The Empire of Turelion
Once a shining beacon of advancement, progress, wealth and the power and potential of Humans the Empire of Turelion is now a shadow of its former self. For centuries, crime, corruption and over officious bureaucracy have tarnished humanity's brightest jewel. Despite its decline, however, Turelion has managed to survive the worst of the deprivations and damages wrought by the Divine War. It's survival is due, in no small part to its absolute dedication to the god of war Astartes, and the collective territories of the Empire and its citizens make it the largest concentration of adherents to god of war in the entirety of Kelbonnar's Material Plane. As a result, Astartes has taken special care to ensure that, against the odds, the Empire of Turelion continues to survive. Turelion's dedication to Astartes has been part of its way of life ever since the founder of the Empire, Machestaro I began a series of conquests that resulted in the defeat of all who opposed the armies of Turelion and after forty years of constant warfare led to the proclamation of the Empire of Turelion. Turelion's strength lay not just in their well drilled armies and deep coffers, but also in two technological break throughs that really tipped the balance of war in their favour. The first: the provision of powerful but often unreliable blackpowder weaponry, which could be used with devastating results when it functioned properly both to kill and to awe. The second was the discovery that Elementals could be bound by skilled magic users into Elemental Cores, sources of power with the potential to perpetually heat forges, provide constant wind in the sails of ships, even allow ships to take to the skies, create endless sources of freshwater and much more besides. Now, after hundreds of years of imperial rule, cracks are beginning to appear and spread, the last handful of Emperors have been careless and lazy, whilst their retainers and officials have become too content with their luxurious lots in life. Factions have appeared all across Kelbonnar to exploit the Empire, or throw off its shackles entirely, banking on the now over complicated and cumbersome bureaucracy being too slow to react before it is too late. In addition, the spread of the Empire's influence has also meant that the technology that gave them their advantage over there rest of the world is now accessible for those that would wish to use it against them. Nevertheless, the Empire of Turelion is still a powerful force to be reckoned with, and any who get in the way of its machinery when it is finally brought to bear are made to rue the day they thought to defy the Emperor of Turelion and Kelbonnar or its divine patron Astartes.
The Empire of Turelion is headed by The Emperor of Turelion and Kelbonnar, who rules as an absolute monarch. Each Emperor directly chooses who will succeed them and though this generally tends to lead to children or grandchildren within the imperial family being chosen, it is not unheard of for an Emperor to choose a trusted and influential friend or advisor to take over the mantle of leadership upon their death. In such cases, the individual is immediately adopted into the imperial family, in order to continue the semblance of dynastic succession. Beneath the Emperor are a bevy of imperial office holders, ministers and advisors who control all matters of state so that the imperial personage only has to become involved in the most pressing of matters. Of significant importance in this sea of underlings are the Satraps, each of whom holds administrative responsibility and oversight for one of the seven provinces of the Empire. Each of the Provinces functions in essence like an individual country under the rule of its respective Satrap, controlling their own armed forces, administrative bodies and raising their own taxes, a significant portion of which goes to the Imperial Treasury. In addition, there are several other Imperial arms that operate independently from the bureaucracy of the empire, save for reporting into the Congregation of Lords, and which have been granted extraordinary jurisdiction wherever they deem it necessary by the Emperor. This group includes The Imperial College of Arcanists, The Lodge of Imperial Hunters and the The Imperial Inquisition amongst others.
Legislative & Bureaucratic Bodies:Whilst the Emperor of Turelion and Kelbonnar is perfectly entitled to create and enact laws as well as manage the activities of the Empire’s various bodies entirely on their own, this was quickly deemed to be impractical as the Empire’s bureaucracy became more and more bloated. After the coronation of Machestaro II in 306DP and his subsequent mental breakdown caused by the stresses of the Imperial office, the Congregation of Lords and the Imperial Bureau were founded in 305DP to relieve some of the burden upon the Imperial personage. Whilst the Imperial Bureau manages the administration and bureaucracy surrounding the provinces, trade, defence, and the Imperial treasury amongst other things, the Congregation of Lords acts as the main legislative body for the Empire and oversees the work of most of its institutions. The Emperor, as the Head of the Congregation of Lords still has the final say on all matters, but in general the Lords are given leave to sign off legislation themselves, pending the Imperial approval being granted at a later date, should the reigning Emperor choose not to attend their meetings.
