High Kingdom of Hartho
The Authority of the CrownThe High Kingdom of Hartho is the ultimate authority on Talltable. Lead by an immortal High King, in times past the lands were governed by the stern hand of experience and his loyal cohort, The Great Five who saw personally to the matters of the soul and stomach over the decades of political upheaval that made up the mythical age of the High King's long life.
In modern times, the authority of the crown has grown permissive and decentralized. His small council is lead by his most powerful of progeny, in lleiu of his never ending reign his direct successors squabble over the five seats avaraciously. Each dedicated to the safety and power of a particular sector of the High King's empire, the small council is giving authorship of the land's policies and dictates. Each Ember, the council convenes at a private setting. Each member takes turns, hosting a Convention of the Small Council is an honor in it's own right and an opportunity for nobility to flaunt it's wealth and privalege to the others. Decrees are drafted and marked for distribution to reconcile the evolving needs of the Empire's complex web of economic needs and customs. State executions and pardons are determined as well as other judicial interventions. On occaision the council resolves to interpret the latest Quickening and seeks to fufill the political wishes of the The Eternal King.
Hartho has always been a lush backwater in a world of terrestrial, baser riches. Full of swamps and wetlands, long has storm systems drifted off the Sea of Multitudes and the Sea of Sorrows- depositing clean water into the resovoirs and lakes of the land. With a strong mix of clay, silt and sand from the Oraganeaux River the lands of central Hartho were always a great place for agriculture and development. Rich with woods and a long standing tradition of forestry set the land up for the The Great Escape of 33 AKB. Becoming a major population center during The Great Escape required the creation of several Cities to accommodate the new population centers.
Becoming a host to millions of refugees, opportunists saw the fires of industry glowing in the backdrop of the desperation. Great minds congregated in universities, muster halls filled with foreign veterans and artisans took up a generation of new apprentices. Under the leadership of the Eternal Emperor of his Youth, the continent was united through conquest and the scramble to acquire resources to feed, clothe and house the growing populations.
In modernity, much of the land has been robbed of it's value. Harthoans who call the central empire their home deal with the largest disparity between rich and poor on the plane. Since Quickening CCLXVI, large populations of civilians have been conscripted into the corvee to settle new lands. Several civilians have resorted to racketeering and adventuring to earn a wage in the wake of their service. As such, services now have become the largest export of Hartho.
History to Modernity
Hartho has been a central figure in the history of the Highsea for a little over two thousand years. A land separated by sprawling forests, highlands and cutting rivers, the borders of the land etched out many counties and duchies for the agrarian humans who lived there. Mingling with the elves of the sunless copses . In antiquity the inhabitants of the land skirmished over territories and would sometimes form trade hubs to export goods to outsiders. The temperate climates, intense rainfall and prominent wetlands ensured a latent population of plague and disease that would infect settlements that proved too successful.
During the time of The Great Escape, The Young Imperial Era was a time of intense war and peace. Young and ambitious the High King Gildaine, The Eternal King attacked local Kings and Dukes, laying claim to the land from sea to sea. Initially neutral, the Sunless Elf Kings too had their groves conquered by the Harthaons, their great ancestral trees used to decorate the Great Palace Halls of Hartho. Bearing many sons in his first hundred years of life, the High King's last great conquest, The Elvish Thornway clan became the name sake of his eldest family, House Thornwrest.
Prosperity marked the Young Imperial Era, peaking two hundred years into Gildaine I's life. Five generations of nobility were selected for their finest pedigrees and education and ensured the King a lasting legacy as his mind slipped too eagerly into the darkness of senility. Assigning positions of power to his children, the Thornwrest family line remained in power when senility began it's claim on the Emperor's mind. It was during the fall of the Young Imperial Era that the Small Council was formed, directing the Empire from the imagery invoked of their Father's greatest allies.
The Age of Quickening, marked a time of social upheaval and great internal strife within the High Kingdom of Hartho. The small council was split on a crucial decision that would affect the succession of power within the Empire at large. Two Houses fractured from the legacy of the Thornwrest family from the impending civil war that tore the country apart, House Murter, which had a candidate for Emperor fought the new House Crellard, who was established after the Emperor had an illegitamate child with a foreign bloodline during the early days of his senility. Both candidates had been assassinated in the final days of the conflict, bringing the war to an end and a new small council to power with a seat for the new families. The Thornwrest family, had their sitting members establish as part of the First Convention of the Second Small Council of Hartho (voted 3 to 5) the Institution of Cerebral Arts to aide in the regeneration of the High King's mental acuity and an end to his mounting senecense. By the Twenty Fourth Convention of the Small Council, the Quickening I was enacted establishing a Lord Dictator to interpret the word of the High King.