Imperatry Plains
Spanning the rich and verdant heart of a divinely-inspired world-empire sit the Imperatry Plains. Who else can know what it is for an immortal, omnipotent, Divhi to sit upon the throne that rules them? Who else can know what it is to acknowledge no world beyond that your people dominate? Who else in the world can know what it is to be a citizen of the mighty and unchallenged Haedrasian Empire? And yet, for all their might, and their wealth. For their armies so vast they are a geography unto themselves - a forest of pikes, an ocean of boiled leather - no one knows better the flavours of fear. No one has so savoured the bouquet of paranoia. No one else has felt the weight and bulk of the bejewelled and golden yoke upon their shoulders but the denizens of this vast, vast land. For Haedrasia is half the world, and the other half is surely of no account.

Physical Geography

Only one word is truly needed to describe the Imperatry Plains: vast. A traveller from Ahlonia would find the heartlands of Allornus to be simply leagues upon leagues of rolling, fertile, grassy plains many times larger than his entire home-continent, seemingly stretching forever in all directions. Even in its most northerly reaches the warm winds that have blown all the way from the Bair of Suirene keep the temperatures tolerable, and the seasonal rains that are trapped by the junction of the Sirolas and Ironhead Mountains keep the region rich and full of green and life. Haedrasia as a whole lives in times of dry season, and monsoon season, when the rains broil across the landscape, but the Haedrasians have learned when times are lean and when times are bountiful. Broad prairie and fertile alluvial plains are broken by short, low mountain ranges, surrounded by gentle hill country, and often lightly forested, and long rivers stretch between small lakes to form networked waterways that keep the earth rich and make the plains grasses thrive.

There can be no doubt that the lands comprising the Haedrasian Empire are the most diverse of any region of Allornus. Dominated by the hilly, fertile prairie of the imperatry plains, it ranges from the balmy southern waters of the Bair of Suirene to the majestic Sirolas Mountains, the jagged Ironheads, the windswept northern flats wrapping around the storm-wracked and savage Throat of the North (so called because it has swallowed so many sailors) that howl the pain of an unmade world. The parched death that is the great Salt Flats loomed over by the sinister Still Peaks. The rolling hills draped in seemingly endless groves of hemp and bamboo, broken to the south by myrtle, olive and orange, and the square fastnesses of good Haedrasian brick marking settlements and garrisons. Such a mere those lands that comprise Haedrasia scarcely scratch the surface of its vastness and diversity.

Despite its extreme northerly climes, Haedrasia at no time comes close to the unending frigid conditions of the glaciers of the Bear Tundra or the frozen continent of Nardaan. Winters can be brutal along the northern coast, and in far reaches of the central coastline, bringing feet of snow and extreme temperatures, but spring brings thaw, and forests of pine and fir huddle together against the cold, emerging in shadowed greens in the spring and summer months. The land itself is hilly, prone to rocky outcroppings and deep crevasses, and pools of boiling mud are not uncommon, nor are hotsprings. Earthquakes, especially along the coast, keep the terrain in a permanent state of flux, and here and there stranger evidence of the Sundering subsist. Forests made entirely of glass, eerily still lakes of unnatural hue, and the constant threat that the blood tide might one day return all keep lictors busy hunting and burning in an effort to purge the empire of such perverse effronteries.


To the south, in the centre-north of the vast empire, lie the original lands settled by the Haedar centuries ago, taken from the Taruun in fearsome battle that left that race of myr forever lost to the world. And it is easy to see why the early Haedar were willing to slay on such a vast scale to take these lands. Bountiful beyond the scope of other regions, the mountains to the east and west trap the rains over the heartlands of Haedrasia, and the plains stretch, flat and featureless save for seemingly eternal fields, be they under cultivation or wild prairie, to the horizon in all directions, with just the bluish hint of mountains somewhere days distant, glimpsed on fine mornings as the sun rises over them, or the evenings when it descends. Groves and plantations are vast, land for cultivation is more generous than the Haedar are likely to ever need, and only a few regions of rolling hills and occasional sparse forests offer any reprieve from the seeming eternity of the grasslands. Rivers are plentiful, with frequent streams and creeks leading unobtrusively back to a grander arterial flow, and shallow basins frequently hold placid lakes surrounded by low trees. Here the Haedrasians discovered their hemp, their bamboo, their horses, everything that would make them the world-spanning empire they were destined to become.

