The Shory Empire (pronounced shoh-REE)1 was an ancient civilization of the Shory people, who traveled the world in great flying cities during the Age of Destiny. Their flying cities, and many other wonders, were accomplished through the use of a form of long-forgotten magic known as Aeromantic Infadibulum.23
- See also: Shory
The Shory people were the result of intermingling between Garundi nomads from southern Garund and the local Mwangi tribes of the Mwangi Expanse. In -2556 AR, the Shory confederacy was founded by disciples of Black Heron, one of the Ten Magic Warriors and an apprentice of Jatembe. They shared his magic with the other Shory tribes and encouraged them to unite against the southern cults of Rovagug. The Shory used air magic to raid the cults from their treetop homes, protecting northern Garund from them and fuelling their own fascination with the sky.45
War and flight
In -2381 AR, the cults of Rovagug allied with the Bekyar and Angazhan's charau-ka minions and resumed their war against the Shory. The charau-ka were particularly effective in raiding the Shory's treetop homes. After the fall of the city Zetsibe, the Shory created the first flying platform to extend their air superiority and allied with the derhii. Eventually, the cults of Rovagug were broken with the defeat of Djakobu, a thunder behemoth which they had previously controlled to destroy many Shory villages and cause minor earthquakes.4
In the following years, the Shory established among them a triune of wizards to govern each city, and they began experimenting with the goal of lifting entire cities into the sky, rendering them unreachable by their foes. This culminated with the Aeromantic Infadibulum and the relocation of their capital Kho to the sky in -2323 AR.346 By -2289 AR, all Shory cities had taken to the skies.4
This launched the golden age of the Shory Empire, but also planted the seed of their fall. The sky-cities made enemies with Osirion and the Tekritanin League while inspiring fear in local tribes. Some Shory became racial supremacists and summoned genies and elementals to be their slaves. Without a central morality, they even consorted with daemons from Abaddon and squamous creatures from the Dark Tapestry, while being unprepared against their dangers.4
Decline and fall
The fall of the Shory was a long decline rather than the result of a single event. From Kho falling in -632 AR to Ulduvai in -507 AR, Shory's magnificent flying cities fell to disease, war, or monsters, or in the case of Yjae fled the continent. It is believed that most of these crashed flying cities lie scattered across the mountain peaks surrounding the Mwangi Expanse,7 and some modern scholars even believe that the tales of the Shory cities' ability to fly to was nothing more than fanciful exaggeration.8
The few Shory who survived the fall of their cities assimilated into other cultures on the ground, and their history passed into myth.4 While Yjae still floats over the desert of Shaguang in Tian Xia, its people have since been beset by invaders from Leng and the loss of the arcane knowledge needed to repair,3 and the Tian-Yae people trace their ancestry and affinity for aeromancy to Yjae.910
The flying cities of the Shory were pinnacles of magical and technological innovation that have not been replicated since. Built of glass, adamantine, and mithral, they were said to fly faster than the wind. The first of these, Kho, is said to have been destroyed by the first Spawn of Rovagug, Tarrasque, although clear evidence of this has never been discovered. Little remains of these cities today, with the exceptions of the Ruins of Kho, Ulduvai, and Yjae.1112 Artifacts from the ruins are highly sought after by treasure hunters who hope to recapture the greatness of the Shory Empire. However, even when such items are discovered, none have replicated Shory technology.11
The Shory Empire today
Rumors persist of flying buildings, glass spires, castles, and even entire cities suddenly appearing in the skies, or briefly being glimpsed through the dark clouds of the Eye of Abendego. Although unlikely, it is still possible that certain unliving Shory people have survived to today. Only the stranded floating city of Yjae has been confirmed,12 with the Tian-Yae people their most direct legacy in Tian Xia.9
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Appendices” in Campaign Setting, 247. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 236. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Chapter 2: Places of Myth” in Mythic Realms, 40. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Rise and Fall of the Shory Empire” in The Slave Trenches of Hakotep, 65–68. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “History” in The Mwangi Expanse, 15. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Chapter 5: The World” in Campaign Setting, 201. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 6. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- Crucible of Chaos, 2. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Humans” in Character Guide, 8–9. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- “Humans” in Character Guide, 15. Paizo Inc., 2019 .
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 212. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 36. Paizo Inc., 2011 .