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Flag of Bachuan

Autocratic council
Tien, historical languages
Source: Dragon Empires Gazetteer, pg(s). 19 (1E)
Tian Xia World Guide, pg(s). 52-59 (2E)

A Successor State of once-great Imperial Lung Wa on the continent of Tian Xia, Bachuan (formerly known as Pen Wa) is an autocratic state in the midst of wide-reaching reform.1


Founding and expansion

The city-state of Bachuan was founded in 3089 IC by merchants from the empire of Yixing to control trade with the aquatic peoples of Xidao. In 5580 IC, following the collapse of Yixing, Bachuan seized the southern Benchu Bay region and expanded into much of Yixing's former territory.21

In 6802 IC, Imperial Lung Wa annex Bachuan3 and renamed it Pen Wa Province. For centuries, Pen Wa suffered under greedy bureaucrats who sucked the province dry of all its resources.41

The Pei philosophy

Following Lung Wa's collapse in 7106 IC,3 the rich bureaucrats, with the aid of a corrupt clergy, struggled to control the restless populace. In this era of political turmoil, Grandfather Pei, a scholar from a peasant background, began spreading the Pei philosophy of communism. Pei preached for equal treatment of all humanoids and demanded that prosperity be shared equally among all citizens.4

Gathering an army of peasants, workers, and other downtrodden folk, Grandfather overthrew the corrupt government and its puppets in the clergy in the Bachuan Revolution in 7126 IC. Thus independent, Grandfather restored to Pen Wa its original name, Bachuan, as a newly reformed republic.4

Though Grandfather Pei intended to bring a new era of peace and prosperity to Bachuan, the Pei philosophy proved much harder to implement than planned. The strict philosophy opposed religion and the private ownership of property, and enforced state control over the production and distribution of wealth.4

Beneath the Sun Chamber, the infamous Ministry of Peace and Harmony operated re-education camps to force its ideology on dissenters, and in later years instituted ideological purges to root out any who were not sufficiently zealous.4

Pei's failures of leadership resulted in an authoritarian government, suppression of religion, ideological purges, and the establishment of re-education camps. When Grandfather Pei died in 7168 IC,3 his young widow Pu Yae Men—better known as Grandmother Pei, and herself indoctrinated in Bachuan's re-education camps—implemented an even harsher vision with a revolutionary zeal untethered to Bachuan's troubled reality.1

Dictatorship and decline

Not content with just her own republic, Grandmother Pei sought to spread the Pei philosophy beyond Bachuan's borders, and began making aggressive overtures toward the republic's southern neighbor of Hwanggot. The conflict, however, remained bloodless,4 and Bachuan's fortunes and reputation continued to sink in deepening isolation.1

With the ever-increasing excess of Bachuan's government, counter-revolutionaries and anarchists quietly established themselves among the populace, especially in the capital city of Peijia.4 Rumor in Hwanggot suggested that Bachuan agents had kidnapped Tian-Hwans and turned them into undead assassins, but the Hwanggot government denied such conspiracies.5

By 7210 IC Bachuan's failures had accelerated. It could no longer produce enough food to feed its people, who fled the nation in larger numbers than its border guards could control. Monsters overran the lands as the ruling Sun Chamber no longer had the funds to control them. Grandmother Pei's absence from meetings raised concerns that her health, and her grip on the nation, was slipping away. The vacuum of power was filled by the Sun Chamber's split into six competing factions, and tensions built until the unexpected arrival of Shui Jing from Po Li in 7215 IC.1

The Shui Jing reforms

Shui Jing was an oracular Tian-Shu woman who claimed to be a mathematician, and she possessed considerable social charms that quickly gained her favor among the Pei family. She united the factions long enough to propose a series of policy reforms that would change the shape of Bachuan:1

  • The end of enforcement and official proselytizing of the Pei philosophy.
  • The division of Bachuan into six municipalities, one for each of the Sun Council's factions.
  • Reformed property ownership laws that could encourage private ownership and foreign investment, with a decade of minimal taxation on profits.

