The World of Itock
The Empire of Artock
A Brief History
The Empire’s history begins in the 4th year of the Age of Kingdoms when Rayem Devanad lost the battle for his father’s throne. Fearing for his life, he flees with those lords still loyal to him and heads south. There he finds allies, in a few sympathetic southern lords and for reasons unknown a clan of surface Dwarves. His rest is short lived as he is still pursued by his brother’s forces, so he eventually turns east and travels into the Tu’lanain Desert.
Despite traveling along the banks of the Salsuna River, the journey is rough and Rayem loses many. Eventually, he makes it to the sea and there decides to build a new throne for himself. Thanks to impassioned people and very capable Dwarves,it only takes three years to complete the city of Urt, the very next day Rayem crowns himself Emperor. (This day is now the holiday called “Emperor’s Day; it commemorates the birth of the Empire as well is the start of the new year within the Empire)
The city continues to grow, both in size and in wealth thanks to its large port. In Year 10, Rayem decides to expand his holdings and sends explorers down the river in search for a suitable site for another city. Few return, those that do speak of cloaked warriors emerging from the desert. This begins a 50 year war with the Tu’lanain.The war is brutal, as the Tu’lanian are fierce fighters and employ dangerous guerrilla tactics. They are also aided by the fact that Rayem refuses to yield or make peace with the natives. The the war changes when Rayem’s son, Tovan, takes the throne. He begins making an effort to talk to the more powerful tribes amongst the Tu’lanain; eventually, he is able to make peace with six of them and brings an end to the war. The other tribes flee deep into the desert, remaining a constant plague upon the Empire.
Tovan seals the peace in the Tu’lanian way by marrying a chieftain’s daughter. Fearing for his daughter’s safety, the chieftain selects the greatest warriors amongst the tribes to send with her. These warriors form the elite unit known as the Amrtaka; they act as guards for the royal family and become the most elite fighting force within the Empire, and arguably within the entire realm.The Emperor decides to commemorate this new era by building an extravagant city. He decides to call this city Asut-Por; in it he builds a grand bridge (aptly call the ‘Bridge of Asut-Por’) connected the north and south banks of the Salsuna for the first time. The major cities, and Empire, prosper over the next 100 years as trade down the river promotes the growth of many small villages along the banks.
Eventually, the Empire’s wealth provokes jealousy from the neighboring nation of Senbar and war breaks out. While the city or Urt is invaded by sea, the Senbarans are unable to attack the city of Asut-Por due to the rigors of the desert and the Empire’s alliance with the Tu’lanian. Though the war ends in victory, it is decided to move the throne to the city of Asut-Por to take advantage of the protection the desert provides. The new palace grounds are still considered one of the most beautiful in the realm. In addition, the ancient city of Jibade is restored and reinhabited over the next few years to guard the Empire’s western borders. This undertaking is done mostly by the Dwarven clan, who continues to reside within the city’s cliffs.
The Empire continues to flourish, and despite the harsh desert life, has become the most dominant force in the southlands. It has seen several wars, and come to the aid in others. Its city of Urt is one of the few cities to establish permanent trade with the Thousand Isle. It is currently Year 533.
The Empire of Artock is currently ruled by Empress Nazara Devanad. She came into power less than a year ago after the death of her father. Young and still untested, she relies on her Royal Adivsor Amir Kansbar for guidance. She has made few public appearances since her ascension to the throne.Beneath the Empress sit the Lords. Consisting of those who followed the original Emperor to the desert and those that have risen to power over the years, these men and women put on a show of being civilized aristocrats. However, it is well known that the Lords are always in competition with one another. A Lord making a business deal with another over dinner and then slipping poison in his after dinner drink is not an unheard of occurrence within their ranks. With such a young ruler, their games have taken a dangerous terms as of late as they are vying for the Empress’ favor.
Recently the tribes of the Tu’lanain have become more active, attacking caravans and in some instances even raiding villages. While they tribal leaders claim that these actions are not of their doing, it is still unknown if it is the work of rogue tribes or the begining of an uprising.
ReligionAs with most kingdoms, the Empire worships all 10 of the Young Gods, as well as the Earth Mother. Due to the harsh environment, and such a large reliance on trade, Marias, Graues, and Sepenes draw the largest following. Ni’Ti Patur, the Tu’lanian God of the Desert also has many worshipers.
Empress Nazara Devanad- The loss of her mother at a young age and the recent death of her father have left the Empress quiet and reclusive. Despite her lack of public appearances as of late, she has always had the love of the people; this has only increased since her ascension to the throne.
Royal Adivsor Amir Kansbar- Amir served as advisor under Emperor Renar. In fact, the two had developed a close friendship over the years. He readily accepted the Empress’ request to continue his post under her rule. While his age gives him much wisdom and experience, many wonder how the Empress will coup without his steady guidance
Court Magician Bortan Ni’sin- A young and talented mage, Bortan is a childhood friend of the Empress. While he has shown some impressive skills, there are more than a few who whisper he took advantage of his relations with the Empress to obtain his position
Lord Tuvar Hammon- The Hammons have supported the Devanads since their initial exile. They have always been a powerful family, both in wealth and influence, and their words have always swayed other Lord in line with the Emperor’s idea. However, in recent years Lord Tuvar’s influence has waned due to suspected interference of his rivals.
The largest city in the Empire, and the seat of its power, Asut-Por was built from the sands of the desert. The city itself is split into two sections; Asut, located on the north bank, contains most of the general populace. Por, at about half the size, houses the wealthiest of citizens, as well as all the Lords that live in the city.
In between the two sections, in the center of the Salsuna river, lies the royal palace. With gorgeous gardens and architecture, it houses both the royal family as well as any visiting dignitaries. Despite the danger of doing so, some of the gardens are open to any visitors(though under the ever watchful eyes of the Amrtaka).