The east and south-east are bordered by the tallest and most imposing wall of mountains to be found on Allornus, and the land ascends imperceptibly for days travel to meet their foothills. The land here is drier, the plains more coarse and the storms that boil overhead often produce flashes of lightening as they war with the implacable mountains, and the distinct scent of ozone lingers on the unpredictable wind. To the south young-growth forest spills tentative tendrils through rugged passes into the plains, but the Haedrasians encroachment of the wild with fire and axe at every intrusion, while the russet runoff of the Ironheads stains the earth and makes the eastern border, and where it does the land seems quelled and quiet despite perpetually encroaching ashen stormfronts looming overhead. The Sirolas Mountains are blue and majestic even up close, with perfect snow-capped peaks and unscalably steep ascents rising suddenly, while the jagged Ironheads give more of an impression of the ruined teeth of some gargantuan carrion.

Along the war-torn Maldrak border the land is suitably grim, and was long before aggression broke out between the two peoples. The Still Peaks, the formal borders of Haedrasia, are made all but inaccessible by as vast buffer zone of saline swamp that burns, blinds and drives mad many who brave it. Even around the famed Black Ice Bay the land is only fit for life for a few miles from the sea, and they say that the waters are so salty that a man cannot sink even if he were to dive with all of his might. Of course temperatures are considerably below freezing, so few care to test this rumour.

The southern extent of the imperatry plains are as idyllic as the northern extent is rich. Here where the plains mingle with the more hilly, grassy and forested country of the westerlands the Haedrasians might not find quite the same bounty, but there is still plenty beyond the vast empire's needs. These lands are greener, and in the warmer and more sheltered climes bamboo groves are more likely to grow out of control, making towering wild stands a common sight. This region is dominated by five mountains, collectively called the Great Legion, but each of the five is said to have risen around the remains of five great heroes who founded Haedrasia. It is uncanny that these five peaks, so alike, each stand utterly alone, leagues apart, rising from otherwise merely rolling countryside.

And finally in the far south the Bair of Suirene is easily the most clement land of all the Empire, with springs and autumns pleasant and temperate enough to spend the day outdoors in the lightest of attire, and summers that are hot but not humid. Even the winters are so mild that many farmhouses go without a hearth, preferring to cook outside to keep the houses cool, and villas are built with ingenious shutters that allow entire exterior walls to fold back, welcoming the outside in. Here the scent of orange and lemon and olive are on the air, and wild chestnut and cherry reach in at the window, while the pleasant breeze keeps the warmth of the day balmy, and along the coast long golden beaches give way to cerulean waters, and low hills overlook sheltered and picturesque coves.

Spirit of the Land

The Haedrasians were truly fortunate when they chose their homes, for the elementals of the Imperatry Plains are placid, lazy creatures, more given to lounging in the afternoon sun than lashing out at the mortals that spread across their dimense. The boundaries of Haedrasia see more cold, unforgiving creatures. In the Still Peaks, the Ironheads, the Throat of the World, the Sirolas Mountains, and even the western plains, the spirits are chill and aloof or ruthless and vengeful by turn, but in the balmy fertile heartlands they are tame creatures, seldom glimpsed. Lying amongst the fields in the guide of low mounds, or flitting between stalks of golden corn with rustling laughter, at worst they are mischievous, and at best idle. Only the storied spirits of the Great Legion - proud beings whose mien mirrors that of the Haedrasian people - and the dryly cruel, withered lords of the Salten Marges stand apart from the Haedrasians' placid pet plains spirits.