The response among investors was swift. The capital of Peijia overflowed with with business opportunities that spread into the surrounding municipalities. Among them were the infamous sorceress Hao Jin, whose century-long lease on a swath of the Szaezan Crags as a new home for the Tapestry People evacuated from the Hao Jin Tapestry was among the largest of these investments.1

Shui Jing herself quietly left Bachuan as her reforms and immigration took root, and revealed her nature as an oracle only in a letter in which she confessed that she disguised her abilities in order to be accepted. Her true identity remained a mystery.1 Diplomats from Po Li later informed officials in Bachuan that even the name "Shui Jing" comes from a popular fictional tale.6


Bachuan's government is managed by the Sun Chamber, a council of bureaucrats headed by Grandmother Pei, the nation's autocratic leader in name. The former dictator's power, however, has waned alongside her profile and presence, with some rumors suggesting that she had left the nation altogether for a monastery in Zi Ha.7

With Shui Jing gone and Grandmother Pei minimized, the Sun Chamber has returned to its bickering ways. Pei Wei Ye, one of its six faction leaders, died of an overdose and exposed salacious and dubious tales about why Wei Ye was the last surviving child of Grandfather Pei not born to the surviving Grandmother Pei. Wei Ye herself persists as a ghost and continues to plot further chaos.7


The flag of Bachuan depicts a blue field with a tiger chasing an imperial dragon around a yellow sun. The tiger represents the indigenous people, while the dragon represents the oppressive government of Lung Wa. The emblem was chosen by Grandfather Pei during the Bachuan Revolution.4


The people of Bachaun are predominantly humans of the Tian-Shu ethnicity. Most of Bachuan's citizens are farmers, fishers along Benchu Bay and the Sea of Ghosts in the north, or miners in the Szaezan Crags.4

The Szaezan Crags were also inhabited by a growing population of ogres,4 though the status of their presence in the years since the resettlement of the Tapestry People in the Crags is not known. The Tapestry People themselves represent many cultures captured into the Hao Jin Tapestry, some of them so ancient as to no longer exist elsewhere on Golarion. Interactions between natives of Bachuan and the Tapestry People are an ongoing process.8

Art and architecture

Bachuan architecture is defined by minimalism and uniformity. Simple clay walls are painted a shade of light white-gray with round windows divided into quarters. Floors use slats of wood, and furniture is made from woven bamboo or rattan.8

Art among the Tapestry People emphasizes the communal over the individual, and with scarce resources is also often intangible in nature. Their songs, dances, and theatrical performances rely on harmony, coordinated movements, and audience response.7 A troupe of Tapestry People entertainers called the Storysingers have also begun touring the countryside.9


Bachuan food is known for its extremely spicy heat, which is said to aid in sweating through the nation's dense humidity and high temperatures. Fish is more common than other forms of meat, including shellfish and crustaceans; despite their prevalence, those staples were associated with wealth and historically prohibited.8

Hospitality is prevalent among the Tapestry People, who lived through scarcity by focusing on community and sharing, to such a point that they often ask as part of their greetings whether the other person had eaten yet.10

Alcoholic beverages were rarely brewed as the nation's grain was needed for sustenance, leaving teas brewed from wild grasses and herbs to become the national beverages of choice. Licorice grass and bitter melon extract make Bachuan beverages in turns refreshing and potent.8


Many in Bachuan distrust organized education after their experiences with the Pei family's re-education camps, and the philosophy also shamed those who developed magical abilities as being inherently corrupted. Open roles for teachers are difficult to fill.8


While the reforms of Shui Jing have relaxed many of Bachuan's autocratic ways, its people retain many aspects of its recent authoritarian past. Its people wore standardized, unisex, color-coded industrial clothing of the same style, all manufactured by government-owned sewing houses. This template now serves as the basis for Bachuan fashion, with new fabrics, dyes, and prints complementing the utilitarian design now woven into the nation's culture.11


After decades of enforced bans on religion, the people of Bachuan have begun reviving the worship of deities such as Hei Feng, Kofusachi, and Qi Zhong.12


