The Fifth City: Fallen London's Lore Wikia

"The Khaganian ships are not openly hostile, but they are always watching. The water here is given a pallid cast under an unfamiliar light – the false-stars above this place tend to have a more cyan-green colour, unlike the deeper azure of the ones that live closer to London."[1]

The Khanate, also called the New Khanate, is one of the nations of the Neath. Its citizens, the Khaganians, are descendants of the Fourth City. In the Sunless Skies timeline, they formed a nation in the High Wilderness, and renamed themselves the Empyreal.

Seeded Glory[]

"London's rival across the zee: Distant, brilliant, miraculous."[2]

The Khanate is one of the most powerful nations of the Unterzee, only matched in power by its foremost rival, Fallen London,[2] and the nations of the Elder Continent.[3] Its territory is largely based in the Salt Steppes, in the eastern region of the Unterzee,[4] though they have a notable interest in further expansion.[5] The majority of the Khanate's population lives in the bustling city of Khan's Heart,[6] while the Khanate's upper class resides in the palaces of Khan's Glory.[7] Meanwhile, the Khanate's exiles reside in Khan's Shadow, a port built of wrecked ships that harbors criminals and revolutionaries alike.[8][9]

The Khanate has a outpost in Port Carnelian, and is vying for control over the valuable territory there, though they're kept in check by the native tigers and the equally imperialistic Londoners. The Khanate also commissioned the construction of the prison of Wisdom, though as of now the prison is largely independent.[10]

As one of the Neath's superpowers, the Khanate is a hotbed for the intrigues of the Great Game.[11] The Khanate also has a strong navy and presence far across the Unterzee, and thus they're deadlocked with London's Admiralty in a fierce intelligence war.[12] The officers of the Khanate navy wear red and gold uniforms;[13] the various ships of the Khanate's navy include the powerful Khanate War Trimarans,[14] the secretive Khanate Zubmarines,[15] and the odd Putterponies.[16]


"One of the great questions in Fourth City history is whether the departure of the Great Khan led to the City's decline, or whether the City's decline provoked the departure of the Great Khan. Khaganian sources will claim one or the other, depending on whether the Khan is to be presented as indispensable or incorruptible."[17]

A stone horsehead token.

A relic of the Fourth City.

Near the end of the Fourth City's lifespan, the Fingerkings enthralled the citizenry of the Khanate with promises that they may escape the Neath through Parabola; eventually, the city was completely under their control. Thus, the Great Khan of the Fourth City, also called the True Khan, abandoned the City along with all Khaganians who would follow him, and ventured far across the Unterzee. He eventually founded Khan's Heart, and presumably Khan's Glory, in the Salt Steppes.[17][18] Before landing at the Steppes, the Great Khan also attempted to invade the Elder Continent for his new settlement, but this venture failed and the details remain unknown.[19] Later, a schism between the Khanate's leaders and its warrior caste led to an ongoing civil war, with the traditionalists breaking away to form Khan's Shadow in order to preserve their way of life.[8]

The Empyreal[]

"The Eagle's Empyrean has been hung here like a lamp, amidst the fathomless dark of Eleutheria."[20]

A powerful space-engine.

An Altani-Class Outrider.

In the Sunless Skies timeline, the Khanate teamed up with London to open the Avid Horizon and reach the High Wilderness.[21][22] There, they established Eagle's Empyrean within the dark region of Eleutheria and renamed themselves the Empyreal.[23] Using their mastery of the sciences, the Empyreal created a false-moon, called the Xanthous Moon, to provide light to their corner of space, and established a new space-fleet to traverse the skies.[22]

In the present day, their relationship with Albion is rather complicated,[21] and the Empyreal now face new enemies on all fronts - those who would do anything to advance the spread of the Liberation of Night.[24]

Culture and Technology[]

"It is impossible to overstate the significance of equine imagery to Fourth City (and Khaganian) culture. However, has anyone ever seen a horse, in the Neath, not descended from one brought down with London or subsequently imported from the Surface?"[25]

A metal horsehead token.

