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Trans-Aurelian Railway, en route to Aurelia, February 4901....

Caleb snaps back to reality, waking up from his sleep. He looks around only to spot the source of the noise that woke him up. It was Joky, the other man sitting next to him who was resting his back on the timber, playing the guitar and using his wonderful voice. Joky was a vagrant, whom Caleb met just yesterday when he got on the train. Apparently, the locomotive conductors allow a limited amount of vagrants to ride the train in exchange of some bribery. Even though they met just yesterday, Caleb felt that Joky as his only friend in the world in these circumstances, after all it was due to him that Caleb didn't starve to death, for Joky had some spare food, so it didn't matter that the guy was reeking of booze and smiled with his only three teeths in his mouth.
Without intrerruption, Joky sang his song until the final chord, then he placed his trusty guitar next to him, nodding as Caleb applauded...
"You still haven't told me why you're heading for the capital." said Joky, staring quietly at Caleb.
"Heading to find..uh..work, you know?" replied Caleb, knowing full well he just told a lie.
Joky didn't want to insist no further, and decided to just change the subject. They kept the dialogue up until they reached Aurelia, finally. Caleb could not peek through the metal door properly, the only light in the wagon came through the small openings between the door and the structure of the wagon itself, which meant that he couldn't see the grandeur of the city as he approached it. Eventually, the train stopped and the conductor came while pushing a big trash bin with him. He had Joky and Caleb fall down into the trash bin so they could be hidden from view, and delivered the trash bin in the back alley of the industrial trainstation.

After getting out of the trash bin, Caleb and Joky shook hands and departed, each heading towards his own destiny. Only after stepping out of the narrow industrial alley could Caleb see the splendour and grandeur of Aurelia in it's entireness, as the city's landscape rising from the mountain's valley plunges the rays of the sun.



It was an entire new world for him. Sure, he's been to cities before, but not the capital itself. None of the other cities had a much bigger population and a more impressive imperial presence inside. Aurelia had a composition the same of any other aurelian city, with dark elves concentrated mostly in wealthy neighbourhoods and around the better parts of the city, but Caleb wasn't going to see any of them for he was on his way towards the city's docks, as requested by his father; he had to meet that mysterious man his father told him about, Maverick.



The day was wonderful, the sun's shine touched gently the various metal structures surrounding the mountains as the children were playing around with a ball, shopkeepers keeping up with the busy streets and the newspaper boys running around shouting. Caleb stops one of the boys and puts a coin in his hand, taking the newspaper afterwards in order to catch up with the world. He proceeds to unfold it and take a glance around the front page....



"15th of February already!?" said Caleb to himself, obviously shocked. Time sure flies when you are on the run from town guards and survive a forrest in the middle of the winter season, good thing he took that train when he could, must've certainly lowered the duration of the whole journey to the capital. The newspaper was full of gritty news, not only from across the Empire, but all across Aurelia. Caleb was shocked to see that civil unrest had begun more than a week ago. It seemed that just yesterday the Emperor died and he was just fishing on the shores of his village. Perhaps the biggest surprise to him was that the people did not rise up against the imperial administration after the massacre of the protestors. Blood was boiling inside Caleb. At that moment in time, he found himself enraged beyond his normal limits. There's no doubt that Caleb wasn't the only one feeling the same about the Empire, about the dark elves. Indeed, hate has been building inside most human subjects in Aurelia, as unrest was reported everywhere across the province. The Securitariat was working tirelessly day and night to counter the unrest, many ending up missing or dead in the night. Human rights advocates were imprisoned and the riot police deployed across the province, only serving to cement the hatred of the whole population. The imperial administration intensified airship patrols around the accesible and main paths of the Northern Range Mountains, and nationwide manhunts were carried for high targets of the resistance. This whole situation put a dire strain on the human and dwarven population, neighbours turned enemies on one another, loyalists snitching fellow humans just for a mere suspection, many were never to return to their loved ones; families disbanded or forced into hiding by the authorities and a censorship on non-imperial affiliated media outlets and businesses. Each day, in many cities, towns and villages, you could find public executions of 'treasonous rebels' by hanging. Indeed, the situation was becoming increasingly dire.
After he was done reading, Caleb went to search around the area for the 'Gilweed Tavern', just as instructed by his father. Stalking around the streets, he managed to find the tavern in no time, especially since the owner had the pleasant idea of placing radio loudspeakers at the entrance, attracting clients with the help of music.
After entering the tavern, Caleb went straight to the bar, where he the barman for a man named 'Maverick'. The barman just pointed towards one of the wooden windows, where a man in ragged and tattered clothes was staying at a nearby table with a half-empty glass infront of him, a badly sewed hood covering his head. Caleb went to greet the stranger...
Caleb did not even get to say "Hello...uh...Maverick? I'm here to deli-" before the guy gestured him to shut up and take a seat. Taking a closer look at the mysterious man, you could see his cheeks and jaw, devoid of any hair whatsoever. He had warm blue eyes, the only sign that could give away a hint of his old age specific wiseness.
"I need you to be quiet, son. I don't like loudness. Who are you?" said Maverick, seemingly surprised.
"I'm Caleb, son of Hallam. My father entrusted me with delivering you some sort of document. I don't exactly know what it is, for I did not open it. He said it is of most importance."
The only thing Maverick could say was "By Ayleis, you've grown up. You were just a little over 6 years last time I saw your father."
As Caleb opens his satchel in order to grab the document in order to give it to Maverick, he said "How'd you meet my father?"
Maverick smiles at the words spoken by the young man, seemingly venturing himself back in time with memory, his eyes narrowing "I met him almost 50 years ago. We were both assigned the same room on the ship 'Emperor Nerzo', one of the first and finest ironclad class ships of the Empire at that time. He was the first fellow cadet I met."
"My father was in the imperial navy? He never told us about that! He was a farmer all his life." replied Caleb, obviously surprised.
Maverick opens his dirty leather wallet and places an old photo infront of Caleb...



