The Iron Empire Organization in Numiastra | World Anvil

The Iron Empire

The last bastion of humanity, who cling to the strength of steel and the certainty of smog as the world crumbles to madness around them

It is a great iron demon - an all-consuming beast that, in its gluttony to destroy its foes, will consume the world if it means victory.   We should only be so lucky that those 'foes' perish before we all burn in the fires of their twisted ambition.
— Unknown, on the subject of the Iron Empire

Structure

Throughout its untold centuries of activity, the Iron Empire's organizational structure has stayed largely intact with a few notable exceptions - most notably the formation of the Iluminon in the wake of The Miracle at Lumisterra which left the Empire leaderless for nearly a century. Aside from these rare exceptions, however, it is a testament to the Empire's stability(or to its stagnancy, depending on who is asked) that many of the current governmental bodies that exist in the modern day can trace their roots in some way far back to the empire's formation in the wake of The Ignition of Lumisterra long ago.   In all things, above all that is described below, it is absolutely critical that one keep in mind the eternal truth of the Iron Empire - Tavross, The Iron Emperor sits atop its Burning Sunthrone, as he always has, as its eternal ruler.  

Governmental Bodies

With such a massive quantity of land to rule over, it is little wonder that the bureaucracy of the Iron Empire is so notoriously convoluted and complicated, even to its own citizenry - to manage such a vast and intercontinental empire the government of the Iron Empire has become a labyrinthine, maze-like bureaucracy so expansive and vast that even the best politicians cannot truly fathom every depth of it; the only certainty is the being who resides at its pinnacle: Tavross, The Iron Emperor, the Eternal Emperor who founded the empire and was reborn centuries ago after his supposed death at the hands of his own son.  
  • The Ministry: The Highest Governmental body of the Empire aside from the Iron Emperor himself, the Ministry is a group of occasionally varying size made up of the leaders of the various factions, governmental bodies, and various arms of the Empire who serve a function similar in many ways to a Royal Cabinet, advising the Iron Emperor on matters of state when needed, but also serving the critical role of helping to govern the ludicrously enormous empire which is, in many ways, too massive for any singular existence to manage alone. They are empowered to create the laws of the land and count The Iron Emperor himself as chief of their cabinet(who holds final say on such matters, but often leaves them to self-govern for most mundane matters), and make the broad, sweeping policies that affect the empire as a whole as well as the all-important job of resource management - deciding what to send within the Empire to who needs it most. Many leaders of other organizations, such as the Head of the Iron Church or the Head of the Military, are so important as to hold de facto seats in the Ministry, but otherwise the seats in the Ministry change slightly depending on the year. Traditionally, the seats that make up the ministry are split 60-40 between being chosen personally by Tavross, The Iron Emperor himself or being elected by the populace or by their own organization, though scheming and complicated political dealings wrack the Ministry behind close doors.
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  • The Iron Church: The official church of Tavross, The Iron Emperor, which is the official state religion of the Iron Empire(And only tolerated religion, with almost no exceptions) as well as its main bureaucratic body - the largest of the Governmental Bodies, the Iron Church is a truly gargantuan organization that handles almost all bureaucracy, administration, military, and law enforcement matters of the Empire; to name merely a few of its responsibilities. Within its massive umbrella lies countless smaller organizations, each dedicated from everything to the Iron Tithe enacted upon the Empire's cities to weeding out heretics across its territories. Utterly inescapable, it dominates the Empire's political sphere as the smothering, tyrannical "glue" that keeps the Empire's disparate bulk together(And loyal to The Iron Emperor's aims) and unified towards the singular purpose of survival.
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  • The Illuminon: A governing body that has its roots in the ancient Lord-Council that once dominated Empire politics in the ages before The Miracle at Lumisterra and the temporary death of Tavross, The Iron Emperor - resurrected in the times following that death during The Age of Recession, the Illuminon is a large governmental body that meets monthly in the Empire's capital of Lumisterra, populated by the Ruling Houses that make up the Empire(Described below), as a way to discuss trade, treaties, deals, challenges, and countless such matters and more between themselves. Though they once directed matters of the Empire as a whole in The Iron Emperor's absence, they have had some of their power stripped from them in the modern era with The Diesel-God's Awakening - though they still hold the power to vote on many matters at smaller levels, scales, and scopes than those deliberated on by The Ministry such as roads, trade routes, trade agreements, military build-ups, and so on, their teeth have long since been "pulled" with the inclusion of Tavross, The Iron Emperor as the "leader" of the assembly, holding final sway over votes - with an extremely rare handful of exceptions where even they can overturn the Emperor's rulings. Notably, the larger a Ruling House is, the more sway they have in the matters of votes the body undertakes, and thus more political sway. The Hunter Clans(Described below) have no representatives here - they report solely to The Iron Emperor.
 

