Dominion of Empyrea
The Dominion of Empyrea
The great Dominion of Empyrea rules most of the central continent. This extensive nation is ruled benevolently by Corvus Altar IV, the current head of House Altar. The Dominion’s nobility is made up of ancient noble Houses. Each House has a head, the main representative and leader, and a scion. The ‘first’, most important houses are House Altar, the de facto rulers of the Dominion, House Bronze, House Paragon, House Shade, House Cerulean, and House Theurge.
Some splinter factions of the realm have, in the past, seceded from the Dominion, the most notable of which are generally led by other noble Houses. These separatists are first negotiated with, then, if this approach fails, ruthlessly destroyed by the noble Houses. The Dominion has been in tense, aggressive negotiation with Greentide for years, trying to reabsorb it into the empire, and are on the brink of open warfare.
Races and Culture
The dominant race in the Dominion is humans. Humans are more diverse than most other races, not being as adapted to specific environs. Many of the most prominent humans are honorable and well-loved by their people, but some are driven by their ambition more than anything else. Because the humans are so populous and diverse, they have grown to dominate the continent of Empyrea.
Elves are the second major race in Empyrea. Elves are difficult to classify, due to their unshakable aura of mystery. They are obviously powerful in magic – nearly every elf can perform a few arcane tricks, and many exceed that capacity. Individual elves have just as much power as humans in Noble Court and across Empyrea, but their relative scarcity keeps them from achieving the same level of control as the humans.
Halflings roam the plains of Empyrea, and have very little influence or interest in politics. Their crafts are prized for their simplicity and “rustic charm”. A halfling caravan arriving in a human village is often cause for celebration. Elves are less overtly friendly to halflings, but the two races are on neutral terms.
Tieflings are an enigma. They only rarely manifest from human or elven parents, and have innate magical powers. Tieflings ruled Zahar as overlords, and the birth rate of tieflings seems to be higher close to the Chaos Waste.
Magic and Technology
Before Saint Altar founded the Dominion of Empyrea, humans, elves and halflings were in a bronze age stasis. Iron and steel had not been discovered yet; with the war raging on, neither faction had time or resources to mine. When Empyrea was founded, House Theurge led a scientific crusade of sorts. Deep mining was made possible, and iron and its purification methods were discovered. Alchemy and chemistry were also advanced. Currently, the Dominion of Empyrea is at a pre-Renaissance technology level, transitioning into an ‘enlightenment’ of sorts.KY
Before the scientific revolution, magic was thought of as an unpredictable, non-understandable, wild force, controllable by only a certain few shamans and witch doctors. Aethra, the great tiefling archmage of Zahar, was the first to truly control this force, and some believe that he tapped into knowledge far more advanced than even bleeding-edge modern theories. Vanion Theurge I dedicated his life to the study of the arcane art. His breakthroughs allowed magic to be classified and controlled. House Theurge quickly realized that magic could be used to oppress and control non-mages, and set up a registration system, through which magic and mages could be regulated.
Empyrean weaponry is the most advanced in the known Prime – after the dwarves’, of course. High-quality steel is common. Otherwise unremarkable magical weaponry is widespread among the noble Houses, and the more powerful houses pass down powerful ancestral relics.
Dotting the land of Empyrea are large cities, the most notable of which are home to the major noble Houses. Tens of thousands of humans and elves may live in one metropolis. Strongholds of stone are the most common defensive fortifications.
Horses and walking are the major modes of transportation. Nobles also occasionally use teleportation or magic circles to travel. Magical flying machines are uncommon, but not unheard of.
The Dominion has mostly positive relations with the Sultanate. Trade routes between the two nations are profitable on both sides. The dwarves have only made diplomatic contact with the Dominion so far, so it has been the first to know of the dwarves’ secrets.