From the publisher:
Nineteenth Century China and Japan are in turmoil. European Colonial powers exert barbaric influence. The Quincunx is outraged by the intrusion of Western Cainites, but are the outsiders actually responsible for the chaos? Are the Devil-Tigers party to the Opium Trade? Is the Quincunx's indignation over invasion a ruse to hide its own complicity? Power makes for strange bedfellows.
Sunset Empires is a historical setting for Kindred of the East. Neatly framed between the Opium Wars and the Chinese Boxer Rebellion, this sourcebook not only enables players and Storytellers to participate in a rich period of the Middle Kingdom's history but allows them to shape the future. Welcome to the dawn of the Fifth Age.
Sunset Empires is part of the history of the World of Darkness; therefore nobody gets to play the part of the wholly innocent victim. Everyone takes a role in setting the course of the Victorian Age; everyone must eventually pay the piper. This book serves as a historical setting, covering the 19th century almost in its entirety, but it also serves as a vehicle to involve characters in one of Asia's most trying times. Why discuss the Opium Wars when characters can take part in them? Why mention Japan's rapid modernization if characters can't join the internecine fighting dividing the Japanese uji?
From the introduction:
Chapter One: China revisits the Middle Kingdom during her greatest turmoil. As China unravels and spirals out of control, it loses territory to foreign countries and prestige in the eyes of its own citizens. This chapter offers an overview of the Five August Courts during this turbulent period and invaluable information on the Quincunx’s hierarchy.
Chapter Two: India touches upon the fabled subcontinent and the events birthing the celebrated British Raj, including the Great Mutiny. There’s also information on the basic structure of Victorian Indian cities to help Storytellers build their own regional settings.
Chapter Three: Japan deals with one of the only Asian countries to successfully adapt to the new world. This chapter illustrates Japan’s ability to remake itself from a traditional Asian nation to the only regional superpower to defeat a European country in war. Storytellers may also find the discussion on uji houses, politics and hierarchy especially useful.
Chapter Four: Southeast Asia touches upon the myriad scattered islands and countries of the Golden Courts, as well as the campaigns to tame these wild domains. From the warlike and tribal Burmese, to France’s invasion of Indochina, to the Europe-savvy Siam, the region is rich in history, adventure and danger.
Chapter Five: Character Creation summarizes the character creation process with an eye toward keeping it true to the spirit of the era. It also incorporates information offered in Victorian Age: Vampire and Kindred of the East, as well as offering new P’o archetypes and martial arts.
Chapter Six: Storytelling Sunset Empires finally compiles all the previous information together by discussing historical events and potential character roles during such notable milestones as the Great Mutiny, the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellions. This section is the only one reserved exclusively for the Storyteller.