"Do you recognise your old man on the left? I'm the one on the right. We were only 20 years when this photo was taken....it brings back so many memories..." said Maverick, contemplating back to earlier, happier times.
Caleb looked in awe at his younger father...but he couldn't help but notice the pointy elf years of Maverick. "You're an elf?" replied Caleb, changing his facial expression from curiosity to annoyance.
"I prefer the term 'half-breed'...I know what you're thinking. My mother was human, my father was a wood elf. I know you folks don't like elves too much, I've dealt with all my life. What saved me was the fact that I had human blood, and that I was not a dark elf." said Maverick in defense.
Caleb calmed himself afterwards, allowing Maverick to resume his dialogue "We've spent a good ten years in the navy. Of course, we weren't promoted to officers or higher ups because of our bloodline, but we were respected, at least among the crew. We had some good runs. We were among the ones who fought the pirates in their golden age."
"I wish father would've told us about that....now that I think about it, I hardly know him." replied Caleb, in a melancholic voice.
"He was the best seaman I knew...and a good friend." said Maverick, before snapping back to reality. "We must get out of here, I have a safehouse a few districts from here, we're going to have to walk a while. Once we get somewhere safe, I'll explaing everything to you."
The two got up and left.
February, 4901, somewhere in the Northern Range Mountains.....

Lieutenant general Zavros Omrud snaps himself out of sleeping due to the locomotive's sound. The Trans-Aurelian Railway sure was busy today. Zavros peeked outside of his wagon to inspect the famed beauty of the Nothern Range Mountains.



The military train was stamped with Yllendir sigils at every door. Zavros opened his official records book in order to once again take a look over the cargo of the train. Bolt action rifles, artillery and rifle ammunition and general food ration supplies. The train was heading towards the capital of the province. Ever since the crisis of the twin emperors, Aurelia has been increasingly becoming a fire pot. Imperial authorities received increased reports of dissidence, especially in the remote areas of the Midlands.
Everything was quiet, the peace of the train was undisturbed, or so it seemed. Within the blink of an eye, the train's conductor pulled a forced attempt at stopping the train as an explosion could be heard in the distance. Zavros, together with his men, fimly grasped the seat's handles as the train eventually began to fall off the railway bridge. The train smashed itself from the cliffs and eventually stopped between a narrow corridor through the mountain. It seems that his operation was planned. Some of the Yllendir soldiers fell to their doom further down the valley, with some passing out due to trauma from being thrown around in the train. A handful of them were aware, including Zavros. Within ten minutes, a swarm of figures began to descend from small caves in the cliffs, down unto the train. The locomotive was on fire, burning coal being spilled everywhere. Eventually, the locomotive exploded, sending a wave of push force through the mysterious figures, each struggling to maintain their balance. Zavros's vision was dizzy enough to make him not realise what was happening on the moment, but he could distinguish the vague sound of bullets flying around.
Eventually, the atmosphere calmed down, and Zavros found himself being grabbed by what appears to be the infamous aurelian rebels. You could certainly distinguish them from the previous yells of "EEEEHAYYYYY!" and "YEEEEEEHHHHAAAAA!". No, this wasn't a silly non-sense child shout, this was the famous rebel yell of the aurelians, a tradition from the peasants who used these sounds to distinguish themselves over vast terrain in the swamps and forrests of the Midlands.
After the general has been captured, he was tied tightly and put a bag over his head. The rest of the surviving dark elves were executed by headshot from a revolver, each being spat on by the rebels before being killed. The rebels cried out in victory as they signaled the others to climb down on the train. In half of an hour, wooden crates and medium containers tied to rope were descending down, together with a dozen more people. The heavy cargo was loaded on the crates and containers, while multiple rifles were attached to the back of each rebel. Such an operation lasted two hours roughly. Finally, the rebels torched the train further, leaving only the metal structure of the train to partially survive.

Later in the same day....

A bucket of water splash and Zavros wakes up, finding himself almost naked, aside of his underwear and a few bandages around his wounds. By the looks of it, seems like the rebels want him alive. "Wake up, elf." said one of the men standing outside of the cell the general was in. "You've just signed your death warrance, rebel scum." replied the dark elf, managing to stand up, although unbalanced.
The general was escorted through stone halls and chambers, many with overgrown mushrooms and cave fauna. At the end of a hall, the general understood where he was, an old dwarven settlement, now inhabited by the rebels.



Along the way, the general is spat on and mocked by the rebels, who were intrerupted from their meals and trainings. Entering one of the stone buildings, the rebels put the general on a chair and has his hands and feet tied down against his will. "Release me at once, and you have my personal promise that you and your band will receive the mercy of the Empire in the form of conscri-" the general could not finish his sentence because a swift punch from one of the men landed on his right cheek, making him cry out in pain and grunt afterwards.
"You're going to spend the next weeks, maybe months, here. You best listen closely and collaborate." said the rebel who seemed to command here. The next hours of the day were infernal for the general, where he refused to answer the interrogation of the rebels, he either had one of his nails pulled off, or a teeth taken out.

February, 4901, Midlands forrest......

Days passed like crazy since Caleb found himself alone in the forrest. Sure, his entire life living in a village proved fruitful, for he learnt the arts of surviving in nature, but you could only survive much time. The winter was mild in the Midlands, but still, coldness increasingly crept through Caleb's body as days passed. He returned to his hideout, a small cave in the roots of an enormous tree. He spent the last number of days there, making the fire, eating worms, mushrooms and squirrels from time to time. His ammunition was depleted, for he used the last bullets in a previous fight with a boar. By pure luck, he didn't encounter wolves yet....but he was suffering from a cold, looked like it would be a severe one. At night, while lamenting in his own pain and neverending coughs, Caleb made peace with the fact that he will most likely die in a forgotten forrest, failing his father. On occasion, memories from childhoold would pop up in his head, from playing with his brother to learning how to ride on Tom. Eventually, he closed his eyes.

It seemed like just a second since he passed out. Caleb opened his blurry vision to see himself inside someone's house. The sun gently shined through the window, the shadows of various alchemy glasses tainting the illuminated floor.



