"By all the powers of the Gods Ancient and Revered, we call upon the Grace, Protection and Pride of the Elder Triumvirate to be blessed upon this new Apollyon. A new heir to the Crown of Thorns. A new heir to the Glorious Empire. An new heir to be draped in thine holiest of colours from this day of birth, to the day of their passing from this Mortal Realm into thine embrace past the stars. Past the sign of the Bull, meaning this newborn emperor will have to stay true to the brave and assertive Path of the Bull in order to remain worthy of his destiny."
The crossover between the Third and Fourth Eras is largely believed to have occurred during the Warlord Period. This largely undocumented period of time is named for the violent power vacuum caused by the rapid collapse of the Empire of Midland, and caused the destruction of many great pieces of imperial architecture and documentation.
However, out of all literature lost or burned during this time, the most meticulously kept and secured information was in relation to the Emperors, especially the records of their births, coronations, and deaths. This has led to historians specialising in the Third Era to have their timelines split between each individual Emperor's rule, as where any events that have lost their exact dates over time will have a note somewhere of having occurred "during the reign of Emperor ___".
Despite this causing untold frustration for historians attempting to set defined dates for even major events such as when the Renaissance of the Dragon Age began or even the official collapse of the Midlandian Empire, it has allowed such detailed records to persist on the lives and duties of the Emperors themselves. This is seen most prominently in the traditions surrounding their life events.
The Emperors of Midland were incredibly superstitious folk, predicted to have been inherited from their legendary origins connected to the Gargoyle King of floating Eldervair
. On the run-up to the predicted birth day of a new heir, astronomers and diviners were invited into the imperial court at Doldrey
in droves. These would be ordered to scan the night skies and assess the threads of potential fate respectively for at least a fortnight before the due date, scribing prophecies and predictions of the Empire's coming future.
While the majority of primary sources of the actual prophecy texts have been lost over time, the work of astronomers on the fateful day are to record which zodiac sign the imperial heir is born under. This would be interpreted in several different ways, which the experts would have to correlate and discern which is the most accurate to the fate of the Empire in the time of the Empress' period of solitude.
The period of solitude appears to be a tradition held by the latter half of Emperors as the culture of wetnursing grew in popularity. This led to the emergence of the now-canonised by the Holy See Scythe-Saint Nympha
as working with the Imperial Court to fund and hand-pick specialist priestesses of Galana
. These priestesses would work with the imperial handmaidens and surround the Emperor's consort to ensure her and the heir's safety for some time after the birth itself, and would go on to form the Sisterhood of the Knot
After ensuring the health of the Empress and heir, the child would be draped in golden silk as they mantle Courga's divine power and grace and become a true heir of Humanity's future as the next representation of First Man Logaan the King in Yellow. Surrounded by the Sisterhood, the pair would emerge into a celebratory ceilidh in the court where the astronomers and diviners would proclaim the weal of the coming century as everyone sips the finest wines.
Various snippets of more traditions survive to this day, such as offering a silver coin to the child where depending on if they grab hold of it or drop it would suggest their care for the imperial coffers. Elixirs crafted from rowan berries would be given to the Empress, and willow branches would also be given to the newborn. Modern scholars believe both of these were used to ward off any influences from Fae.
For Emperors, there existed no tradition of celebrating birthdays like the rest of their subjects. Instead, they would honour the past Emperors in extending their legacy by celebrating namedays. These would resemble feasts held annually on the date connected to the historic figure they are named after, usually being Sarrus.
The Sarrus Emperors held their namedays on Sarrus I von Apollyon
's birthday; the 7th Samhradh
. Harrian II von Apollyon
held his nameday on the date of Harrian I
's death due to no record ever existing of his birth date; the 28th Harvestend
. Bridgett von Apollyon
celebrated her own birthday, even during her time as Imperial Regent
, though this changed when she was granted the Crown of Thorns
. At this point, she had the choice of which imperial name she would mantle due to the legal questions over a female ruler of the Midlandian Empire. Bridgett chose Idus von Apollyon
, and thusly began celebrating her nameday as Idus' birthday; 20th Handsel
Emperor Bridgett von Apollyon is the best evidence as to the theory that while an emperor would formally and publicly only celebrate their nameday, they would also celebrate their personal birthday in their own privacy just like any other subject of the Empire. After the death of her son, she would not allow any celebrations or sense of joy throughout the Imperial Palace on his day of birth. She would also reportedly spend her own birthdays in the solitude of her son's crypt below Helden.