Empire of Solgard
HISTORY & PEOPLE
Once, a wild land of roving barbarian hordes, the Empire was forged many hundreds of years ago. Uniting the tribes under one flag through a combination of diplomacy and war, Linett Masar was crowned first Emperor. Vast in its lands, the Empire is a place of wide steeps populated by hamlets and villages. There are many ethnicities and sub-cultures that dwell within its borders, but each bends the knee to the One Throne. The land is ruled through a feudal system of Dukes, Barons and Lords, that own and police Counties and Shires, all in service to the Emperor. The rich hills of the Empire have yielded generously their bounty, allowing for the construction of incredible weapons and armor – most famously the Falchioneers and Partisans of the Imperial Army.
Somewhere in the distant past, settlers arrived from a far off western land. Whether they arrived by ship or on foot through some ancient land bridge is unclear. In the annals of Imperial lore, the Ancestors – the Bakis – arrived after fleeing a terrible battle with the forces of darkness. They traveled east to Solgard – meaning the “Land of Men” or “People’s Land.” They met with the indigenous people of this new land: a rabble of nomadic peoples collectively called Mordis. Through war and colonization, the two peoples mixed and, 998 years ago they formed the Empire of Solgard, uniting the warring kingdoms of mankind under one flag. Time is kept according to the founding of the Empire, being either Anum Imperium ( AI, the Imperial Age, after the founding) or Pro-anum Imperium (PAI, prior to the Imperial Age). The landing of the Ancestors in Solgard took place around 2000 PAI.
Physically, Imperials are a diverse people. Many favor a Bakic look – light olive to dark tan skin, brown or green eyes and dark hair. Others favor Mordic features; namely, fair skin, blonde, light brown or red hair and blue eyes. Mixtures of the two are common. Less common, but not unheard of by any means, are Zhûrascan- and Ustjubaji-Imperial mixes. As above, there are many smaller ethnicities and descendents of small tribes enveloped by the Empire that do not share these features (never mind their culture). They are too numerous to mention in detail.
Imperials dress according to climate and custom. Many of the Mordic ways survive in the far south, with long linen shirts and wrapped hats being common. Horse riding is the king of sports in the south, and the proximity to the Sea of Delma means that many in the costal towns wear loose, light and easily dried clothing common to sailors all over the world, including sandals and wrapped shoes. In Auminia and Winedark, cosmopolitan looks from all corners of the world are displayed. In the North, a place of dense forest and deep winters, heavier cotton and wool clothing is common – doublets, jerkins, riding capes and the like, as well as heavy boots of leather and closed shoes.
POLITICS & RELIGION
The Empire is ruled by an Emperor, of course. He is assisted by advisors, magistrates and diplomats as well as the nobility of Solgard – Dukes, Barons, Counts, Lords and Knights. The Emperor is chief sovereign, introducing all bills and taxes to the Register (a senate of Magistrates charged with voting on all bills, taxes, declarations of state, county matters and other minor laws) Magistrates are appointed by Barons from their counties and shires, although which shires are represented is a matter chosen by the Emperor. The eight Dukes make up The High Register, in charge of trade, declaring war and managing matters of state. Both the Register and the High Register make policy from an imposing gray building in Masagar called the Registry. The Emperor’s successor is usually hereditary, being either male or female (traditionally, the next male by blood), but ultimately is appointed by the Emperor without consent of either Register and can, thus, be anyone the Emperor chooses. The High Register may, through unanimous vote, peacefully depose the Emperor and choose another. This has happened once in the entire history of the Empire and led to the bloody Winter War of 688 AI. The religious of the Empire typically subscribe to one of the two philosophies, generally determined by their place of birth. In the north, the ancient religion of the one god, Ia, remains firmly entrenched in the public mind and the local custom. In the south, Shaladrianism is more popular. The two orders have a tenuous and barely-tolerated relationship with one another. They have even gone to war in the past.
LANDS OF THE EMPIRE
When the Bakis arrived, they drove the Mordic peoples south over many hundreds of years. Warlords and warrior clans were the rule of the day as the two peoples met and mixed. Powerful families rose up over time, consolidating political power into eight kingdoms. Each was ruled as its own nation until the Forging War in (≈ 21PAI-4AI) which established the modern boundries of the country. The old kings were made Dukes of states, although many still call their lands kingdoms (depending on the region). These are further divided into shires (alt. counties) ruled by Barons and fiefs (a general term, can be varying size) and cities ruled by Counts, Lords or Knights.
For most Imperials, the old kingdoms are still used as cultural boundaries. It is thus useful to know and understand each of the old kingdoms, now states, as they were in the past, and are in the present. They are Obrionia, Grannick, Bakinia, Kyr Bannon , Vedelia, Listvendy, Maefenia and Falldallow.
( main page )