Because I love to come up with fantasy settings while never really making them.
I'll post what I have now, but I will be constantly editing this entry, so keep an eye out for that!
I had the idea for a fantasy setting which combines both European and East Asian culture in the societies featured. Not every culture would have to be a mix of a European and East Asian culture, and some outside cultures (Middle Eastern, African, Amerindian) would be thrown in if it's interesting. But, primarily, I want to play around with a setting that is neither East Asian nor European, but instead takes cues from both.
The continent this setting takes place in is actually the far eastern portion of a much larger supercontinent. The west is walled off by a massive desert (with nifty things like ancient pyramids and ziggurats, and creatures like Mongolian death worms) and warm sea that is almost entirely enclosed by land (think an alt-Mediterranean). The eastern sea is a massive, stormy ocean filled with sea monsters (mythological ones like PotC-style krakens, and real ones like mosasaurs) and other weird creatures (creatures from the OTL Cambrian explosion). Because this great ocean is so violent, stormy and huge, nobody has managed to cross it. The far west of the continent remains largely unexplored, and nobody really knows what's going on there. The same can be said for the deep interior, which is past so much desert that the only reports of what's there have been passed from caravan to caravan. There's a widespread myth that the god of the universe slumbers in the center of the desert, and if he ever awakens, the world will end. But that's all a load of crap, right?
Magic is practically non-existent. Except for Lovecraft cult stuff (which is really just a higher form of physics or something), there is no magic. If there are any gods, they aren't listening to people's prayers (not that this stops them). Magicians rely on sleight of hand and audience psychology, and don't have any actual "supernatural" abilities. Tech, however, is a bit all over the place. Only a single island chain has enough coal to have an industrial revolution going (*Japan, naturally), while the rest of the region is stuck in the seventeenth century or is even worse off. The further inland you go, the fewer resources there are, and tech regresses further. The desert barbarians at the borders of civilization are a nice mix of Mongol and Apache, and don't even have the resources to reliably forge iron weapons. Beyond that, there's rumors of Stone Age civilizations, and a few are occasionally brought to the civilized world and paraded around.
What about these "Eurasian" societies? The vast majority of them (but not
all) are societies descended from an ancient empire, one that collapsed long ago due to disease and barbarian invasions from the West. This is an obvious Rome and China expy, but unlike Rome it didn't have a half that kept trucking for centuries after the other, and unlike China it never reformed (at least, completely, or for very long). The language of this empire became the lingua franca of the region, and is based on Chinese. Unfortunately, since this language is very complex, only the absolute upper crust could afford the education to keep teaching it to their children, so the language went its myriad ways around the region. In modern times, nobody can understand the old Imperial tongue except for the upper classes, and nobody can read
old Imperial texts except for the intelligentsia. Of course, the Empire continues to have its fans, and everyone likes to claim that they are the true inheritors of the Empire's glory. Occasionally, a megalomaniac will try to take over the entire region to reform the Empire, but he (and, one time, she) is always defeated at the end.
The main conflict in this fantasy setting would be admittedly be a little ASOIAF-ish, but I'm primarily thinking of mashing together the Three Kingdoms Period, the Thirty Years' War, the wars between the Renaissance city-states, and the Second Sino-Japanese War, with a little Russian, Spanish, and American Civil War thrown in. The continent is dominated by several large-ish kingdoms, each with their own unique cultures. These, naturally, fight over influence over the smaller states (located along the coast of the *Mediterranean and in the center of the region), and these smaller states are all to happy to call on their allies to resolve regional disputes. This means the continent is constantly at war. If they're not at war with each other, then some horse nomads are invading in force and have to be stopped, or there's a civil war in some country and everyone's involved. However, the current conflict is the bloodiest yet, and has been going on for nearly a decade. This is when the *Japanese get involved, and they launch a massive invasion of the continent, only to get bogged down when the various factions unite against them.
Here are the ideas I have for these factions. Name ideas are welcome!
*France - The largest, most powerful state in the region, and the leader of the anti-*Japanese resistance. These *French are an absolute monarchy, with a rigid feudal system going from the top down. However, the current king is but a young boy, and is manipulated by the antics of his court, filled with ambitious intelligentsia. This intelligentsia, made up of powerful families within *France, are very divided on just about everything, and often work at cross purposes to one another. The *French capital is a massive complex, the former capital of the Empire, that is walled off from the rest of the country and can only be entered by people on official government business. Interestingly, the *French leadership is descended from outside invaders, the last people to have entered the Imperial capital by force. This leadership has adopted the Imperial way of governing the country, but maintain their original culture by speaking their original language in court and wearing clothing only they are authorized to wear. The *French believe that the entire former Empire is rightfully theirs, and are normally the ones who start wars of conquest (they were rather successful a century ago, but got defeated by a coalition of rival states). The Imperial Church is a rather powerful force in *France, but it is often opposed to the monarchy, and is thus a major source of political tension. Since the most recent conflict is a religious one, the Church has been granted the authority to raise its own armies, leading to armies of fanatics going around the continent beheading people under no real leadership. *France is technologically stagnant; peasants live lives similar to what their ancestors lived thousands of years ago, and many of their peasant soldiers are armed with machetes. They do have enough gun and cannon to put up a fight, though. If it wasn't clear, I'm looking primarily at pre-Revolutionary France and the Qing Dynasty for this state, although I'm also thinking of throwing in some pieces of the contemporary United States and People's Republic of China.
*Japan - The Big Bad of the setting. Situated in an island chain the far east of the continent, the *Japanese have always been somewhat separated from the continent, but they've had enough cultural contact to not be fully alien. The *Japanese have always viewed the continent with an air of differentiation, although this alternates from reverence and contempt depending on the time period. The *Japanese are traditionally a seafaring people with little interest in continental politics save for how it will affect trade (they are one of the few states not to claim the Imperial throne), but *Japanese society has been changing recently. The discovery of coal seams and the invention of the steam engine have put *Japan on the fast track to industrialization. In fact, they even have rudimentary computers and some automated war machines; generally speaking, they have tech similar to that of 1860s America. However, they (erroneously) believe that there is more coal on the continent, and that they are running out, so they are invading the continent to get more coal. The *Japanese have an emperor, but he is a powerless figurehead; the true power lies in the High Chancellor, the leader of the *Japanese legislature. Although theoretically democratic, the Parliament has recently been under the control of a fascistic political faction, which has imposed a totalitarian society upon the entirety of *Japan. They believe that they can reduce *Eurasia to a series of weak puppet states that they can exploit for resources. Because of their superior technology, the *Japanese have been winning on the continent, but they are also vastly outnumbered. The *Japanese military is strictly regimented and known both for its fanatical devotion and its great fortitude, and they fight like the Union Army during the American Civil War; they are also known for their bright red uniforms. The ultranationalist rhetoric (the *Eurasians are inferior to us in body) and ideological extremism (the *Eurasians are not socially advanced enough) has led to quite a few atrocities at the hands of the *Japanese army. Rather obviously based on WWII-era Imperial Japan and the United Kingdom, but with bits of modern Japan, Vikings and Nazi Germany too.