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The First Empire

The Return of the Sun God and the First Empire - Claiming victory in a mysterious but long fought celestial war, the Sun God appears to the lords of the Kahltoree in the form of an armored, spear wielding warrior. The Elves name this warrior aspect Helusan(1), and exalt him as Lord of All. A great gathering of Elven princes, guided by Helusan, meet and formally dissolve the three thousand year old alliance of the Kahltoree peoples, forming the First Elven Empire in its place.

Later the same year, a congregation of Elven priests claims to have received visitation from the Sun God, in his form as a long haired and golden robed sage, naming him Kontar (“wisdom”). The leader of the congregation is confirmed by Helusan and later becomes the first High Priest of the Church of the Sun God.

1 - ­3 TFE - The First Empire quickly consolidates it holds over the Golden Isle, replacing, through no soft means, those few princes who opposed the Kahltoree dissolution. The next decade is spent reorganizing the Empire according to the Sun God's decrees.

12 TFE - The armies of the First Empire march south through Greenway Pass and utterly crush the descendants of Tyran and his armies in a single brutal battle. After a six month siege, the city of Mal'jun falls, and any opposition to the Empire on the Golden Island with it.

20 TFE - The royal seat and administrative center of the Empire is moved to Mal'jun, where it would remain until the fall of the Sun God.

25-30 TFE - The naval fleet of the Empire is radically reformed, transforming it from a group of explorers and petty captains to an ocean spanning armada, intent on maritime supremacy.

The spring of 30 TFE saw the rise of the young Elven captain Hayjek'teyr, who crosses the Bay of Belfor and drives out the pirates of Tun'dels Crossing and burns their holds. The islands are named after him in a great ceremony outside of Mal'jun.

89-95 TFE - Imperial armies cross the waters of the Crystal Fence onto mainland Nira, conquering the dispossessed Elven colonies and petty princes of the mainland. Many surrender with little bloodshed. The Hall of Light is erected in Mal'delya.

Dozens of above ground Dwarven communities inhabiting the grasslands around the Gelyu'sa River come under the influence of the Imperial expansion. The Dwarven lords along the west edge of the Wall of the World mountains withdraw their armies, expecting invasion.

110-118 TFE - The War of Kurunic Aggression - With the bulk of Imperial forces in the east, a number of Kurunic warlords reignite millenia old feuds and their armies issue forth from the Kurunic Span by the tens of thousands. Ahrunel is burned in the initial onslaught and Carem's Landing comes under siege. A fleet carrying relief marines from Tu'jul is annihilated by Kurunic geomancers within sight of Cahr, before Cahr itself is besieged.

The Kurunic onslaught is finally slowed in 114 after a desperate defense of Greenway Pass, led by the elite soldiers of the ancient house of Jun'selu. Two Kurunic armies surface in the east the same year and surround Tu'jul, in an effort to stem Elven reinforcements until Greenway Pass could be won.

The summer of 115 saw the Imperial armies muster in strength significant enough to drive back the Kurun threat. The siege of Tu'jul is lifted and Imperial forces sweep back west onto the Golden Island, reclaiming lost territory and crushing all Kurunic opposition. Carem's Landing and Ahrunel would barely exist for the next fifty years, such was the time it took to fully rebuild them.

The last of the Kurunic forces were finally brought to battle amongst the shallows of the Bluefort Ruins, and were destroyed utterly. Their defeat was so complete that the Kurun have never truly recovered, and even today, a Kurunic invasion seems unlikely. A fortress is built atop the highest peak of Greenway Pass, named “The Eye of the World” to keep vigil against any further Kurunic incursions.

227 TFE - The first Imperial land expeditions cross the Sandy Reach in an effort to satiate the Imperial war machine and push the northern boundaries of the First Empire. The expedition is immediately set upon by hordes of human tribals and driven back across the desert with great loss. In response the Elves begin construction of the fortress complex of Hel'manda (“The Great Bulwark”) and fortify the southern edge of the Sandy Reach. Imperial scouts begin to infiltrate the north in preparation for a future invasion.

