The Formative Years

The Unified Northern Empire has its roots in the marriage between the Vhalurian King Gabriel Caliborne and the Tyrean royal Ingrid Ormardottir. Born of a brief marriage in a time of regicide, Christoff Caliborne was the sum and heir of both the Vhalurian and the Tyrean royal bloodlines. Under the tutelage of clan Tiddjägern as well as the loyal Vhalurians of the then-growing Tyrean-Vhalurian Empire, he grew to become a stern and unyielding ruler.

Caliborne ascended to the throne in his eighteenth year, seen today as an auspicious year in a person's life, in a time of grave chaos: the people of Khaeros had won Pyrrhic victory against the Mad Magician, Memnon, his death throes destroying two of Khaeros's greatest cities, Azhur and Alyria. Then-regent Thorunn Skuldson of the Tiddjägern ceded his place to the rightful ruler, although he remained at Christoff's side for many years to come as founder of the Imperial Aegis and most trusted counselor of the Emperor. The world was in tumult as the newly-created settlements – or villages, as they came to be known – were frequently in conflict with one another. It became customary for the village leaders to bring their complaints to the Imperial Citadel, though the city was not yet finished in those early years. The Emperor saw that the world would tear itself apart all over again if the villages were left to their own devices, and he tightened his grip on those villages that would not concede to Imperial “protection” of their own accord.

Christoff Caliborne's Covenant

So it was that the broader workings of the Unified Nothern Empire were created, a loose confederation of six villages supervised by the Grey Citadel, mediating between them and acting as a capital of the civilised world and religious practice. With time, the Imperial Legion, which played a pivotal role in the unifying of the squabbling villages, withered away, as military interventions in the villages became nearly needless, replaced by diplomacy and local militias, as well as the Society of Rymaliel. With the death of the first and last general, Iyvar Kriekerson, the Army was dissolved in favor of a City Watch in the Imperial Citadel.

Meanwhile, the solidifying of the Empire as one political body proceeded at full speed, and a great influx of individuals of all races became the norm as soon as the Imperial Citadel was finally completed. It soon became a melting pot, a place where race, tradition, and history blended into the Imperial lifestyle of speed, wealth, and ambition. Most chiefly, Vhalurians, Tyreans and Khemetar flooded the Citadel, integrating seamlessly despite the obvious differences. Before long, Alyrians artists and craftsmen joined the Citadel, though their adventurous brothers and sisters refrained from settling in the capital. Azhurans and Mhordul, too, occasionally settled in, although with mixed success.

Emperor Falcourt

Yet as the Citadel grew, so too did its problems. In 1071, a terrible illness swept across the Empire, with the impoverished Upperwesters – who lacked proper clothing and housing – hit hardest, their bodies piled high upon pyres and Imperial doctors overwhelmed by the hopelessness of their work. This illness came to be known as the Royal Lung, as no less than Christoff Caliborne himself succumbed to its hacking cough and bloody end.

The death of Christoff Caliborne, some seven decades aged, came as a shock to his many loyal citizens. Yet not all Imperial citizens were pleased with the Emperor's decades of rule, and revolts broke out across the Empire, from burghers in the Docks District to farmsmen in the southern fields. Their reasons were many and now lost to time. In an effort to quench the rumors and instability, the late Emperor received a quiet procession and a private coronation was held for the new ruler: Louis-Philippe Falcourt.

The new Emperor was quick to show his benevolence, as well as his pride in the Vhalurian roots of the Empire. One of his earliest acts was to call on all true Vhalurians to return to the Citadel and serve their rightful ruler in restoring the honor of old Vhaluran. Even House Vryce returned from their long exile in the untamed South to aid the restoration. Leading the charge was the Emperor's Chancellor, Charles Dagwell, who rose from obscurity as a butler to the monied Junii family to the greatest heights a commoner may know. Emperor Falcourt earned the love of the common people through his expansion of the southern farmlands to distribute free bread to the people, his recall of all Imperial guardsmen from the villages in order to reduce the Citadel's deficit and lower taxes, and the deconstruction of the Citadel's great outer walls, a project which provided countless jobs to the laborers of the Citadel.

Yet, though the common people of the Citadel came to love their new Emperor, the burghers and nobles of the Empire grew to resent him. His regime's emphasis on Vhalurian superiority, as well as the suspicious circumstances of his ascension to the throne, fomented dissent among the highborn and non-Vhalurian citizenry. Rivergate, Zahir, and Steinnbaer soon broke from the Empire and formed a league against Falcourt, devoted to restoring the what they perceived as Christoff Caliborne's Empire – the empire they believed Falcourt has usurped and twisted. Other villages reacted differently, with Caerdwyr declaring complete independence and Droeddmor growing yet more hostile.

Notable events of this era include the bombing of the Grey Citadel by the Society, which to this day remains a mystery that dogs the Society in whispers and rumor. Furthermore, the Royal Lung continued to plague the city, with the Upperwest placed on lockdown by Chancellor Dagwell in perhaps one of the earliest instances of reasoned, scientific medical practice in Khaeros.

Emperor Falcourt's regime fell just as swiftly as it rose, and in as much chaos – if not more. The rhetoric between the League and the Empire escalated beyond peace, and Imperial forces – transformed once again from the City Watch into the Imperial Legion – marched to Rivergate to dethrone the Riverlord, Raithe Valyre. The battle turned against the Citadel as League employed the Wyvern's Talon, a notorious band of crossbow-wielding mercenaries, who devastated the Citadel's ranks. Mid-battle, strange, twisted creatures appeared, battling back the League's forces. At this time the temple of Elysia in Rivergate was burned to the ground, and Chancellor Dagwell disappeared as the monsters turned on the Citadel.

In the end, both Falcourt and Dagwell were killed. Falcourt died at Lady Claudia Junii's hands, and the Chancellor, who had escaped to Frostveldt, was tracked and executed by Randolph Helmutt.

A New Beginning

With the deaths of the Emperor and his Chancellor, the Regency – called by some the Occupation – began. Led by Jarl Ran Finnson, Caliph Yasson, and Lord Raithe Valyre – the leaders of the League which had battled so fiercely with Emperor Falcourt – the Regency administered the Citadel while no proper heir to Christoff Caliborne could be found. Although, it did begin a short period of peace within the Empire, signs of strain between the Regents crept into their administration, and factions quickly formed. Furthermore, ties between the Northern and Southern Empire took a drastic turn for the worse when the infamous “Ogres on Throne” incident.

On 33rd of Maiscus, 1072, Brandon Caliborne, son of the late Christoff the Great, appeared and was crowned. The Regents returned to their ancestral lands, and the Empire endured.


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