• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


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Wow.It's glorious.Cathay in Belgium,tons of republics in Scandinavia,Mordvin Moscow,two Ferraras and two Siciles,even that Khitans would become even more British by the time Vic2 will start...it's all glorious.
 

coz1

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The attorneys that I sent after Steven Spielberg for stealing my title will soon be in touch, sir. ;) Otherwise, fine work. :)
 
Chapter 1: The Sun Rises

dragoon9105

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Chapter 1: The Sun Rises

The Year was now 1444. Over the past Decades the world has recovered from the collapse of the Cathayan Empire. Uther the Hammer, the first Prince of the Crownlands had managed to reclamation of Luxembourg and Paris, Thus ensuring that the Imperial Remnant would not drift away. Uther would of course also reform the administration and government of Cathay away from the decentralized Feudal system of Idris, placing more emphasis on the power of the governors over landholding nobility.

The Reforms of 1435 Would Give Cathay its official name, as the Remnant of what was once known as the Empire of the Khitan, Romans and Franks would be formalized into simply 'The Kingdom of Cathay'. The Imperial Titles, which were one "Khan of the Khitan, Augustus of the Roman Empire, Protector of the Zunist Faith, Lord of the Franks, Germans, Romans, Britons and Norse and Defender of the Western Realms" was shortened to "King-Augustus of Cathay and Defender of the Realm" Thus the Claims on the outer territories and former subjects of the Empire were abandoned in favor of a more centralized and strong Cathay.

Last but not least, the Dragon Banners of the Original Empire were abandoned in favor of new Heraldry. The Dragon banners were common, but for most of Europe represented a dead regime that many of the nobility would actively fight against. While the Dragons would remain present on the Coat of arms, the Official flag and Banner of Cathay would be changed to that of the Sun of the Zunist Faith, on the Black and Blue of the Old Empire.​


The rest of the world similarly was about to change dramatically. Poland was on the Eve of a Succession Crisis, The Empires of the East were about to collapse and rising new powers in Europe would change the balance of power of the world, forever.​


Perhaps forecasting the times to Come, Uther the Hammer's first act of 1444 was to Declare War on the Kingdom of Avalon to finalize his control of the River Sienne and Cripple the Kingdom of Cathay's largest and most dangerous rival.​


Meanwhile Tensions in the East also reached their own boiling point as the Great Aegyptian Empire fell into civil war between the Powerful Emperor, and Sultan of Egypt. Egypt while the lesser power in rank outnumbered his Liege considerably and so held the advantage. Perhaps more concerning was that with the Great Aegyptia in Crisis, the conflict would spread as the Cascading web of alliances and understandings made between the Emperors in the Middle East now had the foundation effectively pulled out.​


Less than a year later the Queen of Jerusalem declared herself Latin Empress putting the Latin Empire into its own civil war, Greece and Sicily also found themselves involved in short order followed by Trebizond. With the Latin-Kurdish Alliance now defunct due to civil war, the Persians invaded Mesopotamia. Practically overnight The Deserts of the Middle East had exploded in a catastrophic storm of warfare.

Of course this also meant that the Silk Road, long the link between China, India and Europe now had been cut in half. As the Wars would grow longer, and bloodier the vital trade from the East would dry up, and already Spanish and even Irish Sailors were looking into other possibilities to circumvent the Tinderbox of the world.​


With Chaos in the East and Cathay at war at home, Uther the Hammer quietly died in his tent in the fields outside Paris. His eldest Daughter, the Eccentric Elizabeth seized the Throne in Short order in an unceremonious affair. Elizabeth had luckily grown into the role of Crown Princess in the years of peace brought on by Uther, refining her weaknesses. While not fantastic by any Means the new Queen of Cathay was competent in all things, and helped greatly by her advisors, and considering the alternatives that Cathay had faced in the past, Elizabeth's turnaround was nothing short of a miracle.​