Caleb gets up quietly as the bed cracks some noises, promting an elderly woman to come out of a room. Caleb looks at her with suspicion at first."When I found you, I couldn't tell if you were alive or asleep, now it seems you're healthy as ever" said the woman, smiling warmfully.
"W-Where am I? Who are you?" replied Caleb, still dizzy.
"I believe the correct words are 'Thank you!', young man.
Caleb quickly proceeds to look around for his satchel, which he spots on the chair next to the bed. He reaches the satchel in order to search through to see if the old lady hasn't stolen anything.
"Don't worry, I'm no thief. All your belongings are there, untouched. You were in a bad state, the winter cold seemed to kill you slowly. You're experiencing a dizzyness state because I infused in you some personal herbs for revitalization and cure.
"Why? Why did you bring me here? Why did you save me? replied Caleb curiously.
The old lady gestured for Caleb to wait as a noise came from the kitchen. She went towards the kitchen, gesturing for him to follow her. As both went inside the kitchen, the old lady had Caleb sit on the wooden table with a wonderful sheet ontop, full of aurelian traditional motifs. The old lady was brewing some porridge and she served Caleb her own special recipe.
"Why I saved you? It's what I do, me and the dogs, too!
"The dogs?"
"How do you think I carried you here, sweety? All by myself? No, the dogs pulled the sleigh with you on it.
The two would go on for many hours to talk about pretty much anything. Apparently this old lady has lived her whole life with her husband alone in this forrest. She and her husband grew together ever since they were children during the conquest of Aurelia. Both of their families were among those who took refuge in the forrest after the war.
Listen, I have to get to Aurelia as quickly as possible. Know any route out of here? said Caleb, eventually remembering his mission.
The forrest is pierced by a railway, trains usually stop here in order to collect wood from the local camp. You can try and sneak in one of the wagons.

That was the plan from then. Once he left the old lady, he followed the path that the elderly lady told him about and arrived at the camp in the middle of the night. Seems like everyone was sleeping. His luck once again hit him as he saw the train suspended on the stone bridge that pierced through the trees of the forrest. With huge caution, Caleb made his way past the wooden fence and without making any sound, he climbed the metal ladder upwards, arriving at the tracks. He pulled the door aside as quiet as he could and hopped on in one of the wagons, making sure he'll be hidden through the numerous wood stacked. The next day, the train began it's course to the capital, Aurelia...
First quarter of February, border of the Emerald Coast and the Midlands, Aurelia, 4901...

Caleb spent the entire night on the stoned pathway towards the Midlands. He's been enjoying the calm surreal night sky and the quietness of the nature. "How strange..." he tought to himself regarding the fact that no local patrols were around this night. Usually the authorities patrol the pathways, especially at night. Nevertheless, he continues. By the morning, his eyes were pierced both by tiredness and by the rising sun from the East. He had already entered the Midlands, judging by the terrain.



Caleb reaches into the satchel hanging by the horse's mount. He rolls open the paper and takes a look at the province of Aurelia, placing his gaze around the local area that he was in. "Just a little more until we reach the village of Viris, Tommy boy." said Caleb, ironically speaking to his horse, Tom. Indeed, after half of an hour or so, Caleb manages to arrive at the welcoming gates of Viris.
How to describe Viris? Not big, neither small...for a village that is. Typical houses made of low quality bricks dot the atmosphere of the village. You could see the steam leaving the numerous vents of the buildings, gently rising and dispersing itself into the air. It was a beautiful morning. Caleb provides his name and reason for arriving to the guards at the gate and proceeds to pass inside. Standards of Yllendir could be seen hanging from walls here and there, the stone pathway, with it's shiny small grass around the cobblestone, looked like it was still wet from last night. "Seems it rained here last night." poured into Caleb's cheerful mind as he was on his way towards the nearest tavern.



Arriving at the tavern, he couldn't help but spot the rounded roofs. "Tavern Lunaria" was inscribed at the top of the door, on a wooden piece hanging lazly from an iron support. He proceeds to steer his horse into the tavern's stables, tie Tom down and then head inside. The tavern wasn't much, but it was tidy and comfortable, especially after an entire night of galloping from the Emerald Coast to the border of the Midlands. The faded lights on the cellar, coupled with the rising smoke from the cigarettes of the clients at the tables, made the atmosphere very interesting indeed. Hanging from one of the wooden bars across the cellar from the entrance towards the bar was the sign "The Grey Shade". Caleb heard this name before, it was a famous cigarette brand. The smell of tobacco didn't stop him from going straight to the bar. For a morning, the atmosphere was pretty busy and cheerful. There wasn't any elf around, only humans and dwarves at best. As he goes through the tables, Caleb hears constant "Cheers!" through and through.



"What could these people cheer about so early in the damn morning?" muttered Caleb under his nose, making sure nobody hears him. As he reaches the counter of the bar, the barman asks him "What'll be?"
"Sorry...I need the coi-" but before finishing his sentence, one of the happy fellows next to him at the counter tells the barman "GIVE THE LAD ONE ON ME, JERRY!"
Caleb looks at the guy with a visible confusion. After the barman pours some strange liquid inside a small glass, Caleb grabs it and goes straight to the generous man and asks "Thanks..but, uh, why?" in a typical surprised teenager voice.
"Tell me you didn't hear?! Ayleris be praised, the bloody elves are killing eachother, haha!" replied the man, happly.
"What are you talking about?" said Caleb, even more curious.
Boy, you need to get one of those radios some day. The Emperor is dead, my friend, and his sons have just began fighthing for the throne. They call it 'The War of the Twins', figures. Every human who heard the news is celebrating, my friend. replied the drunken man, with a neverending smile on his face.
Caleb proceeds to slide the hard liquor down his throat, making a weird facial expression. Indeed it was strong. He paid immediately the barman for a room, renting it for a day, and went straight upstairs, carrying his satchel eagerly.Toughts like "So that's what father warned us about before I left...but what role do I play in this? What's written in that scroll?" pierced through his mind, so many questions. He decided to just rest for the rest of the day.

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Meanwhile in the same day, evening in the capital, Aurelia....

The city is mumbling with life. The main boulevard is adorned with black flags, a symbol of mourn for the recently deceased Emperor. Across each corner of the streets, you could definately spot a child shouting "ECRUIR AND OLARTH, READ ALL ABOUT IT TODAY! EMPEROR ASSASINATED! WAR OF THE TWINS! READ ALL ABOUT IT TODAY!".



A well clad dark elf steps out of his carriage and is escorted by the imperial guards into the Imperial Governship Building, a large building, adorned in the standards of Yllendir. This elf was Vulre Pazana, governor of Aurelia. He steps into the great chamber, greeting many as he heads towards the podium.



