AGE OF HAMMERS (Renaissance-Steampunk) The continent is now unified under Imperial rule, and begins an age of discovery and invention. Old magic is replaced by new science, and these innovations lead to ever expanding empires. The Age officially ends when the empires finally descend into open war; with resources like coal and oil rapidly depleting, new methods of science and political movements turn Shemeld into a world closer to modern-day Earth.
1) Shemeld City: Now part of the Great Empire, Shemeld’s unique position in the continent means it’s an industrial centre, with the boring matters of leadership and governance delegated to the fetid boroughs of Greater Calshan County. When the Dwarven mines were sacked, Shemeld was in the perfect position to overtake their industries; coal and iron ore are continually belched from the mountains, down to the village-sized furnaces and cogworks. Former Elf forests are now part of the Shemeld Civic Arboretum, which aims to be green and lush, but for most of the year is sulphurous.
2) The Goldharker Family: ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass, and Goldharkers trade both’. This merchant family is so sprawling and omnipresent that any port or border-town without a Goldharker is considered the lesser for it. Many would have you believe the entire family were cut-throats, swindlers, conmen, smugglers and slavers; indeed, the Goldharkers only cultivate this rumour, because only poor people would believe such rubbish. That said, wherever here’s a coin to be made, there’ll be a Goldharker involved somewhere.
3) The Far South Confederacy: As the invention of airships made traversing the oceans to the south of the Great Empire easier, contact with southern lands quickly turned into warfare between the Empire and Confederacy they found. It’s not clear whose fault it is; the Confederacy were probably uncivilised, while the Empire might’ve been arrogant. What’s important is the Confederacy use unsporting tactics, and it’s the Empire’s air superiority over the south ocean that confounds any attempt upon Imperial soil. Unlike the Empire, the Confederacy isn’t one unified culture; countries such as Samarkhand, Alashorn and Cathar are member states.
4) IAF Victory: The Imperial Air Fleet’s finest vessel, the Victory was the first airship commissioned as a warship, rather than the explorer and merchant class vessels now used by civilians. Capable of flying majestically over the heads of startled Confederacy forces during a bombing run, or evading their haphazard, disorganised artillery barrages, the Victory is a symbol of Imperial arrogance on both sides of the water. Captained by the equal parts arrogant and overconfident Lord Commissar Perseverance ‘Percy’ Shipwright, the sight of the Victory coming to port can lift the spirits of the dowdiest Imperial.
5) The Imperial Family: The ruling Calshani family became figureheads at the beginning of the Age, leaving governance to a fledgling parliament. Inside, their wealth was focused on military and colonial expansion. Imperial armies are the best equipped, Imperial ships the fastest and strongest, and Imperial flags are the most readily waved and saluted by cheering Imperial crowds. The Imperial family individually are universally revered, from the ‘Southern Queen’ Titania I, in whose honour the first Oceanic Expeditions were launched, or the ‘Prince of All Vitality’ Gustaf IV, whose medical discoveries eradicated screaming cough and the deadly Alley-Cat Sweats.
6) He opened up the letter; “we have been discovered; run.”