With the Empire at war, Elizabeth's first action would be to designate a successor from her own Children with Prince Amice of Luxembourg. Under Cathayan Law, the Sovereign retained the right to nominate any child to the Throne, though it was rarely used. Elizabeth not one to stand on tradition chose her youngest, Diane. A woman that would soon be feared across Western Europe, simply as Diane the Terrible.​


An important Reminder and distinction to make is that the Khitan since their days on the steppes had been more egalitarian than most peoples of their time. This was of course even Before Xiao the Eastern Wind chose to ride with her followers into the West, Conquering Persia and much of the steppes in her lifetime. Because of the Cultural and Heroic Legacy of Khitan the tradition of Absolute Succession had been a mainstay in the Caetye Bloodline for centuries, and Rulers such as Lyra the Black and Catherine the Nun, were well known for their Prowess in Battle. The rest of Europe and the lower classes in Europe for the most part retained their more traditional stances and while the Warrior Queens of Cathay were nothing new, they were still the exception rather than the rule when considering Europe as a whole.


Under the Command of Uther's War Council, the new Crown Princess Diana, as well as General Khan Raimbaut the Armies of Cathay had managed to successfully seize territory while avoiding pitched battle with the Avalonians. However that changed at Finistere when a Welsh General by the name of LLywarch of Gwynedd took command of the Avalonian army with intent to push the Cathayans back. However the Avalonians failed to understand Llywarch was a general of some renown his experience was mainly commanding Welsh Longbowmen in the Hills of the british isles, which hardly compared to the Cavalry Centric tactics in Mainland Europe. When the two forces finally met the Avalonians attempted to skirmish with the Cathayan army only to find their center broken by a Cavalry Charge and the entire army shattered in short order after that.​


Humiliated and utterly crushed Avalon sued for Peace ceding all of Normandy and the remains of the Sienne Coastline over to Cathay. In one fell swoop Cathay's greatest immediate threat was cowed and reduced to a power no greater than the Princedom of Poitou to it's south. However there was still work to be done, the German Situation, if left alone for too long could quickly turn in a direction that Elizabeth would find unacceptable.​


Considered a bold move by many Elizabeth declared war on the Kingdom of Germany with intent to make a show of Cathayan power and to project influence into the Rhineland beyond the borders of Luxembourg. The problem was that King Vilfred of Germany was a man ahead of his time in terms of military skill and tactics. Germany at the time was already beginning to experiment with massed Arquebusiers and more advanced forms of Pikemen. Both of these units had been used to great affect against the Kingdom of Bavaria and had earned King Vilfred large amounts of prestige.​


The Invasion of Germany was planned to be a similar affair to that of Avalon, strike hard and fast, strike at weak and small armies within Northern Germany and then crush the Army when the advantage was already won. At Nassau the plan was put into affect as the Northern half of the German Kingdom fell under full invasion from 30,000 Cathayan Men at arms and Cavalry.


Germany of course was a major power in Europe, and was closely aligned with the Kingdom of Albion. However Albion at the time was quite busy with a war with the Scottish and Welsh, while also dealing with internal reorganization in the style of Uther's reforms in Cathay. For a start, Albion had been the name of the Imperial Governorate of Cathay, and so the English King had seen fit to reform his Kingdom back to it's proper title, renewing age old claims to Eastern Wales and Southern scotland.​


Back in Europe the Germans had done what was perhaps expected by many and turned the Tide eventually after the Cathayan Manpower and reserves reached a breaking point. At berg despite a heavy numbers advantage the Cathayan army was put to route by Amadeus Balduin who used elite Arquebusiers to great effect in Berg, using the Local terrain to his advantage and panicking Cathayan Cavalry. Loses however were high and both sides, and the Northern half of the Kingdom still lay under Cathyan occupation, though neither side had the funds nor manpower to spend on continuing the war.​


Germany, with half her country under occupation agreed to acknowledge Cathyan Superiority in exchange for a return of their lands, which ultimately was all Elizabeth really needed. It of course took tens of thousands of men to achieve such a paltry concession, but the worth was plain. The Kingdom of Cathay had proven itself, humbling the foremost martial power of Europe while seizing land for herself in the Seine. The Intermission was now officially over. The Music would now begin to play again.​
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Cathay is wising up here, and that's necessary. Ushering in the new era with a modernized banner and name for the country, two successful wars against their most obvious threats, and securing the heir is all fantastic. Here's hoping Diane earns her nickname from her enemies, not her citizens.

