It has been confirmed that this small continent exists somewhere on the world, but the greatest scholars, explorers and cartographers cannot even begin to tell you were. The confirmation of the existence of this place is one of the reasons that scholars are now rethinking the actual size of the world...
The Continent of VIS
In the middle of deadly and turbulent Dalpharian Ocean lies the Continent of VIS. Because of its small size VIS has always felt over crowded by the races that live there. The current races and cultures are The Lisidarian Elves of the west, The Goblins of Varda to the North, the Arkanarium Gnomes of the south and the Theologian Esmidian Empire of to the East.
Gnomes and the Magi-Tech
In the middle of the cotenants history some twelve hundred years ago, did a race of gnomes arise and develop a smooth blending of magic and technology, known as the Magi-tech. Some three hundred years later the Magic-tech boomed and began to become a predominant fixture on the world. It was during this time the people of the old kingdom of Marquessa did voluntarily leave VIS, stating that the Magi-Tech was an abomination and would one day destroy the cotenant. They were never heard from again and assumed to have died on the violent Dalpharian sea. The exodus of these people did make way to a new Theological Empire known Esmidia, which exists to this day.
With every century that past, the Gnomes Magi-tech began to bleed into the lives of every civilization on VIS, as the gnomes traded magi-tech equipment and items for favors and aid from the other races. Eventually the races became dependent on Magi-tech and eventually on the gnomes themselves, for only the gnomes had the ability to repair and upgrade the magi-tech. This dependency on the Magi-tech has at current day become extreme. Many of the cultures have used it for so long that a world without it is daunting and arguably impossible.
A Geological Nightmare
For the last two hundred years, VIS has begun to suffer from earthquakes, tsunamis, underground fires, and other geological nightmares. There are factions who believe that the Magi-tech has nothing to do with these disasters and that they will eventually end on their own. There is also a faction who believes that the Magi-tech is the direct cause of these disasters, quoting the parting words of the old Marquessa. As such there is a new push by people of this faction to rid themselves of the Magi-tech. It was this fear of the Magi-tech and newly formed strained relations brought on by the disasters, that races came together and agreed to create the neutral territories of Arena.
The Neutral Territories of Arena
With tensions being high, approximately one hundred years ago, the leaders of all kingdoms agreed to relinquish a small part of their land to create a centralized neutral territory known as Arena. Within its boundaries are many towns and hamlets, shared by all kingdoms equally. It was agreed upon by all races (reluctantly by the gnomes) that greater and larger devices of magi-tech be banned from this territory.
Artasia and The VIS-EXODUS
About three years ago on one of the towns within Arena, known as Artasia, did the people of that town uncover a strange and ancient device. The gnomes did identify the carvings upon it as being of their kind, but too ancient for even them to decipher. What could be determined was that it was some type of teleportation device. The gnomes tried to stake claim to it, but because it was in the neutral territory the other races stood firm against such a claim and so the device was to remain in Artasia, to be further uncovered and experimented upon. All of the races chose delegates to oversee a mission known as VIS-EXODUS. The missions goal, to get this device working in hoes that it might be able to provide an escape from the continent in the case that the disasters worsen. The delegates all appointed members of their cultures to become members of the VIS-EXODUS team, who have been living in Artasia for the last two years, studying the device. Largely progress had been painfully slow, until five months ago, when the device suddenly appeared to “Awaken”. Coinciding with this event, the Magi-tech on VIS also seems to have become more efficient, and the disasters have also increased in frequency creating a new more urgent rush for the people of the VIS-EXODUS to make progress on their mission.
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THE RACES/CULTURES OF VIS
A thousand years ago these elves were a proud magical race. Centuries of dependency on the Magi-tech has gradually made them lazy with their art, and they have all but forgotten their magical roots. Tall and slender they stand, pointed ears, pale skin of various extremes and jet-black hair, usually worn long. The last remaining vestiges of their ancient heritages magic dwell deep within their eyes sometimes, though not always sporting a unique and vibrant color. The Lisidarian are known for having the best swordsmen in the world and are highly agile and mobile. Their society is highly dependent on Magi-tech to survive, even more so than the other races of VIS.
Goblins of Varda
The Goblins of Varda are a highly intelligent, with dark mottled green skin and gremlin-like features. In addition to their advanced inventive minds, they are highly skilled in the alchemical arts, and subjugate all other green skin and goblinoids such as orcs and ogres, through controlling their behavior with highly addictive substances.
Orcs and Ogres. Orcs and Ogres are an important part of the goblinoid society. Because Varda is a mountainous region, the goblins need strength to help with the heavy lifting. Lacking that strength themselves, they subjugate the Orcs and Ogres to do it for them, with promises of the alchemy they love so dear. When an Orc or Ogre has particularly impressed the Goblins of Varda, the goblins will sometimes grant them an augmentation which is seen as a badge of prestige, such as a movable iron jaw, a mechanical arm etc…
Gnomes of Arkanarium
The Gnomes of Arkanarium are a race that is generally short in stature and stark white of skin, often sporting dark red tattoos artfully applied on their face in unnerving sometimes scary patterns. Their dress is usually, but not always, highly outlandish and eccentric. They are highly advanced from a technological standpoint and a magical one, and have merged the two art forms into what they believe is a perfect harmony they refer to as Magi-tech. They often act fun loving, care-free and playful, however there is a an underlying hint of cynicism and deviousness that sometimes peeks through their personality which is awkward and sometimes even creepy.
Theologians of the Esmidian Empire
Largely a humanoid land, the people of Esmidia are controlled by a theologian belief system that the energy released into the world by expressing emotions are the actual source of all power. The high priests of this land are all masters of the their emotions and have the power to heighten and intensify the emotions that their people feel, allowing them to contribute to their fullest. Some people of Esmidia choose that their religion play a vital part of their day to day life, while others embrace it as only an underlining belief in the background of their minds.
In the rare wilds of VIS, in the small spaces between the racial homelands, the occasional racial Anomalies appear from seemingly no ware and wander around in a haze of confusion about their past, eventually joining in with one of the existing civilizations. Sometimes a short stout thick bearded humanoid, other times a strange hybrid of feline and human. There have been various reports of the anomalies, though they are rare and always treated as second-class beings by the other races. Some believe that they are lost beings who became somehow mutated by the Magi-tech, effecting their appearance and their memories.
The Magi-Tech Consortium
This group is highly funded and fueled by the Gnome Kingdom. The belief is that Magi-tech is simply a victim to extremist views, and ignorant people of the world are over-reacting and the real travesty is the suffering would be felt without the Magi-tech.
Conservation Society of VIS
Members of this group believe in healing VIS by gradually weaning it off of the Magi-tech. They believe that the neutral territory is a great start, but it needs to be expanded each year, as well as tighter restrictions of the use of Magi-tech, until it can be one day fully removed. The Gnomes refuse to see any merit in this course and members of this group believe that the Gnomes are just looking after their financial and influential interests, at the expense of others and quite possibly the future existence of VIS.
United Enlightened Liberated Races Opposing Gnomes
Primarily comprised of the Theologians of Esmidia, there is an extreme belief that the Magi-tech has awoken a demon, which is causing the disasters. This group believes that if all the beings of VIS die simultaneously that the pure concentrated release of emotional power from such a dramatic event will be enough to destroy the demon and allow VIS a proper re-birth. Extremists from many races have joined this group, except of course from the gnomes, as that races technology is believed to be what awoken the demon. This group is fine with and even promotes the use of Magi-Tech as a way to expedite the end from coming. This is an extremely small, but loud faction.