Tsan Empire
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A vast realm to the East of the Known Lands, the Tsan Empire still remains an enigma to most Westerners. Even though more and more explorers set out to travel to its center, their reports remain confusing and often contradictory. Much of what is known of that realm comes from the Sunset Province, a nation of the Known Lands which was conquered by this empire mere decades ago. What preys on the minds of Western Leaders is the question whether this frontier will remain stable—or if the Empire has designs on conquering lands even further west, and possibly the entire world.

By all accounts, the Tsan Empire seems astonishingly stable for a nation of its size, and its strong adherence to tradition and its vast bureaucracy possibly help explain this. Its bureaucrats undergo intense testing before advancing to a higher bureaucracy—a process which allegedly also includes magical screening to make sure that the applicants are neither evil nor chaotic. This bureaucracy is only able to keep the realm running by using a large network of teleportation circles reserved for official business. This way, messages from the capital are able to reach even the most remote province in short order—or vice versa. Furthermore, the military is supported by the so-called Terracotta Army, large units of red-painted golems capable of annihilating almost any opposition.

Another noteworthy feature of this realm is that a large number of dragons—especially gold, bronze, and silver dragons—are allied with it and in fact seem to be genuine members of the bureaucracy of the realm, though outsiders can't help speculating that they are the ones really running everything behind the scenes. Their official position is that of so-called "magistrates" - free-roaming judges and arbitrators who may review the works of any official at any time.

No one from the Known Lands has ever seen the "Celestial Emperor" who supposedly rules this nation. The people of the Empire treat him as a divine being, though by all accounts the span of the reign of a typical emporer doesn't hint at immortality (though there seem to have been some long-lived exceptions). He permanently lives in a "Hidden City" in the capital of the realm, in which no foreigner may enter and only few privileged Tsan citizens are privileged to live.

List of Tsan Empire Provinces

See Also

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

The local equivalent of the Chinese Empire, obviously. I'm still trying to think of ways of making it more unique from the countless other variants of fantasy China out there. If you have any good suggestions, contact me.

Obviously, this variant of the Chinese is a lot more powerful than its equivalent in our 19th century. It even managed to conquer the equivalent of Russia (the Sunset Province).


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