On the Nation of Mirkasa

Mirkasa is a cold, bleak place. A jagged mountain range dominates the northern coast. The isolated islands beyond are almost impossible to reach, being surrounded by vicious seas and dangerous whirlpools; but it is said the island of Jakabol, birthplace of the giants, can be found there.

The northern range is capped by Gnolgorroth, one of the tallest mountains in the world. An entire culture, the Gnolgi, once lived below this peak. A mysterious calamity – rumoured to be of the Gnolgi’s own making – drove them onto the surface, where they have re-settled with their surface-dwelling neighbours. The two cultures have had much to offer one another, and Mirkasa as a whole has prospered; but only the most naive would believe the two peoples exist peacefully.

The western coast is largely mountainous, with few places of safe harbour. Across the western sea lies the rival nation of Chalcedon, whose etheric sciences are a close competitor for the gnolgi’s elektrik technology. Although the two nations have a peace agreement, the Chalcedoni have a reputation for aggressive expansion. Recently, the Chalcedoni lost a costly war with the god-things of the Green Scar for magical power and resources. Although this has left the Chalcedoni as a whole weakened, it has also made them more desperate to retain fresh resources across the world.

The majority of Mirkasa’s larger settlements run along it’s gentle eastern coast. The capital, Nosjad, is a thriving trade town that has seen much expansion in the last few decades. Nosjad is in competition with the desert city of Umberto for control of the East-West trading routes. Although Umberto has existed for longer, it is further from the sea and less accommodating of airships – two facts the architects and gnolgi engineers of Nosjad have capitalised on.

From east to west the geography shifts from rolling farmland to thick forest. Despite increased logging activity, woods still cover about three quarters of Mirkasa. Often, these are broken by isolated mountains that can provide an steady stream of metals, salts, and other underground resources. The forests themselves are dangerous places, infested by heretics, witchfolk, and beastmen. “Colder than a Mirkasan’s welcome” is a popular phrase; but given the ‘neighbours’ a Mirkasan farmer has to contend with, it is hardly a surprising one!

Templar citadels are a common sight. There is one in every settlement, even the smallest of hamlets, as well as independent cathedrals nestled away from civilisation. The templar residents of each citadel are responsible for their people’s physical and spiritual well-being. Each is a small fortress in it’s own right, able to defend and equip the townsfolk in times of war. A town’s templar guardian is equal parts vicar, judge and magistrate – their authority has no equal, save another templar.

Mirkasa borders the Iron Deserts of Umberto to the south. Past Nosjad, the leagues of dense forest give way entirely to warmer, sandier scrubland. Farming potential is good here, and many an adventurer has retired here to start a homestead of their own. However, both Mirkasa and Umberto claim sovereignty over the hinterlands, and brushfire skirmishes are all too common. Many a would-be settler has found their humble farmland churned into a bloodstained battlefield, fought over by Mirkasan and Umbertoan alike.