Haedrasian Architecture

Haedrasian brick architectureis one of the defining features of the spread of Haedrasian culture - a clear mark of the presence of the Sons of the Haedar, and their overlordship. Similar to the stone architecture of the Ghans and Ralstaans, Haedrasian stake their claim to the material by emphasizing the massive, the symmetrical and the ordered and imposing. Haedrasians build structures that tower over those of the conquered people, intentionally grandiose and immense to remind the conquered peoples of the might and civilization of the Haedrasians. The buildings were often bulky and of monumental size, but rather simple as regards their external appearance, lacking the delicacy of areas further east. Nonetheless, they are fortress-strong. Red brick in the north and west give way to custard-coloured brick in the south, and a dirty orange-grey or brown in the east. Recessed wall areas are often painted with lime plaster, creating a marked contrast to the darker brick-built areas, and special shaped bricks facilitate the imitation of architectural sculpture, and the construction of vaulted arches and ornate towers in emulation of the Ralstaan fortress-cities of the south. Towering glass windows attest to the wealth and technological advancement of the Haedrasians, and the clearer and more even the glass the better, leading to massive portals of great delicacy and value.

Political Geography

Haedrasia is the archetypal theocracy - all of its positions of authority, from the courts to the tyrants and bureaucracy, to the army to the lictors, require induction to the Imperatry Temple, and each comes with both secular and religious duties. There is no division whatever between faith and empire, as befits having a Divhi as head of state, and nor are these things managed as separate institutions as they might be in other lands where church and state share a leader. As a result the temple is the centre of Haedrasian power - citizens go to the temple for justice, spiritual guidance, alms, to seek tests of their faith as proof of their loyalty, and for protection. And the priests of Haederas will guide the people, and make their judgements, and allot their resources, based on the scripture of Haederas. However with reliable access to Haederas himself the scripture is not sacrosanct - they can be changed with time when Haederas can be persuaded to turn his attention from contemplations beyond mortal scope, to such worldly things.

However to call the priests the sole centre of state would be to overlook one very important body - namely the Imperatry Legions. The Haedrasian army straddles the world. It is the pinnacle of citizenship that all men (and only men) aspire to, admire, and celebrate. Only the finest specimens of the sons of Haederas are allowed in the legions, and though man for man they are not the finest warriors to be found, together they have never truly tasted defeat. A legionnaire of even the lowest rank will find himself adored by the common folk, and those who have earned the Face of Haederas - a helm with visor crafted in the likeness of the Divhi's own face - they are nigh divine themselves. Legions never serve in their home territories, so that they will not desert to defend their own homes, and so that they will enforce the Imperator's will, even against their own people if need be.

The empire itself is divided along a series of cantons controlled by a arch-primacy. Each Arch-Primate is head of state and temple in his canton, while a Tyrant controls the local military, and though he serves the Arch-Primate he also has relative autonomy in how he deploys military resources, though the Arch-Primate will generally tell him to what end to use his forces. Primates control divisions of various size within these cantons, with Consuls performing the same role for a large settlement. Loremen and Legates are the spiritual and legal bodies of the general priesthood respectively, and finally all full-blooded Haedrasians hold the post of citizen. Below these the subject peoples are allowed their own social structure, with the Haedrasians recognizing their leaders, be they individuals or councils, elected or hereditary, formally with the title Concilator. These men are charged with enforcing the Imperator's law amongst their own people, and ensuring that they have proper access to the Imperatry Temple (though they are not required to follow the temple themselves, not actively proselytize.

The burden that the citizens of Haedrasia bear in return for the wealth and security of the Haedrasian Empire is scrutiny. Relentless, fanatical scrutiny. The Imperator's Lictors have near unlimited power to investigate citizens and subject people they suspect of unnatural religion, magical knowledge, sedition of word or thought, treason, or any other action they may deem detrimental to the Imperator's regime. They answer to no one save their shadowy and secret Lictor-Generals, and only the highest ranking priests are immune to their investigations. Such is their secrecy and autonomy that many have resorted to some dubious and shady methods indeed to achieve their ends, and are well known for encouraging citizens and subjects to report those they think worthy of investigation. Some have even turned to using fire to fight fire, turning arcane and secret arts against their practitioners, and in turn inviting investigation of their own actions by another lictor. Where people feel safe from the prying ears (usually foolishly) they call the lictors by their most famous function - Mage-Finders.

