The Empire of Chang’Na
Ruler: Yu Huang Shang-di (“The August Personage of Jade”)
Religion: The Court of One Million Spirits (Celestial Court)
The Empire of Chang’Na lies far to the east of Kith Kanaan, past the lands of Midiron, the Heart Lands, and lies across the mountains east of Hinde, and west of the islands of Naipon. Chang’Na is a sprawling nation, having assimilated many smaller countries and tribes, guiding the disparate cultures of the region into a flourishing dynastic empire. The Yu family has ruled for ten generations without interruption. Each Emperor, upon taking the throne, gains the memories and powers of the previous Emperor, who ascends to the Court of One Million Spirits. The current Emperor, Yu Akito, claimed the throne in the year 1015. The court of the Emperor is served by the twelve animals of the zodiac, each holding their place in the Emperor’s service. The twelve animals are held above all others, and are respected as gods in their own right. Those born into these animal lines are brought into the imperial court and raised to serve the Empire, given status and prestige above all others.
- The Tiger: The Emperor’s Commanders
- The Rabbit: The Emperor’s Courtiers
- The Dragon: The Emperor’s Magistrates
- The Snake: The Emperor’s Physicians
- The Horse: The Emperor’s Architects
- The Ram: The Emperor’s Police
- The Monkey: The Emperor’s Entertainers
- The Rooster: The Emperor’s Messengers
- The Dog: The Emperor’s Soldiers
- The Pig: The Emperor’s Governors
- The Rat: The Emperor’s Informants
- The Ox: The Emperor’s Labourers
The Empire holds faith in the Court of One Million Spirits, a mirror of the Naipon and Anaithan Celestial Court. The Empire places the Sun and the Moon as more distant, the parents of the August Personage of Jade, who is the true ruler of the Celestial Heavens. The First August Personage is the true Emperor of Heaven and Earth, and is held in the greatest esteem. Heaven and Hell are an elaborate bureaucracy, and there are a million different Hells reserved for different crimes and punishments. The demons and spirits of the faith are not separated from civilization, but exist ‘behind the scenes’, performing their tasks without interfering in mortal affairs unless the two are at cross purposes.
The gods of Chang’Na are sworn not to directly intervene in the matter of mortals, but have worked around their oaths by using proxies and playing elaborate games to manipulate the fates of mortals to ensure the keeping of balance. The most unusual people rise up as quiet heroes, their lives complicated by the machinations of the gods.
Chang’Na is mostly a man’s society, as they hold the upper ranks in civilization. Women are usually resigned to the role of house keepers and servants. There are exceptions however, where women prove themselves as competent warriors, and those who are able to excel in this field are revered and held in awe. Such stories are rare, however, as the men folk are resistant to one moving beyond their ‘station’. This prejudice has been held for many generations, though it is not represented in the Courts of the Emperor, where there are a number of women among the magistrates.
Station and honour is important, but so is the ability to set morality aside to do what needs to be done. The clever are rewarded, and the treacherous punished harshly if caught. Those who can not keep up with the cut-throat politics of Chang’Na society are usually swindled of everything they own and looked upon with disdain for not being clever or ambitious enough to defend themselves and fight back.
The names of the people of Chang’Na are done in the format of <family name> <personal name>. Among the common folk, names are rare, and titles are given for the individual’s order of birth, and their merits or skills. Thus, someone may be named ‘Number Ten Ox’ because they were the tenth born into the family, and are impossibly strong, while a woman may take the name ‘Dancing Fire Peony’ because they are beautiful and captivating, and are skilled at dancing. In the higher positions of society, proper names are important, though some people may gain titles or nick-named to suit their reputations or the deeds they have performed.
Male: An, Chen, Chi, Dewei, Fai, Guang, Jiang, Jun, Kong, Le, Liang, Ming, Ming Yue, On, Park, Ping, Qiao, Qing Yuan, Rong, Shang, Sheng, Tai, Tao, Wei, Wing, Xiao-Cheng, Xing Xing, Ye, Yue, Zhi
Female: An, Chan, Chen, Da-Xia, Feng, Jia Li, Jie, Lei, Ling, Maylin, Mulan, Park, Ping, Qi, Qing, Rong, Shan, Shui, Tao, Ting, Wei, Wen, Xia, Xing, Yan, Yi Min, Zhen, Zi
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