Nations and Cultures
"Five minutes after my birth, and my name, nationality, and religion were all decided. I have spent the rest of my life defending that over which I had no choice. No more."
Filgaia and Lunar have a number of nations spread across them. Kingdoms and empires, city-states and tribes, the peoples of these two worlds are many and varied. This document does not provide a comprehensive overview of each culture on Filgaia and Lunar. The administration doesn't want to provide in-depth detail on that level, to allow players room to feel comfortable to create minor detail and foster an environment where making a small mistake is fine. These are liner notes to explain the most important aspects of the many groups that characters may encounter on the game.
- 1 Filgaia
- 2 Lunar
- 3 See also...
Kingdom of Adlehyde
Ruler: King Justin II
Notable Towns: Adlehyde, Saint Centour, Port Timney
Adlehyde is one of the three great kingdoms on the Ignas Continent. It occupies the southeastern part of the continent. It enjoys greater stability, more arable land, and more peace than its neighbors, Aveh and Kislev. Like the other two kingdoms, it is a monarchy. However, the merchants of Adlehyde are powerful, and have won representation on a council to the king that insures the common man receives more representation in governance than its peers.
Life in Adlehyde isn't easy, but it is easier than most parts of Filgaia. The desertification that gripped Aveh is only at Adlehyde's borders, and its farmers pull in a decent harvest every year. The towns and villages in Adlehyde's countryside are peaceful. Conversely, Adlehyde's military is not as strong as its neighbors. ARMs are rare in Adlehyde, because it is largely a nation of farmers. The recent discovery of four Golems has increased its might considerably, as it has few Gears. Settlements in Adlehyde are often left on their own, being simple farming communities ruled by a nobleman or a council -- and, in turn, they are more vulnerable to dangers than the townships in Aveh and Kislev.
The capital of Adlehyde shares the kingdom's name. Adlehyde sits near the southern coast, on a broad plain that includes a considerable amount of the nation's farms. The city is at a crossroads, which makes it rich in trade. The heart of the city is Adlehyde Castle, an old stone fortification built some four hundred years ago.
Republic of Aveh
Ruler: Prime Minister Shakhan
Notable Towns: Bledavik, Dazil, Lahan
Aveh is one of the three great kingdoms of the Ignas continent. Aveh was reformed as a republic 15 years ago, when the last king of the Fatima Dynasty -- Edbart Fatima -- was overthrown and executed following popular uprisings over the monarchy's handling of the desertification crisis, which claimed most of the kingdom's arable land and devastated its commons. King Edbart's former prime minister -- Javid Shakhan -- has ruled ever since.
Aveh lies at the centre of one of the largest battlegrounds from the Metal Demon Wars, and in recent years the republic's economy has been revitalized thanks to the excavation of ARMs. The country is in an active and heated war with the neighbouring Kislev Empire, which regularly raids into Aveh territory to claim excavated technology, particularly Gears, for itself.
Life in Aveh is hard. Desert has consumed most of the country, and the sands grow with each passing year. Still, the clear and present danger of Kislev -- combined with the brisk trade flowing through excavation hubs like Dazil -- has bolstered Shakhan's popularity considerably within central Aveh. In the border regions, however, things are more grim, and memories of the Fatima kings more favourable.
Recently, Shakhan announced that a force known as Gebler -- said to be an arm of the Solaris military -- has been aiding Aveh in its war against Kislev. The battle lines have shifted northeast, and Kislev is dug in heavily in a relatively narrow mountain pass along the border. Raids into Aveh territory are still common, but the highly mobile Gebler forces are punishing them.
Notable Towns: Little Twister, June City, Boot Hill, November City, Humphrey's Peak
The Badlands, officially, is part of Aveh. It fills the western part of Aveh, essentially occupying all of western Ignas. It is a lawless land; the cities and towns here consist of independent city-states, either broken away from Aveh's direct rule or survivors of the Night of Falling Stars. The deserts here are the fiercest on the whole continent: dry, arid, and blazing hot year round.
Life is difficult here. The cities that have Plants have a better time of it, with a source of power and water. Powers like June City and November City rule their small tract of desert without much trouble. However, many towns are much smaller, desperately making ends meet with cattle driving, ranching, and mining. Towns like Boot Hill and Little Twister get by on hard work and hard living.
