The Tsurani are a race of humans that live upon the fictional world of
Kelewanand make up The Empire of the Tsuranuanni, devised by Raymond E. Feistand Janny Wurts.
The Empire of Tsuranuanni, spanning three continents on the world of
Kelewan, consists of the following provinces: Dustari, Ambolina, Neshka, Szetac, Hokani, Lash, Coltari, Honshoni, Sweto
Tsurani culture is based on a feudal hierarchy. Every individual is born into a specific station with the main hereditary classes being slave, freeman, and lord. Social status is extremely important to the Tsurani culture and there are many fine divisions of these class distinctions. Great Ones, magicians of the Greater Path, can be drawn from any class, even slaves, based on any observed talent towards magic.
The land of Tsurani is divided into provinces, each province divided into many estates, the hereditary homes of Tsurani Lords. Lords have soldiers, field workers, and household staff who have sworn fealty in return for protection and shelter, as well as slaves who are considered property. A sub-class of Tsurani that falls beneath even a slave is that of the grey warrior, former soldiers and servants of dead or disgraced Lords, who as a debt of shame to their former house, are not permitted an honorable death.
Lords of the Empire are allied by Clan and political party affiliation. Lordship within a family is hereditary via
primogeniture, though if there are no living male heirs, a female heir may become ruling Lady.
Tsurani culture places a high value on tradition, family values, and honor. The Tsurani always strive to appear and act honorably, though shady dealings including murder and sabotage are not uncommon and are condoned so long as there is no proof of wrongdoing. However, public revelation of dishonorable behavior, such as discovery of plans to assassinate another Lord or cowardice on the battlefield, can force a ruling Lord to commit ritual suicide (or even obliteration of their entire family) to retain their House's honor.
Great Ones, or Black Robes, are magicians on Kelewan who practice magic of the Greater Path. They form the Assembly of Magicians, which resides in The City of Magicians in northern Ambolina province. Great Ones are considered outside the law, allowed to act largely as they see fit in the name of serving the Empire and even the Light of Heaven cannot overrule a decision made by a Great One. Although the Great Ones usually avoid meddling with the day-to-day running of the Empire, there have been certain instances in which their intervention has affected the evolution of the Empire.
Only one of every five persons inducted into training to become a Great One makes it to this ultimate goal and takes his place in the Assembly of Magicians, while those who fail die in the process.
The High Council, consisting of the lords of Great and Lesser houses, has ruled the Tsurani for thousands of years. The Lords of the Five Families, the oldest Houses in the Empire, can be elected Warlord by consensus of the High Council. The Warlord is then the leader of the High Council. Political machinations usually play the biggest part in the nomination of the Warlord, with murder not unheard of during the election.
The Emperor, known as the Light Of Heaven, is viewed as a living god, revered by all Tsurani. The Light of Heaven is seen as more of a spiritual leader who rarely enters public sight, let alone exercises his power. He spends most of his time in spiritual contemplation, praying for the welfare of his nation. The Warlord tends to rule the Empire in the Emperor's stead, commanding supreme political and military authority.
The Warlord is the supreme commander of the Tsurani military as well as leader of the High Council. The Warlord is traditionally elected from among the lords of the five Great Families, as those families are descended from the brothers of the first Emperor and thus the founders of Tsuranuanni, a fact not known to many other than imperial scholars. Although the power and influence of each of the five families (and their clans) waxes and wanes with each generation, they are held to be among the most powerful in the Empire.
Although political parties exist, houses can join and leave parties as they wish, often using their party affiliations to gain an advantage over a rival or rouse support for a Lord's own agenda. Political parties can also join together in alliances, as was the case during the Riftwar. The War Party and the Blue Wheel Party joined forces in the Alliance for War though the Blue Wheel Party withdrew four years into the Riftwar, greatly weakening the the Warlord's position within the High Council.
Clan affiliations are based upon blood relation, though they are often quite loose and usually do not have a huge impact on voting within the High Council. However, if Clan Honor is called, every House in the Clan must support the agenda of the House who has called Clan Honor. As Clan Honor could potentially drag the entire Empire into civil war, the Great Ones can intervene and forbid any fighting between Clans or Houses, even going so far as to use magical powers to enforce their will. All Clans nominate a Warchief, who commands the military forces of a Clan. The Lords of the Five Families can also be elected Warlord, the supreme military commander of Tsuranuanni. The Warlord is second-in-command only to the Emperor, though he is usually more powerful, due to the Light of Heaven rarely engaging in political or military matters.
