Empire Of Ancestors

An empire to the far north allegedly ruled by a form of sentient undead, and peopled by both humans and undead.

The Empire of the Ancestors is a sizable kingdom situated in northern Ascen. It is bound to the north by sea, to the east by a small mountain range, to the south by the River Duat and the border with The Holy Domain of the Light and to the west by desert and mountains.The land of the Empire is for the most part hot and humid, lying close to the equator. Much of the land is densely forested in its natural state, criss-crossed with mighty rivers and dotted with lakes and marshes. Despite this, large cities and sizable areas of cultivation dot the landscape, connected by river or stone roads.

The main particularity of the Empire of Ancestors is the massive preponderance of ghosts and their active participation, perhaps even dominance, of politics and all levels of society. For the most part the Empire is a kingdom of two parts, the world of the living and the world of the dead. The living world functions much as anywhere else, food is grown, crafts are produced and lives are lived. The major difference is that every action and decision is made with death and the dead in mind. Certain areas of otherwise arable land are left uncultivated due to the wishes of the dead, and every citizen spends his life in preparation for, or even in anticipation of, their eventual death. The land of the dead is rarely visited by the living and remains largely unknown. The scholarly of other kingdoms have pondered whether it is a separate demiplane or simply a part of the spirit-shadow, but the people of the Empire need only know that it is.

While many people seem comfortable with the prospect of death, not all who die return, and the fear of Oblivion is still present. Unlike some other afterlife focused cultures, the likelihood of avoiding oblivion is not perceived to be tied to an intact corpse, indeed the opposite is true, but to be associated with a complex concept of spiritual weight. The more a person endures and suffers for his family and his people, the more great works they achieve, and the more their name and memory are remembered well, the more likely it is thought that their soul will return.

The average person in the Empire is in a poor position. The distance inherent in having overlords who may not have lived for hundreds of years has a mostly detrimental effect on living conditions. What they do have is a strength of tradition and faith that few others shere.

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