Nations and Factions (Golden Legacy Supplement)
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The Golden Empire
The Elven Cities
Since the Thousand-Year War, the elves have been scattered around the world, isolating themselves in hidden communities to avoid the gaze of the world at large and preferring to rebuild their species. Though no race poses an explicit danger to the elves, they have decided to remain sequestered away to protect their secrets. Of the remaining elves, four primary cities have been formed, each specializing in a particular brand of local industry. To the general knowledge, only one city remains open to non-elves - Tai Ander. The other three either refuse all contact, have gone dark, or do not allow visitors (except trade).
Underneath the Malei Peaks to the North, the subterranean city of Myrdrin serves as the largest, and most influential, of the Elven settlements. Though it existed before the Thousand-Year War, it has since greatly expanded underneath the mountain range.
The city is styled in much of the same was as the original capital city was before it was taken over and greatly renovated. Sweeping arches and high pathways make it easy for the Elves to impress visitors and show off the grand splendor. The center point of the city is a large, elaborately carved central pillar that stretches from ceiling to floor of the mountain cavern, filled with artistic engravings and reliefs detailing elven history and culture.
The city is lit by a simple system of psionically-enhanced lighting. It simulates the day/night cycle of the outside world to allow the inhabitants to synch up with the rest of the world and keep up normal business hours, in a sense.
Due to the size of the city, public transit is provided in the form of steam-powered aerial platforms that follow set paths throughout the city, capable of transporting up to 50 beings at a time on their routes.
Carved out of massive, hollowed-out trees and with the aptly named World Tree serving as the center, Tai Ander resides in the forests to the east of the Golden Empire, in the region that the elves still call the Anderlands.
The trees themselves are ironwood, a magically strong tree that can only be carved and cut with immense power and strength - a power that the elves sadly no longer possess in sufficient numbers. The city itself has been around for thousands of years, and was untouched by the Thousand Year War. Surviving as a bastion to the remaining elves after the war, the population has slowly but steadily risen since the end of the war.
Tai Ander is most famous for the export of said ironwood - though hollowing out entire trees is impossible, harvesting wood from them is easily doable, and many products are made from the valuable material. As strong as steel, but much lighter, it remains a cheaper alternative to mythril in metallurgy.
Aside from that, the city itself is built into the trunk, root system, and canopy system that surrounds the enormous ironwood World Tree in the middle. Over half a mile high and impossibly big to the human eye, the tree itself contains an incredibly complex system of gears, cables, and other technical upgrades to facilitate movement around itself and the surrounding city. The elven fondness for machines is prevalent in the city, with many of the local flora showing signs of integration with the mechanical creations of the elves.
Masters of the creation of the wondrous material known as glassteel, the desert elves of Xuexao are a bit different than their forest or earthen cousins. Covered in robes and wrappings and always having to deal with the constant presence of sand, machines are ill-fitted to use in the sweeping sand dunes. Those that do exist require constant maintenance, and so the desert elves have done their best to keep their society free of the mechanical contraptions that populate other elven cities.
Their claim to fame, glassteel, is just what it sounds like - a transparent material that is as strong as steel. Useful for armor that will never rust, and weapons that will never corrode, it is also fantastic for use in windows, gauges, pipes, and anything else that would benefit from being both crazy strong and transparent. The exact process to make it this way is hidden, but powerful psionic energies are suspected to factor in heavily.
The Xuexao residents otherwise live a solitary life, with a constant supply of glassteel items flowing out of the city. What flows in are other magical items and things to help them make a living in the harsh desert environment. The city itself is constructed of homes made of glassteel, lined with a white fabric to reflect heat away from the dwelling itself. It is a sprawling series of cubes and long rectangles, all built both onto each other and around each other, spreading out from the magically-enhanced oasis in the center of the city.
A city lost in the mountains.
Situated in the mountainous terrains west of the Golden Empire, the Dwarven Kingdom has adopted a policy of complete neutrality towards the affairs of all other factions. This political mentality means that trading is the closest thing to diplomacy occurring between the Dwarven Kingdom and other factions.
New dwarven fortresses spring up and fall seemingly overnight, but the more successful locations have lasted for thousands of years. The oldest fortress and capital of the Dwarven Kingdom, Boatmurdered, is said to have existed before the Cataclysm. This claim has yet to be confirmed by archaeologists, mostly because Boatmurdered itself boasts incredible defenses of both magical and mundane varieties. Non-dwarves going within roughly 9 miles of the presumed location of Boatmurdered are politely asked to leave and are frequently offered free teleportation to another fortress. Those who do not turn back have a tendency to never be heard from again.