Geography of the Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom is a vast and diverse place. It is also a place that is guided by the Five Directions: North, South, East, West, and Center. Each direction is known to be a vast and strange place, beyond that of mortal ken. Despite this, humanity still thrives at the edges of the Middle Kingdom, living in places close enough to where reality begins to fray against the strangeness of Other. These are the places where spirits are closer and the world is more mutable.

Whether city dwellers, country folk, or nomads, humanity has made its mark on the Middle Kingdom. Wars have been fought over the provinces of the known world, and until very recently the Middle Kingdom stood divided. As a strong emperor took control of the Middle Kingdom and brought all of it under his auspicious rule, the people of the Middle Kingdom began to take shape in the minds of its inhabitants. Country folk living at the mouth of the Emperor’s River understood that those who lived in the city were the same as them in form – humans, and not some lesser beasts. Nomads, while still treated with suspicion for their tribal and often backwards ways, were also known to be servants and citizens of the Middle Kingdom. Taoism and Buddhism, when combined with the Legalist philosophies of the Imperial City, have noted that all human beings have their place in the world.

This is an important distinction, because a place is not shaped into being specifically to live in a vacuum. Each place or location in the Middle Kingdom is shaped by the people who inhabit it. What follows is a description of the most important places in the Middle Kingdom.

  • East Gate City – Once a simple gatehouse and bastion on the eastern edge of the Imperial City, a thriving town has grown up around this gate, making it a proper city in its own right.


Five Fists of the Middle Kingdom somasatori