Great Empire of the Dawn
The Great Empire of the Dawn was a mythic realm established on all the land between the Bones and the Grey Waste, from the Shivering Sea to the Jade Sea and including the isle of Leng, and the predecessor to the Golden Empire of Yi Ti.
Rise and Fall of the Great Empire
According to legend, the Golden Empire's first ruler was the God-on-Earth, the only son of the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light, who traveled in a palanquin carved from a single pearl and carried by a hundred queens, his wives. He ruled for ten thousand years until he ascended to the stars to join his forebears. Dominion then passed to his eldest son, the Pearl Emperor, who ruled for a thousand years. Power then passed to the Jade Emperor, the Tourmaline Emperor, the Onyx Emperor, the Topaz Emperor, and the Opal Emperor. Each reigning for a shorter and more troubled time than the previous emperor, for wild men and beasts pressed the borders of the Empire, lesser kings grew proud and rebellious, and the common people gave themselves to sin.
When the daughter of the Opal Emperor ascended to power as the Amethyst Empress, her envious brother cast her down and proclaimed himself the Bloodstone Emperor and began a reign of terror and slavery, in which he practiced dark arts and necromancy, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh and cast down the gods of Yi Ti to worship a black stone fallen from the sky. This Blood Betrayal, as it is known in the annals of the Further East, ushered in the Long Night, with the Maiden-Made-of-Light turning her back on the world, while the Lion of Night came forth to punish the wickedness of man. The darkness ended when a great warrior rose to lead the virtuous into battle with the sword Lightbringer in his hand. Light was restored, but the Great Empire was not reborn for the restored world was a broken place where every tribe of men went its own way, fearful of all the others, and war, lust, and murder had endured.