The Kingdom of Forgotten Knowledge
Governing Figure - Taliesin Seanrodai
Contact - Fae
Illumad - The Kingdom of Forgotten Knowledge, is located within the Arcane East, straddling the borders of The Midlands. Separated into five distinct holds, Illumad is split into the ruling “City of Illumad”, The industrially inclined “Ticking Tumours”, the agriculturally advanced “Verdant Expanse”, the economic empire of the “Forward Flow”, and the academically inclined “Moonwoods”. Overseen by an internally elected group of representatives, each of the five holds excels in a different area of expertise, their unified vision to recruit those with magi-technological and bio-magical talents from all of Genesaris into the Hall of Infinite Aspiration.
The kingdom of Illumad has a varied topographical makeup ranging from wetlands and swamps in the South-East, to dense coniferous forests in the West and North-West, and even to a vast swath of plains on its North-Eastern border. Illumad is internally organized into five distinct regions, a council of representatives called the "Apparitions’ Assembly" recognizing the needs and requests of each.
In the North-East lies a rolling scene of green grasslands colloquially known as the “Verdant Expanse”. These floral rich plains stretch as far as the eye can see, their natural beauty largely untouched. Farther south bordering the lands of the Ticking Tumours, the plains of the Expanse grow sparse and large cliffs naturally separate the two regions. The Verdant Expanse is the least geographically varied of Illumad’s five regions.
South-East of the capital, a vast supernatural wasteland festers. Locally known as the “Ticking Tumours”, this region consists of patchy swamps and wetlands intermixed with underground pockets of caverns and tunnels. Containing vast amounts of natural and supernatural gases, unstable sections of magically radiated land, and many other dangerous and unsavoury elements, the instability of the Tumours landmass has rendered habitation nearly impossible, making this region the least populated of Illumad. The Ticking Tumours claim the largest expanse of land in the five regions.
Located on and in the waters of the Strulest Loch, the area known as the “Forward Flow” is an oddity within the classification of “land” for Illumad’s regional use. Floating city-fleets occupy the space above the Strulest, the majority of its population living aboard interlocking ships. With the recent development of underwater vessels and pressure safe biodomes, The Flow's borders have expanded underwater as well. More research and development is expected to occur within the Forward Flow, each advance aiding its growth exponentially. The Forward Flow is Illumad’s second smallest regional space.
Due to it's proximity to pockets of savannah to the North and Northwest, and also to the waters and wetlands of the Strulest Loch to the South, the “Moonwoods” geography varies greatly. The farther North one traverses, the thicker the forest becomes; a large and seemingly infinite line of trees stretching sky to floor. To the South, closer to the beaches of the Strulest Loch, the forest begins to thin and the canopy above reveals patches of previously hidden sky. Travel west gradually marries traits from both directions, elder and sprouting growths alike intermixing in equal amounts. The Moonwoods are the second largest of Illumad’s recognized regions.
Centralized between the four other regions of Illumad, the “City of Illumad” emerges from the bounty of life that the Strulest River provides. Spanning several hundred miles, the City of Illumad marries topographical traits from the Moonwoods to the west, the Verdant Expanse to the North-East, and the Ticking Tumours to the South-East. Along the banks of the river, towering cliffs help to naturally separate portions of the city, while docks and platforms climb from shore to sky. The City of Illumad is not only central in it’s location but also in it's raw space and population.
Rising from the banks of the Strulest Loch, Illumad's capital stretches a distance of 600 miles, the kingdom's borders reaching a total of 1800 miles, including the waters directly south of the capital. With the goals of natural preservation and the melding of magical, biological, and technological practices on the forefront of the city's long term development, Illumad has produced a plethora of innovations that help it adhere to tenants created upon it's inception. Ranging from the roving city fleets of the Forward Flow, to the expansive HILLs of the aristocratic elite in the Verdant Expanse, the constantly expanding junk cities found in the Ticking Tumours, to the more holistically minded who have homes intertwined intimately within the Moonwoods, and finally to the academics, travelers, and tourists who inhabit the City of Illumad, the kingdom of Illumad is consistently developing, new technologies and materials making way for it's furious expansion.
