The Kaunian Empire was an ancient superpower in eastern Derlavai ruled by Kaunians. It grew out of the First Kaunian Kingdom. At its height, the Kaunian Empire included the ethnic Kaunian lands of Valmiera and Jelgava, as well as northern and eastern Algarve, the islands of Sibiu, the lands that later became Forthweg and Yanina, and even the western tip of Kuusamo, a kingdom whose inhabitants, culture, and language were all heavily affected by their contact with ancient Kaunian colonists.
The Empire never annexed Ortah, which was protected by its harsh mountainous terrain, or Zuwayza, whose unforgiving desert made conquest impractical; however, economic interaction did introduce Kaunian culture into both those places. The Empire never extended into western Unkerlant or Gyongyos; to the Gyogyosians the Empire was simply the subject of rumors and traders' tales, and vice versa.
The Kaunian Empire eventually collapsed under pressure from Algarvian tribes growing in military and sorcerous strength. Its territory was either divided between various Algarvic tribes or became the forerunners of modern Derlavai's kingdoms. Kaunian culture, however, proved more durable, becoming the foundation of Derlavaian civilization. Classical Kaunian was taught in schools in all nations and provided a common language of scholarship, diplomacy and magecraft.
Kaunia is the name of a sub-district of the Rangpur District in Bangladesh. However, as all place and characters names in this culture are Baltic, it is more likely a reference to Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania.