Upon the Shoulders of a Titan
The homeland of the dwarves, Ganlas is a land of monstrous exaggerations. Volcanoes continually spew tonnes of lava miles into the sky. Mountains seldom fail to breach the atmosphere in their height, with the least of them being measurable in leagues. Between these alpine wonder, vast crags and valley that dip into the very depths of the realm’s core dance across the landscape, concealing behemoths and creatures that defy comprehension. Yet all these wonders pail in comparison to the dominion of Mount Vigr, the tallest mountain in the realm and the seat of Dwarven power.
To the naked eye, one would never believe Vigr to be a natural wonder. Millennia of Dwarven construction and craft work have rendered the mountain into a stone fortress, containing an entire nation within its thousand keeps, and this is without mentioning the labyrinthine network of underground tunnels that burrow into the earth itself. Kings, princes, and magistrates of Vigr each rule within their respective section, commanding absolute authority over their subjects. As one climbs the mountain, the power of these lords increases until one reaches the peak of both Vigr and all power in Ganlas- the lands of the Magnus, First Chosen of the Pantheon and Holy Emperor of Vigr.
A highly religious people, the people of Vigr all hold belief to a core pantheon of gods. By holy teachings, it is believed that the empire was established by divine mandate, with the ruler or Magnus to be selected among the most ‘devout’ of the religion’s priests to rule. In practice this had led to the position remaining among hereditary lines through the manipulation of both wealth and lands, with priests using their position to achieve quasi lord status within independent realms, to no small chagrin to the populace.
In recent times, this issue has led to conflict, with lords seeking to curb the temporal power of the priesthood. Complicating matters further, several members of the priesthood have separated from the church on matters of scriptural interpretation, providing an opening for several lords to dismiss the religious mandate of empire altogether and declare themselves exempt to Magnus rule. The realm has become divided along religious and political lines, with the entire mountain breaking out into civil war. With the power of the Magnus challenged, several of the other mountain realms have instigated plans for a possible coalition invasion of Vigr.
Separate from the affairs of dwarves, the gnome merchants of Lakin have also begun plans to interfere in current events. With the continuing plight of war affecting trade, the gnomes find themselves direly invested in the affairs they would rather remain neutral in. If they were to join the war, there is little ability to predict the results. Though a small nation, the gnomes have long preserved national sovereignty through their highly advanced technology and possession of “fire salt,” a deadly material that is capable of causing explosive destruction with little effort. Rumors say that, if properly incentivized, the gnomes could physically alter all of Vigr in a matter of hours.