Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Blazing Garden

The largest and most populated region of the Outer World is also the most contested. Directly following the 3rd Cataclysm, the undisputed ruler of the area was Emperor Regulus, master of the great Sun Machine and overlord of the golden city of Aeon. Built in an strange, alien style, the golden city has an almost serpentine feel to it. Dominated by smooth, circular structures that spiral comfortably upwards and grand works of art, it is a sight to behold - though many cannot shake an uncomfortable feeling that the spectacle gives them.

Mechanoids of the old world toil away so the citizens of Aeon are free from most, if not all manual labor. Their forced subservience to the Sun King is meant as a constant reminder of his victories over the world of humanity. Those who manage to assert their free will attempt escape as soon as they can - being found out would likely cost them more than just their freedom.

Regulus' influence is still great in the area, as his "chosen" (the Promethean) still act as overlords for his shining city and many of the lands surrounding it. But the golden grip of Sol has loosened; The Bruun rebellion and the subsequent formation of several of their own nations opened a flood gate of sorts. The Bruun themselves favor loose societal structures over rigid order; having been without any sort of culture for so long, they are busy trying to figure themselves out. Their small settlements (with necessarily large shelters) can be found on the edges of the great temperate forests that dominate the northeastern portion of the Blazing Garden.

The southern half of the region is known The Folkland, a flat and grassy area that is home to the great nations of the Obake and their Rai-Neko allies. King Pride of the Shifter's Confederation has publicly refused Regulus' offer of alliance and has gone so far as to denounce the Emperor as a dangerous tyrant. Rumors suggest that the Rai-Neko council has not only provided the Confederation with advanced weapons and technology, but also with a secret that justifies their current animosity with the Sun King. King Pride's base of operations and current capital is the city of Lionesse, which is built around a grand structure that some claim is the crashed vessel that brought the Rai-Neko to the Outer World.

A piece of unclaimed land lies between Regulus and Pride, simply called No Folk's Home - an area that once housed the great human technocracy of Erguss. Left in shambles due to the War of Sol, what remains is a series of ruined cities, desperate groups of human refugees and berserk machines that are attempting to collect and corral what they see as wayward sheep. Those who escape the area often find their knowledge of Old World technology to be very valuable - and those willing to brave travel in the area can salvage many relics and treasures of the past. Assuming they aren't torn apart or captured for experimentation, of course.

Estaria, a recently founded nation in No Folk's Home has already attained a certain level of infamy. It is said the government is made up almost entirely of adventurers from the Wistful Dark and that their wizard king has turned away messengers from both Regulus and Princess Seika of the Twilight Meridian. Nearly every power in the region has begrudgingly admitted that this province may be one to watch in the future.

Interaction between the disparate species is politely ambivalent, for the most part. The Obake and Rai-Neko clearly get along quite well, and are often more than happy to work with friendly Bruun and even Mechanoids (even if the Neko tend to be uncomfortably curious about the latter). Wandering Prometheans are often treated coolly, and far too many Bruun recall the indignities suffered by their parents to look on them with anything less than quiet hatred.

For better and worse, the Blazing Garden is teeming with life. The constant sunlight and moderate rainfall means the land is covered in lush greenery, which supports the massive beasts that wander the area. Folks in the region tend to be hardy and efficient as a result; finding food is never a difficult task, but claiming it can be a different thing entirely.

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