Nations of Dead Man’s Land

The Academy Arcanum: The Academy Arcanum are a collection of isolationist wizarding families. Each family has an elder wizard who governs their tower, and communes with the larger Academy magically as needed. Each tower consists of a few hundred related wizards, and marriages are arranged as matters of political will within the Academy. In total, there are usually about 500 towers at any given time, each self governed with a national defense pact. Fledgling wizards are often sent to study at neighboring towers as a means of expanding the home tower’s knowledge, and strengthening the bonds between them. And if they happen to spy a little, the family wouldn’t complain. Due to the solitary nature of these towers, they are slow to adapt to change, but only the foolhardy would actually consider an invasion. These wizards are known for their divination and conjuration magic, and will quickly summon, arm, and invade with an extraplanar army while their enemies are still debating on whether to even go to war. It’s said each of the adult wizards is the equivalent of 10 soldiers on the battlefield, and every family member is an active combatant, with schooling beginning as the children learn to walk.

Photo by Pavlo Luchkovski on

Avallonis: A proud and regal people, led by their benevolent king and a house of lords. A truly agile feudal economy, Avallonis adapts with the times, and their knights have, for the most part, begun carrying magicarms in place of the swords and shields of old. The King of Avallonis designates royal authority to various Dukes to rule the 8 duchies as they see fit. They in turn designate Counts to rule the various counties, who in turn assign Barons to oversee individual cities of importance. Avallonis culture places an importance on practicality over tradition, and failure to hear out those below you in noble rank is considered dereliction of duty. Based on the noble law, this can even be grounds for expulsion by underlings. One method for the layman to move up in social standing is through military service. A Knight is technically a minor nobility, at the same level as a Baron, without land, and is permitted to marry into nobility, or potentially gain an appointment of land if valorous enough. As practical people, the Avallonians are frequent users of magic, and will use it to make general life easier. 

Cardonia: Caronia is no longer a nation, all that remains are ruins. One hundred years ago, Cardonia was the home of the best and brightest. Thanks to their central geographic region, and accepting culture, the nation was a utopian smelting pot that shared knowledge freely with all nations on its borders, learning the cultures, technologies and advancements. They fused these technologies, magics, and theories into some of the most astounding magitech wonders the world has ever known. Jealousy of their discoveries fueled the Arcanowar, and ultimately led to their own destruction. Cardonia’s bustling cities and lush greenery have been rendered into nothing but ruins and sand

Dead Man’s Land: The Unified Unoccupied Zone, or more colloquially, Dead Man’s Land, is the current name for the ancient nation of Cardonia. Officially unowned by any nation by treaty, it is still inhabited. Cautious, brave, and foolhardy folk have taken to its frontiers for a variety of reasons. The borders of the Dead Man’s Land are dotted with small settlements governed by their own law, and practice. Mostly though, its unclaimed wasteland, infested with magically irradiated megafauna, hordes of undead, and ticking timebombs leftover from the Arcanowar. 

The Kei: The Kei are a military dictatorship with a strict honor code. Personal excellence is the highest form of success, and the Kei rule through strength. Kei Knights are individually some of the most fearsome foes on a battlefield, even if they still carry swords and wear plate armor. Their refusal to adapt has put them at a bit of a disadvantage, and the Kei Primus has not settled on a solution. Lifting their ban on magitech would allow the common folk to hold their own in a duel with a Kei Knight, and then well, who needs the Kei? Of course, it’s also helpful their honor code forbids magic’s use. 

Photo by Maria Pop on

The Magi-Techno Union (The MTU): Coal powered, and in the highpoint of a technological revolution, the assembly lines of the MTU churn day and night. The streets may be black with soot and tar, but the coffers are lined with gold. Capitalism is the name of the game, and the Auto Union runs the show. Union automatons power a full third of the factories alone, and their repairmen command a hefty salary. Other well respected factions include, The Unity Battalion, as the largest consumer of military goods, and the enforcers of the MTU Guild Council’s laws, and Frinkkareg Munitions and Ordnance, who not only produces most of the weapons, but also the towering magitech Centaru. Massive steam and magic powered automatons piloted by crews of at least 20. The MTU Council is the ruling faction of the MTU, and any and all guilds, unions, or corporations have a seat. Those groups pay annual taxes towards the funding of a common military and laws, and the more taxes paid, the more their vote is weighted. 

To follow along with this project as it goes on, entries have been tagged with the Dead Man’s Land Tag.

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