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"In the name and by the power of Her Enduring Majesty, a trade embargo and quarantine in absolute perpetuity has hereby been declared on the Empire of Hands."

  • "No ship of London is to permit aboard a Pentecost ape without express and prior permission of the Admiralty.
  • Any and all acts of spirifrage are prohibited.
  • They know what they did."
-Excerpt from Standard Naval Regulations, Vol IV
Empireofhands

Screw logic, let's have monkeys build a freaking ZEPPELIN. (art from Sunless Sea)

The Empire of Hands is the homeland of the soul-loving Pentecost Apes (really, monkeys), who believe that if they steal enough souls from people, they will become human. Thus, the more souls an ape has in its body, the more important it is in their society. (The most important, the First Emperor, had 100 souls.) The rest of their culture mimics the various human cultures they have interacted with, and those are few - the Empire is not as old as it claims to be.

The Empire consists of five islands:

  • Port Stanton, where the apes are building a huge zeppelin with the support of several factions, the Iron Republic among them. They plan to fly east into the unknown.
  • Sovereign Island, where the apes hold court
  • The Ash Isthmus, where two apes are raising a human child (who isn't soulless... yet)
  • Fountainhead Island, the location of the vault of the First Emperor, which is secured by an unsolvable puzzle
  • Hearthsake, a pirate fort inhabited by actual humans (who are cannibals due to lack of food)

A Dubious History of the Empire of Hands Edit

The Empire of Hands is not nearly as old as they claim, but that doesn't mean they have no history of their own. Below is an account of the history of the Empire of Hands, as written in the Tomb of the First Emperor. Be advised, the monkeys probably have mixed accounts of the tale, or made some of it up entirely in order to make them sound more mysterious, but there are some things that line up with the account and verify their claims.

A terrible light, cast from afar. A sliver of cosmogone in the darkness; burning cinders ashore the sea of the dead. The apes who are not yet of the Pentecost fear them, but their covetous natures will not be denied. Those who hold them burn harder, yet are cursed with tortured ambition no blood spilling can sate. It is an addictive melancholy. This is the Icterine Age.

In the earliest years of the islands that would one day make up the Empire, the monkeys lived like any other primates, until a strange phenomenon brought what are now presumed to be Ray-Drenched Cinders to the shoreline. The cinders are a source of the Neathbow color Cosmogone, the color of remembered stars. The color mirrors sunlight, and comes from Parabola . Whatever caused it appears to have sparked an ambition to be "more," and the monkeys were thrown into a frenzy.

Uncounted times hence, he who will be the First Emperor is not yet the First Emperor. It is he who is first blessed to conquer the blue-clad emissaries from the waters of the dead, and drink deep of their stolen lifebreath by cinderlight. So dawns the Cerulean Age.

The First Emperor, a monkey who would later adopt the name Crispin (the current emperor is Crispin IV), was the first to take the souls of others. He acquired one hundred souls by the end of his reign, and later would begin a quest to raise his people to that of human status. His dream was for his monkey comrades to ascend and defy the path of evolution, and reach new heights as told in the passage below. (The blue-clad emissaries above are perhaps a reference to the Khanate or the Drownies.)

The Pentecost's reach ensorcels the world, shore to shore, and all who are not ape are cast to the dark. The lifebreaths of emissaries from the waters of the dead have birthed the Empire Eternal in blood and light. All forever bask in the glory of the Amaranth Age.

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