T'u Lung

T'u Lung ("Earth Dragon") was part of Shou Lung until a dispute over Imperial succession 300 years ago. The rebellious earth dragons, claiming their own Emperor, formed a separate imperial court. After many ways between the two states, the situation has stabilized. No love is lost between the two empires. In the wars of succession, the Emperor of T'u Lung was supported by powerful nobles and officials in the rebelling provinces. In the empire that resulted, these officials and nobles were much more individually powerful and autonomous than the nobles of Shou Lung. The Lui Dynasty has never been able to break the power of his nobles. They control the examination system and have arranged for various offices to become hereditary. Furthermore, their power has allowed them to exempt their estates from most imperial edicts, including taxation. The Emperor can only enforce his edicts with the consent of the majority of his nobles. Commoners have little chance to rise in the government and corruption of official posts is common.

T'u Lung is divided into six provinces, each administered by a hereditary governer. They are divided into districts, and official positions are usually assigned based on family and connections - or graft. The public works of Shou Lung are poorly maintained and new projects are seldom undertaken. With no recourse to the law, the people are easily oppressed. The capitol of T'u Lung is Chia Wan Ch'uan, where the plots are thickest of all. Many of the nobles of T'u Lung are leaders of secret societies pledged to overthrow the Emperor. The only thing to unite them is their hatred of Shou Lung.



The Ausa Province of T'u Lung is ruled by the Ho noble family from the port town of Keeling, which is located at the end of a peninsula 50 miles north of the capitol of the province, which is also called Ausa. Keeling is a walled fortress-town, surrounded by vicious mountains. Its only access by land is a huge iron gate that is opened only by special dispensation by the Ho. All other transit is by sea; ships that anchor at Keeling find themselves in the Permitted Quarter, and all access deeper into the town is restricted to the family and servents of the Ho family. The Ho have a private navy based in Keeling which consists of 75 warships. Three of these ships - the Green, Red, and White Dragons - are enchanted with Furnace Helms that allow them to burn coal to depart from the water and patrol the skies. They are unique, irreplaceable, and the Ho family's most prized possessions.

While Keeling is the fortress of the Ho family, the city of Ausa is the true capitol and center of wealth - hence why they keep it within arm's reach. Ships are constantly sailing between Keeling and Ausa, which is massive and prosperous. Another port town, H'sin To, is across the gulf from Ausa. These three towns form an important part of the trade route to the north, and they see a lot of naval traffic. Furthermore, Ausa is often the last stop for ships making the long voyage to Leng or Zakhara, so many foreign wares come via this route.