A Silver Horsehead.

The Khanate and the Khaganians are as a whole a very culturally expressive nation. A significant part of their culture is their respect for history and their elders;[26] thus, they retain their ancestors' fondness for horses and equine imagery, despite lacking an apparent native horse population,[27][25] and they often use horsehead tokens to express favor and gratitude.[28][29] The Khaganians may also wear outfits that resemble the lacquered armor of old, and still regularly forge antique sets of armor[30] (which Londoners consider luxury attire).[31] The Khaganians of Port Carnelian also enjoy drinking tea and a beverage called airag, an alcoholic drink made from fermented mare's milk that is considered a delicacy in London.[32]

A filament-bulb.

A Khaganian Lightbulb.

The Khanate is also known for its highly advanced technology and science, which is quite impressive especially in comparison to the rest of the Neath. For instance, instead of gas-burning lamps, the Khanate's settlements use electric filament-bulbs, which are even capable of changing color for certain ceremonies.[33] They also possess modern weaponry, such as motorized gun emplacements and powerful firearms.[7][34]

Unfortunately, the Khanate is also very isolationist and xenophobic, especially towards London;[35] the sentiment is most assuredly returned.[36] They tend to assume foreigners that visit their settlements are spies, and as such tend to keep a close eye on them at best,[37] and heavily restrict the districts they can legally enter.[38]

The Deep Blue Heaven[]

"The Fourth City had curious gods. Not gods at all by the standards of newer peoples. There were places that they worshipped the sky, or its essence."[39]

An ancient structure with pillars and a dome.

An ancient shrine of the Deep Blue Heaven.

The Deep Blue Heaven, referring to the the sky and the Sun, is sacred to the Khaganians, and has been since the time of the Fourth City, as it reflects aspects of Tengrism from old Mongolia.[39] Ancient Surface-shrines of the Deep Blue Heaven can be found in the Forgotten Quarter, where they appear as white, domed buildings with pillars. The insides of these domes were decorated with deep blue tiles, evoking the color of the sky. Each year on the winter solstice, the Mongolians would sanctify one specific shrine, to ensure the Sun's return.[40]

Modern shrines to the Deep Blue Heaven can be found throughout Khan's Heart; these often incorporate electric lights, and retain the familiar open-walled, domed appearance.[33] Some of the richer citizens of Khan's Glory also have personal Heaven-shrines of their own.[41]

The Blue Priests[]

"You pass an open-walled shrine with a domed roof - the interior is painted a deep pure indigo. Citizens kneel below it while a Blue Priest speaks. As he reaches the climax of his prayer, a rosy-golden light swells inside the dome. The worshippers murmur in complacent delight. The dome is now a perfect, heartbreaking, morning-sky blue, a colour you haven't seen for - how long?"[33]

A cloudy sky.

The Deep Blue Heaven

Rituals of the Deep Blue Heaven are conducted by the Blue Priests, Khaganians who are well-versed in Khanate scripture and ritual proceedings. In Khan's Heart, they conduct rituals at the various Heaven-shrines, chanting prayers as the carefully-fitted lightbulbs emit a glow that perfectly evokes the sky at sunrise.[33] Meanwhile, in Khan's Glory, these priests are responsible for providing foreign parties with trade licenses at the behest of the Leopard Clan. They do so through a ritual in which they speak a formula in three different languages, while lit by three different colored candles. Then, the recipient is anointed with oils, blessed in the name of the Deep Blue Heaven, and is given complimentary sharkskin gloves for their trouble.[42]


" knows one should be patriotic, but the Glory is so much prettier than London. Although one finds one tiring of all the guns pointed at one. One should find a better pronoun."[43]

The Khanate has a colorful group of leaders and a ruling class, and power is largely centered around several clans.[37]

The Leopard Clan[]

"The royal clan of the Khan."[44]

A leopard.

