The Caelex Empire
|The Caelex Empire|
|Current Leader(s):||The Pale Emperor, Flamecleaver, Bladesnapper|
|Colors:||White and green||}}|
Contrary to their eternal rivals, The Kinzran Alliance, The Caelex Empire predates most other factions present in the Cordens system. Encompassing the entire main continent of Pentralis, the Empire has been locked in endless war with the Alliance since their first conflict 500 years ago.
Though his real name has been lost to time, Lapidorsae scholars all concur that the true beginning of the Empire was with the birth of its first (and so far, only) leader, The Pale Emperor. Even then, the empire would not coalesce until twenty years after the Emperor's death, as their reappearance as a lich was an unprecedented occurance and posed obstacles to their rise that a living lapidorsae would not have to face.
Initially, the Empire consisted solely of a few small hamlets on the westernmost coast of Pentralis, forged into a formidable, but ultimately tiny kingdom. These hamlets would one day form the capital city of Mogginano, the seat of the Empire and home to the fiercest warriors and mages on the pentralan continent. In the early days, however, these villages formed the sole place the emperor and their loyal army could find sanctuary from roving bands of Dralnfuae, Cavestrae, Kanirineta, and even other Lapidorsae. Despite the difficulty in getting a foothold in other regions than the relative lowlands they first found themselves in, the burgeoning empire managed to make slow but steady progress at forming alliances with other groups of lapidorsae when possible, and assimilating what they did not destroy when diplomacy fell through.
Eventually, as was inevitable, the empire began to meet resistance from other races, who had been the source of innumerable problems for the species. When the empire first brushed against the territory of the cavestrae, it was all the Pale Emperor could do to keep his army from being destroyed in a simultaneous attack by the technologically superior race and unconquered lapidorsae who feared for the future of their own lands. Though the empire would be forced back from the borders of the cavestrae nation, they would return but a decade later and sweep through, splitting their ancient enemy's territory in two, slaughtering or enslaving all in their path, and carving what would eternally be known as The Emperor's Smile into the landscape of Pentralis.
From the first devestating campaign into cavestrae territory, the true threat of the emperor's wrath was no longer a joke amongst the other races of the world. As the cavestrae were systematically subjugated, enslaved, and broken, the dralnfuae set their own nation to prepare to defend against what, to their knowledge, was an army of mortal warriors. The kanirineta, occupying the myriad of Kishochi in the eastern lands, remained preoccupied with their own territorial squabbles as the lapidorsae swarmed over the dralnfuae's borders. It was only near the end of the empire's second slaughter of an entire nation that Kinzaro Sularenei-en Swordtongue rose to her inglorious moment of power, forming perhaps the weakest stand against the empire's might to that point.
After the fall of the Imijibarade Alliance, however, the lapidorsae began to face their strongest opponents to date, seemingly against all odds. The emperor's forces began to fight an enemy unlike any they had seen before, relying on quick strikes and ruining land they had formerly owned to fight the empire instead of the "typical" shows of brute physical and arcane might. Even as they fought this new enemy, however, the empire's advance never ceased, slowly sweeping across the remaining land of the continent until all that remained of their ancestral tormentors was a single port, the leader of the Kinzran Alliance, and the open ocean. As the emperor led the charge to strike down their final foe, the port erupted into emerald flames, seemingly destroying the elite units that had come to slay the foremost enemy of the empire, and the emperor themself.
Be it fate, divine fortune, or their own power, however, the emperor themself remained standing in the ruins of the port, watching the last kanirineta ship sail slowly off towards the horizon. The port became a second capital of sorts, the heavily armed fort of Chiave, on an eternal vigil for the Kinzran Alliance and their ships.
The Caelex Empire answers to one leader, the Pale Emperor, and their circle of Inmota advisors, The Alabaster Court. This court is made of hand-picked Inmota, and serve as regional administrators as well as advisors to the emperor. Though infighting is rampant within the court and those who desire a place within it, the Pale Emperor's position is assured, protected from all the backstabbing of Lapidorsae politics through the sheer might of the Emperor themself.
Individual regions of the empire are administered by a member of the court, who appoints governors (typically inmota or uidist) to run subsections of the region for them, and who appoint the leaders of their subsection's cities and towns. All advisors set their own laws for their regions, though the Pale Emperor's word trumps all others when a dispute over national and regional law occurs. Despite the power they hold over them, Alabaster Court members are rarely present in their regions, more typically found back in the capital.
Ideology and Culture
The Empire's ideology is, first and foremost, one of lapidorsae supremacy. Rooted in resentment the emperor felt for the treatment of their people by the other pentralan races, the empire teaches that the lapidorsae are the rightful rulers of their planet, and that their culture is the only one worth following in the system. The Church of the All-Stone is effectively an extension of this idea, incorperating lapidorsae primacy into their teachings of the empire's god and its relation to the other gods of the cordens system.
Culturally, the caste system of the lapidorsae is strictly enforced by those who participate in it, and the power struggles that occur within. This system keeps the empire running as it has since its inception, and serves to maintain the power balance the emperor intended for their own, inscrutable reasons.