Cathay

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Cathay, also known as the Grand Empire of Cathay, Imperial Cathay, the Kingdom of the Dragon, or as the Empire of the Celestial Dragon, is an enormous empire, the largest nation in the world, located in the far east beyond the Mountains of Mourn.

Cathay is a land of many different peoples and cultures, all bound together by the rule of the Dragon Emperor.

Geography

Cathay borders the Chaos Wastes to the north and suffers from the constant and brutal raids of the Northmen tribes. To protect the land, the Great Bastion was built along the entire northern border of Cathay. This is a massive wall hundreds of miles in length, its great expanse requiring a garrison of tens of thousands.

The armies of Cathay are said to be innumerable. Its warriors are exotic, drawn from throughout the diverse lands of the empire, and include fierce hill people, strange warrior monks, and well-disciplined armies supported by heavily-armoured warriors and ornate cannons.

The Old World has no direct contact with the far-off empire, and it remains an unknown land subject to speculation. What is beyond doubt, though, is that it is the greatest power in the East.

Adventurous merchants from the Old World occasionally travel the Silk Road to reach Cathay. This is a very perilous journey due to the hordes of Hobgobla-Khan who roam the steppes along the Ivory Road west of Cathay.

The rulers of the Ogre Kingdoms, located in the Mountains of Mourn, extract a suitable tribute from the passing caravans. Some Ogres go to Cathay to sell their services as mercenaries.

An easier and quicker way is the spice route through the Sea, around the Southlands.

Strange creatures abound, from serpentine dragons and tribes of monkey warriors living in the Mountains of Heaven to gigantic stone dogs who guard the holy temples of the empire.

Cathay is at constant war with the armies of the Grand Khanate of the Hobgoblins.

History

Around 1690 IC, in the 14th year of a certain Emperor Wu, member of the Wu dynasty, a massive invasion fleet was organized to conquer and colonise the Southlands.

The fleet was the victim of two typhoons, one shortly after departure, the second shortly after arrival. The survivors marched inland but no one managed to return. Yin-tuan, whose ship had crossed the Great Ocean, eventually brought news of the complete loss.

Yin-tuan managed to survive because of a tattoo of the Imperial Dragon made in an opium house of Fu-Chow.

Notables

  • Naaima; former Cathayan concubine, a vampire and first and most loyal of Queen Neferata's sisterhood.[1]
  • Prince Xian Ha Feng Scion of the Imperial Court, Queen Neferata sought to use him to gain a foothold in Cathay - apparently died in a civil war.[1]

Sources