Voltana

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Voltana is the second last continent in regards to the proximity to the core of Veerith, while their economic and military influence would put them at the top of the Floating Realms. The Goblins and Dwarves of Voltana are the Bankers of the Floating Realms, hailing their land as the most secure location in the world. The only politics the Voltanan Kingdoms take part in, are their own. The Dwarves and Goblins have agreed to stay neutral in all affairs of the Floating Realms that would destabilize commerce; something they hold to with a good deal of consistency. The Dwarven military, is thought to be the strongest in the world, but has never been used against a force from another Floating Realm. No one has chosen to attack them yet either, this is in part, because they are protected by the most powerful battery of cannons and airships in the Floating Realms, known as the Iron Sphere; only a fool would test these Floating Citadels of destruction.

There are Three Kingdoms on Voltana, segregated on species lines between the Goblins, Kobolds, and Dwarves. They are known as the Consortium controlled by the Goblins, the Mithril Kingdom of the Dwarves, and the Kobish Dynasty of the Kobolds. The story of their land is found here.

Voltan’s War Games

The Magi Voltan hid away in his underground labs, creating elaborate environments and war scenarios to act out. His participants were the Dwarves, Goblins, and Kobolds. The Goblins loved it, the Kobolds endured it, and the Dwarves despised it. These wargames were senseless and cost many lives. He used them to test the weaponry he designed to fight against the other Magi. His various weapons were designed for all manner of environments, cities, forests, open plains, rain, snow, and more; all of them tested and hardened in his war games within vast Simulation Chambers. These Simulation Chambers are still present today, but their use has changed. They now feed millions, stand as monuments to the fallen, and were parceled out among the Dwarf, Goblin, and Kobold governments.

While within Voltan’s Realm, no being was safe from his war games. Voltan had an unknown means to uproot and transport massive groups of people at any time into the thick of his war zones. The Goblins reveled in the “sport” of the simulations, the Dwarves actively worked to thwart them, and the Kobolds approached them with a sense of duty. The Dwarves as a species suffered the most from the simulations because of their lower birth rates, so to combat that they had to approach it with a mix of ingenuity and desperation; building war engines and weaponry that to win quickly and decisively. For this, Voltan especially loved the dwarves, because he could take their designs and modify them, saving him time and accelerating his war effort.

Voltan did not last, just like the other Seven Magi, he was killed in the Sundering, but his legacy lives on. The three primary kingdoms of Voltana are divided along species lines and do not get along, but they fight in different ways not limited to blood and steel. The Goblins are an economic rival with the Dwarves, and due to access to Voltan’s deepest chambers, have some of his most treasured technology and magical items. The Kobolds are the richest in natural resources with caverns filled with mithril and adamantine like no one else and the greatest number of Simulation Chambers. They all still fight in bloody skirmishes, but they are not full scale wars.

The Enemy of My Enemy

In the present time, the Three Kingdoms face a threat that may destroy them all; a threat they need to keep secret from the rest of the world, so it will not shake the worldwide confidence in the safety of their vaults. In response to the threat to their lives and their livelihood the Gargadath Treaty was ratified, named after the Goblin Ambassador that negotiated and proposed it. Now in the name of mutual defense, a truce has formed between the Three Kingdoms.

The Voltanans have never been in a stronger position economically, militarily, and socially, but also never experienced something so dangerous. This Alliance is precarious, many expect it to break apart at any moment, but it has calmed Clan fighting and given them great unity. A few see this as a good reason to promote peace between dwarves, goblins, and kobolds. Some are working towards this goal with the idea that it will protect commerce and promote prosperity, while others are trying to find ways to weaken it enough so that when the Myrkur are destroyed, they can go back to the way things once were.

The Great Threat

Something has been awakened in the deepest vaults of Voltan’s Laboratories, something that should have stayed sealed, but a greedy Dwarf whose name has been erased from The Scrolls, wanted power to combat his rivals and raise his Clan above the rest. Some sort of super soldier was created by Voltan, a new weapon that had not yet been deployed in his War Games. A humanoid creation, with metallic black skin that has the strength of chain mail, hands and feet that sport talons that are as hard as adamantine, and an inhuman agility. They may replicate themselves asexually, forming metal cocoons that shield them for a lunar cycle, and coming out as two creatures that are as hardy, fit, and strong as the day they went in. The dwarves called them the Myrkur; they are the Living Darkness and upon inspecting them, found they are inorganic creatures formed of a metal alloy. It is as if the very earth of Voltana spawned these creatures and fights against the Three Kingdoms.

The Myrkur are relentless and cunning, their motivation is unknown, but there is no question they are hostile towards anyone on Voltana. There has been no signs of them seeking to make peace, build colonies or settlements, or perform anything that would resemble a function of civilization. They fight, devour, and replicate. When the lunar cycle reaches its peak, and the mithril beneath the earth hums to the tune of the moon, they have been known to go into their replication cycle. They congregate with each other to form “nests” but they do not guard their nesting grounds and have little sense of protecting each other. The Voltanan’s destroy any of these nests as soon as they find them, as it’s the best time to strike them.

They find ways to form groups, usually numbering a small squadron of 5, but have been known to amass in larger groups. As they congregate, they get more cunning and their battle tactics get more sophisticated, but they have no empathy towards one another and little sense of self-preservation. The Three Kingdoms have won more battles than they have lost, but only by keeping the Myrkur’s numbers low. If it every went unchecked, there is no telling what could happen.

