Friday, January 18, 2013

Astrophikus - Vulmedea, Empire of a Thousand Stars

Vulmedea, Empire of a Thousand Stars

   The following provides a concise summary of the major forces on Astrophikus:

“Empire of a Thousand Stars”
Patron God: Draeggaron
Emperor: Eskaton VIII
Capitol: Gyldarion
Population: human dominant, with a healthy mix of demihumans, especially tieflings, eladrin, halflings, gnomes, goliaths, and dwarves

   The Vulmeadean Empire is the largest in terms of political, military and mercantile power on Astrophikus, and it is over four thousand years old according to its own historians. Centered around the vast Inner Vulmeadean Sea, the empire is represented by three great cities: Gyldarion (capitol of the empire), Hedareden, and Nythtilien. Dozens of smaller rural townships and numerous mining towns dot the region. Vulmeadea has several satellite baronies in the wilderness, centered around mining activities as well.

   Vulmeadea’s ancient history includes a conflict about three thousand years ago with dragonkind. As the tales goes, the dragon lords migrated through space to Astrophikus during this period, and waged war against the early empire to attempt its subjugation. The empire drove the dragons back, and the ancestors of those dragons who settled upon the world now dwell in the greater wilderness, often ruling over barbarian tribes that have sworn fealty to them.

   During this war, many humans were swayed to the cause and worship of the dragons. Interbreeding with the dragons led to the creation of the Dragonborn race. About three centuries ago, dragonborn descendants attempted a coup against the empire once again, though they failed. Today, dragonborn are a persecuted underclass in the empire, and most choose to dwell in their own fortress enclaves in the wilderlands. Once especially prominent dragonborn house is the former royal house of Zyma, which still seeks to actively overthrow the empire and institute the rule of dragonkind. It is unknown which dragons are behind this movement.

   Vulmeadea has nearly as many planar portals as it does spelljammers, although the bulk of its trade comes through the passage of the magical ships. The planar portals allow passage to several demiplanes and dimensional realms throughout the planes, and as a result of this connection, a large population of planar beings can be found engaging in trade and commerce in the fantastic cities of the empire.

   The largest temples to the Star God exist in Vulmeadea, but as the hub of so many cultures across many worlds, there is a strong embrace of openness to all religions. Every major city has a Temple District, for example, in which dozens or even hundred of temples and cults prosper. Gods from the thousand stars can all be found worshipped here, and only those gods which would exchew the ultimate faith of Draeggaros are banned or considered heretical.

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