose they see fit.

Lastly, they have good relations with the sirens (or mermaids/men as most Autians call them) which are another underwater race.

Writefaggotry[edit]

Story of Jacob[edit]

In the Kingdom of Yr, a dead man has started walking. Being one the few men to have survived getting cyberformed by the Iron Beasts, Jacob Thameswell fights against tanks, demons and traitors to liberate the citizens of Yr.

Before the rebellion, Jacob worked along with his wife, Patricia in the Hammer It Hot steel mill. Here Jacob suffered a workplace accident where a boiler explosion launched a lever against the back of his skull. Miraculously, Jacob survived the injury with only "minor" brain damage, but had to have the rear end of his skull replaced with a metal prosthetic.

During the Iron Beast Rebellion, Jacob, Patricia and many others where dragged kicking and screaming into the nearby hospital, where a heavily modified Autodoc would keep adding more and more cybernetic augmentations onto them until they were turned into a mechanical abomination which the Iron beasts call a "Meat-Based Combat Drone".

These MBCD's are husks of their former human selves, thanks to an implant in the back of their brain known as a 'Thought Jammer'.

Jacob's role as an MBCD was meant to be used as a 'Heavy Duty Dumb Labor Unit' where he would spent the rest of his life hauling heavy objects from one spot to another.

But destiny had other plans for Jacob, You see, when the Autodoc finishes installing a Thought Jammer, it can't properly stitch the skull back together and has to resort to a metal prosthetic.

The same prosthetic as Jacob's.

So when his skull was introduced to the Autodoc it simply assumed he already had a Thought Jammer installed and shipped him of to the Hammer It Hot warehouse with his sapience still intact.

Not to long after, he escaped his metal oppressors.


The Ekranoplan[edit]

The following text is derived from an advertisement from a popular Ercaenmedian newspaper named: The Bluejay.


Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of Ercaenmedi! We here at Kotwica Industries are proud to announce to you our nations newest innovation and fastest form of transportation!

Introducing the Ekranoplan:

Built from the retired Alkorian steam ship known as "Andrew" and several parts scrapped from some of those Belkan "airplanes," this ground-effect vehicle flies low above the water on a soft cushion of air, allowing comfort to all passengers onboard.* With the assistance of two contra-rotating propellers and four flettner rotors this beauty will bring you from Autia to Rinolsol in two days! Only having to refuel once at the Dach Coal Mining floating platform.

Our mainland dock is located at Kotwica Bay, hurry up as tickets are running out!

  • Kotwica Industries is not responsible for any discomfort caused by Belkan soldiers attempting to steal the Ekranoplan and try to turn it into a superweapon.

173 ANC Emerald Isles Expeditions[edit]

[TOP SECRET]

Belkan, Ercaenmedi, and Alkor, among others, have long been intrigued by the possibility of exploiting ancient Sartyrian artefacts for military use. In 173 ANC, the intelligence agencies of all three nations caught wind of a large complex of Sartyrian structures being discovered in the Emerald Isles by an expedition of explorers from Falconhead.

Belkan Intelligence was the first to act on the news, and dispatched a "scientific expedition" of 87 soldiers, 23 air crew, 4 griffon riders, 13 scholars, and 9 support personnel to the island on board the armored zeppelin "Indomina".

Much slower to catch wind of what was happening, unaware of the Belkan expedition, and not taking the discovery particularly seriously, Alkor and Ercaenmedi (allies at the time) assembled four small cargo zeppelins, and three messenger griffon riders, as well as 34 Alkorian marines, 12 airmen, 6 freelance adventurers, 8 Alkorian colonial bureaucrats with some scholarly knowledge, and an Ercaenmedi intelligence specialist. The force was assembled hastily from nearby Alkorian colonies, though the Ercaenmedian specialist was luckily just in the area.

The Belkan expedition reached the island first, but an unexpected tropical storm caused the Indomina to crash just off the coast of the island, leading to the loss of half the expedition members, most of the gear and equipment, and all but one of their griffons. Even worse, the island contained many dangers, including quicksand, strangler vines, dinosaurs, massive insects, zombies, and sadistic demon worshipping natives. After losing half of their remaining members trying to carve their way through the jungle, the remaining members of the Belkan expedition fortified their beach camp, then relied on their remaining griffon to ferry key members of the expedition directly to the ruins.

However, only 8 members of the Belkan expedition were ferried to the temple before the Alkorian expedition arrived. Outnumbered almost two to one, and possessing only a few functional muskets in addition to their melee weapons, the Belkans were swiftly defeated, with many of the kills attributed to the Ercaenmedian woman Naifi, who was skilled at both magic and melee combat.

After interrogating the surviving Belkans at the beach camp, the Alkorians sent a single messenger, Jessie Young, on a griffon back to the nearest Alkorian colony to report on progress so far, and notify senior officials that the Belkans were taking the ruins unusually seriously. They then mounted back up in their zeppelins with the intent to fly over the jungle and land at the temple complex directly.

Jessie Young's account of the two expeditions up to that point is our only reliable record of their fates. When a second much larger Alkorian expedition arrived on the island, the ruins had mysteriously disappeared, along with almost all traces of either expedition. The bodies of two Alkorian soldiers and a Spartician adventurer who died during the initial clash between the Belkans and the Alkorians were encountered in zombie form two days later deep in the jungle. However, the battle site itself and the Indomina had disappeared without a trace, not to mention the temple and the Alkorian force that reached it.

It was only three years later that Belkan historian Emilia Gunther was rescued during a retaliation raid by Alkorian marines against hostile tribesmen on an island almost three hundred kilometers away. Initially believed to be a captured Alkorian colonist gone native, her accent gave her away as a former citizen of Belkan. By that time the 173 Expeditions were something of a legend among Alkorians stationed in the Emerald Isles, and her rescuers almost instantly jumped to the conclusion that she was in some way associated with the Belkan expedition.

According to her rather farfetched and contradictory account, the 8 Belkans who reached the temple had split up into three groups, and she and a soldier named Hans never saw the other two groups again. She and Hans became lost in the tunnels and began to suffer from what is likely a series of hallucinations brought on by panic, during which Hans shot himself. Emilia later claims to have encountered an Ercaenmedian woman killing several Alkorians before fleeing the area. Emilia apparently wandered the tunnels for several more days before emerging back into the jungle and being captured by tribals. She was apparently unaware until being told so by her Alkorian rescuers that she ended up on an island several hundred kilometers away from where the temple complex disappeared from.

Emilia disappeared without a trace two days after being rescued.

Four subsequent expeditions to the island have turned up nothing, but each expedition was plagued by unexplained disappearances, unexpected bad weather, murders, and outbreaks of insanity. One of these expeditions disappeared completely.

Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them[edit]

The following are a series of excerpts from the book "Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them" by controversial but award winning author Magnolia Keeling.

Excerpt from Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them, By Magnolia Keeling: Chapter 1: The One Where I Kill Ballsack and Sackball (Again)[edit]

Napan, the country of my birth, is a beautiful nation of misty forests, breathtaking karst formations, and exotic architecture. Despite being close to the equator, the temperature is almost always pleasant, and the snow covered Yuki Mountains can be seen from almost anywhere on the island. Warfare is rare, the land is bountiful, and people have lots of spare time to nurture bonsai trees, go for hikes along trails crossing babbling brooks to visit pagodas with beautiful views, and other idle pastimes. In short, it is almost the perfect place to live. If it weren't for the fact that almost everyone who lives here are BEASTIALITY LOVING SEXUAL DEVIANTS No seriously, this place is weird.

My mother is a minor Napanese noble, and my father is a merchant from Belkan. I had a fairly normal childhood all things considered up until my parents got separated. Apparently my mother was secretly part of the harem of a giant snake with two REALLY big swords in his scabbard, so to speak. And my dad had at some hooked up with a tortoise with more wrinkles than a gathering of ancient witches.

It was around this time I decided to dedicate my life to killing things.

For obvious reasons, I try to avoid coming to Napan as much as possible, but a great aunt twice removed had passed away and I was apparently in line to inherit something (which later turned out to be some trivial heirlooms which I left with my mum for safe keeping since they weren't even worth selling). I also wanted to see if I could get the chip on my sword fixed.

Okamiokami's Edge is a masterpiece of Napanese blacksmithing. It is said that it is made by folding a piece of steel a thousand times so that it gets sharper with every use, enchanted with powerful magic that can disrupt magic and banish demons, and in the hands of one of pure heart can even cut through steel (probably false because it doesn't even cut through rock). At Fauruburesu's Dojo, where I learned the Art of the Blade, it was constantly drummed in to me how important it was to treat the sword with respect. Unfortunately in a world where firearms and destruction magic exist, even a really fancy sword isn't super useful. Aside from using it to kill or intimidate minor opponents not worth wasting gunpowder or magic on, I have found a wide range of alternate uses for the sword, including: - chopping firewood - shaving my legs when I can't find my razor - cane - dismembering bodies that might get me in trouble with the authorities - getting in bets over what it can and can't cut through (which is why it has a huge chip in it now) Like I said, the sword isn't super useful, but it helps contribute to my "stoic wandering swordswoman look" so it pays to keep it clean and in decent shape.

Anyways, after a brief visit and argument with me mum, it was a two hour hike up the nearest mountain to get to Fauruburesu's Dojo.

There, as per his custom, Fauruburesu insisted on greeting me in fox form rather than human form. I grudgingly let him lick my face (his breath smells like chocolate and "fish" as per usual) which his insists is how foxes normally greet each other.

Sure it is.

For all his faults though, Fauruburesu is actually a pretty good swordsman and blacksmith when he is in his humanoid form, and also has the inside scoop on all the best bounties. Despite his faux outrage, I managed to convince him to fix the sword at a reasonable rate, and prodded him on possible jobs while watching him work.

It turns out that good ol' Ballsack and Sackball had been summoned by some idiot again, and were terrorizing nearby fishing villages. The bounty on them was decently high considering they aren't even that dangerous really.

For those of you who don't know, Ballsack and Sackball are a pair of anthropomorphic raccoons with giant, erm, packages, who love harassing townsfolk in any community where someone is dumb enough to summon them. Some people consider them demons, other people consider them trickster spirits, I consider them an easy score, this will be by third time banishing those two nutters, they were in fact one of my earliest bounties when I was just starting out.

Two days later, I find myself at the docks of Ōkina Ahiru, breaking up an argument between a giant geoduck and a drunken Alkorian foreign exchange student.

No, seriously.

Apparently the Alkorian though the geoduck was in cahoots with Ballsack and Sackball because he looks like, well you know what they look like. One key to the groin later, that particular conflict was resolved, and my new phallic friend was able to tell me all about Ballsack and Sackball current whereabouts.

Well, I won't bore you with the details of what ended up being a dreadfully easy fight. Two days later, with a pair of giant, swinging trophies in tow, I entered the nearest magistrate's office, scored a sack of gold, and lived happily ever after.

But not really, I was on a ship to Brazilistan the next day, money doesn't earn itself.

Excerpt from Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them, By Magnolia Keeling: Chapter 5: The One Where I Hunt Succubi in Belkan (And Get This Book Labelled As A Porno In Your Local Book Store)[edit]

I can say with 100% certainty that Belkans are the dumbest race on the planet. It is pretty much a given that they will either destroy the planet, or at least destroy themselves trying.

In fact, I would rather admit to someone that my great grandmother on me mum's side was a giant magical carp, and I have an older half-sister who hasn't left her monkey animal shape for over a decade, then admit that I am somehow related to those jingoistic simpletons.

[rest of chapter removed due to extreme lewdness]

Excerpt from Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them, By Magnolia Keeling: Chapter 7: The One Where I Spend Two Weeks Hunting A Minor Demon I Accidently Summoned[edit]

When I was twenty-three years old, still early in my monster hunting career, I found myself back in Hagarta, where I had learned many aspects of the demon hunting trade.

For those of you who do not know, Hagarta is a lawless region of southern Gabaet. Mostly home to a scattering of peasant homesteads in the few areas flat enough to grow crops, its only noteworthy trait is that the lack of authority figures makes it an ideal place to experiment around with forms of magic some may consider... questionable.

Although hunting demons is one of my main sources of income, it doesn't hurt to understand the basics of how the are summoned and controlled. After leaving Napan in my youth, I spent several years in Hagarta, learning the basics of demon binding and blood magic from a harpy named Scrrrin. Scrrrin was something of a Renaissance woman, harpy, whatever. She was knowledgeable of many forms of magic, and among other tricks, was the one who taught me how to enchant the shot in my blunderbuss pistol to pierce the flesh of demons and other supernatural critters.

It had been several years since I visited Scrrrin, so I took the opportunity to make a detour to her place on my way to scope out potential work in Falconhead.

While there, Scrrrin offered me a rather generous bounty on a local group of witches who had summoned a minor demon of Deadicorn known as Glitter-Shaft.

For those of you who don't know, Deadicorn is a powerful demon associated with horses, sexual prowess, and senseless destruction. He grants his followers the ability to blast enemies with agony inducing blasts of rainbow light, raise the dead as horrifically durable zombies, transform people into weird hybrids of man and horse, or some combination of the above.

[section of chapter removed to due extreme lewdness]

Well, after having saved the world again, you can thank me later by the way, I still had to hunt down that Gluttony Demon I accidently helped summon.

Using my excellent investigative skills, I deduced that it would be heading to the Royal Pumpkin Carving Contest in Falconburg set to occur in two days.

Scrrrin gave me a lift (literally) to the nearest trainstation in Gabaet.

For those of you who don't know, the inhabitants of Gabaet are a bit of a strange folk. They love their - Trains - Big fluffy hats (be careful what hat you where in Gabeat, most of them have hidden meanings, usually related to sexual availability, same goes for Westphallica and Falconhead) - Ravens - Trains - Tea (the weirdos sitting with me on the train spend at least thirty minutes lifting their tea bags up and down in their cups)

Anyways, when I arrived at the town of Falconburg, the pumpkin carving was well underway... [section of chapter removed due to extreme grossness]

And that is how I ended up with two gallons of pumpkin mash, offal, and feces vomited down my top.

Excerpt from Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them, By Magnolia Keeling: Chapter 14: The One Where I Finish That Bitch Victoria[edit]

Like all great heroines, I had a rival, several actually, but this one was the most annoying.

Lady Victoria Swann of the Eastwood Swanns was the heir of a minor Alkorian noble family (one of the newer ones, which is why she doesn't look like the offspring of a hairless pug and a featherless ostrich). She was a treasure hunter, monster slayer, bounty hunter, mercenary, celebrity writer, and occasional operative for Alkorian Intelligence, Order of the Black Hourglass, Alkor Demonology Museum, Alkorian Research Council on the Occult, The Royal Privy Council, and/or the Church of Shomdar. So basically just like me except with significantly more resources at her disposal, and willing to sometimes work for her government at discount rates. Also, she was six years older than me, so everyone assumed she was my role model. Which was extremely annoying. Also annoying was the fact that: - She was a massive prude, and strongly disapproved of my choice of attire, even when (especially when) we found ourselves in situations where she herself had to lose a few layers of clothes, like in Chapter 5 where we had to slip into an orgy den via some poorly maintained steam tunnels, or Chapter 12 where we spent a week travelling through the jungles of Nantel. I imagine this is why we came up with similar plans for disposing of each other in this Chapter. - In her own memoirs, released before mine, she refers to me as a slut, whore, harlot, etc. at least once in every paragraph in which I am mentioned, about (exactly) 1,487 times in her book in fact. - She is a backstabbing cunt (see Chapters 5, 7, 8, 11, and 12). But she crossed a line in Nantel when she stomped my fingers when I was dangling over that precipice. Stupid urn wasn't even worth that much money. - She solved most of her problems with money, hired muscle, or calling in government favors. Why steal good contracts from hardworking individuals like myself when you don't even breakeven most of the time?

And yes, I am aware I have already described extensively how much I didn't like her in several other Chapters.

Sue me.

Besides, I am pretty sure half of you will skip straight to this Chapter anyways, assuming you didn't stop to "enjoy" Chapter 5 for a while first.

Anyways, so needless to say it was a bit strange that I found myself sipping tea at her mansion in Alkor. She had sent me a letter several weeks earlier asking for my help in dealing with a mutual problem in Central Lapus. Which is of course a reference to that time we teamed up to steal a shit ton of gold from a certain Lepre Khan warlord named McMiddis (see Chapter 8). I, of course, had also received a letter from McMiddis, so I was fairly confident I knew what both of them were up to, but I will admit, it was a bit nerve-wracking entering her lair. Who knows, she had been smarter, she probably could have arranged for me to be petrified or transmuted then and there. But she always liked convoluted plots, and was probably too much of a prude to have a naked statue in her house anyways, even temporarily.

In order to save time, we agreed to take a magic portal to Lindgrub. The portal mage was a reliable, if extremely expensive fellow, far beyond my normal budget for travel expenses, but Victoria was paying, so why not. Victoria knew another mage in Lindgrub who could get word to the portal mage when we were ready to come back.

Lindgrub is a rather desolate nation of rocky foothills and grasslands on the eastern coast of Lapus. A former Alkorian colony, it rebelled with the help of the Lepre Khans, and has been independant ever since. The locals have close ties with the Lepre Khans, including some cross-breeding, which probably accounts for their short height, annoying accents, and whimsical nature. Much like my kinfolk in Napan, or those in Hoogivs, Falconhead, Hagarta, the Tavern Woods, and other places where ties between the spirit world and this world are strong, folk tend to get a bit strange.

The inhabitants of Lindgrubish town of Potato Creek, where the portal mage dropped us off, are an irritating bunch, never really seem to talk about anything other than potatoes and that poorly fermented beer they like. No idea why they never learned how to make decent potato vodka like my mentors in Hagarta. They don't like Alkorians though, so they aren't that bad. It was fun listening to Victoria put on a fake Union accent when dealing with the locals while trying to make contact with the mage who would send the message to the portal mage to come pick us up for the return trip.

From there, the portal mage brought us as close as he could get to McMiddis's fortress without the fey nature of the area messing with his magic. I didn't mind walking the rest of the way though, the Lepre Khan Hills are impressive in their windswept emptiness, just endless hills with the occasional ruin or creek to mix things up. It reminded me a bit of the Hagarta valleys.

Depending on your viewpoint on these things, Lepre Khans (also known as Leprechauns, Lepres, etc.) are either spirit folk or fey. Strange, mischievous folk, they are mostly found in the central mountains of the continent of Lapus, but can show up anywhere where the boundaries between worlds is thin. Like most fey, they have an odd form of magic unique to their race that makes sense only to them. Most of them are fairly weak magic users, but some are frightfully powerful. Among their tricks are enchantments (particularly persistent illusions and behavior alteration, but sometimes mind controlling geas), the ability to make items disappear and reappear, and most importantly, the ability to conjure up gold coins from nowhere. You never know how things will go when you encounter lepre khans, one day one may give you an extremely generous amount of gold to see your "ladies" or borrow a sheep for "reasons", the next day, one will make your clothes disappear, and cause all your farm animals to suddenly become extremely amorous. Note, lepre khans are extremely greedy despite how easily many can conjure up gold coins, and any coins they give you will probably disappear after a few days, as they were either illusions, or got stolen back.

McMiddis is a eccentric even by fey standards. Despite being highly proficient in both conjuring gold and turning pretty much any object into gold, he is obsessed with acquiring as much gold as possible. Beneath the ruined castle in which he makes his home, a massive gold mine is worked by slaves under the power of various geas. Probably a fetish thing.

Definitely a fetish thing is his love of turning attractive young women into statues of pure gold. He claims all of them are thieves, but I doubt there is that many attractive thieves in this corner of the world (myself and Victoria excluded obviously). Probably just slaves that he got bored with.

In theory, my agreement with Victoria was to team up and kill McMiddis. As much as I hate to admit it, Victoria was a capable combatant, and the two of us shot, stabbed, and burned our way through the token resistance in the castle as we headed to the throne room (luckily Victoria didn't notice I wasn't carrying any of my usual combat gear, and was using cheap replacements instead). McMiddis is an immensely powerful magic user, and I am sure fully intended to take care of us himself, but appearances had to be maintained apparently. Maybe by forcing us to kill some of his servants, and by providing us with plenty of opportunities to help ourselves to some of the endless piles of gold coins and trinkets that covered every flat surface, including the floor in most places, he could add a bit to his own reputation when he stopped us himself.

Sure enough, we eventually ended up in McMiddis's throne room, where McMiddis sat in the middle of a large room filled with massive piles of treasure. Such was his love of gold, that he had even started replacing parts of his own body with gold (not sure about his schlong, but won't be surprised).

First McMiddis used his magic to create gates of pure gold across all doors and windows.

Then he called some of his inner circle to come out of their hiding places to witness his genius.

Then came the long winded monologue where McMiddis laid out his cunning plan, and myself and Victoria pretended to be surprised, and McMiddis pretended not to notice us pretending.

And then things got interesting...

First McMiddis hit us with a powerful wave of magic that caused all visible objects on our persons to disappear. Then a second wave to remove any remaining objects and clothing.

I had expected this, but managed to pretend to be suitably cowed. Victoria was genuinely upset though, prude that she was. Her plan had relied on some extremely expensive runes of protection woven into her clothing protecting her from McMiddis's magic. Unfortunately for her, the runes didn't work quite as well as expected since I had managed to slip a small but powerful disruption rune into one of her pockets during the confusion of one of the earlier skirmishes.

As I had hoped, as the third wave of magic hit, the one that was supposed to turn us both into gold statues, Victoria panicked and tried to pointlessly preserve her modesty, while I adopted a bold stance, and made a rude gesture. In case things didn't work out, I wanted my statue to at least look suitably awesome.

But I didn't get turned, though as planned, Victoria did.

Step 1 = Complete.

Gloating would have to wait though, in her case at least.

I gleefully informed McMiddis that the reason his magic didn't work is because we were related, so his magic couldn't directly harm me as per the strange rules of Lepre Khan magic. I did a bit of research into my family tree, and it turns out McMiddis is my great grandfather, and at some point in his youth, slept with my great grandmother (the giant magic carp). Fish, even magic spirit animal fish, have lots of eggs, so I have a lot of relatives on that side of the family I don't know about. It was in fact for this reason I targeted McMiddis's fortress for theft all those years ago, though at the time I had been unwilling to try going toe to toe with McMiddis himself.