The Great Aegyptian Empire already falling into civil war is a shame, I was hoping they'd stabilize and be the region's major power.
 

stnylan

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After every night, the dawn comes.
 

Nikolai

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Man, abandoning incest really has worked wonders, hasn't it?
Seems so. In any case I can but applaud the renewal of Cathayan fortunes!
 

zealouscub

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And so it begins, I'm excited to see what if anything you've done to the New World.
 
Chapter 2: Renaissance Rematch

dragoon9105

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Chapter 2: Renaissance Rematch

With peace with germany signed there was silent agreement that now something needed to be done to improve Cathay's diplomatic situation. The Germans and Avalonians would surely seek powerful allies abroad and Cathay would need to do so in Kind. The Days of Great Kings and Queens standing alone against their enemies with only their personal troops and bannermen at their side was gone, Pragmatism had opened the doors to a new type of Diplomacy in Europe and Cathay would need to participate or find itself a Pariah.


Sweden was the dominant power in Northern Europe, and thus a Natural ally against the English across the Channel as well as the Bohemians just across the Baltic. The Swedes however were not known for their martial ability, and their current ruler, King Mongol of the Xiaokhitai (Distant Cousins to the Caetye also claiming descent from Xiao) was not only disinterested but actively detrimental in terms of his military skill. Still Sweden brought numbers and a safety net and Cathay could use numbers.


Perhaps more importantly Elizabeth reopened talks with Ferrara for terms of an Alliance. Ferrara, in recent years had found itself surrounded on 3 sides by Germany, Bavaria and Sicily all three of which were hostile to the powerful Italian Kingdom's attempts to unify the traditional crown of Lombardy. Elizabeth didn't much care if Italy was unified so far as it was not the Kingdom of Sicily that did the unification, as a Powerful Greek State unifying Traditional Roman lands would evolve into something that could threaten Traditional Gaul quite quickly.

The Alliance of the Po was signed on the 29th of February 1449, and Diane Caetye was married to a Ferraran Prince sealing the alliance in Blood.​


At home Elizabeth was working closely with her generals on a somewhat controversial change in army doctrine. Cathay had traditionally thrived primarily on its cavalry. However in a day of standardized pikes, primitive gunpowder weapons and increasing fortification the Traditional Swarm and Harass tactics of the Khitan had become increasingly outdated.

However for the moment they were still effective, dramatically so and so Elizabeth's decision to switch over to a primarily Infantry focused army came as an act of complete lunacy. Thus a Schism would form within the Imperial Guard between two rival schools of combat, A Cavalry Focused army with an emphasis on mobility and terrain, and the Infantry focused wing that emphasised Shot and Pike and later cannon.


Elizabeth's reformed would not be the only ones some wound find controversial. With the Fall of Cathay the control the Empire had on the Church across Western Europe had evaporated. Now with Chaos in the east governments, desperate to supplement the loss of Technology and Trade from India and China looked inwards. Greek and Arab refugees from the east would ultimately be the final spark that would force a reform of many of the religion and theological study practices in Europe that had previously censored and restricted scientific discovery and cultural pursuits.​


In Spain the return of Hellenic inspired art came first followed by an entire host of cultural advancements. Most of these advancements were sponsored by the various petty Kings throughout the Peninsula as they continued to claw for an edge against one another. In Andalusia the relatively minor city of Jaen had become the Hub of this revolution as it was both out of the way of the larger and more significant and militarily important cities of Granada and Sevilla, but right along the crossroads that linked all of South Spain together.


As spain was experiencing a wave of intellectual and cultural reform, Cathay as center of the Church was at the heart of the first of many doctrinal disputes within the Zunist church. With Uther's reforms to the Empire the question had once again arisen what exactly was the Monarch's position within the church, and their relationship to God.