In the region known as the "Forward Flow", stretched along the river bank and reaching out in a fan shape from the Loch's inner beaches, stations of interlocking platforms expand to create a modular harbour where Illumad's ships can both merge and disconnect to create varying fleets for fishing. Though these ships can act independently along the river's length, they are more often seen banded together, filling the horizon on the outskirts of the Strulest Loch's southern wake. On the waters of the Loch, ships of all shapes and size prowl the waters; fishing, drilling, and mining creating the Flow's three largest economic industries. Recently co-developed by the Merchant Guilds, underwater vessels have begun to explore the depths of the Strulest Loch. Finding the lake to be rich in metals, minerals, and a plethora of biological material found nowhere else in Genesaris, the Forward Flow has had an influx of parties interested in the expansion of the Flow below the Strulest Loch's waves. Early designs of habitable biodomes have inspired interest of underwater cities, hastening a search for adventurous individuals to explore the lakebed.
In the region know as the "Verdant Expanse", a sea of buildings float along on Hover Interfaced Life Lifts (HILLs), city sized platforms hovering just above Genesaris' surface. Powered by a pair of dual Exalta crystals, these unique hover engines provide the HILLs the lift necessary to keep the lands beneath them undisturbed. The largest HILLs are colloquially known as "HILLtowns" and are known to contain the majority of the population who make home in the Expanse. HILLtowns support everything from apartments to townhomes, commercial facilities sharing space with the industrial needs of the HILLs design. Though it is exceedingly rare, small farms and plantations can sometimes be seen dotting the landscape of the Verdant Expanse, just along the edge of the Jade Sea. Having strict regulations, higher taxes, and more expensive upkeep fees, these homesteads often have a much shorter life than their HILLtown cousins. The most successful of these ventures marry tenacity with progress, the agricultural process taking place on the lands below while the industrial and residential needs maintain their place upon smaller HILL platforms.
In the region known as the "Ticking Tumours", HILL platforms float several hundred feet above the earth. These HILLs contain labs, warehouses, and production plants, alongside sections of ghetto where only the wealthiest of poor are fortunate enough to live. Comprised of one large platform surrounded by smaller subsections, the Tumours' HILLs differ from the Verdant Expanse design by their lack of motion, the majority of their lifecycles being stationed in one place and anchored by large elevators developed by Dwarvish engineers. Travel to the main platform is achieved via this mechanism, the smaller sections surrounding it accessed by extendable bridge. Down below, spread out around the base of the HILLs elevator stalk, decades of refuse make up the homes and businesses of the majority of the Tumours' labouring populous.
In the region known as the "Moonwoods" shacks grown or constructed from exported materials marry with ancient woods. Larger constructions are few in number, the lack of industrial potential maintaining an atmosphere of holistic respect. The largest structure found within the Moonwoods is the "Hall of Infinite Aspiration", an academy which is dedicated to the teachings of the schools of Magi-Technology and Flesh Crafting. The entirety of the campus has been grown and shaped with magic alone, careful consideration taken to keep the spirits and lives of the forest intact. Deep within the academy and accessible only to the most successful of scholars, the Cognate Orientative Machine Prototype (COMP) resides. Utilizing magical techniques developed by Taliesin Seanrodai, those who have accessed the COMP are said to have developed a greater understanding of the world around them.
On the waters of the Strulest Loch, merged fleets of ships create the cities of the "Forward Flow". Always moving, these massive city-fleets are the Flow's answer to the Tumours' and the Expanse's HILL technologies. While not grand on a vertical scale, the many designs of ships involved with the merging of these fleets is impressive in their own right, the exchange of ideas and common forms of design leading to a simplistic maintenance and therefore vastly shorter training period for those who keep the boats afloat. It's largely due to these designs that the standard of living within the Forward Flow is so high, economic equality more known and recognized than any other region within Illumad. Communal living is a necessity of the city-fleet's design and those who call the Flow home are assured lower crime rates, more community interactions, and a lifestyle which breeds cooperation unlike anywhere else in Illumad.