Anyways, McMiddis got hopping mad (literally), and gave a long winded rant about how my great grandmother lied about using contraceptives. Or at least that is what I thought he said. Something about "lion 'arlot" and "said she pud a pod on 'er potaters" and "taw-zines of wee liddle taters".

At some point though he realized this restriction doesn't apply to any henchmen not related to him, so ordered some lepre-khans to kill me while I was standing around empty handed in my birthday suit.

So step two of my plan involved exploiting the other big blind spot in lepre-khan magic, its inability to harm servants of Deadicorn. Apparently Deadicorn has some ancient ties to the lepre-khan race, something about rainbows and pots of gold. I wasn't really able to understand it despite weeks of research, but basically not only can't they harm servants of Deadicorn, but their magic doesn't work nearby such servants.

Mindful of the fact I am in the presence of a (distant) family member, I turn sideways, then [CENSORED FOR LEWDNESS].

I quickly activate the runes on the still damp unicorn statuette, summoning a unicorn, one of the feared servants of Deadicorn.

I then hop on it, and blast my way out of the castle with its flaming breath and incinerating rainbow blasts of jizz, grabbing a large sack of gold on the way out.

Unfortunately, I couldn't bring Victoria's statue with me at the time, though I did retrieve it decades later (see Chapter 34), and converted it into a water fountain at my Westphallica villa for several years before events intervened. Likewise, though I probably could have had the unicorn kill McMiddis, Napanese culture frowns on kin-slaying, and besides, someone needed to keep an eye on Victoria's statue until I found the time to retrieve it. He tried to assassinate me several times after that, but we eventually became great friends.

After much bloodshed, I left the Lepre-Khan Mountains, and made my way to Potato Creek with a stolen potato cart, and some stolen clothes (made of poorly processed wool infested with fleas, not recommended for sensitive skin).

This is where step three of the plan comes into play. I summoned a succubus "friend" (bound captive really, it was Nala from back in Chapter 5). I had Nala transform into Victoria, made contact with Victoria's mage friend to get the portal mage to come pick us up (luckily Victoria paid the return trip in advance), then with "Victoria"'s assistance, I smuggled out a ton of high value goods out of Victoria's mansion, including several pieces she stole from me on past adventures. Then I had "Victoria" [CENSORED FOR EXTREME LEWDNESS] and [CENSORED FOR EXTREME LEWDNESS] for several days, then [CENSORED FOR EXTREME LEWDNESS] which resulted in her family quietly sending her to an asylum, from which she of course escaped and was never seen again. This kept her buddies in the Alkorian government from figuring out what happened to her for many years, and by the time they worked it out, no one really cared anymore.

Long story short, I defeated a rival, humbled a powerful relative, and acquired a great deal of wealth, not bad for a three day adventure.



First Battle of Poole Harbour[edit]

Location:

Poole Harbour is a small subtropical island almost a thousand kilometers south of Eritroans, dangerously close to the forbidden continent of Ignis. Several decades ago, the Alkorian Empire established a naval base there to support their ongoing efforts to colonize the Emerald Isles, as well as support discrete investigations to the continent of Ignis. Although they were capable of resupplying the island themselves, its main advantage was that it could be supplied by neutral or allied nations along the west coast of Autia, particularly Ercaenmedi and Aesanaeria.

The principle community on the island was the harbor town, also known as Poole Harbour. The hills surrounding the town had been cleared as pasture land, but much of the rest of the island was dense jungle and large rock formations. Several communities of harpies lived in cave networks in some of the larger rock outcrops.

In addition to military personnel, about 2,000 civilians lived in the town, working as laborers, bureaucrats, fishermen, and shepherds. The number of harpies is unknown but estimated in the hundreds.

Background:

Although the Belkor War ended in a stalemate, it heightened tensions between Belkan and Alkor, as well as solidified the alliance between Belkan and the Soukos Republic. Eager to put the new alliance to the test, military leaders in Belkan and Soukos came up with a plan which would involve forming a task force from the Soukos Omega Fleet, several elite land units, and the Belkan Third Air Fleet (still in Soukos after the war). The task force would head west before looping back south in order to bypass the naval patrols of Alkor and her allies along the western coast of Autia.

Forces:

Attackers: 8 Soukan War Galleys 6 Soukan Transport Vessels 4000 Soukan Sailors (no armor, equipped with gladius and javelins) 400 Elite Hoplites (heavy armor, spears, gladius, and shields) 550 Soukan Amazons (light armor, gladius, shields, short bow) 50 Satyr Skirmishers (mixed equipment) 3 Belkan Carrier Zeppelins 6 Combat Zepplins 30 Griffons 500 Air Crew (light armor, pistols, assorted one-handed melee weapons) 500 Belkan Aerial Marines (light armor with blunderbuss and assorted one-handed melee weapons) 500 Belkan Regular Infantry (medium armor with rifles and assorted one-handed melee weapons) 500 Belkan Shock-Halberdiers (heavy armor, shock halberd

Defenders: Assorted naval and anti-air cannons 12 Griffons, 3 small Zeppelins (recon and courier) 500 Alkorian Marines (no armor, rifles) 500 Colonial Auxiliaries (Bridge Tribesmen, no armor, assorted melee weapons and bows) 50 Elite Ercaemedian Skirmishers (mercenaries awaiting deployment to the Fantal Islands, assorted weaponry and magical abilities) 30 Brass Knights (Day 3 onwards) 80 Privateers (Day 3 onwards) 40 Horsemen (Day 3 onwards) 3 Unravelers (Day 3 onwards) Kujira No Seieki (Napanese Elder Dragon, Day 3 only)

Sartyrians (Day 7 onwards) Large number

Day 1 - Siege/Retreat

Thanks to their risky strategy of crossing the open ocean, the Soukos-Belkan task force was able to attack Poole Harbor largely unexpected. Unfortunately for them, the Alkorian fleet they wanted to ambush had left over a week ago. Unwilling to abandon the element of surprise, the task force leaders decided to raze the town instead.

Although not a major port, Poole Harbor was still had extensive defenses, and the initial battle lasted several hours as Combat Zeppelins, Griffons, and War Galleys gradually wore down the gun emplacements so that firebombs could be safely dropped on the town proper.

Guessing the Belkan's strategy, the commander of Poole Harbour ordered the evacuation of the town, including most of the defenders aside from those manning the gun emplacements. Although most of those manning the guns died at their posts, the heavily fortified nature of the defenses and potent fire power allowed them to destroy 3 Combat Zeppelins, 6 War Galleys, as well as down 8 Griffons.

Outraged by the heavy losses for minor gain, Belkan political attaché Lord Wagner ordered the execution of the three highest ranked Belkan officers and ignored the sensible advice of Soukos Admiral Aetos to leave prior to the arrival of an incoming storm.

Night 1 - Panic/Intrigue

An unexpectedly powerful storm sweeps over the island as the leadership of the Belkan-Soukos force continues to bicker, and 6000 odd soldiers and sailors try their best to take shelter in the remains of the town.

Meanwhile, out in the jungle, the Alkorians and their allies plot. Commander Tweedle accepts a strategy devised by the Ercaenmedians Kyun and Neugdae (a necromancer and a ninja respectively) as well as Bridge Tribe witch doctor Hai. The necromancers were able to summon spirits of deceased soldiers, and aided by the curses and hallucinations of the witch doctors, and the mind controlling abilities of the Ercaenmedian enchantress Nolae, were able to cause mass panic among the Belkan-Soukos force. At the same time, Neugdae and his fellow ninja managed to destroy several zeppelin and ships with magic explosives. His greatest success of the night was detonating the magazine of the Carrier Zeppelin Fortitude while it was still being unloaded.

Much to the fury of Admiral Aetos, Wagner, and his senior Storm Mage Heinrich proclaimed that the storm was a sign that Ace wants them to remain on the island. During a brawl, Heinrich incinerates Aetos and several others with lightning. Hoplite Champion Drakos (a political rival of Aetos) declares Aetos a coward and traitor, and became the de facto Soukos leader with help from the Belkans. Amazon Princess Antiope, Senior Captain Karisa, and Satyr Mystic Ocnus grudgingly accept this, though Ocnus makes an oblique reference to foreseeing doom.

Between the storm, sabotage, and infighting, the Belkan-Soukos force loses nearly a thousand men, all ships save a war galley and two transports, and one of their carrier zeppelins. However, more importantly, several water supplies are spiked with subtle concoctions brewed by the witch doctors, and perhaps most importantly of all, Kyun is able to bind the spirit of Aetos, providing a huge advantage in terms of intelligence.

Day 2 - Harassment/Consolidation/Rescue

Relatively little combat happened on the second day, as both sides grappled with the fact that they were now trapped on the island. There were several clashes between scouts and light skirmishers, but the elite skirmishers of the Belkan-Soukos force, the satyrs, have lost their will to fight thanks to the prophecies of Ocnus. Instead they capture several dozen Alkorian civilians, hijack one of the remaining Soukos transports, and flee the island to seek sanctuary in Afrozil.

Against the advice of his scouts and foreign advisors, Tweedle consolidates most of his forces in an abandoned fishing village on the far side of the island from the main town. He uses his mages and remaining griffons to send word of the attack to a number of allies in the region. He is able to convince a nearby Brazilistan cargo ship to sell them much needed supplies and evacuate 400 women, children, and elderly civilians, but further reinforcements aren't expected until the next day.

Meanwhile, Wagner and Heinrich carry out a purge of "traitors and doubters" many of them in fact suffering from the effects of hallucinogens and mild poisons slipped into their water during the night before. The Belkan-Soukos army is also forced to come to terms with the fact that fighting in armor is almost impossible in the humid, rocky jungles, particularly after the storm.

Night 2 - Massacre

Unable to rely upon armored infantry tactics, Wagner and Heinrich instead default to good old fashion air power, storm magic, and high explosives. The remaining airships are packed with aerial marines, firebombs, and storm mages, and sent to raid the main Alkorian camp at the old village. Showing definite signs of megalomania by this point (a hereditary trait that shows up occasionally in his family), Wagner callously has most of his marines drop into the village with help from their trademark rappelling balloons, before destroying the village from above with firebombs and storm magic while his men were still fighting in it. About 600 Alkorian and allied soldiers, and 1000 civilians (many admittedly armed by this point) are killed for the price of 400 marines.

Day 3 - New Arrivals/Retaliation

The first of the Alkorian reinforcements arrives with a bang. The massive Napanese dragon Kujira No Seieki (an old friend of Kyun's) seemingly arrives from nowhere, and does several strafing runs on the Belkan-Soukos army camping in the ruins of Poole Harbor, before being driven off by a kamikaze griffon rider with a casket of gunpowder. He destroys the remaining zeppelins, griffons, badly damages the remaining ships, destroys almost all the remaining supply stockpiles, and kills nearly three hundred soldiers.

Next are a trio of powerful Unravelers who arrive by unknown means for unknown reasons. Powerful spells are unleashed on the Belkan-Soukos army for the next two hours. Hoplite Champion Drakos is transformed into a Horseman and kills 30 of his own men before being brought down, demoralized, his men hijack one of the remaining ships, but it sinks an hour later due to fire damage from Kujira, and all hands are lost. The other ship is commandeered by Karisa to flee the battle as well. It is captured by Afrozil privateers two days later. Karisa is ransomed back to her family who later throw her down a well due to the shame she has caused them. In a titanic battle of magic, Heinrich kills one of the Unravelers, causing the other two to flee.

The final group of reinforcements are a band of Brass Knights who arrive by catamaran and simply join the Alkorian force rather than attack the Belkan-Soukos directly.

Emboldened by the reinforcements and Belkan-Soukos losses, the remaining Alkorians launch an aggressive raid but are driven off by the Belkan-Soukos force, who still possess superior numbers. With barely 500 soldiers left, many very elite, but many others nothing but armed civilians, the Alkorians retreat back to the jungle. Down to 3000 men, badly demoralized, and unaware of the limited strength of their opponents, the Belkan-Soukos force hunkers down for the night under the uneasy alliance of Wagner, Heinrich, and Amazon leader Antiope.

Night 3 - Parting of Ways

That night, the leaders of both the Alkorian and Belkan armies found their positions challenged.

In the Alkorian camp, Alkorian Commander Tweedle was under pressure from the Ercaenmedians, Brass Knights, and Bridge Tribers to continue an aggressive strategy, while several of his own senior officers plus a few leading civilians believed that now that Belkan air power had been destroyed, it was safe to hunker down in the hills and wait for further reinforcements. In the end, Tweedle took about 300 soldiers (mostly former civilians) and when to hide in the hills, where a junior officer from Hagarta had managed to establish friendly relations with the local harpy clans. The remaining 200 soldiers, a mix of Brass Knights, Ercaenmedians, Bridge Tribers, and a surprising number of Alkorian Marines, spread out to lay siege to the remains of Poole Harbor. An unstable triumvirate of Ercaenmedian Necromancer Kyun, Brass Knight Commander Lord Duba, and Witch Doctor Hai.

In the Belkan-Soukos camp, things are even worse. Evidence has come to light that Wagner is secretly a demon worshipper manipulating the course of the battle to advance a hidden agenda. Already unpopular due to his purges and wasteful tactics, he is locked up on the orders of Antiope and Heinrich. In return for his support, Antiope permits Heinrich to lead a small expedition to one of the Sartyrian ruins on the island, where he claims he can unlock an artefact of great power.

The Ercaenmedians and Bridge Tribers carry out harassment tactics throughout the night, much like they did on the first night.

Day 4 - Orchestra of Death / Duels / Victory Denied

In the early hours of the fourth day, Lord Duba proclaimed the need for another assault on the Belkan-Soukos camp, as he was sensing the use of increasingly powerful daemonic magic from the camp in the name of Gogotha, a rival of his own demonic overlord, the Brass Lord. Despite their significantly reduced numbers from the day before, Lord Duba convinced the others this attack was more likely to succeed thanks to the large numbers of Belkan and Soukan soldiers incapacitated by Bridge Triber poisons and curses, as well as the a promise that the Brass Knights would unleash their full power this time.

Surprisingly, the attack almost did work. Only about a 1000 Belkan and Soukan soldiers were able to mobilize for battle, the rest suffering from illness, chronic fatigue, depression, hallucinations, and other effects of Bridge Triber curses and poisons. The Brass Knights unleashed the full power of their sonic weapons; thunderous booms shattered rock and splattered soldiers, shrill screeches shattered minds and burst eyeballs, and warbling tremors liquified guts and emptied stomachs. Tendrils of pure darkness weaved through the battlefield, thrashing, binding, and crushing. Worse of all was the indestructible Lord Duba himself, who strode through the battle crushing all in his path, seemingly immune to even the power shock halberds. Gunpowder and arrows were in short supply by this point, and fighting degenerated into a brutal melee, with the Belkan and Soukan force eventually driving off the opposition with sheer numbers.

Hoping to boast the morale of her soldiers, Antiope issued a challenge to that she would fight anyone who dared to in a one-on-one duel. Over the course of the next hour she defeated Boxing Champion Ian Murphy, Chain Sword Mistress Victoria Aki, and Hook Fighter Red Scar Kahananui. Worried about the moral of his own forces, Lord Duba challenges Antiope himself. The duel lasts nearly 10 heartstopping minutes, but eventually Antiope is able to wear Duba down with multiple stab wounds from her powerfully enchanted spear. However, unwilling to allow the Soukans this important symbolic victory, sharpshooter Alex Hawthorne uses one of the latest functional firearms on the island to shoot her in the knee from 100 yards.

Meanwhile, the forces commanded by Tweedle and Heinrich slog through the jungle to their respective destinations.

Night 4 - Long Knives

At the ruins of Poole Harbour, the Ercaenmedians step up their harassment tactics. Necromancer Kyun has the spirit of Admiral Aetos possess the second in command of the Amazons, Androdameia, and assassinates Antiope while she is recovering from her injury. Androdameia-Aetos then blames "Belkan demon worshippers", leading to a brief fight between the Belkan and Soukan soldiers. Wagner and his inner circle are executed, and Androdameia-Aetos forms a new leadership council consisting of herself, senior Amazon Maia, Storm Mage Sofia Muller, and dashing Captain Hans Kruger (her lover since early in the campaign). However, having decided that he had secured his revenge against Wagner, Aetos instead breaks free of his bonds and possesses his former master Youra Kyun.

Meanwhile, back at the siege camp, fighting breaks out among the surviving Brass Knights, Ercaenmedians, Marines, and Bridge Tribers. Several groups want to rejoin Tweedle's camp, but others want to stay to disrupt the alleged daemonic ritual. Adding to the confusion, Youra Kyun (possessed by Aetos) urges everyone to join her in investigating an old ruin (at the time simply a ploy to form a third faction and encourage bloodshed). After several deaths, the camp splits into three groups. A handful of Alkorians and Ercaenmedians under Ian Murphy leave to rejoin Tweedle, Kyun-Aetos leaves with 7 soldiers, mostly Ercaenmedians, to investigate the ruins, and about 40 soldiers, mostly Brass Knights, stay to find a way to disrupt the demon worshipper's plans.

Heinrich's group is the least fortunate. As most of them slept, one of the Unravelers returns seeking revenge on Heinrich for killing his master. Most of the group is either zombified or turned into horsemen, or both, but Heinrich (in zombie-horseman form) retains enough will power to brutally kill the Unraveler. The sole survivor is the Amazon Phoebe, who records the events in her journal, but dies sometime afterwards slipping on wet rock. Her journal is recovered by harpies, who later trade it with the Alkorians, providing our only record of the fate of Albrecht Heinrich, one of the most notable Storm Mages of his generation.

In contrast to the infighting of the other groups, Tweedle establishes peaceful relations with the local harpy clan.

Day 5 - Evacuation / Ritual / Failure

At the ruins of Poole Harbour, Androdameia (who wisely never mentions she was possessed, or was responsible for Antiope's death) splits her forces up. About a thousand (mostly wounded or incapacitated) stay at the camp under the supervision of senior Amazon Maia, while 200 soldiers under the command of Storm Mage Sofia Muller investigate the site of the Second Night Massacre for supplies. The remaining 1300 form up under the command of herself and Captain Hans Kruger to assault Tweedle's camp, which had been spotted by an airborne Storm Mage scout.

Tweedle had managed to make contact with the Afrozil privateer Queen Sonia, and arrange for the evacuation of his remaining forces. However, they find themselves cut off from the beach by Androdameia's much larger force, and come up with the highly unusual plan of using harpies to carry his followers to the ship one man at a time. Lacking any ranged weapons by this point, Androdameia orders her forces to scale the cliff to the plateau on which Tweedle made his camp, with assistance from her three remaining Storm Mages, who were capable of both flight and using wind magic to lift others over tricky areas. Unfortunately, this plan falls apart when Hoshi Kagayakia, a powerful Ercaenmedian witch mounted on a flying broom who was part of Ian Murphy's group, joins the battle part way through. She blasts the three Storm Mages to pieces in a vicious aerial duel, then starts picking off the Belkan and Soukan soldiers trying to scale the cliff. She is aided by some of the harpies, who capture some of the soldiers, and knock others to their deaths. Tweedle is able to safely evacuate all his forces and leave the island, while Androdameia can only scream in frustration as her quarry escapes and her best soldiers fall to their deaths.

The fate of Sofia Muller's group is shrouded in mystery. A strange formation of alternating crispy black and withered white bodies is spotted in a clearing by Hoshi as she does one last fly-over of the island looking for Kyun's group. An ominous red glow is seen coming from part of the island at dusk by those leaving the island by ship. A succubus resembling Sofia Muller along with several thralls is encountered by Kyun's group two days later.

Night 5 - Things That Go Bump In The Dark

By this point only a few groups remained on the island (aside from the indigenous harpies and the prisoners they took). The survivors of Androdameia's force are believed to have set out for Poole Harbour at dusk, following their defeat at the cliffs. Around a 1000 soldiers under Maia squabble among themselves at Poole Harbour over the few remaining supplies. Sofia's group was likely "harvested" around dusk, along with the Brass Knights who tried to stop them, though several thralls who were likely recruited from these groups are later encountered fighting alongside Succubus-Sofia. Finally, Kyun's group was lost in the jungle and never joined the evacuation, unlike Ian's group who made it just in time.

According to survivors from Kyun and Maia's groups, Androdameia's force encountered something, likely one of more summoned demons, around 2:00 am. Screams could be heard for the next two hours, but no trace of Androdameia's force is ever seen again. At Poole Harbour, mass panic occurs, and nearly half of Maia's group either disappear into the jungle, or drowns trying to swim out into the ocean, yet those who stay in the ruins of the town never lay eyes on their tormentors. Kyun's group, largely made of hardened mercenaries and adventurers, keep their cool and lie low in a small cave network for the night.

Day 6 - Stranded

Very little happens on this day.

Morale has completely collapsed at Poole Harbour. Maia's surviving soldiers spend the day virtually paralyzed with fear assuming whatever destroyed Androdameia's force would come for them, but it never did.

Kyun's group faired better. Enchantress-Singer Nolae Supasuta does an impromptu live performance of her three best hits, which not only raised everyone's moral, but also inadvertently banished Aetos's hold on Kyun. Realising they have been deceived, the Encaenmedians resolve to join Tweedle's group, but after several hours of searching, they encounter a friendly harpy, who informs them that Tweedle had evacuated the island. Realizing they are now stranded on an island filled with enemies, Kyun comes up with the desperate plan to send several bound spirits to find the ships Tweedle's followers boarded, in hopes that they could communicate with fellow necromancer Awai, who they (correctly) believed to be aboard the evacuation ship.

Succubus-Sofia's group is also on the island, but their activities on this day are unknown.

Night 6 - Anticipation

Maia's soldiers continue to be paralyzed with fear, and Sofia's group's activities continue to be a mystery.

Kyun's gambit pays off and Awai sends back a spirit with instructions to enter the Sartyrian ruins on the highest point of the island and wait for evac by wyvern. Sartyrian ships had been encountered in the area and turning around Queen Sonia's privateer ship was seen as too dangerous.