Vulre clears his throat and begins his planned speech "Gentlemen, I trust all of you heard the news from the past days. It's true, Yllendir is plunged, as of now, into a civil war. I came here today as Governor of this province in order to discuss, together with you all, the matters at hand. We can remain neutral for so long. We MUST pick a side."
The room was full with barons, counts and other influential elves from all across Aurelia. The chamber was full of whispers and chit chat, obviously the civil war has put everyone on the edge. You could hear them arguing with eachother mindlessly on and on...

"It's clear we have to ally with Ecruir. He's still in power in the Crownlands, which means he will surely win the war, he has all the resources at hand. To think otherwise would be political suicide!"

"What about the province? You're not in the Crownlands, you're here. Your assets are here, your riches are here, your family is here, back in the Crownlands you are worth nothing! Same goes for all of us!"

"Ecruir is the true heir to the emperor! He's been declared so in the capital itself!"

"Gentlemen! Think about the stakes here, not only in the Crownlands! Allying with Ecruir's delusions of total purity will ignite the spark of rebellion among the humans and elves? MUST I REMIND YOU THEY ARE THE ONES WORKING THE FIELDS AND MINES OF THIS PROVINCE, NOT TO MENTION THE BULK OF THE POPULATION!? EVERYTHING YOU HAVE HERE COMES FROM THEM, WE HAVE TO KEEP OUR SLAVES OBEDIENT! SUCH A REBELLION AT THIS POINT WILL PROVE DESASTRUOUS FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE EMPIRE!"

"SIT DOWN YOU OLD FOOL! YOU'RE SCARED OF SERFS, PEASANTS AND MINERS?"

"HAHAHA!"

"LET HIM SPEAK!"


It's a hot debate, one of many that will come in the following days, even weeks.

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Next day, Viris village, Midlands.....

Caleb suddently wakes up after an entire day of well deserved sleep. He reaches for his clothes, prepares himself and proceeds to head downstairs back to the bar area. The bar was empty aside of the barman. He heads outside, unties his horse and hops on, proceeding to head into the city, towards the other gate that leads further North. As he makes his way through the village's center, Caleb could spot a large crowd of people gathered infront of a wooden podium. Three figures were hanging, strangled, with a guard overlooking the crowd, carring a speech "Let this be a reminder to any future dissidence..."
Caleb briefly stops with his horse by at the edge of the crowd and asks one woman about the affairs. She proceeds to debrief him on the events leading to the hanging. The three strangled persons were convicted of treason against the Empire because, supposedly, the town's keep found them trying to ignite the local baron's estate as an act of terrorism against the elven administration. Caleb makes his way by the podium and spots the revealed face of the hanged men. Caleb widens his eyes, as he recognises one of them being the man who just yesterday gave him that drink at the bar. It was obvious to him that someone heard too much and reported him to the authorities yesterday.
Caleb knew he could not afford to spend more time in Viris, he could became a target soon. He hastly made his way towards the exit of the village. The gate was relatively lightly guarded, with a few guards here and then chatting or overlooking the outside. Before Caleb could reach the gate, a guard on foot approached him with a "Halt! Who are you? Documen-"
Before the guard could finish his sentence, in a moment of panic, Caleb slammed the leather handles of the horse as Tom raised in the air, making the guard plunge backwards. He immediately galloped towards the gate before the other guards could figure out what happened, hearing in the background as he began to distance himself from the village "AFTER HIM!"
Caleb forgot about anything in the world for the moment. He had to run as far away as he could. The local authorities were after him. After tremendous efforts, Caleb only lost his pursuers by heading through the forrest, away from the stone pathway.



As the horse struggled itself to gallope in the harsh terrain, due to exhaustion, Tom broke it's ankle, splitting the skin open and causing the horse to cry out in pain, throwing Caleb aside into the water. His vision blurred by mud, he got up with a loud grunt and switched his gaze towards his satchel, which landed on grass out of luck. He switched his gaze back at his horse as he was laying down in water and mud, heavily breathing out of pain. Blood was like a reddish dust forming inside the water.
"Oh, I'm sorry Tommy....this shouldn't have happened...." said Caleb, leaning down next to his horse, catching his breath. Tom has been the horse of the family for a good six years. His father loved this horse. Caleb knew it was his responsability to end Tom's suffering, and so he reached into his pocket to grab the pistol he found when he first went away from home. He loads six rounds inside the small revolver, pulls the safety off and aims towards Tom's head, proceeding to pull the trigger, ending his companion's suffering.
With a tremendous pain in soul, Caleb grabbed his satchel and proceeded to continue by food in the forrest. He knew that he would spend the next couple of days or even the week inside the forrest.


The village of Seaside Arrow, aurelian Emerald Coast of the Yllendir Empire, First quarter of February, 4901.
At night's dawn.....



"It's time to go, brother." said Vens to his brother, Caleb. His brother was quietly staring at the stars on the sky, as if they were whispering something in his head, but before long, he replied back "You're right, mother's probably going to tell the constabulary that we've been eaten by wolves...". The two got up and grapped their wooden fishing equiment, together with the small catch of the day, and went back home hastly. The stoned patch through the village seemed empty of life, if it wasn't for the calm, comfortable atmosphere inside the wooden houses. The start of the spring was still chilly enough, especially at night on a coastal village like this, so most houses were unleashing smoke trails into the sky from the stoned horns.



Gentle lights from entrances and windows touched the eyes of the two brothers as they wandered back home. Time seems to obey the villagers, not around, it seems. Life here is simple, kind, boring at times even. "You read the newspaper they keep bringing here each week? I gave the newsboy some fish yesterday and he gave me the newspaper without demanding money." said Vens, breaking the silence, before proceeding to continue "This entire bicker for the emperor throne is affecting more and more nations. It's unsettling!" said Vens. "I know what you're thinking...." replied Caleb, seemingly all-knowing. "Of course you do! You're going to reach 18 years old in a week, remember? You will soon be... conscripted." said Vens, eyeing his brother closely as they walk the stoned path. "I know you care for me, but that's how it is...damn elves, we're fighthing in their war, and for what? It's not enough that they've been oppressing us for only the gods know how long... replied Caleb. You could see the hatred in his eyes, ever since childhood he's been holding that hatred for elves. Hatred which has been passed down from generation to generation, father to son. Certainly, most of the humans hated the elves, but Vens wasn't like Caleb in this regard.

