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No one really knows what caused Tyrona to fracture. Cheelia claims that their enemies conspired to shatter the tectonic plates by combining Phytos’ geomancy and Jaemont’s steam power. Jaemont blames Cheelia’s nuclear weapons program. Phytos would prefer to be left alone at this point, though given their rich natural resources, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon.
All anyone really knows is that the sea is no more. As the continents cracked apart, the oceans fell away, then boiled as they threatened to drench the planet’s molten core.
It was this event that replaced the seas with seemingly endless billows of cloud. No method of detection, no matter how modern, has been able to breach the “fog of war” isolating the continents from each other.
It was the boiling of the oceans, too, that saved the continents from a worse fate. At the first sign of global tectonic disturbance, the geomancers from each continent met in secret. It was there they formed a truce, unknown to their own governments. They would work together to secure the continents should the unthinkable happen… which it did. Their willingness to lay aside the long-forgotten grudges saved everyone. While they keep the land masses in check, their fellow citizens on the surface continue a war whose root cause has been long forgotten. Even when the world rests on the brink of obliteration, they fight for every scrap of territory and resources they can claim.
Cheelia has long since been the technological leader of Tyrona. They are the ones who developed robotic frames, the plans of which were quickly stolen by Jaemont intelligence operatives for their own use. Cheelian scientists developed near-human-level artificial intelligence. Cheelian scientists harnessed nuclear power. No other faction on Tyrona can claim such superiority. Jaemont and Phytos, however, would point to the downtrodden civilian population and question the worth of such technological advances if not for the good of the people. But for Cheelia, victory is for the good of the people. It is victory that brings in resources for the war effort, and it is victory that will improve the morale (and thus the lives) of the people.
Jaemont, on the other hand, would prefer steam-powered freedom to nuclear-powered tyranny. For them, the war is about liberty. The occasional land grab in Phytos is an unfortunate necessity; were it not for Phytos’ rich natural resources, Jaemont would be more than happy to leave the nature-dwellers at peace.
Phytos, meanwhile, would prefer to be left alone. They believe that men are to be stewards of the land, not users of it. With Cheelia and Jaemont both vying for territory on their continent, the Phytans have taken to the skies themselves, riding on the backs of beasts to take the fight back to those who would despoil their lands.
Meanwhile, those left on the fragments of land lost in the mists, islands aloft with no connection to the mainlands, fight for survival. They take what they can get, when and where they can get it. To feed their families, they have become pirates. They come out of nowhere, overwhelm a ship by sheer numbers, and take their prize home to their islands in the mist. They are The Swarm, and they don’t give a damn about the war. For them, it’s more personal than for any military grunt the mainlands can throw at them.
This is Tyrona. This is the Shattered Planet.