The great floating city of Lilith has a long history, dating back thousands of years to the time on the Enlil Confederacy. The Enlils were a race of sentient and humanoid birds, close relatives to the more primitive Gryphons, whom dwelt on a volcanic island chain known as the Tiamat Belt. The Belt is home to not only violent and active volcanoes but also many naturally floating islands, save from the turmoil below. At the height of the Confederacy the volcanoes had yet to reveal their true nature; simply tall mountains. Yet in a single day a mass of eruptions choked the air with ash and debris, snuffing out the grand empire in a heartbeat.
A single city, Shamash, managed to float away, the mages of the Enlil managing to bend the rock to their will, able to guide it away from the destruction of Tiamat. At first, the flying city of Shamash was mocked as ‘The Palace of the Refugee’. Yet over time, it became a feared national entity as the Confederacy once was. Using their knowledge, the mages and artisans of the cities fabricated great wonders of arcane craftsmanship, taking up great rocks from the earth and making them float like the islands of their home, mining them of the riches and them using them as platforms for expanding the city.
Yet with a growing city comes growing demands, the Enlil could not cope with managing their city alone and so they turned to the most populous source of labour in Belamun; humans. Raiding parties swooped down on isolated human towns and villages upon airships powered by arcane machinery, taking up slaves that became the lifeblood of the city.
And so this continued, for centuries, stories spread of a dark city hiding among the clouds, taking what it wished from the people below. The reality was even grimmer than the stories told by those who thought the city only a legend. The humans toiled day and night, mining the rock plucked from the earth, staffing the great workshops of the Enlil, maintain the city; whatever was ordered of them, they carried out. Gladiatorial games were held as the cruel masters watched their slaves fight and perish. Perhaps worse of all; humans slowly became the Enlil’s favourite meal.
The suffering of human slaves of Shamash and the end of the Enlil came with the simple act of locking a door. During the weekly collection for the ‘Masters Above’, one of the human residential islands refused to hand over anyone to satisfy their diet. People simply locked their doors, one by one. The Enlil enforcers sent to carry out the collection angrily beat at door, preparing to start battering and burning their way into the homes until someone threw an iron chamber pot out the window at one of the Enlil. The throwing of household goods quickly turned to improvised spears and kitchen knives, the enforcers slaughtered as they tried to get back to their flying gondola. Within a few weeks the Enlil were overrun by the human’s superior numbers, not having the manpower to defeat them. To add to their grief, the mercenaries they hired would not stay on the losing side.
To the last child the Enlil were slaughtered, the first island, the true city of Shamash was cast down, crashing into the ocean below, never to be seen again. The remaining island formed a new city, Lilith, named after the human-appearing demons in Enlil mythology that spread woe and misery; an apt name considering the once mighty bird people’s fate. The new city enjoyed peace and prosperity, no longer making its wealth from ripping the mineral wealth from the ground below but instead in its shipyards. Arcane powered airships were sold to any and all who could afford the hefty price, Lilith unrivalled in the quality and versatility of their craft. Yet as with many things, greed was to be the undoing of the cities happiness.
The money was in the airship trade, those with the skill to build the craft and those with the magical ability to give life to what they made flocked to the shipyards. The great weather colleges that had for years been manned by the best and brightest academic and mages, predicting and avoiding weather that could ruin Lilith, now were home only to aged men. When they warned of a possible storm in the cities path, they were ignored. When the wind and lightning laid low city, the machinery that kept the islands afloat was damaged beyond repair. Then, the city had to do the unthinkable. The floating city of Lilith landed.
Ignatius Vetinari, a man who had left the city as a mere teenager to explore the world, came back a rich man, bringing back the wonders of a world industrialising. He had with him a fleet of his own ships, running off oil, not magic, and the supplies aboard to bring Lilith into the modern era. While the old families that led the city were uneasy about a man from a poor background being the saviour of their home, the replacement of the old arcane engines that held the city aloft with his purely mechanical ones meant that the grand city state could once again return to the skies.
