Cantari - Empire Organization in Sea Hears | World Anvil

Cantari - Empire

Cantari is the largest nation on the Cantarian continent, well known for its economical, political and military power. Cantari was deeply involved in the First and Second Armada and in many areas, it is still recovering. Empress Méiguī of Cantari must contend with the promises the previous Emperor had made to the nation, an evolving political uprising against the Imperial Court and the threat against Cantari's borders and beyond.  
Cantari is a key point of contention in the Sea Hears visual novel, as it is asserts itself over the Cantarian continent and engulfs smaller nations into its borders.


Each Emperor or Empress has the opportunity to bring in a new Era in Cantari. Doing so will mean upsetting the conservative Imperial Court who enjoyed the previous laws and structure, but will be happily accepted by those around the court and outside who desired change. Each Era attempts to restructure the Imperial Court and the Empire as a whole, with instructions to Lords, Governors and Petty Governors who manage their states.   The current Era in Cantari is The Era of Flowers brought about by the current Empress. The Empress reigns supreme, with an Imperial Court of advisors and magistrates, servants and Flowers. The land of the empire is shared between The Empress herself, the Imperial Court Magistrates, Lords and Governors. Land outside of the direct control of The Empress or Imperial Court are known as states. The Imperial Court, Lords and Governors may further divide their land to Petty Governors, however the land given to Petty Governor will remain within the same state.  

The Imperial Court

The Imperial Court is made up of Magistrates who may handle petty grievances without disturbing the Empress, and Advisors who consult with the Empress and when instructed, will consult and advice Magistrates. Unlike Magistrates, Advisors may not own land, but they hold a very powerful position of respect and privilege which is higher than a magistrate. As of the new era, Advisor positions may not be elected by The Imperial Court, only recommended. Advisors may now be non-Cantarian, which has insulted many established members of the court. Magistrates may recommend 'their hand' to their future replacement after death or retirement, but the Empress has the right to deny the Magistrate's request. New Magistrates may now be placed by The Empress. Advisors may now retire as Post-Magistrate granted only by The Empress, which allows an Advisor to own a small amount of land which may be inherited by their children.   It is considered an honour to serve The Imperial Court as a servant, who may be attached to any member of the Imperial Court. Their organisation structure will depend on the individual.  

Lords and Governors

  A state may either have a Lord or Governor, therefore terms such as Lord-State, Governor-State are applied. Lords inherit their title and their land through their parents. Some Lords will give their power to a favourite child, others will favour the eldest child or aim to distribute power as petty lords. The latter of which doesn't usually end well. Governors are elected leaders of a state. Rules on electing leaders will depend on the state, which can include the title of Petty Governor. Usually, governor states are weaker in economy and power and have a weaker alliance with the Empire. Neither Lord or Governor is a gendered title.  

The Flowers

"Everyone wants to be a flower now. What dainty little things. What good are flowers when they're so easily crushed?"
  A Flower can refer to someone who is employed in the Imperial Court as a connoisseur of arts, or to someone who aligns themself as part of a new way of life inspired by the Empress herself. Employed Flowers at Imperial Court may work towards earning a unique name granted by The Empress herself, or become part of the Royal Court of Flowers. The average Cantarian may post on Vold or other social media accounts about their lifestyles as a Flower, and Cantarian culture itself has developed their own terms, using flower names to refer to particular aspects of a way of life. A Dandelion may be someone who feels they have had a troubled beginning of life, but are strong and resilient. A Violet may be quite a chaotic person who loves doing dares and challengers.  


In the previous Cantarian era, regions were illegal and faced crackdowns by the Imperial Court. Regions are groups of states that may meet regularly and negotiate region-wide development projects together. As of the Era of Flowers, all regions must be recognised by The Empress, and their meetings must be officialised and held in the presence of an Advisor.


"There are cultures that can be easily defined by words, or through uniforms and traditional wear, through food or songs or that kind of thing. Cantari is different. It is so encompassing, so huge... It is simply impossible to address with a stroke of a brush, through a single text book, or by meeting a few Cantari students. It's like this... If you are a Cantari, you're a drop of water that splashes into an endless sea. Somehow or another, you get it. If you're not Cantari, you're looking at the sea from above a glass ceiling. It's overwhelming, and it's impossible to understand what really goes on at the top."   "So err... Teacher. How do I complete this assignment on Cantari culture by next week?" Duncan asked, feeling as if the sea had swallowed him whole.
  Cantari culture is vast and complex and notoriously difficult for outsiders to grasp. Part of the complexity is due to Cantari absorbing nearby countries as their own, such as Huodaan, through diplomacy or force. Other parts of the Cantari continent are hotly contested, with the empire's goal to eventually take the continent as a single empire. The late Emperor Juan argued in his court that it was the only way to match to the Federation, who have proven themselves to be greedy and to take advantage of the weak.   The Cantari mantra, 'Cantara, Cantaru, Cantari', means One nation, One community, One heart. This is the core foundation of modern Cantari culture and propaganda.


