Citizens of the Empire: Religion, Culture, and Demographics

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Citizens of the Empire: Religion, Culture, and Demographics

The Eternal Empire primarily venerates our Divine Empress, Raskalarn, as well as Karem, but the Empress has asked that the education of Imperial Citizens include information on as many Immortals as possible. To that end, a scholar by the name of Selayne, a studious Raskithecal from the town of Veroka, was commisioned 543 to write a manuscript detailing not only the Immortals, but also the eight Original Beings that created them. The project had the personal oversight of both Karem and our Divine Empress and Selayne had frequent interviews with both of them. However, the project was never finished. Selayne was found murdered in 576 and large chunks of his manuscript was missing. The project was never resumed, as Raskalarn felt she could not, in good conscious, order a scholar to take up the task that had led to Selayne's death. What follows is what was recovered of Selayne's manuscript, with some notes from his editor that are left to clarify a few things.

Anox

Of all the Original Beings, Anox is the one we know the most about, as he was the one who created our Divine Empress, and all our knowledge of the Original Beings stems from her. Yet even of him, little is known. He is stated to have been cruel and manipulative towards his children, and Raskalarn turned away from him almost immediately following her creation. Yet one must wonder at the fact that he desired to create a being of Conquest at a time when only his own kin existed to conquered. It is very likely a boon to all Idalos that Anox now longer lives to darken the lives of its inhabitants.

Raskalarn

What can be said of our Eternal Empress that any child of the empire does not know. Yet it is possible that those outside the empire may acquire these volumes to aid them in their learning of the empire, so we will attempt to be as objective in our descriptions as possible, for the Divine Empress would wish us to be so.

Though younger than many Immortals, Raskalarn is one of the more successful in dealing with Mortals, her skill at leadership and the sense of sharing in her great purpose that serving her brings allowing her to become the empress of the single largest nation on Idalos. Intelligent, skilled at both combat and tactics, completely incorruptable, and beautiful beyond the measure of human women, it is little wonder so many eagerly follow the Divine Empress.

Yet it must be said that she is not without faults. She can sometimes be too blunt, her nature preventing her from understanding the delicacies that sometimes crop between individuals when they desire to keep something private. In addition, her aggressiveness in battle can lead to some sub-optimal situations, though she has only rarely failed to attain some form of victory from these situations.

Finally, though some would call our Divine Empress a ruthless tyrant, her true merciful nature has shown itself many times. In one particularly relevant example, during the writing of this volume, the author was accused of treason by way of slandering the empress. Upon receiving word of this, Raskalarn ordered the charges rescinded and paid for the finishing of the Imperial Codex out of the imperial treasury, so that it may come to its current use as a text for the students of the empire.

-Editor's Note-

Yes, it is very clearly obvious that the author failed tremendously to keep this entry of our Divine Empress even remotely objective. However, an brief attempt to re-write this entry was undertaken by several Imperial scholars and not one of them managed to make their own entry's any less biased than the Author's own. In truth, many were even more biased.

It seems that the adoration that her Imperial Majesty commands prevents a truly objective viewpoint, and while foreing scholars could theoretically provide such a viewpoint, no right thinking Imperial schoolmaster, tutor, or professor would allow a foreign scholar to influence the way Imperial citizens think of either Raskalarn or Karem, as their viewpoints would undoubtedly be tainted by the corruption that infests the world beyond imperial borders.

Faldrun

The self-proclaimed King of Immortals, the Tyrant of Sirothelle, the Flame of Turmoil, the Mourning Sun. Faldrun's titles are diverse, but few in Idalos know much of this eldest brother to our Divine Empress. The information in this volume came courtesy of Empress Raskalarn, with some few additions by Karem, and even it is somewhat limited.

What is known is that Faldrun was close to the Fei, one of the Originals, though the extent of this relationship is not known. Our Divine Empress has said he was once a kind and caring man, but the loss of Fei broke him. The Immortals were unaccustomed to death and Faldrun's Turmoil consumed him, much as the Inner Fire of his own people threatens to consume them.

Now an enemy to all Mortals, Faldrun declared himself the King of Immortals and demands that all kneel before him. It is this act that caused the centuries long War of the Immortals, a conflict that nearly destroyed Idalos itself. It should be said that neither Raskalarn nor Karem consider Faldrun to be particularly bright, both citing his attack on the then neutral Ethelynda, an action that resulted in the creation of the island nation of Yithiral and the new Ithecal, as the ultimate proof of his folly.

