Why hello there, so glad you could join me for this newest series of Lorequest, fittingly installed into this here blog just a little after a year after my very first Lorequest, The Kingdom of Agatha from Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. Fittingly then, this entry will be on another online competitive game with factions but very threadbare story and cohesive lore. So, let us get on with the investigations, starting off with the largest and most powerful faction in the World (a topic for another time) of Guns of Icarus: The Yesha Empire!
What. What’s that?
Oh, I see.
*Awkward throat-clearing* So, it turns out that the Guns of Icarus website does have a little bit of lore on it about its factions and world. HOWEVER, I would like to point out that A: What I found on my own isn’t actually too different than what was provided as canon. And B: This is Lorequest, gosh darnit! We don’t settle for the “canon” or the “factual!” We’re here to speculate, debate, and make mass wild guessing until we simply can’t be proved wrong due to the sheer weight of our textual evidence!
So, come fly with me now, Questers, atop our shoddy Victorian monstrosities of the air as we explore the explosion-filled skies of Guns of Icarus!
Yesha Empire (otherwise known as The Empire)
Specialties: Colossal firepower, industrial strength, and booming population
The Empire is located in the heartlands of the World and seems to lay claim to a more temperate climate with a desert and tundra lying to their south and north, respectively. The trope of “The Empire” comes through strongly with Yesha. That is to say, I take the Yesha Empire to be the strongest power in the World as of right now. Its central position and multiple interactions with the other powers shows that it has the gusto and resources to throw its hefty imperial weight around. From what I have found on the Guns of Icarus wiki, it seems that Yesha has an oriental theme to its culture. Even without the help from the wiki though, this can be somewhat gleaned through their ship designs. But more on that later.
In contrast to the Fjord Baronies, the government of the Empire seems to be much more unified. As we will later see, the Empire is involved in multiple border disputes with multiple nations and has an impressive ship design under their belts— this shows their rather impressive wealth but also their skills at consolidating and organizing large tracts of land and bodies of people.
The Yesha Empire trades with Cusichaca on the coast through the Red Canyons. There’s a large amount of ruins much larger than anything else seen elsewhere in the world, save for the Labyrinth map, so it’s another desolate location obliterated by the war. However, the fact that such enormous industrial equipment is left behind may hint that even the huge manpower and resources of Yesha may have their limits. Also interesting about the Red Canyons is that it is where Anglean Republic Gatherers can fight against the Yesha Empire due to their close proximity to each other and raid one another, despite the “well-defended” cities of the Yesha heartland. Still, unlike the Fjord Baronies, they seem to have a stronger holder over their borders since they are able to move trade through them easily enough.
The Empire also controls resource-rich mountains which help to fuel their industrial endeavors. Raiders often attack them but that is “a small dip in production for the Yeshan ‘war machine.’” The Rusted Mountain Range seems to supply the most to the Yeshan cause. The Chaladonians (Order of Chaladon) often contest with the Yeshans and raid their storehouses of ore. Additionally, just outside of the Yesha Empire is the Flayed Hills. Those badlands have huge resource deposits and the Empire needs to start looking outside of its own borders to find the resources and water to keep its growing cities alive. The Arashi League, however, live there and are trying to move the water out of the Flayed Hills to their people in the Arashi Desert. So that these two examples of Yeshan territory shows is that the Empire has an enormous and growing popularity, probably owing to their bountiful heartland and general security. And yet, they manage to make enemies with virtually all powers around them. The reasons for the strife seem to be varied, running from resource plundering with the Order of Chaladon to survival needs with the Arashi League. Regardless, goodwill is not well-cultivated in the Empire. Only the Baronies are spared its wrath currently.
The ship design that the Empire most notably contributes to the world is the Galleon, the largest and toughest ship available. While this ship utterly pales before monsters like the Leviathan/Juggernaut (see: “Arashi League”) It was created by Yesha to patrol the borders. Note how enormous and long its borders are and how often it is in conflict with other powers. Its low mobility hints at the Yesha Empire’s larger numbers and diverse aerial fleets to protect its Empire at large. All of the resources pouring into the Empire through its iron-rich mountains show that it can easily strong-arm other factions through ship design alone. It’s also on this ship that one can see the traditional Chinese influences inherent in the Yesha Empire. The pagoda-style roof that covers the aft door in the Galleon is reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture.
However, the Yesha Empire if the only faction currently in-game to contribute two airships to the world. The second is the Pyramidion which is a modified Yesha ship (true, it’s a modified ship but the basic model is still Yeshan) that is used to spearhead, almost literally due to its huge forward ram, offensive fleet movement. Given that it is, “often backed by a line of smaller striker craft,” shows again that Yesha has the manpower and resources to pump out a lot of ships in a lot of different varieties. The lamps in the aft section of the ship are reminiscent of those often scene in traditional Chinese urban landscapes, again owing to the Chinese cultural flair of the Empire.
So, from all this, we can assume that the Empire:
- Is a huge industrial, technological, and military power
- Is not currently trying to expand its borders so much as protect them from the many enemies around it
- Is taking an aggressive stance against all of the conflict surrounding it using its huge ships and varied fleets to put down the less well-funded and less numerous factions turned against it
- Is relatively unconcerned with garnering goodwill and alliances with other powers
Well, that’s it for this entry of Guns of Icarus. I think the way I’ll tackle this one is I’ll focus entirely on the factions then give one more entry to the World, the Great War, the history of the airships, and the Labyrinth map all in one fell swoop. I don’t really feel like writing a huge narrative like what I did with Chivalry will go as well here. Airship battles are simply much more fun to see and much more difficult to talk about.
And there’s almost no proper nouns I can use to spearhead a narrative, so there’s that, too.
Good luck you brave writer (and gamer) folk!
1. Images from the Guns of Icarus Wiki
2. Screenshots from the my own playing of Guns of Icarus.