230 TFE - The Stomfast tribe, ancestors of the Drosh, are crushed and scattered by their neighbors after Elven infiltrators poison the chieftain and his children..

261 TFE - The remnants of Bolka's tribe, the Frorn, migrate to the Bonesands, hoping to discover the fate of their elder shaman and seek answers about the Faceless God and its disappearance. They are never heard from again.

284 TFE - The Brotherhood of the Crystal Fog, a nomadic human tribe of scribes and warriors, forms in order to rediscover tribal relics of the past. Many of their journeys are afterwards recounted in detail after the tribe settles in the Minndorn Mountains. While there, they build a vault to safeguard their findings.

303 TFE - A dozen Dwarven merchants are found butchered along the eastern end of the Gelyu'sa river in an incident that incites heightened Elven­Dwarven tensions. The culprits are never found.

330-350 TFE - Having long gathered their strength, the First Empire uses the Dwarven imprisonment of an Elven envoy (the circumstances surrounding his imprisonment are never specifically mentioned) as a pretext to launch a massive campaign against the Dwarven Kingdom.

In a war that spans nearly two decades, the Elves systematically conquer the Dwarven holds and underground roadways. As the war grows desperate for the remaining Dwarven lords, infighting ensues, further weakening the war effort. In a surprising act, the Dwarven High King, Gendrik Helborne, surrenders his household in 347. This effectively ends organized resistance against the Empire and many Dwarven lords capitulate immediately after.

War amongst the human tribes of the north spreads beyond the Sandy Reach. Tribal envoys and diplomats each vie for Imperial favor against their enemies.

The Assembly of Elven Princes, presiding over the Dwarven surrender, dissolve the office of High King and depose many powerful Dwarven lords. And while many of the petty holds and towns maintain their local rulers and practices, they are subordinated to the decrees set forth by the Imperial court. What remains of the Dwarven armies are disbanded or reassigned.

354 TFE - Under the Treaty of New Ceryon, the First Empire subdivides the Dwarven kingdoms into two provinces, each lorded over by a "High Prince". The acquisition of the Dwarven realms effectively doubles the size of the First Empire.

The subjugation of the Dwarves greatly upsets the balance of power on Nira, and indeed, all of Itaire. The Orc Dai'junate exiles the Imperial envoys at court and two merchant lords are arrested for conspiracy then later exiled as well.

Goblin architects and artisans become a common sight in Imperial territory, amassing fortunes in the wake of an ever expanding Empire.

408 TFE - Self­proclaimed "Pirate Kings" arrive from the east, and begin to harry Imperial shipping and raid the coastal settlements of the Elves. In one daring raid, the Imperial colony on Tash'lor'ka is burned and looted after several of its garrisons are defeated by deception.

456 TFE - The Imperial Armada sets sail from Old Cahr, carpeting the ocean with the largest naval fleet ever seen.

457 TFE - Seeking northern trade routes, the Imperial Armada clashes with the tribes of the Hvittral Tundra. After a number of Imperial raids are driven off and a storm of ice sinks a dozen Imperial ships, the First Empire withdraws. The deerback riders of the Skohvit tribe are hailed as saviors of the northern reaches.

458 TFE - The Marigon Conspiracy and the Coming of the Empire ­- After an unusual outpouring of sentiment for the First Empire arises within some of the largest halfling settlements, Tuleah, the matriarch, investigates. After uncovering a vast pro­Elven conspiracy led by Yua Marigon, daughter and successor to Tuleah, the Matriarchy is beset by Imperial armies in the west. The Empire quickly seizes control of fortifications on both sides of the Kamuna river. In a surprising move to curtail the ambitions of her daughter, Tuleah vows vassalage of the Matriarchy to the whims of the Imperial court in exchange for retaining her throne.

Tuleah spends the rest of her life organizing political intrigues meant to withstand the influence of the Empire and outmaneuver her oldest daughter. Yua eventually takes power in year, after the death of Tuleah and the exile of her younger sister and two brothers.

460 TFE - After a series of agreements with a number of Goblin warlords and trade princes, the Goblins concede much of their territory to the Empire, again with little bloodshed.