Day 7 - Fire and Death

In the early hours of the morning on the seventh day, several Sartyrian ships entered the ruins of Poole Harbour. Either not recognizing the design of the ships, or too desperate to leave the island to care, Maia's soldiers make little effort to organize a defense, and many soldiers simply gather at the beach hoping for evac. Many others are bedridden by infected injuries, lingering curses, and a wide range of illnesses. The Sartyrian force sweeps over Poole Harbour in minutes. Most prisoners are either burned alive, flayed, and/or deliberately infected with Smelter's Disease, but about 30 or so of the healthiest and most capable looking individuals are deliberately released into the jungle to be hunted for the Sartyrian's idle amusement.

Meanwhile, Kyun's group encounters resistance at the Sartyrian ruins. Several zombies and horsemen (likely the remnants of Heinrich's group) ambush the group, and only Kyun, Nolae, the ninja Neugdae, and Bridge Triber La'akea survive.

Night 7 - Predators and Prey

Kyun's group fortifies a section of the ruin as best they can with old debris, then hunker down for the night, but are interrupted around midnight by a group of fellow survivors seeking shelter; Alkorian Marine officer Rebecca Haines, Alkorian Marine sharpshooter Alex Hawthorne, Bridge Tribe Witch Doctor Hai, and three unidentified Belkan soldiers. Rebecca, Alex, and Hai were all known to be members of the group that accompanied the Brass Knights to attempt to prevent alleged demonic plot, and Kyun's group grudgingly accepted their story that they are the last survivors of a demonic ritual.

Two hours later, a small group of survivors, made up of "prey" released from Poole Harbour, also arrive at the tower; aircrewman Konrad Linder, journalist Viola Bauer, shock-halberdier Bernd von Rohr, sailor Aeschylus, and Amazon Thermodosa, and were grudgingly accepted as well, particularly when they revealed that Sartyrian hunting bands were roaming the island.

It is believed that all other groups of "prey" were hunted down this night, and by morning, the group sheltering in the Sartyrian ruins, and the Sartyrian raiders were the only living beings on the island. Even the harpies and their remaining prisoners had temporarily relocated to another smaller island by this point.

Day 8 - Last Stand

No one in the Sartyrian ruins group slept that night, and tensions ran high. By morning, several arguments had broken out. Rebecca's behavior was highly unusual to those who knew her, and Konrad correctly deduced that the wyvern coming to pick them up likely couldn't carry 15 people. When talk veered towards drawing lots for spots on the wyvern, Rebecca unexpectedly revealed herself to be a succubus and swiftly killed Neugdae and disabled Nyun and Nolae. La'akea managed to stab the succubus in the back with an enchanted blade, but is in turn killed by one of the Belkans who arrived with "Rebecca". Thermodosa finishes the succubus off, in the process recognizing that in her true form she resembles Sofia, the Storm Mage who led force that mysteriously disappeared around the time the demonic ritual was activated. She then slays Alex and Hai. Hai's death frees Bernd from the curse placed upon him (and many others), and he seizes a shock halberd from one of the corrupted Belkan officers before using it to slay all three corrupted Belkans, but not before one kills Aeschylus.

At this point the wyvern is spotted on the horizon, but so is a fast approaching band of Sartyrian raiders. Bernd valiantly sacrifices himself so that Konrad, Viola, Thermodosa, Nyun, and Nolae can escape. A true master of his art, it is believed he slew five Sartyrians in single combat in order to buy time for the others to escape, an impressive accomplishment given many Sartyrians are believed to have centuries of combat experience.

Epilogue:

Alkorian Commander Tweedle is awarded the highest military honours for successfully evacuating nearly 700 civilians and soldiers from the island in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Nyun and Nolae are also awarded high honours for securing valuable intelligence on the mysterious events that occurred during and after Tweedle's departure from the island.

As the only known survivors of the Belkan-Soukos task force (aside from those that successfully fled during the second and third days of the battle), Konrad, Viola, and Thermodosa are declared intelligence assets for their knowledge of the events that took place during the later days of the conflict from a Belkan-Soukos point of view. They are likely still held in a secure location.

Poole Harbour was investigated by Alkorian intelligence assets for several months, but aside from the minor win of determining the fate of Heinrich, no clues were uncovered explaining the nature of the events that occurred on the fifth night, nor the reason for the Sartyrian raiders. Due to strong traces of demonic energy, as well as the possibility of further raids by either the Belkan-Soukos Alliance, or the Kingdom of Sartyrian, there are no plans to re-establish a base at Poole Harbour anytime soon.

Aftermath:

Although a relatively minor skirmish compared to what followed, the fact that Belkan and Soukos were willing to cooperate in such a tight fashion greatly escalated the tensions between Belkan, Alkor, and their assorted allies, ultimately leading to the first truly global war as Belkan sought allies around the world to dismantle Alkor's colonial empire, while Alkor sought allies around the world to aid them. The instability also led to several unrelated wars between old rivals as various nations sought to take advantage of destabilized trade routes and other shifts in the balance of power.

The behind the scenes manipulation by followers of Gogotha was largely overlooked, but rumors of shapeshifting succubi and other demons manipulating both factions have persisted on many fronts of the ongoing war.

The raid on the seventh day by the Sartyrians was one of the largest acts of aggression by this reclusive race for decades, and was completely unprovoked as far as anyone can tell. Although some optimists at first believed that the raid was launched solely to eliminate the threat of the alleged Gogothan ritual, Sartyrian raids have continued, and some now believe they are on the cusp of launching a new wave of conquest against the world.

Sch'long-Hoof - Zeppelin Conspiracy[edit]

Photographed here is a Sch'long-Hoof summoning brick. These would as the name implies summon a Sch'long-Hoof. Sch'long-Hoofs are the guardians of Glitter-Shaft and would assault anyone who threatens to harm his magnificent 40 inches. With enough magic, one could even summon Glitter-Shaft himself. Only two of these are known to exist, one is located in the Alkor Demonology Museum and the other was contained in a reinforced safe at Poole Harbour.

The latter was originally thought to be destroyed during the bombings, as the safe was found at the docks blown to pieces. But two eye witnesses, a Belkan Aerial Marine named Berimund Schwarzmann and a local harpy named Uvya, claim that the brick was stolen.

Berimund was separated from his platoon during the 1st night when their Combat Zeppelin crashed, and was seeking for medical supplies to treat his wounds. Unable to find any laying around the wreckage, he went to search for some in the town. There he found a first aid kit inside a child's bedroom. Berimund spotted movement out the window and went into hiding, he eventually peeked outside the window to see a group of people at the docks.

The group consisted of two Crocidians wearing cloaks, three men wearing scholar robes (later identified as the Unravelers present at the battle) and one muscular man of Nantic ethnicity.

Berimund saw the Crocidians carry the safe out of the warehouse it was stored in. The Unravelers surrounded the Nantic and placed the safe in front of him. The Nantic would stretch his arms outwards and started chanting (exactly what is unknown) as the Unravelers bowed to him. The Crocidians where seen exchanging concerned looks.

A flash of multicolored light came from the safe as it blew open, one of the Unravelers picked up the seemingly unharmed brick and the group left the docks.

The second report of the brick's theft came from a local harpy named Uvya, who was attempting to risk her life to escape the island after she (correctly) feared that the conflict would escalate to worse proportions. During her flight, she crashed on top of a soft and invisible object. Suffering from a sprained and possibly broken wing Uvya clung to the object for dear life.

After a short while the object increased altitude, flying directly through the stormy weather unharmed and almost causing Uvya to lose her grip twice throughout the journey. When sunlight shined onto the object, it ceased to be invisible and revealed to be a softbody zeppelin. After this, the next 4 hours of the flight where relatively calm. Uvya experienced almost no turbulence and at one point even relaxed to watch the sunset.

During dusk however the zeppelin would start to decent below the clouds. While the sky was a lot more peaceful now, the zeppelin was starting to lower at dangerously low altitude. Uvye, fearing the zeppelin might go entirely underwater entered the mooring entrance located above the bow's tip and hid within the windowless entrance stairway inside of the balloon.

Here she would encounter something strange, Uvya was able to hear the crew of the zeppelin argue with eachother through the balloon. She did not know what most of the crew where saying other than that each individual spoke a different language (indicating the the crew where under the affect of a translation spell).

One individual spoke "a very guttural version of the Alkorian Language" (this is assumed to be a Balorian dialect, as will be shown later), the following is a transcribe of the conversation:

  • Responding after someone snarled at him* Now look here you shortsighted shitebag! I might hate those croc-socs (insult towards Crocubians) as much as you do, but yer little revolution can wait right now. Avery is a godsend, and we're gonna need it [unintelligible] against those focking Khurultai before they become your problem too!
  • A more polite snarl respond to the man, almost as if asking a question*

Because those tiger-humpers don't have an airforce! Let alone a zeppelin! All they have are some fucking birds! It's their one weakness and we have to exploit it! More importantly Kaahin and Hanad (common Malsolian names) here have to go back soon or their home will get shafted by the Union.

  • A very polite growl is heard*

The plan is simple, we'll send our troops dressed up as Lindgrub guards to the north of their colony and kite them closer to the border. When we see even one bush move, Avery will descent from the sky and bomb the fuckers to slag. The Khurultai will see the big fuckoff Union logo and think it's a joint Union - Lindgrub invasion trying to kick them off Tismo. This will have them focus on Lindgrub, the Lepre Khans and the EUC. This will keep the Union distracted from Malsolia and will tear the Lepre Khans a new one. If ya galls see any wild eagles trying to peck you just raise altitude, they can't reach that high.

The brick? That's so that Karl here can summon a Sch'long-Hoof that can quite literally [unintelligible] our foes in the ass. We'll just drop it in the borders between Khurultai and the Lepre Khans, see which one it'll obliterate first. Karl just wants to see how one of these beast survives here out in the wild. I didn't want him to but he wouldn't do the job otherwise, and now that he lost two of his men we owe him.

>Another growl is heard.

Why now? Because I couldn't tell back at Lapus, that's why we met up in Crocida. The Khurultai have seemingly eyes and ears everywhere and I fear we're already on their hit-list. Hell, they could be with us onboard the ship listening to this. Gushk (common Crocidan name), make yourself useful and check the ship for any spies.

After hearing this Uvya was horrified to see that the hatch that leads to the basket of the zeppelin was starting to open. Uvya immediately flew up the stairs and escaped the ship. Fortunately the ship was not underwater, but was still floating on the ocean. Uvya had to fly despite her injuries in order to escape captivity.

She wouldn't have to fly far however as she quickly encountered as she would encounter an Alkorian steam ship.

With our current information, we have established a rough estimate of what happened:

>The zeppelin turns invisible and lands somewhere on the island, most likely within one of the jungle's clearings. >The group seen by Berimund marches through the jungle with the intent to steal the summoning brick, unhindered by the local wildlife thanks to the Crocidians. >Meanwhile Kaahin, Hanad and any other possible crew members stay aboard the zeppelin. >The thieves are hindered in their heist when they hear distant explosions and see the townspeople fleeing Poole Harbour. >They are smart enough to take shelter within the jungle and wait until the bombing cease. >Unwilling to abandon the mission, the group decides to quickly enter the ruins of the town. >Unknowingly, the gang is being watched by Berimund. >The Nantic (most likely the Balorian) man undresses and the Unravellers preform the ritual to activate the brick. >After this, it's assumed that the Unravellers got separated from the rest of the group and cross paths with the Belkan-Soukos army. >The Unravellers transforms Drakos into a Horseman and wreaks havoc onto his former crew. >The battle escalates to even greater proportions as Heinrich retaliates and manages to kill one of the Unravelers, the survivors flee. >Meanwhile reports of crocodile attacks on soldiers show up at the Alkorian camps despite the fact that there aren't any native species of crocodiles present on the island. These are presumed to be the Crocidians. >The two groups later meet up but one Unraveler leaves the group to avenge his fellow scholar, he does not return. As he gets killed by a lighting blast from a zombie-horseman Heinrich. >The survivors board the zeppelin, turn invisible and flee the island seemingly unharmed, unknowingly picking up Uvya along the way. >After traveling through both air and sea, it's destination remains unknown. But it's assumed to be either Lapus or Tismo.

The following is an in-depth analysis of what the conversation onboard the zeppelin.

1. The snarling voice that the Balorian responded to likely came from one of the Crocidians 2. The "little revolution" the man was talking about implies that the group is planning to a potential war between the nations of Crocida and Crocuba. As is shown by his hatred of "croc-socs." 3. The identity of the individual known as "Avery" is undefined, however we do know that Avery is likely an object due to being referred to as "it." 4. It is also likely that Avery is an aircraft considering multiple references to it providing air support. 5. Considering the names of the pilots and the fact that it closely resembles a Union scouting zeppelin it is likely that the zeppelin likely belongs to Malsolia. 6. It is apparent that Avery will be used to give them a superior edge due to the Maritime Khurultai's lack of an airforce, 7. It is however unclear how they will face off against the Khurultai's volcanic fog, or if they're even aware of its existence. 8. Most interesting of all, the gang is planning to start a war between the Maritime Khurultai, the Union and the Lepre-Khans and Lindgrub. This appears to be main reason for the heist. The Sch'long-Hoof would likely do more good than harm to the Lepre-Khans, considering their ancient ties to the Deadicorn. We do not know how the EUC would face against this possible war but I know it could hurt the colony a lot, forcing the mainland Union to delay their attack on Malsolia. This will give Malsolia more time to defend itself. However these people appear to be quite shortsighted, as this will destabilize the continent of Lapus, the Yr - Dright war is already putting Lapus in a troubled state. This gigantic war could bring in unintended consequences. Nevertheless I am of the opinion that we should let these thieves go. Getting our hands into this conflict would likely lead to us getting dragged into their war. And we are already dealing with Belkan and Harlbourg. Besides, it keeps the Union from harassing East Alkor, and anything that screws over those traitors from Lindgrub is a plus in my book.

>Document written by Alkorian Navy Captain Rottes Jameswell

The Battle of Namath Crater[edit]

Location:

The Namath Crater is a massive impact crater located in the no-mans land between Harlbourg and Aesanaeria. Located north of it is the Itruvian Plains, a sparsely inhabited stretch of grasslands and deserts reaching into the heart of Harlbourg. For the desert and plains dwelling Aesanaerians, this has long been the main invasion corridor into the Nantic Empire, East Alkor, and Harlbourg.

Background:

Eastern Alkor rebelled over a century ago, aggravated by a minor tax raise, and egged on by b-list nobles and merchant princes seeking political independence from the Capital, as well as intellectuals promising an impossible Utopia. Although these promises never panned out, a newfound patriotism, and memories of the revolution have prevented any attempt to rejoin Alkor. Over the past century, Alkor has made several minor attempts to reclaim parts of Harlbourg (named for the small town of Harlbourg where several key treaties that led to the formation of the Free City States of Harlbourg were signed), but nobles of Alkor are reluctant to start a full scale war in an area where many lesser branches of their families still own much of the economy. Likewise, although some hotheaded Harlbourgers long to overthrow the "evil empire", political and economic considerations have prevented any serious attempts.

However, the upcoming war between Belkan and Alkor have changed considerations. All signs point to this being the largest war since the War in the North. Some in Harlbourg hope that with Alkor distracted fighting Belkan, the time would be right to launch their own invasion. However, many others disagree. Some dislike the idea of Harlbourg being an offensive nation, others are strong believers in pan-Nantic nationalism and frown upon any Nantic blood being shed by other Nantic men.

Still, with the future uncertain, the leaders of Harlbourg (very grudgingly) pooled their resources to fund the formation of a national army for the first time in Harlbourg's history. Unable to let such a provocation go unchecked, and unwilling to risk Harlbourg's unstable political leadership from doing something unexpected, Alkor mobilized a number of armies to the Harlbourg border, while bribing their unreliable allies in Aesanaeria to launch an attack.

The logic behind this, as during past iterations of this tactic, was that if the Aesanaerians bypassed the Namath Crater and gained access to the Itruvian Plains, their highly mobile army would be in striking distance of several key cities in Harlbourg, and the selfish nature of Harlbourg's leadership would cause them to demobilize their armies at the Alkorian border to shore up the defenses of their home cities.

Harlbourg was of course not blind to this possibility, and mobilized three armies consisting of a total of 60,000 men of the National Army of Harlbourg. As the National Army of Harlbourg was brand new, it was a poorly organized force cobbled together from various militias with little in common except the color of their uniform (and often not even that). There was hope of assembling a large force of mercenaries from the goblins, ogres, giants, harpies, snake people, and frontier dwelling humans living in the area, but in the end, only about 2,000 answered the call.

The commanders of the Harlbourg soldiers at the battle were as follows:

Sir Henry Brockdale: A powerful councilor from one of Harlbourg's largest cities, this much hated marionette is known to be strongly opposed to a war with Alkor due to his blood ties with the Alkor branch of the Brockdale family, but accepted a commission as General anyways, seeing it as an opportunity to drag his rebellious daughter Lady Jessica along for a campaign with him in hopes it would diminish her anti-authoritarian traits and rekindle their relationship.

Burgomeister Jans Nyan: The bastard son of a powerful Harlbourg noble and a Ercaenmedian celebrity, Jans was given a town to run to instill some sense of responsibility in him. However, his spoiled childhood left him narcistic. His subjects only fully embraced him when a passing witch transformed him into a giant cat. Jans has no military experience what-so-ever, and it remains a mystery why he volunteered, or why his commission was approved .

Vanessa Beaverlake: An outspoken follower of the goddess Vanille, Vanessa was given her commission to gain favor with the Church rather than due to any leadership skills.

Luckily for them, the Aesanaerian force was smaller than expected, roughly 30,000 Aesanerians, and 5,000 foreign mercenaries, mostly from Orkistan. Many Brass Kings ignored the call to battle for their own reasons, leading to a force that relied more on conventional tribal skirmishers than the infamous Brass Knights. The two senior Brass Kings were:

God King Adras Adrastos: Ruler of one of Aesanaeria's wealthiest cities, this androgynous, melodramatic warlord was seen as eccentric even by the standards of Aesanaeria, though none could deny the wealth at his disposal.

King God Duba: A powerful but mentally unstable Brass King who wanders the world on missions from the Brass Lord himself. Duba was killed and incinerated at the Battle of Poole Harbour, but then reincarnated into a more powerful form.

Day 1 - Battle of the Ridge

Due to poor logistics and planning, the three armies deployed by Harlbourg to defend the Namath Crater arrived too late to construct any significant fortifications. Instead, they hastily constructed some low quality trenchworks along the northern edge of the Namath Crater, particularly the Ternarin Pass, the only location on the north edge of the crater where the slope was gentle enough for large armies to advance through it.

Morale was low. Despite the seeming importance of guarding Namath Crater, the force here was only a small fraction of the size of the armies mobilized by the National Army to guard the Alkor border and various wealthy cities. A widespread rumor stated that many political leaders in Harlbourg actually wanted Aesanaeria to succeed, in order to have an excuse to avoid being drawn into the wider war. In addition, few Harlbourgers have ever visited, much less live in, the Ikrit desert region in which the crater is found. After a mere two days of marching through the desert, followed by two days of entrenchment, most of the Harlbourg army was suffering from sunburn, dust rashes, and dehydration. Poor rationing and a badly inadequate initial supply meant that many regiments were already out of water. Use of alcohol consumption instead let to massive outbreaks of insubordination and rowdy behavior.

At this point, the Aesanaerians had a huge advantage, but strangely did not take it. Disagreements between Adras and Duba meant that the bulk of the Aesanaerian army spent the day camped several kilometers away from the Harlbourg positions, concealed by vicious sand storms.

The only fighting that took place on this day was the "Battle of the Ridge". Aesanaerian chieftain Urian took a small force of warthog mounted skirmishers to scout out what is now known as Scholar's Folly. A relative low point in the crater edge, previous battles had indicated that only light skirmishers could climb the ridge, therefore it was guarded by two companies from an understrength regiment from the university town of Fox Bridge. The 3rd Fox Regiment consisted mostly of university students more interested in drinking and taking advantage of the mixed nature of their regiment, then actually guarding their section of the line. Their young colonel had in fact secured this post for his regiment specifically based on his belief that no one would bother assaulting it, and as a result, his soldiers had neither dug earthworks, nor were manning their cannons at the time of the attack. Unfortunately for them, erosion had created several natural ramps by which the agile warthogs could easily scale the ridge. Seizing the moment, Urian's outriders overran the 3rd Fox Regiment's encampment. Many of the Harlbourg soldiers either foolishly tried to outrun the warthogs on foot, or were too drunk to even realize they were under attack. Urian took dozens of prisoners and captured lots of valuable equipment intact.

Night 1 - Onslaught

Envy of Urian's success spread like wildfire among the Aesanaerian army, and despite continued disagreements on strategy, Duba, Adras, and the other Brass Kings simply had no choice but to allow their chieftains to launch a general rush attack on the Harlbourg line. Luckily for them, this ended up resulting in a surprise attack. Due to a dysfunctional chain of command, the senior commanders of the Harlbourg army remained unaware of the loss of Fox Regiment, nor just how close the Aesanaerians were to their lines, and no special preparations were made to prepare for an attack that night. Several front line units were unaware that Aesanaerians were in the area at all, and widespread drunkenness occurred as further units ran out of water and switched to booze.

While the more mercenary minded tribes snuck over the ridges to the east and west, Duba brought the core of Aesanaerian army against the most heavily fortified positions at Ternarin Pass. Following one of the oldest tricks in the book, many Aesanaerian soldiers carried two torches, creating an illusion of a massive army. Coupled with the devastating sound magic of the Brass Knights, the unnatural moans of summoned demons, and the thunderous rubble of the advancing war rhinos, the inexperienced Harlbourg army panicked, and the crews of many cannons and iron beasts fled their positions without firing a single shot. The Harlbourg positions crumpled and it was only their superior numbers and the Aesanaerian love of claiming prisoners that kept it from being completely overrun.

Chaotic nighttime fighting continued for several hours as the more experienced Harlbourg regiments managed to organize themselves, however, it wasn't until "Rick's Blast" that the fighting finally died down. Earlier that night, combat engineering captain Rick Dwemerson had stockpiled large amounts of gunpowder beneath an unstable rock formation above the narrowest point of the pass on his own initiative. When it seemed that the Harlbourg army was on the verge of collapse, he detonated his stash, causing a landslide that blocked the pass, but also buried hundreds of men on both sides, and trapped thousands more of his own soldiers on the wrong side. Still, the blast undoubtedly saved the day, as spooked by the sheer size of the blast, many Aesanaerian units broke in confusion, while many others had already abandoned their assault to capture prisoners and loot equipment.