The two arrive at the wooden fence of their family's house, hearing a dialogue from inside. Before they could enter, two mysterious human men open the door and take their leave, without any gesture or words, hastly walking by the two brothers, ignoring them. Caleb and Vens look at eachother with confusion, then step inside the house as they are greeted by mother. They exchange the usual dialogue and proceed to hand over the catch of the day, ready to be prepared into a sweet fish soup by mother. After a while, the soup was ready, and the whole family was called to dinner. Nobody sat on the table before the leader of the household, the father, sat first. After he came, they all quietly take their seats, say the customary prayer before the dinner and then they start to eat. Oh, it was good and warm, definately only a mother's touch can make such fine food....but across the table, their old man sat, quietly staring into his bowl as he takes small sips with his wooden spoon. He was clearly nervous about something, something was on his mind. Had it any link with the two men that perviously rushed out of the door? He was troubled indeed, and it didn't take long for Caleb to notice.



"Are you going to tell us what's wrong? Did the pointy ears demand even more grain again?!" said Caleb with his usual distain for elves. "Watch your language at the table!" shouted his mother. Caleb just rolls his eyes and looks at his father, who was still silently looking down into the bowl. "There's a storm brewing, my children. I just wish I wasn't alive to see it..." said the father, breaking the silence. The two children stopped eating for a brief moment, leaning closer to listen. "Listen, there's not enough time. Caleb, you are the eldest child here, I need you to prepare yourself for what will come next for you, and for all of us." said the old man, as Caleb stopped eating completely and just sat there, listening. The father puts on the table a rolled manuscript, with the village's seal stamp on it. "You will have to deliver this to...Aurelia and-.." the father did not even get to finish his sentence before Vens replied with "What's that!?". The father gestures him to shut up and proceeds to continue "Caleb, you have to deliver this to Aurelia! It is of utmost importance, do you understand? Deliver this to a man named Maverick, in the Gilweed Tavern, by the docks! You will find it. Do not ask any questions, for they will be answered in due time."The father finishes his soup and gets up from the table, further saying "You're leaving tonight.", leaving Caleb with no time to ask anything but to do as his father commanded him to do. The father gives Caleb a couple of fine clothes, certainly from the cities. Caleb never before adorned such clothes, made him look like one of those prestigious people from the city, and in haste, he left.

Riding the family's horse down into the night, carrying the manuscript, Caleb could only wander what awaits him, he had so many questions, his head could blow at any moment, but in a moment of silence, as he plunged his right hand into one of the suit's pocket, he grabbed what appears to be a small gun. A gun!? What for? Time seems to no longer hold the village in regard. As father put it: "They were running out of time."



Nation Name:
Governorate of Aurelia

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Flag:



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Type of Government:
Province of the Yllendir Empire, under elven government.

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Head(s) of Government:
Head of Council Vulre Pazana

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Economy: (Main imports, exports, industries, technology level, etc.)



Courtesy to the Northern Range, the mountains that make up almost half of the province, Aurelia has hundreds of industrial centers scattered around, mining precious metals, building materials and even pumping the relatively new wonder resource called "Petroleum". These sacred mountains offer iron, bronze, brass, stone, gold and diamonds. The aurelian people have longe since mastered the art of terrace farms, with many such farms forming the unique landscape of the Uplands, the base of the Northern Range mountains. These farms are one of the reasons such a mountainous province such as Aurelia manages to maintain closely to 52,000,000 people. Stable food is both consumed province-wide, aswell as exported to the Empire.



Another considerate resource is wood from the numerous forrests of the Midlands, some of the Empire's finest ships, furniture and buildings being made from the famous aurelian wood. And of course, Aurelia's southern coast, the Emerald Coast, is famed for it's sea food and cuisine, not to mention the numerous luxurious resources such as the purple color extracted from the squids and the pearls of the southern ocean or the more notorious gigantic Palmyra Mushrooms, whose hallucinating proprieties are used by the wealthy, especially during decadent parties.

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Primary Species:
Humans are the most populous, with a sizeable population of Dwarfs and Elfs.

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Population:
Around 52.000.000 of which 2,000,000 are Yllendir elves and 4,000,000 dwarves, with small pockets of other races here and there, but the bulk number of 46,000,000 is made of human aurelians.

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Culture:

The humans of Aurelia come in many diverse variations, from swarthier complexions in the south to more lighter ones in the North. Aurelia's human population has a long history of peasantry. They take pride in living simple lives, with the most sacred thing being the rigid family structure where man is the leader of the household. Many aurelian families have up to 6 children, especially in the rural parts of the province, for they require additional help on their fields of work. Aurelians have the privilege of bearing a rich culture, with traditions, poetry and a code of duty. The key word is "kinsmanship". Because of the imperial administration, most rural humans are segregated from the elven presence, but time has proven that humans are quick to adopt the elven culture, especially in urban centers. Their traditional art and motifs often include straight lines, elaborate curves. Among the traditional decorative art of aurelians, the sun motif is the most common one to be found, for they have long since worshipped Ayleris, their cheif deity.
Aurelians take pride in their homeland, and even though scars of the Yllendirian conquest began to fade decades ago as new generations take the helm, there's still a strong disdain for elven presence, albeit secretive, passed down from parent to son among the human population.



Aurelia's dwarven population had lived for generations together with mankind in the Northern Range, but ever since the imperial conquest, most of the dwarven population has been cast away from their cave holdings nestled in the mountains, with many of their cities and outposts having been collapsed due to imperial orders. Only a handful of them remain nowdays to remind the glory of old times, some converted to mining slums, and even fewer managing to remain hidden from the elven knowledge, forever bound to retain the dwarven secrets and treasures.
Since their exodus, many have chosen to settle in cities, towns and villages across the entire province, either as local blacksmits, industrial slaves or same field of work as their human neighbours. Of interest is the fact that the human and dwarven relationship was good even before the Empire, the conquest serving only to solidify it.





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Religious and Other Beliefs:

The primary religion is the cult of Ayleris, who is often associated with the sun, however, many regions have their own unique way of worshipping him. Along with him, there's a small secondary pantheon of gods.

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Location/Territories:



Aurelia is split in three main territories, as follow:


The ancestral homeland of aurelian mankind. The Northern Range Mountains dot the upper half of the province, providing both the Empire and the people resources such as iron, stone, gold and other metals. Tousands of villages and towns dot the Range's peaks and plateaus on the mountains, with a railway network spanning from Aurelia all the way towards Qubus.