Riftwarwith the Midkemians heralded a sweeping change to the structure of Tsurani politics. Mara of the Acomabecame disillusioned with Tsurani politics when a slave in her possession explained the structure of Midkemian society, which was similarly a feudal state but with no slavery and the ruling leadership held more accountable for their actions. Using every political advantage at her disposal, Mara managed to dissolve the position of Warlord, making the Emperor the supreme leader of the council, supported by the Lords of the Five Families. In a twist of fate, Mara had been adopted into the Imperial Family and her son Justin eventually became the 92th Light of Heaven, though his father was the Midkemian slave Kevin, a fact not known to many outside of Mara's inner circle.
List of Known Clans and Families
Clans of the Five Great Families:
*Kanazawai - Keda†, Shinzawai
*Omechan - Oaxatucan†
*Shonshoni - Minwanabi†
*Ionani - Anasati, Bontura, Jadi, Tonmargu†, Ukudabi
*Xacala - Xacatecas†, Matawa, Xosai
*Hadama - Acoma, Chekowara, Sutanta, Cozinchah, Poltapara, Pechta, Jinguai, Lujan
*Hunzan - Chichimecha, Chilapaningo, Wedewayo
*Nimboni - Hanqu
† One of the Five Great Families
With the destruction of House Minwanabi, House Acoma, became one of the Five Great Families (and Clan Hadama one of the most powerful clans), although Clan Shonshoni continued to exist.
List of Known Political Parties
*Blue Wheel Party
*Golden Flower Party
*Jade Eye Party
*Party for Peace
*Party for Progress
*Yellow Serpent Party
There are 20 orders (10 higher, 10 lower) that have priests and temples throughout Tsuranuanni. Only a few of the Tsurani gods are listed in Raymond Feist's novels. They are as follows:
* Chochocan: The Good God. The Healer. The Bringer Of Rest.
* Zamach: The Leveler. The Fountain of Knowledge. The Master of Justice.
* Oxalaca: The Master of Oceans. Builder of Ships. Master of Fishers.
* Lashima: Queen of the Sky. Mother of Birds. Builder of Clouds.
* Juran: The Just. Master of Life. God of the Home. Father of Winds.
* Sibi: Goddess of Death. Lover of All. Dancer in the Darkness.
* Jastur: Lord of War. Bringer of Terror. The Revenger.
* Thanaxaca: Master of Song. Lord of the Dance. Father of the Arts.
* Hilbantucan: The Architect. The Silent Builder. The Master of Works.
* Fa: The Sleeper. Master of the Night. The Retriever.
* Tomachca: Bringer of Peace. Lover of Children. Protector of Orphans.
* Hilio: The Teacher. Master of Wisdom. Judge of Life.
* Juru: Lord of Sailors. Father of Waves. Lord of Fish.
* Salana: Mistress of Rain. Harvest Mother. Mother of Beasts.
* Hantukama: Lord of Healers. Bringer of Blessed Health. Cloud Rider.
* Turakamu: Brother to Death. Eater of Hearts. The Silently Waiting One. The Red God.
* Baracan: Lord of Swords. Singer of Battle. God of Honor.
* Milianxana: Goddess of Singers. Mother of Happiness. Mistress of Wine. Goddess of Love.
* Tuth: Master of Levels. Hewer of Stone. God of Builders. Lord of Laborers.
* Nictac: Lord of Thieves. Master of Assassins. Protector of Travelers.
*Senior Strike Leader
A rift is a pathway between worlds, often created by magicians. The Black Robes of Tsuranuanni have discovered a method to create rifts, but only Milamber (Pug as he is called on Midkemia) and Macros the Black have thus far mastered the ability to control the size and destination of rifts. The first rift to appear on Midkemia came from Kelewan, which led to the
A number of similarities exist between Kelewan in general, and the Tsurani in particular, and the world and culture depicted in the Empire of the Petal Throne RPG and subsequent novels by M.A.R. Barker. Aside from the aesthetic parallels - the world of Tekumel is based on similar cultures - noted similarities include the isolation of the Tsurani Emperor, the clan structure, the existence of twenty gods (10 superior, 10 inferior), the use of non-metal weapons, and the similarity between the name "Tsurani" and "Tsolyáni" - the name of the major empire in the world of Tekumel, the general shape of the continent where the action is, a race of insect people. Since Feist's Midkemian setting was constructed by his
Dungeons and Dragonsgroup it is considered highly likely that Feist was aware of the Empire of the Petal ThroneRPG and drew on it for inspiration.
In the Empire series much is done to to diminish these similarities. The cho-ja, only glimpsed in Magician, are very different from the Pe Choi. The number of gods is increased to 40, though they are still organized as greater gods each with a divine assistant. The great houses operate entirely unlike Tsolyani clans.
All of this information came from the following books, written by Raymond E. Feist and/or Janny Wurts.
*Daughter of the Empire
*Servant of the Empire
*Mistress of the Empire
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