Turtledove
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The Empire of Mussalmi was a powerful force in the northern hemisphere. It had absorbed and assimilated numerous ethnic groups, who were encouraged to learn the Mussalmian language to promote homogeneity and unity. Tampere, a city not far from the capital, was home to the Imperial Academy, which was the center of learning in the Empire. Most Mussalmians worshiped a number of gods, although some among them regarded the gods as mere metaphors for natural forces.

As a modern nation, the Empire expanded southward to the wild, unexplored continent and established colonies there. After colonial officials discovered many surprising things and heard rumors of even more, the reigning Emperor sent an expedition of magical savants, led by Baron Toivo, to determine the truth of these claims.

Literary comment[]

The Empire of Mussalmi is based on any number of European countries which explored and colonized Africa in the 19th century.

Mussalmian place and character names are based on Finnish, with some Estonian mixed in. Tampere is the second- or third-largest city in Finland.

No specific information about the Mussalmian gods is ever revealed.

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