There are seven recorded eras within the Cantari Empire, which has significantly impacted current understanding of world history, especially the Era of Survival and the Era of Birth. Jun Ha's work "To Birth an Era" is incredibly respected by historians from all over Gaia.   Era of Survival 500 BL - 220 BL
Much of this era is written in the form of Cantarian Long Prose, which is inflated with poetic verse. This era defines the Cantari Empire was formed on an ISAAC ship supported by a flank of smaller Cantarian vessels. Writings that have survived contain logs of the running of the ship and speak of an Immortal Emperor that shared their life with the people of Cantari, allowing them to face the strongest of seas. Intriguing 3D pictures known as 'Gate Images' have been found of people on board the ship and scenes that may have existed in the past.

Era of Birth 220 BL - 106 BL
There is no recorded death of the Immortal Emperor, only that the Cantari people decided to move onto land at precisely the year 220, Before Land. As the majority of the sea nomads moved to land two hundred years later, it gave the Cantari people ample time to explore and claim territory for themselves. Emperors from this era are highly regarded as intuitive, and hard-working. Many of them were active in agriculture, and participated in hard-labour. Some may have led dangerous expeditions to new parts of the land.

Era of Yang - 106 BL - 2 AL
The Era of Yang is famous for its introduction of the Imperial Court, Lords and Governors, and the rapid development of Cantari traditions and values that remain integral to modern Cantari society. Near the end of the era, the empire experienced civil unrest, as the Emperor's death was suspicious and no heir could be agreed upon. Some parts of Cantari broke from the empire and became independent, slowly defining themselves as countries.
Modern Cantari historical opera and programmes feature mythical ideas of Yang-era culture, such as the One Secret Policy as integral plot lines. Fascination with the era has started to wane during the reign of the new Empress Méigui.
Era of Hope - 20 AL - 220 AL
A new popular Empress was installed, and civil rest discontinued. The remaining territory in Cantari was able to grow and develop with new intuitive technology. Exploration outside of Cantari was finally encouraged, yet the sea was remained a dangerous foe, so most exploration focused on the Cantari continent. As Cantari became the most powerful country on the continent, strong alliances were formed with neighbours.

Era of Colours 220 AL - 386 AL
The direction of Cantari changed, as the seas began to calm enough for some successful voyages with the hardiest crews. International interest grew, and Cantari re-established itself as a powerful force. Many other global nations sought trade with Cantari. Ships that traded at harbours held numerous flags, and the Cantari population were eager to try new cultural foods, goods and valuables. Not only were Cantari culture and goods exported, but so were people, as gifts to other nations. Lords and Governors also traded people as offerings as peace, promises or payments of debt. Rivalries between Cantari grew once again, and wars between regions broke out. While the Era of Colours saw Cantari grow its identity, culture and international presence, it once again grew into unrest.

Era of Juan 386 AL - 622 AL
The Era of Juan was established when a governor murdered the Emperor and took reign. Emperor Juan reunited Cantari with a common cause, to conquer the entire Cantari continent and claim it as the Cantari Empire. In doing so, Emperor Juan argued this would finally unify the empire and will protect it from attacks from other warring nations, such as The Federation. During this era, military formations such as the infamous Red Spears were created and used to terrifying effect. The cost of the military exercises were hard and difficult among the people, but rebellion was met with swift service by those loyal to the Juan.
After the First Armada, the Juan focused their efforts on finding mages and using them for military purposes. Properly identified Magi had to undergo brutal tests in order to succeed to be promoted for use under the thumb of the Emperor. Many died in their efforts before promotion. After the magi were deemed to be no longer useful, they were murdered, expelled or sold to other powerful members of the imperial court.

Era of Flowers 622 AL - Ongoing
Hua leaned her forehead against the cooling glass that calmed her burning headache, if for a moment. A cold stream fell from a roof a few stories above her room, which to the outside, would look like a spectacular waterfall, and to the inside served as a cooling aid and a short degree of privacy.

Hua wished the water wouldn’t blur the outside streets that her feet could never touch. She imagined busy stone houses among the purple-pink lights, steaming dumplings fresh sitting on market stalls and wagons and dozens of flowers, freshly cut, half price, perhaps, if you buy a dozen. And what would the people look like? Their clothes? Their faces? What did lives look like underneath the spell of the imperial circus?

Her headache returned and Hua clenched her hands on the glass. She tried to steady her breath against the unknown, but it was coming closer as steps marched towards her room. The door slid open. Hua fell to her regal position, folding her arms within her heavy rose sleeves.

“Miss Juan.”

Miss Juan.

