Vishodan Empire

The immense Vishodan Empire stretches from east to west across the entire north of the continent.  A vast wasteland known as the Agni Desert crowns the northern coast, which gives way to prairie and grasslands to the south before running into the Akash Mountains.  The capital of Naren (named for the Emperor Naren of legend) is situated in the central grasslands of the south.  

The Vishodians are infamous for their love of battle, and seldom trouble the Southlanders due to constant warfare among themselves.  Many noble houses have dwindled to a mere dozen due to this consolidation of power over centuries of constant warfare.  Also, the conquest of the South is hampered by the nearly impassibly high and brutally cold Akash Mountains provide a natural barrier; Few prove hardy enough to cross, and then only in summer.    

1. Geography

Location and Size

Spanning the entire northern region of the continent, the Vishodan Empire touches the sea on both the eastern and western shores. The towering Akash Mountains and the vast plateau beyond define its southern border.

Topographical Features

Narakar Desert: A vast expanse of golden sands and harsh terrain, home to nomadic tribes and oases.

Akash Mountains: Formidable peaks serving as a natural barrier, sheltering the plateau that drops dramatically towards the desert.

Coastal Regions: While the inner empire is predominantly desert, the coastal regions benefit from some rain, allowing for a smattering of settlements.

Society and Culture

Language: While the Elder Tongue, a legacy from the Luminar Empire, serves as a common language across the continent, the Vishodans speak it with a distinct accent infused with their own unique terms and idioms.

Values and Traditions

  • Fierce warrior code, valuing honor and strength.
  • A patriarchal society with houses led by the strongest male.
  • Ritualistic trials to prove one’s worth and ascend in society.

Religious Practices

  • Spirit Reverence: A deep veneration for ancestral spirits and elemental forces.
  • Seer-keepers: The equivalent of shamans, who communicate with spirits and guide the spiritual life of the community.
  • Blood Magic: A forbidden art practiced secretly by rogue Seer-keepers, drawing strength from sacrifices


Main Industries

  • Trade: Limited but valuable trade routes that pass through Dur Tarak, the fortress controlling the only pass through the mountains to the Southlands.
  • Mining: Exploitation of certain rich mineral veins in the mountain regions.
  • Coastal Fishing: The sea provides a bounty that supports the coastal settlements.
  • Currency: While the remnants of Luminar coinage are still in use, the Vishodans have their own barter system, often trading in precious metals, spices, and rare desert artifacts.


Ruling Structure

A complex hierarchy of warlord houses, with the twelve most powerful houses often vying for dominance over the Empire.


Regular Army: Comprised of warriors from each of the major houses.

House Militias: Private armies maintained by individual houses, often flaunting their unique battle styles and traditions.

Law and Order

Imperial Edicts: While the spirit of the old Luminar laws persists, the Vishodan Empire has its own set of edicts, heavily influenced by their warrior culture and spiritual beliefs.

House Jurisdiction

Each major house exercises considerable autonomy in their territories, often having their own set of rules and judgments.

Places of Note

  • Capital: Not specified yet (could be a sprawling desert citadel, a testament to Vishodan architecture and resilience).
  • Coastal Settlements: Crucial trade hubs and centers of cultural exchange with the outside world.
  • Desert Outposts: Often situated near oases, these are vital for trade caravans and travelers.

Akash Foothills: Remote settlements that have adapted to the harsh, cold climate of the plateau, often serving as the first line of defense against southern invaders.

Notable Figures

(To be expanded based on the story)

Emperor/Empress: The figurehead of the Empire, hailing from one of the twelve dominant houses.

House Leaders: Each of the twelve houses would have a patriarch or matriarch, renowned for their strength and wisdom.

Rogue Seer-keepers: Those who secretly practice the forbidden art of blood magic and often play crucial roles in the Empire’s undercurrents.

The Government Structure of the Vishodan Empire

Ruling Council of Twelve

The Vishodan power structure is underpinned by the Ruling Council of Twelve, comprised of the patriarchs of the twelve dominant houses. Women are kept away from the corridors of power, strictly confined to traditional roles and expectations. The culture is raw and rugged, with little regard for the softer aspects of life like art or literature. Refinement is seen as a weakness, an affliction best avoided.

House Arakar: Located primarily in the Narakar Desert, they are known as the masters of the golden sands. Their expertise in navigating the vast expanse makes them indispensable to trade routes and desert outposts.

House Kashan: Predominantly mountain dwellers, they are the guardians of the Akash Mountains. Renowned miners, they control the rich mineral veins and dominate the mining industry.

House Tarim: With dominance over the land adjacdent to the Southland fortress of Dur Tarak, they command the most critical trade route pass through the mountains to the Southlands. Their control over this chokepoint gives them immense economic power.

House Naiyala: A coastal house, famed for their sea warriors and mastery over the ocean’s bounty. They dominate the fishing industry and coastal trade hubs.

House Sural: Located in the Akash Foothills, they are the first line of defense against southern invaders. Known for their resilience, they are hardened by the cold climate and are often first to spot threats.

House Luminar: Direct descendants from the old Luminar Empire, they are the keepers of traditions and histories. Despite the empire’s aversion to refinement, the Luminars’ connection to the Elder Tongue and history makes them invaluable.

House Vendar: Recognized for their devout religious practices, they have the most influential Seer-keepers, guiding the spiritual life of the community.

House Drakhan: Known for its elite House Militia, specializing in unique combat techniques and desert guerrilla warfare.

House Orin: Famed for their stark and functional architecture, they have built the robust desert citadels that dot the empire.

House Varal: A trading house, with extensive networks and connections beyond the empire. Their knowledge of the global market is unparalleled.

House Gravestone: Esteemed for their no-nonsense approach to conflicts, often called upon to settle internal disputes or mediate between warring factions.

House Bloodshade: A mysterious house, often whispered to be connected with rogue Seer-keepers who practice the forbidden blood magic.

The Emperor: Selected from one of the twelve dominant houses, the emperor’s seat often rotates between houses. The ruling Emperor holds sway in the Ruling Council, serving as the ultimate decider in times of deadlock. The current emperor hails from House Kashan, leveraging their control over the mineral deposits.

Legal Framework

While the Imperial Edicts set the overarching legal framework, each major house retains considerable autonomy within its domain. Disputes, especially those involving territorial or resource matters, are resolved by the Ruling Council of Twelve.

Military Dynamics

The empire’s regular army is a mix of warriors from all major houses, ensuring a balance of power. But each house maintains its private militia, regularly showcasing their martial prowess during inter-house tournaments.

The Vishodan Empire stands as a testament to raw power, age-old traditions, and ever-shifting allegiances, all observed by the ever-watchful Ruling Council of Twelve.

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Last Modified: 10/26/2023

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