A powerful symbol.

The Leopard Clan is the royal clan of the Khanate and its leader, the Khan.[44] This clan holds by far the most sway over the Khanate,[45] and can bestow special privileges onto foreigners that catch their attention, for instance trade licenses or fisherman's permits.[42][46] The Leopard Clan was notably not the original clan of the Fourth City during its time on the Surface; rather, they overthrew the previous Great Khan's line, as he was considered incompetent.[18]

The Leopard Clan is obscenely wealthy and commands a powerful fleet,[47] but the younger members of the family still remain hungry for new and exciting treasures.[41] Furthermore, while they have more than enough power and influence to keep the other clans of the Khanate under their thumb,[46] they're also locked in bitter rivalries, and must always compete to stay firmly on top.[37]

The Taimen Clan[]

"This clan is named for a sizeable and ferocious fish of the Surface. They have a fondness for Drowning-Pearls, for some secret clan ritual."[48]

A wave over water.

The clan of the zee.

The Taimen Clan is the most feared of the Khanate clans, and their reputation is not undeserved.[49] They have enough political power to influence even the Leopard Clan;[50] their officials in Khan's Glory are curt, aloof, and wear strange masks.[48]

The Taimen Clan also has a fondness for Drowning-Pearls, and uses them in a mysterious "secret clan ritual."[48] Incidentally, wrecked Khanate ships may contain Taimen crewmen who died by suicide, with Drowning-Pearls coincidentally found stuffed in their mouths. This observation certainly has absolutely nothing to do with the aforementioned ritual.[51]

The Taimen Clan is also the Khanate's foremost intelligence agency,[52] and they lead the White-and-Golds, the Khanate's secret police force.[53]

The White-and-Golds[]

"The White-and-Golds, who guard Khaganian security, are watching for you. On board ship you're safe enough, as long as the delicate treaty with London holds, but on shore you're liable to arrest at any moment."

A white and gold banner.

The banner of the Taimen Clan.

The White-and-Golds are the "loyalty service" of the Khanate,[53] and are most influential in Khan's Heart. They carefully manage who enters and who leaves the city's ports, and maintain detailed ledgers on such matters.[54] They also manage a list of Causes of Concern, a compilation of foreign parties that they determine are threats to Khanate security.[55] Anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves under their suspicion will find themselves chased relentlessly by white-painted carriages and skilled agents, their only respite being the White-and-Golds' preference to keep their uniforms clean.[56][57]

The White-and-Golds are tasked with maintaining civil order and protecting the Khanate's royalty,[58] and they also enforce the Khanate's ban on the sale of mirrors and presumably other threatening contraband.[59] Despite their decorum, however, they are as susceptible to bribery as any other police force; like their Taimen Clan leaders, they consider Drowning-Pearls valuable.[60] Additionally, they only care about activities which directly threaten the Khanate, not everyday crimes, allowing spies to evade suspicion by hiding behind a screen of mundane illegality.[61]

The Eagle Clan[]

"This part of the sky has been claimed by the Eagle Khan."[20]

A lantern.

A lantern in the dark.

The Eagle Clan is one of the clans of the Khanate. They hold less apparent political power than the Leopard or Taimen, but are highly expansionist. They fly yellow banners.[62]

In the Sunless Skies timeline, the Eagle Clan traveled to the High Wilderness to form Eagle's Empyrean in Eleutheria.[20] The Empyrean is now led by the Eagle Khan, and the Eagle Clan regulates all legal commerce there.[63] As Eleutheria is a dark and chaotic region of the sky, the Eagle Clan has had to adapt, and thus they strive to ensure that their citizens and infrastructure remain productive and efficient at all times.[64] To keep morale high, the Eagle Khan regularly hosts festivals and encourages cultural expression; one such festival has the Khan and his clan roam the streets of the Empyrean, quite literally giving away free money to onlookers.[65]