ARMs and Drifters are common here. People here are suspicious, but not hateful of ARMs because they need them. Drifters are frowned on, but they bring the only law and order that this region can hope to find. The wealthier cities hope to hire Drifters; the poorer towns hope that the Drifters won't turn outlaw. Ruins are common here and the region promises incredible wealth for those who will risk its dangers.
Ruler: Kaiser Sigmund
Notable Towns: Nortune
The Kislev Empire dominates the east of Ignas, where tight mountain passes have served as a bulwark against both the effects of desertification and the territorial ambitions of its neighbours. The ruler of Kislev, Kaiser Sigmund, was rumoured to be close with King Edbart of the Fatima Dynasty; since the latter's death, Kislev and Aveh have been in a state of open war.
While Kislev has a few small settlements in the northeast portions of the country, the majority of its wealth and power is concentrated in the capital of Nortune, a sprawling industrial city like nothing else on the surface of Filgaia. Nortune's population is close to three million, and lives in regulated, segregated districts based on a letter system and divided by occupation and income. Even so, life in Nortune is easier than most parts of Filgaia -- massive coal deposits near the capital served as a cheap and reliable source of energy through much of the last two centuries, and even the poorest parts of the city are typically lit and heated by gas and steam. In recent years, the construction of a massive reactor in the heart of Nortune has sparked a wave of new industry.
Kislev is most famous for its Battling Tournament -- a series of ongoing fighting competitions similar to the Lacour Tournament of Arms, but fought with Gears. Participants are furnished their Gears by a central Battling Committee, and are promised (and more remarkably, given) wealth and privilege with each victory. For prisoners and other lower-class citizens, the promise of quick gella is a hard one to resist. For Kislev, the benefit is twofold: in addition to its entertainment value, the Battling Tournament serves as a test ground for their weapons development programs.
As a result of the Battling Tournament, Kislev's Gears are the most powerful on the surface of Filgaia... or at least were thought to be, until the emergence of Gebler. Even the battle-tested forces of Kislev are sorely pressed by the advanced technology of this new force, and have dug into the mountain passes to make their stand and await developments.
Ruler: Holy Mother Marguerite
Notable Towns: Nisan
Located on an island immediately northwest of Aveh, the country Nisan is home to the Nisan religious sect. Traditionally a peaceful and religious country, Nisan has close ties with its neighbour; the kings of the Fatima Dynasty frequently chose their wives from among the senior leadership of the church.
The country's only city, Nisan, is located on an island sitting in a lake that has formed in a large crater. The current Holy Mother of the Nisan Sect -- Marguerite Fatima -- has formal authority over the country, although most day-to-day matters are left in the hands of the Church's senior leaders and a small town council. Holy Mother Marguerite is currently in the Aveh capital of Bledavik, where she is said to be working to calm tensions between Aveh and Kislev.
Kingdom of Lacour
Ruler: King Ardryn I
Notable Towns: Lacour, Linga, Hilton
Located in the southwestern corner of Ignas, the Kingdom of Lacour is a relatively minor power on the continent. Adlehyde borders it on the north and east, but relations between the two kingdoms have largely been cordial throughout their history; neither is particularly interested in a war with each other when Aveh and Kislev are looming so large. Like Adlehyde, Lacour is predominantly pastoral. It is entirely untouched by the desertification working its way through central Ignas, and the people are prosperous. Unfortunately, many outlaws view these southern cities as softer targets, and so banditry is high in the rural regions.
While ARMs are almost totally unknown in the kingdom, the capital -- Lacour Castle -- is home to a thriving community of blacksmiths. Generations of smiths have practiced their craft within the castle city's walls, and the weapons and armour forged in Lacour are the class of the world. The kingdom plays host to an annual Tournament of Arms, which bestows a sizeable purse and the title of World's Strongest Warrior -- prizes worthwhile enough that competitors come from as far away as Elru or Aquvy to participate.
There are two other cities of note in Lacour. Hilton, located on the westernmost point of the country, is the largest port city in Ignas, and serves as a hub of trade. The other is the city of Linga, home to the Linga University, one of the foremost centres of learning in Filgaia. Scholars travel from the world over to study in Linga, and many set up shop there -- this has also made it an attractive destination for Drifters who emerge from ruins with no idea if the artifact they've recovered is a piece of priceless lore or a 5000-year-old shopping list.
