The Plain of Horses: Historical Mongolia. The Jungle Lands of Malatra: Pre-colonial civilizations of Indochina historical versions of the Khmer Empire and Vietnam as well as the hill tribes inspired by their real-life Southeast Asian counterparts. Shou Lung[ edit ] The vast human empire of Shou Lung is undoubtedly the most powerful nation on the face of Abeir-Toril. The empire was started by a simple peasant known as Nung Fu, who was invested with the Emblems of Authority by the semi-legendary Nine Travelers although it was his great grandson that was the first Emperor of the Li Dynasty. With an immense population, vast territory, and a central government managed by an efficient and generally honest bureaucracy, the Shou could, with a great deal of effort, come to completely dominate the planet.
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The Plain of Horses: Historical Mongolia. The Jungle Lands of Malatra: Pre-colonial civilizations of Indochina historical versions of the Khmer Empire and Vietnam as well as the hill tribes inspired by their real-life Southeast Asian counterparts.
Shou Lung[ edit ] The vast human empire of Shou Lung is undoubtedly the most powerful nation on the face of Abeir-Toril.
The empire was started by a simple peasant known as Nung Fu, who was invested with the Emblems of Authority by the semi-legendary Nine Travelers although it was his great grandson that was the first Emperor of the Li Dynasty.
With an immense population, vast territory, and a central government managed by an efficient and generally honest bureaucracy, the Shou could, with a great deal of effort, come to completely dominate the planet. That they do not is due to cultural rather than military or economic factors. The Shou have been expansionists in the past, but the current emperor finds more pleasure in knowledge and culture than military conquest.
This tendency has been reinforced by the recent Tuigan Horde invasion of — D. The nation is thus still recovering from the upheavals. So, while this nation controls the largest military spelljammer fleet in Realmspace, those vessels are employed in a strictly defensive role, rooting out pirates and acting as a counter to the spelljammer fleets of Wa and the Elven Imperial Fleet. It is a meritocratic system; every year the Civil Service Examination holds examinations to test candidates for government jobs.
The people of Shou Lung frown upon the slave trade, and anybody found guilty of trafficking in slaves is put to death. The main criminal organization in the country is the Tsui Tong analog for the Triad , which has a certain degree of freedom to operate within the semi-independent port city of Kai Shan due to the aid and support they gave the Emperor during the Black Cycle, which brought Shou Lung back from the brink of ruin.
There are no Imperial troops stationed in Kai Shan, nor are there any magistrates or town guard. The majority of the people in Shou Lung practice the Path of Enlightenment, in which they worship the Celestial Emperor and the Nine Travelers and a whole host of lesser immortals and spirits who make up what is called the Celestial Bureaucracy. The other Shou religion, which is more popular in the southern provinces, is simply called "The Way" and is more of an ethical philosophy than a true religion characterized by divinities, spirits and a fully realized metaphysics.
It focuses on the enlightenment of the self through the practice of certain spiritual exercises rather than the worship of particular gods. Kana and her family were practitioners of the Way[ original research?
The wu jen stole the Jade Mirror from the sea dragon Pao Hu Jen, whose body was thousands of kilometers long. After his petrified body fell to the ground, the emperor had his engineers carve fortifications into it so that it could serve them as a defensive wall.
It used to be the southern part of the Shou Lung Empire. There is currently a truce between the two nations. Taxes go unpaid, free men are enslaved, and criminals left free. The government is corrupt on all levels, though in some rare districts a local magistrate may be somewhat honest and honorable. Poverty runs rampant throughout the nation. Many of the cities and towns are now in ruins, and even those that have not been abandoned have many ruined buildings.
Only the random presence of powerful wu jen or shamans in some of the smaller villages appear as potential dangers to raiders.
Wa[ edit ] Jim Bambra felt that the island of Wa "draws its inspiration from the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan and presents a more centralized and less war-torn period". The Empire of Wa was the first imperial state to be established in Kara-Tur, according to Waan tradition.
The Hengeyokai were humanoid spirit-animals who came in many forms such as rats, foxes, dogs and cats. Like Kozakura, Wa was composed of a series of islands clustered around a large central island, Tsukishima. Waan government is similar to that of Kozakura as well, as there is an Emperor whose position is largely ceremonial, and the real ruler of the nation is the Shogun, Matasuuri Nagahide. Unlike Kozakura, however, the Shogunate of Wa is strong and vital, and in fact Wa is enjoying the longest period of peace of any nation in Kara-Tur.