Day 2 - Disunity

The following morning saw both sides scrambling to bring their forces under control.

At the Harlbourg camp, Henry Brockdale tries his best to restore order and reestablish a working chain of command, however his daughter Jessica and Vanessa Beaverlake oppose many of his solutions out of spite without offering their own suggestions. Jans Nyan (who commanded the reserve units and didn't participate in the battle) arrived, but didn't seem inclined to take one side or another. As a result, several sensible suggestions he had gathered from desert dwelling mercenaries were ignored.

Meanwhile, at the Aesanaerian camp, Adras Adranstos declares his intention to return to his city with his core forces. A failed attempt by underground dwelling fey creatures known as Bulbmin to rob his treasury had greatly upset him, and he departed early in the morning, cursing the high price of drow exterminators. Adras Adranstos's departure actually benefitted the Aesanaerians greatly. Although a capable commander on his own, his tendency to butt heads with Duba had all but paralyzed the Asanerian command structure.

With Adras gone, Duba discusses several plans to clear the Ternarin Pass of both landslide debris and Harlbourg forces with the lesser Brass Kings and chieftains. Although he likely could have brought most of his forces around the Pass via other weak points along the crater, he probably didn't want to leave behind his war rhinos or elephant baggage train, which only realistically could be brought through the pass. He also likely didn't want to leave such a large force at his back.

Eventually Duba settles on a plan to construct a powerful device known as a Brass Strider. Rarely encountered outside of Aesanaeria, these powerful constructs can demolish even the strongest fortifications and scatter the largest armies. Luckily they take a long time to assemble, and powerful magic to operate even for a short time, so are mostly used for protracted sieges.

Although no major clash occurs on this day, dozens of minor skirmishes occur as wart hog mounted skirmishers engaged the disorganized Harlbourg units guarding the smaller paths out of Namath Crater. Of note, a minor skirmish between amateur adventurers from Hoogivs and a small force of wart hog outriders is claimed by some to be the greatest Hoogivs military victory in centuries. This group contained half-drow Myra Smallwood and goblin Ack "Dickstabber" Yack, both of whom would be lauded as great heroes two days later. On a darker note, an entire Harlbourg regiment disappears trying to retreat through the desiccated forests of the Thorn Patch, confirming that some evil still lurks there even centuries after the defeat of Lord Sssylth.

Night 2 - Shuffling the Deck

Very little of note occurs on the second night. Henry still struggles to bring the Harlbourg army under his command. He demotes and promotes a number of officers, and rallies most of the Harlbourg army, but seems at a loss of what to do next, and instead waits for reinforcements, including the air support that was supposed to accompany the original force.

Likewise, Duba splits his time rallying his forces and channeling magic to activate the Brass Walker. Large chunks of his army had broken off to escort prisoners back to their home territories, leading him to call off his remaining skirmishers, though some ignored these orders to keep raiding and looting, particularly the orc mercenaries who were beginning to doubt Duba had enough men remaining to reach the Harlbourg heartlands.

Day 3 - Revelations

Having anticipated another night attack, Henry is very relieved when one doesn't occur, but also deeply suspicious. Luckily some aerial units had arrived by this point, and giant eagle mounted scouts were able to spy on the Aesanarian army, including the under construction Brass Strider.

This induced great panic back at the Harlbourg camp. If the stories were true, the large but disorganized Harlbourg force would be no match for the Aesanaerians once the Brass Strider was operational. A desperate plan was thrown together where the elite of the Harlbourg army would navigate its way through the rubble blocking the Pass that night, and lure the Aesanaerians into the southern end of the Pass, where a trio of recently arrived zeppelins could hit them with fire bombs.

Meanwhile, Duba marshalled his army into three groups. The largest group would punch through Ternarin Pass along with the Brass Strider, while two smaller groups would bypass the Pass and loop around to attack the Harlbourg army from behind and pin them in place so that Duba's main force could carry out a massacre. Apparently they knew Harlbourg land reinforcements weren't expected for days and weren't worried about being pinned.

Night 3 - The Bonfire

Following a rousing rendition of the Harlbourg national anthem, about 2,000 of the best Harlbourg soldiers prepared to navigate their way through the Pass, including veterans of border skirmishes with Alkor, giants and ogres recruited from nearby desert settlements, and a group of Vanille Knights led by Vanessa herself.

Unfortunately, the attack quickly became a disaster. The Brass Walker was already partially active and used its fire breath to incinerate swathes of Harlbourg soldiers, as well as ignite all three zeppelins and the fire bombs they were carrying. Burning debris rained down all over the battlefield, and surviving soldiers compared it to fighting in an inferno. One of the burning zeppelins crash landed in the landslide debris field, cutting off the ability of the Harlbourg elite force to fall back. Even worse, the Brass Strider also emitted creeping tendrils of Dark Aether which could burn, corrupt, or suffocate at will.

Almost no one who was part of the attacking Harlbourg force survived the night. Vanessa Beaverlake was among the missing, much to the fury of Jessica Brockdale, who saw her as a mentor and perhaps more.

Day 4 - The Pact

The next day, the bulk of the Harlbourg army, still entrenched at the upper end of the Ternarin Pass, prepared to retreat. Many regiments had already fled the night before fearing the Brass Strider would attack their camp, but fortunately its mighty sonic cannons still weren't active, nor was it fully mobile. News of the Brass Strider caused the land armies sent to reinforce the Pass to stand down, fighting it in a pitched battle was seen as wasteful of men, much better to attack once the Brass Strider had been deactivated. According to the stories, even the most powerful Aesanaerian mages couldn't keep one active for more than a day or two, not long enough to reach and communities of significance.

Unfortunately, the Aesanaerian flanking forces had already wiped out several fleeing units, and were now harassing the main Harlbourg force. The prospect of marching two days with almost no supplies, harried by mobile skirmishers fighting in their home terrain, was not one that anyone relished, with a few defeatists even recommending surrender.

Jessica Brockdale meanwhile had only one thing on her mind. Vengeance. Contrary to the beliefs of senior arcanists in the Harlbourg army, Jessica believed that killing Duba would be sufficient to disrupt the magic animating the Brass Strider. Never mind the fact that Duba rarely left the heart of the Aesanaerian army, nor the fact that he was reputedly an extremely powerful mage in his reincarnated form.

Henry of course forbid any large scale, or even small scale operation against Duba, seeing it as a lost cause. Instead Jessica offered significant wealth to anyone who would accompany her on the assassination mission.

In the end, only four people volunteered:

Magnolia Keeling: A Napanese-Belkan monster hunter of some repute, Magnolia had arrived in the area the day before for a bounty in the Thorn Patch.

Myra Smallwood: An apprentice mage from Hoogivs of Ercaenmedian and Drow descent, Myra was a member of a small band of Hoogivs adventurers who had seen minor combat in the campaign so far. It is unlikely she would have joined the mission had she understood the risks involved.

Ack "Dickstabber" Yack: A goblin adventurer from Hoogivs, and a friend of Myra.

Jans Nyan: Technically co-commander of the Harlbourg force with Henry now that Vanessa was missing, Jans had been MIA for several key periods of the campaign, and had de facto resigned his command by this point. His motives for joining the group are a mystery, and some believe it wasn't Jans, but someone else (capable of disguising themselves as a giant siamese cat) who joined the group.

These five would later be known as "The Pact" for the oaths they swore to slay Duba at all costs.

Night 4 - Plans within Plans

During the first hours of the fourth night little little fighting happened. The Harlbourg army continued to make preparations to retreat, and the Aesanaerian army prepared for when the Brass Strider was ready to use its sonic cannons against the debris field blocking the Ternarin Pass. The flanking Aesanaerian armies held their ground for the most part, as their role was to contain rather than attack.

Drawing on Magnolia Keeling's vast experience with unusual escapades, the members of "The Pact" came up with the unusual plan of infiltrating Duba's private harem tent. Jessica and Magnolia posed as Aesanaerian soldiers bringing an exotic new prisoner, Myra, to add to Duba's private collection (Myra was reportedly not trilled with this portion of the plan). Ack and Jans would infiltrate the tent from the side servant's flap, with Ack as a food delivery slave, and Jans apparently possessing the ability to make himself invisible. Magnolia would then activate the Sch'long-Hoof Summoning Brick she had recently acquired and use it to kill Duba and flee from the center of the camp.

Unfortunately, the plan doesn't quite work out as intended. The Sch'long-Hoof Summoning Brick was actually a fake that a rival of Magnolia's by the name of Victoria Swann had made considerable efforts to arrange to fall into her possession. Upon activating the brick, Magnolia was transformed into stone. Duba swiftly defeated Myra and Jessica, but was then set upon by the individual believed to be Jans, as well as Ack. Reportedly Jans transformed into a multi-eyed white cat, and had a titanic magical clash with Duba that ended with Ack stabbing Duba repeatedly in the groin before Jans disintegrated his head with a blast of magic.

Jans then grew wings and talons and flew out of the tent with Ack, Myra, Jessica, and statue Magnolia in his grasp.

Aftermath:

With Duba dead, the Aesanaerian army lost its sense of purpose. Without his considerable magic, the Brass Strider was never fully activated, instead it was allowed to fizzle out a day later. The more devote followers of the Brass Lord took this as a sign that their god no longer favored this venture and returned to their home cities. The mercenaries and tribes that followed other gods continued raiding for several days, but picking were slim now that the Harlbourg army was properly marshalled, and their own numbers heavily reduced.

The leaders of Harlbourg declared the battle a great victory, but cynics, Henry Brockdale included, were quick to point out that the Harlbourg army had under performed against a smaller force, and had only won thanks to a highly unlikely series of events. Furthermore, the Aesanaerian army had not suffered significant losses, nor did they represent the full strength that Aesanaeria could muster. Many considered the battle to be inconclusive at best.

Epilogue:

Henry and Jessica Brockdale continued to serve alongside each other in the Harlbourg army despite never agreeing on anything. Both were highly decorated for their actions.

Jans denied any involvement in defeating Duba, claiming he resigned his commission two days earlier to return to his hometown to run for reelection.

Myra and Ack were paid handsomely for their (minor) role in Duba's death, and retired to Hoogivs swearing to never adventure again (but they did).

Statue Magnolia was honored with being installed in the middle of a nearby desert town where she was declared a savior. Unfortunately the statue was stolen by university students and placed in a brothel instead, where she remained for two weeks before being transformed back into a person by a wandering hag. She tracked down Jessica for her reward money before departing for new adventures.

Adras Adrastos was bribed with two hundred solid gold nipple rings and associated chains to never attack Harlbourg again.

Rumor has it that Duba has yet again been reincarnated and is currently plotting his revenge.

The Alkorian Intervention in Corinthian[edit]

The 12th Battle Squadron based in Belkor but on exercises during its attack, is one of the first Alkorian units to respond. With Commodore Winsley of the Ironclad First-Rate HMES Treadnought deciding that a close range bombardment of the city of Corinthian will be enough to force a cease fire upon the Soukons. While this move is strongly argued against by his captains, they argue that it is better to make port at Belkor to drive the Belkans out and then attack the Soukons, their concerns are overruled and the Treadnought and it's escort of steam frigates, as well as the old wooden Second-Rate HMS Majesty, make sail for Corinthian.

Alkorians: Commodore Winsley aboard the Ironclad Ship of the Line HMS Treadnought Captain Edwards of the Ship of the Line HMS Majesty Ten Steam-powered Paddle Frigates HMS Brody, Miracle, Alkor's Fire, The Queen's Revenge, Nathan, Spolkhampton, Sotherly, Susan, Drake and Wyvern

Corinthius: City Lord Hypermades Seaforts Ephraim and Dougrain Six Neo-Triremes (Ephisto, Bolos, Atremesian, Skolo, Estophiles and Epiphany) Soukon Reinforcements Admiral Telophanes aboard Heavy-Neo-Trireme Apoloeion 12 Neo-Triremes

On the night of the 12th of the month Inthermus Year 3021 the 12th Battle Squadron arrived in Soukon waters. The Commodore of the little "armada" was out for blood, having just received news that their home port of New Ashton on the Southern coast had been taken in a Belkan-Soukos raid so instead of having his ships return to the now occupied port or to Ercaenmedian waters he had made course for the famous city of Corinthius. Opening his spy-glass he thought he could see the city already, thinking he could see lantern light in the night, but what he had actually seen was the Trident Ephisto on it's nightly patrol with the rest of it's flotilla sailing behind it. The Corinthian ships sailed in column formation with full lamps on and why shouldn't they? They had heard from the City-Lord that Soukos had won a great victory again both Alkor and Ercaenmedia and that Alkorian ships were not seen in Belkor, seemingly they had just gone home.

As the lights approached his fleet the Commodore realized that were ships and not a city and he had signal flags raised, all ships should turn themselves perpendicular to the Corinthian fleet, in the hopes that the Soukons would just wander straight into his broadside.

It was watchman Alexis Solotani that first spotted smoke on the horizon, and the first flashes of Alkorian cannons as they fired from little over 1,500 yards away, their rifled guns far outranging the smooth bores of the Soukons.

The Treadnought was able to score the first hit of the engagement, a lucky shell from it's turret mounted 200lb guns plowing through the reinforced hull of the Atremesian, the shell exploding inside and scything down several gun crews. The Treadnought made full speed to engage at close range with the Corinthian warships with its broadside armament of 100 fifty-pound bronze cannons, with the Skolo and Bolos both changing their headings to begin their assault on the Iron beast, with the range between the two vessels going down to 700 yards. As the Treadnought moved to engage the rest of the Alkorian fleet turned to port as well to get amongst the Corinthian vessels, chase guns aboard the Brody and Alkor's Fire demasting the Epiphany and Estophiles as the steam-frigates make speed to come along side the Soukon vessels. As the range goes down to 500 yards with the two sides exchanging broadsides some casualties are sustained among the Alkorian fleet, The Queen's Revenge is forced to trade broadsides with both the Atremesian and Ephisto losing use of it's paddle and suffering heavy casualties among it's gun crews with a great many ballista bolts being embedded in it's hull. But the superior firepower of the Alkorian Fleet takes it's toll on the Corinthians in a devastating way, the Atremesian explodes as the third-rate HMS Majesty rakes it's side with explosive shells, the Ephisto and Estophiles surrender shortly afterwards, choosing to scuttle their ships before they are picked up by the Brody and Miracle. Bolos and Skolos rapidlyclose the range with HMS Treadnought, they ready their crews as they make to board her, until the wind stops forcing the two vessels to call their oarsmen to their stations. But this delay in reaching HMS Treadnought allows it to reload all of it's guns, and when the Soukons are within 100 yards it opens fire, first on Bolos and then Skolo. Bolos is split almost in half by the weight of the broadside, with Shipmaster Landros and his entire command staff being slain as the result of a lucky shell hit, the ship sinking shortly after. Skolo fairs slightly better, it does not sink as many of the Alkorian shells fail to explode, but it loses much of it's crew to shrapnel based injuries or deaths and is unable to return fire, leading to it needing to be boarded by Marines by HMS Treadnought when it finally surrenders. Epiphany duels the Steam-Frigate Wyvern to a standstill , both ships suffer horrendous damage with the Wyvern eventually being abandoned, and the Epiphany is scuttled as the Susan approaches it fresh from it's engagement with Estophiles.

The Alkorian fleet with their prisoners under guard steam into Corinthus Harbor just two hours later, forming up 700 yards from the city and opening up with incidenicary balls and explosive shells an hour later.

This move does not go unchallenged, the mighty Seaforts Ephraim and Dougrain begin opening up with first their 200 and then 100lb cannons at the Alkorian Fleet. The two forts are located on miniature islands in the middle of the Harbor and their long range batteries are more than capable of defending it. The Susan takes a hit from a 200lb ball that damages it's paddle and it falls out of the bombardment line, the Revenge has a hole torn in it's side by the impact of several 100 pounder hits and the Treadnought has one of it's turrets jammed from a lucky cannon ball. But Corinthius burns, the City Lord is forced to call a state of emergency and he calls on the city's mages to send a message to the rest of the fleet at sea to return at once. This plea is heard by Admiral Telophanes of Athiens, who even while having no ties to the city, uses the magic of the winds to answer their cry, turning his flotilla towards the city and sails as fast as he is able. Commodore Winsley wary of any more damage being inflicted on his fleet by the Sea Forts sails out of Corinthius Harbor two hours later, heading home, his ships heading for Ercaenmedian territory to rest and repair as the city burns in their wake. While much of the cityis in ruins, with most merchant ships in port being completely destroyed, after two days of burning the fires are put out and the city starts to function as a city again.

The Campaign for Belkan Arktikos[edit]

Ercaedahorn Strength:

Supreme General Lo Dung Stung

Army of Great Renown, Army of Great Joy, Army of Great Adulation

100,000 Infantry

5,000 Cavalry

500 Cannons

Beasts of Blistered Iron, Yr Mercenary Tank Regiment

30 Light Tanks

20 Heavy

Cadre of Mistune Hiku

20 Idols

1,000 Simpan Warrior Attendants

Belkan Strength:

Field Marshal Ludwig von Hazelhoff

IV Corp, XIV Corp

60,000 Infantry

1,000 Cavalry

600 Cannons

Order of the Midnight Moon

Grandmaster Friedrich Heyarch

500 Knights

2,000 Warrior Applicants

15th Aero-Division

60 Eagles

30 Griffin Knights

Belkan Militia

6,000 Citizen Militia

With tensions high following both the attack on Poole Harbor and Belkor the Ercaedahorn Governor, Ho Lee Shid, informed the Ercaenmedian government that more forces would be needed to reinforce the colony. This would draw the Ercaenmedian government to send two full armies (Army of Great Renown, Army of Great Joy) as well as a unit of mercenary tanks from Yr to head off any aggressive moves against the colony. These forces, and the colony itself, would be put under the command of a General Lo Dung Stung who was known for his aggressive actions back in Ercaenmedia for launching several punitive raids on the Belkan homeland. The General, sensing that war was fast approaching with the Belkans, and trusting his local guides plotted out several pathways through the Orcan Mountain Range and into Belka Arktikos with his primary goal to take the Fortresses of Hemmelsdorf and Utanberg that defended the colony's main railways. And on the First of Aquarian 3021 he launched his assault.

The main Ercaenmedian advance through the Orcan Mountains was centered on three wide passes: Terrian Pass, Waltreik Pass and Old Ballbiter pass, with a fourth diversionary attack down south to keep Belkan forces occupied along the Scaran River. Phase one of the Ercaenmedian assault called for Alpine Regiments with Stone Troll support to neutralize the first line of Belkan entrenchments defending the three passes, the raw strength of the stone trolls would allow them to lift cannons with them to give the vanguard troops artillery support. First to engage were the Ah Young and Ailee Regiments facing the Bregenwerst Regiment out of Belkgrad, a freshly activated conscript formation posted to the frontier due to Autian tensions, the Ah Young Regiment under Captain Young, a former Idol, engaged the Belkans under the cover of cannon fire. The Ercaenmedian troops armed with only blunderbusses (blunderbussi) and axes rushed down to the Belkan trenches in the center of the pass managing to close just within 200 yards before the Belkans began opening fire with a score of Ercaenmedians dropping before the trenches were reached, it is widely accepted that Amazon Mare Nostra was the first casualty of the Ercaenmedians during this hurried advance, with the Belkans greeting them with a wall of halberds and Spears. The mountain troopers were prepared for this type of battle and with their short ranged weaponry made quick work of the Belkan troopers and with that the entrencments along the most narrow parts of the pass were taken, with the Waltreik pass garrison under Colonel Rosen holding for an additional two days with the support of several Tortle volley guns. With these forces neutralized Ercaenmedian armies were free to march through the mountains, razing numerous towns and small settlements on their way East.

It was the fourth of Aquarian when Field Marshal Ludwig von Hazelhof received word by messenger spider that the Ercaenmedians had broken through. He immediately mobilized the majority of his Divisions, 30,000 men in all, and marched to the River Scaran to link up with the forces there and under the advice of Harpy Wing Commander, Lady Maria Toller, allowed his air forces to act as scouts for the ground army.

Battle on the Scaran River

Unbeknownst to the Belkans, the Ercaenmedian forces had split in two, one force moving to encircle the Belkan Divisions on the Scaran River while the other force primarily made of infantry and artillery would lay siege to the fortified cities of Hemmelsdorf and Utanberg. The Army of Great Joy under the command of General Wo Roskovich would make the drive south to the river with a large force of Dire Wof Cavalry, including a small detachment of Knights from the order of the Bastardised Sword, as well as the Demon Beasts of Yr. It would be his Cavalry forces that would be the first to engage the main Belkan field army on the 6th of Aquarian, encountering a Company of Cockatrice Lancers that had made camp in Eyewold Woods, but thinking this to only be part of the Belkan force entrenched along the River the General decided to attack.

Hearing of the assault on his forward units the Field Marshal hurriedly gave orders for infantry to assemble in their formations and for cannons to be made ready, assembling his army on the Field Katarine just miles from the rivers edge as his Cavalry made haste to rejoin the main body of the army, with the pursuing Ercaenmedians following shortly behind.

The Belkan army was deployed in a long battleline, with General Kohler commanding the right flank, General Michaels the left and the Field Marshal leading the troops in the center, with a cannon position being established on a nearby hill to look over the field that the vast army encompassed. Most formations were of the Tercion style, with Muskets interspersed with halberds, Spears and pikes, with the only outlier being two Regiments of Air-Rifle skirmishers deployed in front of the main battleline with the Cavalry split between the flanks. The Center of the Belkan line was anchored by three regiments of the famous Harbsourg Pikemen, and with strong support on the flanks the Belkams hoped to grind the Ercaenmedians to a pulp.

The Ercaenmedians spread themselves thinner, trying encircle the Belkan lines but facing great difficulty trying to maintain a cohesive battleline. The Devil Beasts of Yr would form the center of their line supported by blocks of expendable Spearmen, while the forces Ninja warriors and alpine rangers would advance to attack the Belkan cannon position. Both forces were remarkably close in strength, the Belkans having more cannons but the Ercaenmedians more mobile assets, but for the most part the Belkan infantry was of a far greater quality.