The Elephant in the room remained, Kenzai was the Fourth Faith's Profit and his nominated his twin daughters to head the Theological and Militant arms of the faith respectively. Elizabeth, being more eccentric than most many expected could be convinced to make any declaration that was decided.

The largest and most entrenched camp was the Traditionalists, which held that Kenzai was the Prophet only, and that the High Priesthood and it's conclave reigned supreme on matters of the faith and the reflections therein, and that those respected as Emperors by the Faith could petition to expand the reflections or make doctrine changes.

The Next largest group was the reformists, who believed that Imperial Privilege should be removed from Doctrine entirely and that the Church would serve as an independent and international entity. As a church controlled by the Whims of Mortal Men with ulterior motives would find the reflections corrupted and the people of the fourth faith led astray.

The Last faction was the small Kenzist faction that believed the opposite of the reformists, that the Monarch had always the final say in doctrine and thus the High Priesthood should answer to the Empire first then the Conclave.​


Enter Guillaume Dufay a Man with significant influence within both the Church and State and while he was a traditionalists had a vested interest in further marrying the two institutions together to increase his own influence but also out of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth.

Dufay eventually would make his way to the Conclave of Priests where he would vocally push for his Reforms to the Western Church that would grant the Successors of Kenzai a Veto Power within the Church. The Justification was that so long as the Zunist Faith continued to house the reflections and protect the High Priesthood that on a simple matter of Pragmatism needed to have some degree of control over the faith it was protecting and that House Caetye as the descendants of the Prophet were the only available or trustworthy option. Effectively putting the Control over the western churches into Caetye and by proxy, Dufay's hands due to his influence in the royal court.​


Meanwhile events were taking place in Eastern Europe that would define the Balance of Power for centuries. King Cat of Poland had finally died leaving his young wife, Queen Christine Anniona as Widow. Christine was well loved in Poland but also sister to the unmarried Jaromir of Bohemia. This meant that the Crowns of Bohemia and Poland were once again in danger of unifying and becuase of Bohemia's economic and military dominance under such a union this would mean the formation of a Third Bohemian Empire, a nation that would run from the Danube in the south to the Baltic in the North.

Of course other possibilities existed, the Polish Sjem could vote for a Russian or Lithuanian Prince, a Local Monarch or even a distant cousin of King Cat in Scandinavia.


That didn't happen, As expected Christine was voted Queen of Poland, and her Brother Jaromir was invited the Court. the Poles and Bohemians had once again reunified in a grand display in Prague. House Anniona between the Polish-Bohemian Union and the Crown of Bavaria now dominated central Europe, prompting open displays of defiance from the Rus in the East, Swedes in the North and Ferrara in the south.


In Cathay, Elizabeth decided to move forward with her own plans, attacking the Hanseatic Republic for the outer dutch territories that made up thier eastern border. Elizabeth's intend was to surround the Republic effectively making it a puppet in all but name, as it's heartland would be constantly at threat to Imperial intervention and invasion. The Hansa, who had colonies throughout the Baltic could not afford such a loss to thier prestige and prepared accordingly.​


The Day of the Mercenary however was well and truly dead. Cathayan troops, having long trained and prepared for this operation stormed into Hanseatic territory and wiped the Republican army immediately. What would come next would be the long and drawn out sieges of Holstein and other Hansa territories so that eventually Elizabeth could extract some peace from the Traders.​


The Swedes were drawn into the war for their Navy and proximity to Hansa colonies in the Baltic and so had to be rewarded with some northern Territories they helped claim, otherwise Elizabeth extracted the lands she demanded ensuring the war was quick and as of little cost to the army as possible.​


The War had effectively gained Cathay the Eastern side of the Lowlands closing the Hanseatic Republic inside, but also had another benefit of turning over the Fortress at Gelre to Elizabeth's control, as well as extending the border more than double. It was here Elizabeth's plans became apparent. After years of recovery and building a second around of combat with the Germans was coming this time for the upper Rhineland.



