Under Ember Eyes
When the Merchant-Prince of Bendughar appointed his child son to oversee the city’s defences, most observers thought it was a sign of how nonchalant the Prince was in regards to security. Those observers ate their words when the boy general ascended to the throne: over the next century he built a vast Imperium covering half the width of the world. It was called the Tulwari Raja by its enemies, meaning “sword empire” in the High Elvish dialect. Emperor Varen the first embraced this name and it now appears on Imperial coinage, along with the Emperor’s visage.
In response to this rapidly expanding empire the wood elves of the Great River Delta have united in mutual defence in a pact brokered by the King Kurtzbeck of the Dwarves. This faction is known as the Central Confederation. This title can convey a sense of unity that is entirely misleading: over 100 Elvish tribes populate the Great River Delta and no one can say how many would actually send warriors should conflict occur. Many are more concerned with the threat of lizardmen, bullywugs, goblins or with taking territory or slaves from other wood elves. The Dwarves can depend on perhaps two dozen tribes as staunch allies, which as it happens are the same ones they have historically depended on for safe access to the ocean.
When the Central Confederacy formed Varen I opted to continue his expansion on the farside of the Central mountains and the Delta in an area called the Princedoms of Ibernia. This loose collection of human principalities proved easy pickings as several states became vassals of the Imperium under the Emperor’s nephew Charan.
Charan did not share his uncle’s statesmanship or military genius but sought to mimic his uncle’s rapid expansion none the less. As his rate of expansion stagnated Charan grew increasingly frustrated and sought allies in the form of fiends from the lower planes, demons from the abyss or devil’s from the 9 hells, depending on who you believe. These allies won him few new territories and a vast array of enemies outside and within his borders.
Rebellion swelled. Soon Charan was deposed and fled his capital at Introitus Maris. While fleeing the city he came across holy Knights of the Order of the Tarrasque. They deduced that he had been consorting with fiends and after a summary trial he was hanged as a witch.
The leaders of the rebellion turned Charan’s conquests into what is now the Republic. It is said that the Republic finds an enemy under every third stone and imagines enemies under the other two. The Republic has annexed several smaller states in an effort to secure its border, which of course only presents new enemies on the new borders. This cycle has gone on for the last 50 years and only now shows signs of abating.