Peace has led to advancements in education and the arts, as well as a general increase in prosperity. The official religion of the country is a variation of the Shou Path of Enlightenment. A rigid caste-based social system ensures domestic tranquility, the distinct castes are strictly adhered to, travel is monitored by the Shogunate, and religion is regulated. The nation is rather xenophobic and contact with foreign elements is forbidden. Foreign vessels are only allowed to dock at the port of Akkaido.
Those who have adopted foreign customs and ways are oppressed, especially those who follow the recently imported Western deity, Chauntea , the Goddess of Agriculture. In fact, most officials will go out of their way to make life hard for foreigners while they stay in Wa.
Ironically, Wa had a good trade relationship with Shou Lung, whom the Waans were once at war with, and anyone from Wa was granted Shou citizenship if they could prove that they had Shou ancestry, since many Shou soldiers remained in Wa and intermarried with the locals after the Omi War.
The Shogun had been considering setting up a colony on the planet Garden in Realmspace for the express purpose of reducing the number of troublemakers in his realm. Like Kozakura, the main criminal organization was the Yakuza. Kozakura[ edit ] Jim Bambra likened Kozakura to a fantasy version of feudal Japan, stating that it closely resembles "the war-torn period of Japanese history between the Kamakura and Sengoku periods, when rival daimyos engaged in bloody struggles for power".
The land of Kozakura was inhabited by the humans and Korobokuru a Far Eastern analog to the Dwarves and full of beautiful mountains, thick forests and sparkling seas.
The majority of the inhabitants live on the main island of Shinkoku, but there are nearly a thousand islands surrounding it. Powerful samurai ruled the land, and in theory their power devolved from the Kozakuran Emperor of the Jade Throne. For many years the position of Emperor had been a purely ceremonial office, however, and the real political power rested in the hands of the Shogun, the military commander and dictator of the nation.
The nation is currently in the midst of a Byzantine civil war between various feudal factions and has not had much contact with outsiders. The official Kozakuran state religion is known as the faith of the Eight Million Gods an analog for Japanese Shinto , which involved worship of a host of animistic nature deities and spirits including a sun goddess and the Emperor of Kozakura himself, who was believed to have descended from a divine ancestry related to the sun goddess.
There was also another popular religion called the Way of Enlightenment, which was a variation of the Shou Path of Enlightenment that was brought to Kozakura by Shou missionaries. The main criminal organization are called the Yakuza. Many monks, temples and religious orders of the Way were persecuted in Shou Lung and they fled to the mountains. The temple militias of sohei and monks that fled there formed an alliance against the Shou and founded the nation of Tabot. The Shou attempted invasions well into the early Kai Dynasty but had little success due to the Crystalline Warriors of Ji that protected Tabot.
Koryo[ edit ] The Kingdom of Koryo held power over the entire peninsula of Choson. The kingdom had it origins in the Kingdom of Silla. When the King of Silla attempted to launch an attack on their hated enemies the Kozakurans who had tried to invade the Choson Peninsula in the past , his fleet was destroyed by a tsunami, which allowed one of his generals, Wanang Sun, to overthrow him.
Under Sun, he was able to unite all the factions of Choson and establish the united Koryo Kingdom. Recently though, Tuigan tribes successfully breached the Dragonwall and devastated many of the northwestern provinces of the Shou Empire.
He demanded that the warlords cease and desist and swear fealty to him. Offended, the Wa Emperor refused and gave no reply to the Shou. Seeing no end to the raids and attacks by the pirates, the Shou Emperor amassed a fleet of , ships to launch an invasion of Wa. Shou Lung quickly captured the northern and southern coastlines of Wa but the fortification of central Wa by Nobunaga proved stronger and central Wa avoided the consequences of the Shou invasion.
Many captured northern and southern coastal Wa daimyos betrayed Nobunaga after their cities fell and they lent their aid to the Shou generals.
The Shou Emperor, who was aboard the royal flagship, was assassinated by the ninja Fukio who was in disguise. With no heir, many of the most powerful Shou generals returned to Shou Lung and fought for power leaving only a handful to continue the invasion of Wa.
The Shou leadership was thrown into despair and this period is known as the Black Cycle. With the greatly reduced number of Shou troops now occupying its territory, Wa was able to take back most of the occupied provinces from the Shou. Even though most Shou troops were driven back, they were never truly defeated and Wa was left in a state of sporadic warfare.
