[Aegis Atlas] Preview 1


Colchis was wealthy long before stars fell and ambrosia blessed the earth. Previously, it was a wealth born of fertile earth and gold deposits. Now, under the Oracle and inventor Queen Medea, Colchis measures its wealth in ideas. The queen gathers philosophers, craftspeople, enchanters, and other experts around her, filling her capital city of Aea with great minds.

Aea is the seat of the Masters of Colchis, the College led by Medea herself. Once a meager town, it has rapidly evolved into a well-defended citadel guarded by mechanical marvels the Masters of Colchis hammer into existence. Those marvels range from spring-operated clocks to huge, golden automata, the most famous of which are the dragons. Unlike the winged serpents that command the skies above Shang, Colchis’s dragons are mechanical in nature. They perch on Aea’s walls and patrol its skies or lumber out to battle, where they belch clinging Greek fire on Colchis’s enemies. Some smaller ones draw chariots, both in battle or for private transport. The dragons have proved their mettle in combat only in support of Colchis’s allies; their existence has so far proved an excellent deterrent against attacks on Colchis itself.

Aea’s famous for its workshops and forges, its walls and sentinels… and its canals of ambrosia, channeled underground to flow into a cistern beneath Medea’s palace, where it’s dispensed liberally and freely to Colchis’s craftspeople. The canals aren’t the only sources of ambrosia in Colchis — they abound in pools and streams in remote mountains and meadows. Medea argues that she doesn’t control it; as such, she simply makes sure it’s shared efficiently.

Part of the sharing is granting permission for talented inventors and engineers to descend into the cistern and inhale the vapor that rises off the concentrated pools of ambrosia, creating more Oracles to add to Colchis’s pool of talent. It’s not a perfect process — some people inhale the vapor but are not Inspired, and some become Olympians or Champions. Those individuals are welcome to remain in Colchis, finding roles amongst its protectors, but they never achieve the status and respect granted to Oracles.

In spite of Medea’s open approach to the study and creation of new technologies, plenty of people would rather take from Colchis than contribute to and share in its success. Colleges and kingdoms send spies and thieves into Aea in hopes of pilfering blueprints or machines they can study and improve on themselves. No doubt some are successful, but Medea keeps a meticulous record of all the failed attempts she and the Masters of Colchis uncover. Jason of Iolcus’s brazen attempt to steal Medea’s favorite creation, her golden ram, tops the list for its ignominious resolution. Rather than simply purloin the automaton, Jason tried to steal Medea’s heart and thereby gain access to everything Colchis had to offer. Accounts vary as to how close he came to victory; when Medea tells the story, she says she saw through him instantly and strung him along for a while. People close to her imply Jason was more successful than Medea lets on. Whichever version is true, Jason and his compatriots are no longer welcome in Colchis — which doesn’t stop him from sending agents to do what he failed to.

People of Interest

  • Medea: Medea has a vision of a nation — nay, an entire world — governed by the wisest and best among humanity. Thanks to her passion and her nearly bottomless treasury, she’s advancing ever closer to her goals. But while she’s focused on exploring just how much Inspired minds can shape the world and on her own marvelous creations like her golden ram automaton, she leaves many affairs of state to her counselors, who she assumes are loyal to her. While many are, philosophers and engineers are no better or more ethical than any other group of people, and plenty of them seek to exploit Medea’s vision for their own ends. Colchis is one crisis away from losing faith in its leader, and plenty of people make plans to replace her if she stumbles.
  • Pateis: Pateis inhaled the vapors of Ambrosia and grew strong — and charming, and handsome. It gave him many gifts, in fact, but it didn’t make him an Oracle. As long as he’s in Colchis, he’ll never have the influence he craves. Pateis is the heir to a merchant family, part of Colchis’s elite. But since the sky chariot fell, Queen Medea listens to her pet philosophers and inventors, valuing their insights over those of her own people. Medea herself would say that’s because Pateis has nothing wise or insightful to offer; he’s simply a demagogue. He’s an effective one, and he’s gathered several other like-minded people. So far, they daren’t move against Medea, but that time will come — once they’ve gathered enough wonders and engineers to rival her own.

    Many Colchians who aren’t engineers or enchanters feel devalued in Queen Medea’s new world. Some wealthy farmers use their fortunes to fund creators and thereby purchase status; others resent the way their voices are drowned out by newcomers. The Champion Pateis gathers a group of rich dissenters, supported by Champions and Olympians, who plan to overthrow Medea and hand back some power to a council of rich Colchians. They have no intention of throwing out the Masters of Colchis — they’ve made Colchis extremely rich — they just want to bring them to heel in service of the aristocracy. 

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