Xian

countries
provinces

near by nations

Government

governance is done by a bureaucracy, (modeled on celestial). Headed by the Jade Empress and her appointed ministers.
each Ministry oversees governance of an area. (regulation, violation)
Each province is a sovereign kingdom, with branches of the bureaus.
(Its a tangle for non experts as officials can occupy parallel posts & frequently do)

No position is intrinsically hereditary, allowing the appointment of meriting people.
Includes feudal positions bu child of previous frequently gets the post.
(Selection/appointment is by higher rank, Heaven selects the Empress)

PCs will uphold the Laws (preferably exemplary) which strive to restore Balance or rectify an imbalance. Property destruction requires replacement or fine may include service. Theft return and service to society. Murder depends on degree and motive. Blood tax up to execution.

Law is generally a process of Trial with evidence. In matters severe, Trial by jury is usually only for murder and treason.
For matters of entitlement, rights, reputation – duels can be held.
Magical, physical, both. The samurai frequently resolve disputes this way.
-———————-
No slavery. Several tiers of social class. Lowest peasant who works another’s land, followed by those work their own land (or have a fishing boat.)
Skilled labor above drudge labor.
-respect based on ownership of land. Valuable things like wealth is influential bu not as regarded.
-certain adventurer types would count as skilled labor. Any caster or heavy clad warrior, even scout types get a degree, in rural areas mostly.
-a respect for professionalism, more when skilled/talented at it. Irregardless of how reprehensible it is.

Religions

folklore

propitiate the Shen (spirits) to keep them appeased and ancestors remembered (and in the after life)

The Celestial Ministry

the Official Belief that one Celestial Empress/Emperor rules all (Heaven, Earth, Hell, everything) with a ministry to guide affairs. Each Minister governs a specific portfolio: War, Darkness, Suns, Justice, Honor etc.
They are collectively called Immortals or the Ministry, there are also sub-ministers of lesser celestial departments

The Way

followers contemplate Balance and Harmonies and their trans-formative powers

The Philosopher/the bureaucrat

non-theistic writer on ‘virtues’. much is incorporated into the other systems

the Cults

-Elemental Cults – four (or more) elements Air/Earth/Fire/Water
tend to view things in strict black/white and a strange harmony/conflict among them

-Demons Cults: detested, hated, destructive influence of the most powerful Demon Lords is felt. Like a disease. only the desperate and/or foolish seek them. So civilized folk believe/hope.

-Cults of Personality: Heroes, whether warrior, caster or bureaucrat philosophers are looked up to. this can lead to religious like reverence. Sometimes encouraged. The Philosopher arose from such. Good and/or bad. (but so did Rebel and Usurper) (ascended Immortals and Demons)

-Savage Cults/Gods: devotees of unenlightened or brutal (both) deities.
(can also be extremism of Immortal veneration)
countenance destructive (antisocial, anti-order) acts is forbidden
‘alien’ deities and alien versions of known deities

Magic

It is a part of life. Tough not usually every day life. Hedge casters are frequent in a village, along with a minister. Large towns and up have a temple. Cities likely have a branch of the Academy.
Imperial and provincial capitals have multiple temples/churches likely a cathedral
also one large Academy campus.
There is a trade in low level items and some medium
Artifacts are known and treated by reputation. Generally feared by lower classes unless utterly benevolent. Feared/coveted by those of power. The Jade Empress is known to have three all inherited from the First Sovereign: a sword wielded/forged by him, an orb and a mirror.

Non-humans

Highly cosmopolitan society. Humans are only a slim plurality. Dwarves, dragonborn, gnomes, halflings, elf, orc, spirit folk and beast folk compose the majority.
Other races are known, more likely in big cities. Disdain or suspicion in rural ares.
Ogres, oni, fiends (large and bigger), obvious undead, dragons are special

Mythology

Mythology

Maker’s War.
(First) Immortals are of Idea and a Great Idea, however the wer not Material and thus contacted the Elementals who were extensively Material. Sharing Idea the two groups of Makers began Cration in both process and object.

After and Age the Immortals Thought it to be done. The Elementals wished to continue the [macro carving]. The Immortals needed that to stop for Life to flourish.

Conflict erupted until compromis was reached. Lesser scal of shaping in form of longer cycles (erosion). Some wer unhappy and war was waged until the malcontents wer defeated.
Within conflict, Immortals gave Idea and the capacity for Ida to a progeny, the First Mortals. They, in fiath, were most efective in Immortal Victory.


First Sovereign & Mandate of Heaven!

-envoy grant an audience and the Manadate (written in Tablets)
-humble organizer, mediate disputes with 7 virtues
-eradicate demon cults
-negotiated with neighbours (future provinces)
-won over the smurai island to take out the Demon Isle

final battle was against The Dragon during a rainstorm
both ended when it was split into lesser colors (explain rainbows)


History

one generation ago (Empress’s mother) had to fight against the Rebel (thought to be crazy) and the Usurper. (demon taint tiefling)
Current Empress’s ascension 5 years ago went smoothly.
Now after consolodating, ideas and desires looking to expand.
(In particular the untamed land west wher fallen Iobaria once resided)

7 – virtues/sins
wisdom (sapienta), courage (audacia), temperance (temperantia), faith (fides), hope (spes), love (caritas), justice (justitia)

Xian

Mandate of Heaven steveblewett