Some of the remaining Shou generals continued with guerrilla warfare against the Wa while others offered an armistice to the Wa Emperor and were granted governorship over the territories they controlled. When a new Shou Emperor finally ascended the throne and tried to enlist his former generals back into Shou service, many of them decided to side with the throne of Wa rather than the Shou.
Even so, their resistance was futile since the remaining Wa daimyos were divided and suspicious of each other and the years of war had left Wa with no effective central government.
Shou Lung soon took control of Wa. Beset on all sides, the Shou conceded ultimate defeat and Wa was declared an independent state. The Grey Blossom mercenary regiment of the Shou Army that had occupied Wa asked permission to remain in Wa since they had been stationed there for so long that they had made their own lives in that nation, many intermarrying with Waan wives.
The Shou and Wa Emperors granted them permission to remain and they became one of the most famous mercenary bands of Wa. But in less than 5 years, the petty Wa warlords turned on each other once more and the Waan government was split into factions and plunged the island into years of civil war before any type of stable government was established. Up to this day, the Waan daimyos remain divided but they provide a unified front against all foreigners.
Black Cycle[ edit ] When the Shou Emperor was assassinated during the Omi War and there was no heir to the throne, the leadership of Shou Lung fell into chaos. Only a small number of cities that still had feudal lords in power maintained any semblance of order. The western lands also fell under the control of Copper Demons who ruled the land in a brutal fashion.
A criminal family from Kai Shan eventually seized control of that city and became semi-independent. They also defeated the last of the barbarian tribes invading the southern provinces and reestablished Shou control.
Also at this time, a secret organization called the Cult of the Black Panther was helping peasants that were displaced by the war between Imperial troops and the invading southern barbarians start new lives independent of barbarian and Shou control alike.
During that time, a secret organization known as the Cult of the Black Panther, whose leaders claimed that they were immortals who had aided the Nine Travelers in ruling Kara-Tur when they were still humans, made a claim that they were the rightful successors to the Nine Travelers. Because of their mystic powers, they were held in more fear and reverence in the southern provinces than the Shou Emperor.
The Shou finally ended the resistance in the southern provinces and established firm political control over the area. The leader of the Cult was never found. The most powerful of these feudal families were the Yang and Wai clans.
Also during this time the Cult of the Black Panther reemerged and began helping peasant families that were displaced by the war between the Imperial Army and the invading southern barbarian tribes. Shortly after the Wa declaration of independence from Shou rule, the southern provinces were plagued with screaming spirits that killed many incompetent and corrupt bureaucrats in what is now known as the Nights of Screaming Demons.
Later investigations linked this event to the Cult of the Black Panther. Soon, many key military positions in the Shou Army were filled by people from the southern provinces. When the southern barbarians again attempted to invade the Empire, the Shou Army made short work of the invading barbarians. After the last Emperor of the Kao Dynasty, he was succeeded by his cousin who established the La Dynasty. The first Shou emperor of the La Dynasty was a weak ruler whose court was easily infiltrated by the agents of the Cult of the Black Panther who secretly ruled and manipulated the Shou government from within.
The Yang and Wai clans soon led a revolt against the corrupt northern bureaucrats and quickly established a power base of their own in the south provinces. At this point the nobles of the south considered themselves a separate force from the bureaucrats of the La Dynasty who governed the northern provinces, but believed that they still belonged to the same Shou nation and they also continued to acknowledge the authority of the Shou emperor, even if his authority was recognized only in name in the southern provinces.
Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix
All the mood strikes them, and accusations of disloyalty and treason share the same nasty disposition. Monstrous Compendium: Kara-Tur Appendix The reptilian gargantua cannot speak, but it emits deafening In spite of their reputation as mindless destroyers, reptilian roars that sound like the trumpeting of a bull elephant amplified a gargantua actually possess a simple empathy that enables them to thousandfold. If the victim is drawn to compencium, the polymorphed hannya en- gages him in pleasant conversation, attacking as soon as the vic- Ecology: Ability Minimum Maximum Korobokuru enjoy collecting treasure, especially coins and Strength 8 19 gems. The con-tinh also can project her spirit into the body of charac- A con-tinh with a crane or dove as a familiar often sends it ter once per night. Mistaking the bird for a good omen, unwary her tree.
Tsr 02116 Monstrous Compendium Kara Tur MC 7
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