His Eternal Imperial Majesty
The emperor is said to appear ever in the prime of his life; both physically and mentally, though the weight of the empire is said to show in his deep, dark eyes. Dark hair frames and contrasts his face: a specimen of cool but lively white skin. His garb is rich and timeless, gilded and bejeweled, the finest and most fashionable; as only befits an emperor. The imperial crown is exquisitely crafted from platinum in the fashion of a laurel wreath, and signifies his authority over all other rulers. He bears a rich and lordly scepter, and a golden staff. On his golden belt hangs a gilded and gem-encrusted sword; against the golden throne leans a golden, gem-studded object, shaped somewhat like a harp. No fewer than six magnificent rings adorn the emperor’s gloved hands; a golden chain bedecks his ermine mantle. Constantly surrounded by advisors, councillors, sages, scholars, and scribes, the emperor is quietly regarded as more of a figurehead, despite his impressive appearance; a man who is keen to overlook things, or just doesn’t know much about the empire. In fact, one man who is always in the emperor’s presence is his majordomo; a man of stature and beauty that is reflective of the emperor’s own, but who is also loquacious.
The Imperial Republic of Kileana, has been ruled by His Eternal Imperial Majesty Alain Hyms’l for the past five hundred years or so; nothing is known about the emperor prior to his first appearance, uniting the Kileana City-States. While no longer the nominal power in Kileana it is no secret that the Emperor has the final word in all important matters, which translates to all matters period. The most prominent evidence for this fact is the centennial wars, purges, and crusades that the emperor mounts to solidify his hold (or attain it) another of the Outer Territories. The emperor currently holds court in the newly rebuilt Imperial Capital of Isthnea.
Publicly, the emperor is a well-liked, well-intentioned ruler, if perhaps a bit … stupid. Not too terribly brainless, but it seems that the emperor and his empire have been saved numerous times by the efforts of those whom he has charged with the lesser tasks of administration, such as the individual nobles, generals, advisors, diplomats, etc. Because the emperor has reigned so long, many speculate that it is no longer the same emperor on the throne. However, so few ever get close enough for a good look that no one can say for sure; all of those known to have gotten a good look have said that his likeness is very much like the paintings and sculptures.
As a matter of fact, there are numerous and varying accounts of the Emperor’s reign, many of which conflict. While it is tradition to hold with the older texts, there is some debate in the academic circles as to whether these texts are actually the most reliable, or whether they were merely the oldest articles permitted to survive. Even amongst those who hold that these oldest records are genuine, some argue that they are propaganda for an older day, citing the Emperor’s current doting about. Other scholars believe that these “old texts” are either forgeries or polemics written by detractors of the Empire and its kind, benevolent Emperor, whether they be modern or archaic.
The Emperor’s Conquest
According to the Old Texts, when the Emperor attacked Isthnea initially, one survivor was permitted to ‘escape’ to each of the other City-States, but they all collapsed and died before they could actually recount the assault; and all attempts to raise them or commune with their spirits failed. The initial responses of the other City-States, whether dispatching an army or merely a scout, were completely annihilated; not even one survivor returned. When the emperor began expanding, he focused on one state at a time, razing all of the towns or villages along the border first, then allowing that state to survey the carnage and desolation wrought. He then would send a lone emmissary to accept the surrender of the the City-State; as each new state fell, their ranks bolstered his own, and all of the City States of Kileana quickly capitulated to the rule of the Empire.
The Old Texts further hold that one of the first official acts of the emperor was to summon the nobility, and summarily execute every tenth one; the remainder were returned to their stations or promoted, as the circumstances dictated. For several decades the emperor ruled through beaurocracy, until after nearly a century he was convinced to establish a council of the nobles; after more than three hundred years of the Emperor’s reign, he permitted the establishment of a Senate of the Nobility that had more than a facade of power. Since that time voices in the Senate have occaisionally risen to demand more power and control; none of their names are in the records either. It is now clear to the veteran Senators that whatever power they have comes only by the Emperor’s permission; for those who seek ambitions contrary to his will disappear without a trace, never to be seen or heard from again.
Newer documents show that the half millenium that the emperor has now ruled over is by all accounts mostly peaceful; disturbances crop up from time to time, and petty crime is never truly eradicated, but the majority of people usually see their needs met and enough opportunity to make a living. The situation is actually better than that; progress, prosperity, and society are all advancing under the emperor’s rule, and the emperor is known for throwing a good party. Or at least, the emperor chooses courtiers with good taste; popular restlessness is offset by feasts and bouts of many different kinds. Moreover, the emperor allows surprising liberty amongst the states as to what sorts of things they allow or not. Occaisional rivals have sprung up as well, attempting to amass an army big enough to overthrow the Emperor, but he invariably quashes these upstarts; the most recent of these would-be usurpers is now trapped in the Golden Forest, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Kileana Imperial Army, that is.