Generations of industrial espionage mean that the technologies available to Allusia and Rain are quite similar. In Bridgend and Bastion, electrical lights flicker and early motor cars transport supplies to the front. A high ranking officer may have a new telephone connection, backstopped of course by the reliable telegraph connection. Powered flight is still a few years off, but hot air balloons might be used by enterprising players. Within the Fens, technology tends to be a bit more backward, but the characters will encounter steam engines, revolver toting thugs, and phonographs playing the latest tunes.
A few technologies unique to the Fens are described below:
Marsh Carts: Small, steam powered boats with a circular central paddle and a galvanized rubber hydrofoil. Not sneaky and prone to bogging down in the tighter channels of the central swamps, but commonly used in its outer areas.
Diving Bells and Suits: While most of the waters in the Fenlands are shallow, that isn’t true everywhere. Enterprising scavengers and treasure hunters have repurposed diving gear from the Salt Sea. It requires a trusted friend on the surface to hand-crank its oxygen supply, or the user will soon find themselves suffocating in the deep.
Bounders: Clockwork land mines scattered liberally by balloon across the Fenlands. When triggered, they spring upward and explode into a cloud of grapeshot. Many have been replanted by the inhabitants of the Fens to deter unwary intruders.
Lumin: A bright, bioluminescent paint derived from the glands of a frog common to the Fenlands. Often used by smugglers for marking caches in the persistent smog.
Barges: Wrecked steam barges are strewn across the eastern portion of the Fenlands, relics of a failed Allusian offensive. Some have been converted into floating encampments by the inhabitants of the Fens, while others may still hold treasure.
Brushblack: A lush moss found nowhere else in the world and colored so deep green that it is almost black. It grows in the deeper parts of the Fenlands. When dried and smoked, Brushblack is psychoactive, highly addictive, and growing popular in Rain.
Magic in the Fenlands
As late as the start of the first Rain - Allusinian war, magic was, although uncommon, not unheard of in either country. A court magician might know a few rituals to call rain, speak across far distances, or throw fire. Older, more potent magics were typically imbued into artifacts and jealously guarded by its owners. In a hundred years of conflict, however, they became scarcer, as the fires of war consumed magical items and magicians alike. Even spells carefully recorded against the ravages of time grew unreliable, weak and sputtering before ceasing to function altogether in the modern era.
While the reasons behind the decline of magic are for the players to investigate, the average dweller of the Fens accepts that it is somehow linked to the rise of modern technology. A more uncomfortable argument might point to the profligate use of an already scarce resource during the fighting. A few of the artifacts that players might encounter in the Fenlands are below:
Reanimator: A black metal amulet in the crude shape of a human heart, commonly found inside a destroyed corpse. When installed into the chest of a recently deceased person, it brings them to temporary life as a howling, psychotic warrior, lasting until their body is dismembered.
Thorns: A bag of small, silver hooks, packed in a rawhide bag along with a beaten metal compass. The reverse side of the compass carries a ritual that causes its needle to point toward a properly prepared hook, no matter how distant it is.
War Golems: More often retrieved in shattered pieces, these seven foot tall, peat encrusted clay figures were used by both sides of the conflict. A complete Golem, especially with its activating instructions, could be worth killing for.
Players entering the Fenlands will engage with three primary plot arcs, each of which has the potential to affect the others.
Whispers of War
A new war leader, Ala Thunderspeaker, has ascended to the head of the Rain League. Pressured by declining tax revenues, he looks to choke the illicit trade running through the Fenlands. But as his personal operatives flood into the Fens seeking smugglers, they risk upsetting the delicate balance of power that has evolved over the last twenty years. And with the Allusianian Army just over the horizon, any new instability in the Fenlands risks sparking a larger war.
As smugglers are pushed into the southern Fens by Thunderspeaker’s forces, newly discovered magical artifacts begin to hit the markets of Bridgend. Scavengers whisper of rich salvage in the tidal flats, while the Bureau of Magical Recovery openly recruits for a southern expedition. Some of the recovered artifacts bear the marks of long immersion in the Fens, while others appear almost newly made. Has the ocean uncovered a remarkably well preserved cache, or has someone at last unlocked the secrets of artifact production?
