The habitable ring that surrounds the planet Loftsphere is home to several empires. The Alliance of Alchemical City States hold various cities around the ring, from the mountain top city of Bismuth, home to the fabled Clockwork Dragon Emporium, to the aerial gardens of Babishan. The City States are held together by their reliance on Alchemy, it forms the basis of their power.
The main rival to the Alliance is the Union of Eternal Perfection, known to others as the Hatched Men. The Union, controlled exclusively by powerful mages is all male. In fact the entire population is formed from clones of only seven different individuals. The clones are hatched from large eggs, and are hatched as adults with a number of rudimentary skills. The Union has the policy of putting everyone it conquers to the sword, maintaining that only their perfect selves and perfect clones are fit to inhabit the Empyreal Corona. The Unions controlled assets is mostly comprised of enormous Hatchery-Zeppelins that move from area to area killing everyone they can. The Union however is always open for new members, and those who prove themselves to be “perfect” are accepted into the mage council and a new template of clone is designed. The last newly accepted member was Maester Mage Dobbs, who joined a scant fifty years ago.
Another empire that can be found is actually quite small, the Lost Dominion of Canticle. The dominion is ruled by the self-proclaimed Last Prince of Canticle. The Prince, a young man who appeared three years ago, carved himself an empire with the might of his wicker army and sword arm. The army itself is composed of two separate kinds of wicker golems, those animated by alchemy and those animated by magery. This has allowed the Dominion to combat both the Alliance and the Union.
The Prince was smuggled out of Canticle after his fathers Kingdom was overthrown, he was not even a year old at the time. He was raised in Dirge, by Shepherds until he was sixteen, then he was adopted by the courts of the Sociopath Kings. Here he flourished and gathered enough wealth and power to mount his expedition into the Empyreal Corona.
A small independent group of alchemists, known as the Brethren of Ash built a fortress in the basin of an extinct volcano, the so called Baker’s Fast. Here they use the fine ash from previous eruptions to make a gray-brown clay. From this clay the craft the form of all manner of creatures, mostly beautifully rendered armored men and women, but also strange chimerical statues. These clay statues are then baked and somehow imparted with life, when they’re removed from the oven, deep in the heart of the volcano, the former statues are truly alive, animated clay.