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Underwater colonies tend to be built into sturdy cliff sides, with massive trade districts behind huge thirty meter tall triple-paned walls of glass which give a view of the exterior seas and their submarine docking facilities, showing the bounty of the ocean as well as the beauty of the undersea forests in the sub glacial Sea of Asgard.

 

Aquilon was born alongside the first generation of humanity to never see earth. It began life as a research station situated on the Perpetua Glacier. At that time it was simply known as Glacier Run. The facility dug into the ice below for storage space, and eventually was forced to use that same space for living quarters as colonists moved north.

 

Aquilon's defining moment came when an outbreak of animus caused the residents of Glacier Run to seek shelter in their buried storage facilities. Trapped beneath the ice for more than a year, the colonists were forced to make due with whatever they had available. Necessity saw the invention of space and resource rationing techniques that would turn a casual scientific outpost into a culture of extreme efficiency. When the animus threat was cleared from the surface, many of those underneath the ice decided not to return. These one time storage facilities were expanded into the city of Deep Aquilon. Those who chose to return to the surface began to explore the furthest reaches of their frozen homeland while the inhabitants of Deep Aquilon set their sights on the bottom of the ocean.

 

The Aquilonians were earning a reputation as explorers and visionaries, with many other colonists admiring them. They lost much of their appeal when they drafted a national military spearheaded by their recently formed knightly order, the Templar Aquilonia. Turning their scientific might to the development of high energy weapons, the Aquilonians earned a reputation as warmongers among some factions as these developments were widely unpopular outside of the Kingdom of Ice. These fears proved mostly unfounded, as Aquilon focused more on internal protection than external violence.

 

In more recent times, Aquilon has worried the global community with its ever increasing rivalry with Xanadu. As two of the most powerful factions on the moon, an impending war between the two could be disastrous for more than simply the factions involved. The Nations of Aquilon and Xanadu have an uneasy relationship. Both are members of the Avalon Council, but they are often at opposite ends of discussion. Making things worse is the fact that both factions compete in the production of state of the art technology, and each has some of the best academic institutions in the world. The factions see each other as rivals both economically and culturally.

 

For now, Aquilon seems content to be seen as the slightly eccentric visionary of the world. They still push the bounds of science. Though they do not always go as far as the Quisivati, their wares are often much more useful in daily life.

 

What few outside of the frozen north are aware of is that Aquilon cannot claim credit for all of their advancements. As the Deep Aquilonians dug ever more into the glacier beneath them, they began to discover a network of tunnels already present. These tunnels appeared to be crafted as living arrangements for some civilization of the past, one that has left behind many artifacts buried in the ice. Some of Aquilon's biggest scientific advancements were simply the result of researching the many strange finds that they dig up in their ever expanding empire.

Port of Narehl

Port of Narehl

 

Origin of name: Named for its continent of origin, and the sea port gateway into the global community.

 

Form of government: Elected Council.

 

National Color: Green and Gold.

 

National Tree: Scarlet Mansonia.

 

National Bird: Albatross.

 

The Port of Narehl is a large faction, but with only a few large settlements spread across vast tracts of some of the world’s most savage and beautiful jungle wilderness. It is fiercely protected, not only by its zealous environmentalists and heavily enforced laws, but also by its extremely dangerous wildlife. The jungles in and around Narehl are teeming with flora and fauna both deadly and beautiful. The trees are gigantic, the tallest rising to the height of a kilometer above sea level. Many medicinal plants come from this part of the world, making their way to the other factions by ferry transport through the jungle waterways.

 

These jungles are home to one of the most prominent armies in the world, the Narehl Rangers. The people living in Narehl are said to be the most fearsome soldiers in the world. Although Warhead Keep has a much larger, more controlled, more law abiding, and more powerful army in terms of strength, size and open warfare, the Knights of Narehl are skilled in stealth, agility and jungle warfare. These Knights of Narehl are unrivalled in the hostile jungle environment.

