The Devil and the Deep Blue
This page includes all the setting info (history, geography etc) that is commonly known to all characters.
Not much is known definitely about the ancient history of Immoren, the continent on which the game is set. Each religion has a differing account of how life began, and all that is known is that dwarves and elven cultures achieved a level of civilisation millenia earlier than humans, who began to settle into early agricultural states approximately 4000 years ago. In ancient times arcane magic was limited to the elves and a few rare dwarves only, although humans had powerful clerics of the grim monotheistic god Menoth.
Ancient humans cultures reached a pinnacle of development in the Thousand Cities Era some 2000 years later. Two of these early human cultures survive to the modern day in the form of the kingdoms of Khador and Cygnar. The Thousand City era also saw the ascension of the twins Morrow and Thamar to godhood, Morrow preaching a doctrine of communal service and protection and Thamar of personal freedom and amorality. Humans developed technological advances quicker than the long lived dwarves and elves, inventing clockwork and rudimentary steam engines over a millenia ago.
Around 1000 years ago the Orgoth arrived from over the western ocean, a race of evil advanced humans with sorcerous powers and with ties to demonic powers. They invaded and subjugated all of the humans lands of western Immoren. The dwarves of Rhul and elves of Ios withdrew within their lands and never succumbed to the Orgoth.
During the tyrannical and brutal reign of the invaders the old states were crushed, millions killed and technology and science stagnated. Almost as a counterpoint to the suffering of humankind magic began to manifest within the race, secretly nurtured by those who plotted the overthrow of the arcane spell-casting oppressors.
The Rebellion against the Orgoth was underpinned by the establishment of secretive magical schools within humanity and the melding of magic and rediscovered science that led to the creation of archano-magic and alchemical firearms. Remnants of the elite of Khador and Cygnar constructed gigantic steam-powered war machines called collosus, and over a period of 100 years of warfare with traditional forces and steam-mage ‘warcasters’ the emergent nations of Westerm Immoren overthrew and eradicated the Orgoth. Most modern Immorenese calendars start from the first year of the Rebellion, which was a little over 600 years ago.
The Modern Era
Following the Rebellion the lands of humanity reformed around ancient cultural boundaries. In the north the winter-bound kingdom of Khardor quickly subsumed other smaller nations to emerge as a industrial superpower with a rigid class system and strict bonds of honour and feudal law. The kingdom of Cygnar in the south is a dynamic, innovative and expansive culture, incorporating many ethnicities and through its advanced technology, liberal approach to magic and close ties to the Church of Morrow has long been the other major superpower.
Around 150 years ago the orthodox followers of Menoth forced a civil war in south-eastern Cygnar, and seceded a territory now called the Protectorate of Menoth which is a theocratic state ruled by the powerful priesthood of the ancient and unforgiving god.
Between Khador and Cygnar lie two smaller independent nations, Llael to the north and Ord to the south. Llael sits on the lucrative but politically complex crossroads of the two human super states and the Dwarven nation of Rhul and secretive elves of Ios, who for nearly 800 years have been growing more reclusive and reactionary. Ord lies on the coast, separating Khardoran and Cygnarian shipping with its own mighty navy, protected in the north by mountain fortresses and in the south by the dangerous Thornwood Forest and a long standing non-aggression pact with Cygnar.
However beyond Ord and the long coastlines of Cygnar lie the Scharde Islands and the dreaded island empire of Cryx. The Scharde islands are a bastion of uncivilised barbaric human tribes, pirates and slavers, only kept in check by the vigilance of the Ord navy. Cryx is a different matter, it being the personal feif of the dread Lord Toruk, father of Dragons and a living god, worshipped by necromancers who traffic in undead and all manner of evil.
Beyond the eastern borders of Rhul, Ios, Cygnar and the Protectorate lies the wasteland of the Bloodstone Marches, an immense and desolate sandy tundra which few have returned from. It is commonly thought that nothing lies beyond the Marches, however two years ago the deposed former king of Cygnar, Vitner the Cruel, attempted a coup against his brother (King Leto) leading troops of a formerly unknown humaniod race called The Skorne who are rumoured to hold a vast empire far to the east. Following the unsuccessful coup the remaining Skorne retreated back into the Marches and limited traffic with the few bands of desert nomads suggest that they are not coming back in a hurry.