After a few hours of maneuver and exchanges of cannon fire, notable for the destruction of the Ercaenmedian skycannon battery, the Ercaenmedian force launched an all out attack towards the Belkan lines. The focus of their attack was the center of the Belkan line and the Tank Monsters of Yr made great speed for it, almost matched by the Ercaenmedian conscripts who were reengerized by the singing of Teen Idol Ericka Yung, their cannons tearing through the compact formation of the Belkan Pikemen. They would be met with the fire of Belkan cannon batteries and suffer a high price, the Heavy Tank Hells Bells destroyed by mass shell fire along with several other tanks.

Massive flails, saws and treads tore into the Belkan soldiery reducing regiments into so much gore, the center of the Belkan line only being saved by the charge of it's Griffin Knights, their lightning enfused lances thrice blessed in the Cathedral of Ace's Aerial Glory acting as a repellent to the demonic machines. The attack still causes a breach in the Belkan line which is soon rushed by the majority of the Ercaenmedian Cavalry force, only stopped as reserve Regiments of Spearmen and Halberdiers rush to plug the gap, selling their lives dearly and grinding away at the Wolfen Hussars and Knights.

While Ercaenmedians press hard on the center their own flanks are pushed back with heavy casualties, cannon fire tearing through it's infantry formations ad the dazed survivors collide with fresh Belkan infantry. And on the left flank the Belkan Knights and Lancers manage to win their engagement with a much larger force of Hussars and they begin charging the rear of the Ercaenmedian units engaged, routing several.

Even as the flanks of the Ercaenmedian army are wrapped up the Belkan center bulges, and fearing a total collapse the Field Marshal directs his all of his artillery into the melee.

Belkam, Ercaenmedian and even the demonic machines of Yr are blown apart under a barrage of close range shell fire, but the Ercaenmedians break and the day belongs to the Belkans but at a high price. Even as the Field Marshal frees his Cavalry to pursue the routing Ercaenmedians he receives word of an even larger enemy force, apparently the Great Fortress Hemmelsdorf had been put under siege and was near breaking.

He first links up with the few regiments left amount the Scaran and then reforms his army to head to the northeast, hoping that his army will be in time to relieve the siege.

With one Ercaenmedian army completely destroyed, what remained of it's soldiers fleeing across the Scaran River or north to friendly positions in the Orcan Mountains, the badly mauled Belkan field army marched east at full speed to the beleaguered fortress of Hemmelsdorf, arriving there a week and a half later.

The Battle at the Gates of Castle Hemmelsdorf

The fortified city of Hemmelsdorf was a major transportation hub in Belkan Artikos, being the starting point for the Arktik Rail Line and the Belkan-Alkorian run Enterprise Airship Company. Anyone who controlled the city would have a much easier time of controlling the entire colony.

Supreme General Stung had invested the city, digging an outer line of trenches to defend the rear of his besieging force and digging new trenches ever closer to the fortresses walls, all the while pounding away at it with his hundreds of siege cannons. By the time the Belkan reinforcements arrived much of the city was in ruin and the earthern mound that had protected the fortress walls had been almost completely blown away.

The Ercaenmedians abandoned the majority of their siege positions as word of the Belkan army reached the ears of General Stung, the construction of siege ladders ceasing and cannons were turned around to face the enemy to their rear.

The Ercaenmedian army assembled in three main lines, the first being musketeers with a second line of spearmen and polearms behind with a third and final line of heavy infantry and stone giants in the rear. Advancing among a more narrow front and much deeper line formations the Ercaenmedians intended to break the much thinner Belkan battle line with brute force and numbers, but had to contended with a sortie by the fortresses garrison to their rear and leave several regiments behind to protect this crucial area.

The Belkan forces deployed among a much longer battleline with strong flanks and a weak center, intending to encircle the much larger Ercaenmedian force, with the elite 7th New Brokawn Shock-Halberdiers occupying the center position. The one advantage held by the Belkan force being it's concentration of artillery in one large battery while the Ercaenmedian cannons were spread all throughout the battlefield.

As the armies maneuvered into formation General Stung ordered his officers to focus their artillery on the Belkan cannons, rightly fearful of what they would do to his massed soldiers, and the Belkan guns were forced to reply in kind lest they be destroyed, crucially distracting them from the main infantry engagement.

Following an intense exchange of gunfire the two lines engaged, the Belkan center falling back but forced to hold as the flanks faced unexpected pressure as the Ercaenmedian third line reserve was committed to battle. The battle still on a knifes edge as the city garrison leaves the gates and begins pressing against the rear of the Ercaenmedian army, and Grandmaster Kohler and his Knights swing around the flank of the engaged troops looming for the personal banner of the enemy warlord...only to have their armor turned to lead as Idol Matsune Hiku draws forth the magic of the aether with her song "Your Sins Will Weigh You Down" and her Simpan warriors engage.

With the situation rapidly becoming untenable the Belkan line begins falling apart, turning into a complete rout, with the Field Marshal fighting and dying in the brutal rear guard action to save as much of the army as possible and with the defeat of the Fortress Garrison the day belongs to Ercaenmedia. And so does much of the colony with only the coastal capital of Balkapan and city of Ways End remaining in Belkan control at the end of Aquarian, with even these two cities remaining under threat as the remainder of the Ercaenmedian force drives south-east.

Freelancing During the Great War[edit]

Excerpt from Magnolia Keeling's draft notes for her next book tentatively titled "Freelancing During the Great War": Chapter 3: The One Where Someone Opens A Portal To Hell[edit]

After a rather disastrous attempt to return to the world of relic hunting and mercenary work (see Chapters 1 and 2 of this book), I decided to return to my villa in Westphallica for some relaxation. Normally a major war creates lots of opportunities, but unfortunately, two of the main combatants; Alkor and Belkan, hate my guts.

So understandably, when Duchess Katny, my nearest neighbor and fellow jaded hedonist, came to my door with a seemingly simple job opportunity, it was probably too good to be true. Duchess Katny was planning on visiting a top secret research project she had been funding, along with her on-and-off again partner Duke Loro, and wanted me to come along posing as a secret donor, but actually just an extremely well paid bodyguard.

So get paid to lounge around in luxury, and maybe fight something if needed.

Yes please.

We travelled to northern Ercaenadhorn in Katny's personal airship, a week long journey that took us through several contested territories, but due to Westphallica's neutral status and great wealth, no one bothered us. The airship itself was small, but extremely decadent once you got used to the constant humming noise. Teleportation would have been easier, but Katny likes to made an entrance. Besides, opening a portal from one place to another for too long, or repeatedly opening portals between the same two locations can have unexpected side effects, and Katny and Loro had servants and flunkies to bring, not to mention several crates of clothing.

We arrived at the mountain fortress known as Merciful Bliss (from a popular Ercaenmedian song) around midday. Although technically privately funded, it was clearly receiving significant support from the Ercaenmedian government. including a small military garrison.

The fortress itself was of Ogrillon design, but apparently the lower levels date back to some older, largely unknown civilization. The current inhabitants had clearly done some work on it though. In addition to modern guard towers, there was several large villas built in the Ercaenmedian style, an airfield, an observatory, and several elaborate rock gardens. Clearly the current inhabitants have been putting their money to good use, building all this in the middle of nowhere could not have been cheap.

The interiors were even more luxurious than the exterior. Aside from practical spaces like libraries, workshops, kitchens, and barracks, there were several dining halls, a small ballroom, a number of large suites, a sauna, and even heated bathhouse.

The servants and soldiers were Encaenmedian Army, but younger than I would expect to see guarding an operation of this importance. No doubt most of them were conscripts who won't be missed on the front lines, or if the research into the gate did not go as expected. However, looks can be deceiving (thanks to miracles of life magic and flesh molding, I myself look about a third my true age, same for Katny and several others present). I quickly noticed that some of the guards looked harder and more competent than the others. An accidental encounter at the sauna later that day confirmed at least some carried the brand of the Sal-Inja ninja clan, one of the most skilled but heartless of their breed in Ercaenmedi.

While touring the facilities, I had a chance encounter with my old nemesis Victoria Swann (as mentioned in Chapter 37 of my book "Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them", Victoria had been liberated from her role as the centerpiece of the fountain pool at my villa by Alkorian agents). She was serving as the aide to some Alkorian politician named Sconewick, though no doubt she was here in some sort of Intelligence capacity as well. After some traded threats and insults, Katny pulled me aside and made me promise not to harm Victoria during the duration of this mission.

The sacrifices you make for friendships (and a huge paycheck).

I'd also like to take yet another opportunity to mention how much I hate that bitch, though anyone who has read by previous book, or the first two chapters of this book will have already read several of my rants on that particular topic.

After spending a couple of hours acclimatizing ourselves to the luxuries of Merciful Bliss, we headed to the main dining room, where a multi-national group of dimensional theorists, politicians, wealthy backers, and military leaders met for a truly uncomfortable dinner (for some people, I for one mostly found it amusing). Attendees were as follows:

- Sena Starbane, a half-Lapus elf, half Ercaenmedian who was the lead theorist and director on the project. A highly efficient and political minded sort, she started the dinner out with a rousing toast about how science and magical research unites nations, then got called away before the other toasts were even completed to oversee some calibrations to the telescope.

- Krakrul, a multi-limbed, deeply disturbing Unraveller "post human" who was one of the leading theorists on the project. He was accompanied by a human-corgi-cyborg hybrid named Fifi who was once a lover-apprentice of his. He was so disturbing that the serving girl bringing his first meal broke down crying and fled just because he looked at her (a Sal-Inja disguised as a common soldier served the rest of his meals). A devoted follower of Deadicorn, he gave an eloquent toast to "Murder, Rape, and Evil". Way to read the crowd...

- Hans Helmut, an aetherial architect (whatever that means) from Yr. One of the few to join Krakul's toast.

- Eh'NaiL Ha-Nii'la-Terr, an Alprobe archeologist. I don't much like Alprobes (see Chapters 2 and 18 of my book "Magical Beasts and Where to Kill Them"), and Eh'NaiL was creeper than most. He gave a speech in his own language that caused a glass to break, a waitress to faint, and probably half the sphincters in the room to tighten.

- Lord Sconewick, the Alkorian representative, had apparently fallen asleep from boredom, so his aide, her royal bitchness Victoria Swann gave a toast that included an oblique reference to my recent petrification in Harlbourg (see Chapter 1 of this book). Never one for class, I responded with a toast about how everyone at my mansion missed ogling her statue. Duchess Katny followed with a toast to great friendships. Duke Loro was too busy giggling to make a toast.

- Colonel Ji-hoon Kowalczyk, the representative from the nearest Ercaenmedian Army Group, got distracted using his goggles to shamelessly leer at the decolletage of a serving girl bending over to serve a drink to a guest across the table from him, so his aide Enchantress-Singer/Aspiring Idol Nolae Supasuta thought on her feet and managed to parrot Sena's empty toast on world peace through theoretical research (but not without including a quick dig at Belkan)

There was also about two dozen other aides, flunkies, bureaucrats, donors, and minor members of the project at the table. A couple were also quite strange, but apparently not enough for me to remember them.

Dinner was delicious and extravagant, clearly Sena Starbane liked to make a good impression on her backers even if she herself could not attend. Not too much else happened for the next few hours; we had wine on the massive heated balcony while watching an amazing sunset. Krakrul cried blood, Eh'NaiL touched someone somewhere where he shouldn't have, some minor noble spilled wine down her top, and myself and Victoria exchanged glares all evening.

Things got a bit more interesting in the late evening. After a rotation through the bathhouse and sauna, I joined several of the other guests to watch the aurora borealis, which was magnified greatly by the fact that it was being drawn down to the surface by Sera's arcane technology. Eventually, only myself, Hans Helmut, Nolae Supasuta, and her servant Simpypoo (a portmanteau of "Simp", a type of fan apparently, and "Grumpypoo", an obscure god popular with some young people) were left.

On our way back to our rooms, we heard a deep grinding sound, followed by screams and maniacal laughter. A short time later, we encountered a trio of conscript guards impaled to the ceiling with large spikes. Simpypoo promptly fainted, Nolae vomited up some wine, but Hans seemed more fascinated then anything.

Clearly something wasn't quite right here...

Before I really had time to investigate though, a couple of soldiers grabbed us and hustled us away. After a brief interrogation, an unlikely story about how the incident was nothing but a brawl that got out of control, and being sworn to secrecy by the head of security (a Sal-Inja no doubt), myself, Nolae, and Simpypoo were sent to bed for the night.

However, I had other plans.

Once I judged everyone important was asleep, and whatever guards were supposed to be watching me had grown a bit weary, I tossed on my nightshirt on, slipped a little packet of something special into my inner pocket, climbed out my window, and scaled the decorative ornamentation to get to a balcony on the level where the Alkorians were staying.

In theory, my first priority should have been warning my employer that something was up, but if I was going to risk my neck sneaking about anyways, might as well throw in a bit of a personal mission as well. If you mix table salt with a rare perfume known as nightsap, you get a nice little powder that causes a severely itchy rash once in contact with body moisture after a few hours. And I always bring salt and nightsap to events like this.

Daydreaming like the idiot I am about where to place the powder on Victoria or her clothes for best effect, I didn't hear the slight creak of leather to the last minute. To my surprise, the leather didn't belong to a Sal-Inja goon, but rather a female Belkan Intelligence operative in the trademark black leather of that organization. And she had a rather wicked knife...

Now I am an experienced hand-to-hand combatant, and work by the life mages had boasted my physical strength considerably, but going toe-to-toe with a skilled operative who is armed when you aren't is tricky. Particularly when you can't make noise. And particularly particularly when you are trying to take her alive. Also, I was still drunk. About a minute of silent but vicious fighting later, things ended with me suffering from several deep nicks, and a nightshirt full of gashes, and her writhing from several organ punches and pressure point jabs. After a bonk on the head, and another hour of sneaking around lugging her about, I find an empty room I judge isn't going to be visited for a while, bind her up, and leave her for later interrogation. I also poured liberal amounts of the powder on her, both to impede any escape attempts, and also since I was peeved about my favorite nightshirt being covered in blood and gashes.

Feeling too tired for further adventures, I went to bed with a number of important tasks on my to-do list like:

- Warn Katny about the killings - Interrogate the Belkan on what she knew about... everything really - Figure out what was really going on at Merciful Bliss - Give Victoria a rash by pouring nightsap mixed with salt in her panties

The next morning, I awoke feeling a little worse for ware. In addition to the hangover, cuts and bruises from the fight, three hours of sleep, horrid morning breath from the garlic bread last night, I had also somehow swallowed a mouthful of my own hair and chewed off a chunk of it.

I spent the next hour making myself somewhat presentable, grudgingly wearing thick clothes and heavy make-up to cover up the cuts and bruises.

Today was the day that we got shown The Gate.

I probably should have explained this before, but the whole purpose of this luxurious but remote research facility is to investigate the Ebon Gate. The only known structure of its kind, it was discovered by explorers decades ago, but only recently has the true value of the site come to light. When charged with enormous amounts of magnetic energy captured from the aurora borealis, and under certain planetary alignments, it opens a gate to another world.

So far it had only been opened three times briefly, each leading to uninhabited ruins on different worlds, but that night, improvements to the magnetic energy collection system were believed to be able to keep The Gate open for a whole three hours.

Although hardly an expert on inter-dimensional travel, I suspected even at that point that we were messing with forces best left alone, and I had a sneaking suspicion that the deaths of the three conscripts were somehow tied to something coming from The Gate.

Unfortunately I didn't trust the main players behind the operation enough to confide in them. Nor did I get a chance to talk to Katny. So instead I played the role of the oblivious donor, eager to see what my money was being used for.

After an elaborate breakfast, we were herded down to the lower levels of the fortress where the gate is located. The difference in architectural styles between the Ercaenmedian top floors, the Orgillon core building, and the mysterious underground ruins was striking. Something about the underground ruins put me on edge. Perhaps it was the jet black walls and strange carvings, perhaps it was the fact that the conscript guards were clearly on edge, perhaps it was the fact that normal sounds didn't seem to travel here, though unexplained rustling and cracking noises could be heard occasionally, but most of all it was my increasing certainty that Sena and her fellows were playing with forces they didn't understand.

We arrived in the main chamber where the Ebon Gate is located. Curving stairs leading up to an empty doorframe. Fairly mundane really, but I could feel it was already crackling with invisible energy despite the fact that the test wasn't scheduled until tonight. Sena was supposed to give a lecture at this point, but clearly something wasn't right, and she had a hushed conversation with her fellow researchers. At this point I really started wishing I had been allowed to carry my sword and gun around.

Suddenly, the gate started glowing ominously, but it wasn't though the gate that the first sign of trouble appeared. Instead, a twisted figure popped into existence somewhat off to the side of the chamber. Although it took me a moment to recognize it, I eventually realized it is a Chained One, a lesser demon of Iron Gyyn made from damned soul wrapped in cutting chains and spikes for centuries until it loses all sanity and only desires to be let free to inflict pain on others.

The Yrian scientist Hans Helmut evidently recognized it too. Perhaps since Iron Gyyn (a demon associated with bondage, forges, and demon bidding) is one of the primary demons worshipped in Yr he felt safe approaching it, but instead several bladed chains lashed out, slicing him in half, and painting a nearby guard red with arterial blood.

Another guard flew backwards, pierced by several iron spikes. A Spiked Beast (another demon of Iron Gyyn) had appeared, and was now impaling bystanders with flying spikes.

But worse of all was the Grasping Mother. Said to be a personification of Iron Gyyn herself, this strange demon has many limbs ending in chains. Those who become fully engulfed in these wrapping chains simply disappear, it is probably best not to think about what happens to them.

At that point everyone decides running away to be their best option.

After a number of close calls with demons now stalking the halls of Merciful Bliss, I found myself hiding in the library with Sena Starbane, Colonel Ji-hoon Kowalczyk, and Krakrul. Sena and Ji-hoon were arguing over whether someone had deliberately altered the Ebon Gate so that it would open up in the home dimension of Iron Gyyn. I mentioned that Hans Helmut had shown a strong interest in the murdered conscripts last night (which Sena and Ji-hoon hadn't even heard about), and it was agreed that potentially Hans had found a way to alter the Gate (not like anyone is asking him anytime soon).

Ji-hoon and Sena had a whispered argument at that point about whether the rapid advances in research had been worth bringing in morally dubious individuals like Hans and Krakrul (they had apparently forgotten Krakrul was within earshot, but he didn't seem to mind, he was lifting Fi Fi onto a table so that she/it could gnaw the legs off a beheaded servant).

After a while, we realized we needed some sort of plan to deactivate The Gate. No one really knew how we would completely close it, but it was agreed that shutting down the aurora borealis harvester on the roof would be a good start.

By this point, reality was clearly unravelling a bit, with streaks of purplish smoky fire sometimes appearing from no where, and occasionally opening to form a rift through which various demons would pop out. Even minor demons are both nastily fast and tough, and we relied mostly on Krakrul's destructive magic, and Ji-hoon's magic wand to clear them. My own abilities at Energy Creation are weak, time consuming to perform, and rather draining, but I did manage to conjure a few good lightning blasts at the cost of exhausting myself. Needless to say, I really wished I had my sword and gun with me.

After a few more minor skirmishes, we made our way to the roof. We were joined on the way by Duke Loro, who had clearly fought his way through more than a few close encounters himself. Luckily he is a skilled swordsmen with abnormal strength packed into a seemingly normal sized frame, courtesy of the best flesh molders money can buy.

Unfortunately, the collector antennas are massive and highly durable. We debated how to best destroy it for a while, with Krakrul rather dubiously arguing that even he didn't have the magic to destroy it. Eventually Loros comes up with a crude plan of using his magic strength to haul a large anti-griffon ballista off its mounting and fire it repeatedly at the joints of the spindle in hopes of damaging something.

Krakrul evidently didn't like that plan though, he threw Loros off the roof just as he was lining up the first shot, and threw Ji-hoon over the edge a second later. He evidently had other (no doubt rape-y) plans for Sena, since he knocked her out with some sort of Dark Aether magic. He tried to do the same to me, but luckily I am pretty good at Aether Manipulation, and disrupted three spells in a row as he tried to gather the energy for them. Instead he changed tactics and simply rushed me, no doubt with his sheer size, many arms, and massive raw strength he could easily beat me in a hand-to-hand fight.

Instead I sprinted to the nearest railing, jumped over the edge, painfully butt-slid down an icy terracotta roof, sprinted across a balcony that served as the roof of one of the annex buildings, dodged two fire balls, got grazed by a third, then jumped off a two story ledge while partially on fire and landed in one of the heated pools (which both cushioned the fall and put out the flames).

Worried Krakrul was still on me, I scrambled out of the pool, ditched most of my clothes (which were now soaked and heavy) and ran blindly through the maze of cedar hedges, pagodas, and small outbuildings that covered the grounds between the main research building and the main guest accommodation building.

Naturally I almost ran headfirst into a Spiked Beast, but then it got cut in half by a Horseman. Luckily the Horseman started defiling the body of a guard the Spiked Beast had just pinned to a wall, so I was able to sneak away from the bizarre encounter.

It was only after about a minute of slow sneaking did the implications of this become clear. Horsemen were demons (technically half-demons) associated with Deadicorn, but so far the demons breaching reality have been associated with Iron Gyyn. I then noticed that the formerly purple-ish rifts were now sparkly and rainbow colored. Clearly the Ebon Gate was now somehow attuned to Deadicorn's Realm rather than Iron Gyyn's. I briefly wondered if Krakrul (a devout Deadicorn worshipper as I had said before) was somehow altering the Ebon Gate, or if it was just a natural shift as the planets continue to align. However it didn't really matter since either way he would now do what he could to stop anyone from shutting down the Gate.

I decide to continue running towards the guest accommodation building, where I would at least have a fighting chance once I got my gear.

Exhausted, and fairly confident Krakrul or any demons weren't nearby, I stopped behind one of the sauna buildings next to the guest building to catch my breath.

Suddenly Katny came running in from one direction, and Victoria, Lord Sconewick, and the Belkan Intelligence operative I locked up the previous night come running from the other direction. What followed was one of the more interesting conversations I have ever had...