Non-Governmental Bodies

 
  • The Technis Brotherhood: The mysterious organization that stands behind the Iron Empire as the partial source of its unparalleled scientific might - a group less charitably called the "Technic Cult" by its enemies and the enemies of the Empire, the Brotherhood is a mysterious and poorly-understood group that haunts the deeper reaches of the twin forge-fortresses of Praxes Prime and Praxes Secundus(Gifted to them by the Emperor for their loyalty), as well as the city of Cindergarde which has long been lauded as the Holy City of the Brotherhood. Carrying a fanatical religious worship in their hearts of not Tavross, The Iron Emperor, but of technology itself - of which they view The Iron Emperor as a living embodiment of the very Technology they worship. Their faith, which many see as borderline heresy, is tolerated only thanks to their nature as absolute geniuses with technology, the Techpriests of the Brotherhood have long worked behind closed doors on the greatest accomplishments of the Empire - and often have even emerged from their reclusive forges in truly wondrous times with the other mighty minds of the Empire to produce works such as the Blacktrack Rattlers and the countless wonders of combat used by the Iron Church and its Inquisitors and Militant Chambers. While they hold no governmental power, they are very nearly a sovereign organization of their own within the empire - one that has allied itself with Tavross, The Iron Emperor primarily and The Empire itself, secondarily. Its origins unclear, the Brotherhood is said to be as old as The Skyfall Calamity itself.
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  • The Hunter Clans: The second founding group of the Iron Empire alongside the Technis Brotherhood, the Hunter Clans are the original ten clans that stood alongside Tavross, The Iron Emperor when he founded The Iron Empire so many thousands of years ago, carving out the land that the city of Lumisterra now stands upon and throwing their might in to form the bedrock of what would in time go on to become one of the Planet of Ea's largest empires. With such terrifying clans such as The Mortegorn - long lauded as the Emperor's feared Death Commandos and enforcers of his will, The Mostullat - the Unseen Assassins who silence the Emperor's enemies, and the Al Solalim - the Hidden Mystics who help steer the course of history and the Empire itself being the most fanatically loyal to the Iron Emperor, the rest of the Hunter Clans hold varying levels of Loyalty to Tavross, The Iron Emperor personally - though many are not above speaking out against him should he overstep his bounds, the tenth Clan was exterminated during the Age of Recession after the Iron Emperor's supposed death, when the loyalty of the Hunter Clans was called into question by the newly formed Illuminon and the Tenth Clan, shirking their loyalty to the Empire's Founder, sided with the newly formed governing body and was in turn torn apart by the other Nine Clans. Though they are believed to hold land somewhere across the Empire, none truly know where - making them a fearsome and mysterious boogeymen to any who would defy the Iron Emperor.
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  • The Ruling Houses: A catchall term used for the organizations which each rule one of the population centers of the empire - each of which is given over to a single "House" in the ancient noble style to rule over as a Fief. These houses, so long as they remain in control of the city in question, are considered to be one of the great Ruling Houses of the Iron Empire - one of its noble houses entitled to attend the monthly Illuminon, to vote on matters of the Empire and discuss business between themselves and the other Houses. The most prestigious of these Houses are known as "Great Houses", and are those in charge of running the Empire's massive "Hive Cities" - massive, bustling megacities built upwards rather than outwards as is traditional for most other cities on the planet. Likewise, the least of these houses as known as "Lesser Houses", and are those who rule over the various small cities and outlying villages that dwell around the Empire or its borders. Rife with political backstabbing and secretive dealings, these Houses must keep their positions over their lands to hold their stations - for if a new house comes to power, so long as the Iron Tithe can be paid by its new rulers to the Empire's Burning Sunthrone, the hammer of the Inquisitorius will rarely, if ever, fall upon them.
 