Centered within its four sister regions, the "City of Illumad' straddles the Strulest River and has greatly expanded past its original founding. Here the buildings are mighty, reaching towards the heavens in greater numbers than the rest of the kingdom. Stacked high, the many structures of Illumad City are also tightly packed, the city's streets flowing with activity at all times of day. Because of its intimate connection to the neighbouring regions, Illumad City shares and merges elements of architectural design and overall planning found within the Ticking Tumours, Moonwoods, Verdant Expanse, and Forward Flow. Highly Modular and constantly evolving, the City of Illumad has no defined style and what might be common place one day may be old news the very next.
Because of the diversity of Illumad’s geographic details and also it’s immense size, climate within the kingdom is varied.
In the lands of the “Verdant Expanse”, Summer never seems to cease. The air laden with the scents of freshly cut crops, tall grasses in various hues of green and yellow waving in a light breeze. The skies above the Expanse are nearly always clear except for the occasional thunderstorm. Though these are rare, they are dangerous, rushing winds and heavy rain flooding the plains with torrential waters. Largely affecting those who make their farms and ranches on the ground, these flood waters are also necessary, the moisture giving the Verdant Expanse it's diverse flora the nutrient intake needed to maintain its namesake.
Almost dismally the opposite of the Verdant Expanse, the “Ticking Tumours” experiences wet weather patterns nearly all year long. Coming from its proximity to the Strulest Loch, the swamps and wetlands of the Tumours never become stagnant, the constant flow of water a veritable breeding ground for moisture rich flora and fauna. A dry day in the Tumours is a near divine occurrence, where-in a day without rain still exhibits heavy portions of humidity. Those who make their home in the junk cities below the industrial HILLs have adapted to the variable levels of water, some utilizing stilts and floated platforms to raise their houses up, while others maintain machinations to absorb or redirect the waters elsewhere.
Out on the waters of the Strulest Loch, the weather of the “Forward Flow” are much more predictable. Fog and rain are inevitable, the moisture even more present in it’s movement than that of the Tumours. Here the chill is always certain, extra insulation necessary for the survival of the city-fleet’s and their population. Under the water temperature variation is minimal though constant, an incline of cold furthering as one descends. Heavy currents and pressure changes are the only real climate problems the Flow faces beneath its depths.
Combining the climate of both of its neighbours, the “Moonwoods” are known for their dry and wet weeks alike. Closer to the shores of the Strulest Loch the forest is cooler, a slight humidity present due to its proximity to the massive inland lake. Cloud cover is ever shifting, though it can be hard to see through the canopy of forest above. The farther one travels from the Strulest, the more apparent the weather change becomes, what once was cold and balmy progressing to a pleasant warmth, the trees growing closer and the world around fading to thickly wooded forestry. Whether a trick in the minds of those gifted enough to make their way through the Moonwoods or just a natural occurrence of the geography present in the northern portion of Illumad’s forested land, the weather above never betrays its true nature.
Exhibiting the most standard of climates, the “City of Illumad” sees all seasons equally, the wet and dry alike neither too much nor little. As would be typical, the closer one travels to the borders of a particular region, the more alike the environment mimics the climate it exhibits.
Flora and Fauna
Due to it’s large borders and varied climates, Illumad is home to a plethora of unique beasties and floral systems. Found below are just a few of the many examples of life found within the kingdom of Illumad.
Tumourous Man-Trap: The Tumourous Man-Trap is a Flesh-Shaped aberration found in the wilds of the Ticking Tumours. The Man-Trap is known to hold many forms out in the wilderness, it’s most basic anatomy being that of a large central stem surrounded by flesh coloured petals. Having a voracious appetite, the Man-Trap subsists off the flesh of dying or recently dead beasts, a humes carcass able to sustain the creature for several weeks. Sightings of the Man-Trap include variations with mouth like appendages, shells of flesh and bone from the recently eaten, and even that of entire cadavers being animated, the telltale stench of the Man-Trap announcing it’s arrival well before sighting.
