Shadow Cimmeran

  • Historical Background
  • The Gethem Empire
  • The Talisman Guard
  • The Dark Magi

    Shadow Cimmeran is a place where high technology and dark magic co-exist in an uneasy sort symbiosis.

    Historical Background

    An Earth-like world, Cimmeran shares a similar history up until 1714, when a long prophesied event forever changed the course of history. At the death of the Mongol emperor Temuchin (Genghis Khan) centuries before, an old sorceror proclaimed that his leige would rise again and his hand would reach to both the rising and setting sun.

    In May of 1714, a young warlord named Jochitai, descended of the line of Temuchin, came down from the steppes of Mongolia, gathering an army of followers behind him. At Jochitai's side was an old sorceror, who began to gather followers of his own, to whom he taught his craft, giving Jochitai a cabal of mages.

    Because of this, the Mongols saw him as a messiah, and as his ancestor Temuchin had done some 500 years before, he swept across the continent. But his power reached even farther, and by 1725 he had taken over the populations of Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, India, Northern Africa and the Middle East.

    The British Empire began to collapse under the onslaught, and by 1733 most of the population of Britain had fled from the island and their colonies in Africa and India to their colonies in North America. The Scots took advantage of Britain's retreat, and soon all of the isle of England was theirs.

    In the early 1800s Jochitai's son Bakhar withdrew from Africa after coming to an 'agreement' with the Zulu Leader Shaka. The Zulus ruled Africa until 1990, when an alliance of the native North African Tribes pushed them back to the south.

    The new Mongolian Empire of Gethem cemented its hold. The line of Jochitai remained strong, and with the sorcerors at their command, his ancestors became a great power.

    Then, in the mid-1900s, as scientists in Gethem were experimenting with fusion reactors, a breakthrough development of cold fusion forever changed the technological face of Cimmeran. Cheap, abundant energy created a technological boom, and soon the Emperors had a new source of power, this one far more controllable than the sorcerors.

    It was during the reign of Chagat in 2003 that the sorcerors realized their usefulness to the Imperial line was fading, and they were far outnumbered by the technocrats in the Empire. So they fled. In 2006 a short war between the sorcerors and Chagat's Imperial troops ended in heavy losses on both sides, and a truce was called. Chagat granted them a small parcel of land on the Aral Sea, which would become the free city of Alchemas.

    After the war, the populations long-suppressed fears of sorcery came to the surface. The sorcerors, or Magi, as they called themselves were greatly distrusted and even hated by those who held techology as their power. Rumors were spread of the evil practices of the magi, until they became known universally as the Dark Magi. Few know what goes on within the bounds of their 'free' city, Alchemas, though rumor and wild speculation have cast a shadow of mythological proportions over the place.

    Today, a very uneasy peace exists between the Empire of Gethem and the Magi, punctuated by periods of attack and retreat on both sides. Neither has the power to completely wipe out the other, nor indeed, do they want to, as each side is known to use the services and wares of the other on occasion. So long have the two coexisted, complete destruction of one or the other would mean the eventual downfall of the victor on a political, social and economic scale.

    Present-day Geography

    Today the Gethem Empire is the superpower of Cimmeran. It extends across a land area equivalent to all of Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, India and the Middle East, with colonies in Indonesia. The free city-state of Alchemas, stronghold of the Magi, holds a small parcel of land off the Aral Sea.

    Africa is a loose confederation of tribal states, and Alba-Cymru, Mannin and Eire form the Celtic Isles (formerly Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man).

    The Kingdom of Britain occupies most of North American continent (expect for the Inuit province in the Northwest Territories), but despite repeated attempts, have failed to move into Brazilia.

    The Gethem Empire

    The Gethem Empire is the primary power of Cimmeran. It is still ruled by the imperial line of Jochitai, from the Imperial Palace at the heart of the huge capital city of Shimazu. The population of Gethem is primarily of Asian descent, and the culture primarily a mix of Chinese and Japanese.

    The current emperor is Drakan Tenebri, the ninth Emperor of Gethem. He has ruled for over forty years, one of the longest reigns since Jochitai's seventy year reign, and shows no signs of ill-health or loss of power.

    Gethem runs an impressive foster-care system for abandoned and/or orphaned children. Yearly the Imperial Foundation conducts tests of all children in the system between 5 and 15, and the best are adopted or fostered by the Foundation. They are trained as scientists and/or soldiers, and then are indentured to the Empire for a period of 10 years (where they are given a small stipend and housing), after which they may leave Imperial service, or stay on as sovereign employees. This practice has given the Empire an enormous pool of skilled tradesmen and warriors, many of whom do stay in service after their indenture is complete. 75% of the Gethem military are indentured soldiers.

    Gethem holds trade agreements with The Celtic Isles (mostly for crafted goods and wool), Africa (precious metals), and the Kingdom of Britain (various). Gethem is a primary exporter of technology (computers, etc.)

    The technology level is quite high. For example, there is a worldwide video-communication network, high-speed land, air and sea transit, personal hover-type vehicles, and pocket size personal computers that can be linked to a world-wide cyber-matrix.

    There are three sovereign space stations, and one that falls under the rule of Gethem. Moon colonization has just begun in the last 50 years, even though the technology has been available since the early 21st century.

    The Talisman Guard

    The Talisman Guard was created by the fourth emperor, Drakan Ienoro, as an answer to the Dark Magi's sorcerous warriors.

    Easily recognized by their black uniforms bearing the Imperial talisman, the Runic Eye, the Talisman Guard are both widely respected and feared. Each member of the Talisman Guard has shown some inherent sensitivity or immunity to magic, though they cannot use it themselves. Trained as soldiers of the highest caliber, their innate reactions to magic give them an advantage in fighting against the warrior-mages of the Dark Magi. Answering only to the Emperor himself, the 300 member Talisman Guard works outside the political and militaristic structure of the Empire. As a result, they are often assigned to remove problems within the Empire as well.

    While they technically report to the Emperor, the Guard is actually led by the Lord Captain. Created by Ienoro, the Lord Captain is usually chosen from the higher ranks of the military, most of whom are nobles. though this rank automatically confers a title of nobility upon the recipient. In truth the position holds far greater power than that of any noble house. The Lord Captain reports to no one by the Emperor, and is granted great discretion in action and decision. The Lord Captain of the Talisman Guard is hand-picked by the Emperor, and often one of his closest advisors. Indeed, the Lord Captain holds power even over the Emperor in certain respects, as the Lord Captain can order the Emperor in cases where the Emperor's personal safeyy is in jeopardy. It is a position coveted and feared by many in the Imperial Court. There have been fourteen Lord Captains in the history of the Talisman Guard.

    The current Lord Captain is Mackenzie Barret, an enigma not only because she is female and of no noble blood (having been an orphan indentured to the Imperial Foundation until attaining her current position and being declared sovereign by Tenebri), but because she is also Caucasian.

    The Dark Magi

    The descendents of those followers of Jochitai's old magi advisor, persecuted after the rapid development of technology freed the Imperial line of dependence upon their power, the Magi have closed ranks and become one of the greatest mysteries of Cimmeran.

    What is known is that the Magi are organized into 'clans', based on the type of magic they do. Only two of these clans are known: the ***, the practitioners of ritual magic, and the ****, the practitioners of shamanic magic. It is rumored that there is another, one that is involved in death magic.

    The High Council of the Magi administrate the free-city of Alchemas. The designation 'free-city' is somewhat of a misnomer. No one not of a clan is allowed to enter.

    Last modified 4/7/99

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