Part Four: Cultures of Conclave
The Empire of Splendour is an ancient nation whose Emperor bears part of the Sun God in his soul. Overseen by a vast bureaucracy, the Empire is an orderly place where everyone knows his station and all activities follow regulations and statutes. It is a stagnating nation where corrupt rulers stifle progress and prefer to line their own pockets rather than protect the people from the burgeoning criminal gangs. The Empire once ruled a vast expanse of Perfection and the Inner Islands but slowly lost territory over hundreds of years through neglect, rebellion, laziness and error. It is still a mighty slumbering power that may yet awaken again, with consequences both good and ill, and its legacy lives on in the form of a shared language, legal system, mathematics, currency, arts and sciences that have spread beyond even its former provinces.
The Khazarate of Vaarta was once an uneasy vassal state of the Empire and still shares many cultural aspects, but its monotheist state religion has become a dreadful draconian theocracy, mercilessly trying (unsuccessfully) to stamp out heresies and heathen religions within its borders.
The Queendom of Mopendor is a primarily tlaxu nation with a strict caste system. The priesthood follow the cult of Daxa, a doctrine where the souls of previous leaders are preserved and worshipped. The lower castes are often hunted for sport.
The Hudan Technocracy is a vigourous young nation forged from two former Imperial provinces. The nation of Hu has continued to develop and expand upon technological innovations long since left to rot by Imperial edict, and combined with the magically empowered materials peculiar to the island nation of Or this has produced many wondrous devices. There is a pay-off, however. The desperate unchecked progress of Hudan has left much of its land scarred and polluted with magically charged waste products.
These are the 'Big Four' in the region of Perfection and the Southern Sea, but there are a multitude of smaller nations, most leftovers from the collapse of the Empire. The mountain kingdoms of Thellingerstan and Kronlordan have survived the collapse of the Empire comfortably, but others such as the Ashoyin Protectorate are racked by civil strife. Island nations like Denra-Lyr and Oksa are divided between traditionalists that wish to return to pre-Imperial times and progressives who wish to embrace and expand upon Imperial innovations. Drifting between the gaps are the likes of the Moa-Ruaki sea-going nomads or the pirate kingdom of Tas-Nabrenor, rich in the liquid metal known as dragonblood. Transcending national boundaries are powerful organisations, but more on those in the next section.
(c) 2006 The Creative Conclave.