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Gnomes, Oostdokian

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Garal Glitterlode - Gnomes, inventors and thinkers, science and mechanics, crafts
Vanya - Conquest, victory, strength, honour, pride, war
1. The Oostdokians belong to two gnomish clans (the Valoin and the Flamaeker) that for diverse reasons and in different times were forced to share the same floating island and ended up with them uniting and forming the modern nation of Oostdok. The Valoin indeed lived among the gnomes of Soderfjord when the kobolds invaded the caves of Falun in 490 BC. When the massacre perpetuated by the kobolds was going to threatened the extinction of this civilisation, their patron Garal decided to transport the only remaining living clan, the Valoin, onto one of the flying islands of the Hollow World, in such a way that they could continue in peace their experiments and life. Centuries later the Serrainian gnomes of the Flamaeker clan developed a new technology for feeding the engines of the flying city of Serraine and for directing its route. During a control test, a tremendous explosive reaction caused the separation of their quarters from the rest of the city and sent the Flamaeker literally into orbit, which found them outside of the Skyshield in outer space and a lack of oxygen. Only thanks to the intervention of Garal, was their stronghold able to miraculously to fall towards the planet, threading through the northern polar opening and landed on one of the flying islands of the Hollow World in the V century AC. The two gnomish civilisations continue to conduct experiments unaware of each other, until a fault in the design of a system for controlling the orbit of their homeland and not bring the island of the Flamaeker in collision with that of the Valoin. All the flight control mechanisms designed until now by the two clans went haywire and both the Flamaeker and the Valoin remain prisoners of the orbit of their new common home, renamed Oostdok from a gnomish onomatopoeia that reflected the sound the two bodies made when they collided. In 970 AC a squadron of Heldannic Warbirds discovered the existence of the peaceful Oostdokians, and the Great Priest ordered the conquest of the island in order to be able to exploit the technology developed by the gnomes. From that moment Oostdok has been under Heldannic control and the gnomes have still not managed to organise a resistance movement able to free themselves from their Heldannic conquerors and gaining their independence, also because the heads of the trading houses (that dominated the social, political and economic life of the island before the invasion) refusing to ally themselves with the Fifth Column, a secret organisation of rebels, outcasts and terrorists that has always sought to cause collapse the oligopoly of the houses and of provoking the forced overpowering of the island.
2. The only two cults present on the island are that of Vanya, imposed by the Heldannic Knights but never shared by the gnomes, and that of Garal, which is tolerated by the minority of the occupants in order to not make the atmosphere tenser than it already was and especially since it is not considered dangerous for the security of the protectorate nor in contrast with the doctrine of Vanya.
3. The Heldannic Knights also have another outpost among the floating islands of the Hollow World, called Stonehaven, where they have built a stronghold, a berthing place and a building site for their flying navies, with the intent of proceeding to the exploration of the Hollow World and to the conquest of the most backward and wealthy civilisations (reference is made to the series “Voyages of the Princess Ark” in Dragon Magazine and in the Champions of Mystara manual).