Empire of the Nine
Once nine separate kingdoms ruled by sorcerer-kings, the Empire of the Nine (to Liminal's northeast) was founded by Taldiress, the First Adhalmagus, a cultural hero who formed joined all the sorcerer-kings into a single House. In the days since, the Nine Kingdoms have remained functionally separate, each ruled by an arcane sovereign, as in the old days, with one exception - all such sovereigns come from House Taldiress, and all bow to the Adhalmagus, the Emperor-Mage. Powerful magicians in the Empire are usually married or adopted into House Taldiress, while lesser magicians are given spots in the various orders and organizations of the Empire. What they are not permitted to do is not be affiliated with the House of the Adhalmagus. Though House Taldiress does have an interesting melange of magic in its lineage, those with the "purest" bloodlines almost always come to wield magic as sorcerers with draconic bloodlines.
The Empire's culture and politics are little-known outside of its borders. They are an avowedly reclusive empire. The political representatives of other nations and outside nobility are not permitted entry into the Empire, and neither does the Empire send ambassadors or emissaries to other nations. Once, the sole exception to this was House Taldiress' estate in Liminal's Noble Quintain, but with the Shattering, even that is over.
The Empire of the Nine has not been to war in many generations. The times they did do so, however, are quite memorable, for the Empire makes great use out of three things they have in abundance: airships, battlefield sorcery and dragonborn legions (called the dekza). Though everyone agrees that the Empire deciding to march to war would be ruinous for whomever they chose to march against, the Empire shows no interest in doing so. It should be noted, however, that neither do they rush to reassure others of their peaceful intent: "Let sleeping dragons lie" seems to be the wisdom associated with the Empire.
More unwelcome than any other personage, however, are those who serve the gods. The Empire is an avowedly nontheistic state. It does not permit those who wield the magic of the gods within their borders. Though the churches often warn their congregants that those who worship the gods are oppressed within the Empire's border, that is a half-truth: the Empire does not have a stance on those who worship the gods privately and in their own homes. What is illegal is gathering groups together to do so, or to teach about the gods. The Empire's stance is simple: it does not permit its citizens to hold to authorities in higher regard than that of their loyalty to House Taldiress and the Adhalmagus.
For this reason, House Taldiress has many sorcerers and wizards, and even a few bards, but it does not welcome known warlocks into its midst. This does not stop members of the Cadet Houses (those nobles born to the magi of House Taldiress who do not manifest magical power) from occasionally swearing pacts to gain the magic their blood and intellects deny them. Those magi must operate with great caution, however, for it is treason to be found guilty of being a warlock, punishable by an agonizing death.