Regions of the Empire
Free Holden is the northernmost province of the empire. It is composed of cold forests and tundra. It is culturally distinct from other portions of the empire because slavery is illegal and in general the empire exerts much less central control as the population is very decentralized. This means there are many villages where the empire only visits yearly if at all. But, if any escaped slave is found in Free Holden they are put to death. The only military presence of the empire is Fort Hathorn which provides guards to the tax collectors and judges that move throughout the province. The main trade of the region is fur trapping and lumber.
The Rathorn region is a wide swathe of rocky hills. The fertile land in this area is not good and hard to cultivate. This led to a military culture where land was fought over constantly. Eventually the city of Rathorn united the hills and struck outward conquering more fertile land. The area itself is also dotted with caves some of which lead to the underdark. This means that raids are frequent as either feral tribes or groups from the underdark strike out against the wealthy center of the empire. This in turn has made this region the proving ground for young commanders seeking to prove themselves so they can lead legions on the edges of the empire. It is dotted by major cities which are surrounded by the best parts of fertile land and supported by it. However, because of the growth of the empire few of these cities can support themselves and most require food shipments from abroad. Each city has different governmental and military functions pushing growth. Also anyone who wishes to join the main legions of Rathorn instead of the auxiliary are required to have lived in the main region for a peroid of years. This draws a whole host of people who live off the dole creating large pools of people to pull into the legions.
The trenton region is the breadbasket of the empire. It was once a wild plain full of roving tribes of horsemen. Slowly but surely the Empire of Rathorn took down and settled tribe after tribe as they were unable to unite and put down there blood foods. Now the region is home to plantation after plantation some with slaves some without. There are a scattering of small farms, but they are outnumbered by the large plantations. The seat of the government in this region is the only city that was created after the conquest as a seat of military power and government. What remains of the tribes are either slaves or pushed into other areas.
Upper spine is where a large portion of the wealth of the empire has traditionally come from. The area focuses on gold, silver, and precious gem mining. Most of the mines are run by dwarves happy to have the empires protection from the wide variety of raiders present in the spine of the world. It is composed mostly of small to medium size towns that are built into the mountain. There is no real large city that ties the region together.
Drythen is the desert region that cuts the empire in half. It is composed of three main cities on the main road. The cities are all huge markets focused on the travelers on the road. This led to a proliferation of all sorts of entertainment centers as well as a lot of industry oriented around keeping up caravans and the road. Its sole purpose is to keep commerce and information flowing between both halves of the empire. Its leaders are closely tied to merchant and slaver factions as that makes up the majority of the population. Although the majority of the people who are in a given city are not there to stay, but instead just merchants or other travelers. The clans that roam the desert to give a fealty oath to the empire, but they only have to give a tithe of slaves and they are free to do whatever they want. Although sometimes the Empire does punitive expeditions against clans that raid the main road to often.
Chenell east is the breadbasket of the southern empire. It is composed of rolling hills full of rice paddies and small leftover pieces of bambo forest. It has only three major cities that serve as trading hubs for the region. The rest of the region is small farming villages. Culturally it is mostly composed of youngbloods who are trying to use cheap rice production to fund industry in Chennel west and the spine.
Chennel West is a hub of industry. This region is in the early stages of the industrial revolution and is pumping out more and more factory goods by the day. It is composed of a large amount of cities and small towns. The small town are usually organized around one industrial family who decided to build a town to promote their factories. The cities tend to be large amalgamation of small factories where beginners to capitalist enterprise create factories around the large sources of labor.
The jagged coast is a a long hot and humid coastline dotted by small islands. Most of the population is tied up into small plantations posted around the islands or on the mainland. All of these plantations grow cash crops to either provide raw material to Chennel West or to provide luxury goods. It has a large maritime community that moves the plantations goods around and supplies fish as a ready source of food.
The lower spine like the upper spine is composed of a series of towns of all sizes. Except this part of the spine is mostly focused on producing the raw materials of industry, things such as iron and coal. The lower spine uses mountain rivers to ship its raw materials to the markets of Chennel West.
The wildlands are a long stretch of swamplands seperating the jagged coast from the Chennel region. They are full of all sorts of evil and monstrosities. The only part that has any sense of law and order is the main road through the swamps that is protected by the army. There is one large city on the main road and a series of small villages that are stops for the caravans that use the main road.