While somewhat morbid, the Dwarves have found that arming themselves with the Myrkur metals, made from their remains, gives them a better chance against these creatures. It is on par with adamantine and mithril for strength, flexibility, and weight. As with all things involving the Myrkur however, their origins and even existence are a great secret. Myrkur Metal is tightly controlled. The Voltanans do not want anyone to know what is happening and an unknown metal might start people asking questions.

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The Climate: Blizzards and Bitter Cold

Voltana’s surface is a temperate climate in a perpetual state of cold because it lacks sunlight and sees a great amount of precipitation. More than a third of the continent is covered by high mountains with many jagged teeth and sharp valleys. Rest of the continent is a vast frozen tundra with small shrubbery and tundra grasses that form over rolling hills and jagged ridges. Travel in Voltana is not for the faint of heart. Frequent blizzards and great storms rage away at the surface, yet plant and animal life survive. Most plants and animals are very squat or very large. The two extremes has proven beneficial for the smaller ones to hide from the cold and the larger ones to ignore it. In regions where cover is scarce, great herds of creatures form their own cover by huddling together. Evergreen and Tundra type foliage dominate the landscape. Surface agriculture is basically impossible, so hunter and gatherer techniques are used.

There are only a few settlements on the surface, controlled by the Goblins and Dwarves as trade hubs and transfer facilities. Most people of the Three Kingdoms live deep underground in their vast caverns and halls. If you want to trade with the Three Kingdoms you will find yourself in one of these cities at some point. Life in these cities is hard work, but quite prosperous, which promotes a stoic and hardy folk that have the potential to get quite rich.

Beneath the surface of Voltana is a network of caverns, tunnels, chambers, and ecosystems unlike anything you can imagine. There is no weather, so the people of the Three Kingdoms are used to their relatively stable tunnels, where cold is ever-present, but rarely fluctuates. A well-tended fire and the body heat of a few hundred beings, makes life in the subterranean tunnels rather mild, temperature only becomes a problem outside of the civilized areas.

Life on Voltana

Life thrives within the depths of the Mountains, great caverns are used to grow all manner of food, including some food that would typically require sunlight, thanks to the Simulation Chambers of Voltan. What was once home to war games, now grows crops in perfect year round conditions, producing two to three times the yield of a similar plotof land. The pillars of life revolve around mining, banking, agriculture, and trade; all thriving deep beneath the surface of its Rocky Crags.

The Goblins and Dwarves are the strongest rivals and their feuds are legendary. Without the Great Threat, they would be fighting with each other on every level, while showing a sweet smiling face to their clients. The Kobolds stand neutral and aloof from the other Voltanans, while granting access to rare mineral deposits in return for any concessions they wish. The surface of Voltana is dominated by Dwarven and Goblin Trade Hubs, manned by all manner of folk, paid handsomely to keep their mouth’s shut about what is going on while handling incoming and outgoing trade goods.

Life is as good as it has been in hundreds of years under the Gargadath Treaty. The Three Kingdoms are working together instead of killing each other and their internal conflicts are subdued in favor of fighting the Myrkur. It is surprising how a common enemy can unify even the greatest rivals.

The Iron Sphere and The Back Door

When one amasses riches, it is logical for them to find a way to protect them. Voltana, with its deep vaults and already advanced weapon manufacturing, advertised their banks and vaults as the obvious choice, but needed a way to defend against airships and keep their airspace safe. To do that, they realized they need an air defense system unheard of in the Realms, so the Voltanan Dwarves quickly purchased as many Floatstones as they could, sparing no expense. With them, they created the Iron Sphere, a complete sphere of air stations surrounding Voltana that blockade any airship traffic that might decide to enter Voltana. Each airstation may see at least 8 other air stations around them, all of them manned by vigilant dwarves (or goblins) and armed to the teeth with guns that seem to have a limitless supply of ammo. All airships must stop at Iron Sphere Customs before moving through to the Realm of Voltana.

The Iron Sphere is impenetrable, but the Goblins have The Back Door. The Goblins have always been economic rivals to the Dwarves and when the Dwarves fashioned the Iron Sphere, found themselves trapped. They tried to work out a way to secure passage, but the cost was high; the Dwarves were choking them with tariffs and customs penalties. They needed a way around it, and they found it within Voltan’s deepest chamber a multidimensional space that he crafted to tap into the Well of the Worlds. He called it the Portal Gallery, the goblins like to call it The Back Door. It is a massive chamber a cubic mile in size. Within it are multiple portals that lead to specific locations in the Realms. When the Goblins found this, they knew they had a way past the Iron Sphere. They used it until the Dwarves came to the realization that they needed to make a deal or suffer a very real threat from within.

The Harbinitz Agreement was signed between the Goblins and Dwarves, named after the Goblin that negotiated it. In states that 1 out of every 8 Iron Sphere Stations must be manned entirely by Goblins and considered Sovereign Goblin land. Now, with control of an eighth of the Iron Sphere, the Goblins use airships as their primary trade method with other Realms and The Back Door only for official Goblin Kingdom business. Anyone else can use it as well, but they must pay a hefty sum to bypass the Iron Sphere. This arrangement keeps their coffers overflowing, but the Goblins are not foolish enough to abuse it.