465 TFE - The Dai'junate launches a preemptive assault against several dozen Elven ships docked in Rock Finger Bay. Many Elven ships are burned or destroyed.

Despite the provocation, the Empire is rife with rebellion and a guerrilla war against the Troll Confederation to retaliate properly.

504-513 TFE - The White Wall - With little warning in late 504, Imperial marines begin to assault the tribal villages along the frozen reaches of Nira, utilizing brief, but brutal, guerrilla tactics.

Claiming a vision from the Faceless God, the young shaman of the Skohvit tribe, Jaaskil, calls for a great gathering of shamans and other spiritualists. Together they enact a series of rituals that move or raise a number of icebergs and frozen sheets to permanently block the northern ocean passage. Later called the “White Wall”, the Imperial Armada is never able to fully circumvent it.

601-660 TFE - After countless delays, two major rebellions, and the encroachment of the Orcs as far as the Fracture Mountains, the First Empire amasses it strength and invades the Orc Dai'junate. In a war that spans half more than a half century, orc lands are utterly devastated and many atrocities are committed by both sides. It is only after the capture of the Kagar himself, Tahanyar, and the heads of the Osun Clan that terms of surrender are broached.

The victory against the Dai'junate was bought at heavy cost and the Empire would never fully subjugate or integrate the orcs. However with the Dai'junate effectively removed, the First Empire becomes the preeminent power of all known Itaire.

840-940 TFE - The Hundred Year Wave - The First Empire launches a second, much better prepared and more numerous, expedition across the Sandy Reach into human tribal lands. They spend the next hundred years systematically conquering the feuding human tribes in a costly and bloody military campaign.

The campaign is typically considered, by historians, to have ended with the subjugation of the last tribes of the Silmandal plain, after their leaders are betrayed by troll mercenary captains.

1170-1173 TFE - After turning back a Troll incursion meant to reinforce a Dwarven rebellion at the time, Imperial forces gather and push east into Troll territory. In a comparatively brief war, the First Empire defeats the Trolls, forcing them into a watery exile.

1388 TFE - The Serin family is first mentioned in the Elven histories here, as a house of politicians campaigning for Imperial reforms in favor of the subjected peoples of the Empire.

1615 TFE - Three expeditions depart Mal'jun on journeys of exploration. None ever return.

1789-1790 TFE - The Minndorn Betrayal - When ambitious tribal elders collude with the Empire to supplant the leadership of their respective tribes and are discovered, the whole of the north erupts in rebellion. Many Imperial garrisons are quickly overwhelmed in the face of a swiftly unifying, and unheard of, tribal coalition.

However no warlord proves able to control the newly liberated tribes, and after a brief counter attack, the tribes are reabsorbed by the Empire in the autumn of 1790.

1792 TFE - The Drosh - Descendants of the Stomfast tribe together with tribal refugees and dissidents fleeing Imperial rule gather and form the Drosh tribe.

2025-2028 TFE - The Elven Civil War and the Second Empire - Unrest over the corruption within the Empire, a number of Elven princes and aristocrats, most notably Tythus Serin, rise up in protest. Tythus Serin is betrayed by a fellow noble and is later put on trial and executed for conspiracy and sedition. In response, the Serin family and their allies rise up in rebellion against Helusan/Kontar and begin a civil war that quickly engulfs the whole of the Empire.

After the butchering of rebel soldiers and sympathizers at Tash'tanlar in 2027, the rebellion, defeated, flees east to their holdings on Tash'lor'ka. Cursed by the Sun God to life of exile underground, the rebels become the Durn'hala (Children of the Dark), or the Dark Elves.

The conclusion of the civil war left the Imperial administration fractured and weakened. With the threat of an orcish revolt looming, a major restructuring of the Empire takes place, forming the Second Empire.

1: The name is a combination of ancient elven and today is most widely believed to translate to “Golden Champion”. It is worth nothing that during the time before the First Empire the Elven word “usan” translates to “shadow” or literally “the end” of a person or place. After the formation of the Empire, Imperial scholars use this word in its more familiar context (to mean “shining” or “golden”), instead using the variant form of usan, “sashan”.