Important cities/towns:








A great vast of hills and pastures, full of civilization. The forrests and the terrace farms engulf much of the territory. Great industrial towns and villages flourish due to the wood and food commerce and production, and a great deal of dark elven barons and lords rule over petty settlements from their castles and mansions.

Important cities/towns:
















Also known as The Southern Coast, this region marks the end of the Trans-Aurelian Railway. Exotic in appearance, this region developed a healthy and serious tourism industry, with high officials from the Empire choosing to spend their vacations on the numerous resorts on the coast. The sea provides resources such as corals and it's vital for trade, exports and imports. The Emerald Coast has a rich history of piracy and naval warfare.

Important cities/towns:







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Climate:
Colder temperate climate in the Northern Range, with warmer temperate climate in the Midlands and a dry summer climate on the Emerald Coast, a location favourite for the rich on vacations.

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Military:
Being a province of Yllendir, the same principles apply here.

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Magic Prevalence/Usage and Elemental Alignment:
Magic prevalence is very low, as Aurelians shun it, but certain underground organisations actively practice what is called by the inhabitants "Black Magic".

------------------------------------------------

History/Background Info:

Since a good portion of the population of Aurelia are peasants, written documents are scarce, especially after the imperial conquest of Aurelia. The general consensus regarding the earliest Aurelian history, as imperial historians put it, is that the region of Aurelia has been a battle ground between western and eastern forces at many points in time, but as one Yllendirian scholar puts it: "Mankind of Aurelia is both an enigma and a miracle." referencing the fact that despite incursions from the outside, the human population has succesfuly maintained identity integrity and cultural cohesion. It is, however, known that aurelian cultural presence has definately been a part of the barbarian invasions into Yllendir, 1000 years ago.

The surviving records show the feudal foundation of the Aurelian province at the start of the Moonrise War, 288 years ago. There were dozen of petty states ruled by different lords. Out of all these lords, the most famous person of Aurelian history will rise. Aurelian the Great, the man who would come to conquer all the human states of Aurelia, founding the Aurelian Dynasty. Scholars have been unable to properly find the old name of the current province, lost in time, probably erased by force from the scribes of Aurelian.

The Aurelian Dynasty would last only a bit more than 200 years. Around 70 years ago, Yllendrian armies began their conquest of Aurelia, known as the Great Patriotic War in aurelian culture. The Northern Range campaign proved to be a bloody one, and because of this, it took the Empire just a bit more than five years to conquer the entire province, as once the Mountain Ranges fell, the Midlands and the Emerald Cosat were no match for the superiority of the elves.
The village of Seaside Arrow, aurelian Emerald Coast of the Yllendir Empire, March of 1901.
At night's dawn.....



"It's time to go, brother." said Vens to his brother, Caleb. His brother was quietly staring at the stars on the sky, as if they were whispering something in his head, but before long, he replied back "You're right, mother's probably going to tell the constabulary that we've been eaten by wolves...". The two got up and grapped their wooden fishing equiment, together with the small catch of the day, and went back home hastly. The stoned patch through the village seemed empty of life, if it wasn't for the calm, comfortable atmosphere inside the wooden houses. The start of the spring was still chilly enough, especially at night on a coastal village like this, so most houses were unleashing smoke trails into the sky from the stoned horns.



Gentle lights from entrances and windows touched the eyes of the two brothers as they wandered back home. Time seems to obey the villagers, not around, it seems. Life here is simple, kind, boring at times even. "You read the newspaper they keep bringing here each week? I gave the newsboy some fish yesterday and he gave me the newspaper without demanding money." said Vens, breaking the silence, before proceeding to continue "This entire bicker for the emperor throne is affecting more and more nations. It's unsettling!" said Vens. "I know what you're thinking...." replied Caleb, seemingly all-knowing. "Of course you do! You're going to reach 18 years old in a week, remember? You will soon be... conscripted." said Vens, eyeing his brother closely as they walk the stoned path. "I know you care for me, but that's how it is...damn elves, we're fighthing in their war, and for what? It's not enough that they've been oppressing us for only the gods know how long... replied Caleb. You could see the hatred in his eyes, ever since childhood he's been holding that hatred for elves. Hatred which has been passed down from generation to generation, father to son. Certainly, most of the humans hated the elves, but Vens wasn't like Caleb in this regard.

The two arrive at the wooden fence of their family's house, hearing a dialogue from inside. Before they could enter, two mysterious human men open the door and take their leave, without any gesture or words, hastly walking by the two brothers, ignoring them. Caleb and Vens look at eachother with confusion, then step inside the house as they are greeted by mother. They exchange the usual dialogue and proceed to hand over the catch of the day, ready to be prepared into a sweet fish soup by mother. After a while, the soup was ready, and the whole family was called to dinner. Nobody sat on the table before the leader of the household, the father, sat first. After he came, they all quietly take their seats, say the customary prayer before the dinner and then they start to eat. Oh, it was good and warm, definately only a mother's touch can make such fine food....but across the table, their old man sat, quietly staring into his bowl as he takes small sips with his wooden spoon. He was clearly nervous about something, something was on his mind. Had it any link with the two men that perviously rushed out of the door? He was troubled indeed, and it didn't take long for Caleb to notice.



"Are you going to tell us what's wrong? Did the pointy ears demand even more grain again?!" said Caleb with his usual distain for elves. "Watch your language at the table!" shouted his mother. Caleb just rolls his eyes and looks at his father, who was still silently looking down into the bowl. "There's a storm brewing, my children. I just wish I wasn't alive to see it..." said the father, breaking the silence. The two children stopped eating for a brief moment, leaning closer to listen. "Listen, there's not enough time. Caleb, you are the eldest child here, I need you to prepare yourself for what will come next for you, and for all of us." said the old man, as Caleb stopped eating completely and just sat there, listening. The father puts on the table a rolled manuscript, with the village's seal stamp on it. "You will have to deliver this to...Aurelia and-.." the father did not even get to finish his sentence before Vens replied with "What's that!?". The father gestures him to shut up and proceeds to continue "Caleb, you have to deliver this to Aurelia! It is of utmost importance, do you understand? Deliver this to a man named Maverick, in the Gilweed Tavern, by the docks! You will find it. Do not ask any questions, for they will be answered in due time."The father finishes his soup and gets up from the table, further saying "You're leaving tonight.", leaving Caleb with no time to ask anything but to do as his father commanded him to do. The father gives Caleb a couple of fine clothes, certainly from the cities. Caleb never before adorned such clothes, made him look like one of those prestigious people from the city, and in haste, he left.