The original territory first conquered by Machestaro I when his armies marched out of the then City-State of Meltaro to begin his campaign of expansion is the area that is now referred to as Turelion Province on the continent of Euristan. This province is now the heartland of the Empire and is the most wealthy and most densely populated area. It also includes the imperial capital Meltaro, a sprawling megacity that has the highest concentration of people per sq mile in the whole of Kelbonnar. The Empire's six other provinces account for the lands that were forced into joining the imperial fold either through force or diplomatic pressure. These provinces are:
- Ultaru Province;
- Pelenar Province;
- Ferio Province;
- Bystari Province;
- Greltor Province;
- Norgantho Province.
The Empire operates a devolved military force, with each of the seven provinces maintaining their own armed forces, including land, naval and air forces. The strength of these forces varies in size and quality depending on the province in question, with more peaceful provinces such as Bystari Province requiring a relatively small contingent of troops at the disposal of their Satraps, compared with the more troublesome or remote provinces. Norgantho Province boasts the largest standing army, purely due to the fact that a large force is needed to deal with the Norganthian Rebels, whose rebellion has led to the creation of the breakaway state Nova Norgantho in the area of the Worfal Tundra. Conversely, the activities of the The Kelrik Pirates means that Pelenar Province has the largest navy, though their presence within the province has done little to curb the piratical activities there. Regardless of the size of force that each Province has, the Emperor is able to call on all of them at any time to defend the integrity of the Empire. All of the provincial forces are expected to maintain troops utilising Blackpowder Weaponry and more traditional mêlée and ranged weapons. Additionally, the Emperor is protected by his own personal guard, known as the Imperial Drakes, whose number make them a small army in their own right of the most highly trained soldiers in the whole of Kelbonnar. The Imperial Drakes have specialist ships and aircraft at their disposal as well as elite magic users to help protect the Imperial family and the Emperor's residences.
As the founder of the Empire of Turelion, Machestaro I was not a particularly religious man, he was not concerned with bringing all of the Empire’s newly gained subjects into the same faith fold. This means that freedom of worship has been allowed and tolerated throughout all of the provinces since their founding. Under the rule of Orthax II, ‘the pious’, who ascended to the imperial throne just over forty years after Machestaro’s death the Imperial Church of Astartes was made the official religion of the Empire, which did lead to a brief crackdown on the worship of other deities across imperial territory, but after several rebellions broke out over the issue, Orthax’s successor, Machestaro III ended the purge on other faiths and quietly reinstated the unwritten right to freedom of faith, though that still could not save the lives of the many thousands who died in Orthax’s purge and the subsequent rebellions. To this day the Imperial Church of Astartes holds significant sway over the Empire, with its top ecclesiastical figures being the only members of the nobility to be automatically enrolled into the Congregation of Lords on receiving their new positions and titles.
Agriculture & Industry
The production of agricultural and industrial goods is not operated at the imperial level, but is instead devolved to the seven provinces of the Empire, who manage the production of food, goods and sundries, a proportion of which is given to the Emperor (alongside their monetary tax quota) as a tithe, theoretically to future proof the Empire and the provinces from shortages, though in reality, even when a province has fallen upon times of grievous hardship, aid was not forthcoming from the Emperor’s storehouses.