Setting Trait (3): Rage's Legacy All of the peoples of Allornus fear magic. They know its corrupting power, its cataclysmic volatility, and its terrible influence. All faiths of Allornus speak out against mortals having powers not granted them by their Divh. But since the conquest of the magocracy the Haedrasians have taken it to a new level. Every Haedrasian hates magic with a murderous fury that borders on lunatic, and every Haedrasian would gladly give everything he has to see magicians wiped from the world in a bloody purge, and is convinced that his neighbour is secretly a practitioner of the forbidden arts, or at least in league with one. The legacy of the conquest of the magocracy, in a word, is fear.

The Crossbow

Without a doubt, a crucial part of the Haedrasian dominance of Allornus is the crossbow, the signature weapon of the Haedrasian legions, and seldom if ever seen outside Haedrasian control. Jealously guarding the methods of manufacture and maintenance of the weapons, they prayers and rites that keep the crossbow in repair can only be performed by one inducted as a layman in the Imperatry Temple. These fearsome weapons can punch through armour with terrible might, and pierce shields with ease. And when the legionnaires form two lines of crossbowmen - one row firing over the heads of their reloading fellows - they can break any charge that they face. Of course their range leaves much to be desired, but so swift are the Haedrasian turcs that enemy bowmen are quickly ridden down so that the crossbows can again take the field.

Social Geography

The citizens of Haedrasia are a wealthy, industrious, and influential people. Most Haedrasians live in extended family units, with the home housing the head of the family - an adult male - his wife, children, sometimes his parents, and unwed siblings, and often also uncles, aunts, or cousins who either have lesser prospects themselves, or aspire to the same profession and are serving a sort of apprenticeship within the family. The male bloodline of the Haedrasian family is very important, and while women do keep touch with their parents, they will only come into the husband's household if they have no sons of their own. A man who has taken the burden of his wife's parents in addition to his own is respected and admired, but often called a fool behind closed doors.

Society is structured by a caste system, and there is extremely little opportunity to move between castes. At the top is the Priest Caste, who wield the political and spiritual power of the land. The sons of priests become priests, and the daughters of priests serve priests, and different individuals vie for prestigious and influential stations, distinctions, and titles. Just below the priests stand the Legion Caste. These soldiers come from families that have served the legions for generations, and veterans are often rewarded for their service with packages of land that they can pass through their families. Perhaps uniquely, legionnaires sometimes take the vows of priests instead of accepting settlement and lands, making them one of the few castes that can be routinely upwardly mobile. Of course, some will serve as camp followers, scouts, or other untrained roles in the legions to make contacts, but these individuals remain in their own, lower caste. Below these are the Artisan Caste - men with respected and skilled trades. Then the Labourer Caste. These are unskilled workers, men who live off the land, and farmers. Below the labourers are the subject people, who are free to stratify their society according to their own traditions. But even the most respected subject will never be higher than a menial labourer who is a citizen, unless he holds special station in the empire's eyes. Finally, the Scholar Caste - those who devote their lives to learning and knowledge, and those most persecuted by the Mage-Finders.

Since the Artisan Caste have their incomes protected by law (subject peoples cannot drop their prices for services below those of a Haedrasian) they often employ subjects as apprentices or assistants, allowing craftsmen to expand their businesses vastly, and even spend a few years garnering honour serving in a legion. Those who have served in the legion will find other former legionaries prefer to trade with them, and their fortunes usually increase, either modestly or sometimes vastly, so many who are not career soldiers still spend a few years abroad in a legion. As a result, within the empire at least, adult men are often well travelled, and former legionaries form a sort of social elite in most industries. Haedrasia is known for its ponies, fine sprinters bred and trained to be fast and compact, its bumper crops hemp and bamboo which are used for building materials, rope, textiles, conveyances, weapons, and even food. Vast herds of diverse breeds of cattle produce milk, meat, and leather, and wheat and barley flesh out the major crops. Haedrasians are noted for a love of smoking their hemp, and Haedrasian-made pipes can be found the world over in the finest households.