For this end the military needed to continue to modernize, which meant Elizabeth's Infantry first strategy needed better equipment and training to serve as an effective fighting force. Standardizing the Pikes of the Infantry would be an important and crucial step. The Hiring and conscription of thousands of English Longbows as well as trainers from England were also undertaken with intend to strengthen the skirmish and ranged capabilities of the army in the face of German cannons.​


(Incase your wondering the traditions are 10% Army Morale, 10% Goods produced)​

Elizabeth then ensured her effort at reform would not be wasted, making official decrees and passing laws that would incentivise forward thinking above all else. If Cathay was to thrive it would need to the at the forefront of technology and reform not merely choose to modernize only when necessary.​


The Duchy of Champagne established in Uther's the same was the next focus of Elizabeth's reforms. Champagne was small did lacked purpose within the Empire as a whole, only granted autonomy to keep Uther's conquests stable. Now with Cathay and its new form of administration had little need for the autonomous princedom and so Elizabeth incorporated the territory into the greater empire, compensating the Duke of Champagne for his lands and leaving him a smaller estate and several privileges within his dejure lands.​


On matters of diplomacy Elizabeth once again stirred controversy, becoming the first Monarch to offer a hand in friendship to the forming Bohemian Empire. Jaromir Anniona as King of Poland and Bohemia had been struggling with internal issues that had come naturally from such a dramatic shift in administration.

In an effort to keep the Poles happy, the late King Cat's bastard son Konrad was invited to serve as Crown Prince until such a time that Christine and Jaromir produced an heir. Konrad however needed a wife, and so Elizabeth proposed her second Eldest, Princess Lyra, considered to be much the opposite of her sister, a flighty but otherwise well loved member of the Cathayan Court.

House Anniona of Bavaria however was nothing less than Furious. Jaromir should he die had sold the Bohemian Empire back to a Polish house and Invited the Khitan into the court of what would become the most powerful state in Europe. King Friedrich III of Bavaria in the following years would completly break his alliance with his Cousin to the North and start seeking friends elsewhere, mainly in the largest rival to the Caetye and Crown of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Sicily.​


For the moment however, the stage was Set, Ferrara and Bohemia both had been brought into Elizabeth's web of alliances and the time had now come to end German dominance in central europe. Elizabeth sent her demands, Concessions in the alps for Ferrara, Concessions along the Elbe for King Jaromir and the return of the Rhineland to Cathay with the Crown of Sweden offering Cathay it's full support. The Germans, as expected refused and called upon their powerful ally in Sicily.​

The Sides had been drawn, now the Second Rhineland War was about to begin.​
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Sweden and Ferrara make good allies for Cathay, but a budding Bohemian Empire is even better. The Second Rhineland War is going to be key to your long-term success, but I believe you've set yourself up well enough to win.

It's fun how we can already see some cracks forming in the faith, what may well lead to some heresies if things aren't mended.
 

stnylan

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If Cathay cannot break Germany their revival will be short.
 

zealouscub

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I'm still new to EU4 but I think things are going well(?) I know allies actually matter now, unlike in CK2. The Annonia's I believe have the chance to create a behemoth in the east should the right people die and inherit land.
 

mike the knight

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Its an amazing setting and Cathay is moving into interesting days .Moreover your work over events and other things is great really! Is there any way i coudl get my hands onto that amazing alternate world please ? :D
 

Nikolai

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Scary developments in the East...
 
Chapter 3: The 1st Solar League

dragoon9105

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Chapter 3: The 1st Solar League

With the sides drawn the game was officially on. Cathay and Bohemia would primarily focus on the Kingdom of Germany, while Ferrara would tie down the Sicilians in the Italian boot. Well planned and prepared the expectation was that despite german military advantages that the war ultimately would be won fairly easily.


