Amryn: A Backwater World
Morivol, of Fire and Ice
An ancient empire by any standards, the sprawling nation of Morivol is as rife with wonder as it is horror. Through centuries of brutal civil war the "Commonwealth" was formed as the disparate hierarchies of Drow and Tiefling clashed.
All was relatively peaceful in Morivol for hundreds of years. The surface was ruled by the Tiefling patriarchs, their ambitions carried out by their legions of Hobgoblin subjects. As above, so it was below; the Drow matriarchs and their houses were content to war with each other in the deeps, pitting scores of subjugated Orcish cave tribes against each other. However, the Tiefling host had developed a knack for the technical, and a booming industrial revolution meant they were driven ever deeper into the earth in search of resources. It wasn't long before they breached the vast caverns of Keinen which lay hidden beneath them.
War was instant and savage. Enraged by the impudence of the surface dweller's intrusion into their territory, the Orcish hordes flooded out into Morivol, laying waste to everything in their path. The Tiefling wasted no time in response, smashing the advancing army with an arsenal of great and terrible weapons, backed by their vast companies of Hobgoblin shock troops. What the Drow lacked in forces they made up for in cunning, and Patriarchs began dropping like flies at the hands of assassins. On the other hand, where the Drow looked upon demon and devil kind with feared reverence, the spawn had since gained intricate mastery over their lesser ranks. Many prominent Drow fell to the teeth and claws of outsiders they had summoned to beg aid that were already under the influence of Tiefling warlocks.
Slowly the balance of power shifted to the surface. Many delvers perished to map the subterranean realm, but the damage was slowly done. New mine shafts were sunk, chambers flooded with water or magma, and multi-pronged attacks led to the ultimate defeat of the Drow. Key members of houses were executed depending on the nature of their involvement while still more committed suicide rather than face judgment or live in defeat. Rather than deal with the bloody and costly affair of total extermination, the Tiefling extended a bargain. Surrender and live. Assimilate into the culture and join forces to create the most feared nation on Amryn, nearly as equals. Royal houses would blend, and while control would remain solidly in the hands of the horned, the political savvy of the Drow would live on in the Morivolian aristocracy. Their hordes combined would rival any nation's, and with their servitude both cadres could survive in decadence.
So the United Commonwealth of Morivol was born. A juggernaut of technology and industry, it is not without its drawbacks. The nation commands vast resources and a wealth of technological and arcane knowledge, but its inherent infighting and animosity sap its strength. The fray is kept minimized by a brutal and efficient militarized police. Lower castes of Tiefling as well as Drow are persecuted equally under the iron first of the Czar, and the miserable hosts of Orcs and Hobgoblins are as caught up in squabbles as they are in rebellious plots. There is a strange balance however; the same tension that threatens to tear the country apart also draws it more tightly together.