copy.png Material relevant to this article has been archived by the Fairfield Project at The Cruel Empire of the Tsan-Chan.

Tsan-Chan is a future empire on Earth in the work of HPL.

In Chinese, Tsan (presumably Can in Pinyin) can mean 'cruel'. Chan is a bit trickier to pin down. One possible character is that for fortunetelling (Zhan in Pinyin), which has stronger supernatural overtones in Chinese than in English. Tsan-Chan might therefore be translated as (the Empire of) Cruel Sorcery, if interpreted as roughly modern Chinese, but this is a stretch.

The myriad dynasties interpretation

Logical reasoning was considered by the Taoists as part of the artificial world of man, together with social etiquette and moral standards. They were not interested in this world at all, but concentrated their attention fully on the observation of nature in order to discern the characteristics of the Tao.
The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra

Three thousand years hence, courtly factions intrigue against each other through space and time. Using the decadent Liao drug and guarded by imperial Tcho-Tcho warrior-priests, Clan sorcerors project their astral forms centuries back in time to influence their ancestors in the past. All this in service of the Tsan Chan which translates as "meditative inquiry."

As each temporal manipulation bears fruit down the myriad pathways of time, the future changes, and dynasties rise and fall. Protected from paradox and the Hounds of Tindalos by the Pnakotic Pentagram, Tsan-Chan sorcerors alter the flow of the timestream with impunity. Temporal meddling has made Tsan Chan history into a mockery, a shambles where cause and effect have little significance. Fate has been unraveled in the time of the Tsan Chan, what was once carved in stone and unalterable has become unwritten. The dynasties of Tsan Chan write their history with brushstrokes in a pool of water.

One thread binds all the dynastic factions: the Genyosha and Kokuryu-kai. The Dark Ocean and Black Dragon secret societies of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries seem to be vital to the formation of the Tsan-Chan Empire. The societies are influenced from the astral realm, visited by visions and deceptions from the future, and are taught mystical secrets by their benefactors. Their actions will change the unwritten future.

Dynastic factions

The Order of the Green Dragons worship Cthulhu. Obeying the instructions of the High Priest Not to Be Named, they strike out from their great monastery in Leng, making alliances with Deep Ones and others. The Green Dragons wish to place their High Priest upon the throne of the Tsan Chan, and interbreed humans with Deep Ones in service to almighty Cthulhu. Aside from the Genyosha, the Green Dragons cover their activities in the 21st century under the guise of qigong practitioners in China, most notably the outlawed Falun Dafa, or Falun Gong cult. The Green Dragons have the closest ties to the Tcho-Tcho.

The Order of the Bloated Woman worships Nyarlathotep. Although they have a splinter faction of fierce matriarchs who also adore Shub-Niggurath, the Bloated Woman seeks to place a heir to the sacred bloodline of the Black Pharoah upon the throne of the Tsan Chan. They seek alliance in the past with the Black Brotherhood (European rivals to the Green Dragons) and the Brotherhood of the Beast, who have preserved the lineage of the Black Pharoah Nephren-Ka throughout the millenia.

The Kuen-Yuin, or Deathless, are powerful sorcerers who dwell in the dream city of Yian. Many worship Hastur and YOG-SOTHOTH. Most of these strange brethren seek only to increase their sorcerous powers through study.

The Kuen-Yuin also have a tenuous alliance with the Green Dragons, as they believe that the High Priest Not to Be Named may have a connection with the King in Yellow. Who can say what might happen when the deathless penetrate the mysteries surrounding the Leng Monastics and their alien leadership.

A small faction or Kuen-Yuin endanger the alliance with the Green Dragons by seeking to turn Tsan Chan into an outpost of Carcosa, with the King in Yellow on the imperial throne. A group of Kuen-Yuin also indirectly support the Thousand Faces: Science-Priests who wish to mate humans with YOG-SOTHOTH and create a divine nobility, eventually coronating a son of YOG-SOTHOTH as Tsan Chan Emperor.

The Kuen-Yuin immortals rarely meddle in the past, and usually do so only to fulfill their alliance with the Green Dragons. When they do project their astral forms into the past, they can communicate with their past selves. They also seek alliance with the Brothers of the Yellow Sign, although their purpose in doing so is unknown. The Kuen-Yuin in the 21st century are scheming in the dreamlands, stirring up turmoil and fomenting chaos in preparation for some grand design.

The Xuan Wu (Order of the Dark Serpent) and the Xiaoqing (Order of the White Serpent) are fierce rivals who both worship the serpent god Yig. The Xian Wu seek to place the Ophidian Emperor Chih upon the throne of Tsan Chan while the Xiaoning support the claim of the Ophidian Empress Nu Qua. Serpent Men priests of both orders send their minds into the past and awaken members of their species in preparation for the great day when the lost empires of Stygia and Acheron can be reborn in the future of the Tsan Chan.

The Tsan-Chan/Yithian War

Perhaps the Yithians are trying to erase the Tsan Chan from existence, as the presence of such an time travelling empire might precipitate some sort of universal temporal catastrophe that would eradicate much of the Sol System or Milky Way Galaxy and make it impossible for the Yithians to send their minds into the Coleopteran Hives in Earth's future.

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