Empire of Jex’kor

  /  Empire of Jex’kor

The lands of Jex’kor are situated on the southwestern coast of Sylvaris. To the north of Jex’kor is the Dragonborn Kingdom known as the Caliphate of Scales. To the east are the Jungles of Yuan, home of the serpent folk slavers, and to the north is the noble kingdom of Andora. This leaves the Empire of Jex’kor in a somewhat precarious position geographically, but, in some ways, it works to their advantage.

Along much of the north and northeast borders of Jex’kor are dangerous mountains filled with all manner of violent creatures. Many of these creatures are the results of experiments performed by the Lich Lords of Jex’kor and then released into the mountains to provide a deterrent to anyone seeking to enter, or leave, the empire. It is said that the Lich Lords have cultivated many passages through these mountains that can be used by the forces of Jex’kor to raid the Kingdom of Andora and the Caliphate of Scales. These tunnels are well hidden, and even if they are discovered are said to be a literal maze of side tunnels, dead ends, traps, and ferocious flesh-eating monsters. Monsters, which conveniently enough, are not a significant problem for the undead.

While no official proof has ever been produced, it is widely believed that the Empire of Jex’kor has a great many dealings with the serpent folk of Yuan and, in fact, many believe that they conduct a prosperous trade with each other. The serpent folk are often able to travel where the undead are not welcome, allowing them to acquire items which can be difficult to come by in Jex’kor. In turn, they bring these goods to the lands of the Lich Lords, for a significant profit to themselves.

The lands within the Empire of Jex’kor are moderately hospitable overall. The climate is temperate and rain is fairly common. The soil is rocky but manages to sustain a low yield crop harvest for the local farmers. It is enough to survive, and in some cases small villages in Jex’kor can be rather prosperous. That is, if you pay your blood tithe to the local undead lord, don’t mind the creatures that lurk in dark places, and are okay with short days and long nights which often include strange and unnerving noises.

The Lich Lords and other undead nobles of Jex’kor are certainly not benevolent lords to the people of their land, but they do understand the value of those people. As such, they do ensure that the people on their lands are cared for, to a point. It is rare that entire villages starve, but it is not unheard of for populations that are unsustainable to be culled by the local lord, often in a rather bloody and visible display. This is, of course, only done because the Lord had no other choice; if the people had only worked harder to produce more food or had simply controlled their numbers better then such incidents could have been avoided. At the same time, many of the undead lords reward those who do give birth with additional food for a few years.


The undead lords make it a point to limit information, discourage intellect, and take other measures to keep the local populace under control. As such, most people who reside in Jex’kor do not know anything about the rest of the world. Less than 10% of the population are literate and those who can read are often of higher station and knowingly involved or at least compliant in the actions of the undead lords. The people of Jex’kor know only of life in Jex’kor and in many of the undead lands the lords hire bards to sing tales of the atrocities of Andora or have stories spread telling of how the Dragonborn often roast other races alive and then eat them for dinner. These tales are spread throughout the lands, leaving the people of Jex’kor with a belief that the world outside their borders is a horrible, dangerous place and everything their undead lords have done is to protect them.

These tales are of course falsehoods, manipulations used by the Lich Lords to keep their workers compliant and allow the lords to pursue whatever machinations they currently have underway in their attempts to gain more power.

The Empire of Jex’kor is divided into twelve principalities, each one ruled by a powerful undead. At one time, it was believed that each of these rulers was in fact a lich, but on rare occasions brave and powerful adventurers have managed to defeat one of them. They have always been replaced within a matter of months by the other Lich Lords, but not always by a literal Lich. One thing that all twelve of these figures have in common is that they are all immensely powerful. They each command an army of undead, possess a vault full of magic items, hoard the wealth of a small nation, have decades if not centuries of knowledge and personal power that rivals the most skilled practitioners in their fields, in addition to possessing an insatiable thirst for power.

The only thing that keeps the Lich Lords of Jex’kor in check, are themselves. Several wars have taken place between principalities in the past. Sometimes because the two lords are bored, but more often because one sees an opportunity to seize something from another. The Lich Lords only have loyalty to each other with regards to the Empire itself. If the Empire becomes threatened, they will unite to preserve their way of life. Beyond that, they care only for themselves.
Each of the principalities is somewhat unique and in many ways each of them can be viewed as its own kingdom with the Lich Lord of the Principality in many ways its king. Most of them have divided their lands into smaller parcels which they have handed over control of to lesser undead or those who have proven their loyalty. These lesser lords have complete control over their lands in much the same way the Lich Lords rule over their lands. They fight and quibble amongst each other much like their masters do and seek only to improve their own position within the Empire.

This infighting has created small opportunities for hope within Jex’kor. Over the past several decades, small bands of resistance fighters have risen up and rebelled against their Lords. They rarely last long, but shortly after the undead lords think they have extinguished the flame or rebellion another spark will light. It is said that these insurgencies always trace back to a single figure. Little is known about the figure, except that they are an ancient gargoyle said to pre-date the modern-day gargoyles from Thuld. Stories are whispered of this ancient gargoyle saying they come from ancient Val’Therin and seek to destroy the Lich Lords for what they did to the gargoyle’s home. Some believe this is true, some believe it is more Lich Lord propaganda. Whatever the case, the sparks of rebellion keep flaring and the stories of this Gargoyle keep spreading. The very stones of Jex’kor themselves are said to protect this Gargoyle, and an Orcish Stone-talker who recently escaped from Jex’kor tells stories of the stones themselves whispering the name Ebreh to those who know how to listen.