Gazzatteer

The Halfling Campaign

Campaign Introduction

Welcome to the Navy! You have joined, through fair means or foul, the largest Armada the world has ever seen. Massive Junks ready to sail any of the world’s oceans sit ready in harbours along the southern coast of the Halfling Empire. The Emperor has decreed that the navy shall mount an expedition to explore the seas and discover new lands. Laden with every conceivable treasure and trade good, the Armada of three large fleets will open trade negotiations with any civilized folk and be ready to conquer any that are not so civilized.

The Halfling Empire

The Empire stretches from frozen ice and wind swept steppes on its northern border to the lush forests and grasslands of the south, from the Sea of Tears in the east to the harsh deserts of the west. Bordered to the east and south by endless oceans and the Monster Nations to the north and west. Vast and populous cities are centres of learning and culture but the vast majority of the millions of imperial citizens live rural lives.

The Capitol, at the heart of the Empire, sits atop a guarded gateway to the heart of the World Dragon. One hundred years ago the Monster nations launched a massive invasion, known now as The Sundering. Its purpose was to invade the temple built over the gateway, Champions of the Empire fought to defend the World Dragon but Evil won through. The World Dragon was killed but a number of relics were forged from its remains. Most of them have been lost to the Empire. Only one remains, The Roar of the World Dragon, a cannon of awesome power. A series of huge watchtowers now runs along the thousands of miles of borders with the Monster Nations to help prevent such an event happening again.

It has been a dark time for the Empire, reduced to trading with the malevolent Rakshasa and other races from the Monster Nations. But now the Monsters have gone, withdrawing back beyond their borders with no explanation as to why. The Emperor, taking heart from Rakshasa legends of Lands Beyond the Setting Sun has created a massive expeditionary force to explore the world beyond and garner the Empire new trade opportunities.

The Armada

Each of the three fleets has two giant treasure junks, hundreds of feet long, and dozens of warships and specialist ships. In all nearly 60,000 Halflings will be leaving the shores of home to make the incredible journey across the worlds ocean. The flagships of the first fleet, the first two Treasure Junks finished by the Tang dockyards are “The Wrath of the Dragon that Rages in the East like the Storm that created the World” and “The Righteousness of the River that flows from the Mountain in Heaven to the Chosen People on Earth”. The Expedition

The Emperor has spoken and the nation responds. Hundreds of ships have been constructed and members of every clan, class and creed have come together to embark on an epic voyage of discovery and adventure! The wide blue ocean awaits! The Characters

You have joined, or been press-ganged into, the navy for the adventure. Sailors, soldiers and specialists have come from all over the empire to embark on the greatest undertaking by the empire since the building of the Watchtowers.

The Clans

There are six major clans in the Empire:

Shang

“Never trust the snow, it will lie to you. Only the Wind is true.”

The Shang Clan spends their lives in the cold regions of the Northern Steppes that borders the ice wastelands of the Monster Nations. The Steppes are home to the lawless Cossacks, fierce warriors and quick to anger. Shang clansmen also ply the frozen northern sea as ice fishermen and whalers. With such a harsh existence they tend to see the rest of the Empire as soft, barring perhaps the Han who also share borders with the Monster Nations.

Tang

“Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.”

The Tang Clan owns a thin strip of land along most of the southern coast. Most of the Empires ocean harbours are in Tang territory and they have become the foremost shipbuilders. The smallest territory of the all the clans the Tang spend most of their lives sailing and fishing off the coast.

Xia

“We do not forget that we are great only by the sacrifice of others.”

Xia Clan lands in the east of the Empire and are the furthest from the Monster Nations and enjoyed many centuries of undisturbed peace before The Sundering. Protected by covenant with other clans due to the sacrifice of Xia the Kami. The freedom has lead to the Xia pursuing many cerebral pursuits. The Greatest Universities and Temples are here.

Zhou

“The bright star of Heaven is the centre that holds everything.”

