Godsreach (3.5e Environment)
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High above the oceans and earth below, Godsreach is an artificial island-continent, lifted from the region of Silverfell around four centuries prior to contemporary time. Using a combination of great magic and feats of engineering, it maintains its course, floating above the world of Tirr below, keeping its citizens isolated from the rest of the countries of Tirr, and breeding a belief of superiority in them all.
Climate, Geography, and Wildlife
Godsreach is almost entirely covered in populated areas, leaving very little space for any kind of wildlife outside of urban creatures and the occasional airborne wildlife, though the latter case is rare, given that few creatures can maintain the kind of high altitude flight needed to reach Godsreach. Dragons can and do visit Godsreach on occasion, especially since Godsreach employs dragons in their military, usually alongside Dragoons.
Weather in Godsreach is negligible for the most part, as the isle resides in the middle atmosphere, slightly higher than most of the atmospheric conditions that create major weather effects below, but just low enough to still have breathable levels of oxygen and below the level of Cirrus cloud formations. The night sky above Godsreach is always clear, creating a sizable advantage of always being dimly lit during the night, due to starlight and moonlight shining without any barriers to pass through.
Its worth noting that while most creatures living upon Godsreach have the Adapted(High-altitude) trait, and thus suffer no penalties during daily operations, any outside creatures who need to breathe and do not have protection from high-altitude conditions will suffer accordingly while on the Isle of Godsreach.
Approximately four centuries ago, the citizens of Godsreach became so when they declared independence and ceded from Silverfell, due to the great schism caused as the King and Grand Cleric in Goldengate jointly declared arcane magics forbidden. This accompanied many great rumors that arcane arts were but the first that would soon be forced to submit to the proclaimed holiness and purity of divine magic. This caused the budding art of engineering to disappear in Goldengate, as well, its practitioners believing that when the fruits of their labor were finally achieved, it too would be snuffed out as being prone to corruption, just as the arcane had.
In the end, these two major factions ended up gathering in the area where the raised Godsreach from the earth itself, leaving a gigantic crater, and the opening into the underworld, beneath it. The two arts, technology and arcane magic, and have since fueled the floating isle with various means, but have essentially allowed it to sustain itself with little reliance on the surface. This has also allowed the nation to develop isolationist policies.
Modern times see a Godsreach that now declares itself to be both superior and of a different breed than the earthbound nations below, though they almost never interact, due to Godsreach usually declining all motions for diplomacy, and often having closed borders, supplemented by the difficulty in reaching those borders. Rather than fall into myth or fable, however, Godsreach remains understood as a nation in its own right, if only because few can challenge it realistically... and those that would fall under the attack of famed dragoons and militarized dragons, backed by arcane strength honed by centuries of research. Battlements have benefited from the progress of technology, as well. All weapons produced in Godsreach are made with alchemical or technological enhancements, giving them bonus damage. That said, the isolation from the ground often forces Godsreach to rely of magical means of procuring the materials needed to create these items, and thus it is subject to some amount of entropy regarding availability.
Godsreach is led by a King, usually, though the monarchy has had examples of Queens and accepts them, should they be the most apparent and capable heir to the throne. Usually, the former Monarch passes the crown to his successor before his death. In cases where the monarch dies before choosing a successor, his Grand Vizier, who acts as his closest advisor, may choose the successor, or choose to act as regent if the only heirs are too young to hold state authority, at the time.
The crown holds absolute authority in Godsreach, and is the one who bears it is expected to be an expert in all matters of state, often resulting in individuals who are extremely skilled Dragoons, Wizards, and Mediators. This causes the few outsiders who meet with the monarch over diplomatic or other concerns to come away with the idea that the leader of these people is exceptional, and more often than not, that facing the people of Godsreach in war would be foolhardy at best, even though the truth of the matter is that Godsreach conversely cannot mount a successful surface campaign, due to having most assets deployed primarily into research and growth, as well as aerial combat.
Godsreach makes a note of restricting no practice so long as it is not negative, such as necromancy with no other purpose than to raise the undead, or using offensive magic outside of proper precautionary settings without adequate reason. This is mostly due to the fact that Godsreach holds a special resentment for Goldengate, whose notorious politics often end up shunning many methods of achieving arcane progress.
Foreign Relations and Military
Home to the Dragoons, an order of high-flying, spear-wielding, and sometimes dragon-riding warriors, Godsreach is the envy of all lands that fight larger creatures, as the specialized skills of the Dragoons are highly potent, and even meant for fighting off larger creatures, such as the very dragons that now serve alongside them. The dragons, themselves, are fewer in number, numbering a single dragon per every 20 dragoon units, usually ridden by a commander or other high ranking office. Dragons are often of a metallic or crystalline variety, juvenile or older, and submit to the call of their dragoon masters due to the pact made by their ancestors after a prolonged conflict with the Dragoons, in which the Dragoon order bested them, albeit with heavy casualties.
Sorcerers and Wizards also fill the ranks of the military, assisted in small part by Clerics, who bear only the smallest of resemblances of the stigma that arcane sects did in Silverfell. These are further augmented by such things as cannons and airships, utilizing technology as a means of offense.
Despite this, Godsreach does not have experience with warring on the surface, and nor does it have much that it could gain by doing so that could not be gained by other means, except for more space. These reasons, and the constant threats of a unified force of the surface nations striking back, supplemented by a strong policy of isolation, keep Godsreach from having any relation at all with other nations, hostile or otherwise.
Language, Religion, and Culture
Almost every sect and social circle in Godsreach believes in progress first, status second; A philosophy that rewards those who contribute to the community as a whole with higher status and station, and creates a need for individuals to both compete with and assist each other, and generally makes for a national superpower.
Religiously, most view the god of machines, Ars Machina, and the goddess of magic, Mana, as well as Bahamut, the lord of dragons, as the most important and thoroughly worshiped in all of Godsreach. Even so, other Aesir and Pantheon worshipers are present, but they dwindle in comparison to these three deities. Godsreach is also the last known place that Bahamut resided before he ascended to the stars, and the place where he ascended is marked with a great temple in his honor.
Language is limited to Common, Draconic, and even Giant, since some giants live amongst the citizens of Godsreach.