Bachuan's long years of tyranny fostered several revolutionary groups, such as the Nine-striped Tigers, who accelerated the implementation of reforms in the new municipalities by freeing political prisoners and shuttering re-education and labor camps. Their three-year campaign accomplished more than the Sun Chamber and forged a degree of folk-hero fame for the Tigers, who have begun seeking contact with the Firebrands as of 7224 IC for advice on how to address the nation's continuing monster infestations.7


The people of Bachuan labor on strict schedules, even with the nation's recent reforms. In most places work begins at dawn, and after a short break at noon work continues until sunset or an afternoon storm. In cities and townships work runs on an eight-shift schedule signaled by four bells. Each type of business operates on different, complementary shifts that were once rigidly enforced but are now open to experimentation. A nationwide curfew, once rigidly enforced, remains largely respected out of safety.13

Workers operate on an official central calendar that historically required 12 workdays followed by two days of rest, though municipalities have altered it to 6 days of work and 1 day of rest or alternating weeks of 12 and 6 work days, resulting in mixed opinions but increased productivity among hard laborers.12

Agriculture and aquaculture

Such regimented schedules are incompatible with the unpredictability of agriculture and fishing and plan their schedules no more than a day before. As such groups are also the only ones with sufficient flexibility for sustained leisure time, much of Bachuan's native art comes from farmers and fisherfolk, and artists likewise gravitate to these lines of work for the opportunity to create.14 Bachuan's weather patterns are dutifully recorded and predicted in the Bachuan Wind Guide, an almanac that tracks rainfall, flooding, planting timing, and creature migrations.15

Dried specimens of the extremely fine sands of the eastern shores against Naikang Bay are highly valued in markets as magical components equated by law with precious minerals.16

Among the Tapestry People

The Tapestry People are relatively unpredictable and work as and when it befits them, and activity never truly stops. One of every five Tapestry shops never close, and one in ten operate only at night time. Although some Bachuan locals believe the Tapestry People's "Oni Hour" activities draw monsters, others take advantage of the entertainment—sometimes enough to result in a drop in agricultural production. Proposals to regulate when entertainment can occur have mostly failed in the Sun Chamber to avoid offending Hao Jin.14


Bachuan is located along Tian Xia's eastern coast, sharing a great peninsula with the nation of Hwanggot to the south. The nation of Po Li is located on the mainland to the west. Bachuan's eastern reach is mainly flat land, while the Szaezan Crags and its foothills and ravines take up its western third.1716

The eastern flatlands naturally form temporary streams and reservoirs during rainy season, which the Tapestry People suggest are engineered. The western Crags are rich in easily mined gemstones and minerals, and rocky areas have experienced an increase in fumarole, geyser, and hot springs alongside a rise in oni and ogre sightings allegedly linked to a nearby underworld dragon.16

The Xiong Dao River forms its border with Hwanggot in the south16 and is the subject of a recent treaty as the first step toward thawing its cold relations with Bachuan.6

Ancient texts suggest that Bachuan was once linked to Tianjing by a land bridge broken by Earthfall, the remnants of which become partially exposed during double full moons.16

The nation's climate features about 150 days of rain per year, mostly concentrated in late spring and early summer. Temperatures average 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 72 degrees in the winter, with autumnal hurricanes and snowless winters.12


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 53. Paizo Inc., 2024
  2. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 16. Paizo Inc., 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 17. Paizo Inc., 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 19. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 26. Paizo Inc., 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 59. Paizo Inc., 2024
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 58. Paizo Inc., 2024
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 57. Paizo Inc., 2024
  9. Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 58–59. Paizo Inc., 2024
  10. Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 57–58. Paizo Inc., 2024
  11. Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 56–57. Paizo Inc., 2024
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 56. Paizo Inc., 2024
  13. Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 54–55. Paizo Inc., 2024
  14. 14.0 14.1 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 55. Paizo Inc., 2024
  15. Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 55–56. Paizo Inc., 2024
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Eren Ahn, et al. Bachuan” in Tian Xia World Guide, 54. Paizo Inc., 2024
  17. James Jacobs, et al. “Regions of the Dragon Empires” in Dragon Empires Gazetteer, 47. Paizo Inc., 2011