Lilith was now even grander and mightier than before. The city modernised rapidly, workshops replaced by great factories, the output of ships greater than before. New technology overtook the old fashioned arcane engines, they becoming an outdated novelty. The cities modernisation came at a time were scattered global conflicts over the scramble to seize land were slowly spiralling to a total global war. The city state was benefiting from this conflict; their shipyards were busier than before as nations tried to get their hands on as many of Lilith’s famous airships as possible and their own great armada almost ensured the protection of their neutrality.
However, once again the comfort of prosperity would lead to a lack of foresight that would lead to sorrow for the city. Just before war is seen as the definite start of what was to be a fifty year period of warfare, the eventual victor, the Dominion of Rhineland, set its eyes on the city. Under the rather odd but ultimately brilliant leadership of Marshall Jack ‘’Cold Steel’’ Jones, famous for thinking guns were best used for carrying bayonets and not for firing bullets. He did not confront the cities fleet, he instead made his move in the dead of night by sneaking in via small gunships and with the help of Dominion infiltrators, the entire 24th Warmington Hussars; a cavalry regiment, five thousand men and horses. The idea was preposterous but somehow it works, some reports saying that many of the police and soldiers in Lilith that were out on patrol at night simply were so confused at being confronted by cavalry that they just surrendered on the spot. By morning the regiment has seized all major points around the city and the ruling families were forced to surrender.
The people of Lilith were forcibly made part of the Dominion, their sovereignty taken away from them, forced to build ships for the Dominion and the Dominion alone and even their religion was outlawed, forced to worship Aloisia, the Goddess of their conquerors. Thanks to the city, the Dominion could boast air superiority in many campaigns and were unmatched in the output of airships, perhaps the greatest war machines any army utilizes.
The modern day Lilith is currently divided between two increasingly bitters sides, those who wish for great autonomy from the Dominion and those who whole heartedly back it. These two sides may comprise of several interest groups, political parties and have in their numbers people from all walks off live but have both rallied under two loose banners:
The Sons of Lilith
Those under this moniker wish to be as far removed from Dominion control as possible. Comprised of mainly members of ancient and high standing families in the cities, from the Upper classes and upper middle classes but of course including people right across the city. There are several distinct groups with different goals, from the main party knowing that leaving the Dominion is impossible and simply wish for less federal control to religious and plain anarchist groups that want full independence.
These men and women are loyal to the grand empire of man, to both Goddess and Emperor. Lilith is perhaps odd in a political sense because the main bodies of people in this political mind-set are the major factory owners and their lower class workers the former for the wealth they gain in the current economic system and the later for the fact that the quality of life is better under the Dominion than the old system of the ruling families, who ruled in the sense of cruelty passed down from the Enlil.
While bringing the city into the fold of the Dominion proved successful, enforcing the Cult of Aloisia has been a much more difficult task. The people of Lilith worshipped a Pantheon of weather Gods, seeing as the weather means live or death for a floating city. While like all other religions it is outlawed, the old temples either burned down or converted into churches to Aloisia, the old Gods are still worshipped by many in the privacy of their own homes. The Inquisition has a very active presence in the city as a result.
While for now the political situation is not too violent, the religious one is. A secretive sect known as ‘’The Wind Callers’’ is the Inquisition’s greatest foe, a battle of intrigue going on between the two as the Inquisition tries to root out the native religion and the Wind Callers try to defend it.
The main export of the city is its ships. From flying pleasure boats to the fiercest battleship class zeppelin, the shipyards of Lilith can turn out whatever the heart desires. The large factories and yards tends to be the domain of the large industrialists, the ‘new money’ families that, despite their common blood, rival the old noble families for power.
A much smaller part of the economy is the arcane workshops, owned mostly by the aforementioned noble factories. A failure to modernise production like places such as Zekrah, the biggest producer on arcane goods in the Dominion means slower production time at higher prices but no one can doubt the elegance of the arcane craft and other items that they produce.