Zanik

There is little to tell of Zanik or his part in either the War of the Immortals or the current affairs of Idalos. His suffering at the hands of his sadistic creator is something our Divine Empress spoke of, but refused to elaborate, stating that the twisted perversions of her creator are better forgotten than recorded.

What is known is that he ostensibly neutral towards the wars of Idalos and the conflicts of the Immortals, though he is occasionally friendly with Syroa. However, due to his past trouble with the Immortals, our Divine Empress has expressed a belief that Zanik would fall on the side of Mortals if pressed, and has stated a desire to recruit her troubled brother to her side if possible.

Kata

The youngest sister of our Divine Empress, Kata is among the most feared of Immortals for cruelty and insanity. Yet despite the fearful reputation she possess, both Raskalarn and Karem have stated firmly held opinions that Kata is among the weakest of Immortals, desperate for approval from those whose favor she seeks and easily dominated.

Yet for all this, she is still an Immortal, of the same stock that gave our Divine Empress her unyielding will that allowed her to build the Eternal Empire. Though she is now considered by Raskalarn to be firmly under the thumb of Mastes, this in no way means that Kata is not dangerous. In truth, it is her slavish devotion to him that makes her the weapon she is.

Ati'el

Raskalarn had little to say of Ati'el, save that even her children thought little of her. By the account of our Divine Empress, who has given little reason for her word to be questioned, this mother of world-moves was a shallow, self-centered, manipulative schemer who cared only for her own goals. Perhaps, like Anox, the people of Idalos can be glad she does not still walk the world of Idalos.

Ilaren

The mistress of Rharne, Ilaren has long been one of the greater obstacles in the Eternal Empires eastern expansion, every foot of ground gained coming with a fight against the servants of this brash Immortal. Yet despite her status as a foe, Ilaren is indeed worthy of great respect, and not only for her skill in the field.

One of the foremost members of the pro-Mortal group of Immortals, our Divine Empress has said she had little contact with Ilaren, but what she had gave her an impression of both great courage and a deep level of care for those around her. It is truly a shame that she cannot see the wisdom of our Divine Empress's goals and resists our attempts to bring her city into the light of the Eternal Empire.

Lastly, it should be said that Karem spoke briefly of Ilaren, calling her a loudmouthed, drunken braggart with no more sense than manners, but Raskalarn has stated that Karem's opinions of other Immortals tends, in general, to be rather low, as many apparently blamed her for the death of the Original Beings and treated her slightingly for it.

Chamadarst

Of Chamadarst, there is little to say. The Immortal of Isolation takes his title very seriously an neither Raskalarn or Karem ever had much contact with him, the latter only ever having met him once. He is, however, known to be self-centered and arrogant, the kind of low being that would refuse to so much as give a crust of bread to a starving child without clear gain in doing so. The only positive quality associated with Chamadarst is a certain cunning for trade and the dubious praise of creating Nashaki, that corrupt city of trade that lies to our south.

Vhalar

One of the four Seasonal Immortals, Vhalar holds sway over that time of the Arc when nature falls to rest, preparing itself for the biting cold of the seasons to come. A forgiving man, both Raskalarn and Karem have stated that they hold him among the better of the Immortals, with even Karem's normally low opinion of many Immortals breaking for Vhalar.

Though he is no ally of the Eternal Empire, we must give thanks to this Immortal, for without him and the other three Seasonals, the world would fall into chaos. In regards to this, Raskalarn has stated that should Vhalar take the field against the empire, the legions are to hold him off until either she or Karem arrive, for the Immortals cannot kill each other, removing that danger from the battle.

Ziell

The second of the four Seasonal Immortals created by Ati'el, Ziell is known to be a quiet and solitary soul. Neither Raskalarn nor Karem could give any insight into his mind but that he once loved the now lost Daia and chose neutrality in the war.

Like his brother Vhalar, Ziell is deserving of gratitude for he is one of those who helps keep the world of Idalos in balance, governing that time when Idalos turns cold and is blanketed under soft white snow as nature sleeps. As such, Raskalarn ordered the same treatment be given to Ziell as Vhalar.

Yvithia

The knowledgable Queen of Viden, Yvithia is respected by both Raskalarn and Karem for her knowledge of the world and Raskalarn has confessed that she struggled to turn Yvithia to her side when first she formed the Eternal Empire. Karem, however, openly loathes the northern Queen, as she has apparently attempted several times to coerce or force Karem to submit to her for research regarding the death of the Original Beings, something Karem steadfastly refused to do.

