Shou Lung

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Shou Lung
RulerKai Tsao Shou Chin
Notable locationsImperial Capitol (capital)

In the fictional Forgotten Realms campaign setting of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Shou Lung is a country in the continent of Kara-Tur, which is located to the east of Faerûn. It is modeled on Imperial China and is arguably the largest and most powerful nation in the world, due to the sheer size of their armies.

Publication history[edit]

Shou Lung is described in the 1988 Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms boxed set.[1]


Lying between Kara-Tur and Faerûn is a Great Wall of Stone, better known as the Dragonwall. According to legend, a wu jen wizard was tasked by the Shou emperor to find a way to keep the Tuigan hordes from raiding Shou Lung's northern provinces. The wu jen stole the Jade Mirror from the sea dragon Pao Hu Jen, whose body was thousands of kilometers long. The wu jen led the dragon on a chase along the border, and at a certain point stopped and held up the Jade Mirror to the dragon's eyes, which instantly turned him to stone. After his petrified body fell to the ground, the emperor had his engineers carve fortifications into it so that it could serve them as a defensive wall.


The official head of the government is the Emperor, but in practice everyday affairs of state are handled by the Chancellor, who executes the Emperor's decrees, oversees the bureaucracy and controls the information that reaches the emperor's ears. The current Emperor is Kai Tsao Shou Chin (LG lvl 10 Samurai/Noble). The Wu Jen is the Emperor's official court wizard, who advises the Emperor's policies with divinations and deals with magical threats.

The government is composed of eight ministries: State, War, Magic, Faith, Sea, Agriculture, Public Works and State Security. It is a meritocratic system; every year the Civil Service Examination holds examinations to test candidates for government jobs.

The Forbidden City is a walled compound which contains the Imperial Palace and the halls of government. Only governmental staff are allowed inside during the day, and during the night only the royal family and their domestic staff may remain; trespassers are punished by death.

The nobility of Shou Lung is much weaker than those of most Faerûnian nations. They have less power than government ministers, and their private armies are kept small by law. They constantly scheme to wrest more power from the priesthood and bureaucrats.


  1. ^ Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 103. ISBN 0-87975-653-5.