Kingdom of Krosse
Ruler: King Krono I
Notable Towns: Krosse, Marze, Salva, Harley, Arlia
Krosse occupies the southern portion of the Ignas continent, bordering Aveh and Adlehyde, the latter of which has been a close trading partner for centuries. Life on Krosse is almost idyllic compared to the rest of Ignas -- its closest neighbour is a friendly nation, and its mining and fishing industries are prosperous. Its king and local leaders are competent and well-respected. It's almost too good to be true.
The village of Marze is one of the few noteworthy aspects of the kingdom; it was founded about 80 years ago by a group of Symbologists who left the fledgling University of Linga over disputes with the College of Crest Sorcery there. The combination of a remote location and peaceful neighbours have allowed for rapid development, and the residents of Marze have made a number of discoveries that are pushing the boundaries of their art.
The kingdom is also home to a fairly benign system of worship surrounding a so-called "Warrior of Light," said to be the reincarnation of the first king of the dynasty, Kahlus Krosse. Its adherents believe Kahlus will return to save the kingdom from a catastrophe; they are generally viewed as strange but mostly harmless by other faiths.
Ignas Baskar Tribes
Notable Towns: Small and scattered villages.
The Baskar Tribe is spread across all of Filgaia, but time and distance have resulted in the Tribe developing differently across the globe. The Baskar of Ignas are a pastoral people who reside primarily in Aveh and Adlehyde. They are not uncommon on the Badlands, but small villages and wandering tribesmen can be seen elsewhere. Their largest village is located deep within the Badlands, in a mountainous region. Outsiders often call it "Baskar Colony."
The Baskar tend to be ranchers by trade, though they do some farming near their villages. They tend to distrust ARMs and eschew modern technology, but not to the point of being Luddites; in the hard life of the Badlands, the Baskar know the value of protecting themselves. They worship the Guardians, a centuries-old practice that has granted them access to sorcery and made them deeply in tune with the land.
Most Baskar remain in their towns or, occasionally, bands that work trade routes necessary to keep their village alive. However, some young Baskar seek their fortune outside of their villages. These Baskar tend to encounter some religious discrimination, given the beliefs of Ethos.
Continent: None; located in a floating suborbital platform
Ruler: Emperor Cain
Notable Towns: Etrenank
Solaris is an advanced society based on a floating platform located high in the atmosphere over Filgaia. The platform is far above the operational limit of all but the most advanced Gears, rendering it nearly inaccessible from the surface except through a series of transporters called "Gates." Like nearly everything else about Solaris, the locations of these Gates is a closely-kept secret, and they are never left unguarded or unattended. As a result, nothing of Solarian society is known by anyone who was not born or has not lived there. They are a mystery, and work both hard and ruthlessly to keep it that way.
Continent: None; located in a floating suborbital platform
Ruler: Queen Zephyr I
Notable Towns: Aphel Aura
Shevat is a nation that exists over the skies of Filgaia, built on a floating platform constructed from salvaged Zeboim-era technology. Shevat flies low enough that it can occasionally be seen from the ground, meaning Gears and other airships could (theoretically) reach it, although it is constantly on the move and most surface dwellers tend to dismiss it as a hallucination.
Shevat has existed since before the Day of Collapse, and views itself as the only thing keeping Solaris from total world domination. Shevat agents exist in nearly every nation in Filgaia, and provide clandestine assistance to counterbalance Solarian attempts at manipulation. Solaris has invaded Shevat twice in modern memory -- most recently about a dozen years earlier -- but was repelled both times. Shevat's defences -- particularly their energy shielding -- are truly formidable, but they are incapable of responding in kind due to their much lower orbit. As such, the nation's agents are actively seeking out Zeboim-era technology in the hopes of uncovering something that will allow them to take the fight to Solaris for a change.
Shevat is built as a giant ring, with a central island in the centre, much like a thick-rimmed, short-spoked wagon wheel. The capital of Aphel Aura resides in the centre; it is a majestic city with towering spires and beautiful architecture. The Queen of Shevat, Zephyr I, has ruled there for more than five hundred years, her face and bearing almost unchanged from paintings commissioned prior to the Day of Collapse.
