The Darkened North
The New Empire
GOVERNMENT: Limited Monarchy
RULER: Empress Pryzmira
POPULACE: Human, elves, dwarves, halflings
“We have thrown off the yoke of one autocrat; we will not except the yoke of another. Know that we Free Cities of Aenoch have signed a pact to elect the Empress to her throne. She has been in contact with us, as you very well know, for several years and we had some inclination of your coming from her.”
~Desmond of Ascalon to Jaren Falkynjager of the Council
Heimstadt, Barachia, Dundador, Ascalon, Aesperdi, Kourland, Vilshofen, and Meteira rebelled against the tumbling might of the Horned One’s Empire in 1030md. These cities lived under the shadow of his city Aufstrag for a thousand years. They grew wealthy through control of the overseas trade routes and they suffered little from the hand of Unklar. In consequence, a powerful, educated merchant class came to rule these cities.
When war came to the Empire, the lords of Gilded Realm banded together in a loose confederation and prepared to rebel. Pryzmira, last daughter of the House of the Old Realm, came to them and promised the wealth and power of the Council if they would support her claim to the ancient linage. She bore the dagger mark on her shoulder, and they believed her. They agreed to league with Pryzmira under the stipulation that each of the seven lands, the Duchies of Aesperdi, Dundador, Kourland, Barachia and Meteira and the city states of Heimstadt and Vilshofen be given the rights to elect the Empress and her heirs to the throne. In turn, she demanded that their borders be permanently fixed, that they give her the city of Ascalon to rule from, and that they grant her wide privileges of taxation and expansion. In 1040md, the 30 year old Pryzmira became Empress of New Empire.
The Empress then turned to the western lands and called for a crusade promising land and wealth. The summons generated wide enthusiasm in the west and hosts of men came to carve holdings for themselves. Though the coming years saw many victories and some expansion, the Empire failed to expand much beyond its original borders. The worship of Ore-Tsar, however, came with the crusaders and the seven lands became powerful supporters of the new religion. Heimstadt is ruled by a Bishop in the church of Ore-Tsar.
Pryzmira still rules. She is the last of the rulers who emerged from the wars of the Winter Dark. The last two decades of her rule have seen little in the way of military expansion. She struggles with increasing the commercial power of Ascalon in the face of the seven lands, maintaining the worship of the elder gods in the face of the church of Ore-Tsar, and ensuring her daughter Neratite’s elevation to the throne.
The New Empire promises high adventure and quick wealth. The political and religious unrest cause constant feuds between the seven lands and the Empress, between the old and new gods. The continuous calls for crusaders to rid the lands to the north of wild orcs and remnants of the horrors of Aufstrag make New Empire a beacon for would be glory hunters.