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Flag of Lingshen.

Hereditary monarchy
Source: Dragon Empires Gazetteer, pg(s). 30

The kingdom of Lingshen is located in the western half of Tian Xia's northern landmass. Some argue that it is the greatest of the Successor States of Imperial Lung Wa, although this opinion would be hotly derided by both the inhabitants of Quain and Po Li.1


Lingshen is the largest of the Successor States in terms of sheer area and borders numerous countries and geographical features. To the north, the Tuunma River marks the border with the sparsely inhabited region known as Shaguang and the hobgoblin kingdom of Kaoling.2 Further east, Lingshen reaches the Sea of Eels before being separated from Shokuro by a river, while the Gossamer Mountains mark the border with Shenmen before the easternmost reaches of the country meet the coast of the Sea of Ghosts. Directly south is the Successor State of Po Li, while to the southwest is the hero nation of Quain, both rivals of Lingshen. The Wall of Heaven mountains form Lingshen's westernmost border, separating Lingshen from the Embaral Ocean.3


Lingshen formed in the wake of the collapse of Imperial Lung Wa in 4606 AR. The once-mighty empire fractured loosely along military, religious, and traditionalist lines, and Lingshen was formed by those of the military faction, which has since largely influenced the nation's culture.4 The Lingshen capital of Xiwu is particularly renowned for resembling a military stronghold more than a metropolis.1


King Huang, a controversial figure, rules Lingshen as an absolute monarch. He is viewed by those who dream of a reborn Lung Wa as a hero, and as a monster by almost all who have faced his armies. King Huang grants each of his children command of their own army as a way to prove themselves as military commanders, and while his children are unquestionably loyal to their father, they fight and scheme relentlessly amongst themselves and even march their armies against one another, as long as it does not endanger Lingshen itself.1


Lingshen's armies are rightly feared across the continent. When facing enemies in battle King Huang offers them a single chance to surrender. If they refuse, his armies slaughter every man, woman, and child, even killing livestock and pets to prove his dominance. Lingshen also makes heavy use of terra-cotta soldiers in battle,1 powerful constructs that retain more intelligence than a typical construct and can follow and execute much more complex tactics.5[citation needed]


Lingshen is renowned for its militaristic culture. Its soldiers are so dedicated to their king that after their deaths their souls are bound into terra-cotta soldiers to continue their service. This loyalty beyond death is one of the so-called 99 proofs that Lingshen is the true inheritor of Imperial Lung Wa.1

Beyond war, the nobles of Lingshen value calligraphy above all other skills.1 The Nine Inkwells are the nine most prestigious calligraphy schools of Lingshen that educate the youth of the nobility in not just calligraphy but also intrigue, art, and all other skills required for rulership. The School of Affinities is considered the greatest of these schools.6 Calligraphy is taken so seriously that duels are often fought between the students of these rival schools, and it is claimed that the military commander who can write their strategy in the most perfect brushstrokes is guaranteed victory.1

Lingshen is also home to the Imperial College, at which Dr. Si-Dao Yi published the elementalism work Languages of the Void in 4711 AR.7


The most commonly worshipped deities in Lingshen are Abadar, god of walls and ditches; Hei Feng, the Duke of Thunder; Irori, the Enlightened One; and Yaezhing, the Minister of Blood.1


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 30. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. Benjamin Bruck. On Hostile Waters. Paizo Inc., 2011
  3. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 47. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 17. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 3, 262. Paizo Inc., 2011
  6. Katherine Cross, et al. House of Harmonious Wisdom, 30. Paizo Inc., 2017
  7. Logan Bonner, et al. “1: Essentials of Magic” in Secrets of Magic, 8. Paizo Inc., 2020