 

Narehl began its existence as a research station. When an out of luck researcher found himself out of a job, he founded a resort in the area. A partnership with the airlines brought the resort to the world stage, and the Port of Narehl has been a major tourist destination ever since. All are welcome in The Port of Narehl: they can ill afford prejudice, being a shipping center for the entire world. Their business, stalls, casinos, restaurants and amusement parks are open to all who come with open purses. Narehl is also the home to an organization known as the Ministry of Stones, the sole producer of the world currency known as geodites.

 

The Port of Narehl is just one city, but its style and culture extend all along the southern coast of Narehl, and well along the many river ways of the jungle. This creates an intriguing fusion of Italian and Creole culture with its many riverside settlements. Most places are built on, and in some cases below, the water. Trees from the jungle are coaxed to grow into massive webs of walkways above the water, grown directly into the construction where beautiful Italian-style marble treatments meet an American Gothic style to create their own

 

unique flavor of hospitality and lifestyle. It’s not too difficult to make a living in The Port of Narehl, or in any other town in Narehl for that matter, but the difference between just living and living well is substantial. Simple entry level jobs, like couriers, are in abundance within the city. Salesman and hawkers of food, art and entertainment dot many of the streets, and local housing isn’t as expensive as one might expect, but medical care tends to be pricier.

 

The Port of Narehl has often been described as a filthy diamond glimmering in the muddy river delta, sinfully wicked and sweet. The place maintains an odd balance between that which is lawful, and that which is not, a balance with constantly blurring lines. Criminals mingle in the street with the Knights of Narehl alongside Trapper Town cowboys and Warhead soldiers on leave, creating a true global melting pot. This is a place where everything is permitted, as long as it is discreet. For the right price, any vice or hunger can be satiated. For much of the populace, no one cares that you did something illegal, they simply care that you were stupid enough to get caught.

 

Organized crime in the region is exceptionally powerful, with a delicate balance of power and corruption in place in their society. Local law enforcement is willing to look the other way on minor issues in order to keep criminals from setting their sights higher, but punishes serious offenders swiftly, brutally and publicly.

 

Instead of police, the locals are served by the various knightly orders, most particularly the Order of the Swan and the Order of the Owl, who mingle among the public, making a show of force and support. They will punish most crimes they witness quite swiftly, but know well enough that, if they crack down too hard, the organized crime will simply dig in deeper and bite harder to get by. They carefully minimize criminal activity by weeding out the most harmful crimes and the most violent offenders.

 

The local business Dons elect four of their thirty-six members to council for a period of four years. Each of these Dons then selects four of his fellow Dons as council. For one year, each of the four Dons holds the position of The Crimson Don. The Crimson Don is both the arbiter of the council and commander-in-chief of the Narehlian knightly orders, and the Narehlian rangers, who share duty as the armed forces of The Port of Narehl and its many holdings. Despite the Knightly Orders being well aware that the Dons are as corrupt as any in Narehl, they are still willing to follow along in the name of cultural order and stability. Somehow, the system still works.

 

Locals are a superstitious lot who believe that the jungle around them is crawling not only with animals but also the spirits of those who came before. When one considers just how many people simply vanish, more than can rightly be attributed to normal jungle dangers, theories such as this become much easier to believe. The people are otherwise a peaceful and friendly lot, but they’re often close-lipped about local business and their own spiritual beliefs.

 

Locals are typically more willing to step outside the law than denizens of other regions, but usually only for monetary gain rather than out of any ingrained disrespect for the law. The murder rate is higher here than in any of the other Avalon factions.

 

Locals tend to favor light fabrics, wild colors and more exposed skin than most regions. Thin, almost transparent, cotton clothing isn’t all that out of the ordinary to keep the heat down. Vanir and jotuns tend to be showier than their counterparts from other regions.

 

Despite the frequent influx of visitors and business, the area around Narehl remains mostly untamed. Buried in the jungles are the ruins of several buildings and settlements not of human origin. These jungles are also the home to the secretive Sphecius assassins, who use the dangers of their surroundings as protection, and a training tool. What else may be buried in the jungles can only be imagined, as new mysteries come to light with startling frequency.