Religion is crucially important in the life of a citizen. People know that their patron Divhi sits on a throne in their capitol city, and in the past has gone to war at the head of their armies. They know that their laws, and their scripture, come not from prophets and churchmen, but from the lips of their Divhi himself, and that makes religion a more vital part of life. People strive to prove themselves in emulating Haederas, forging their minds and bodies with tests that place demands upon the limits of their endurance. Forbearance, self-denial and contemplation are crucial elements of purification of mind and body that facilitates this emulation. In addition the temple is where most business is done, and with the Legates also being churchmen, a good relationship with one's local priest can also bring favour in matters of law and mediation.

Subject Peoples

Haedrasia has always had a history of openly condemning nations that allow the taking of slaves, but it has never had a problem subjugating non-Haedrasians within its borders. The empire has long feared mass rebellion by its subject peoples, that much has always been evident. The Mhulak of the northern deepings have actually been granted sovereignty over their deepings and the surrounding lands, to ensure they do not suffer from such oppressive treatment, and they are well liked and respected by Haedrasians. Subject peoples are bound by the following edicts:

  • No non-landsman may be a subject. All myr are allowed to leave the Empire, and even visiting myr are treated with suspicion and disdain.
  • No magic, or religious practices that might be construed as magic. Religions will be vetted, and suspicious ones outlawed on pain of death.
  • No private gatherings beyond extended family - all large groups must be in public.
  • No metal - metal implements, tools, and weapons, are the exclusive province of Haedrasian citizens unless the subject has special dispensation.
  • Lesser legal rights - no subject may bring a legal case against a citizen in any circumstance, though citizens may do so on his behalf.
  • Subject peoples are more heavily taxed than citizens, and must be charged greater rents, so that they can never compete economically.

Strangely enough, however, they are free to practice their own religions. But may apply for permission to worship Haederas - they must do so in a separate part of the temple however. Because it gives them access to citizens, albeit indirectly, because it allows them a certain credibility and the levity that comes with it, or simply because the Imperatry Temple is a compelling faith, many exercise the right to worship Haederas, however such worship is a privilege, and many would prefer subject peoples not be allowed access to the Haedrasian faith.

Setting Trait (3): Come into the Fold Haedrasians welcome outsiders, but their fear of uprising will never let them accept them. Anyone who is different is automatically less than a Haedrasian citizen, and while they offer the welcoming hand of civilization, wealth, and security, they will never give a subject of the templarate the chance to advance above a citizen, and will cripple his ability to ever stand up for himself. And the beastmen whose land Allornus once was are not welcome even as subjects - they are mere chattels, no better than animals. Still, the Haedrasians merely protect their own, and many would argue, quite rightly, that the benefits of subjectdom to far outweigh its oppression.

The Black Cirq

One day out of every four years the divhi Haderas is blindfolded for exactly the length of the day, and massive black drapes are lowered over both Haderas’s Palace and all of the religious institutions in the Templarate. No clergyman may wear his vestments, and if he does so he must also be blindfolded. The rest of Haedrasia is allowed, for one day, to relax the strict discipline in which they usually live their lives and indulge in whatever they wish. This takes very very different forms depending upon location, some cities burst into spontaneous celebration, with dancing in the streets, music, performances and the like, but some smaller towns have been reputed to burst into mass orgies or go on campaigns of torturing prisoners, or gorging themselves on months worth of fine food and wine. Most claim such excesses are the result of urban legend more the truth however. While the laws of the nation are upheld the actual judicial system tends to grind to a hault, and criminals can usually make good an escape should they need to. Of course non-haedrasians are forbidden from participating, and are forced to stay in their homes, often falling victim to cruel pranks for the entire day.

Major Races and Cultures

Haedrasians form a majority - if a marginal one - throughout the Templarate, and Haedrasian-Only regions dominate the northern-central empire. To the west and the south they intermingle with Kelorns, who cannot hold office but retain a kind of socio-cultural autonomy under Haedrasian rule. In the east are the Ghans, they are still treated like a conquered subject-people. In the extreme northwest subject Malorn settlements are kept in abject poverty supplying imperial armies. Mhulak deepings are tolerated, and even given the freedom to elect their own rulers, though they still answer to the local Primate, and are required to practice the worship of Haederas in addition to (or in some cases in preference of) their own faith. In fact this is a right granted to all people of the Templarate. So long as Haederas occupies the supreme position within their faith most conquered people are given freedom to make offerings to other divh as well - but only those approved by the Templarate.