The fusion of technology and magic has become more commonplace, indeed more readily accepted than magic on its own which is still viewed with suspcision and open hostility from many. Archano-magic has produced a wide range of items/artifacts, mist notably smaller and more efficient robot-like creations than the original Collosus of the Rebellion, with indsutrial or heavy-labour steamjacks relatively common in high population areas and the deadly warjack forming the backbone of military engagements.
Races of Immoren
Humanity is split into several cultural ethnicities, each with thier own particular strengths ana weaknesses,however it is the non-human races that warrant closer attention. The Dwarves of Rhul are ancient, lawful and strongly embedded in thier mountain cities, trading freely with humans their metals, stone, gems and expertise. They worship the Great Fathers, the progenitor dwarves, and can be found in reasonable numbers throughout most Western Immoren cities. Closely connected with the Dwarves are the Ogrun, huge (8-9ft) and immensly strong gobliniods with a powerful code of honour. Many Ogrun encountered are warriors, civilised and socialised, having been part of a tradition that saw thier forefathers settling within Rhul and being accepted into the wider Rhulish community by the dwarves. Some ogrun are of course still wild, however no more so than pockets of human barbarians on the fringes of civilisation.
Goblins are relatively common and split into two groups, the wily Gobbers and thier more aggresive kin Boggrins. Both are the diminutive cousins of the Ogrun, typically under 3 feet tall, and for the most part are socialised and relatively civilised although Boggrins less so. Gobbers in particular are known for thier skills as thieves, merchants and for tinkering around inside the innards of steam devices.
Trollkin are not goblinoids but rather a civilised sub-species of troll, long ago developing into a smaller, more intellegent and less rapacious branch of the troll family. Whilst being larger and tougher than most humans they are still smaller than Ogrun however exhibit a greater capacity for magic and can develop thier own unique powers called Fell Calls.
Goblins and Trollkin have no nation/homeland, and outside of those Ogrun who come from Rhul neither do the Ogrun as a race. Instead all three live amongst or on the fringes of human lands, sometimes peacefully co-existing othertimes not. Many gobliniods and trollkin worship a nature goddess called Dhunia, although some also acknowledge human gods (such as Morrow) or even the Dwarven Great Fathers. Barbarian gobliniods and trollkin can also worship a dark and chaotic divinity called The Devourer Worm, once arch-enemy of the human god Menoth.
Elves are uncommon in Western Immoren, as most remain hidden behind the vigilantly gaurded borders of their woodland realm of Ios. Few journey in human lands, and those that do have a grim and melancholy air. It is widely known that to enter Ios is to face certain death, and the elves have long since stopped trading with their human or dwarven neighbours. They are a remote, mysterious and dangerous race, rarely involving themselves with affairs outside of their territory. Their religious practices are unknown, although they are recognised to be a highly magical race.
The War – 605 AR
Relations between Khador and Cygnar have never been good, and at various times in their 2000 year history they have been at war over terrritory and/or ideaology. Since the Rebellion full scale conflict between the two has been rare, however border skirmishes and raiding have been common, making life on the hinterlands between the two great powers treacherous. A little over a year ago Khador made a surprise attack against the Kingdom of Llael, a long-standing ally of Cygnar. Thanks to treachery on behalf of the Llael Prime Minister the kingdom quickly fell and Llael & Cygnarian forces defending it were either crushed or routed. Khador now occupies the vast majority of Llael and full scale war has come to the northern borders of Cygnar.
To make matters worse in the far south of Cygnar the Protectorate of Menoth has declared a holy war to retake lands it ‘lost’ when it seceded from Cygnar and in the subsequent civil war.
With Khador already on full war footing, Cygnar attempting to shore up its northern defenses and prepare a counter attack whilst also preparing to meet a newly mobilised Protectorate on its southern borders, Ord sits in the middle as the only nuetral and uncommitted independent human state.