The Kueh were the natives of a large ancient empire that took up the northwestern corner of the lands that later became the Ninefold Celestial Empire. While similar to the Imperials in many cultural traits, the Kueh had far less interest in the subtleties of arcane sorcery, and were much more devoted to martial and spiritual development. This eventually proved their downfall, as their warriors and priests proved unequal to fending off invading Imperial armies some twelve hundred years ago. Despite a counteroffensive that came near to capturing the Jade Throne itself, their forces were eventually beaten down with horrific loss of life on both sides.

The remainder of the Kueh daimyos eventually bunkered up in heavily-defended fortresses and coastal cities, and the Imperial mandarins all agreed that the final clearing of Kueh lands would be ruinously costly. As it was too expensive to kill them all, an accommodation was eventually made with the daimyos. Enforced intermarriage of the noble clans with Imperial Mandarins eventually blurred the rulership of Kueh. Before the Red Tide came, the old Kueh lands were as Imperial in loyalties and general population as any other portion of the Empire.

The chief survivors of Kueh culture are those elements of their martial and spiritual traditions that eventually were adopted by the larger Empire. Ninjas, samurai, shugenjas, and wu jen are all Kueh cultural roles that survived the conquest to become meaningful parts of Imperial society. With these survivors have come popular Kueh weapons such as katanas, wakizashis, naginatas, shurikens, and other weaponry and armor formerly uncommon among the Imperials. Other portions of Kueh society survived less intact, with the occasional Kueh name still turning up among Imperials.

The Kueh much resembled their Imperial neighbors, albeit being distinctly darker of skin and somewhat taller. Very few fullblooded Kueh remained at the time of the Red Tide, but most of those were peasants and sailors found in the small coastal fishing villages that gave Archmage Lammach's refugee fleet their crews. As such, a few fullblooded Kueh Imperials can still be found on the Sunset Isles.

Lately, recent events in the city formerly known as North Neck have brought about a renaissance of Kueh ethnic nationalism, and the founding of the Shogunate. All Kueh are welcomed within the borders, but it has been quietly observed of late that it is much easier for a commoner Kueh to enter that land than to leave it.

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