The god-emperor is the ruler of the Golden Empire of Yi Ti, as well as the ruler of its mythic predecessor, the Great Empire of the Dawn. Only he may don the gowns of cloth-of-gold, green pearls, and jade that tradition allows the emperor to wear. The Lengii worship a god-empress.
Though it was once a position of great power, now the actual writ of the emperor extends no farther than the walls of his own capital. The true power lies on the hundred princes, as well as the brigands, priest-kings, sorcerers, warlords, generals, and tax collectors throughout the realm.
Three men claim the title of god-emperor in the present day:
- The azure emperor Bu Gai, seated at Yin.
- General Pol Qo, Hammer of the Jogos Nhai, self-styled first of the orange emperors and seated at Trader Town.
- An exiled sorcerer lord seated at Carcosa, boasting to be the sixty-ninth yellow emperor, a dynasty fallen for a thousand years.
Great Empire of the Dawn
- The God-on-Earth, the only son of the Lion of Night and the Maiden-Made-of-Light
- The Pearl Emperor, the eldest son of the God-on-Earth
- The Jade Emperor
- The Tourmaline Emperor
- The Onyx Emperor
- The Topaz Emperor
- The Opal Emperor
Golden Empire of Yi Ti
- Har Loi, first of the grey emperors
- Choq Choq, the humpbacked, fifteenth and last of the indigo emperors
- Mengo Quen, the Glittering God, third of the jade-green emperors
- Lo Tho, called Lo Longspoon and Lo the Terrible, twenty-second of the scarlet emperors
- Lo Doq, called Lo Lackwit, thirty-fourth of the scarlet emperors
- Empress Bathi Ma Lo, his wife
- The Nine Eunuchs, the pearl-white emperors, who ruled for a total of 130 years
- Jar Har, sixth of the sea-green emperors
- Chai Duq, the fourth of the yellow emperors