The Emyprean Kingdom
Sat gracefully among the clouds, drifting agelessly across the great expanse, the Empyrean Kingdom is an ancient and traditionalist state existing in splendid isolation. It has existed for over 1000 years, watching the other realms from afar. This would have continued forever more, had the arrival of strangers from another realm beyond not disrupted the balance. Now they struggle to redefine themselves as but a contender amongst the powers, as those once considered beneath them are suddenly not so.
- General History
- Current Events
- Important People
While the original facts on the kingdoms founding are unknown, those who ask the question are told the tale of the first citizens of the kingdom.
The very first citizen, known as Buran the Founder, was gifted an island by the sky goddess herself, following the Darkness Before. From its humble origins grew the main island as they now know it. Over time, more and more people joined Buran to grow and cultivate the island. On it, they built their great city. Upon its completion, Buran was, by vote of the people, crowned the first king. Upon his coronation, the sky goddess returned to the island, offering Buran her blessing, but she had yet more work in store for the Allurans. She told them that theirs was not the only realm to exist and that beyond lie vast plains, fiery pits and dark voids in yet untouched. She then tasked the King and the people with their great duty, the rule of the sky:
“My children. They will look around them at themselves and see only deception. They will turn to the sky and behold the light of truth. They will see it for all it is and be forever changed by it.”
Buran and the people accepted this task humbly. The goddess, satisfied with this, left the realms in their hands. The kingdom has followed this decree ever since.
Their ancient history is more myth than actual fact, though they do know they were the first civilization to arise in the cluster since the Sudden Darkness. Only a few attempts have been made to actually expand the space they live in, most notably to (sky island spawn) which also houses a temple to the sky goddess they didn’t create.
Their history has been fairly homogenous, with advancements coming at a steady pace. Though a noticeable breakthrough came when true alchemy was first achieved, allowing for materials to be changed into whatever was needed quite readily.
Several notable rulers have emerged and become near legends in their own right, both for good and bad and many of the kingdoms most notable moments can be tied to their reigns:
King Sirocco the Red
The most infamous monarch was King Sirocco the Red. During his youth, he was a quiet but very intellectual monarch, with a deep love of theology. His rule was good and wise. However, during his later years, his mind deteriorated, creating a deranged madman utterly convinced he was a god incarnate and ruled like a tyrant, killing those who he felt stood against him, regardless of their actual relation to him. While he was successfully removed from power, his madness persisted long after, killing himself by setting himself aflame, convinced he would be reborn as the “phoenix god”.
King Vendavel the Just
Born to commoners, he was elected to rule on the suggestion of his uncle, who had served as a chief adviser to the previous monarch. Vendavel made great leaps into restoring the kingdom which had begun to rot from the core after several less than successful rulers had allowed it to stagnate. He reformed the law system, creating the current system still in place today. Overhauled the economic system in place following the discovery or higher alchemy and commissioned a vast rebuilding plan. of the city.
Axcom Industries is a direct contender with the Kingdom for influence and authority over the other realms. The loss of Nemisan to Axcom was a major blow to the collective culture of the kingdom. Axcom’s continued actions in both Taurios and Crescera is leading to fears that the kingdom will lose control over these realms too.
To make matters worse, new sky islands, being granted to non-Kingdom citizens by those who visit the sky goddess’s shrine have begun to appear, causing a stir among the citizenry. Some see it as a sign that the goddess is backing their stance against Axcom, while others see it as the goddess choosing new people to lead in their stead, that she is displeased with their actions.
Currently, the Kingdom is preparing to do the unthinkable; open relations with the various other states across Allura. A new diplomatic department has been established, looking to forge better relations. Whether that is over mutual co-operation, or an intent to drive out the “invaders”, as long as it works, it will do the Kingdom just fine.
The Kingdom functions as a constitutional elective monarchy, choosing the next ruler from the entire populace who usually rules for life. In principle, anyone from the kingdom can be elected the new ruler, though in practice, they tend to come from one of a select few “houses” who have made up the vast majority of rulers over the years.
• House Ventro
• House Yunah
• House Anome
• House Feng
• House Tulli
Though very rarely used, a rule does exist for the ousting of a monarch while they are still alive. This is only used in the direst of situations where the future of the kingdom is at stake. To this day, it has only been used twice before. Once on King Sirocco and once on Queen Etesian the Deranged.
