Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Land of the Three Empires

Not long ago, I came across the idea of naming the more detailed, "core" areas of the DARK•HERITAGE setting the Land of the Three Empires.  In some ways this is a misnomer, but it others, it's spot on.  The map I've drawn of the setting obviously has the Mezzovian Sea as its most prominent feature, but I've decided not to call it anymore the Mezzovian region, because several areas on the map are not really placed so that proximity to the sea is in any way important to them.  So, the land of the Three Empires it is.

What are the Three Empires?

• Terrasa, is really more of a dynastic union held together loosely.  The Crown of Aragon, if you will, in many ways.  This makes it somewhat less of an Empire, but it still styles itself as one nonetheless.

• Qizmir, also, is actually a caliphate, a semi-democratically assigned leader who's as much spiritual as political leader.  But again, as it resembles more an more a dynasty (as the caliphates in the real world did in time), it is fair to call it an Empire too.

• Baal Hamazi, I've often said, is a fallen no-longer-existant empire.  But that's the perspective of outsiders, or perhaps an after the fact type of perspective.  To the inhabitants of the Baal Hamazi territory, it's not at all clear that their empire has "fallen" so much that it's undergoing a prolonged rough patch.  Just as the First and Second Intermediate periods (which separated the Old and Middle kindgoms, and the Middle and New Kingdoms respectively) didn't really constitute a significant or permanent break in the continuity of the society of Ancient Egypt, many hamazin are sure that one or another of the various powers in the region will eventually reunite the empire again--albeit possibly in a form very different from that which it bore in the past.

Despite the fact that none of these empires are really a true empire, they are the titular empires of the Three Empires lands.  Why not Kurushat or the states mentioned in the Forbidden Lands?  Or even Tarush Noptii?

Mostly because I just don't see them as "core" to the setting in the same way.  Sure, they're important.  I would love to eventually develop them more.  Heck, Kurushat was actually the first area developed and remains as well developed today as many of the core areas.  More well-developed still than Qizmir, frankly.  But they're not core.  I don't see them as continuing to grow in complexity, depth or importance to the setting, whereas the lands of Terrasa, Qizmir (or at least the western frontier regions of Qizmir, which make up the eastern edge of the Mezzovian Sea area) and Baal Hamazi is where I imagine most of the action to really take place in the setting.

So, misnomer or not, I like The Land of the Three Empires as an exonym to describe the region where my DARK•HERITAGE stuff mostly takes place.  In fact, in many ways, I like it better than the label DARK•HERITAGE, which is a legacy title that I feel is occasionally more and more irrelevent over time.

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