Tides of Pirates
Gyrwachstam is the home-island of the gnomes, due east of Tyrgard. It is also the closest of the Core Isles to Tyrgard, an was the first of the islands to join the Empire. This is reflected in the close ties between the two islands.
Gywachstam is a well-settled island, just large enough to support a number of good-sized townships and two large cities, Casterel and Stocklantern. Mining the rocky soil and mountains proved historically profitable for the gnomes, and the island’s present population relies on trade with the other Core Isles to support itself. Its rich mines in the Bowspine Range, along with the cutting-edge workshops of Stocklantern, ensure that the gnomes are among the most prosperous peoples of Persus.
The technology of Gyrwachstam in many ways provides the arms and legs of the Empire’s power. Blackpowder weapons, now almost universal on the high seas, are a gnomish invention, and the island’s engineers have made recent innovations in long-distance air travel that could change the balance of power in the islands forever. The gnomes have long innovated forms of non-ship-based travel, as can be seen in the rails and lifts which cover various parts of their cities’ coastlines.
Gyrwachstam is ruled by a Parliament from the capital city of Casterel. Gnomes place great value on the skills of rhetoric and oration, and thus many of the most important figures in their largely egalitarian society are bards and other charismatic individuals. As a result, the gnomes have a passion for free speech which is unheard of even among the illumians (who practically worship speech). An unexpected product of this mentality is a surprisingly large and vocal anti-Imperial minority within the government, a faction which the loyalists (fueled by pressure from Tyrgard) seek to quash whenever they can. Because the pro-Imperial parties have brought such efficient and economically beneficial industry to their land, their power remains firmly ensconced for now.