Full Steam Ahead
Great Western Republic
Queen Victoria of Britain has ended the ‘splendid isolationism’ and together with Queen Isabella of Spain formed the world’s largest empires into the Great Western Republic (or WR for short). A vast fleet of the best airships in the skies protect and control territory covering nearly 50% of the globe. While officially a parliamentary monarchy, the queens still hold autocratic power over their subjects. Their proud unofficial motto is ‘The skies belong to the WR’ and while mostly true, the growing German fleet has many a worried eye turned back from the edges of the Republic to it’s troubled heart.
The Franco-Prussian war went badly for France. In it’s rapid bid for unification and power, the Prussian army swept France in a series of decisive battles. With both armies following a policy of scorched earth, France was left in ruins. While the Germans actively occupy the Alsace Lorraine area and officially control the country from Paris, the majority of the country is a loosely held, lawless region, full of token German forces and dauntless French freedom fighters.
While it lacks the vast size and airfleets of the WR, United Germany, or the ‘New Reich’, is arguably the most powerful empire in the world. Heavily industrialized with advanced steam technology, the German Dampfentrupers are rightly feared throughout Europe. While their airship technology lags behind the WR, still relying on dirigibles for lift, their growing Luftwaffe fleet is threatening to rival WR airpower in Europe.
After dissolution in the 1800s, the remains of the Holy Roman Empire languished under weak governments and corruption for years until the new Expansionist Pope Callistus IV came to power. Under the banner of the church the country was reunited, and with its own black balloons and the colorful Swiss Dragoons, they quickly united their own lands and currently look towards adding others.
Sworn by blood and ink into a strong alliance with the Exilarchy, the Swiss are a respected (and feared) nation for their powerful airships and fearsome Dragoon warriors.
Pioneering mechanaut technology, the Russian empire has steadily grown westward until it now touches the freshly painted borders of the New Reich. Though it lacks the advanced industry and infrastructure of Germany, it has a wealth of resources and it’s mechanaut technology is easily a match for the power of the Dampfentrupers. Spies have reported an enormous upswing in Lorentz lattice production, but there has been no sign of increased airship production. No one is sure what they’re up to, but most are sure it’s not benign.
Czar Vladislaus II is known to be very interested in all things occult.
Once the Ottoman empire, economic troubles and a weak government failed to keep the nation together. It has since fallen into a rough confederacy of independent states. With technically ‘soverign’ borders, but little rule of law and no policing, it has become haven for pirates and criminals. More than one govenrment has their eye on the territory, but the only time the various groups within have been able to work together is when pushing out outsiders – and more than one exploratory invasion has been halted short. Rumor has it that the WR has been funneling money into the pirates and hiring out privateers to prey on the Germans and Russians they border.
The tribal kingdoms of Africa have evaded control for decades. Partly due to their ability to disappear when confronted with a sizable force, partly due to the beasts that inhabit their lands and endanger any unprepared traveller. Still it is a tempting target for both the land-hungry empires and thrill and adventure seekers the world over.