The Glorious Principalities of An Teng

"On the southwest coast of the Inland Sea lie the Principalities of An-Teng, running from the Western seashore to the foothills of the majestic Southern Fire Mountains.
The land itself varies from arid and dry near the coast to temperate and forested in the middle regions to harsh and brisk in the mineral-rich mountains. An-Teng supplies the Realm with rice and other foodstuffs, and it serves as a vacation spot for Dragon-Blooded.

The weather across much of An-Teng is hot and humid, slightly dryer and cooler in the High Land. The temperature varies little with the seasons, with the greatest changes during the year related to the quantity of water involved.
The Water season also sees the arrival of heavy monsoon rains, which see the skies open up in short, intense bursts that can sometimes force grown men to their knees. These rains in turn swell rivers and waterways, causing them to flood through the Water and Earth seasons.
Most towns have systems of dykes and canals to ensure rivers do not shift course during this time.

No place in the Glorious Principality of An-Teng is as wealthy as the City of the Steel Lotus. Visiting Dragon-Blooded come to indulge their basest desires in this prostrate satrapy. The docks bustle with merchants bringing delicacies from across Creation. Emporia proffer objets d’art of ivory, teak, and precious stones.
In brothels and teahouses, lovely youths wait on Dynasts hand and foot, concealing their resentment behind servile smiles.

For Tengese, the matriarchal family unit is the foundation of society, and traditions of respect for age and social standing do a large part to keep the country stable. Families often share in a single occupation, the young apprenticing to the old. Individual ownership is little understood, property instead owned by families.
The family is also the conduit for resolving civil disputes… a matriarch judges disputes within families, and the matriarchs of involved families negotiate resolutions to disputes between members of different families. Inheritance is matrilineal and husbands join the family of their wives. Marriage is not understood to have any romantic element: it is a union for life with the goal of cementing a family relationship and producing children… though family matriarchs will rarely force two people who loathe each other into wedlock.
Family is a prerequisite for children: a woman who bears a child outside of wedlock is shunned, and her family is expected to put her to death, along with the child and the father… families take this duty very seriously, and those who face such a fate often flee into the jungles or across borders in search of safer hideaways.
The urban areas sometimes allow such unfortunates to lose themselves in the crowds, becoming prostitutes and servants without legal protections.
Those without family are treated simply as servants and barbarians.

The class hierarchy in An-Teng is rigid… at the top are the three princely families, beneath them the nobility which holds much of the land and wealth, and below them the common folk.
Marriages never take place across class, and family members who make friendships above or below their proper place are expected to be beaten harshly by their siblings… given the choice, a dead family member is thought far better than one who has a chum of a different social class. Within each class are gradations little understood by outsiders, based on the prestige of occupation and the ancient lineage of the family.

In case of war, An-Teng can muster armies, including thousands of elephants, but its true strength lies in guerilla warfare, when all the local spirits turn against invaders as well as the human inhabitants.

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