The Twelve Kingdoms

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  • The Qin Chao Steppes are the northernmost of the Twelve Kingdoms, and their army is tasked with holding the Northern Wall against the barbarians.
  • Many of the inhabitants of the Roof of the World, the northwestern plateau, are nomads and herders. However, the capital palace boasts some of the grandest and most beautiful temples, drawing pilgrims from every corner of the Empire.
  • The Shrouded Isle to the northeast is named for its persistent fog, which hangs about the island no matter the time of year.
  • The bamboo groves of the Jade Taiga to the southwest are some of the most beautiful lands in the Empire.
  • While most of the Forest of Chin is pleasant enough, it is said that there are portions of the forest where no one has set foot in a thousand years. Many heads of the noble houses in the Forest keep to the older title of Warlord, and at any given time, there are often several involved in brief, if bloody, disputes.
  • The eastern coast is claimed by the rainy Hon'eth Arcade, though their caravans and ships can be found throughout the rest of the Empire. The Arcade likes to consider itself the most civilized of the Twelve Kingdoms - while its music, theater, and literature may support such a claim, the subtle and bitter rivalries between its houses do not.
  • The small Isle of Beauty is a lovely, pastoral place, separated from the mainland by the strong currents of the Strait of the Silent Winds.
  • Some say that the Southern Wall need never have been built, as the swampy country of Strand is so generally inhospitable and unpleasant as to stop any travelers from the south.
  • The rice bowl of the Empire, the central plains of the Savanna of Tears also hold the training grounds for the Dragon Army.
  • The Illuminated Precincts of the southeast coast sit at the outflow of the Jasmine River, and a series of canals connect nearly all of the low-lying kingdom with the river. The Precincts are home to many masters of the harder arts, such as architecture, fireworks construction, and astrology, as well as riverboat construction and more cloistered academics.

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Takanata has done some scrying on the Kings.