Geography

Ellia: A peaceful country, Ellia is known for its temperate climate and welcoming atmosphere.

Garsia: The great Garsian Empire was once the rival of Tien Ti in size, power, and influence. All that changed when the Wastelands appeared and devoured all but a few fringe settlements of this once-mighty nation.

Heiligland: One of the oldest kingdoms to be established after Year One, Heiligland was formed when a number of city-states banded together to form a kingdom. These twelve city-states became the duchies of Heiligland, though three have since broken away to form the kingdom of Ost. Often considered barbaric by their fellow northern kingdoms, the Heiliglanders maintain a fierce belief in their old religion. Their gods are all members of an extended family, and the tales of their squabbles are still told regularly around the home hearth, the centre of any decent Heiliglander dwelling. Though considered less sophisticated by their neighbours, Heiliglanders are renown for their mining and manufacturing industries and somewhat infamous for their short tempers. Still predominantly a martial society, the fastest way to the top in Heiligland is through military service.

Kyst: A great power even before Year One, Kyst has maintained its position as one of the world’s oldest and strongest nations. Quick to adopt any and all new forms of technology, the islands that make up Kyst are often referred to as the seat of modern civilisation. Now crowded with Bestia-powered factories and covered with a perpetual pall of smog, Kyst maintains its supremacy through its unrivalled airship fleet. Though there are numerous indigenous gods in Kyst, few are paid anything more than lip service, and many have been forgotten. The Church of Lahmon does have a strong Kystian following, though no true Kystian would allow zealotry to get in the way of a tidy profit. In Kyst, progress is supreme.

Lahmon: Mostly flat and covered in grassland, Lahmon is one of the world’s largest food producers. Historically choosing diplomacy and trade to outright war, Lahmon has often been invaded but never conquered. The Church of Lahmon was established shortly after Year One and now governs the country. Although there is only one god acknowledged by the Church, the Lahmonians worship angels of various degrees and stations who possess myriad powers. Some scholars maintain that these angels are simply modern interpretations of the old gods of Lahmon, now completely forgotten. The Church strenuously denies this, despite the existence of temples that predate Year One.

Ost: What is now known as Ost is made up of what were once three Heiliglander duchies: Asheim, Kaltheim, and Vanaesir. Duke Greygori of Asheim conquered Kaltheim and Vanaesir using Lilim-bonded warriors and declared his new territory Ost, a sovereign country independent of Heiligland. Had it not been for his military superiority, the support he won from neighbouring Lahmonian nobles, and the feuding that had overrun the western duchies of Heiligland at the time, the first Greygorian king would probably not have been able to hold onto his crown for long. By the time Heiligland was stable enough to attempt to recapture their lost lands, the Greygorian kings had spent generations fortifying Asheim. Deemed impenetrable and guarded by an army of Lilim, Asheim provided the Greygori family with a perfect stronghold from which to defend their fledgling kingdom. The Ostians maintain the religious beliefs of their Heiliglander heritage, and worship a pantheon of often-misbehaved gods.

Pure Land: The youngest nation in the world, Pure Land was first discovered and settled by Kystians in 2468. The settlers were predominantly members of the Kystian Church, an offshoot of the Lahmonian Church, fleeing persecution from an overly pragmatic Kystian monarch who refused to acknowledge their legitimacy as a religion. They dubbed their new country the ‘New World’, even though they were still ostensibly a colony of Kyst. The New World attracted many  from Ellia, Lahmon, Heiligland, Garsia and Ost with its promises of abundant fertile land and freedom from the dictates of the old religions. There was, the initial settlers decided, the need for only one god, who was older and more powerful than all the other gods from all the other religions throughout the world. It was the free land, more than the promise of religious freedom, that drew so many and caused the New World to grow so fast. After the Great War the Ruling Council of Pure Land decided to declare their independence while Kyst was to weak to hold onto it’s lucrative colony. The New World was renamed the ‘Pure Land’, and now it could boast something no other nation could – Pure Land was untainted by the Wastelands. Their God had protected them from the corruption that plagued the rest of the world.

Slavery

The practice of slavery was introduced in the New World as a way of handling troublesome settlers. Without a standing army or police force the rapidly expanding settlements of the New World needed some sort of system to keep people in their place that didn’t impede productivity. There was much work to be done, for the New World was a wild place. So the oldest and the wisest and the wealthiest came together and formed the first Ruling Council. Their first decree was that any behaviour deemed unlawful or against the will of God would result in enslavement until the perpetrator had paid for his trespasses. Once the benefits of an enslaved workforce became apparent to the Ruling Council, however, terms of enslavement grew longer. Soon slaves began having children, and the Ruling Council realised they now had access to an inexhaustible supply of cheap labour. They then decided that unwanted or illegitimate children of lawful citizens could be sold into slavery for the term of their natural life – for an exorbitant fee.

Shinzō: Fiercely independent, the people of Shinzō were known for their distrust of foreigners even before the Wastelands closed their borders to the outside world in 2585. Ruled by a long line of Emperors, and protected from the Wasteland Demons by their Warlord, Shinzōn culture has flourished during their time of self-imposed exile. In 2836, however, Puritan airships arrived off the coast of Shinzō and the Shinzōn people found themselves thrust into a technologically advanced world. Adapting quickly, Shinzō nevertheless remains aloof from the other nations. As civil war looms ever closer between the factions that support the Warlord’s rule and those who opposed it, Shinzō seems all but oblivious to the troubles of the wider world.

Religion

Kujo the Berserker: Kujo is one of the Onishu, the five archfiends of Shinzō. His domain is the west, and he wields fire to wreak destruction on those who displease him.

Onishu: The five archfiends of Shinzō: Akuma, Dumuzi, Kujo, Aitō, and Mōi.

Raikō the Thunder Bird: Raikō is one of the Shugoshin, the three guardian deities of Shinzō. His domain is the sky, and he has power over thunder and lightning. When he is mad, storms appear.

Seisui the Blue Dragon of the East: Seisui is one of the Shugoryū, the four guardian dragons of Shinzō. Hers is the Eastern Province, and she has power over the rains, the rivers, and the deep springs.

Shugoryū: The four guardian dragons of Shinzō: Seisui, Kitachi, Fūsei, and Zenka.

Shugoshin: The three guardian deities of Shinzō: Raikō, Inari, and Yagitsuno.

Fighting Styles

Eien no Kage-ryū: The Eternal Shadow style used by certain members of the Yūrei clan.

Tantō no Subayai-ryū: The Agile Dagger style of fighting used by certain members of the Chō clan.

Uchū no Shinpan-ryū: The Cosmic Sword of Judgement style used by certain members of the Mayonaka clan.

Shulong Islands:

Tien Ti: One of the largest empires in the world. After the Great Conflict, which ended in Year One, Tien Ti was one of the first powers to establish itself. It did so under the hand of the ruler of Qi, the self-proclaimed Emperor Tienzi, who united almost all of the warring countries of the southern kingdoms, from Xanyumei in the west to Xanfu in the east, and all the way down to Xing in the south. Of all the southern kingdoms, only Shinzō remained apart, forging its own destiny. To ensure the stability of the Empire, Tienzi abolished all local religions and forged a Unified Philosophy to guide his people’s moral character. To assuage their religious sentiments, Tienzi selected nine gods from the old religions of the various countries that made up his new empire and proclaimed them to be the Lao Tien Yi, the gods of Tien Ti: Dilong Tu, Shang Di, Shenlong Mu, Panlong Shui, Tianlong Mu, Luduan, Jiaolang, Yinglong Huo, and Fucanglong Hu.