The Shantine Empire, sometimes spelled "The Xantine Empire", consists of about two dozen moderately to highly developed worlds, with dozens of far flung colonies and, along the edges of Fialta space, a handful of protectorates.
The capital world, Bishant, is a holy place of the Kirvan faith and the center of a substantial trade network running through five Etheric Gates. Consequently, the Imperial Court vies for influence with the Kirvan Church and the Bishant Merchant Company (restrictive property laws on Bishant made investing in corporate shares of the BMC one of the few outlets for capital held by non-gentry, turning the company into a private representative of the Third Estate).
Life in the Empire is heavily influenced by Kirvanism, though other faiths are (grudgingly) permitted. Idolmar, the God of Healing, is considered one of the more acceptable alternatives. Worship of the Lords of the Pentacle is discouraged at the best of times. The role of the Fialta as standard bearers of the Pentacle has transformed this attitude into outright hostility, especially from the Knights of Adarnum (the militant branch of the Kirvan Church).
Despite these issues of religion, the Shantine Empire is fairly cosmopolitan in other regards. Its Human emperor and predominantly Human grandees do not share the racist attitudes of the Elvish rulers of Aeldrum, and the Empire has a primitive set of legal protections for its inhabitants.
In the war with the Fialta, the Shantine Empire deploys a mix of religious militants (e.g. the Knights of Adarnum and the Idolmar Hospitallers, usually as cavalry and heavy infantry), semi-professional Imperial infantry (part constabulary-turned-army, part foreign legion) and auxiliary forces from the border protectorates. Conscription has been introduced for the defense of certain worlds, but no imperial decree exists yet.
The Shantine fleet has a strong core of warships supplemented by refitted cargo vessels from the Bishant Merchant Company.
- ↑ The creation of new protectorates sparked the Fialta invasion