Societal Ranks

Brutalistic to the very end, society in the Iron Empire is a far cry from the feudal societies across the planet of Ea - instead, the only denominator and divider in the society of the Empire is one thing and one thing only: Success, measured typically in not simply money, but contribution to the Empire as a whole. For those who provide for the Empire, they are in turn provided for - without exception. This universal and brutalistic rule has driven much of the fanatical zealotry that has consumed the Empire's citizenry since its founding, as it fosters a desire to aid the common good above all else - station and status mean nothing, for the Empire's laws ensure most of what is given is taken away upon death and returned to the state, one's life entombed forever in steel and memorialized forever in memory, so all that one accrues in life is given solely based on their own effort and hard work.   In an inversion of what many expect, the Iron Empire has almost no slave caste at all - it simply has no time nor patience to maintain an entire caste of creatures solely used for physical labor in an era of machines and automatons, and simply cannot abide the chance of squandering talent away in slave camps or in mindless prisons. Ultimately, by design, there is only one rank of society in the empire - Citizen.

Culture

Much like the faith of the god which they venerate, the culture of those who live within the empire is one of dedication and paranoia - and deep-seated distrust. Notoriously human-centric, they distrust the inhuman and the alien as a matter of course, shunning any species different than baseline humanity as untrustworthy rogues at best and outright villainous betrayers at worst for the simple reason that they have almost always hated them back. While many go deeper than this baseline reasoning, at its core lays this flawed understanding - that aliens and inhumans are not to be trusted because they, like all else on Numiastra, are agents of destruction to Humanity who would sooner see it eradicated for the simple act of survival than ever trying to understand it. To those of the Empire, inhumans and aliens are a disease - even if one appears nice and kind and could be accepted, it only invites disaster.   Beyond their hatred of the inhuman, those of Numiastra hold an even deeper hated for anything that touches the realm of the magical. While this hatred reaches its zenith in regards to Arcane Magic specifically - which the people of the Empire view as a tool of the selfish, of the destroyer, and of the corrupted - they hold a lesser suspicion for any who practice magic as a whole with albeit less instantly violent reactions. To them, those who practice non-arcane magic can at least be outcast, ignored, or allowed to practice under strict supervision depending on the source of their power(Viewing it as a lesser evil for a being to gain power from a distant mighty source to which they are beholden) - while those who practice arcane magic are evil beings that are, above all, inherently selfish and self-centered; caring only about themselves and their own power moreso than they care about any other living being...an interest which runs antithetical to the Empire's citizenry who views dedication to the whole and the "greater good" as such important concepts. To them, to simply practice Arcane Magic is to embrace selfishness over the whole - the entire way of it is, to them a cancer best expunged with blade and bomb.   In truth, the culture of the Empire can be reduced simply to a single word - hope. Hope that humanity will have a tomorrow, hope that the world will one day be fixed again, and hope that the world can be made a more secure and stable place at any cost - all these mottos and more are absolutely integral to the culture of the Empire, who tend to favor "Ends justify the means" thinking while believing that progress of any kind is better than none. To them, humanity is an inherently good thing - something worth throwing everything away for if it means securing a future for something greater than themselves; because of this, the people of Numiastra are quick believers in causes bigger than themselves and believe that it is crucial for one to dedicate themselves to a 'greater good', seeing such dedication as proof of a life well-lived in pursuit of a better world.   Slow to trust and slower to accept, the people of the Empire favor progress and progress alone because they view it as the only path to survival - in their culture, there is simply no room for laziness or indolence - so they are often full of drive, ambition, and are quick to decide on paths and know what they want in both the long and short term. Decisive and unshakable, they trust no one as a matter of course and place faith in actions alone - seeing community as something above even the individuals that make them up. In many ways, they are idealists corrupted by the world around them - pursuing an ideal of progress, prosperity, or peace and viewing their own life as worthwhile if they help further that ideal, always eager to do what they think "helps others" even if that "help" is executing mages for practicing their filthy, selfish craft.