Riding the family's horse down into the night, carrying the manuscript, Caleb could only wander what awaits him, he had so many questions, his head could blow at any moment, but in a moment of silence, as he plunged his right hand into one of the suit's pocket, he grabbed what appears to be a small gun. A gun!? What for? Time seems to no longer hold the village in regard. As father put it: "They were running out of time."



Nation Name:
Governorate of Aurelia

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Flag:


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Type of Government:
Province of the Yllendir Empire, under elven government.

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Head(s) of Government:
Head of Council Vulre Pazana

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Economy: (Main imports, exports, industries, technology level, etc.)


City of Qubus, one of the industrial powerhouse centers of the aurelian province.

Courtesy to the Northern Range, the mountains that make up almost half of the province, Aurelia has hundreds of industrial centers scattered around, mining precious metals, building materials and even pumping the relatively new wonder resource called "Petroleum". These sacred mountains offer iron, bronze, brass, stone, gold and diamonds. The aurelian people have longe since mastered the art of terrace farms, with many such farms forming the unique landscape of the Uplands, the base of the Northern Range mountains. These farms are one of the reasons such a mountainous province such as Aurelia manages to maintain closely to 35,000,000 people. Stable food is both consumed province-wide, aswell as exported to the Empire.



Another considerate resource is wood from the numerous forrests of the Midlands, some of the Empire's finest ships, furniture and buildings being made from the famous aurelian wood.



And of course, Aurelia's southern coast, the Emerald Coast, is famed for it's sea food and cuisine, not to mention the numerous luxurious resources such as the purple color extracted from the squids and the pearls of the southern ocean or the more notorious gigantic Palmyra Mushrooms, whose hallucinating proprieties are used by the wealthy, especially during decadent parties.



------------------------------------------------

Primary Species:
Humans are the most populous, with a sizeable population of Dwarfs and Elfs.

------------------------------------------------

Population:
Around 52.000.000 of which 2,000,000 are Yllendir elves and 4,000,000 dwarves, with small pockets of other races here and there, but the bulk number of 46,000,000 is made of human aurelians.

------------------------------------------------

Culture:

The humans of Aurelia come in many diverse variations, from swarthier complexions in the south to more lighter ones in the North. Aurelia's human population has a long history peasantry. They take pride in living simple lives, with the most sacred thing being the rigid family structure where man is the leader of the household. Many aurelian families have up to 6 children, especially in the rural parts of the province, for they require additional help on their fields of work. Aurelians have the privilege of bearing a rich culture, with traditions, poetry and a code of duty. The key word is "kinsmanship". Because of the imperial administration, most rural humans are segregated from the elven presence, but time has proven that humans are quick to adopt the elven culture, especially in urban centers. Their traditional art and motifs often include straight lines, elaborate curves. Among the traditional decorative art of aurelians, the sun motif is the most common one to be found, for they have long since worshipped Ayleris, their cheif deity.
Aurelians take pride in their homeland, and even though scars of the Yllendirian conquest began to fade decades ago as new generations take the helm, there's still a strong disdain for elven presence, albeit secretive, passed down from parent to son among the human population.




Aurelia's dwarven population had lived for generations together with mankind in the Northern Range, but ever since the imperial conquest, most of the dwarven population has been cast away from their cave holdings nestled in the mountains, with many of their cities and outposts having been collapsed due to imperial orders. Only a handful of them remain nowdays to remind the glory of old times, some converted to mining slums, and even fewer managing to remain hidden from the elven knowledge, forever bound to retain the dwarven secrets and treasures.
Since their exodus, many have chosen to settle in cities, towns and villages across the entire province, either as local blacksmits, industrial slaves or same field of work as their human neighbours. Of interest is the fact that the human and dwarven relationship was good even before the Empire, the conquest serving only to solidify it.




------------------------------------------------

Religious and Other Beliefs:

The primary religion is the cult of Ayleris, who is often associated with the sun, however, many regions have their own unique way of worshipping him. Along with him, there's a small secondary pantheon of gods.

------------------------------------------------

Location/Territories:



------------------------------------------------

Climate:
Colder temperate climate in the Northern Range, with warmer temperate climate in the Midlands and a dry summer climate on the Emerald Coast, a location favourite for the rich on vacations.

------------------------------------------------

Military:
Being a province of Yllendir, the same principles apply here.

------------------------------------------------

Magic Prevalence/Usage and Elemental Alignment:
Magic prevalence is very low, as Aurelians shun it, but certain underground organisations actively practice what is called by the inhabitants "Black Magic".

------------------------------------------------

History/Background Info:

Since a good portion of the population of Aurelia are peasants, written documents are scarce, especially after the imperial conquest of Aurelia. The general consensus regarding the earliest Aurelian history, as imperial historians put it, is that the region of Aurelia has been a battle ground between western and eastern forces at many points in time, but as one Yllendirian scholar puts it: "Mankind of Aurelia is both an enigma and a miracle." referencing the fact that despite incursions from the outside, the human population has succesfuly maintained identity integrity and cultural cohesion. It is, however, known that aurelian cultural presence has definately been a part of the barbarian invasions into Yllendir, 1000 years ago.

The surviving records show the feudal foundation of the Aurelian province at the start of the Moonrise War, 288 years ago. There were dozen of petty states ruled by different lords. Out of all these lords, the most famous person of Aurelian history will rise. Aurelian the Great, the man who would come to conquer all the human states of Aurelia, founding the Aurelian Dynasty. Scholars have been unable to properly find the old name of the current province, lost in time, probably erased by force from the scribes of Aurelian.

