More to follow…
- World Fact or Rumour No. 1:
- World Fact or Rumour No. 2: Horses and dogs are extinct on Kes. Horses were hunted to extinction by griffons, who now principally eat yaks. Dogs were hunted to extinction by the rebellious armies who overthrew Li Kong Zhuan, The Blood Tyrant, because dogs were often used as spies, hunters and even mystical focal points for the tainted undead forces of The Blood Tyrant.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 3: The noble families of Keimusho have recently started to take an interest in distilling the Blood-Tear Blossoms as both incense and perfumes. In the last 6 months, some areas have been entirely depopulated of the Borrosuma in order to feed this latest trend amongst the rich and nobility. The dangerous side-effect of this new interest is that the areas where Borrosuma have been farmed out are now seeing an increase in the incidence of undead.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 4: Even though The Shudan are the only officially recognised deities within the borders of the Empire of Keimusho, there are other deities that are worshipped on Kakushi-do and Haruka-do. Many of these deities have been lost to time, but some isolated towns and villages still follow the old ways and worship deities with names such as Hong Ye, The Red Mist of Sleep, or Xue Hu, The Bone Hunter. The Shudan priests do not look kindly upon these hedge religions, so much so that there is a Shudan order of priests and inquisitors who hunt down these “barbarian spirits” and their worshippers. It is this intolerance that has led Shudan priests to be greeted with less than open arms when they visit other nations and even the far reaches of the Empire itself. For the most part, these hedge religions are harmless and, in some cases, are believed to be older aspects of the current Shudan gods and goddesses.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 5: There is a spider native to the continent of Haruka-do referred to as the Stone-Touch spider. This spider’s venom has the remarkable ability of being able to turn its victims into stone. Some Haruka-doni nagah tribes keep these spiders as pets and use their venom on the tips of their arrows.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 6: History tells of daikaiju, gigantic monsters so massive that they are able to crush the mightest fortresses beneath their feet. While most daikaiju slumber for centuries at a time, there was a recent sighting of a daikaiju by a merchant vessel coming from Haruka-do. The creature was said to be as tall as a mountain and having a tail like a scorpian, with the lower body of a titanic crab and the upper torso of a winged reptilian-humanoid hybrid. The only fact that has lent this story any credence at all is that an Imperial Colonel and his assistant were aboard the vessel at the time. The creature is said to have risen from the ocean and flown off towards one of the many Broken Isles that litter the ocean between Kakushi-do and Haruka-do.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 7: Many Itako are also proficient gardeners and take great pride in the bonsai that they create. It likely comes as no surprise that they often spend time cultivating and strengthening the Borrosuma blood-tear blossoms.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 8: The means of forging some of the strongest or most mystical of substances into weapons and armour is known only to the Elder Races. Some shokunin speak of a vast underground cave hidden from the world where a slassan teaches the most worthy of the Younger Races how to work these unusual materials.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 9: Keimushan society has a strong element of respect for ancestors, especially where a bloodline is able to be traced to an important hero, notable leader or inspired poet. Due to the fact that there is a great deal of latent negative energy on the world of Kes, Keimushan opt for burning and burial of the ashes rather than the whole physical remains. This is both to protect the remains of the ancestors from being possessed by evil spirits, as well as prudence by reducing the number of available cadavers for undead to form. Unfortunately, despite this practise, there are many undead on Kes.
- World Fact or Rumour No.10: Cats are considered good luck and many people keep them as pets. The Keimushan military and many samurai also ride keimushan tigers, a very large and highly intelligent breed who’s fur changes colour with the seasons.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 11: The Empire is split into 22 provinces. Each province is subdivided into multiple districts, ranging from 3-25 districts depending upon the size of the province, the size of the districts and the power of the province’s ruling family. While these provinces and districts are supposedly hereditary, they can (and have) changed hands over the centuries as the fortunes of some families wax and others wane.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 12: During Li Kong Zhuan’s bloody reign, he allowed (and even encouraged) feuds between the noble families so that no single family could ever gather enough support to challenge his rule. The rise of the Empire and fall of the Blood Tyrant has slowed some of these feuds, but only a handful have actually cooled. In many cases, the noble families have merely changed tactics and now fight covert or economic wars, though blood is still occasionally spilled in the constant maneuvering between the noble families.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 13: During the long, harsh reign of Li Kong Zhuan, the various races within his empire have very little hope or joy in their lives. As a result of this, many back-alley alchemists adapted a number of their medicinal brews into a wide variety of stimulants, sedatives, narcotics and opiates. Despite the death of the Blood Tyrant, tragic and dangerous addiction to drugs such as Red Mist and Eye of the Dead continues to run rampant throughout the cities of Keimusho and its neighbours.
- World Fact or Rumour No. 14: While Kyodai-chi have some of the best baritone singers and the Theren some of the greatest tenors, it is the Xinshu whose voices are far and away the most beautiful the world of Kes has ever known. Their ability to blend their harmonies is second to none and gave rise to the myths of the beautiful sirens of the ocean depths. Xinshu bards almost invariably focus on the power of their voices and are said to be able to shatter stone or melt the heart of the most hardened warrior with their unearthly melodies. One legend tells of a rebel xinshu bard who had been cornered in an old, crumbling stone watchtower by the Blood Tyrant’s undead forces. When all seemed lost, the xinshu began to sing a song of such beauty that the undead stopped in their tracks and merely listened. The bard’s stunned companions watched as, one by one, the undead bled tears of sheer joy and heartache until, finally, they all slowly turned and walked away, never to rejoin the Blood Tyrant’s forces again.
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