The city of Altonar is built around the slopes of an inactive volcano, called the Chimney, with a lake in its caldera and great factories powered by rivers flowing down from the lake through the city. It is arranged in several rings that are connected by a gently spiraling road leading up the mountain. They grow black naphtha in large fields around the city, a plant that was genetically engineered by the Greenhorns during the Great War for the Maritime Technocracy of Guantil-ya and later imported by the Altonarians. Black naphtha grows small pods containing high-octane crude oil, which is used in the technamagic letterbombs, cannonball-like machines that are used in many large cities of the Great Land to deliver important parcels. The letterbombs are launched through artillery-like shafts and are attracted to their target by a resonance beacon. This technology was devised by the high Technocrats of the Unified Ocean Belt Technocracy (formerly the Maritime Technocracy of Guantil-ya) but is now maintained and fueled by the technocrats of Altonar that are better located to journey to the cities of the Great Land.There are twenty-seven massive watermills built into the side of the chimney, fed by the artificial channels that direct the water from its immense, lake-filled caldera. The watermills of Altonar, the city that locals sometimes called ‘the Chimney’s Hut', unlike crude wind- or watermills, power many great factories. Inside of them, waterpower is used to perform a number of tasks, from grain milling to smelting and forging, and some even generate electricity, which powers a variety of things. With their significant output, the city has prospered for many centuries, and due to the raw, natural power at its finger tips, it has been a breeding-ground for technocrats and innovation. The city itself has been constructed around the factories in large terraces, all cut into the side of the Chimney, and large wire walls have been put in place further up the volcano to catch stone and mud avalanches. Around the mountain a broad main road, which gently spirals upwards to the upper reaches where the most ostentatious villas, restaurants, and, on the south side, overlooking the lands between Altonar and the Iron Belt, the impressive main building of the Altonar University, the most prestigious non-magical institute of learning of the Great Land, stand.
An Axis of Allies
The Axis of Steel is a coalition comprised of the technocrat city of Altonar in the middle, the Kaltani fiefdoms of Ravensburg to the north, and the Angel Saxon and Skôt colony of Svalbrynd to the south. The alliance was founded in 598 GE when Altonar was looking to severely enhance its iron supply lines, looking both to the Iron Belt, certainly a large deposit, though one with magical resistance to strip mining, and to the Nordmen, who had an unusual access to the coveted metal through the Old Gods. Though many voices in the Middle Lands and the Yamato Kingdom clamored against the last truly non-isolationist bastion of technocracy allying themselves with the war-mongering Nordmen, ultimately a lot of stability came to the Great Land and the Corsic Ocean thanks to this unlikely alliance.