The Sea of Stars
Epnos was once the seat of a great empire that flaunted the authority of the Star Tower and expanded its influence into other shards, before it was torn apart by civil war. During the war, rebel members of royal family formed a small state on the island of Komnos. Epnos fell to further civil war and the kingdom was destroyed, replaced by constantly shifting warbands. The successor kingdom of Komnos claims to rule the entire shard and has been recognised by the Star Tower but rules in name only.
Detractors of the regime refer to it by its old name “Komnos” rather than the Kingdom’s name of “Epnos”. Komnos/Epnos is an absolute monarchy. The current “emperor” is Solman II. In truth he rules over only a small collection of islands with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. To maintain independence, every firstborn child is conscripted for life into the military, and merchant ships that visit the islands do so on the condition that they and their crews could be pressed into service if war breaks out.
Komnos is home to huge palaces, wide promenades and luscious gardens attesting to the empire’s former glory. The real wealth of the Komnosi has declined over the centuries as trade with other shards has become more dangerous. The people still remember when theirs was the finest kingdom and treat outsiders with disdain. Art, literature, and education generally focuses on remembering the old empire. Children are taught to value tradition, family, and duty. Innovation and creativity can be seen as disrespectful and even dangerous. Whilst the former empire was cosmopolitan, the vast majority of Komnosi are human.
The emperors jealously guard their position. Their closest advisers and ambassadors are all eunuchs who could not start a new dynasty. Male children who display great intelligence are castrated before puberty to join the political class. Boys with an aptitude for singing may become castrati.
The rest of Epnos:
Epnos is roughly the size of Europe with several small seas separating different ecosystems. It is generally arid and sparsely populated. This was not always the case. Once the kingdom was lush, with links to the Fey. For an unknown reason the connection to the world of the Fey was lost, causing famine, civil war and eventually the empire’s collapse.
The wilderness of Epnos is home to wandering tribes of hunter gatherers, bandits, and treasure hunters. The crumbling cities of the old empire still house valuable artifacts for those brave enough to explore them.