The Nations and Cultures of Aquvy
The continent of Aquvy has its own major powers and players. Travel between Ignas and Aquvy is exceedingly rare, taking some time by ship, and air travel is essentially impossible for anyone other than Solaris and Shevat. While characters may come from Aquvy, this is a rare and distant place for the average resident of Ignas. Their understanding of Aquvian geography, politics, and culture is often deeply flawed and rooted in stereotype. Drifters typically know more (specifically, what can be found in Filgaia's timeline), because they can find individuals who have been there.
Nonetheless, some things are known by anyone from Filgaia. It is said Aquvy is more temperate, greener and lusher than the hard life on Ignas. It is also said that it bears ancient scars; some whisper that a massive sea that divides the continent comes from the Day of Collapse. This region is now known as the Great Sea, with its many small and independent islands. Sea travel is vital in Aquvy.
The three great powers of Aquvy are known to most residents of Ignas. The Republic of Meria Boule's ships have plied the seas of Filgaia and made their distant city rich on trade. The Kingdom of Sylvaland is rumored to be a verdant forest, rich in natural bounty that its people thrive on. Guild Galad is a technological marvel, a city-state that embraced ARMs and has learned to repair them -- and, some say, manufacture new ones. These powers also included Celesti, which burnt itself out in a large civil war. Its refugees fled to Guild Galad.
Aquvy has been heavily influenced by two nations on the southern half of Elru: Slayheim and Elesius. Slayheim destroyed itself in the last few years, as a civil war culminated in a terrifying ARM activation that reduced the nation to a salt flat. Elesius stands firm.
Furthermore, Aquvy has a high number of Beastmen. Some live in an ancient floating structure, a city-state at sea, called the Thames. The Baskar also live on Aquvy, but have a more fatalistic interpretation of the Guardians and a more isolationist society than their cousins on Ignas. Aquvy Baskar do not travel far or often, and are virtually unheard of on Ignas.
Kingdom of Arctica
Ruler: None (formerly King Hadrian IV)
Notable Towns: None
Arctica is a destroyed kingdom. While located on Elru, its proximity to Ignas made it a player in politics there. It intervened several times in the war between Kislev and Aveh, usually on the side of Kislev, though it never proved decisive. It was a military nation, with its forces spearheaded by the mighty Fenrir Knights. Arctica typically eschewed the use of ARMs, preferring to rely on powerful martial arts and Crest Sorcery for its troops.
Tragically, Arctica was struck down two years ago. Arctica Castle, the seat of government for the kingdom, seemingly became a ruin guarded by powerful monsters. The towns and villages in the snowy countryside were destroyed. No one is certain what caused it. Now, the northern kingdom is a snowy wasteland, and rumors fly that it is far from a safe place to travel. Many Drifters who went there, often in search of the ruins that populated its countryside, never returned. Those who did often had scars, but no answers regarding the powerful enemies that attacked them.
The few survivors of Arctica do not know what happened, save that a mysterious and powerful foe struck them down. No one is believed to have escaped Arctica Castle, but some away from the kingdom and on its outskirts fled, often traveling to Ignas or Aquvy.
Kingdom of Ell
Ruler: King Zhotrad IV
Notable Towns: Elluria
With the destruction of Arctica and Slayheim, the Kingdom of Ell is the last remaining power in the northern Elru continent. Like its former neighbours, Ell's remote location and austere conditions has produced a nation that is devoted to martial power; Elru is a hard land, and the people who live there must be harder.
King Zhotrad IV of Ell has not been idle in recent years; his forces have scoured the countryside to wipe out bandits and outlaws; the worst of them were put to death, while the best were given a place in Ell's military and promised their freedom after ten years of service. He has also contracted the Ethos to provide military ARMs for use by his soldiers, and a trio of long-range artillery pieces are dug into emplacements in Elluria's keep. Zhotrad has seen what happened to his neighbours, and is determined that his people will not meet the same fate.
His preparations were wise -- a meteor that burned across the night sky is believed to have landed on Elru. What little news has escaped the continent is not good -- Elluria is said to be under siege from unknown forces. Ellurian citizens who were in Aquvy or Ignas at the time now face a difficult choice -- try to return home through a war zone, or sit in safety while their country bleeds.
