, following the destruction of the planet spanning Empire by a multitude of enemies within and without.
Rise of Empire
Even by those few scholars and historians who still retain knowledge of the Hazrad Imperium, naught is known of the early days the civilisation. All that is known is that for millennia, the Hazrad Imperium was the uncontested master of Autumna, on the surface, in the depths of the Underdark, and some speculate, even beyond the planet of Autumna itself.
Height of Power
At its height the Hazrad Imperium is thought to have been a broadly benevolent entity, where citizens wanted for nothing, and each contributed to society in ways best suited to the individual. Whilst not perfect, the civilisation is thought to have evolved beyond internal strife, conquered disease, and harnessed magics and technologies to create wonders beyond the wildest fancy of modern Artificers.
Over the many millenia of its existence, the Imperium developed a mastery of techno-arcana far beyond anything that survives today. Using highly advanced machines powered through arcane means, all parts of Autumna were linked by near instant Teleportation
magic, great metallic dragons capable of carrying hundreds of passengers in their bellies (and safely regurgitate them), and even personal horseless carts capable of crossing great distances over land or under the seas.
There is some evidence that the creation of machines advanced to the point of the creation of fully artificial thinking creatures, both more durable and more intelligent than any mortal. It is speculated that many of the more functions of government were delegated to these artificial beings, and the cold logic of iron may be the original spark for the use of Necromancy.
Empire in Decline
What great collamaty triggered the slow decline of the Hazrad Imperium is unknown. What is known is that approx 700 years before The Purge
, the birth rate in the Imperium, began to drastically reduce. This appears to be around the same time as the Qhuss
joined the Imperium, and began to take over Imperial Institutions. In their desperation to contain some unknown threat, the Imperium, without the great population they once had to recruit from, looked to Necromancy to provide a fighting force. After the threat was defeated the undead legions were disbanded, but with each successive emergency it became easier to justify the use of vile magics to raise the dead. In time, all mundane labour across the Imperium was performed by the Undead, and Necromancers rose in importance and power within the governmental structures of the Imperium.
Over 7 centuries the Imperium increased their reliance on the Undead to fend off invaders, traitors and usurpers, who were only set against them because of their reliance on the Undead.
Legacy of Death
Following the collapse of the Hazrad Imperium came the period known as The Purge
, where all trace of the civilisation was eradicated from public consciousness. All readily accessible written histories were redacted, their machines and idols destroyed, and the surviving Necromancers burnt at the stake.
More than 2,000 years since the fall of the Imperium, evidence of their civilisation can be seen all around, if one knows where to look. The scattered ancient Teleportation
circle network are the most obvious legacy, however there are many more. Deep in the most ancient of crypts can sometimes be found caches of ciphers, relics and Iron Flesh, all of which are techno-arcana of the ancients. Often these are guarded by horrendously powerful beings of iron and magic, creatures forged with the intellect of an arch-mage, the durability of the toughest golem, and the malace of the Outer Dark.
It is speculated that the Floating Isles of Kyago are a surviving example of Hazradian geo-engineering, and the crystaline caves deep within the underdark are lost Imperial technology used to create hospitable areas in the most inhospitable environments.
During the fall of the Hazrad Imperium, all known entrances to the underdark were collapsed and magically sealed, completely cutting them off from the outside world. Physical barriers and repurchased Hazradian war sentinels prevent exit in person, and great arcane wards prevent any access by Teleportation
. In the 2,000 years since there are no known encounters with denizens from the underdark, proof that the Imperium's subterranean cities all perished to infighting, starvation and to the horrors of the deep chasms the years following The Purge
The Hazrad Imperium is the precursor civilisation to the nations that currently occupy Autumna. Knowledge of the Hazrad Imperium was all but erased approximately 2,000 years ago in