Haedrasians are a tall, lean people, often muscular and not prone to carrying much weight. They have brown to nearly black eyes, dark cocoa coloured skin and coarse black hair which usually curls, though not tightly. Men wear tightly curled beards, and women wear their hair tied up under wimples or other headdress. Some of the finest soldiers and riders to be found amongst the landsmen, many central Haedrasians are practically born in the saddle. They are also the most technologically advanced of all the landsmen, but much of this is owed to a many-centuries old pact with those Mhulak who make their homes in northern Haedrasia, and much of the technology they were given they were not taught to manufacture, so these archaic treasures are jealously guarded and ritually maintained. Even without the Mhulak they are an advanced people, with aqueducts and sewers in most major cities, and their crossbows are a major factor in their dominance of their neighbours.

Setting Trait (2): Divhi-Incarnate While other religions might claim to know the words of the divine, and share it with their faithful, no other faith in the world has their divine patron in residence to confirm its validity. The temple, and thus the entire templarate it administrates and rules, is backed up by the physical presence of Haederas. To many outside the templarate he is war-divh, patron of warriors and tacticians, but to the Haedrasians he is sole patron and ruler both. There is no concept if secular and religious power. All authority is one, and all authority is rooted in Haederas and his eternal temple-throne.


Traditionally the most revered and admired Haedrasians, (the priests, members of the Imperial family, decorated legionaries and the like) are preserved after death. Bodies are dried in a warm, dry aired vault, salted, oiled, perfumed, and have their organs removed through the sinuses. Then they are bound in wrappings of durable silk, always of a bloody crimson with a bejewelled hauberk, of the value of which denotes the individual's standing, on their shoulders and their favoured weapon or tool in their hands. Myth says that on the day the empire fails, Haederas will stir and raise the honoured dead to fight by his side, and reform Haedrasia anew. Then, and only then, will he ascend from the world.


All dates are given in the Imperatry Haedrasian calendar, counted from YED 0, or Year (of the) Earthly Divhi, commemorating with the laying of the cornerstone of the eternal palace.

c. YED -920 Haederas appears on the Isle of Men.
c. YED -210 The tribes of the landsmen flee the Isle of Men. The sundering begins.
c. YED -110 The Haedrasians wipe out the last of the Taruun.
c. YED -40 The sundering ends.
YED 0 The cornerstone of the Eternal Palace is laid.
YED 156 The Lizard Wars commence, Haedrasia and Maldaakore send forces to help the beleaguered Kelorns.
YED 232 The Lausian uprising is put down, the Imperator's heirs begin to be imprisoned in Royal Haedrasia.
YED 294 The last of the Zard are trapped between the combined forces of the east and the Caliban, and are defeated. The Lizards Wars end.

YED 755 Casador massacres the Imperatry Legions at Dusaq. The first Hundred Years War begins with Maldaakore.
YED 776 Haedrasian forces are annihilated at the disastrous Battle of Baragau Gul.

YED 900 Invention of the crossbow.

YED 1364 Aulandor Rage imprisons Haederas and founds the Magocracy.
YED 1394 Invention of blackpowder.
c. YED 1440 First confirmed victim of a jezail rifle.
YED 1450 Rage dies. Marius Augustin retakes the Unchallenged City from the Fourteen-Hundred and refounds the Haedrasian Empire.

YED 1919 Present Day.

The Imperatry Plains of Mighty Haedrasia
The Frozen North Cosarian Islands, Perca, Lekia, Illyum
The Ghan States Khalavic-Ghania, Trazdek-Ghania, Dragolchok-Ghania, Royal Haedrasia
The Central Flats Haedarium, Icarium, Lukaria, Haedrasia and the Unchallenged City, Roetia
The Drak Frontier Black Ice Bay, Maldrakaneum, The Salt Flats, Turana
The Kelorn Districts Gamon, Marisarn, Cal-Tolun, Trodur, The Three Cities
The Southern Soldatry Pannonium, Sacraminium, The Bair
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