The Shogunate of Chusei
The Shogunate of Chusei is an ancient Elven nation in southeastern Cisterra. This lush land has a rich history of prosperity and honor, yet also has been rife with violence and political struggle for centuries. Famous for its plentiful production of grains, refined metals, and luxuries like silk and incense, Chusei has been an important part of Cisterran culture since the Divine Schism.
Chusei’s current government consists of a feudal lord, Shogun Boseiju, who trades ownership of land to select Elven noble families in return for military protection and a 3% tax on production of wheat and rice. The noble families then similarly give land to vassals of many sorts, from the battle-hardened Samurai of Elven legend, to farming collectives, and even purportedly to secret assassin training schools. The noble class have held their family positions for hundreds of years, and while some have maintained their honor through the generations, some have grown stagnant and corrupt, extorting their serfs, levying harsh taxes, and even waging land wars against each other.
Throughout Chusei, a sense of honor and respect called Bushido controls culture and society, and the trustworthiness and loyalty of an individual or family can secure respect and dignity for years to come, even through death into later generations. Not all of the Elves of Chusei subscribe to Bushido; the elusive ninja assassins murder wantonly, corrupted noble families cajole for power through unscrupulous methods, and rarely, the utmost disgrace to Elvenkind occurs: the birth of a half-Elf. Such an atrocity usually spells certain doom for an entire family, as without honor, Elves of Chusei are no longer accepted in their homelands.
Though human historians disagree, the Elves posit that their ancestry comes directly from Ryukami, a draconic deity that supposedly blessed Chusei with mystic power and fertility of crops. Nobody can argue that the mages of Chusei are gifted with magic that seeming courses through their blood-Chusei is the only place where the art of Sorcery is common. Chusei does not revere deities-not even Ryukami-but instead honors the bloodlines and arcane practices of their ancestors. As such, in the place of priests, arcane hermits and mystic summoners serve as the religious leaders in Chusei’s culture.
Chusei’s military is renowned for being incredibly well-trained and experienced despite its relatively small size. None can cross blades equally with an Elven Samurai, and the capabilities of the Shogun’s Arcane Archers are hard to believe at times. Chusei’s war-mages, draconic disciples, and summon-riders have the explosive strength of Lindel’s trebuchets and catapults and the artillery of the Dwarves of Kaldheim Keep. The elves prefer to use intimidation, as well as strategic raids and assaults, to keep the Orcish tribes of Sarai at bay.