Ver’Degon: The Ver’Degon is a beast found in the Verdant Expanse. Resembling a mix of a rat and a drake, the Ver’Degon has the facial features of its verminous familiar, whiskers and horns both known adaptations for the species. Hard reptilian scales fill the space between the shoulder blades of both front and hind legs and that of it’s stomach, with spines and fins also being found within some families. To better protect itself from larger predators, the Ver’Degon has a developed set of canines which extend from just beneath and behind its normal incisors; razor sharp claws and a flammable saliva also aiding in its defence. The scales and organs of the Ver’Degon are often poached for use in alchemy, the materials holding a natural affinity for fire elementalism.
Prickling Pinecer: The Prickling Pinecer is a pine-cone sized beetle found in the Moonwoods. The Pinecer has large mandibles and rough, sharp spines extending out from it’s back. These spines hold a toxin that stimulates a reaction in most species, rashes and even hives blossoming from any punctured regions. The Pinecer also has the ability to roll-up into a ball, protecting the soft shell of its underside while simultaneously giving the beetle the appearance of a pine cone. Travellers who have been caught unaware by the beetle's presence are a common occurrence within Illumad’s clinics, kingdom natives taking it as an unfortunate rite of passage for long term residency within Illumad.
Due to its regional separation, the Kingdom of Illumad has developed a diverse mix of cultural influences, ranging from the haughty and proud people of the Ticking Tumours, to the often quirky isolationists of the Moonwoods. Broken down into five separate sections, the below information is broad and not indicative of all the possible options for a native of Illumad.
Capital City of Illumad
Being both the literal and figurative center of Illumad, the Capital City of Illumad contains the largest mix of races, ideologies, and cultural backgrounds within the kingdom. Thanks to the access of specialized facilities hosted within the Moonwoods, Ticking Tumours, Verdant Expanse, and Forward Flow, those who reside in the City are said to be the most technologically competent of the holds.
Being one of Illumad’s production holds, the Verdant Expanse tends to cultivate hard working people; A fierce determination and fighting spirit said to be a part of the home-grown atmosphere of the region. Citizens of the Expanse are often said to be the most hospitable of the five holds, extended adopted families an expected part of everyday living. It’s a rare and embarrassing occurrence for an Expanse citizen to turn away a stranger in need, the traits of selflessness and community being the core of what Illumad hopes to extend to its allies and neighbours.
Utilizing and maintaining the vast majority of Illumad’s industrial infrastructure, the citizens of the Ticking Tumours are known to be hardy, mechanical in nature, and direct. Life within the Tumours is anything but easy, daily survival neither guaranteed nor wholly expected. Citizens of the Tumours are fighters and labourers, typically larger in build than the rest of Illumad’s people. Personal drive is a valuable commodity in the Tumours; The more a person is able to achieve, the more respect and power they are certain to gain.
Living the majority of their lives on and under the waters of the Strulest Loch, the citizens of the Forward Flow are an active and connected community of peoples. Always on the move, Flow residents are said to be quick witted, swift on their feet, and hot headed, equally easy to appease and upset. Not having access to large facilities and proper equipment, the people of the Flow praise ingenuity and invention, the impromptu use of unexpected materials a moment meant for extraordinary praise. Being out on the water for months at a time the concepts of secrecy and isolation are largely null, privacy being nearly impossible to achieve when every moment is spent near to someone else.
Solitary. Secretive. Mad. All of these and more are traits common to the resident of the Moonwoods. Host to Illumad’s academic prestige, the Hall of Infinite Aspiration is found on the outskirts of the woods, it’s students coming from far and wide in hopes of gaining access to the secrets found within the COMP. While students of the academy are an altogether common sight, the real residents of the Moonwoods are as much a mystery as the plane of existence that has jumpstarted Illumad’s vast expansion.