Allied with Faldrun and his ilk, Yvithia is considered an enemy to the Empire, for all that texts from Viden are in high demand among Imperial centers of learning. However, some believe the chief reason for Raskalarn's considering Yvithia an enemy is that the Studious Queen took the treasonous Valtharn under her wing after the exile of the Imperial Princess. For this reason, many wonder if the northern Queen had something to do with Valtharns descent into madness.

Brel'tek

Brel'tek was, according to our Divine Empress, an wise and good man, if one who she felt sorrowed at the actions of Syroa and especially Mastes. Raskalarn has stated she didn't know him very well, but from what can be pieced together, his loss was a heavy blow to Idalos.

Vri

The bringer of death, Vri's task is a hard one, one that many would call him evil for performing, but is as necessary as the seasons. For this, Raskalarn decreed that the empire shall honor him as we do the Seasonal Immortals. She, however, remembers him as a morose and moody man, and one she didn't know very well. Karem's opinion was, as usual, harsher than that of our Divine Empress, and she described Vri as a moody brooder unable to handle personal loss, now dependent on his twin siblings.

Pier & Pre

To those unfamiliar with the Immortals of Judgement, having them share an entry in this volume will seem strange. However, the minds of these two Immortals are so closely linked that they are very nearly one and the same. However, despite their closeness, Pier and Pre are opposites who- Entry was cut off here

Cierel

Based solely on her children, one might consider Cierel to be the most evil of the Originals, but our Divine Empress was not content to settle on such a simple suggestion, pointing out that several of her actions, such as the creation of Moseke and Famula, or her neglect of Lisirra, make very little sense if she was evil as one might immediately assume. However, it must be stated that it's possible she was simply incompetent.

Delana

Our Divine Empress had little to say of Delana, save that on the few occasions Raskalarn met her, she couldn't tell what she was thinking. However, she did mention that Delana was the only Original Being to have- Entry was cut off here, the remainder of the page was torn away and this page itself was bloody.

Karem

The Hunter, the Great Wolf, the Survivor, the Last Immortal, Karem is the unofficial second in command of the Eternal Empire, and the current Heir Apparent to the Eternal Throne. Though officially a member of the High Courts and the head of the Imperial Scouts, it's no real secret that our Divine Empress counts Karem as her closest friend and best advisor.

However, while Karem is indeed worthy of great respect for both her devotion to the empire and to Raskalarn, as well as her contributions and skills, candor compels the author to admit that Karem can be difficult to understand. Her mentality is, at times, rather bestial and she has a marked tendency towards reticence. More than one resident of the Imperial Palace has commented that it's not uncommon for Karem to go for whole Trials without uttering a single word.

Eventually this was explained as being due to the fact that every single one of her wolves, including the ones she has given to her Blessed, has a presence inside her mind, allowing her to converse with them. One shudders to think of type of mental ability it would require to keep thousands of wolves seperate and distinct in your mind. In an interview prior to the creation of this volume, Karem admitted that a Mortal would be pulled entirely into that pack-mind and their personality and identity would dissipate, lost forever among the wolves. One wonders if the reason Karem doesn't seem to have a Curse is because this terrible death is her Curse.

-Editor's Note-

Due to the death of the author, this speculation on Karem's Curse has never been followed up on. In truth, this is partially because no one particularly wants to believe that Karem, one of the guides of the Eternal Empire, is capable of inflicting such a gruesome fate. It should also be noted that the author was known to have a childhood phobia of wolves, which undoubtedly coloured his opinon of this matter.

Ethelynda

The Noble Serpent, the Honorable Protector, the Lady of Yithiral, the creator of the Raskithecal and their cousins the Ithecal, the eternal rival of our Divine Empress. Despite not being a part of the Eternal Empire's government, there can be no doubt that she played a part in it's founding. Raskalarn has stated that she learned much from their rival during the early Arcs of their conflict and has applied those lessons as the years have gone by.

In addition, Karem is Ethelynda's youngest sisters, and in the absence of Luesco, was Karem's guide and mentor for centuries before Karem chose to ally herself with the Divine Empress, and it is suspected by many that the two of them are still close. This has led to one particularly kind policy on Raskalarn's behalf: That under no circumstances will Karem be involved in any battle against Ethelynda, for our Divine Empress has no desire to pit the two sisters against each other.

Ethelynda is, however, currently an enemy of the Eternal Empire and many believe that Yithiral will be the final opponent in the war to uify Idalos. However, both Karem and our Divine Empress have, multiple times, expressed their desire to have Ethelynda join them in the ruling of the Eternal Empire. It's no secret that many of the Raskithecal are nervous about this potentially happening, but it is assumed that the Raskalarn and Karem know what they're doing.
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