  1. Into the Salt Steppes, Fallen London
  2. 2.0 2.1 Destination: The Khanate, Fallen London
  3. Time in the tea-house, Sunless Sea
  4. Salt Steppe Atlas, Fallen London
  5. Insert Khanate agents into key positions, Sunless Sea
  6. Port description 2, Sunless Sea
  7. 7.0 7.1 Port description 2, Sunless Sea
  8. 8.0 8.1 Khan's Shadow, Sunless Sea
  9. A pact with Khan's Shadow, Sunless Sea
  10. Wisdom, Sunless Sea
  11. The Greatest Game, Fallen London
  12. Gather intelligence, Sunless Sea
  13. Side with the Khaganians, Sunless Sea
  14. Khanate War Trimaran, Sunless Sea
  15. Khanate Zubmarine, Sunless Sea
  16. Putterpony, Sunless Sea
  17. 17.0 17.1 Examine a Relic of the Fourth City, Fallen London
  18. 18.0 18.1 Pay a storyteller, Sunless Sea
  19. Write a history of the Khanate's failed invasion of the Elder Continent, Fallen London
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Log Entries, Sunless Skies
  21. 21.0 21.1 London's Enclave, Sunless Skies
  22. 22.0 22.1 Join in the Festival of All-Conquering, Sunless Skies
  23. The Lane of Lions and Unicorns, Sunless Skies
  24. Navigate in the dark, Sunless Skies
  25. 25.0 25.1 Examine Khaganian Artefacts, Fallen London
  26. Use your influence with the Leopard, Sunless Sea
  27. Relic of the Fourth City, Fallen London
  28. Show a Pewter Horsehead, Sunless Sea
  29. Silver Horseheads, Fallen London
  30. Wander Khan's Heart (51-75), Sunless Sea
  31. Far Khanate Lacquered Armour, Fallen London
  32. A day in Murgatroyd's Imperial Tea Shop, Fallen London
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Wander Khan's Heart (1-25), Sunless Sea
  34. Release a blemmigan, Sunless Sea
  35. Hire Crew, Sunless Sea
  36. Khan's Heart, Sunless Sea
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Gather a Port Report, Sunless Sea
  38. Seek a commercial license, Sunless Sea
  39. 39.0 39.1 Seek a shrine of the Deep Blue Heaven, Fallen London
  40. A Shrine of the Deep Blue Heaven, Fallen London
  41. 41.0 41.1 A collector, Sunless Sea
  42. 42.0 42.1 Petition for access to the Nephrite Quarter, Sunless Sea
  43. Story description, Sunless Sea
  44. 44.0 44.1 Offer a gift to the Leopard, Sunless Sea
  45. Assist him, Sunless Sea
  46. 46.0 46.1 Ask the Leopard contacts to intercede with the Taimen, Sunless Sea
  47. Overtures to the Khanate, Sunless Sea
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Offer a gift to the Taimen, Sunless Sea
  49. Examine the new landscape, Sunless Sea
  50. Ask your Taimen contacts to intercede with the Leopard., Sunless Sea
  51. Search a Khanate wreck, Sunless Sea
  52. Offer Strategic Information to the Taimen, Sunless Sea
  53. 53.0 53.1 Plead your case with the Taimen, Sunless Sea
  54. Put a blemmigan ashore, Sunless Sea
  55. Enter the Nephrite Quarter 2, Sunless Sea
  56. Story description, Sunless Sea
  57. Flee!, Sunless Sea
  58. A delivery for Mr Sacks, Sunless Sea
  59. Purchase a Brass-Backed Mirror, Sunless Sea
  60. Story description, Sunless Sea
  61. Assert a connection to criminal enterprises, Fallen London
  62. Location description, Sunless Sea
  63. Go to the Khan's Market, Sunless Skies
  64. Gather a port report, Sunless Skies
  65. Pause for a procession, Sunless Skies