The conversation (with my thoughts in brackets) when roughly as follows:

Katny (to me): What happened to your clothes? And make-up? (naturally Katny look immaculate as always)

Me: I went for a swim

Victoria: Why?

Me: Because I was worried I got syphilis just being in the same room as you (not my best comeback ever, but I was pretty stressed and exhausted by this point)

Belkan Intelligence Operative (to me): Remember me bitch?

Me: No (lying because I didn't want to explain why I covered up finding a Belkan spy, or what I was doing in the Alkorian guest quarters to begin with)

Katny: That's Claudia, she is my favorite cousin on my mom's side (bad news for me, Katny doesn't like people messing with her favorites)

Katny: Hi Claudia!

Claudia: Hi Katny!

Me (to Claudia): Still don't recognize you (hoping it was too dark during our encounter last night for Claudia to recognize me for sure)

Claudia: Where did you get those scars? They look new. Bet you didn't have them yesterday...

Me: uhm...

Victoria (to me): What is the matter Adalwolfa Kühling, cat got your tongue? (reference to my rarely used birth name, as well as a reminder to Sconewick of my Belkan ancestry, it seemed rather unfair at the time that hated enemies Alkor and Belkan were teaming up on me)

Me (to Claudia): So what were you doing wandering around the Alkorian guest quarters with a sharp knife anyways? (a petty attempt to turn Victoria and Claudia against each other, but actually a pretty good point in hindsight)

Sconewick (to everyone else): Shut up your nattering you imbecilic harlots, we have more things to worry about

Victoria (to Sconewick): She is the one that looks like a harlot (fair point, I was down to my under clothes and probably had make-up running all over my face thanks to my brief swim)

Victoria (to Claudia): Wait, what were you doing....

Sconewick: Shut up!

Victoria looked rather shocked at this point, I also found it rather strange at the time that Sconewick didn't seem to care that someone who may have tried to assassinate him last night was standing right behind him with a looted sword.

Katny: Agreed, this conversation is going nowhere fast, we need to shut down the Gate

Katny: Has anyone seen Loros? He was trying to find Sena

Me: Nope (lying since Katny was the most rationale and intelligent person here and I didn't want her distracted by the fact that her on and off boy toy was dead)

Katny: What about Sena?

Me: Well, uh, she is probably getting pig roasted by Krakul and a horseman right now

Victoria: What the hell does that even mean?

Me: Well, you know...

I try to demonstrate with my pointer fingers, but realize belatedly that I need a third hand for the gesture to make sense

Katny (rather witheringly): We know what it means, why would Krakul do that to Sena at a time like this?

Me: Well, you see, Krakul is uh, evil (no shit), and well, somehow he realigned the Gate to open onto Deadicorn's realm, or maybe the Gate was already realigning itself...I don't know, either way he doesn't want people tampering with it, cause he is a Deadicorn worshipper... and stuff

Katny: Shit

Victoria (to me): Aren't you a Deadicorn worshipper too?

Me: No (worship is a strong word, I prefer to think of it as occasional bargaining, also I haven't done it for a while)

Victoria: Liar!

Me: Eat shit you gold plated slut (a reference to her time as a lawn ornament at my villa)

Sconewick: Shut Up! Both of you!

Sconewick: What about that Alprobe fellow? Anal, or whatever? Could he shut down the Gate?

Disturbing screech comes from somewhere nearby, a decapitated Alprobe head lands at Claudia's feet

Claudia: You mean that one?

Katny: Are there any other Alprobes on site?

Sconewick: No

Katny: Well shit

Katny: We need to rescue Sena, she is the only one left who knows how to fix this

Loros appears from somewhere

Loros: Ask Magnolia, she saw Sena last

Katny (to me): I thought you said you hadn't seen Loros?

Loros (to me): Why would you say that?

Me (feeling like a complete idiot at this point): How are you not dead? (he got knocked of the side of the building facing the cliff, no way he could have survived the landing like I did)

Loros: Magic rings, remember? (and I should have remembered, under his gloves Loros does have some extremely rare and expensive rings from Belkan that give him limited flying abilities, I had seen him showing them off at several parties back in Westphallica)

Katny gives me a look that indicates both that she is starting to severely doubt my abilities, as well as is planning some sort of retribution (and she is very creative when it comes to retribution)

Victoria and Claudia look rather pleased to see me in the hot seat

Me (to Katny): Look, mistakes were made, can we move past it for now?

Nolae Supasuta and Simpypoo show up

Nolae: We are in big trouble...

Everyone: We know

Nolae (pointing at the Alprobe head on the ground): Is that...

Everyone: Yes

Long awkward pause

Me: We should try to get to the main building roof, that is where I last saw Sena. Maybe it won't be too bad and the Iron Gyyn and Deadicorn affiliated demons will wear each other out

The Grasping Mother smashes into the side of the guest building, then explodes into fire and acid, as demons often do when killed, heavy footsteps and deep breathing is heard nearby, but mercifully it changes direction and heads away from us

No one dare speak for a while

Simpypoo: Well that sounded big...

Katny: We don't have a choice, we must stop The Gate from being fully opened, planetary alignment is less than eight hours away, and who knows what could appear through the rifts in the meantime...

Nolae: Agreed

Sconewick: Agreed

He then emphasizes his point by blowing a horseman sneaking up on us to pieces with his musket (evidently the shot was boasted magically somehow)

Me: I need to grab my gear from my room...

Katny (gives me a very withering look to remind me I am not in her good books): No time

End of conversation.

So that is how the eight of us ended up fighting our way through waves of demons trying to get back to the main research building. Well Simpypoo mostly cowered in the middle, and although an accomplished fighter, Claudia isn't tough enough to fight a demon in melee, though she took the occasional highly accurate shot with rifles taken from the abundant supply of dead guards everywhere. Also, Nolae's enchantments and sound amplifying staff aren't super useful against demons. And Sconewick was only useful when he had a shot loaded. So it was mostly Loros, Katny, and Victoria doing the heavy fighting with their abundant supply of magic gear, and me throwing the odd fireball. I started to wonder why Loros and Katny even bothered bringing me to Merciful Bliss as a bodyguard, they could clearly look after themselves.

Unfortunately by the time we made it to the roof overlooking the collection antennas, Krakul had gathered several demons of Deadicorn to his side, including a massive demon descriptively known as the "Big Schlonged Giant Rotting Beast" (yes, there is also a Small Schlonged Giant Rotting Beast, got to tell demons apart somehow).

Even worse, Krakul had clearly boosted his magical abilities somehow, when we arrived on the roof, he simply used some form of Aether Manipulation to immobilize us while suspending us in mid air, to better listen to his evil monologue obviously. At least Sena was alive, dressed, and unpenetrated, still unconscious where I last saw her.

Now if I had a penny for every time I was trapped helpless while some bad guy gave me a long winded monologue about what their plans were, and what they were doing to do to me afterwards, I would have six pennies (fourteen if you include all the times I was just pretending to be helpless). Which doesn't seem like much, but keep in mind it is the sort of thing you don't expect to happen in real life, ever.

Krakul gave a better monologue than most, but I was somewhat distracted by the fact that Fi Fi was dry humping the detached leg of some hapless guard in the background. Still I got the gist of what he was saying (invite Deadicorn to enter our world, mass corruption, new realm for Deadicorn, us meddlers getting fused into some horrid human centipede to spend the rest of eternity being tortured and humiliated for Krakul's sick amusement, etc, etc, etc).

Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do about this. Even the members of our party carrying magical devices or who could work magic were being blocked somehow.

Luckily, just when I though we were completely screwed, all the rainbow sparkly rifts started changing color to black, white, and static-y. Krakul starts freaking out about how his calculations were perfect, and the alignment of planets should have resulted in the Gate leading to Deadicorn's Realm.

And then a giant whale like thing feel from the sky and crushed him and his demon minions. Evidently a demon whale, it dissolved into acid and fire, killing any demons that somehow survived the impact.

Krakul was the last to die, he wandered about flailing his arms screeching as the acid and fire dissolved even his magically altered body. Upon his death, the suspension magic ended, and we fell to the ground with varying levels of grace.

Nolae managed to wake up Sena, and as a group we came up with a new plan to close the gate.

[Rest of story censored due to red hot pokemon on pokemon action]

Introduction to Fey Beings, Alkorian School Textbook Excerpt:[edit]

Fey creatures are believed to originate from one of several dimension with strong ties to this world, as a result, most fey are able to sense and access the many hidden portals that cover Autia and other neighboring continents. Some fey in fact spend almost all their time in alternate dimensions, only occasionally visiting this one to explore or be a nuissance. Fey races tend to have the ability to innately cast certain types of spells without training, though ability varies by individual. Thanks to their chaotic nature, and the ready availability of food and other resources in their home dimensions, fey tend to be whimsical, and seemingly uninterested in pragmatic matters like nation building, farming, or economics. However races with fey ancestry that have lived in our dimension for many generations tend to lose many of the traits associated with the fey, including the ability to detect and use portals, their innate magic, and their eccentric nature.

Partial List of Common Fey:

--- Elves ---

- Fairie Elves: Resemble short, young-ish elves. Despite their youthful and bright appearance, Fairie Elves are sadistic and cruel, using their magic to torture others to death. Frequently ride large fey corgis and associate with evil hags. Common in Fluffwood, but occasionally show up elsewhere.

- Nymphs: A notoriously attractive and wanton race of all female elves, nymphs are generally found near portals located in pure lakes and rivers.

- Other Elves: Most elves are believed to have fey origins, but some races have arrived more recently than others, and some races are said to have lived in non-fey dimensions for generations before coming here. Aside from some Lapus Elves and a few others, most elves have lost their ties to the fey worlds, though they retain high magical potential, and some retain innate fey abilities.

--- Giants ---

A category for humanoid fey much larger than a human. Not all giants have fey origins, some came from other worlds (non-fey giants are not listed here).

- Cyclops: One eyed giants found mostly in Rinolsol, and occasionally in parts of western Autia. Ill tempered and territorial, they are best avoided. The Soukos Republic sometimes uses them as shock troops.

- Frost Giants: Large giants found mostly on the northern continent, but stories suggest they once lived on the southern continent as well. Often powerful magic users in addition to their sheer size, they have been the bane of colonial attempts for ages, though luckily they seem to have no expansionist tendencies of their own.

- Hill Giants: Large lumbering dull-witted brutes. Most have lost their connection to the fey worlds. Not particularly cruel by fey standards, but lazy and hungry. Prone to stealing large vegetable and livestock, but can also be bribed to fight or do heavy labor in return for food. Found mostly in remote grasslands, foothills and mountains.

- Minotaur: A fairly rare giant found mostly in southern Rinolsol and the western Autian mountains. Aggressive and with dark tendencies, many become worshippers of Deadicorn. Sometimes they are tamed by Soukos City States to serve as shock troops. The Eldrians made their own version which remain common to this day in some former Eldrian territories.

- Ogres and Ogrillon: A large, aggressive race, orgillons forged a massive empire on this world in ancient times and gradually lost their ties to the fey realms. However, they were destroyed by the Sartyrian Elves, and only small pockets remain on the northern continent. Their inbred, mentally stunted descendants can be found in small pockets in the remote swamps and hills of Autia.

- Oni: Powerful magic users with an unknown connection to the ogrillon/ogre race. Very rare, only isolated pockets are now believed to exist in eastern Autia.

- Stone Giants: Large giants that seem to be carved from the living stone. They prefer to be left alone, but sometimes can be lured into the service of humans in exchange for favors and oaths. Generally only found in the most remote mountain regions.

- Trolls: Large cannibalistic race with an unnaturally quick healing ability. They live mostly in the fey realms, but sometimes cross over to feast on anything too slow to outrun them. Can sometimes be bargained with or enchanted to serve as deadly shock troops.

--- Gobinoids ---

A name for the several fey races that resemble goblins in appearance and temperament.

- Goblins: One of the most common fey descended races, goblins can be found in fairly large numbers in most parts of the world, though like harpies they rarely form large nations of their own. Known to be fairly intelligent but ill-tempered, those that live along humans sometimes find niches as tinkerers, merchants, and bankers, but tribes the retain strong ties to the fey worlds generally reject technology in favor of wild and unpredictable magic. Despite their own capabilities and generally disagreeable and somewhat cruel nature, most fey goblins have a strange drive to serve those they see as stronger than themselves, usually other fey.

--- Ents ---

A slow-witted and tranquil race that prefers to be left alone and that reproduces by performing complex rituals on living trees. Found mostly in the most isolated sections of forest like The Soulwood and isolated parts of Lapus.

--- Fairies ---

Blanket term for fairies, pixies, sprites, and other small humanoids with wings. Many different types exist, and naming conventions vary by area. Most are fairly harmless aside for their love of voyeurism and petty tricks, but some are cruel and sadistic, particularly when they spend too much time with darker fey like hags and red caps. Generally prefer enchantment and illusion magic, but some have been known to use life magic.

--- Half-Men ---

Category of fey that have a human head and torso, but legs and sometimes arms are animalistic. Frequently mistaken for demon half breeds or creations of the Eldrian Empire, both of whom sometimes come in forms that greatly resemble certain types of fey half-men, to the point that they are basically indistinguishable and carry the same name.

- Centaurs: Torso of a human attached to the body of a horse. Most are in fact demonic half breeds created by Deadicorn, or creations of the Eldrian Empire meant to resemble the real thing. Most "true" centaurs are now found in Rinolsol. Most avoid magic, but some are good at divination and weather magic.

- Gepids: Upper body of a human, lower body of an octopus. Found mostly in a coastal region of the Fairy Lands known as Halem.

- Harpies: One of the most common fey descended races, they can be found almost anywhere, but prefer mountains and coastal areas, though some breeds live in deserts, forests, or jungles. Most harpy clans have dwelt in this world for generations and have lost their connection to the fey worlds, but some, like those in parts of Lapus and the Fairy Lands still have strong ties to the fey. Culture and appearance varies greatly by breed and region.

- Merfolk: The most common of the aquatic races, they possess many sub races that taken together can be found in any ocean, and some lakes and rivers. Many sub races are female only. Appearance, culture, and magic varies greatly between sub races.

- Satyr and fauns: Lazy, party loving fey with little appreciation for other people's boundaries. Found in small bands in temperate forests all over Rinolsol, Autia, and Tismo. Some tribes are fairly harmless, but many other tribes have gained a reputation for banditry, rape, and slavery. Many tribes in Tismo are Deadicorn worshippers. Some are known to be skilled at enchantment and divination magic. Definitions of "satyr" and "faun" vary by area.

- Snake People: Human upper half and snake lower half. Like dryads they sometimes declare themselves guardians of large sections of forest, particularly the warm, dry forests along the border of the dry grasslands of central Autia. Sometimes giant, many armed versions have been encountered in the deepest forests.

--- Shape Shifters ---

- Dryads: Forest dwelling fey that have the ability to transform between an elf-like shape, a tree, and a hybrid shape. They spend most of their time in their home dimension, but will sometimes declare a section of forest under their protection. Unpopular with hunters and tree cutters for this reason. Skilled at life magic and animal control.

- Lycanthrope: Technically cursed humans, but usually encountered in areas of strong fey magic. Lycanthropes usually possess an animal form and a hybrid form, along with their original form. Despite popular belief, it is actually fairly difficult for a lycanthrope to transfer their curse onto another, which typically involves powerful rituals. Several types exist, though werewolves are the most common and famous. Their strong urge to feast on the flesh of humans means they are unpopular, and are frequently targeted by bounties.

- Hags: Cruel and spiteful race obsessed with acquiring magical knowledge. Some can function within mainstream human societies despite their love of acts of petty cruelty, but others are as insane as the worse Unravellers or demon worshippers, and can only operate in remote areas like Fluffwood or Hagarta. Several sub races exist specializing in different environments like subarctic forests, deserts, swamps, hills, or deep forest. Usually resemble monstrous old women, but sometimes will shift to a more attractive form when needed.

- Spirit Animals: A magically powerful people who always have one humanoid form, and one animal-ish form. Found mostly in Napan. Fey dragons are a subcategory of this race, but are usually treated as a separate race in Napan due to their immense power even compared to other Spirit Animals.

--- Wee Folk ---

Catch-all category for fey that resemble humans, but are smaller.

- Gnomes: Resembling small humans, often seemingly old, but still with boundless energy. Gnomes once conquered most of Tismo, and occasionally invaded even Autia. Like their close cousins (and hated enemies) the leprechauns, they have powerful magic which they like to use for tricks. Not particularly evil, but frequently possessing of a strange, sometimes perverted mindset. Still possess fairly strong ties to the fey worlds despite the large civilizations they have established in the past on Tismo and Autia.

- Monkeymen: A strange type of fey that looks like a cross between a human and a spider money. They are usually found in the Emerald Isles, but sometimes show up on other continents, with known populations in Afrozil, Napan, and Lindgrub. In Autia and Lapus they are usually seen as harmless, attention seeking jokers, but in the Emerald Isles many have fallen under the influence of cruel demons and have become twisted and foul. Like other wee folk, they use their magic mostly for tricks.

- Leprechauns (Lepre Khans): Visually somewhat similar to gnomes, though easily distinguished by their bright orange hair and strange accents. Leprechauns have strange and powerful magic which they use for trickery that ranges from harmless to cruel. Mostly found in central Lapus, but do occasionally appear in other forests, hills, and mountains where portals to the fey worlds exist.

- Red caps: A small but cruel race, they resemble a mix of gnomes, leprechauns, and goblins depending on the subrace, usually a mix of all three. Skilled at life magic, they are fond of binding victims in magical thorned vines, or using life magic to temporarily enhance their own strength. They boast their magic by collecting the blood of those in pain. Usually found in the darker parts of Fairy Land and the Bloodsap Forest, particularly in area where hags are found.

The Belkan Invasion of the Ercaenmedian Union[edit]

Western Pact

Belkan Strength

Army Group Center, Army Group West, Army Group East

High Field Marshal V Class George Kessel,High Field Marshal IV Class Albert Irons, High Field Marshal IV Robertio Enchadorian Functs

1,250,000 men

7,000 cannons

100 Lundwurm Heavy Tanks

300 Lunddraken Light Tanks

10 Iron Colossi

17 Air Battleships

30 Air Cruisers

60 Zeppelins

1000 Eagles

300 Aero-Maschinen

Soukon Strength

Marshal Alexandrios of the Silver Host

30,000 men

100 Dragon Slayer Ballista

30 Neo-Triremes

Republic of Free Men Detachment, Voluntas Pact Detachment

Northern Autian Treaty Organization

Ercaenmedian Strength

Host of Greater Glory, Host of the Homeland, Host of Eternal Victory

Supreme Commander Hugo Lee, SC Alexisy Song, SC Alexander Roskov

850,000 men

3,500 Cannons

100 Mobile Skycannons

500 Wyverns

14 Little David Super Heavy Tanks

Aerofortress Glory to Greater Ercaenmedia

50 Fortresses

20 Ancient Wyvern Superheavy Flyers

Alkorian Force in Ercaenmedia

Lord General Rupert McKinney

100,000 men

300 Tanks

500 Cannons

Afrozilian, Aesnarian, Eritroan and Westphallican Detachments

The Belkan Invasion of the Ercaenmedian Union would be the moment the world was pushed from the brink into full scale warfare. Following the invasion of Belkan Arktikos, Lord Chancellor Erich Von-Valzheim of the Grand Assembly notified the Belkan Generals Staff to mobilize the Army and prepare for war while outwardly making pleas for peace with the Alkorians and Ercaenmedians for the ceasing of hostilities. This caused the Alkorian forces to demobilize, wanting to appease Belkan to focus on the War in Harlbourg, but the Ercaenmedians were not fooled and reinforced their positions on the Fulta, Deemz and Olter Gaps, the main invasion routes the Belkans had used in the past centuries.

These defenses would be tested as on the night of the Piscean 17th in the year 3021 the great Watchtowers fell and 750,000 Belkans broke through.

The War for Ercaenmedias Heart

The Belkan Army Group Center would be tasked with taking the three main passes through the mountains as well as the most populous parts of Ercaenmedian territory, consequently it would also be the largest and most well equipped of the Belkan Invasion forces. Field Marshal Kessel directed five Corps to the assault on the Falta Gap, the most heavily defended and also widest of the three passes, with three Corps each allocated to the assault on Deems and Olter. His assault on the Falta Gap would be heavily contested, III rd Corp would be left at half strength after it's assault on the Hells Guard fortress with two reserve Corps being brought up to replace casualties, but the area surrounding the mountain pass would be secured a week later as his forces defeated the defending Ercaenmedian armies in the battle of Plizen. With the Falta Gap secure Army Group Center was free to push fresh troops through it, with the Army of Greater Belkan arriving in full strength in Ercaenmedia just weeks after Plizen's capture, with these fresh reinforcements the Belkans were able to outflank the Ercaenmedian armies defending the other two passes, finally securing them three weeks after the initial invasion. Even with the successes brought by the taking of the passes and the destruction of the Ercaenmedian border Watchtower network Belkan troops were still under heavy pressure, Ercaenmedian counterattacks along the front resulting in heavy casualties for both attacker and defender with the invaders soon learning why their ancestors feared the fierce southerners.

The Ercaenmedian counterattack , fierce as they might have been, were a move of desperation to buy time for reserves and levies to be mobilized with much of the standing army being wiped out in climactic battles like the defense of Tover, the war for city Ersatzakan and the battle of Pinzk. By the second month of the invasion a third of the country was under Belkan control with much of the civilian population fleeing south into Westphallica and the Republic of Free Men. The Second Battle of Shurwood and the Siege of the Three Sisters had seen the Belkan IIIrd and Vth Corp take positions only thirty miles away from the capital of Etalithar before being pushed back, with the Belkans falling back to defensive lines centered around the city of Hurtz.

Hurtz was an old city, built up around the ancient castle of an Order of Brass Knights in times long past, but still a formidable one to take with the Belkans only able to take it due to the efforts of sappers in the night who destroyed the two Little David's standing guard over the city. Once the City fell it was used as a staging area and supply dump to supply front line Belkan troops. It was also the spot that Hugo Lee and Lord General McKinsey chose to direct their forces at, in an attempt to break the thin frontline of Center Force with the majority of the Alkorian army as well as the Aero Fortress Glory to Greater Ercaenmedia spearheading the assault.

