The Lost Province
It is the third year of the Era of Restored Glory.
It is the third year since the retirement of Imperial Regent Cho-Hahn Firesong and the coronation of Su-Minh Fenghwa as Empress – the first descendant of Shen-Lun the Enlightened to sit upon the Phoenix Throne in three centuries.
Empress Su-Minh has inherited a realm diminished and divided. Proud nobles flout the mandates of the Restoration, unwilling to relinquish the power and prestige to which their ancestors laid unrighteous claim during the three centuries of the Regency. In the ascendancy of the noble houses, loyal Imperial bureaucrats and devout priests of the Twelve, the patron gods of the Phoenix Empire, have seen their own power and influence decline. There can be no doubt that the challenges facing the Empress are great; a faithless few murmur that those challenges are insurmountable, that the Regency was a period not of stagnation but of rigor mortis, that the so-called Era of Restored Glory will be no more than an epitaph for an Empire already in the last stages of its terminal decline.
This is not the story of Empress Su-Minh, whether she should succeed or fail. This is the story of brave pioneers, whose gaze is turned not to the Empire's tumultuous heart but to its borders and the lands beyond. This is the story of explorers, conquerors, and would-be kings.
Our story begins on the 24th day of the month of Descending Fire, in the far north of the Empire, where the scholar Sae Joo-Yun has put out a call for adventurers willing to explore the long-neglected wilds of the Lost Province...
This is intended as both a player's guide to the Lost Province campaign, and a setting guide for the Phoenix Empire setting. Nothing here should be considered a 'spoiler' or secret information - everything in the Wiki is safe for players and interested potential players to know. I intend to have a hard copy or other reference of most of this information available at the table whenever we play.
The Phoenix Empire, Jaoshen, is a high fantasy setting inspired most significantly by Joseon dynasty Korea and Ming dynasty China (roughly, the period 1400-1640 AD) - but it is also a Pathfinder setting, with all the usual 'D&D-isms' that this entails. Gender is no barrier to advancement, status, or power; a multitude of different, intelligent races make the empire their home, while many others dwell beyond 'civilised' lands and societies; many gods exist and receive worship; magic, both arcane and divine, is known and used in the Empire. The Lost Province campaign draws inspiration from history but is not constrained by it, especially not by some of the pointless injustices and sweeping cruelties of real-world history.
It's up to you whether you read information about the Phoenix Empire, especially its history and culture, as objective and neutral fact, or as the perspective of an Imperial subject and supporter. Both readings are equally valid.
Lost Province Wiki Contents
- The Lost Province: What You Know, basic information that all characters are assumed to be aware of.
- Seven Important Things about the Lost Province campaign.
- Geography of the Phoenix Empire, its provinces, and its neighbouring lands.
- History of the Phoenix Empire, in brief.
- Timekeeping and the Imperial Calendar
- Class and Status in the Phoenix Empire
- Races of the Phoenix Empire, and ethnic subgroups of the core races.
- Languages of the Phoenix Empire, and naming conventions.
- Gods of the Phoenix Empire, and notes on religion, the Planes, and the supernatural.
- Lost Province Traits, including campaign traits and religion traits.
- Lost Province House Rules and notes.
- Lost Province Miscellany for notes and articles that don't clearly belong on another page.
- The Golden Khanate of Cogistan is the kingdom founded by the PCs.
- Lost Province Treasury, for tracking loot and expenses. Not to be confused with Cogistan's national treasury.
- Lost Province Quests, for tracking quests in progress and completed.