Once the land held many nations, but recent decades have seen two great empires arise, each locked in a struggle to the death for supremacy. In the east lies the Imperial Dynasty of Azumi, the Red Steel Empire. Expanding ever westward, it absorbs all nations that lie in its path as it hungrily devours the resources of the land to fuel the engines of industry. In the west lies the Jahga Republic of Enlightened Peoples. Expanding eastward, it seeks to bring civilization and self-determination to nations that have not yet embraced the principles of enlightened rule that govern their empire. As it stands, only a handful of resisting nations remain even nominally independent, forming a scant buffer between these two implacably expanding forces.
On Jahga’s doorstep lies the Rinden Kingdom, a provincial monarchy devoted mostly to farms and herd land. Fiercely jealous of its independence, its citizens struggle against an occupying force they have no hope of defeating. The Jahgan Republic's occupational forces crack down harshly on the rebels whenever they can, frustrated by the resistance of Rinden's citizens to the improvements that the republic has brought to the small, backward nation. The rebellion, however, seems undaunted in the face of monolithic opposition.
To the Kingdom of Rinden's east, in the shadow of the Imperial Dynasty of Azumi, lies the Independent State of Horom. Horom is a wealthy trading nation, with cosmopolitan cities full of wonders from all over the world. Nominally ruled by the Grand Council of trade guilds that have ordered affairs in the small nation, the truth is that the Grand Council has no real authority. The Imperial Dynasty is the real power responsible for the day-to-day rule of Horom, with the Grand Council paying handsomely to be permitted to retain the illusion of sovereignty. In this way, the Grand Council retains its dignity and Azumi reaps considerable sums in wealth and resources as tribute.
To the south of Rinden and Horom, bordering both Jahga and Azumi, lies the ruined nation of the Dangoro Trading State. It was here that the armies of the two great empires met for the first time. It was a conflict great and terrible, one that eclipsed in scale anything yet seen in the land. In the end, the cities of Dangoro were left in smoking ruins. Its rulers were dead, its people scattered, either fleeing to the wilderness or to Rinden or Horom as refugees, and only a handful of her citizens remained. The great armies have since retreated, not wanting to spill further blood over a useless wasteland. The land is no longer known as Dangoro, for the people of the region now call it Nil, the Desecrated Lands. The Priesthood has searched for anyone even marginally qualified to rule that would be willing to take on the regency of Nil, but as yet their search has been in vain.
The entirety of the Ruined Empire Campaign setting can be downloaded here.
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The Ruined Empire by Anna Kreider is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License .