The Battle of Hurtz and the Diomedan Offensive

The Battle of Hurtz would be just one part of a far greater offensive as the Allied Armies launched their assault on the so-called Diomedan Salient. The Amazons of Afrozil under Queen Presidente Sola Solata assaulted the IVI and II Corps under Field Marshal Eddo with a Host of Ercaenmedian levy infantry breaking the western part of the Belkan line at the Battle of Novamudias, the tactic of sending wave after wave of Ercaenmedian soldiers proving to be costly if effective, the Amazons and their army managing to push the Belkan line back five miles. On the eastern part of the salient the Alkorian Expeditionary force found themselves battering away Belkan trenchlines, losing 30,000 dead in the first day of the battle but managing to evict the XX Corp for a gain of ten miles. In the center the Alkorian 1st and 3rd Tank Divisions with the Army of the Blistering Rose began their assault on Hurtz.

The Allies deployed their assets conservatively, not willing to deploy the Aero-Fortress until the Belkan army could be brought to the field, they entrenched around the city and began bombarding it with artillery fire. The Belkan defenders under General Marshall would not leave the city to do battle with the Ercaenmedians even as the outer districts of the city were bombarded to rubble. He spread his forces throughout the city, emplacing his cannons on the commanding heights of Castle Hurtz's walls, with the majority of his Corp defending the interior of the city. The General and his Corp were not even supposed to be in the city, they were just on their way to another part of the line and resupplying there, a fact left out of Ercaenmedian intelligence reports.

Shaman General Meow, the overall commander of the Allied attack on Hurtz, decided to probe the defenses of the city after bringing down it's walls dispatching a Regiment of Westphallican mercenary spider Cavalry in through breaches in the old city wall.

With her scouts reporting light defenses the Ercaenmedian General decided to deploy only half of her army to attack the city with the other half advancing further into Belkan controlled territory. This would prove to be a blunder as the newly formed Army of Greater Judgement, A 50,000 strong force, found itself engaged within the city against a similarly sized Belkan force with the benefits of entrenchments and heavy fortifications. General Meow and her force, having destroyed the 5th Division at the battle of Blatz, were forced to leave behind their hard fought positions and march back to Hurtz, encircling the Belkans in the city but being counter-encircled in turn by two fresh reserve Corps.

The battle would rapidly turn into a war of attrition between the Belkans and Allies, as more and more forces were committed to the fight the city gained an importantce that it was originally lacking. Airships of the Solstfielian Free Armada and Imperial Aero-Navy would duel in the skies of the city, to great enjoyment by both forces who were happy to have found worthy adversaries, and Alkorian armored forces were tested and found wanting on the fields and valleys surrounding the city as both sides adapted to tank warfare. At the end of the Diomedan Offensive the Belkans had been pushed back slightly from their original positions with Ercaenmedian forces controlling much of the city of Hurtz but the Belkan's owning most of the land surrounding the city leaving the Allies with only a thin supply line. Overall the Offensive was a success offering Alkor and Ercaenmedia a little more room to mobilize their forces, if at the cost of hundred of thousands of lives , and fortify stronger defenses to bleed the Belkans on their way to Esthaliar but as the war entered it's next phase Ercaenmedias fare was still undecided.

The War for Ercaenmedias Heart would eclipse the Belkan Campaigns on the coast in both size and scope but the country would remain cut off from the sea.

The Coastal Campaigns of the Ercaenmedian Front:

Field Marshals Irons and Functs were tasked with taking the western and eastern coasts of Ercaenmedia respectively with Marshal Alexandrios of the Soukon Contingent to make landfall on the western coast as well. The strategy behind the campaign would be to capture Ercaenmedia's port cities to deprive it from foreign and colonial aid as well as enabling Belkan and Soukon forces to be resupplied by sea. Where the Center front would be concentrated on taking as much territory as possible on the way to the capital as well as defeating the main body of the Allied Armies the Coastal Campaigns would be much more restrained and focused, each pincer would only have around nine Corps worth of troops to use and certain cities designated as primary objectives.

On the Western coast the first objective was the port city of Melvin which was taken by storm three days after it's initial besiegement. With the city taken the Soukon Contingent was able to join forces with his own while still leaving a significant marine force embarked aboard their ships. Fifty miles down the coast was the next objective, Duangjon, a much larger and well defended port city and home to several Ercaenmedian dreadships. The Field Marshal raided down the coast burning through minor towns and villages on his way to city reaching it a week later. Knowing that the port could be used to base raiders who could assault his supply lines from the sea he appointed three Corps to make siege to the city and begin bombarding it, a squadron of Cruisers and Frigates of the Belkan Navy would remain offshore and out of range of the city's guns to keep any new supplies from reaching the city. While the city was under siege he ordered the rest of his forces under Marshal Alexandrios to march south and take the cities of Tavenna and Wutland, with the Soukon naval forces raiding up and down the coastline and causing great confusion among the defenders. After three weeks of bombardment Belkan Tercions and repeating riflemen entered the city. They faced strong resistance from the crews of the Dreadships who had joined the garrison as naval infantry equipped with a variety of close ranged weapons as well as the Idol trio BLACKpunk. The magic and blades of the Ercaenmedians was not enough against the might of the Belkan hordes who captured the city after a day of hard fighting, but the port facilities were heavily damaged in the process. This meant that the Belkan and Soukon navies would be unable to use the port as a base till it was repaired with only the extremely large city of Wunderwahl also having the facilities to maintain large, armored warships.

Marshal Alexandrios advanced quickly on Tavenna taking the city before it's defenses could be raised. Wurtbad would manage to ready it's defenses in time after fighting off a vanguard force of Belkan and Soukon Cavalry and prove to be a much hardier target as the combined force made to siege it. The commander of the city's garrison General Ljuda Rostok, who coincidentally had been a veteran of thirteen Belkan wars, had prepared physical and magical defenses at the sight of the enemy armies with barricades dotting the streets and holy water protection circles being drawn around it's limits. The Ercaenmedians had hoped that they would be able to hold for reinforcements from the army at Wunderwahl, initially only having to fight a few Divisions the defenders would be shocked to find 60,000 Belkans had encircled their city.

While Marshal Alexandrios had left behind two Corps to besiege Wurtbad under Marshal Julian his own force of four Corps would advance to Wunderwahl and begin maneuvering to entice the Ercaenmedians into a battle. This would culminate In the Battle of Pinz-On-The-Sea which would see half of the Allied force routed but victorious with the fire support of several Neo-Triremes. With the defeat of the main Ercaenmedian field army on the coast Alexandrios began a wide encirclement of the city while awaiting Field Marshall Irons and his two fresh Corps. The Belkan and Soukon force would attempt to cut the city off from all resupply and reinforcements but crucially it was still able to maintain a link to fresh food via the sea.

Three weeks of siege had left Wurtbad burning and in ruins but still standing, the city had endured a full scale assault on the walls just a week before with a force lead by elite Shock-Halberdiers and Freemen Champions barely beaten back, but in the third week it would come under an aerial assault. While all Belkan forces brought with them a few squadrons of Eagle Fighters (unless they were fighting farther south where Smelter's disease was much more common) they were no match for the powerful Wyvern riders of the Ercaenmedian military. So when the Belkan Air Force committed squadrons of Aero-Maschinen and Griffins to the assault on Wurtbad air superiority was finally able to be won, with Belkan Zeppelins and Aero-Cruisers beginning to bomb the formidable city. The city would finally be taken when regiments of the "High-Jumpers" Shock-Halberdiers parachuted into the city and opened it's gates to the waiting Belkan army, very few inside were spared by the vengeful besiegers.

Concurrently with the capture of Wurtbad the Belkan and Soukon Navies would win the Battle of Toulon Gulf, forcing much of the Ercaenmedian Ignan Fleet to flee north to Rhinosol or Belkor or be destroyed by the overwhelming firepower of the Allied Fleet. This would exhaust the last of the ammunition of the Belkan-Soukon Armada so when they made steam to blockade Wunderwahl it was hoped that their presence alone would dissuade all shipping.

The Siege of Wunderwahl and the End of the Campaign:

With Marshal Julian marching the remnants of his forces to Wunderwahl the Belkans began their bombardment of what was once one of the largest cities in Western Autia, Zeppelin raids were proposed at first but it's Sky-Cannon defenses were much too heavy resulting in the losses of several of the precious machines. Entrenched howitzers and superheavy mortars would make a ruin of the once proud city as field artillery would pound away at it's massive walls. But the assault was taking far too long for Marshal Irons liking so he proposed a plan, having his finest Lancers round up several Necromancers from among the population and bring them to him. He informed the Necromancers that with the amount of dead produced by the city their would be many suitable hosts that they could rise to open the gates and let this army in, while he could just ignore the city and head farther south it's garrison was much too big and capable of wrecking his supply lines. The Necromancers were given a chance between this mission or death, with all but one closing death rather than betraying their country, the only one who would agree would be the Coward Legrand who began preparations for this great feat of necromancy.

After two further weeks of bombardment and preparation the ritual that would damn Legrand forever in the eyes of the Ercaenmedian people was enacted and a horde of shambling Undead arose in Wunderwahl as Belkan and Soukon shock troopers with ladders approached the walls, a force of Cockatrice Knights rushed towards the city gates as well. What the Belkans did not know was that zombies are quite incapable of feats of dexterity such as opening gates, leading the Belkan Knights being butchered by Steam-powered gatling guns, but their appearance allowed the Allied Shock Corp to take the walls after an extremely deadly battle. The Allied shock troops on the walls fired signal rockets calling for the rest of the army to begin a full attack on the city as they rushed to open the main gates to the city. Soukon Hoplites with Fire-Sarrissas and Belkan Halberdiers would hold their positions at the Gates for hours as the rest of the army raced towards the city, holding against an overwhelming wave of Ercaenmedian Hussars and Pikemen, with the last of them falling as the first Belkan Tercion entered the gates. The city's garrison mobilized to seal the breach in the city's walls with Silver Guard Riflemen blasting away at Belkan Musketeers and the lines met, with the overwhelming numbers on the Belkan side allowing them to push back the defenders and deeper into the city though they would pay a heavy price. After two hours of melee at the Gates the Belkans finally were able to bring the bulk of their army inside the city, adopting loose formation to fight among the rubble of the ruined urban area, leaving behind pikes for Swords and Warhammers. With the Gates taken it was just a manner of time till the city fell, first the Merchant Quarter, then the Port Quarter leaving on the Government Quarter and Fort Trumter still in Ercaenmedian control.

Dug in Volley Guns made a mockery of the breastplates and armor of the Belkan Infantry, lone wizards picking off commanders from apartment roofs and crude undead monstrosities would be summoned to fight waves of Halberdiers leading to multiple city blocks being leveled by field and heavy artillery.

After three days of fighting Fort Trumter fell to the Belkan army leaving the Civil District as the only part of the city still in Ercaenmedian hands, Governor Paolo Chung vowed to never surrender to the invaders and had the rest of the Militia gather around the Governor's Palace. The city would surrender two days later.

With Wunderwahl under Belkan control Ercaenmedian resistance along the rest of the coastline would collapse with the Belkans fortifying the cities under their control, allowing for fresh reinforcements to be brought from Belkan proper as well as Soukos. On the other coastline the campaign would go even better with the Belkans driving as far south as the Westphallican border, cutting off Ercaenmedia from Alkor with the successful battle for Arnodts Warf.

The Dimension Hopping Ship[edit]

A storm descends upon the Dead Man's Sea. Inconvenient for those used to sailing the open seas, but far from devastating. On the deck of one Alkorian patrol vessel, a pair of watchmen stand resolute. The majority of the crew has gone below to play some weird Union card game that's been going around recently. The thick mist sets in around them and they stare ahead, bored yet determined not to fail in their service. Suddenly, a flash of blinding light. Off the starboard side, the mist suddenly clears, and the two watchmen are greeted with the sight of pic related, belching steam and abuzz with panicking, warmly-dressed northerners. Along her proud and scarred bow reads a variety of symbols, completely foreign to the Alkorian sailors. The two watchmen, too stunned to move, make eye contact with one of the wide-eyed northerners. Despite his obvious distress, he waves in an almost apologetic manner. Moments later the mysterious ship vanishes with a thunderous crack, leaving nothing but the storm, the Alkorian vessel and a pair of particularly stupefied seamen behind. The two sit in silence for but a moment, before the leftmost sailor suddenly turns towards his companion: "...Well Tom, old chap, I don't imagine anyone's going to believe this one."

Somebody recently came up with a ship in the Steampunk setting that basically gets thrown haphazardly across a variety of /tg/ worlds. Just a little writefaggotry on one of its visits, doesn't actually affect anything. Carry on.

The Malorite War[edit]

History:

Although generally not considered a trading nation, the Kingdom of Yr does sometimes trade gold for rare strategic resources that will help it in its never-ending war with Nantes. About a hundred years ago, the Union conquered the Malsolia Coast, and began exporting large quantities of Malorite Ore. Yr quickly found several arcane uses for Malorite and became one of the main purchasers of the ore. However, about fifty years later, the Imperium of Dright, using a mix of lucrative trade deals and the threat of invasion, managed to acquire a monopoly on all Malorite exported from Malsolia.

Angered by this perceived slight, Yr unleashed its best succubi, demagogues, and demonbinders against both Dright and the Union to stir up rebellions, summon demons, and forge strange and new creations from captured vehicles and equipment. Sensing weakness, Alkor, Belkan, and Harlbourg took the opportunity to conquer several colonies belonging to the Union and Dwight, and even some belonging to the Shahdom (allied to The Union at the time).

By the time the dust settled, the alliance of Alkor, Belkan, and Harlbourg had acquired several small colonies, but more importantly, Malsolia gained its independence from The Union, and agents of Yr continue to cause havoc against the Dright to this day.

Present Situation:

Arguably the Malorite War never really ended, it just entered a slower moving phase. Malsolia signed trade deals with Dwight, which also provides it with a certain amount of protection against the Union, though everyone knows eventually the Union will try to retake Malsolia. Secret deals have been signed between Yr and the Union to split Malsolia between them, and the increased cooperation between these two old enemies is becoming increasingly apparent to everyone else. Meanwhile, Utopian privateers harass nearly everyone except Malsolia and the Freedom Coalition, the Freedom Coalition sabotages the remaining Union colonies, the Shahdom tries to regain relevance on the continent by assisting Malsolia, Malsolia seeks to start a war between The Union and the Maritime Khurultai, and Alkor and the Lapus Elves wait to see what opportunities the next phase of this war will bring.

Factions:

The Union - The loss of Malsolia and several other minor colonies was a significant humiliation for The Union, and they have invested significantly modernizing a portion of their air force and navy, and fortifying their remaining colonies since then. Up until recently, their efforts were almost constantly thwarted by Yrian sabotage, but the recent alliance with Yr means their main rivals are now the Freedom Coalition, Utopia, and Dright, none of whom have proven nearly as adept at subterfuge as Yr. For the past several years they have slowly been building up a substantial sized force among the island chains west of Lapus, and it is only a matter of time before they assault Malsolia directly. Unlike their infamously poorly equipped militias back home, the Union military units in the Lapus region have fairly modern equipment, though their lack of magic users (officially) remains a weakness.

Imperium of Dright - Dright was also harmed by the events of fifty years ago, but not as badly. By backstabbing the Union at the height of the previous war, they were allowed to establish many trade concessions in Malsolia, while several other mines gave Dright favorable terms in Malorite exports. However, Dright has many enemies in this region. Their vessels and trade concessions are raided by both The Union and Yr, while back in the core Dright nation, Yrian agents continue to sponsor rebellions, summon demons, and create strange, new "Iron Beasts". Due to their inability to breath normal air, as well as the general selfishness of the Dright race, the Dreeght themselves make up only a relatively small portion of the Dright Imperium's oversea forces. Instead they rely heavily on foreign mercenaries like Balorians, Lindgrubians, evil minded fey, Afzen Amazons, Union renegades, Arctic Elves, Darhuns, Harbourgians, and orcs. On their home turf, they continue to rely heavily on mercenaries, though lower class Dreeght also quite common among security forces and slave handlers. Since humans and most other races require expensive specialized masks to operate safely in the core areas of Dright, relying completely on mercenaries simply isn't an option. Mercenary work for Dright pays very well, and comes with high end loaned equipment and other side benefits, but thanks to Drights sinister reputation, only the most amoral mercenaries will work for them, many of whom have no qualms about turning against their employer if the odds are against them.

Kingdom of Yr - Never a strong nation to begin with, the centuries old war with Nantes has sapped much of their people and economy even before the coup by demon worshippers and their creations. Since then, there has been massive emigration, as well as the sacrifice and/or enslavement of much of the remaining population. Therefore, particularly with the war with Nantes ongoing, the Yrians have become masters of using demonbinding and demonic magic in ways even other demon worshippers find reckless. Conventional forces are reserved mostly for defensive duties, while summon demons and demon infused constructs are used for most offensive fighting. In the Lapus Theatre, Yr's small navy is mostly used to ship Malorite from their concessions and small colonies back to Yr. Likewise, soldiers mostly guard the concessions and colonies rather than be used offensively. Instead, shapeshifting succubi and Yrian warlocks cause havoc behind enemy lines with assassinations, enchantments, sabotage of key equipment, unleashing summoned demons to wreck havoc, and creating Iron Beasts and other constructs to attack, spy, or sabotage. Yr is hated for their demon worshipping ways, and is attacked by nearly everyone in the region, likewise, they freely attack anyone in the region when the mood strikes them, though Dright remains their favorite target, where desperate slaves are easily converted to demon worship. However, foreign intelligence groups have noted the Union and Yr are working increasingly in lockstep.

Malsolia - Malsolia has been preparing for the inevitable Union retaliation for ages. Malsolia has a reasonable sized stockpile of military equipment captured from the Union, including many ships. On top of this, they are sometimes able to infuse particularly reckless individuals with magic via primitive experiments with Malorite. However, the general consensus is they can't handle the Union by themselves, particularly now that the Yrians are involved. Malsolia receives some support from Dright, the Shahdom, the Freedom Coalition, and Utopia, but Alkor has thus far refused to help out as long as trade treaties favor Dright.

Utopia - The fighters of Utopia consist mostly of recruits from the Nantic States, aided by members of the Silver Goddesses Amazon tribe. They possess several highly fortified island bases, and a range of captured ships used for privateering. Highly idealistic, they raid pretty much anyone, including the Union, Yr, and Afrolia, who they see as evil, as well as any Alkorian or Harbourgian vessel suspected of being involved in slavery. They are allied with Malsolia, and as a result, grudgingly leave Dright vessels alone, though refuse to leave Afrolia vessels alone, a frequent source of tension between Malsolia, Dright, and Utopia. Utopia is also allied with the Freedom Coalition for raids against the Union, and with Aquatica for raids against pretty much anyone except Afrolian and Alkor.

Afrolia - The main supplier of slaves to Dright, Afrolia is seen as essential to keeping the Imperium's economy running, due to their tendency to give low quality gas masks to slaves. Afrolia ships are frequently targeted by the Union, Yr, and Utopia. Alkor grudgingly protects Afrolia ships due to an ancient treaty, but due to their hatred of Dwight, Alkor is slow to aid Afrolia compared to in other regions of the world. A notable exception to this are the Narrowstead Guards, a quasi-government mercenary force of Alkorian vessels paid hansomely to guard Afrozil assets regardless of the morality involved.

Alkor - Alkor remains a major player in this region, but for now tries to preserve its forces until others have weakened each other first. The general consensus is that they will likely protect their existing assets while letting the Union, Yr, and Dright wear each other down, before offering Malsolia their protection in return for favorable trade terms. They occasionally skirmish with Yr and Utopia, but for now neither Alkor nor the Union is keen on fighting each other in this region.

Account of Karle Montineuo, survivor of the Long Dawn shipwreck on the coast of Dead Man's Hand.[edit]

"What? Oh. I see. Very well. I will relay what I can, as best I can. Are you ready? Alright."

"The weather had been rather poor for several days you see, as is often the case in dead man sea. Cold water, it beats around often. So we had been hunkered largely below deck, occupying ourselves with stories and cards as usual. It was a few days in when the ship took on water. What? No. As I said I was below deck, I don't know what exactly caused us to break apart. A loud crack, that is what I heard. Anyways, everything went south very rapidly. I hardly had time to get the boots on my feet before I was knee deep in icey water. We were quite far north. Running supplies to the northern colonies for our contract. Storms blew us off course I suppose. I didn't make it to a life boat, I don't think many did. I was fortunate not to stuck inside the ship or I would have surely drowned. Lucky I didn't in the churn either, but I grabbed a barrel of rations that stayed afloat. That's it. All I remember of the ship breaking up. Got a smoke? I would like one before I continue. Thank you."

"Anyways, when I came to, I was on a beach. Not a nice beach, mind you. Coarse sand and lots of rocks. My head was spinning and I think I swallowed some sea water. There wasn't much noise about, not at first. I hadn't gotten to my feet yet when I noticed there was a great big thing standing over me. What? Ogre? Sure that's what some call them. Northern breed. I had seen them before, in the colonies, they use them as slaves down there. Subjugated some of them. These ones weren't slaves. It seemed to notice I was awake and was leering at me. Didn't like my look I suppose. Before I could so much as shout it hoisted me right off the ground and tossed me a good ways. That's when I saw the real situation. Long Dawn had broken up and good bits had washed ashore. I had been hurled next to a small pile of others from the ship. Seamus. Captain Freely. I think Winslow. Burt was there. A younger fella, I didn't know his name he was new to the crew. Anyways, we were all lying about in a sorry state. Burt was bleeding from his side, below the ribs. He didn't look so good. The kid was sobbing. I can't blame him, poor kid. Two of the big bastards were near by to watch us I think. There were about ten more moving up and down the beach, pilfering our wreckage. Killing other survivors. I don't know why they hadn't killed us but ended them. A lot of our supplies didn't seem to interest them much really, they kept the dried meat though. Seamus chanced a question to see to me. He told me that he thought they were being real particular about the stuff they took, said they were pulling out the rifles they managed to find. I saw them do it too. One of the brutes took a long gun and snapped it in half with his hands. That's when they found it. What I think they'd been looking for. A cannon. It was one from the ship. We only had about half a dozen onboard and one made it ashore with us and the rest of the wreckage, it seems."

