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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.

Xanadu

Origin of name: Named for Shàngdū, the summer capital of Kublai Khan.

 

Form of government: Corporate ministry.

 

National Color: Steel blue.

 

National Tree: Apple Tree.

 

National Bird: Eagle.

 

Salutation: Xanadian/Xanadians.

 

Xanadu (also known as The League of Xanadu) is a collection of prosperous cities in a vast swath of terraformed land, recalling the landscape, flora and fauna of Earth to as great a degree as possible. While many people of New Horizon have been content to assimilate themselves into the planet's native ecology, the people of Xanadu cling to the past. They still long for the glories of Earth, separated from the atrocities by time, distance, and rose tinted glasses. When all communication with their home world was lost, these were the kinds of people who took it harder than any one else.

 

Considering themselves to be the self-appointed guardians of Earth's vanished postindustrial revolution society, the people of Xanadu have crafted for themselves a society which mirrors the lifestyle and corporate style of a twentieth and twenty first century first world nation. As a result, this has allowed them to become one of the dominant military and economic super powers of the world. This faction represents the world’s leading specialists in the mass production of textiles. Most planetary staples come from Xanadu, as well as clothing, packaged foods, and almost all vehicles except submarines. Xanadu is the world’s industrial center, and while, as a faction, it does not have the largest landmass, it definitely has the largest population.

 

Xanadian cities have names, but since each of them is a carefully planned biosphere of Earthly life, they simply give them a name with a number, such as Sphere Seven. Each city is carefully planned out, with specially segregated districts built according to a hundred year plan for urban sprawl. These plans include underground superstructures for most major buildings which will allow for underground expansion as deep as thirty stories downward. The planning of each city is carefully designed to create an appealing, wholesome skyline as well as to integrate a park-like pastoral feel to the city as a whole. The average citizen of Xanadu lives a comfortable life, with a decent livable wage that is easily obtained with only a few years of schooling. They are a generally egalitarian society, and anyone competent can rise through the ranks of a company with proper schooling and hard work. Nepotism is very strongly frowned upon, so family members of executives rarely get a free ride.

Locals tend to have very conservative morals, and are usually wary of other life approaches, but are tentatively accepting of other ideals provided they don’t disrupt their society. Xanadians live in their perfectly planned cities, following carefully planned lives. They are seen as almost eccentrically orderly, and stubbornly against any changes to their society at large, even from time to time accused of racism. The people of Xanadu strongly believe in human purity.

 

While it’s true that Xanadian treatment of Prometheans is considered rather cool, they are usually able to find employment of some sort or another. However, locals seem to be genuinely afraid of some of the societal and human racial implications of the emerging Medean population. The truth of the matter is that it’s simple ignorance. Their concerns about the pollution of the human genome are baseless. They shun Medeans forcefully, refusing to accept them into Xanadian society. Any Xanadian citizen who becomes genetically augmented can often find him or herself pushed aside and out of any corporate/political career.

 

Whatever else the native olympians may feel towards prometheans and medeans, their legally guaranteed rights are ferociously protected by the civil service of Xanadu. Human or wafan, man or woman, there is a voice for everyone, even if some would rather not hear it.

 

While Xanadu favors isolationism almost to the point of xenophobia, they do boast some of the best learning facilities in the world.Their desire for societal stasis often puts them at odds with the progressive nature of their military and economic rivals in Aquilons’ Reach. As often as not, the two butt heads over their conflicting world views. Aquilon is often considered to have loose values by Xanadian standards, and the Xanadians are thus worried that their perceived carefree lifestyle will have a debilitating effect on global standards, as well as having a negative impact upon Xanadian children. Both factions are constantly on the edge of direct conflict, reined in only by their joint involvement in the Council of Avalon.

 

While it’s not unheard of for Xanadians to explore the world around them, the adventurers born of Xanadu are often called Madcaps, and never even leave their home borders. Most with a taste for adventure find plenty in the local area, considering the sheer number of alarming events occurring within their own cities.

 

Many of the few low income citizenry have become the target of malicious drug dealers who offer them relief with minor cybernetic implants to deliver the cheap drug Talcyon, which causes their nervous systems to bleed away any chronic pain and enhances their perception of pleasure. The downside is that it leaves them extremely susceptible to suggestion, allowing their enigmatic suppliers to force them to commit deplorable crimes on their behalf.

 

Their cities are troubled by the appearances of strange, unexplained cybernetic machines named Twonky. These Twonky disguise themselves as innocuous machinery, ranging from the size of vermin to that of a grown man. They watch, they listen and sometimes they even kill. But when captured, they simply self-terminate. So far, their technology has been inscrutable to any examination.

 

Even more odd are the mysterious occurrences of previously undocumented subway tunnels and maintenance passages which seem to be appearing and disappearing at random intervals, moving from place to place and sometimes taking people with them. Attempts to map them have proved fruitless thus far, those who have returned bring back stories of ghostly noises, and strange sightings of distant, headless figures observing them.