Humans are not native to the Lung Islands and have populated the rest of the world where magic is much rarer. The great explorer, Shun He, and his expedition were commissioned by the Lotus Empire, a state resembling Medieval China and the Mongol Empire. They live in the Pearl Colony.
The expedition arrives on a floating ship powered by Spellmist, the same magic that abounds on the islands. Numbering a thousand souls, the crew consists of families and soldiers from the far-flung reaches of the empire including fearsome Horse Archers and Alchemists, whose principle skill is Awakening. But breaking the magical barrier overloads the ships and crashes them into the island. The expedition is forced to establish a colony called Pearl.
In the colony, Shun He's word is law but mutiny is an ever present danger. Like the colonies in the New World, Pearl is beset with hunger, disease, and raids from nearby Hengeyokai and Dragovians. It is only with the help of the Fae that the expedition begins to adapt to the Islands. The abundant magic on the Islands supercharges the expedition's technology and the people begin to thrive.
The people of the Lotus Empire are skilled with technology powered by the magic that abounds on the Islands. In the outside world, Spellmist exists in a trickle, and Shun He had a theory that there must be place that originates all magic. The main innovation is the creation of Dragonbreath, known to humans originally as Imperial Flame, and Constructs, magical automata.
The Lotus Empire technology is Silkpunk: machines constructed of bamboo, silk, paper, coconut and leather. They all have an animal inspiration for their form.
Shun He (30) - Commander of the Spellsource expedition and Grand Alchemist of the Lotus Empire.
Brass (undead) - Expedition navigator. He is Shun He's Frankenstein creation. A living-Lunvane, Brass is part-human part-golem and can intrinsically sense and harness Spellsource. Back in Yunnon, he was Shun He's best friend and died in the invasion. After Shun He rose up the ranks, he returned to his home town and dug up his grave. He used his knowledge of Spellsource to reanimate his body, and now his friend is back. As a side-effect of the process, Brass is now a powerful magic user.
Himari (26) - Chief engineer of the expedition. Plucky, kawaii, and often-grease stained, she can fix just about anything.
Qach (60) - Soldier/Bodyguard/Assassin. He's an expert swordsmen and archer that loves to drink. In service to Shun He's family for his entire life, Qach treats him like a son. It's not just a feeling either. Secretly, Qach is Shun He's biological father. He knows how much Shun He looks up to his dad, so he has sworn never to tell him the truth. But he will protect his son with his life.
Ai (22) - Expedition Medic and Healer, Ai joined Shun's crew to see the world. She's secretly Emperor Wei's daughter and ran away to pursue adventure instead of live a life at court. She's also Himari's best friend.
More to come.