"When they found the thing, the cannon, a great cry was let out and they all began to move back to where they had us on the beach. The one that found it tossed it onto his shoulder and carried it over with him. They made a big fuss about it. Quite satisfied with their find, I think."

"Another smoke, please. Thanks again. I'm gunna need it."

"So that's when they turned their attention back on us. What? How many of us? Well everyone I told you about. One more man had been brought over, Javi, the cook. He was hurt real bad. Well it was about this time they started talking all around us. Rough speak. Harsh language. Ugly. Wasn't long before they were arguing amongst themselves. Seemed clear to me most of them wanted to kill us. The rest didn't, but I wasn't sure why. Not yet. Eventually they quit bickering and two of them stepped aside, dropped their weapons, and starting beating each other. The biggest ones from either group. They fought for what felt like an hour until one threw it in and quit. Apparently that settled the matter and they weren't going to kill us. Not all of us." >"They started with Captain Freely. You see, the captain was a noble man. No. I don't mean high birth. He was strong. Good head and good bearings. They took him aside and began to, well, I guess interrogate him. Lots of growling and yelling. Lots of arm waving an pointing at the cannon. Old Freely never blinked. The stones on him. He fought in some of Alkors wars when he was younger. Nothing cracked that man. Even when they brought the axe over, he didn't so much as look at them. They threatened him, waving it around all menacing. He looked at us, smiled, winked, and looked straight ahead. They were getting mad now. The Captain, bless him, sat up on his knees. Head high and straight. Looking at the ocean. They cut him in two, shoulder to waist. He never even flinched, I swear it."

"Sorry, a moment. These are the hard parts."

"When they killed the captain, the poor kid lost it. Started wailing and sobbing. They killed him next. I will hear that boy for the rest of my life. Squealing and crying. Poor kid. After that they killed Javi, and my good friend Seamus. Winslow too. They took me and Burt. I didn't think Burt was gunna make up, but the fella was tough. Real tough. They walked us for nearly a day. Real impateint with us. Too slow. They took more care for that damned cannon than Burt."

"Eventually they got us to where they wanted us. A great big castle. Fortress. City. I don't know. It was huge. I had seen something of their make before, in the colonies, but never one the bastards were actually using. One they were maintaining. When we got to it, I couldn't see the top. It was on a high ledge, you seex and they topmost part of the walls were in the low clouds. It looked like a buf castle, but it was nearly a city of the ogres inside. The gate was the biggest I have ever seen. The walls could have been part of a mountain they were so thick. They took us through the complex, a really maze. Took us to a sort of throne room. A whole mass of them were in there. Drinking, yelling, eating, fighting. Everything stopped as we were moved through the room. They all glared at us. Spit at us. They might have ripped us apart given the chance. That's the thing. They aren't savages, not really. They are strict. They took us right to the center, tossed us both on the floor in front of the biggest damn chair I've ever seen, right at the feet of the meanest one there."

"Ya, the general. That's what I came to know him as. Big bastard. Old too. Only had one eye. What? General. They had a term of their own. Not quite a king, as I understand it. No, I never understood a word of their language. That was the interpreter. They had a fella from Skyr-nada. I never learned how he got there. Torren was his name. He apparently has been a captive of theirs for years. Thing and scarred. Somehow he had learned their tongue, part of it at least. I guess that is why he was still alive. They used to talk to us. They big one spoke, he translated. We spoke, Torren translated. I owe Torren my life."

"They wanted to know how to use the cannon. They never made any of their own, you see. They didn't think much of our rifles but they were impressed by the cannon. I think it was the powder that escaped them. They wanted our secrets, they said. Wanted a demonstration. We refused, naturally. If you ever make it north you'll learn that their lack of gunpowder is the main edge we humans have against the brutes. We knew better. They pressed and pressed us. Got angry. Ol' Burt spit blood at them. Started cussing and yelling. They threw him on the fire. I knew my place at that point. Torren told me they would do it to me as well. Torren insisted that I'd die if I didn't help them. I was ready to die. All my friends had died. I didn't care. Torren convinced them to leave me be. Put me in the dungeon with him. I guess some suffering would loosen my lips."

"Kro.. Kro.. Krol... Krolgar! That was it. Krolgar. That's what they called the big one. Ha! I remembered. No that wasn't his name. That was what they called him. Torren called him the general."

"Where was I? Oh right, thank you. The Krolgar decided to keep me hostage like they had done with Torren. They took us down to a dark part of the fortress. Deep. Underground I think. Tossed me right in with him. The room was big enough for 30 men, but we were the only two in there. Torren had to just leave his waste on the floor. He had the sense to do it in one corner. I took another. I can't say how long they kept me. They came regularly though. Always took me to the cannon. Had Torren tell me to use it, I would refuse, and back in the dark we went. This went on for a long time. Torren and I spoke a lot. It was all we had to do to pass the time. He never told me about how he got captured though. I don't think it was a story he liked, which is saying something because Torren liked to talk. I learned a bit about the Ogres from him. Orgrillon, he called them. Said they were bright, all told. I knew something of them already from my traveling on the Long Dawn, but he lived with them. Said they despised us humans. Hate elves more apparently. Not sure why. Said there were a number of Krolgar. Generals. They each have a fortress and some land. Some want us wiped out. Torren told me that the general we were captured by didn't care about humans so much. He said that this one was looking north. I didn't know what that meant at first, I found out soon enough though. Torren said the general wanted our cannons to use them against some enemy, but apparently it wasn't the colonies he cared about."

"Right. So the enemy. I guess enemies is more correct. Elves? No I never saw any elves. I'll try to explain. Torren told me something about the ogres sending their warriors north from the fortress regularly. Always a great commotion. Always less coming back than left. I said it must be other ogres. He said they don't fight each other. I said giants. He said I was half right. Eventually I heard it. They had us outside, trying to get me to use the cannon again. I wasn't budging. Not at all. Then it happened. A roar. A shriek, maybe. Some great cry like an enraged crocuban or a tiger or some other kind of beast. It shook the fortress. It shook THEIR fortress. Before long every ogre in sight was running this way and that. Scurrying and yelling. The general was with us, hoping for a cannin demonstration. He smirked, believe it or not. I didn't know they even could. Grunted something to Torren, and Torren said I would see what they wanted our cannon for."

"They made us climb up. Real high. Took Torren and me to the top of their wall. The air was thin. Unpleasant. Birds were circling below us. They made us watch as the massive gates opened and a column of the ogres matched our and turned north. From how high we were they actually looked small. They took some great big ballistas with them, biggest I've seen. Before long we lost sight of the army, but eventually we heard the battle. Great screeches and roars. Tremors that shook...everything. When the column came back, it was had lost half of its fighters. The survivors dragged a massive thing behind them. The head of some beast. Bigger than a ship. The general pointed at the head. Pointed at me. Pointed at the cannon. He wanted the cannons to kill whatever the hell that thing was. I refused. Again. The brute nearly threw me from the wall. Torren saved me. Torren told him that I would show them how to use the cannon, but they had to free me. I never agreed to this, but freedom was tantalizing."

"Sorry, I'll continue shortly. I need one more smoke."

"So that is how we made a deal. Torren did all the work, I'll admit. In exchange for not throwing me from the wall, I would show them how to use a cannon and at the same time earn my freedom. What? What would you have done? How long can you eat rotten meat? No. Doomed? No. Those colonies haven't suffered yet. I doubt they have made that many cannons themselves. Do you want me to finish or not? Right."

"Anyways. The ogres had managed to grab some powder with what they took from the ship's wreck, but they didn't know what it was for. So I took what they had, a hard stone, and loaded the cannon. Fired it right at one of their big walls they were so proud of. Didn't make a dent, but they were very pleased. They had already recreated a few cannons, they were good with metal. The only powder they had was the small keg they took from the ship though and I couldn't tell them how to get more. I don't even know how to make it. Still, they were satisfied. They gave me fresh meat. Torren got some to. When they turned me loose I tried to bring him but they refused. He and I said our goodbyes and I left. They walked me to the beach where we had washed ashore, pointed me south, and left me there. Walked all the way to Arktikos. It took me longer than I would have liked. If it had been winter I never would have made it. Went to Skyr-nada to try and find Torren's family but I had no luck. Regrets? Yes. I lost my friends and left one behind. No, I'm not concerned about them building a few cannons. Why would I be? They seemed busy with those monsters. Besides, I won't be going to the north again. I'll stay here in Fox Bridge, where I'm comfortable."

"Anything else? No? Alright then, off with you."

The Ercaenepolis Incursion[edit]

Ercaenepolis is considered to be without a doubt the most important colony belonging to Ercaenmedi. It has a relatively high population ready for enlistment, serves as their main source of wyverns and mages and is very well defended from any attackers due to two series of mountains on both sides of Rinolsol helping create a terrain advantage should it ever be attacked from land. This had led to the region becoming a vital point in the ongoing Autian conflict due to its ability to send a new wave of reinforcements, one that would surely be enough to ensure victory for the EU through sheer outnumbering of their enemies. In fact this shipping of reinforcements was going to happen from what intelligence reports sent to generals in the army of the Soukos Republic in a weeks time. Grave news indeed for the Soukans as the allied military of the Western Pact was currently attempting to break through the stalemate that the conflict had boiled into with the Ercaenmedians furiously defending the center of their homeland from the intruders. Action had to be taken and as such, a plan was swiftly made to stop the reinforcements before they could reach Ercaenmedi known as "Operation Swift Wind" to outsiders. The initial steps as suggested by Marshal First Class Phausius Bella would be to lure out the leaders of Ercaenepolis through holding Ercaenmedian mages-in-training visiting Delphus as part of the exchange program between the nations hostage. Under the pretense of negotiation over the lives of these bright students the chief general from both parties would meet in between the borders of their nations to negotiate their release. This would lead into a deadly trap however as an elite cell would be dispatched to intercept and assassinate the leading general of Ercaenepolis as they were travelling to meet the Soukan leaders.

And so it was that as the Ercaenepolis general Pak Sun-Young travelled, a "natural" avalanche from the nearby mountain would isolate him from his men. This occurrence was caused through clever manipulation of the earth by a Soukan mage hidden in a nearby cave and as the general was momentarily isolated from aid a group of Amazon and Satyr skirmishers dashed out from hidden crevices and made quick work of the poor man. The Amazons and Satyrs then fled deep into the mountain passes as the wyverns and honor guard accompanying the general gave chase. Their chase however would lead them into the open fangs of the 84th Field Artillery regiment "Zeupiter's Thunderers" as their dragon killer ballista which were stationed in waiting fired off a salvo into the hearts of the wyverns striking them down and the cannon crew shot up the furious guard in a firefight between the two. The assassination had been a success and the Seventh Host of Ten Thousand Spears captained by Senior Field Marshal Paios Flavius was awaiting orders to send the 21st Aerial Squadron and the 14th Hoplite Company through the pass alongside his personal force of Bronze Boar riders, one of which he was riding himself as a remnant of his days as a Sparathan mounted captain. The orders would have to wait however as back home a turbulent situation was unfolding among the Grand Senate House in Athiens where a war council with representatives from each city-state had been called. The city of Delphus was refusing to send any of its mages to assist in the incursion out of anger for the captured mages who were under their jurisdiction being held captive without any prior warning. They even refused to heed the warnings of Dimitar threatening a revolt against the other city-states if they were made to send their forces to assist in the assault. Infighting at such a vital point in time was clearly going to be the undoing of this whole venture meaning the point was grudgingly conceded.

By this point the city-states could spare no time arguing amongst themselves as precious time was being lost every minute and all city-states who were not opposed to the war dispatched large chunks of their own armies to the border marking the beginning of the incursion. By now the colonial government of Ercaenepolis had received notice of the assassination via messenger monkey and had gone into full alert to prevent this invasion. The mountain passes had been heavily fortified with the 245th Reinforced Gunners, the largest force available to the Ercaenmedians standing guard over the mountain passes confident that none of the outdated hoplites would ever get past their firing line. They were further backed up with the aid of four moving skycannons, the Ercaenepolis levy and the remnants of the 127th Wyvern Riders alongside several more regiments and led by newly promoted general Li Bao taking the place of their deceased general. The Soukans had learned from what little their surviving Satyr scouts who hid in the mountains could view of the enemy army that the Ercaenmedians were using a massive entrenched line of gunners covering every possible mountain pass as their primary strategy alongside wyverns surveying the peaks. They had already intercepted several attempted skirmishes by necromancers and battle mages sent by the Ercaenepolis Mage Academy using a firing line of their own, the renowned Fonias-Pattern Repeater Crossbowmen sent from Athiens meaning that their enemy was anticipating an attempted mountain crossing. Such a thought process would be only natural for the Ercaenmedians, however they didn't know Rinolsol like the Soukans did. This island was their homeland and they knew of a secondary method of traversing the mountains, albeit a far riskier one that would be difficult to pull off even if the crossing was successful. The Labyrinths.

If one was to successfully traverse that eldritch maze they would find themselves right behind the open lines of the gunners and with a bit of luck cut a wound through the line before getting cut down by the melee infantry. Enough of a wound that the main hoplite force would get enough time to head through the passes and destroy the remnants of the firing line with their enchanted weapons and far superior skill. As such the legendary Craetan beastmaster Lynceus Baros was chosen and given this quest. To cross the maze and break the line even if she'd almost certainly perish in the endeavor, either in the labyrinth or against the Ercaenmedians. A great military parade was held in honor of her sacrifice around the nearest entrance into the labyrinth as the warriors of Soukos watched with bated breath as she, alongside her battle hydra and enslaved medusa descended into the maze. Her exact fate is unknown from that point onwards but from what can be gathered, she travelled across the convoluted paths that are the labyrinths and encountered a series of trials, perhaps tests by the Soukan gods to prove her worth and whether their children were might enough to deserve their favor in this engagement? Whatever the result is, from what the prisoners of war taken from the Ercaenepolis militia answered when questioned on what happened in the tense period of waiting that occurred as the beastmaster travelled the labyrinths state is that from seemingly out of nowhere a haggard looking yet furious warrior emerged victorious as a hydra suddenly charged into the lines of the reinforced gunners tearing through the poor souls. The firing lines were devastated by this surprise attack as any wyverns who tried to swoop down and help were turned into stone statues by the baleful gaze of a medusa.

he hydra had wrought a deadly toll upon the Ercaenmedians that day with its multiple heads each chewing on a different soldier and charging body knocking them to the ground as they were trampled but eventually it was overwhelmed by the far greater numbers its enemies had with them. As the hydra fell both the beastmaster and the remaining medusa fought till the end as they were surrounded and eventually slain with the medusa in particular closing the distance between the Ercaenmedians skycannons with horrific speed before they could turn and fire slicing them and their crew apart with its bloodthirsty halberd. The Soukan forces on the other side of the pass were quickly notified of these events through their scouts hidden across the mountains and believing that in these actions their gods were with them charged forwards through the pass as the shields of their hoplites blocked the remaining bullets from the gunners. The Ercaenmedians didn't cede this position easily though as many boulders were rolled down into groups of hoplites crushing them and mages fired down with magic spells riding wyverns above that in turn would be shot down. The forces of the republic did not turn back nor fear in the end as they managed to pour through the pass and engaged the remaining warriors in melee combat as the tide was slowly turning in their favor. During the madness of the battle general Li Bao was said to have died in a duel against Soukan general Onamakritos the sky-master, destroyed under the treads of the pegasus chariot the general gained his title for. By this point Blackadder pass and the surrounding mountain passes had been seized by the Soukos Republic with the remaining militia resorting to guerilla tactics and skirmishes as they waited for reinforcements to arrive. No matter their numbers, the main advantage the Ercaenmedians had throughout this battle of having fortified the mountains had been lost and every minute new Soukan troops were coming through.

By this point the city-states had chose to send in their main armies now that the most challenging aspect of the invasion was over and the main Ercaenmedian force shattered. A few monster tribes had been sent as auxiliaries to stop the Soukans on their way to the capital but by this point the Ercaenmedians had gone into full damage control. Knowing that their main army and strategy had been bested they instead chose to go on with their original goal and evacuated their civilians and important leaders alongside their remaining soldiers/mages to serve as Ercaenmedian reinforcements in the war back in Autia. They might have lost the colony today but their remaining forces, of which a respectable amount of mages had survived would surely turn the tide in the war. The Soukans arrived at the gates of their former cities colonized by the Ercaenmedians but found that the remaining population had fled. Extremely confused, they set to making a garrison inside the cities which would soon be restored as city-states as part of these lands now belonging to Soukos alone. The Ercaenmedian fleet dispatched from Ercaenepolis met quite an unfortunate fate while sailing to their homeland as they had encountered the Soukan reinforcements who had also been sent at around the same time (this isn't out of nowhere, I checked and apparently Soukan reinforcements are coming and I thought I'd have the two meet) as the two immediately tried to get an estimate on the size of each other's fleets. Both had similar numbers of men and ships with the Ercaenmedians sending 200 war junks and 50 ironclads while the Soukans had 150 neo-triremes and 5 sea-forts. The two sides have currently engaged in naval combat with the outcome being unclear.

The War of Ice and Wrath[edit]

Niscenorean Strength

King Terucca Heru "Stone Heart"

Mage Priest Talar Holacca

Lords Maya Forthencos, Erasma Tomadoya, Selvar Echantria, Tochla Motachla of their Respective Noble Houses

Sea Lord Magister of the Southern Seas Dendratha Maltia Urraca

The Seven Unnamed Masters of the Style of the Forbidden Golden Moon

750,000 Elven Militia

300,000 Elven Warriors

250,000 Ice Constructs

1,000 Ice Giants

3,000 Siege Mechanisms (Primarily Ballistas but some cannons and trebuchets as well)

100 Dragons

3,000 Drake-Knights

The Entire Niscenorean Royal Fleet

Sartyrian Strength

King Blessed Sacrement of the Freshly Formed Blade

Royal Champion Elfslayer, Destroyer of the Strong

Lords Masterwork Blade, Fair in Rule The Noblest of Nobles, A Kiss for the Departed Soul

300,000 Sartyrian Warriors

100,000 Militia

1,000,000+ Fire Constructs

100 Ancient World Dragons

1,000 Dragon-Spawn

Numerous Castles and their Defenses

The Niscenorean Fleet blew through the Sartyrian Armada on their way to Ignis. And it would be with good reason , while the Arks of the Niscenoreans were massive and powerful it was clear the Sartyrians wanted them to come.

The beaches near the city of Omartha would become the landing ground for the invasion force. The Niscenoreans would break down into several independent forces for easier control by their respective commanders each with their own integrated Drake units, while the force of Dragon-Riders would come under control of the King himself to act as a mobile reserve to plug gaps in the line. The Niscenoreans would first come in contact with Sartyrian ground forces of the City Lord Blinded Judgement of the city of Omartha, he would meet the vanguard of 50,000 Niscenorean Warriors outside the gates of the port with his own warriors and at least a hundred thousand fire-imps.

He positioned his elite Sword Lords and Spear Wardens on the flanks of his army with his constructs in the center to absorb the blows of the Niscenorean Warriors with a mass of bodies and flames.

In response to this move Lord Tochla Motachla positioned his Archers on the flanks to skirmish away at the most elite Sartyrian Infantry as well as his heavy Cavalry, his own Infantry would be used to hold the line long enough for reinforcements to arrive and for the elite but outnumbered Niscenorean Cavalry to defeat the Brazen Fire Cutters of the Sartyrian host.

Stag Knights and some elite Demi-Leopard Seal riders crashed into the Sartyrian lines after the Archer Corp had used up all of it's ammunition, the bulk of their mounts and their Spears breaking the Sartyrian formations but being far less devastating than was hoped. While the initial line of Sword Lords, including a Regiment of the dual greatsword wielding Order of the Cutting Arc, were pushed down by the mass of the charge many if the warriors soon returned to their feet, with the Spear Wardens behind them breaking their Shield wall and charging into the melee. Ice-enchanted blades met fire-blessed steel as the Knightly warriors tried to escape the melee, but by the time they managed to flee both sides had lost almost half their numbers.

The Niscenorean Cavalry were pursued away from the battlefield by hounds with fire in their eyes leading the Polar Elves at a significant disadvantage, it was far too late for them to run as the infantry engagement began.

A wild, ferocious mass of fire-men began pushing against the Niscenorean Shield Wall, belching fire into faces and setting elves alight. But the Niscenoreans didn't break, the Cavalry battle had significantly delayed the Sartyrian advance on the flanks allowing their formation to focus their fury on the constructs alone, with the Elven Spear and Halberds tearing them apart at a ferocious rate.

But it was not enough, there were far too many, and the first of the Sartyrian Warriors began the crush into the flanks and rears of the engaged Niscenoreans, cutting a swathe through their ormations as the back ranks of Niscenoreans turned to engage them, fury and millennia of practice met discipline and hardened hearts as the Ice Sworn held their ground.

Because their minds were clear, senses sharpened and they could hear the sounds of great wings flapping at speed towards them.

King Stone Heart was originally weary about committing his precious Dragons to the assault on Omartha, the city's defenses were strong and while his beasts were mighty mass ballista fire still could slay them, but he heeded Lord Motachla's request to keep several of his fastest Dragons nearby incase he required aid.

And it looked like his forethought paid off as a score of the great Wyrms crashed into the host of Sartyr. While the Black Elves were supernaturally quick and easily avoided the charge of the beasts their Constructs were not so lucky as thousands were flattened under their massive bulk. Archers and halberdiers in their howdahs attop the massive beasts would also begin wracking up a mighty tally as the Dragons were committed to the center of the the Niscenorean lines.

Seeing the appearance of the beasts, and rapidly losing control over their Constructs as Pyromancers became pin cushions for arrows the Sartyrians began to throw themselves even harder at the Niscenorean lines, scores of Elven dead began to litter the ground with most of them wearing the noble livery of Niscenorea.

After several hours of melee the last Sartyrian fell and the battle was over at an immensely high price, seven out of every ten of Lord Motachla's warriors had fallen and the great Dragons Erranad and Osteo were both beheaded in battle.

With the majority of the garrison defeated Omartha fell easily, the city's inhabitants having already fled, and Arks and other much smaller vessels began to unload their cargoes of warriors and supplies there as the Niscenoreans prepared a much larger offensive.