Veruni Control Zones
Continent: Elru (mostly)
Notable Towns: Laila Belle
The Veruni Control Zones are less a name for the Veruni nation and more a rough collective umbrella term for all territories in Filgaia under Veruni rule. This is chiefly central Elru, but also includes domains in Aquvy and even some in the Eastern region of Ignas. The name comes from the rumored tendency of the Veruni to divide geographic territories into sectors or zones within a rigorously efficient grid. This is perhaps the only thing the common man would about the Veruni Control Zones; because of the Veruni's tendency to vehemently guard their borders - especially with the presence of enemies on all sides - and their tendency to, by and large, rarely stray outside these zones, there is not much known about the Veruni besides myth and rumor. Because of this, nothing about Veruni society is truly known except by those who were born or live within the Control Zones, and considering how difficult it is to actually leave one, largely remain as such.
Ruler: The Goddess Althena
Notable Towns: Pentagulia, Raculi, Larpa
The Holy City of Pentagulia is the capital of the Meribus continent, and the seat of the Goddess Althena. While the Goddess Tower has been located in the same place for millennia, Pentagulia is a relatively new city, having been formed around the Tower when Althena descended from it to guide her people directly. It is home to two of the Four Heroes: White Knight Leo and Red Priestess Mauri. The siblings command Althena's Guard and its priesthood, respectively, and it is from Pentagulia that the will of the goddess is made known.
The Holy City itself consists of four towers -- each named after one of the four dragons -- with a central building where the Goddess and her Dragonmaster hold court. Pentagulia sees a brisk flow of people in and out of the city; in recent years, it has become common practice for the faithful of Althena to travel to Pentagulia and receive her blessing in person. This blessing she is more than willing to give them, and all who return from Pentagulia are overwhelmed by the Goddess's love. Some choose to stay, and the ranks of the faithful are bolstered daily.
Ruler: Officially none, de facto Blue Master Lunn
Notable Towns: Meribia, Dalton, Saith, Burg
Meribia is the oldest city in Lunar, and the source of the continent's name. In ages past, Meribia was a thriving port, and the centre of commerce in all of Lunar. To a degree it still is, but Meribia's influence was diminished following a series of attacks by a dark cult a dozen years ago that led to the death of the local mayor.
Althena's Guard was still a small, untested force, and the cult occupied the city for several weeks. Their control was only broken when a middle-aged martial artist named Lunn was attacked by cult agents on the outskirts of the city. After dispatching them with his superior skill, Lunn worked his way through the city and destroyed the cult's leadership in an hour-long melee in the heart of the city. The grateful populace offered Lunn rulership of the city, but the old man demurred, though he chose to stay and help rebuild.
A dozen years later, Lunn remains in Meribia, where he offers training in the martial arts to any who seek to learn. A handful of other dojos have also gathered in the city, and together their influence has stabilized the region. In recognition of Lunn's contributions to Lunar, the Goddess Althena has named him to the ranks of the Four Heroes, under the title "Blue Master." The old man accepted the honour, but continues to deny his leadership of Meribia, insisting he is only there to teach those who wish to learn.
Ruler: Black Wizard Borgan
Notable Towns: Neo-Vane
Neo-Vane is the name given to a city raised into the skies by the power of the magician known as Borgan. Like the Vane of old, Neo-Vane is training a new generations of magicians, though its philosophies have proven difficult for some to accept. Borgan believes that a person's ability to channel magic determines their lot in life, and those incapable of becoming true magicians are forbidden to even enter. While those who have been turned away tend to grumble, the approach is clearly favoured by the Goddess Althena - she has named Borgan one of her Four Heroes, under the title of "Black Wizard."
Ruler: Magic Guild Premier Miria Ausa
Notable Towns: Vane
A thousand years ago, when the Last Dragonmaster stopped the invasion of the Vile Tribe, the city of Vane was struck down from the skies by a blast of elemental fury. Since being grounded, Vane has struggled to retain its footing, but has lost most of its influence over the centuries. The Magic Guild boasts only a handful of students, and even they have rushed to the city of Neo-Vane now that it has taken to the skies. Vane has made a habit of accepting lesser talents rejected from Borgan's guild -- it has little choice but to do so -- but with the most gifted magicians flocking to Neo-Vane, the future of the ancient guild looks bleak indeed.
