The Dynasty founded by Emperor HanGanDi ended a short-lived civil war, known as the year of Warring Provinces, begun by the mysterious assassination of the ten-year-old Chang Emperor. Emperor HanGanDi has been declared the custodian of the Mandate of Heaven and swears to bring social order not just to the Eastern Continents, but to the entire world of Rethgard.
Such order is understood to be increasingly necessary throughout the empire as wild barbarians from the untamed Lesser Provinces and Shadow Lands to the south attempt to sow chaos and threaten the lives of all.
The HanGanDi Empire encompasses most of the Eastern Greater Continent, containing the Crane Province, Crab Province, Lion Province, Phoenix Province, Scorpion Province, and Dragon Province. On the Western Continent is the newly established Tiger Province (called the Grandia Kingdom by Westerners).
The Emperor maintains a court of members from each of the Noble Clans, which act as regional governors to maintain civil order in their respective provinces.
The wide reach of the Empire is so that the new calendar, Year of HanGanDi Dynasty (HD), has been adopted by most of Rethgard as a dating standard, as opposed to the Draconic Calendar, which has widely fallen out of use.
With imperial expansion on a global scale, massive mercantile trade networks have risen both Imperial and independent. While well maintained, these trade routes are heavily pirated due to the trade value of vital cargo. Imperial merchant ships are heavily protected by the growing Imperial Navy, while independent shippers have to rely on mercenary assistance or more illicit forms of protection.