By the Blood of the Emperor
History of the Empire
The Empire is ancient. It was founded 1142 years ago, by the first Emperor, Braxlin Tyrnos, a warlord and wizard who united the scattered tribes and city-states to oppose the reign of terror of Zergale, the Mad Lich. Braxlin destroyed Zegale’s phylactery, shattered Zergales fortress and built the great stronghold now called Elderspire on its ruins. For the next 70 years, while Braxlin sat upon the throne, his armies marched throughout the north, overthrowing petty warlords, and uniting the common folk. The provinces of Senithel, Jackarast and Natreo were brought under the Imperial flag during Braxlin’s reign. Nelvarith joined the Empire voluntarily 36 years later, the elf kings begging Imperial help in dealing with the pirates who had plagued their isles for centuries. There are very few pirates in Nelvarith to this day.
Soon after the rise of the Empire, the religion of Elatar began to spread through the Empire. The first priests of Elatar came from the south-west continent to escape religious persecution at the hands of the cultists Sed-Rah-Nunkt. Their peaceful philosophy and community based religion became very popular, and Emperor Philip the Great, the great grandson of Braxlin Tyrnos helped them to establish the Church of Elatar and launched a crusade to help them get their homeland back. The conquest of the south added the province of Jar Kator to the Empire and forced Sed-Rah-Nunkt’s war priests into the
deep southern desert.
Emperor Philip VI, in Imperial year 521, became the first Emperor to convert to the Church of Elatar. Under his reign, the Church’s power spread and the Old Religion was persecuted. Melishore and Zi Zemish were added to the Empire by force and Imperial Legions were accompanied by missionaries of Elatar everywhere they went. This period of bloody expansion reached it’s height in 601 when Dragon’s in Melishore, Zi Zemish, Jackarast and Nelvarith joined the war against the Empire. The histories of the period are somewhat unclear but it is known that in 612 two things happened. The Empire’s expansionist push came to an end, and the Dragon’s stopped participating in Imperial politics, abandoning 9 Senate seats that remain empty to this day.
Shortly thereafter, in 721, the Empire came into conflict with the Eastern Empire, which invaded Melishore and the battle became known as the 123 year war. In the end, both Empires backed off with new respect for the size and strength of their counterparts. Neither has openly attacked the other since and the merchant men of both do a brisk trade. There is a border with the Eastern Empire in the north of Melishore.
Beginning in Imperial year 979, a philosophical discourse took place between two well respected religious scholars of the era: St. Devlin the Pious, a monk from a small island in Nelvarith and Bishop Ralgir, a prominent clergyman on Shard Island. The letters the two wrote each other were compiled into a book called “The Letters of the Churchmen”. It is the second most well read book in the Empire after the “ Book of Forge and Hammer” which the holy tome of the Church itself.
Devlin and Ralgir never agreed, but their discussion was a very friendly and long term debate between colleagues in theology that continued for 32 years. The scholars who compiled and published their writings after their deaths had no idea what an uproar they would cause.
The Letters of the Churchmen has caused a schism so deep in the Church that blows have been exchanged and people killed over the disagreements that arise, and the depth of the disagreement has it’s roots on the fact the subject matter of the discourse is the cause of suffering and pain in the world.
Both sides think they have the solution to the world’s problems.
The Modern Empire
In Modern times, the Empire is cosmopolitan, magically advanced society. True war has not
been seen in hundreds of years. The economic powerhouses of the Tradesmen bring wealth in from all corners of the world. The wise and just rule of Emperor Larkspur IX has come to an abrupt end; the Emperor was felled in the 42nd year of his life by a sudden and mysterious illness that ran it’s course in less than eight hours and resisted all attempts to heal it. He has been buried in great ceremony, entombed in the catacombs beneath Eldarspire. The Senate has moved to nominate a regent to watch over the Empire until young Prince Anton comes of age on his 16th birthday (he is currently 6 and a half).