- Region: Vaxian Continent
- Climate: Desert/Urban Industrial
- Governance: Theocracy (Servants of Kosmos Mercy and Knights Aleator)
- Notable Landmarks:
- Major Events: Fall of the Seven Churches, Fall of the Followers of Light
Iskrania is a massive city where the worlds of magic and machines mix. The machines are run by both physical means and magical means, sometimes only one, and sometimes both together. The priests of the two warring factions are out for good most of the time, really believing that the god-hero Kosmo will one day return to them. The weapons of Iskrania are mixed as well: black powder cannons, muskets, swords, crossbows, daggers, spears, all the normal weapons and then some. The city is a blur of the magical and the machines, and that makes it so much more dangerous. Iskrania is not a happy city, the foul cloud that envelopes it shows more than just the pollution from the factories, it shows the pollution of the churches and the population.
The city itself is a marvel to behold. From a great distance away on the middle plains the dark cloud that constantly hovers above the city can be seen, a vile black stench rides on the winds around Iskrania, to an elf it would instantly smell of destroyed nature, of the slow death of magic in the air, but to a human it would smell like progress, like success. As one gets closer they will see shimmering bubbles of protection throughout the city. Seven different colors, sometimes blended but most often quite separate, with a good quarter mile of space between them, these are the holy barriers that divide the city into magical regions (more detail on these later). Upon entering the city from one of the hundreds of streets that seem to just pour out of the city the immediate impression is WOW, especially if one has never been to the city. The buildings here are eight to twelve stories high, most of them with smokestacks pumping out thick plumes of blackness. Machines litter the roadways, if they break down they are left for junk, oil patches litter the roadways, their shimmering rainbows visible in what light spills through the cloud above the city. People here wear a lot of metal, bracers, leggings, breastplates, body rings in all manner of places, the style of dress for the commoner is quite literally rags, brown, black, gray or green and any other color they can scrap together to cover themselves. The first impression is indeed a bleak one, the feeling of dirt, pollution and the stench of ever burning fires are what greet you on the edge of town, this however changes as you move inward.
As one moves deeper into the center of the city they will notice a slow change to a cleaner environment. At about this point they will pass through any of the various barriers for the zone they have entered. They will no doubt see priests wandering about, performing their duties, running errands, carrying books back and forth, the feeling between the zones is for the most part the same. Occasionally a troop of well-armed and very well trained men will shuffle past you, looking for all the world like they are out to conquer something. They are color-coded depending on where they are from and who they work for, the general rule is if you see a group of warriors wearing a color not of the zone you are in, head for cover. There are constant battles going on, clashes of armed men are commonplace and people live around them. The targets of these attacks are usually the barrier stones, those being the magically enchanted stones that keep the priests of the various church factions from being able to enter their zones. Taking a stone away from a church frees it to be taken by another church, so the zones are constantly shifting and changing, a red bubble falling and a green one replacing it. The machines in these areas of town are much much more well kept, the ground is oil free and debris is piled into wagons and taken to Ox Lake to be dumped with the rest of the debris, machinery and chemicals. There are two church groups that refuse to allow machinery to run in their zones, but the other five have machines running constantly. The people in these districts are more refined, more civilized as it were, they wear mostly robes, any color or pattern and they are well kept, their hair combed nicely, their boots oiled and shined. It is obvious that these areas are where the money is, and the people and goods reflect that.
Iskrania is a city on the Vaxian Continent, southeast of Dawnport Crystal, east of Tesaria north of Miser northwest of Ish Lavin west of Kundul southwest of Nebrak and Arkapsad, and south of No Man's Land. Notable features near the city include vast, empty wastelands and Ox Lake. All of the sewage, effluent, industrial and toxic waste, and various other noxious substances from the city are all dumped into Ox Lake, which has consequently become somewhat infested with hideous mutants.
The City of Iskrania is layed out like a series of concentric rings, a giant bull's-eye on the landscape, with a few major streets radiating out from the center.
Innermost Circle: The innermost circle, the dot in the middle, if you will, is the Pit. A very big dot indeed, almost a mile across. The pit is a great crater, made by the Dwarves the core of the dwarven civilization that spreads out far and wide under the city. It's a hole in the ground, as if an immense tree had been pulled out, roots and all. Around the Pit is a good, solid stone wall, to keep the humans out, for the most part.
Roundabout Way: There is, of course, a road around the outside of the wall. Outside of that are the Zones. The only street that goes full circle around Iskrania, four wagons wide and littered with the various shops and places that the people of The Slums go to work, eat and sleep. The most patrolled street in the slums, also the most safe. Machines putter to and fro, taking goods from shop to shop and performing menial grunt tasks. Many many roads shoot off of this one and out of the city or to dead ends.
Steam power has developed in Iskrania more than anywhere else because widespread use of null magic in the city calls for alternate strategies. In most areas, magic is much more effective and reliable than technology, so no research goes into technology, but Iskrania is the null magic capitol of the world. Additionally, there are valuable gems mined by the Gnomes near Iskrania which possess potent magic-storing properties. Such gems were used by the Whirler, a gnomish Iskranian animancer, in the Automatons that helped devastate Ramsalon during the Darkest Night and are now used by the Royal Labs The Followers of Light used a scaled-up version of the same thing to power their portals.
Iskrania is very polluted from the smog of burning coal in her factories. The majority of these factories produce processed textiles, which are then exported to the rest of the world. In other factories, they mass-produce extremely cheap, low-quality armour and weapons for sale to the highest bidder. There are factories for the grinding of grain into flour, for the baking of flour into reasonably edible food. There are slaughterhouses and sausage factories and meat processing plants. And then there are factories which construct parts for primitive automatons, and the refinement of saltpeter and coal, and the production of parts for cannons and hand cannons.
The Iskranian 'rifle' is not a rifle at all; they have not yet discovered rifling. It is more accurately a musket, or a hand cannon. Larger cannons exist, as do various sorts of grenades. All of these are primitive, and prone to catastrophic explosion at inconvenient moments.
Iskrania was founded over a thousand years ago, when a group of refugees from Grokul were fleeing from the armies of the Vaxian Empire Kosmo the Purple Ghost appeared before them, and drew a line in the sand with his sword, encompassing a circular area a number of miles large. He told the refugees that as long as they stayed within that line, they would be safe. To this day, the Line in the Sand is taken very seriously, and very few things are built outside of it. Instead, multi-story tenements are built as tall as they can be, to cram as many people as possible into the relatively small area within the Line.
The city is officially ruled by a mayor, but he is as corrupt as he is incompetent and serves primarily as a bribe receptacle. In reality, the Churches run the show, and always have. The one thing all the Churches have in common is that they worship Kosmo, the founder and protector of Iskrania. There is disagreement on just about everything else, even within each church, which will periodically schism and break apart, leaving many churches where once there were few. After enough time of this, the churches will be so fragmentary that it becomes a simple matter for one to steamroll over all the others, and Iskrania is briefly ruled by a single church, before that church schisms and the process starts over.
Until around 3005, there were seven churches: Diluculo Noxnoctis Senphara Veuris Plornim Khastenk and Dhantilis At that time, the existing churches, weakened by constant infighting, were destroyed and subsumed within two newer churches, the Followers of Light and Antioch's Knights Aleator The followers of the various churches were mostly scattered, though the Followers of Light took over what was left of the organizations of the Diliculo, Plornim, and Veuris, and the chaos priests took over what was left of Noxnoctis, Dhilantis, and Senphara, with Khastenk splitting roughly down the middle. In 3008, GHOUL defeated the Followers of Light, reforming them into the Servants Of Kosmo's Mercy. The Knights Aleator and the Servants of Kosmo's Mercy remain at war.
The city is a marvel to behold. From a great distance away on the middle plains the dark cloud that constantly hovers above the city can be seen, a vile black stench rides on the winds around Iskrania, to an elf it would instantly smell of destroyed nature, of the slow death of magic in the air, but to a human it would smell like progress, like success. As one gets closer they will see shimmering bubbles of protection throughout the city. Seven different colors, sometimes blended but most often quite seperate, with a good quarter mile of space between them, these are the holy barriers that divide the city into magical regions (more detail on these later). Upon entering the city from one of the hundreds of streets that seem to just pour out of the city the immediate impression is WOW, especially if one has never been to the city. The buildings here are eight to twelve stories high, most of them with smokestacks pumping out thick plumes of blackness. Machines litter the roadways, if they break down they are left for junk, oil patches litter the roadways, their shimmering rainbows visible in what light spills through the cloud above the city. People here wear a lot of metal, bracers, leggings, breastplates, body rings in all manner of places, the style of dress for the commoner is quite literally rags, brown, black, grey or green and any other color they can scrap together to cover themselves. The first impression is indeed a bleak one, the feeling of dirt, pollution and the stench of everburning fires are what greet you on the edge of town, this however changes as you move inward. Nearby is the filthy and polluted Ox Lake, filled with toxic sludge.
The Zone of Mages
The Zone of Mages is a relatively neutral crowded area where the Churches have somewhat less influence, and where civilians tend to congregate.
The temple district is not a well-defined area. It is, essentially, a section of town where the various Churches hold sway, the Followers of Light chief among them. The FoL cathedral is an enormous edifice, towering over the buildings around it (though it is not the largest building in the city, some of the factories in the slums hold that honour).