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.
The Walk of Man
Walk of Man
Origin of name: Named for a hypothetical road which represents the trials and tribulations that the one walks during the course of their life.
Form of government: Elected Council.
National Color: Gold and Steel.
National Tree: Corpsewood Tree.
National Bird: Gooney Bird.
When mankind first set eyes upon what would come to be called The Walk of Man, they were scarcely able to take in the sheer scope of it. The landscape seemed to embody the ancient human saying “Miles and miles… Of miles and miles.” What they had discovered was an almost endless stretch of land filled with open prairies, rolling hills, sparse forests, and picturesque rivers. A place where a man could walk forever without crossing another mans path.
Rich in minerals, lumber, potential farmland, and many potentially useful species of animals and medicinal plants it was inevitable that the so called Walk of Man would be colonized. Beginning as little more than its name suggests, Trapper Town quickly expanded beyond a simple trading hub and gathering place to become the leading center of commerce, housing, transport, and government for the entire region. Trapper Town falls under the control of the Voice of the West, a council of senior business magnates elected by popular vote.
The people of Trapper Town and the entire Walk of Man decided on a life of basic simplicity, using only the technology needed to keep life running smoothly and free of unnecessary distraction. While this may sound restrictive and backwards, the natives are anything but technologically backwards. They use technology as sophisticated as any other group on the planet; they merely use it in moderation.
There is a very distinct idiosyncratic rustic appearance to the local towns and cities in general, and individuals homes in particular. Their wheel shaped walled cities are usually broken into discreet quarters for private business, housing, and local markets. Small parks are crammed in where they can be, and regular housing tends to cluster near the cities' walls, huddling in their shadows. Homes tend to be small in overall plot size, but up to four stories in height to maximize interior space with a minimal footprint. Their towns are often split down the middle by a river, or built surrounding particularly prolific water motes.
The people of the Walk of Man are viewed as very old fashioned, but they are generally very accepting of other cultures and ways of life; however they strongly encourage those that have transplanted themselves into their land to adopt or at least adapt to their local customs. Anyone who is a hard worker, regardless of origin, is often actively adopted into the local social circles and taught the way of the locals through social drinking events by their new neighbors and colleagues.
The call of the great wide open is always strong, but particularly so for the young people of the Walk of Man. Work for would be adventurers comes easily in the form of supply convoy guards, freight handlers and hunters of both animals and criminals. These young men and women, often called Walkers, exemplify the can do attitude of the locals. While they cling very strongly to their traditional values, the young people of the Walk of Man recognize that some of their old fashioned methods make many of their products significantly more expensive than modern production methods. These young folks, who are already part of a generation with difficulty finding jobs in a tight market, are further ostracized and black listed by their parents’ generation for their insistence on the need for sweeping changes in general practices.
Organizing themselves into a group they called the Shining Stars, they began actively holding protests against their unjust treatment, and the lack of concern for their generations financial future. Their largest protest culminated in a massive public argument between themselves and the current speaker for the Voice of the West. Their loud heated argument was so filled with rhetoric and venom that it ultimately culminated in the drawing of guns. Who drew first and who fired first is up for debate, but it ended with two dead men.
The High Marshall, a competent Aesir man named Alabaster, arrived at the scene too late to derail the conflict, and thus was only able to judge the scene upon what he witnessed with his own two eyes. So disgusted and horrified by the event and the many armed men and women of the Shining Stars, he drew his gun and demanded an immediate dispersal of all armed citizens. He ordered his deputies to shoot any protesters who failed to comply with his demands, referring to them as the “Damned rusty stars.”
What remained of the group, now referred to by the general population and the local media as The Rusty Stars, was forced to take refuge in the surrounding country side. Wanted for questioning, but unwilling to subject themselves to the tender mercies of the voice of the west, they were led by their new leader believed they were left with no choice but to enter open rebellion. There are still many who harbor doubts, believing this brewing war is the personal vendetta of one man.
Far from the first disenfranchised men and women, the Rusty Stars are just the newest and strongest group. Dozens of small and large gangs have sprung up, committing crimes ranging from petty thuggery and shaking down travelers to full blown train robberies.
Adding to the tension is the fact that, with the recent end of Deep Winter, many of the animals emerging from hibernation are extremely anxious and rambunctious, attacking far more often and aggressively than usual. The trouble is more than the standard compliment of hunters can handle.
With this triple threat to the currently fragile region, the local government has ordered the formation of a commissioned group of freelancers to deal with both the outlaws and the animals; the Allied Regional Militia, known to their fellows as the ARM. The young men and women who answer the call are deputized with limited powers authorizing them to use any means necessary to bring in the outlaws and provide relief to the overworked local hunters and rangers.