The Empire of the North. The Winter Kingdom. The dragon empire that ruled all the lands west of the Savage Mountains for two thousand years. Initially a prosperous realm that saw widespread peace, it met its inevitable ruin at the hands of a dragon, human, and horse alliance, after centuries of growing corruption and improper leadership.
Rising from a simple kingdom, the Svanska Empire is ruled by the Hervald, the 'Great Sovereign', who stands above the jarls (the princes or dukes) of the realm. The jarls oversee wide swaths of land, essentially operating as petty-king who pay homage to the over-king. Below the jarls are the hustcharl, the retainers, bodyguards, and members of the jarl's court, who in times of peace see to the administrative duties of the jarldoms and in times of war form the leaders of the army. The hustcharls are usually dragons, however, the occasional Rhynodd was granted the title, something that often put them at odds with their fellows.
The Svanska Empire lasted for nearly two thousand years before it was finally toppled, a catastrophic event caused by by a combination of deteriorating leadership, an alienated noble class, and an unprecedented alliance of human, horse, and dragon. The end of the empire led to the fracturing and founding of many smaller kingdoms and a long period of turbulence and strife as people struggled to fill the power vacuum left by the empire.