Public Agenda

The Iron Empire's Agenda is primarily expansion - more land to gather more resources to further technological innovation with the hopes of one day finishing off their enemies in The Vrykus Throne for good.

Assets

As the largest Empire on the planet, the Iron Empire's assets are truly unfathomable - there is little that they cannot gain or locate or acquire.

History

See Master Timeline for more info.

Demography and Population

The Iron Empire is, by its primary religious beliefs, Human-Centric - half-human races are often tolerated with scorn and derision, with all other races that exist within the empire existing as second-class citizens(if they are tolerated at all, as others are purged on sight), with more monstrous races being simply exterminated. The notable exception to this is Goblins, who are often welcomed as semi-normal citizens and often used within the Iron Church's Militant Chambers and Inquisitorious.

Territories

The Territory occupied by the Iron Empire is utterly massive - all of it conquered and taken by force in the years following The Skyfall Calamity. They care little to return it, and seek to claim ever more land in their quest to defeat the forces of their mortal enemies, The Vrykus Throne.

Military

The military of the Iron Empire is almost entirely beneath the banner of The Iron Church - if only organizationally rather than religiously. For more information, see the page for Tavross, The Iron Emperor.   As a general rule, the armies of the Iron Empire are heavily mechanized with a focus on ranged combat and extensive artillery support - well-thought out plans are put into motion days or weeks before a battle takes place, with massively complicated cannons and artillery emplacements firing off continent-rattling salvos of explosive shells to utterly devastate a target area long before living troops ever set foot near a battlefield. With tactics, battle gear, and militaries designed around the concept of "keep the living out of danger for as long as possible", the Iron Empire has one of the most feared militaries in all the world designed to bring death from afar long before their enemy ever gets in range, often deploying legions of diesel-powered automatons both large and small to absorb the brunt of an enemy attack before living soldiers are sent in to handle close-combat.   Furthering this emphasis on wielding their technological advantage to its fullest extent, the Iron Empire's military is notorious for taking any advantage they can grasp no matter how minor - no civilian population is beyond a brutal shelling campaign if it means destroying enemy morale(A mistake which led to The Defeat at Saganaoa, as such terror tactics only exponentially bolstered the armies of the Suzerainty's resolve), making terror tactics and overwhelming displays of force a common tactic used by their military to prevent or gain the upper hand in a conflict. Most feared are the Smogger Crawlers - massive, towering diesel-powered automata used by the Iron Empire's military to terraform a battlefield into a toxic, smog-choked bog to further hinder enemy attempts to engage them up close; wielding their advanced rangefinding and spotting technology to take advantage of the normally poor visibility to turn a battlefield their enemies can barely move or see through into a hyper-accurate killing field.   Finally, with one of the mightiest and most invincible navies on the entire continent of Ea, they excel in conflicts that allow for Naval Support - the unnaturally massive thumper-cannons of their Naval Fleets pounding entire cities into smoky glass from miles or kilometers away. So oppressive is their naval might that no nations have truly figured out how to sink that might as of the modern day - the metallic hulls of their Naval Ships simply proving invincible to their foes, though notably the Protectorate of Zur has somehow developed a defensive material that has made their mountain citadels all but immune to the Empire's Heavy Thumper-Cannon Salvos, a fact which the Dwarves of the Protectorate waste no opportunity to smugly remind the Empire of. Likewise, the Suzerainty of Ruatiwanga has found success thwarting the Iron Navy by using its own bulk against it - manipulating the ocean to sink the ships intact with their mysterious Rain Shaman Cadres.   Going even beyond this, however, the military of the Iron Empire is almost excessively specialized in two forms of combat - countering magic, and countering the undead. Outside of these enemy types, their typical tactics, battle strength, and combat gear see a noticeable nose-dive; though they are still feared regardless.