After months of tensions, the Fendland Liberation Front declares open season on the Borderers. In the reed beds and waterways of the Fens, a quiet, brutal war erupts, pitting brother and sister against one another. Seeking freedom from Borderer taxation on its smuggling, the Fenlands Royal Trade Concern runs guns to the FLF. Meanwhile, fearing that the FLF are little more than a front for brushblack trafficking, Rain’s First Frontier Company secretly offers support to the Borderers. What began as a small frontier struggle risks spilling over into a proxy war between the Protectorate and the League.
Ash The Renewal: One of the 27 Lightbringers of the Winged court, and the Lightbringer of Renewal. Their Domain and authority revolves around life after death. Their Samnals are noted for having a great propensity for fire magic, and many of their rituals require fire sacrifices of food or object. Their domain also taken parts into the aspects of the earth and magma, as they took part in the war of the light bringers long ago.
Archetto the Melodic: One of the 27 Lightbringers, Most noteable for being the patron deity of bards and travelers. She was for being the creator of the beast kin, and her preferred form is similar to that of a humanoid with feline eyes.
Broca the Story Keeper: Broca the Storykeeper is noted for keeping the chronicles of the world. However they are also attributed to developing the common trade language of the world, as well as planting the seeds of knowledge for mankind to develop their own unique languages across the various nations.
Ceylone The Erudite: The Erudite is noted for advancing mankind through the use of creativity. When this Light bringer came into the world, they were gifted with a drive to explore the bounds of the world around it, they retain a humanoid form, however their body has seam and faults, as if they were comprised of starry puzzle pieces. The Erudite is patron to various artists and inventors.
Cantabile the Shield: Cantabile is noted for creating the dome that shielded Nivora from the world around it, she's capable of creating impenetrable defenses and domes of hyperion capable of simulating isolated biospheres. As of recent years following her death, her mortal successor has used her power to a far greater degree than what she could have ever done originally.
Dagda The Remembrance: This Lightbringer is noted for traveling around the world and erecting various places of worship to the fallen lightbringers during the age of coalescence. Her followers state that she can still hear their whispers in their ears, she has yet to choose a Samnal to the present day, however her followers are avid scholars entropists and maintain various graveyards across the entirety of the Shelonan Theocracy.
Erato the Permanence: The Lightbringer that presided over stasis, stagnation, and permanence. In various holy scriptures, and retellings of various stories states that she has an immense hatred for The Amender, making it a borderline obsession. However this obsession nor the reasoning was ever realized as Permanence was killed in the fall of Nivora. No one knows how entirely. However their successor would go on to become the order.
Flint The Ember: Following the creation of mankind this lightbringer was attributed to bringing fire to the first people. There isn't really any noteable stories besides this initial achievement, however this lightbringer was also noted to organize the festivals that would go on in the city of Nivora. However after her death, their successor was the Eternal Flame
Frost the Ever Winter: Originally long ago after the war of the lightbringers, the everwinter created the northern and southern poles to prevent a coming heatwave after the war. She was noted for creating the grand frozen landscapes that encrust the Northland Consortium.
Highmore The Rising Tide: The deity that presides over the ocean currents, she rejected living in the city of Nivora and escaped the consequences of the fall. In scriptures it's believed that she went to the Orsika Gulf to Erode the continent and to prevent pollution of the ocean as the gulf was tainted heavily by the light bringer war.
Istina the Huntress: Istina is the deity that provides over the art of hunting, originally a kind young goddess in the past, after the light bringer war she awoke to her true nature. Reveling in the thrill of hunting her quarry, she had cleansed the world of the creations of the previous light bringers who happened to be too dangerous for the world.
Indra the Champion: Indra the Champion despite being a deity, ultimately was the blade the Shelonan Theocracy brandished towards dissidents. She became the patron deity of soldiers, however she would ultimately fall when Nivora fell. She was killed by the dissedents she looked down and in turn, the Medicus was formed.
