Shale is an island nation north of Chrysanthos. It is known for being surrounded by a constant thunderstorm which occurred as a result of an ancient Bargod who cursed the island so that they'd never see the sun again. In spite of the constant gloomy, depressing weather, the people of Shale remain in high spirits as their nation prospers with commercial agriculture and technology.
As a result of harnessing the lightning storms, Shale became the first nation in Emsius to develop practical use for electricity, and they also boast one of the most sophisticated plumbing systems.
Shale is prone to constant floods and erosion. The rainstorm has almost very literally washed the island away, and if it were not for the complex terrace structures and sewer systems, the entire island would have sunk.
Very little of the island remains natural terrain as large rice paddies and raised platforms and bridges cover much of what little land remains - the natural terrain mostly consisting of swamp land. Power lines covered in protective, insulative stiff pipes and towering lightning rods are everywhere to be found as the people transformed the island's curse into an electric power grid.
Monorail trains also run throughout the island for transport of goods as well as people allowing for much of the island to prosper.
Points of interestEdit
Shale's capital is Lùthtur City, consisting of a series of skyscrapers as well as a massive tower in the center serving as the capitol building. Electricity surges through and powers through massive pylons that light up the entire city while the sewage systems control flooding and erosion by circulating the water through underground pipes. The sewer systems below the city are massive enough to fit in an entirely new district, often home to the middle class and the poor.
Shale is run via a parliament system with a prime minister in charge. Thus, Shale is one of the few democratic governments in Emsius, the other being Kulbrenna.
Slavery is outlawed, but mages are still treated as second class citizens. Those who actively practice witchcraft are not allowed to vote, and are often denied the right to a trial.
Shale tends to be more lax in terms of religion as they have no central system of belief. Worship of Asmos is not outlawed and the construction of churches is allowed. Worship of other gods however is frowned upon.
The people of Shale live modest but spirited lives. Common attire consists of ponchos and large hats. Because it is often difficult to see one's face due to the weather, Shalic people often greet one another with their names first no matter how often they see one another. Giving one's name is paired with a "hello".
Shale's first inhabitants were a small tribe that worshipped a Bargod named Ambisagrus who controlled thinderstorms. He would be appeased by offering sacrifices in his name in hopes of good weather and to repel the raging storms that plagued the seas.
Asmosian missionaries would later arrive on the island to spread the worship of Asmos. When they succeeded in converting the Shalic tribe, Ambisagrus felt betrayed resulting in him cursing the island forever with an endless thunderstorm. The pouring rain caused floods and destruction, but the people if the island persisted. Ambisagrus realizing their resolve chose to leave the island for Nasyrimia while leaving the curse behind.
In spite of the weather, the people of Shale adapted. They grew in power through trade and agriculture and eventually discovered electricity. The thunderstorm which started out as a curse ended up becoming a gift making Shale one of the most prosperous nations in Emsius.
The Competing InventorsEdit
Shale was suffering from a shortage of alchemists who could transmute ore into coal, but island's inhabitants were very adaptable. Much of Shale's technological innovations were responsible for two famous inventors: Dealan Tàladh and Solas Builgein. Both were brilliant scientists although they were major rivals of one another. They'd often try to outdo one another with their own inventions - ironically, much of their motivation for creating new gadgets was for simply the fame and reputation, but the bitter competition resulted in Shale having one of the most developed industrial states in Emsius.
In one major court case (aptly named Tàladh vs. Builgein), Builgein was sued for having supposedly stolen the design for the clockwork automaton servant. The case was eventually settled by determining that Builgen had the rights to the design as he had patented it first in spite of Tàladh having created the designs first.
The Competition EndsEdit
Over time, Tàladh's reputation slipped as Builgein had begun taking credit for much of his inventions. Builgein would eventually become appointed by the prime minister as the grand inventor, and would be responsible for overseeing many of Shale's future developments - Builgein's experiments now had the backing of the government and had almost complete free reign over his inventions.
As a result, Tàladh wished to retaliate and eventually fled underground to the sewers below Lùthtur City in search of an investor who could fund his next big project. He would meet the young former emperor Alder Carnelian who was exiled from Arguros after it was discovered that he had unleashed the Grand Idol on the city of Jacinth. The two would become personal friends and allies, in spite of Shale and Arguros having been at war with one another decades prior.
Tàladh's plan was to redesign the clockwork automaton as a soldier and weapon of war and build Alder an army.