Kingdom of Hyland
Ruler: Chancellor Bartlow and the Council; officially, the king
Notable Towns: Ladylake, Marlind
The Kingdom of Hyland dates back some thousand years ago, forming after the collapse of the Asgard Empire. It occupies the eastern third of the Glenwood Continent. While smaller than its neighbor, it enjoys rich resources and natural defenses. It is nestled in a mountainous region, dotted by lakes and rivers, and Hyland's natural beauty is something known and praised throughout Glenwood and Lunar.
Many of Hyland's people are farmers, miners, and sheepherders, who live in small villages throughout the mountainous terrain of the kingdom. However, it enjoys an active city life; trade between the capital and the second largest city, Marlind, is active. However, Hyland's countryside has become a place of danger; both bandits and wildlife have destroyed many a small village, and armed guards are necessary for the caravans plying trade through the region. Its military is powerful; the royal knights are led by Lady Maltran, dubbed the Blue Valkyrie, but their focus is on heightened tensions with Rolance instead of those problems.
Hyland's core is the capital of Ladylake, which rests on an island in the center of a large lake. This city is built atop an ancient ruin, an underground aqueduct that still supplies the city with moving water and makes its famed water wheel spin. It is rich and well-to-do, supported heavily by the kingdom's nobility. The Council that rules the kingdom resides in Roundtabel Palace, which is in the northeastern part of the city.
Ruler: Cardinal Runette Forton and/or the Imperial Knights; officially, the emperor
Notable Towns: Pendrago, Lastonbell, Lohgrin
The Rolance Empire also dates back some thousand years ago, to the collapse of the Asgard Empire. It is the larger of Glenwood's two nations, filling the entire western two-thirds of the continent. Its climate is varied; the heartland in the center of the continent has rolling plains, but its eastern border is dominated by the thick Volgran Forest and high mountains, save for the pass at Glaivend Basin. The west and north are mountainous desert regions, with the far west of the empire being a swampy frontier that remains unsettled.
Rolance's people are overwhelmingly farmers. While logging is common in the east and some mining occurs in the northwest, the heartland of the empire is the breadbasket for all of Glenwood. However, Rolance's frontiers can remind people that Glenwood is the also the frontier of Althena's Boundary. The marshes and deserts at the edge of Rolance are dangerous, inhabited by monsters, and dotted by ruins that date back thousands of years. Its military can scarcely keep up with patrols, creating a need for mercenaries and adventurers. The imperial knights are powerful, but embroiled in tensions with Hyland and political intrigue.
Pendrago, Rolance's capital, is at the heart of that intrigue. It is the largest city on the continent, with a teeming population, and home to the Church of Althena and the Imperial Knights. The two factions are locked into a power struggle over the regency of the emperor, who is still a minor. The Church of Althena enjoys a great deal of power in Pendrago and all of Rolance. Indeed, the largest building in the city is not the imperial castle, but the Shrinechurch, which dates back thousands of years.
The Nations and Cultures of Spira
For centuries, Spira was more of a theory than an acknowledged place. The academics assured what people cared to listen that there was ample room on Lunar for another continent, but no voyage far enough to find one ever returned. Rarely, a strange ship would come ashore, crewed by strange people in strange clothing speaking strange tongues, but they could barely communicate well enough to trade for simple supplies, let alone explain their own providence.
Then, two hundred years ago, someone else came to Glenwood, deep in the midst of the conflict with a Lord of Calamity and the Second Age of Chaos. Riding a paddleboat propelled by horse-sized birds running in wheels, their stamina maintained by enchanted greens, the strangers declared that they came from a land called Spira, and that Glenwood was in terrible danger. The leader of this expedition, a man named Ohalland, warned of the coming of a terrible monster from the sea, a threat to his people that had scented the people of Glenwood and wished to destroy them as it assailed Spira. He called this monster only "Sin." It emerged from the sea soon after, a titanic monstrosity as big as Ladylake itself. In the ensuing battle, Ohalland and most of his entourage perished, and with them, any hope Glenwood's academics may have had of interrogating him on his strange homeland. Further attempts to reach Spira have similarly all ended in disaster; now, though, Glenwood knows to blame this on Sin.