As an academic city Illumad’s economy primarily involves the sponsorship and funding of its students and their work. The production and export of prototype technologies of a biological and magical nature are Illumad’s largest source of money, tourism providing the second largest portion of its annual income. With the production of the highly successful HILL units, Illumad imports large volumes of Exalta crystals. Mining rights, materials for construction, and basic foodstuffs being its other sections of import.
Major Companies and Institutions
Pengu LLC: A company specializing in magitech entertainment goods, Pengu LLC’s breakthrough product is a penguin shaped magitech creature that mimics its owner’s speech. Loved by the elderly and the young alike, the Pengu has allowed Pengu LLC entrance into the highly competitive market of the Forward Flow.
The Daughters of Rúin: A militaristic organization of women whose primary purpose is the liberation and rehabilitation of abused and abandoned women. Hailing from all walks of life, this group of females openly confronts the lack of inequality pervasive in Valucre. The Daughters of Rúin attempt to teach the women it aids a set of ideals designed around self-appreciation, cooperation, and true autonomy. The Daughters of Rúin's largest operation is centered in the Ticking Tumours, with other smaller cells found across the kingdom of Illumad.
Hall of Infinite Aspiration: An academy found in the forests of the Moonwoods, the Hall of Infinite Aspiration is famous for it's research and development into three major schools of magic and science; Bio-Technology, Magi-Technology, and Planar Travel.
Parks and Recreation
Landmarks and Monuments
The Crimson Covenant: A temple dedicated to the Lord of Blood, Sauriel. Standing two and a half stories tall, Taliesin oversaw every step of its construction, weaving secrets abandoned from The Shimmering into it’s very structure. A strain of local vine found within the swamps of the Ticking Tumours crawl along its exterior, a dark red pulsing reminiscent to the veins within a humes skin. Standing guard at the entrance to the temple are sculptures of Sauriel himself, enchanted black stone enchanted to animate at a moment's notice. In contrast to the shadowed stone and the crimson of the vines, a marble of the most porcelain variation makes up the walls and pillars of the exterior.
Inside candles and altars line the walls, a high vaulted ceiling of etched and glowing scripts sharing space with elaborate chandeliers of wrought iron. Here the outside sounds of Illumad dull down to nearly silent, a spell muffling any outside interference. Bitter incense and the smell of iron float about, noticed only by the most observant.
Aligned along the interior of the temple, near to it's doors lies another gift of Illumad; Flesh-Shaped beasts taking the shape of monstrous gargoyles, rough skinned creatures with bat wings and muscular appendages, body’s short and bulky. These guards wait motionless, a slight almost imperceptible breathing and the stench of sweat the only evidence they aren’t elaborate stone. Should the temple find itself threatened the gargoyles grow lively, attending to any invaders looking to harm the Sanguinar's followers.
Illumad is one of many autonomous kingdoms within the Carmine Empire. As such, Illumad swears fealty to The Immortal Emperor of The Arcane East, Sauriel, and to the laws found within The Imperial Edict. Retaining independent rights to rule as he sees fit, Taliesin Seanrodai established Illumad as an Oligarchy. Illumad’s current leadership is a council of four representatives from Illumad’s feudal holds who collectively are known as the Apparitions’ Assembly.
Handpicked by Taliesin himself, this council of representatives is the force that keeps Illumad moving forward, each region free to operate largely independent of each other for the betterment of Illumad as a whole. Distribution of Illumad's funds, land disputes, allocation of student bodies, and new or revised rulings pertaining to each separate region are passed with a majority vote standing. In the case that a stalemate occurs, Taliesin can choose to represent the kingdom as a final vote or veto the proposal.
Though separately ruled and managed, many of Illumad’s wards adhere to the same laws and moral standards as their neighbors. Included below is a generalization of local government and the few exceptions to the rule found within the separation of territories.
Kingdom of Illumad
Crimes centered around racial, sexual, and religious differences are automatically elevated from an infraction to a misdemeanor.
Capital City of Illumad
Instances of Parkour carry larger fines than other infractions. (Defacing property, minor theft, and noise violations are all examples of infractions with lower fines than Parkour.)