In terms of military germany lacked in a single, crucial area. The great fortifications of the country were centered more towards the south, to defend the alps passage rather than the North. The German nobility expecting a rather easy time uniting the german princes likely did not anticipate the Rise of Cathay, nor the Bohemian Empire and so only the fortress at Wurzburg stood as a dividing line between Cathay and her allies.​


In terms of numbers the attacking coalition held a definitive and clear advantage, however the various fronts used by what was quickly dubbed the 'Solar League' were divided and thus unable to fight as a cohesive front, Allowing the more concentrated armies and germany defeat individual forces in detail while the bulk of Cathay and Bohemia's armies were tied down in Northern Germany.​


Back in Cathay, unrest within the Royal Palace at Antwerp had weakened the war effort and led to a small crisis within the administration. Elizabeth ever eccentric had committed wholeheartedly into sponsoring naval technology, and had notably wasted large sums of money funding explorers to search for an alternate silk road west off the edge of the world. The advisors who questions such decisions found themselves quickly out of a job if they were lucky, or in the Cells of Lyra the black if they were not.​


The War had also led to a rather significant Iron crisis throughout the country. Sweden, the main source of Iron for much of Europe had been tied down in its own military campaigns. Weakness within the Hansa and now war in Germany had ground the Iron trade within Europe to a halt forcing local mines in Luxembourg to carry the slack. The other alternative, appealing to England across the Channel was brought up, but the English had demanded the Cathay cede over important naval technologies which Elizabeth would refuse to part with.​


After months of campaigning in Germany Proper the German army had decided to retreat west in an attempt to seige Praha and later Link with Sicilian forces in the Balkans. While a good idea on paper, Lord General Oscar Randolph was informed of the German troop movements through Imperial loyalists and so marched for Praha to intercept. The Germans, fearing to be caught between the city and the advancing Cathayans instead opted to hold hills of Moravia in hopes of holding out long enough for sicilian reinforcements.


Reinforcements, that ultimately would never come. The Germans would suffer a devastating defeat, effectively taking them out of the war and thus leaving the remainder of their country to be occupied by the Solar League.​


In the Following Months, a Defeated Germany enabled Cathayan reinforcements into Italy where the Kingdom of Ferrara continued to struggle against the more Powerful Kingdom of Sicily. The occupations of Southern Ferrara and a siege of Rome was set in hopes of bullying the Sicilians out of the war and thus enabling a favorable peace against the Germans. Especially becuase ultimately the Prince of Luxembourg, under pressure from the local guilds stopped the extra Iron shipments to the capital, effectively freezing the Cathayan war effort in the Balkans. With the Empire at war Elizabeth could do nothing except make due with what remained.​


Luckily not long after the Hanseatic Civil War had come to an end, reopening the tradelanes of the Baltic, and thus reopening the Vital Swedish Iron Trade with a nice side effect that a mutual rival of both Sweden and Cathay had collapsed under its own weight, freeing the Danish straights from the influence the Merchants in Holland.​


In Italy, the Sicilians had decided rather than quietly bow out of the war they would in fact fight, and thus invaded Northern Italy with intent to take Ferrara. Fearful over control of Poland, the Bohemians remained cautious in the Balkans meaning that ultimately the War would be decided on Italian Fields.

At Romagna, the Cathayan army beat back the Doux of Sicily's army, saving Ferrara from falling under seige and of course, preventing the unification of Sicily's Balkan and Italian armies.​


In Naples, after heavy losses the Sicilians once again were beaten again, forcing the Kingdom's military presence off of the Mainland entirely.Without Southern Italy the Sicilians now found themselves under real threat, As Ferrara remained in the war, and was already making demands on Sicily, mainly control of Rome and the territory in Southern Spoleto.​


After years of warfare the Solar League, Germany and Scily sat down and agreed upon a rather light peace all things considered. Land would be gained by all major powers save Sweden. Perhaps more significantly however was that the Second Germano-Cathayan war would effectively destroy any Chances of Germany clawing up to greatness.​


With the war now over and Cathay finally victorious over the germans the time for Cathay's next moves was fast approaching. The core territory of Cathay, the Lowlands had been united and secured, but for the Empire to truly thrive it would need to look outwards, for allies and opportunities elsewhere, perhaps even across the great ocean in the lands of myths and legends.