Trade & Transport
As the largest geopolitical entity on Kelbonnar's Material Plane, making it one of the most valuable trading partners available, the Empire has access to trade goods from across the entire world, with any goods that the Imperial Household wishes to acquire being sourced for them quickly and easily. This is especially true given the fact that many merchants and traders would jump at the chance to claim that they were suppliers to the Emperor and his family. Transport, however proves amore tricky issue in the Empire, primarily because large areas of the Empire’s territory, including the majority of Provincial Capitals are very remote from the centre of Imperial authority Meltaro. Distance is not the only problem though. Large tracts of the Empire, including nearly all of its provinces are separated from one another by wilderness areas with many being incredibly mountainous, densely forested, swamped by wetlands, or cut off from one another by seas and oceans; and all of that still does not take into account the bandits, rebels, pirates, the myriad monstrous creatures looking for prey and potentially hostile geopolitical bodies or organisations that might be in the way. All of this coupled with the poor overall quality and extent of the Imperial road network within its provinces means that travel, particularly by land is difficult and dangerous. In order to combat this, the Empire of Turelion and its subjects makes heavy use sea transport as much as possible to move people, trade goods and supplies, and the vast majority of major settlements, built since the founding of the Empire, have been constructed on the coasts to facilitate transport. The use of Elemental Cores is particularly helpful in this regard, as Air Elemental Cores can be used to provide a constant supply of wind in the sails of ships, meaning that sailors are no longer at the mercy of nature, except for when storms whip up. In addition, Elemental Core technology has been used to create flying machines, known generically as Firewings, which although they are limited in size can be used to transport small amounts of goods or people through the skies, negating the difficulties of travelling overland by foot. There are several different classes of Firewings, that are used for a variety of civilian and military purposes by the Emperor and his subjects. As to those settlements in remote areas, unless they are deemed to be of particular strategic importance to the Emperor, they are generally left to fend for themselves, hoping that brave, or foolhardy merchants will still undertake journeys to them with goods and sundries, hoping to make a tidy profit from those living on the edges of civilisation.
Though there are places where one can get an education in the Empire of Turelion, it is by no means a given. Schools for children ranging from the ages of 4 to 18 years do exist all over the Empire, but there is no state sponsored source of free education. Instead, schools are set up by people who are either very philanthropically minded, or who are looking to profit from the desires of the middle and upper classes to have their children educated. As a result, the schooling that is available across the Empire tends to be expensive, vary wildly in its quality and the material covered and vary in the span of years that children are allowed to remain as pupils. The provinces of Turelion, Bystari and Greltor Province have the most schools on average. Many wealthy and influential families choose to have their children educated at home under the guidance of a personal tutor, who generally go by the title of ‘Master or Mistress of Education’. Once they are old enough, families who can afford such services are likely to try and gain a place for their children at one of the few higher education establishments in the Empire, whether by legitimate or more underhand means. There are several higher education institutions within the Empire, including the Imperial Strategic College, which trains officers for the armed forces, the Imperial College of Administration, which provides administrators from the Empire, and the Imperial College of Engineering. In addition, children and adults that catch the eye of a Mage in the employ of the Emperor and who have a natural talent for the arcane are taken to The Imperial College of Arcanists, where they are trained at the Empire’s expense to wield magic in the defence of the Emperor.
The amount of infrastructure present across the Empire varies from province to province, with the general rule being that the further away from the capital, Meltaro a place is, the smaller the amount that will have been spent on infrastructure in that area since the formation of the Empire. For example, the continent of Euristan, which contains the Imperial Province of Turelion has a large and sophisticated road network linking all of the major cities and settlements in the provinces of Turelion and Ultaru Province. Conversely, infrastructure in Greltor Province, the furthest away from Meltaro is almost non existent outside of the settlements, with the only way to get around the province without resorting to weeks of trudging through scrubland being by air or sea. Under the rule of Emperor Turael II in the 200s DW a significant body of public works was undertaken throughout the Empire, ensuring that all of the Provincial capitals had the same basic level of administrative, defensive and industrial capacity to enable the effective governing of their respective provinces. In addition, Turael gifted each settlement in the Empire that had over 5,000 souls at the time, a Water Elemental Core, to provide an almost endless supply of fresh water for the cities and towns that qualified to use. Turael’s benevolence in this respect has yet to be matched by any other Emperor.
The Peace of Turelion from Horizon to Horizon
Head of State
The Standardised currency of the Empire is the system of Imperial Coinage, which is split into three denominations: Gold Crowns, Silver Solars and Copper Feathers, all of which are produced by the Imperial Mints. Promissory notes are also printed by the Imperial Mints, which can be issued for larger amounts of money, and which can be exchanged for physical coins.
Official State Religion
Related Ranks & Titles