Destruction of any naturally occurring biological species is a felony. 6 months jail time PLUS rehabilitation aboard a Jade Clan HILLtown homestead is required to resolve a case with regards to “The Destruction of Naturally Occurring Biological Species”.
Flesh-Shaped creations which receive damage or are destroyed are tried as a class 2 misdemeanor, carrying fines equal to the price of the creature and or indentured servitude equivalent to the price of the creature.
Destruction of a Flesh-Shaped creation is a felony. Indentured servitude OR up to three times the price of the creation PLUS 3 months jail time is required to settle a case.
Revelation of Trade Secrets is a felony. A 6 month minimum of indentured servitude PLUS three months jail time AND rehabilitation aboard a Trade Guilds Fleet is necessary to resolve a case with regards to “Trade Secrets".
Destruction of any sentient species native to the Moonwoods is punishable by death. The export of any biological material native to the Moonwoods is punishable by fine, jail time, and rehabilitation with the Apostles of Lohnrak Cu’ir.
Beyond the basic education typically available across the whole of Genesaris, Illumad is popular for it’s academic advances in the schools of Magi-Technology, Bio-Technology, and for it’s exploration and developments into Planar travels.
The Shimmering a plane of existence where all things found and then lost manifest, is said to have jumpstarted Illumad’s development as both an academic kingdom and that of a leader in the magical arts. It is with great effort that Taliesin Seanrodai, Illumad’s founder and the head of the budding intellectual movement of Lohnrak Cu’Ir, has utilized the knowledge found within The Shimmering and created a device capable of giving others the same.
Though many scholars interested in the study of Planar Travel flock to learn under Taliesin himself, others are drawn to the Hall of Infinite Aspiration, an academy of high prestige that strives to create an atmosphere of endless opportunity for its students and staff alike. Just like many other academic organizations available across the continent of Genesaris, teachers hold lectures, experiments take place, and classes are had. What truly sets Illumad and the The Hall of Infinite Aspiration apart from its brethren however, is the Cognate Orientative Machine Prototype. This Bio-Magitech machine utilizes The Shimmering as a conduit, stimulating the user with ideas they might have thought impractical and giving old information, new life. Though still in it’s early development stages, those who have interfaced with the COMP are adamant of its safety and the potential it creates for the process of understanding and creation.
Ranging from river boats to trolley systems, elevators to hover-ships, and beasts of burden to airships, Illumad has a plethora of ways to navigate its vast expanse. For those within the capital city the two primary forms of transportation available are those of Flesh-Shaped beasts anchored to carriage or Gondola powered by a combination of Wind and Water Exalta crystals. Outside of the city walls, hover-vehicles and Flesh-Shaped beasts are available for inter-region transportation. For long distance travel, one can either choose to utilize airships or a series of teleportation gates.
Each of the five region utilizes a combination of the above options, though the bulk of transportation falls to Illumad’s Flesh-Shaped beasts. The cheapest and most plentiful in it’s availability, all the regions utilize these creatures on a daily basis, transporting goods and people alike.
The next most common form of transportation comes from hover-vehicles akin to the bikes used in Joran City. Maintained by a private firm, these machines taxi those with the funds to do so from place to place, routes running from Illumad City and to the far reaches of the Expanse, and even from HILL to HILL within the Tumours. Due to their aversion to highly technological machinery, these hover-units are often turned away from travel inside of the Moonwoods.
Between regions, airships are the most common form of transportation. Thanks to cheap maintenance costs and a lower risk of unsavoury affects, docks are available in each region. The Moonwoods are again known to be particular about the use of technology in their region and so only offer docks on the borders.
Finally for those with money and status, teleportation gates are available for long distance transportation. Because of the need for guards, constant maintenance, and the propensity for those traveling to become ill after longer distances, this is the most expensive and least used transportation option found within Illumad.
Taliesin Seanrodai - Founding father of Lohnrak Cu’Ir, Headmaster to the Hall of Infinite Aspiration, and council leader on the Apparitions’ Assembly.