The Flying Lands
Aerozyte has the unique property of “anti-weight” that pulls against the natural force of gravity. Philosophers of Ordelia struggle to characterize this property and its source, with some claiming that it is a mineral of such incredibly low density that it floats upwards in the air, while others claim that it is a divine property that comes from the union of the Sky Father and Earth Mother – an interpretation favored among many religious sects. No matter what the source of this property, it has proven invaluable in trade and transportation, enabling the construction of airships that sail the skies over the continent. The master engineers and pilots of these craft are the dwarves, naturally having the most extensive knowledge of minerals. It was with these craft that the baronies of Praedam were united and became the greatest nation in the known world, dominating fully half of the Ordelian Peninsula through military and economic superiority.
Natural deposits of aerozyte lead to an occasional phenomenon known as a “float-hole”, when erosion and other natural forces loosen the terrain and cause a chunk of landscape to hurtle skyward. Past events such as this have led to the aggregation of sky-bound archipelagos that follow the air cyclic currents above the continent. One such event gave rise to the sect known as “The Brothers Aloft”, when an entire battalion of soldiers from one of the baronies was lifted upwards on a massive aerozyte vein. They considered this to be a sign from the gods and built a monastery in their honor where they remain to this day preaching a message of peace and detachment from the world.
Several communities flourish on floating islands above the continent, most pledging a nominal fealty to Praedam but nevertheless operating independently from the nations below. Some of these are home to pirates and smugglers who use the constant motion of the islands and obscuring storms to hide from the authorities. Others have, unwisely, been established as mining colonies for the prized mineral, but when enough aerozyte has been extracted the islands can lose buoyancy and plummet, the most famous instance of this being the fall of the city of Altma-Nor.