Jengu-Na
“Dem Sauries think slow. Real slow. If y’aren’t about a year ahead o’ the game, yer gonna make ‘em mad. An’ they ain’t slow when a-mad…” – Korrit Sligo, Freeporter smuggler

Capital: Estuary Palace
Settlements: City on the Large Hill (29,000), Estuary Palace (54,000), Long Cape Port (21,500), Thousand Generations Temple (18,500)
Ruler: Empress Korasrah “Emerald Scaled”
Government: Imperial Bureaucracy
Races: Saurian
Faiths: Cults (lawful), Philosophy, S’Sluun
Resources: Art, rice, silk, spices, tea
Languages: Draconic
Border Conditions: Limited (irregular porphyrite border with the Hinterlands of Kesh)

History
The people of Jengu-Na like to say that their culture was old when the world was young—and perhaps it was. It is certain that the Empire of the Saurians once was more extensive than it is now, but when the NewGod Wars erupted, they withdrew from (or simply lost) their lands outside the core of the Empire. The Walled Zone is all that remains of their foreign possessions, though the islands of the Dry Peninsula are usually considered to be theirs by tradition. The Empire sealed its borders and waited for the War to blow over… and waited.

By the time the world settled down into its current pattern, the court of Jengu-Na had become comfortable with their defenses and happy to ignore the outside world. A network of fortresses, strong points, walls, water defenses in the Bay of Jewels, watchtowers and magical wards guard the Empire from outside dangers. Naturally, these defenses have spawned their own garrisons and bureaucracy which has every interest in portraying the outside world as dangerous, full of barbarians, and thoroughly unpleasant. A couple of ill-fated invasions, one of Freeporter pirates and another of imperialist Iskandari, has lent enough reality to the assumption to make it widely held.

It was not until the reign of Emperor Roshal “Far Sighted” that permission was at last granted to a group of foreign merchants to trade, but they would only be allowed access to the Empire and its trade at Long Cape Port and nowhere else. Emperors and Empresses come and go, but the general progress of things is an ever-widening trickle of ideas mixing from one culture to the outer world. Relations with the peoples of the Lotus Blossom Steppes to the north are still rather strained, due to the presence of the Walled Zone and carefully orchestrated provocations by factions at court, all for the support of isolationism. The fact that the two mutually alien cultures have so much in common is due to proximity and curiosity, on the part of both nations.

Current Events
The Empire seems monolithic, but even the current small exposure to foreign ideas has begun to disrupt the status quo. Memories of the ancient Empire astride the globe have inspired the most ambitious of the lords of Jengu-Na to agitate for an expansionist policy toward the outside world, and to recruit for their private armies.

They are pitted against the Court and the defense bureaucracy who wish things to remain as they are. The philosophic orders, many of whom mix magic or martial training with their philosophy, are divided over what to do. All of the orders wish to learn from the outsiders, but only on their own terms and at their own rate (which ranges from slow to glacial). A few cults of Eshsalqua, Toma Thule, and Paletius have sprouted up here and there, to the chagrin of the highly traditional leaders of the race. Nevertheless, some of the younger members of the orders have slipped beyond the borders to learn from the barbarians as they return, and as knowledge from the outside world is imported, old certainties are re-examined. Some examples of orders include the Vortexians (wizards), Callers (summoners), Perfectionists (monks), Weavers (bards), Aligners (elemental sorcerers) and the Void-bound (witches). There are at least a dozen lesser orders, and their shifting alliances create a subset of politics in Jengu-Na that many civilians know nothing about.

The Empress Korasrah “Emerald Scaled” has only recently ascended the throne and is still absorbing the situation with outsiders. She has yet to decide what to do, but she is likely to listen to the opinions of the philosophical orders… if they ever come to a consensus. Much to the concern of all the factions, she has expressed a willingness to meet with ambassadors of the outlander nations to personally learn about them and their lands. It is only a matter of time before Jengu-Na becomes embroiled in politics as patchwork as the surface of the planet Porphyra itself.

Settlements
The major settlements of Jengu-Na are:

City on the Large Hill is where the Imperial family lives when not in the capital, and is noted as an impressive center of the arts, culture, and culinary expression. Most of the Imperial staff is recruited here, and it is a center of Imperial loyalists. Extremely conservative, it is said that no non-saurian has ever set foot in the Palace of Beautiful Scales.

Estuary Palace is the capital of the Empire and a shining beacon of Jengu-Na industry and service. Government departments checkerboard the city with craft plazas and centers of entertainment, while a strong Imperial garrison cooperates with the civil magistrates to keep peace. It is the heart of the Empire, where everything gets done, once the paperwork has been completed properly.

Long Cape Port is the one place in the Empire where outsiders are allowed without special permission. Even here they are confined to their own quarter and carefully watched. Outlanders can acquire licenses to allow access to the city—but not beyond—and they must be back inside their own quarter by midnight.

Thousand Generations Temple, considered one of the newer cities in the Empire, having been around for a mere five hundred years, is a place where the various philosophical orders come to debate and dispute, with the occasional brawl between such not being unknown. It has also become a haven for smuggling outsider goods in to the Empire, for the orders have an endless fascination with such.

Intrigues

  • The Empress is more curious about the outside world than she wishes to be known by her court, government, and race. To this end she has employed a clawful of her most loyal agents to gather first-hand information for her, and they in turn have built a network of foreigners to bring in rumors, goods, books, and more.
  • ‘Someone’ has come into possession of an ancient Saurian artifact from the Empire’s heyday, when it reached far past its current borders. That it is very powerful is obvious, just as it is equally obvious that it needs something—knowledge, sacred water, something unique—from the Empire to make it work.
  • Anyone who has been to Smuggler’s Rest knows there is vast profit to be made by those willing to break Imperial law and bring in items desired by the Jengu-Na: religious works, histories, arms and armor, exotic meats and medicines. In exchange they will be paid in wonders of Jengu-Na. The deal is probably the easiest part, getting in and out may prove more difficult.

See Also