Technological Level

The technological innovations of the Empire are entirely too numerous to list out here or anywhere - but it is no exaggeration to say that the Iron Empire is decades or even centuries ahead of the rest of Numiastra and its surrounding lands, from everything to purer blackpowder, advanced medical technology, advanced communications equipment such as The Aethergraph which made the World Assembly possible following the first successful trans-oceanic communication to the Suzerainty of Ruatiwanga, to advanced transportation technology such as Blacktrack Rattlers and advanced combat gear such as Steamsuits and Automated Diesel Golems and Automatons and more.

Religion

The state religion of the Empire is that of Tavross, The Iron Emperor, and his worship is mandatory for all citizens - other faiths are almost universally persecuted aside from extremely rare exceptions, making his faith and the Iron Church which governs it an all-consuming entity within the Empire.

Foreign Relations

As a general rule, the Foreign Relations of the Iron Empire are typical for an expansionist Imperial Power - that is to say, poor. The only exception is with the Suzerainty of Ruatiwanga - with whom they share a tentative relationship of cooperation despite the Suzerainty's inhuman population thanks to the Suzerain's powerful military and strong charisma.

Agriculture & Industry

Thanks to the ever-spreading corruption that creates The Diesel Fields around every city within the Iron Empire, they are often ironically faced with food shortages which have historically forced them to get creative with their food supplies - turning their dead into bland but nutrient rich food-paste while utilizing massive hydroponics labs within their central Hive Cities to grow food, the Empire is an all-consuming void of agriculture; meaning they are always importing more food and constantly trying to increase their own output to provide for their citizens. Despite these attempts, rationing is often a semi-common occurance outside of the Empire's heartlands.   When it comes to industry, however, they are the best on the entire planet of Ea - their sky-choking industries of smog and steel are so hyper-advanced that the largest geopolitical powers in the area that come close to matching their industrial power - the Suzerainty of Ruatiwanga and the Protectorate of Zur - can barely match thirty percent of the Empire's industrial capacity combined. Few can truly fathom the raw industrial power the Iron Empire can truly bring to bear even when told the numbers - they wield enough such industrial power that, when the Iron Empire's legendary Smog-belching Factories are ramped up to 100%(Something that happens rarely, even in wartime, for environmental concerns) and morale is high enough to sustain sufficient manpower within them, they could produce enough armor and swords to outfit a city each day of operation. This Industrial Power, enough to choke out even the largest of their rival nations, is a large factor to their success across the ages - as it makes them almost entirely immune to wars of attritition.

Trade & Transport

Much like their industrial might, the transportation of the Iron Empire is first-class among the entire planet of Ea - largely thanks to the Blacktrack Rattlers which serve as vital metallic arteries keeping the Empire together. So advanced is the empire's transportation network that its citizens can travel across the empire's massive scope in a matter of days - a feat utterly unfathomable to many other pre and even post industrial societies, made largely possible thanks to the Empire's dedication to its technological craft. This also has the added benefit of allowing the Empire to fully benefit from its ludicrous industrial capacity - allowing it to move the massive amount of industrial product across its vast bulk in record times.

Education

All citizens of the Empire are mandatorily required to attend two years of schooling covering basic topics the Empire has deemed "required", but beyond that higher schooling is available but not required - notably, any pursuing higher schooling need not worry about paying for it so long as they sign contracts promising to repay the government's investment in them with a certain number of years of service.

Strength in Steel, Survival beneath the Emperor

Founding Date
700
Type
Geopolitical, Empire
Alternative Names
The Empire
Demonym
Ironite
Head of Government
Government System
Monarchy, Theocratic
Power Structure
Unitary state
Economic System
Mixed economy
Currency
The Iron Empire uses a unique metallic fiber to make durable metallic currency resembling paper money - this currency, denominated in 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s, is known as "Shavings"(Singular: Shaving).
Major Exports
Industrial Might, Metal, Gunpowder, Diesel Fuel, Composite Alloys, Guns, Agricultural Innovations, Knowledge, New Technologies
Major Imports
Nearly everything it can get its hands on
Legislative Body
The Iron Emperor and his Ministry are responsible for writing the laws of the Empire.
Judicial Body
While the Iron Emperor and his Ministry serve as the high court of the land, in practicality The Iron Church and its Inquisitorius handles much of the Judiciary work across the Empire.
Executive Body
While the Iron Emperor and his Ministry serve as the highest executive branch in the land, in practicality The Iron Church and its Inquisitorious handles much of the law enforcement work across the Empire.
Neighboring Nations

