Realms of the Scattered Sea
Recent and ongoing events
It is currently the 13th year of the Modern Era, which began after the invention of the steam engine by dwarves in the Mountain Kingdom. As many people began to utilise this new technology, it began to stimulate the economy of pretty much every realm in the Scattered Sea. The demand for coal suddenly became huge, forcing new trade relations between different countries to be created.
But with the development of this new and very useful technology of course came people who sought to use it for destructive purposes. Shadowgrass was the first country to build a steam-powered war machine, a gigantic brass golem that could desecrate a small army of foot soldiers in minutes. The Queen of Shadowgrass had in the past expressed desire to unite the entire continent into a single empire and the greatest opposition to this idea came from the dwarves. The Queen decided to make an enemy of the dwarves for this.
Seeing that Shadowgrass was developing powerful weapons prompted the dwarves to begin building their own war machines, attempting to surpass the ones built in Shadowgrass in their potential to cause destruction. This began an arms race between the two kingdoms that is still continuing to this day.
The first time a war machine was used in a serious battle was in the 9th year of the Modern Era. An orc called Chief Urzog was able to rally all the forces of Merynark with the goal of invading High Ellaren and taking back what was their homeland in the past. The orcs had a lot more money to fund a war than they had in the past because there are many coal mines in Merynark and the Dwarves buy most of their coal from there.
When Urzog’s fleet landed in Andora Harbour, they were met not with Elven archers and battle mages like they had expected. Instead, the Arkine (who are the rulers of High Ellaren) had bought war machines from Shadowgrass to use against the orcs. This was something that not even the civilians of High Ellaren had expected. The war machines almost annihilated the Orcish forces without any elf casualties being taken. Urzog was forced to flee back to Merynark with what was left of his fleet. A fair few people believe that using these sorts of weapons is a war crime but the Arkine, and their political allies the Pure-skins, have been very firm that opposition to the defence of High Ellaren against orcs will not be tolerated.