Less then seventy miles south of Rizen lies a chain of volcanic
isles, their black rimmed, smoking craters giving way to tropical
jungle below. These are the Kimeian Isles, an ecosystem that has
been described as ‘Vini Tresolm in miniature’.
Thick jungles climb to
the very edge of the volcanoes, occasionally giving way to a lake
of heated water, or arid desert. Ancient lava tubes form caves deep
into the hearts of the islands.
Less than a century after the failure of the Hailene War of Ascension,
a number of the magical technologies the hailene had researched
found their way into the hand of scholars from the Academy of the
Arcane Arts in Te’raan. Secret arts, most engineered for war,
many seen as abominations, were suddenly staring those who would
have been their victims in the face.
A schism developed within
the academy; one faction wishing to delve more deeply into the lost
technologies, one wishing to seal them away for a time when the
world may need them and one wishing simply to destroy them. Over
the next two centuries, the opposing sides did secret war, replete
with assassinations, betrayals and more than once – employing
the very spells they fought over.
Eventually, a single
group, dedicated to the development and employment of the hailene
technologies was formed. Calling themselves the Reaping Brotherhood,
they took the name and trappings of a mythical group of mages who
fought oppression of their talents. The Brotherhood staged one final
coup, stealing a great deal of research on the hailene arts from
the main academy and fleeing to an Academy laboratory facility on
the former Vishnari military outpost in the Kimeian Isles.
Once their positions
were fortified, the Brotherhood established their own nation in
the islands, dubbed Mon Sulus Kime, or in the Imperial tongue literally:
Home of the Brotherhood on Kime.
Kimeian society is, on the outset, ideal. The natives live in well
defended seaside villages or in decadent inland cities. Food is
plentiful and life is far less stressful than on the mainland, even
without the construct servitors that the citizens of other magically
advanced nations, such as Te’raan or Mindeforme enjoy.
Or at least it would
be, except for one, simple fact: the citizens of Mon Sulus Kime
are experiments; the long term results of a eugenics program established
by the Brotherhood (now called the Overlords of Kime) in the first
decades after establishing their new nation.
Every coupling –
in fact, every instance of personal contact is predetermined by
agents of the Overlords. Children born outside the established plan
are removed from their parents immediately. This is how, over the
years, the people of Mon Sulus Kime have been bred to be obedient,
strong and especially capable at magic. As new Overlords, specifically
bred and raised under the direction of current Overlords, are products
of this process, the cycle is self perpetuating.
As knowledge of the outside
world is reserved only for the Overlords and their chosen agents,
Kimeian art, music and literature are highly divergent and, thanks
to the heavy reliance on magic in day to day life, in some cases
alien to mainland societies. Many works require special spells or
magic items to fully experience.
The lay people of Mon Sulus Kime are quite self sufficient; farming
the fertile volcanic soil, harvesting the abundant fruits, and fishing
the surrounding ocean for all their needs under the supervision
of agents of the Overlords.
The government, however,
is financed by selling the results of its experiments; including
live demihuman (or formerly demihuman) subjects, spells, magic items,
and alchemical reagents; to buyers on the mainland. While trucking
with the Kimeians is a most taboo of dealings, they have as their
clients people and organizations from all walks of life, from the
powerful Kaydans and the Calderian government to lowly towns and
cities on the southern coastline desperate for means of self defense.
Mon Sulus Kime is ruled by a selectively reared and groomed council
of Overlords, numbering between fifteen and thirty individuals who
make the decisions for the people in their charge. Each Overlord
overseers hand picked agents (people who were raised for grooming
to be Overlords, but were found lacking), who hold direct control
over individual villages.
The agents rule with
varying degrees of brutality, though they are limited by the parameters
of the experiments being performed in their village. Though they
are beholden to the Overlords, agents have their own ambitions and
individuality and try their best to manipulate events and experiments
for their own purposes as well as sabotage other agents.
This is a dangerous game,
however, as the penalty for being discovered compromising an experiment
is becoming part of a brutal experiment oneself.
and Individuals of Note
While not the founder of Mon Sulus Kime, this elf lich is the only
survivor of the original renegade wizards that landed on the Kimeian
Isles. He is responsible for the selective breeding of Overlords
to ensure that they aren’t inclined to affect any real changes
in the nation.
Volfien is a specialist
in what he calls recombination; merging multiple species post birth
into chimera. He uses the more successful results of these experiments
to guard his offices while selling the passable, but uninteresting
ones to buyers one the mainland.
The former site of a Vishnari colony, Dulcimer is the effective
capitol of Mon Sulus Kime. Two or three story buildings made of
volcanic stone house the Overlords, their laboratories, and all
The center of the town
is dominated by an arena call the Proving Grounds, where generational
subjects from experiments are forced through obstacle courses or
pitted against one another to determine worthiness.
The northern port of
the city also houses and aquatic research center where captured
sea life is altered, released and monitored.
Damaged (physically, genetically, or psychologically) experiment
subjects are sent to the small island in the southwestern tip of
the archipelago known by the Overlords as Isolation Colony as a
kind of stockpile of genetic material. Most who even survive transport
to the island either die without medical attention, or are too violent
and must be put down by the other inhabitants.
Those that have survived
have formed their own rudimentary society, led by an ogre named
Kilikash. Life on Isolation colony is harsh, not because of lack
of food or shelter, but because less civilized reject experiments
stalk the island.
Kilikash has formed an
army of sorts to protect his followers, but knows that even with
the rudimentary weapons and magic they are able to scrabble together,
they can never challenge the Warden of Isolation Colony: Damonnuridan,
a half black dragon kraken who serves the Overlords in exchange
for their addictive serum that makes him half draconic.