In the past, the kingdom has generally remained aloof to the other realms, though individual relations vary considerably between individual factions. Diplomacy with the Kingdom used to be based fundamentally on the Duty of the Sky, though the state took some liberties with the way this was interpreted. This was often dubbed “Pax Emypreana” by some of the citizenry.
The Kingdom believed that it was, in some shape or form, responsible for looking over the other realms. In practice, this could result in anything from complete non-interference, to benign intervention, to direct meddling in the affairs of the states, “fixing” things or even pretending to be divine entities in the most extreme cases. There were some states that went unnoticed by the Kingdom though, as while they watched, they were not all-seeing. Usually, this translated into patrols by citizens of the Kingdom, who would travel between realms under decree of the Kingdom.
This has dramatically shifted in recent years, due to two main factors; the arrival of Axcom Industries and the sudden, inexplicable creation of new sky islands by the goddess. A major rethink into how the Kingdom has and should conduct itself has led to a new, more equal approach to diplomacy, though the Empyreans are still very much affected by their previous mind-set.
It is now looking to opening up relations with the other nations of the realms it once looked over in an effort to “win them over” from Axcom. This has been met with some success, as some chose to stay away from the Kingdom. The new islands however have left the kingdom in a bit of confusion and a response is still being debated by the council.
Young, emotional and still looking to find her feet, Queen Marin hasn’t been on the throne for long before the recent turn of events began to unfold. Trying to grapple with a people shaken to their core, restore some semblance of order and prevent a potential conflict while some in her cabinet bang the drums of war, she has her work cut out for her.
Born as the second daughter to the previous monarch, King Khazri, she mastered many arts and sports during her youth and, during peacetime, would have made a decent ruler and for a short time, she ruled quite successfully. However, the recent encounters with Axcom have massively destabilised her kingdom and its people and current attempts to try and patch this relation has been met with failure, much to her sometimes quite visible frustration.
Concern for the current events has caused her to break with tradition. She is attempting to mend bridges with the various families that exist, appointing them to positions previous monarchs would have reserved for more “trustworthy” individuals. It is her hope that she will be able to unite the houses against this common threat.
Currently serving as head of the Cabinet and head of House Ventro. He was instrumental for the current queen’s election, but is tough to please and knows she may not be up to the task at hand. He is the father of Queen Marin, putting him in a powerful position over the other families and monarchy, something he knows that they are not happy with.
He is an older man and is very much a traditionalist, even by Empyrean standards. He is fundamentally a man of action, and is one of the key figures arguing for a more aggressive approach to the “Axcom threat”, which his young daughter disagrees with strongly and very publicly. Some are concerned that his push for a decisive reaction to Axcom may put the Kingdom in more danger.
Currently serving as Minister of Islands and head of House Tulli. A long-time rival of Houses Anome and Ventro, he begrudgingly accepted his current position, agreeing with the queens reasoning that Axcom posed a threat, though is arguing for a more measured approach. He has been tasked with dealing with the generation of new islands and the “return” of the goddess of the sky.
Middle-aged, he has a more pragmatic approach to the situation. He sees this initial wedge between Leon Ventro and Queen Marin as a potential opening for further bringing the queen over to his side, favouring them over her own house. Secretly, he also sees benefit with working alongside Axcom to bring about change, both from working directly with them and the chaos that their arrival has created.
Many historic and ceremonial traditions are deeply ingrained into the society of the kingdom. Many positions, while they do carry actual duties, are almost ritualistic. Reverence of the phoenix as a symbol of rebirth and life is widely practiced and serves as the heraldry of the kingdom, by extension, the colour orange is considered a divine colour and usage of it is considered VERY carefully, to avoid offence.
Much of their art and music is more abstract, with a philosophy of “less true to the reality, more true to the meaning”. They spend a great deal of time pursuing questions of philosophy and morality and less so on the sciences and magic’s, and while far from a “stagnant” society, they are not particularly interested in expanding their knowledge.
The primary objects of reverence are the Sky Goddess and the phoenix. They have several festivals to celebrate. One such festival, known as the Day of Rebirth, includes each member of society providing something to a large bonfire pyre that is ceremonially lit. This fire is then shared by the people, symbolising the bringing of the people back together and the new life brought on by it.
The greatest advantage the Empyreans possess is a natural affinity for the magic’s of the local realms, which they frequently use to their advantage. Their greatest achievement is known as “higher alchemy”. This has meant that they are much less reliant on materials for their needs. Airships powered by magic provide a major means of transportation for them. A real life comparison would be that of a renaissance society, but with magic having allowed them to progress with alchemical creations that would replace other advancements.