Tentatively Cooperating

Though they now stand as tentative allies, that same alliance has been built on the blood and suffering of tens of thousands of dead on each side - after The Defeat at Saganaoa which saw the armies of the Suzerain crush the Iron Empire's expanding armies, the two massive empires were hostile for a time before reluctantly throwing aside their differences to establish the first World Assembly - the council of nations held in the capital of the Suzerainty which included representatives from most of Numiastra's geopolitical powers(the Vrykus Throne and the Kingdom of Obratu not included) and several smaller outlying local powers, each come to discuss matters on a global scale.   Now, with many claiming that the legendary Suzerain Adenulphus II(Known to his people as "The Artist") stands a very real chance at matching the power of the Iron Empire, the Iron Empire has been forced to recognize the power of Ruatiwanga and its seemingly invincible Suzerain, despite his(by Iron Empire Standards) freakish and inhuman appearance. A testament to the Suzerain's affable nature and overwhelming charisma, the legendary Treaty of Letubasa, writ in a private meeting between the Suzerain and Tavross, The Iron Emperor over the course of a 78 hour meeting behind closed doors, paved the way for cooperation between the two powers despite the Suzerainty's mostly inhuman population of beastmen and other non-humans from the Ruati continent; a legendary brokerage signed into law by the two leaders before a gathered crowd of both nations.   It was, in truth, the first time in the history of either nation that such a pact of cooperation had been made despite the incredible tensions that linger even now between them, as if they both lie constantly on the brink of returning to the old ways and wars that once caused such disasters such as The Defeat at Saganaoa a little over a century prior. It is not an easy alliance, nor a steady one - but it holds for now in the face of greater threats such as The Vrykus Throne, hard fought for by a select few on both sides despite the two nations, in many ways, still yearning for war against the other.

Distant and Wary

The only remaining geopolitical entity in the lands of Numiastra that has yet to encounter the Iron Empire in any significant way, the Kingdom of Obratu, mysterious and reclusive by default, has only recently encountered the Empire's cancerous advances onto their sub-continent with the establishment of the Iron's Edge outpost far to the north-east of their sub-continent - the most distant and eastern outpost of the Iron Empire.   Otherwise, the two powers are aware of each other, but have yet to truly meet and have a formal diplomatic dealing - the establishment of the World Assembly did not include the Kingdom of Obratu, so for now the two remain distantly neutral, each probing the other yet shirking first contact.

Engaged in a Cold War

Though the Iron Empire has gone to war with the Protectorate in the past over the touchy issue of the colonies and refugees that the massive mountain citadels have taken to protecting in the wake of the Empire's expansion, the two powers have fallen out of active war after several failed attempts by the Empire to conquer the Protectorate.   Now the two powers distantly observe the other, testing each other and fighting proxy wars as the Protectorate seeks above all to protect their land and those under their care from the Empire's cruelty while the Empire seeks to punish the refugees who fled into the arms of the Mountain citadels as traitors and heretics to the Empire and to Humanity itself.   Most difficult obstacle for the Empire to overcome is the Protectorate's strange and unorthodox methods of making war - their overly defensive and melee-focused approach to combat even in the face of an increasingly modern world(combined with unique advancements in anti-gunpowder technology) has repeatedly stymied attempts by the Empire to crush the Protectorate's comparatively much smaller armies.

Sworn Enemies

A rivalry as old as the Skyfall Calamity itself, the Vrykus Throne and the Iron Empire have been at war ever since any being alive on Numiastra can remember - their struggle is one of living versus the dead, of new vs old, of hope versus despair; though which is which is a theological and philosophical debate few are prepared for. Engaging each other with fury unmatched, the two mighty empires war wherever they other can be found, each seeking the total extinction of the other to claim total dominance on the continent and beyond.

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