The Empire Above
Colloquially referred to as “The Heavenly Empire”, the Empire Above is a series of eight floating islands ruled by the Mother of All Sorcerers.
The primary currency is Imperial marks, which are rigidly monitored and enforced by the lawful neutral Monks of the Iron Fist. The marks are based off a magical spellcasting ‘favor’ system, presumably backed by the Mother’s limitless power and underwritten by billions of gold pieces in reserve.
The governing structure of the Empire Above has changed over time. In the beginning, it can best be characterized as a magocracy with the Mother of All Sorcerers as absolute ruler or Prime Magian. However, the absence of the Mother after the Efreet War has catalyzed some reform.
In the year 4959, the Empire Above exists as a federal state with relatively little power. The islands act as self-governing states and abide by their own sets of rules and legislation. See each of The Islands above for more detail.
Explosives, firearms, and other technological/scientific inventions exist and are quite prolific in the Empire Above. Although their sophistication is generally premature, these devices have made their way into general market. More advanced models are the proprietary secrets of specialized guilds or kingdoms, who hope to grow in power, presence, and utility through their discoveries.
The isolated islands of the Empire Above are not easy to travel between, yet. Privately owned arcane and elemental airships are the most common forms of transportation, but they usually make trade stops in The Lands Below. For those that can afford it or learn it, teleportation is the preferred means of travel by most mages. Though, some islands, such as Aegis and Maelstrom, have magic force fields that redirect teleportation traffic to a landing zone outside the main city; and others like Porophys prohibit it altogether. Fly spells and flying mounts work normally and are commonly used to travel to and from the Lands Below. Lastly, extraplanar shortcuts between the islands are said to exist, but only the archmagi and maybe a few other privileged sorcerers and wizards know how to access them.