Kafka the Seeker: This Deity sought to explore the ever changing world of Mezeran, the lover to Broca the Story Keeper, she would leave the city of Nivora and return with chronicles to share with Broca. She was one of the deities, she didn't resent the Amender for the war, as she found her true purpose in a changing world.
Lan the Endless: This deity is the most enigmatic, it actively participated in the Lightbringer war and consumed various different powers from other lightbringers. As such they gained a formless body, one made of pure hyperion. Many followers of the endless worship them for endless growth in the Sea of Identities.
Quercus the Silver tongued: Following the creation of Nivora, Quercus finally gained a title they could call their own. They became the pillar of commerce within the city, and in turn she strove to put a price on everything in the world. However she didn't live long after the creation of Nivora. As she was destroyed by the grand ice sheet. Her only notable achievement was creating the great bazaar.
Shalem the Jubilation: This lightbringer was a ray of joy within the city of Nivora, he would strive to ensure the populace of their chosen disciples would always remain entertained within the city. They organized plays, festivals, death matches, fight clubs, and concerts. Nonetheless this deity wouldn't live through the fall of nivora as they would be succeeded by the Empathy.
Sesa The Radiant: Sesa the Radiant was the original sun lightbringer. He's the reason as to why this world only has a singular sun. Despite many texts portraying him as a righteous and noble soul, he actually consumed his other brothers during the war of the lightbringers. As such only he retained his divinity and dominion over the celestial body, called the sun
Ringokt The Woad Tree: This deity surprisngly didn't participate in the lightbringer war, however he manifests himself as a giant tree in the city of Nivora, given that he was a tree, he was an unmoving pillar that suspended the dome over Nivora. However his roots also fed the people of Nivora, recycling and producing nutrients for the soil of the city fields. However he was splintered by the grand ice sheet and killed. His successor was Gaia, the wandering world.
Sora of the Rosette Sky: This deity is attributed with the every changing sky. She was originally wed to Sesa, and together they would share the sky, and create the beautiful colors that are associated with dawn and dusk. She was killed by the uprising in Nivora. Her successor would become Swire the Eternal wind
Arene The Abundant: Arene was the deity that created the angelic race, he also pioneered the study of Abundance, however neglected their studies upon creating Nivora. Through the use of their powers and the study of abundance they had prolonged the lives of his followers for extreme lengths, however they would soon die like everyone else when Arene fell with Nivora.
Ambriel the Kindred: A extremely kind deity, however not much is known of the deity. The secrets of her cult were forgotten in Nivora, such as the arts of creating ruby red silks. What is known of the deity is that she loved to walk the streets of Nivora and participate in activities with her creations, those beign the elves.
The Remaining lightbringers were either forgotten to history, or disappeared all together. The secrets of these Lightbringers are hidden to all besides the most devout of priests, Samnals, and the lightbringers themselves.
The Lightwardens were once mortal men who attained godhood, as such they became the pillars of what mankind in this new age.
Luo The Bulwark : This Deity inherited their power from Cantabile the Shield. Like her, Luo presides over the concept of protection and defense. However unlike Cantabile his understanding over the concept is much broader in a sense, allowing for mankind to spread out across the world, he doesn't delude himself in the belief that something is indestructible.
Revache The Blazing: Revache inherited their power from Sesa the Radiant. The ultimately function in the same vein as Sesa, however the power ultimately changed him, and the aid he received during the usurping in Nivora directly prior to the Ice sheet coming, he was mortally wounded by his benefactor and lost a great amount of his divinity, cooling the world somewhat.
Ensia the Order: Ensia the order ultimately is a powerful lightwarden, she rose to power and originally opposed to taking the lightbringers power, but ultimately was tempted by the power. After coming to find that their benefactor stripped her comrades of some of their divinity, she was the only one left. In turn she and her followers would act towards righting this wrong. By creating a world of order. Their followers are devoutly loyal to people they see as just and worthy of ruling. As such they retain multiple holy orders across the world.
Gebura the Reaver: She was ultimately the second in command to Revache, however after arising to godhood, she would claim Indra's power as her own. Becoming a suit of armor constantly dripping in blood. She's typically worshipped by soldiers however her relationship with Revache soured greatly.