Juan Hua let out a gasp. Tears rolled down her face, making her white cheeks near-translucent. She steadily rose, she wouldn’t need to bow any more.

The late Emperor kept his promise.

A servant gingerly bowed and offered a yellow silk handkerchief, embroided with the Juan crest.

She took it, dried her eyes, and dropped it the floor. After a few more short breaths, she examined each of the servants that had come to break the news to her. After her silent examination, she finally spoke.

“I will be Empress Méigui. The era of Juan is over.”

A short moment passed, and the servants bowed.

“Long live Empress Méigui.”

There was much work to be done.

Foreign Relations

Taru Cantari sees Taru as a Cantarian region, and seeks to join Taru fully into Cantari. This has caused a great deal of contention in Taru with some supporters with others opposed. The Second Armada defended Taru's independence, if only for a temporary time.   Medevék As part of the Cantari continent, the empire also seeks to make Medevék an official member of its empire, however the country has been able to resist to some extent. Once superior in technology, now Cantari has consolidated some power over the country, and has forbidden Magi from being allowed in Medevék, due to previous instances of Magi successfully defending the country. Cantari law states that magi over the age of 12 in Medevék will be seen as an act of war.   Cantarian Continent Cantari is central to the continent, and by far, the biggest country.   The Federation The Cantari Empire has poor relations with The Federation, the latter see them as bitter rivals. The two nations are constantly racing to outpace each other, with their governments believing in their own cultural supremacy.   Southern Isles Cantari has some relations to the Southern Isles, but dropped trade when the Southern Isles petty government agreed to a trade deal with Medevék. The last Juan Emperor began a construction project to build an alternative "Southern Isles" for Cantari tourists.   Northern Isles Cantari has poor relations with the Northern Isles, who refuse to trade and are known to sabotage ships. Empress Méiguī stopped the late Emperor's plan to bombard the Isles after a recent attack on their ships.   Edgard Cantari has as good trading relation with Edgard, who remain a neutral technological force. In the late Juan era, a new subtrain route was established, which allowed populations in Cantari to travel in a submarine train straight to Edgard, or to Taru.

Agriculture & Industry

  As a vast empire, Cantari depends on an expansive agriculture and innovative industry structure. The primary focus is to be an independent empire that does not need to import goods.   Food
In terms of land agriculture, generally there are rice paddies in the south, wheat and millet fields in the east, and fruit orchards in the west and south west. Throughout Cantari however, there is a range of specialities.   I plan to expand on this at a later date.

Trade & Transport

The Hoop
The Hoop is a special transport system in the Koven region of Cantari, that allows for high speed public transport. Its use of super magnets allows the long train to remain on track, even through vertical lifts and around the famous 'hoop'. By going around the hoop, the train creates energy that it stores through the rest of its journey. The excess energy is stored in the train but also used to light up the hoop as it passes, making it a skyline spectacle and huge tourist attraction.


Coming soon.


Coming soon.

Cantara, Cantaru, Cantari. - One nation, One Community, One heart.

Geopolitical, Country
Formation Type
Training Level
Veterancy Level
Leader Title
Head of State
Cantari Credits (CC)
Official Languages
Neighboring Nations
Notable Members
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Related Ethnicities
  The Imperial court became an integral part of Cantari culture since Era of Yang. It holds discreet, cultural laws that must be obeyed, that are difficult for outsiders to learn and master.    
  Unlike other Cantari cultural exports, the concept of the Flowers is not widely known nor understood outside Cantari.  
by Artist requested anonymous
  Eleanor is a Cantari character in the main Sea Hears visual novel. She is a playable character, which means you can choose to play through her storyline. Her Cantarian heritage is a theme in the visual novel.  
Character | Dec 9, 2023

A playable character and student in the main visual novel. Eleanor is in the midst of a political situation and must decide if and how to get involved.

In Eleanor's storyline, she will meet with conflict due to Cantari heritage. For some reason or another, other Cantari students also dismiss Eleanor. It is up to the player to decide how Eleanor will react to the world around her as she does her best at Taru International Academy. Will she continue to maintain her positive, optimistic persona, or will she further investigate the matter and find ways to build bridges with the students? There is another alternative, which could lead Eleanor to taking matters in her own hands.
Patreon subscribers will see two secrets below...      
If the initial release of Sea Hears visual novel is popular, I would like to release playable characters unconnected to Taru International Academy, including the Empress of Cantari.

Organization | Jan 9, 2022

Taru is a small nation bordered underneath Cantari. Many businesses meet at Taru for trade as it is seen as a 'mostly neutral ground' in the Cantarian continent. Once owned by the Federation, now officially allied with Cantari.

Organization | Jun 13, 2023
Organization | Jun 13, 2023
Northern Isles
Organization | May 2, 2023

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Feb 11, 2023 20:24 by Deleyna Marr

I can't wait to see this come to life! Such beautiful work!

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