The Beginning Edit
Since time immemorial, the Kingdom of Isenhorst has been the domain of the Lokemean Dwarves. An optimistic yet stubborn race, their history is filled with individuals forsaking the gods for science and technology. This energetic focus led to the development of the world’s most advanced steam technologies. A pleasure in precision matched by the Dwarven love of beauty filled Lokemea with grand mechanical structures, including the crowning achievement of Steam Castle.
Content with their lives of research and prosperity, no Dwarf sought to question the monolithic mountains of Ellescadia that formed an impassable border to what is now known as the Eastern Continent. No Dwarf, that is, until the genius technologist and explorer Hoka began to put his formidable mind to the quest. Taken from his memoirs:
“When did the idea take root? A long-answered and complex question. When I was a dwarfling, my father and his would take me digging and forging. That was the beginning of my travels. One day we journeyed to the foot of the Ellescadia. Standing at one of the mountain’s base – I forget now which – I realized how small I was. And then the question: What is on the other side?"
I tried to push it to the back of my mind, and live a contented life amongst my peers and relations. After years of study, and many journeys through Lokemea, I was left with a vast and looming challenge. I decided to follow my dreams, and find a way to fly over those mountains.”
Hoka’s projects and research created an uproar among the conservative Lokemeans, who even to the date of this writing view the intrepid explorer with derision. From his memoirs:
"Living as I did, with a black Prospector’s Beard, the only comforts were research and liquor. I felt like I was in the deepest of mines, with no sign of gold. That is, until Pablo and the others showed up. After our first night of drinking, the factory sprang into life."
For the third test of our new flying machine, Pablo drew the small wrench. I still see his eager smile in my mind. The explosion that followed, I still see in my nightmares. We then decided that the best way to honor Pablo was by completing our task. On our successful flight over, our base camp was known as Pablo Town.” Having successfully reached the Eastern Continent of Erlandir, Hoka and his team continued to journey into this new land. Marveling at its beauty and tranquility, they met the other races of the landwho dwelt there. Finding an affinity with the curious and short-lived Humans, Hoka laid the foundation for all that followed by teaching them about steam technology.
Steam Revolution EditAs the Humans witnessed the possibilities of Hoka’s steam technology, their brightest minds quickly began to research the technology. Soon, Craftsmen Guilds began to congregate in even the smallest of Human-held cities. Pleased with the passion and fervor with which Humans approached technology, Hoka did his best to impart the sizable body of knowledge he possessed. After some years, the Dwarven expedition made the long journey back to Isenhorst, having the foresight to create a base camp within the Ellescadia. But life in Erlandir was not to continue peacefully.
The rulers of the Western Continent, the Sun God-worshipping Kosh, would not see the abomination of steam technology replace their divine power. After almost a decade of overseeing the promised threat of steam technology in Human hands, they crushed the growing power of the Craftsmen Guild. Tired of researching in secret, defeated in open rebellion, those Humans who could no longer bear the yoke of Kosh rule traveled East. Reaching the Ellescadia Mountains after a long journey, the outcasts were delighted to find the Dwarven explorer’s camp of Pablo Town. With numbers far too large for the town’s growing resources, the kindly Dwarves invited the Humans to immigrate over the mountains. Upon arriving at the Eastern Continent, many a Dwarf was pleasantly surprised at the likeness that Humans bore to their features. More shocking was the degree to which some their steam innovations had surpassed that of Lokemea. The choice had been made, and Humans began to spread throughout Isenhorst.
Human invasion EditAlready having allowed the human outcasts into the realm of Isenhorst, the Dwarves were horrified to find another type of creature in their midst: those affected by the Kosh’s Curse of Blood. Transformed into something different, this new race would be known as the Erlongdian vampires and form an alliance with the other humans of Isenhorst, the powerful Buvont family. The dwarves, however, would view these vampires as something dangerous and terrified of their implications, abandoned some of their previous inhabitations.
The land left behind was quickly divided and carved up by the Buvont Family and their vampire allies, but was nothing more than barren holdings. In order to make up for the lack of resources, the Erlongdians assisted their ally in developing a potential replacement for coal as an energy source. Over the years, the country came to be dominated by a few major human families who were in constant competition with one another and Lokemea. Remembering their former strength, these families decided to head the creation of regional Craftsmen Guilds, which drew the ambitious and technologically proficient under their auspices. In the year 1138 of the Imperial Calendar, the Craftsmen Guild leaders came together and formed the Isenhorst Confederation.
Civil War EditThe creation of the Isenhorst Confederation established Confederation Year 1, and a renewed sense of potential among the leading Human families. Continued collaboration on technologies and trade in resources further intensified competition between the powerful, with alliances forged and betrayals executed on a seemingly daily basis. Two of these major families, underestimating the strength of the Dwarves, attempted to attack a major Lokemean mine. Forced back and soundly depleted of available resources in the process of defeat, the remaining members of the Confederation enveloped their lands and reinstated peace between the races.
Refocused on their own regions, attempting to maintain the unsteady balance of power and resources, a joint-ventured search began. Soon after, these explorations uncovered vast untapped ore and coal mines, information that would not long remain secret. The quarrels over claim to these resources quickly devolved into open threats. The mobilization of forces reinforced the backroom deals and tenuous alliances the leaders of the Isenhorst Confederation were making with one another.
Civil War and all of its atrocities ensued for well over a decade, tearing the Human-held lands apart. Depleted of what was once sizable wealth and resources near the end of this time, a temporary ceasefire was brokered between those of the former Confederation. It was at that time the Buvont Family and their bloodthirsty vampire allies struck. Utilizing a gigantic mobile Battle Fortress powered by Black Gold, this ultimate weapon prompted hasty coordination between the other human families. However, the Buvont’s timing was too well wrought – the Isenhorst Confederation was swiftly defeated. The major powers of Isenhorst had been decided and soon, change would come.