An Imperial backwater, it lies in the Josian Reach sub-sector, connected to the rest of the Calixis Sector by a few tenuous shipping routes. However, it is firmly under Imperial rule and provides its Imperial tithe in the form of raw materials and manpower, sending ores to build the Emperor’s battleships and men to fill His armies. For most of the citizens of Acreage, the Emperor and the Imperium are merely another set of masters. The inhabitants would seldom think to raise their heads from their daily toil, whether it be in the gruel fields or the sky-mills, to contemplate what lies far beyond the bounds of their world.
The same, however, cannot be said for the dominating classes of nobles (who often claim such titles on little more than strength of arms and poorly-forged documents). They are constantly in conflict, both clandestinely and overtly, to rule the vast toiling masses. Power equals status on Acreage. The amount of land and people a noble commands directly equates to his standing with the High King, and it is the High King who carries the favour of the Imperium, the greatest master of all.
On Acreage, the High King’s realm, known as Ascandia, spans the majority of the northern landmass, stretching for thousands of miles and encompassing hundreds of thousands of people, cultures, and scores of lesser princes, kings and queens. It is a land of rugged mountains, dark icy forests and endless lonely plains, broken only by primitive villages and stinking greyish gruel fields or the precarious towering sky-mills.
For the last few years, however, the relative stability of this realm, and in fact most of Acreage, has been rent apart by a bloody civil war. The High King died without naming an heir, leaving his surviving children to bicker and fight amongst themselves for the title in a war in which thousands have already perished. This has been a prosperous time for the nobles, as each has taken the advantage of the mayhem of war to expand their domains or settle old scores. It has also drawn more off-world interest to Acreage, in the form of mercenaries and traders, seeking to make a profit through selling skills, training and advanced weapons.
One such noble taking advantage of these off-world visitors is Prince Orcan, lord of the City of Olrakan. Also known as the Floating City, Olrakan, sprawls along a section of the southern coast of Ascandia, where the foetid Chitin Swamps meet the dark waters of the Sea of Sorrows. The city is notable not only for its construction, standing atop countless rotting posts above the stinking waters of the swamp, but also for its proximity to one of Acreage’s few spaceports – Emperor’s Island, located several miles out to sea.
Prince Orcan has cultivated his position throughout the war by controlling much of the traffic to and from Emperor’s Island; brokering deals with other nobles for access to precious off-world cargos and skilled soldiers. Inevitably this monopoly has created a great deal of jealously amongst his nearest neighbours, and more than once, Olrankan has been besieged by the cannon-barges and musketmen of a rival lord. However, the same off-world weapons and soldiers that have sparked such attacks have also ensured Orcan’s victory every time thus far. His rivals, however, have not yet been deterred and continue to try periodically to take the city by force.