The Aurelian Dynasty would last only a bit more than 200 years. Around 70 years ago, Yllendrian armies began their conquest of Aurelia, known as the Great Patriotic War in aurelian culture. The Northern Range campaign proved to be a bloody one, and because of this, it took the Empire just a bit more than five years to conquer the entire province, as once the Mountain Ranges fell, the Midlands and the Emerald Cosat were no match for the superiority of the elves.
(removed due to re-design of nation)
Nation Name:
Arcadia

Flag: (Optional)


Type of Government:
Official democracy, in reality a Plutocracy ( the rule of wealthy clans)

Head(s) of Government:
Head of Council Vulre Pazana

Economy: (Main imports, exports, industries, technology level, etc.)

The economic boom of Arcadia is credited to the numerous petroleum deposits on the island and in the off-shore waters. Arcadia is the main export of petroleum and petroleum based products to the entire Old World. Aside of the whole petroleum business, Arcadia also enjoys a wide variety of sources from the sea, including whale oil and fishes. Arcadia also prizes itself on exporting numerous luxury products, from the basic jewellry for the middle class and the wealthy, to the relative new concept of cars. Arcadia relies heavily on imports from other countries for building materials such as iron and needs constant food imports to sustain the big population of the city. Without the maritime trade routes, Arcadia would crumble within a year at most. The imported products are further processed into new products in the many factories of Arcadia, resulting in many nations across the Old World to establish maritime trade partners with the wealthy businessmen of Arcadia.

Some of the most renown industries of Arcadia include:
- Nemsis Industries, a conglomerate under the direct supervision of Arthurian Nemsis, a human wealthy businessman, heir to the Nemsis financial empire. His conglomerate is responsable for much of the city urban and maritime infrastructure and businesses. Holds 1/3 out of the oil deposits.

- Pazana Companies, an elven business conglomerate who supply the weealthy of the old world with luxury assets, plays a big part in the food import industry, cosmetics, has considerable control over the city's media and has a monopoly over the religious organisations and religion-based products. Holds 1/3 out of the oil deposits

- Giantbeard's, the dwarven conglomerate of companies, responsable for much of the city's technological inventions, such as the fabrication of diesel type engines and steam powered engines. They are also responsable with the building materials of the city, from stone to iron and everything else. Dwarven engineering is unrivaled in the city, with much of the luxurious utilities of a building being crafted by them. Holds 1/3 out of the oil deposits.

Along these 3 prime conglomerates, hundreds of small to medium businesses are operating around the city.

The technology level is on par with most of Old World, with some saying that Arcadia could be the most technologically up-to-date city in the entire Yllendir Empire. Recent petroleum-based products are begining to surface, the most notable example being the diesel engine replacing steadily the steam powered engine. Great ocean liners are now defining the migration of people and goods, industry booming with never before seen amounts of materials. Probably the most notable landmarks of Arcadia are the skycrapers that appeared in the last 40 years due to the large scale social engineering and abundance of materials, each more magnificent than the last.

Primary Species:
Humans are the most populous, with a sizeable population of Dwarfs and Elfs.

Population:
6.000.000

Culture:

"Into this city
All good things flow
The sweat of your brow
Is what you reap and sow."

- Inscription on every port entrance of the city.



The population is mixed, with humans, elves and dwarfs composing the main structure of the demography. Altough the general culture of the city is very standard, with men adorning similar suits in darker colours and the women generally adorning stylish business inspired dresses, each neighbourhood has it's specific cultural assets. There's a very vibrant immigrant culture in many of the neighbourhoods around Arcadia, but due to the influx of migrants in the last 20 years, the crime culture of gangsters and mafia has became a general image of Arcadia. Corruption runs from the lowest to the highest echelons of society, and nepotism dominates every institution. There's a large gap between the poor and the rich, with the middle class struggling daily to sustain itself from the depths of poverty. The general consensus is that the wealthier you are, the better. Arcadia is famous for it's glamorous life, with entire districts dedicated to leisure businesses, entertainment of all kinds, including decadent. Prostitution runs rampant, especially in the poorer districts. There's a constant need for workers due to the rapidly expanding infrastructure, Arcadia is promised as the land of opportunities, with everything depending on the money. As some famous Arcadian poet put it: "There's nothing holy about this city."

Religious and Other Beliefs:

All kinds of religions are practiced in the city due to different cultural backgrounds of it's inhabitants.

Location/Territories:



Climate:
Average temperate climate, with oceanic influences.

Military:
Arcadia doesn't have a standing military, rather, in times of war, the ruling clans of the Council call upon the inhabitants. The ruling clans each fund the city-wide Arcadia Police Department, one of the few institutions directly funded by the Council. They represent the law order in Arcadia.



Magic Prevalence/Usage and Elemental Alignment:
Magic prevalence is very low, as Arcadians shun it in favour of technology, but certain underground organisations actively practice what is called by the inhabitants "Black Magic".

History/Background Info:

Arcadia was founded more than 1000 years ago on the Arcadian Island by elven colonists from Yllendir, in search for further trade routes North. With the elven overlords came the humans and dwarven settlers, brought for labour and infrastructure engineering. Within the last 500 years, Arcadia began to witness increased boom of economoy due to commerce, whale oil and sea sources. Within the last 200 years, even certian humans and dwarven clans managed to obtain freedom from slavery, under the oath of loyalty to the Yllendir Empire. Those clans are the ancestors of Arcadia's present day non-elven business conglomerates.

However, it was not until 100 years ago that the city began to grow and expand at an unprecedent rate due to the discovery and exploitation of petroleum, primarly on the shores of the island. Such an economic blessing gave birth to the famous "Sin city" as it's known to the common folks. Without even realising, people began to witness colossal buildings rising above the ground, shops humming with golden coins, entire districts of industrial factories clad in bright red bricks, raising the smoke so far above the clouds. Ironclads were soon replaced with the amazing Ocean Liners, delivering imported goods and exporting good all over the Yllendir Empire.

A city, where the artist's work rivaled the work of the scientist, a city where you could build your might with your own muscles and sweat. A beacon of elvish pride in industry and commerce...but those stories are for children. Beneath Arcadia's lavish buildings, wealthy patrons and unrivaled opportunities lies a world as dangerous as it is decadent. Corrpution in all corners of society, unsolved murders, gangsters roaming the streets in business suitss, bribery is a currency in all institutions, the wealthy hide behind their golden penthouses while the middle class struggles to meet each day's end. Brutal economic exploitation of resources and people, everyday one another's neighbour is evicted from their home, children stealing from the elderly in bright daylight, atrocious parties full of alcohol and orgies in the luxurious halls of every clan.
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