The Louyang Dynasty
|Form of Government||Monarchy|
|Ruler(s)||Empress Li Nanfeng|
|Legal System||Thalassocratic Empire (Agnatic Cognatic)|
|Official Language(s)||Louyangese, Amatsi, Gonryunean|
|Population||150,000 90% Changeling|
|Official Religion(s)||Dao Kami|
|Technology Level||Middle Ages (Chinese)|
|Major Imports||Lumber, Precious metals|
|Major Exports||Pearls, Tea|
|Natural Resources||Clams,Fish,Tea Leaves, Porcelain|
The Louyang Dynasty also known simply as Louyang or colloquially as The Islands is a dynastic empire centered on an archipelago in the eastern seas. The empire composes of provinces that often war for control of the empire with the current leadership based in Louyang. It consists of Louyang, Amatsu, Gonryun, and Ayothaya. The Islands border no countries.
Composed mainly of small islands that fit only single townships The Islands are better characterized by their clear waters and beaches. Often considered an exotic destination, travel to and from the islands is time consuming and dangerous.
The Royal Tomb
Constructed for the ancient rulers of Louyang before Gonryun united the provinces, the tomb's catacombs stretch far underground until finally hitting water in the lower levels, flooded and entombing only those killed in the accident
The Amatsu Labyrinth
Constructed long ago, the labyrinth was used in times of crisis for the royal family to escape assaults on the palace. The labyrinth became common knowledge after the Louyangese tipped off the Rune military so they could complete the annihilation of the Amatsi royal family.
Capital of both the Louyang province and the empire, it is often called "The Castle of the Dragon" referring to the brutal and fiery fashion in which Louyang took control. Most of the citizens of Louyang are nobility.
Capital of the Amatsu province and due to the Rune attack on the city, the least populated province capital. Most of the buildings, including the palace, are recent reconstructions with architecture vastly different then the rest of the empire.
Gonryun is a floating city located above the waters of the archipelago. Having long ago lost it's once long-standing status as capital of the empire, Gonryun's palace and many districts of the city fell into disrepair and eventually stopped floating and fell into the ocean. The city now stands as a simple town, a shadow of what it once was.It does however remain as a provincial capital.
The only major province not to have ever claimed imperial dominance, Ayothaya concerns itself with matters of the spiritual, home to a large shrine and many strict adherents to Changeling religion.
With little to no land under their control, The Islands main source of income and food is the ocean. Most Changelings are subsistence fishers and go out daily to catch the fish for the day. The fertile land they do hold is used most commonly for the growing tea, important for many ceremonies, including fortune telling, a favorite pastime of the Changelings.
Changeling religion unlike those of mainland, does not concern itself much with deities but instead with the spiritual and natural worlds. Ancestor worship is an important part of Changeling religion with the common belief being that the deities do not concern themselves with the mortal world, but ancestors who have passed on may be able to help. Possibly the most foreign concept to mainlanders, are changeling funerals. While mainlander funerals are sad affairs, even to the death obsessed Hobs, Changelings consider death the next big change, one that everyone must go through. While losing a loved one is never easy, their passing is often celebrated and not mourned.
The Islands are a unitary government with all laws being made and administered from the imperial level, the provincial and municipal nobles have no powers of their own and are simply administrators for the empire. All matters are entrusted to the Emperor who may deal with them as he sees fit, including delegating the matter to others. However, these matters cannot be delegated or in any way dealt with without consulting the emperor, or it is considered treasonous espionage.
As administrators, the nobles of the provinces are given the authority to make judgement and set punishments in the name of the emperor and are more or less entrusted to make their decisions based on imperial law, as making a false claim in the emperors name is high treason. Provincial nobles are entrusted with more responsibility, but do not have to strictly deal with cases involving their province. As all nobles are granted the right to pass judgement in the emperors name, criminals are usually brought to the nearest noble unless specifically asked for by the provincial noble.
The military of The Islands consists almost entirely of naval forces as their is no ground for any major ground force to defend. The Islands' are almost entirely surrounded by their naval blockade. As most of the governments taxes come from tarriffs on trade, smuggling becomes very difficult as the Navy's main peacetime goal is to enforce trade law. The Islands' navy is not only the largest, but the most advanced employing not only gunpowder canons, but a special mix, a state secret, of extremely incendiary compounds that is able to stay afloat - and remain burning- on water. This mixture is often called "Louyang Fire", referring to it's province of origin and the common practice of firing out of dragon shaped artillery.
Though the Schwarzwaldians have mastered gunpowder infantry, the gunpowder artillery of The Islands is unmatched, with multiple canons, Louyang Fire pumps, and Hwach'a's mounted on every ship. The Islands navy is capable of (and has in the past) leveling entire cities or sinking entire navies before the alarm can even be sounded.
- Amatsu Special Operations
The details of Louyang culture change as often as the Changelings do, however, there are a few traits that remain constant. The common beliefs of the people are that of balance and harmony, that all things must change, and the acceptance of these facts. Changelings from The Islands in particular relate with the moon, seeing it change it's shape every night as they do. This led to a unique trait of the Changelings, unlike the other races they count days not by sunrise, but by the rise of the moon. Cut off from the other races, Louyang culture is extremely exotic and hard to understand, Changeling arts, even those not worth much in their home country, can be worth thousands to the right collector on the mainland. Calligraphy & Porcelain are popular art forms in Louyang.
The history of Louyang is almost completely separated from that of the mainland, any knowledge of the islands lost when the Glastheim Archives were lost in the Glastheim Incident. If anyone on the mainland knew of them before, they were not discovered again till the beginning of The Terror, as Rune set off ships to find new lands to escape the Fae menace. Louyang has seen it's own share of wars however, having gone through three imperial dynasties. The transition bwtween one to the other was never clean or easy, with many pretenders to the crown appearing throughout each period. The Gonryun dynasty was the longest lasting, believed to have existed for hundreds of years before it was replaced by the Amatsu dynasty. Strangely, Gonryun's fall coincided with the Glastheim incident, leading some magical scholars to believe it had more far-reaching effects than originally believed. The Great War period on the mainland ran it's course along side the wars in Gonryun to claim dominance, which Amatsu eventually won because of it's Special Operatives group.
At the beginning of The Terror when Rune approached, Amatsu was in a defensive, isolationist state and rained fire on the Rune navy without warning, forcing the remaining ships to dock in distant Louyang. This was the last mistake the Amatsu dynasty ever made. With the support of Louyang, Rune spearheded the assault on Amatsu, and in common Rune savagery, surrounded the palace and, in a mock of the attack on their ships, bombarded the palace to dust. It was in fact, however, on the Louyang leadership's suggestion this was done making the Louyang Dynasty colloquially known as the "Dragon Period". As the Rune navy returned home Louyang was made the dominant province in the Empire, and in exchange Rune had made a powerful ally.