Some notes on land ownership in the Lunar Heartlands


So for example in the Lunar Heartlands, we get a complex and hierarchical land ownership system. Here’s some thoughts:

The Red Emperor owns personal and royal property which is used as he sees fit. He additionally exercise dominion over conquered lands (such as in the Lunar Provinces), and can give this land to whoever he wants. Owners of conquered lands are rarely displaced and are usually allowed to continue living on and working their lands. However, they have to share the profits of the land with their imperial overlords.

Nobles can own land on a restricted and unrestricted basis. Nobles obtained land by purchasing it from other nobles or as a gift from the emperor for service to him or the Lunar religion. Purchased land can be sold or willed. Land grants from the emperor sometimes have conditions that required them to be returned to the emperor upon the death of the owner. Lunar citizens have similar rights to purchase land or receive it from the emperor. Institutions such as the army, temples, and certain public offices could also own land which was received from the Emperor. These entities own the rights to the profits from the land and use them to support the office holder. However, the individual office holder did not own the land.

Commoners cannot own land on an individual basis. However, they have access to land through their village or kinship groups and they are permitted to choose a headman to manage the distribution of communal land. This land is given to individual families, and generally stayed with the family unless it goes uncultivated for two years or the family moves away. If this occurs, the unused land is then redistributed to other families.