Zhou Clan are the political leaders, the line of Emperors are from this clan. The Capital is in this central region, which borders all the other clan’s territories, along with the Army headquarters. The Empire’s largest standing army is stationed here, with huge stores of weapons and magic items.

Han

“Know Your Enemy.”

The Han are the most martial clan, skirmishing almost constantly with the Monster Nations to the West. Most new fighting styles are developed here, Han clan has produced most of the famous warriors (Sohei, clerics and monks). Tattooed monks have their oldest temple here.

Qin

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

The Qin are islanders and a nation of fisherman and proud warriors, located east and south of the mainland Empire. It is home to a very famous Wu-Jen school. Many of the best weapon and armorsmiths are Qin.

The Classes

  • Bard – Travelling Minstrels, bearers of lore and messages, ad-hoc diplomats.
  • Cleric – These priests use the divine power of the heavenly bureaucracy to perform mighty magic.
  • Cossack – Fierce and uncivilised warriors from the cold expansive North
  • Marine – Highly trained, these are the fighting soldiers of the Navy
  • Monk – Adepts that can perform amazing feats of Physical prowess
  • Ranger – Patrolling the wilds of the Empire these warriors hunt down evil in many forms.
  • Rogue – Highly skilled opportunists that can deliver a deadly blow from the shadows
  • Sea Witch – Nature worshipping, spellcasting shapeshifters.
  • Sohei – First seen during The Sundering these are holy warriors and fighting priests specially trained to combat evil.
  • Sorcerer – The magic that flows through their blood comes from various sources but always results in potent magic.
  • Wu-Jen – Focused minds and years of study allow some to become the most powerful magic users in the Empire.

General Information

Pantheon (and Domains)
  • Heavenly Emperor (Good, Magic, Draconic)
  • Shang (Destruction, Earth, Strength)
  • Tang (Healing, Fire, Sun)
  • Xia (Knowledge, Air, Animal)
  • Zhou (Law, Healing, Protection)
  • Han (Trickery, Luck, Plant)
  • Qin (Travel, Water, War)
  • Lo Pan (Death, Evil, Chaos)
Monastaries/Temples
  • Temple of the Nine-Fold Way (Generic worship of the Heavenly Order)
  • Monk Temples (Martial Arts Styles)
  • Wu-Tang
  • Phoenix
  • Tiger Claw
  • Crane
Ships
  • Junks
  • Ships of the Line (Warships)
  • Turtle Ships
  • Cargo
  • Support
  • Food/water stores
  • Troop Transports
  • Specialist/Class based ships
  • Aviary (aircraft carriers)

Recent History

100 years ago the monster nations were united under a cabal of powerful demons and Rakshasa. They made war upon the Empire. Vast armies came from the west and north and overwhelmed the defenses. A final, desperate battle took place outside the palace gates. Leaders of the demon army breached the seal of the temple of the world dragon. Many died trying to stop them but they decended into the heart of the temple and killed the world dragon. Taking its remains and forging them into relics the demon leaders returned. Dragons, summoned by the death of the world dragon, attacked the monster armies and finally routed them.

The empire mourned but also rebuilt. The Emperor’s son assumed the throne and declared a period of rebuilding. A series of watchtowers was built to warn of any future invasion. Over the years these were all expanded until they each became a formidable castle in their own right.

A new era of trading and prosperity began; diplomatic channels were opened with the most powerful of the Monster Nations – The Rakshasa Kingdom to the far West. Great ships were constructed to conduct the trade between nations. Eventually a massive fleet of ships had been constructed. In recent years the Rakshasa have been withdrawing into their borders and refusing to give a reason why. The current Emperor, Zha Duhn the Thirty Ninth Son of Heaven, needs the trade with the Rakshasa. The last Rakshasa ambassador is due to depart soon. Zheng He, Lord Admiral, has proposed that the fleet be used to seek out new lands, new civilized nations to trade with. The Rakshasa had legends of lands even further to the west and of great empires that existed beneath the ocean waves.

Gazzatteer

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