Empire of Gard
The Empire of Gard is one of the four major powers in Orthon. It is mainly located in the northeastern portion of Orthon, but its territory is rapidly expanding westward and southward thanks to its campaign of conquering islands not already claimed by any of the four major powers.
The capital of Gard is Gideon City. In Myrion’s classical period, Gideon City was also the center of a massive empire, the Gideonese Empire. When the Gideonese Empire collapsed, it ushered in a dark period for humanity. After several generations of warring amongst itself, humanity came under the dominion of dragons for 500 years.
After the Last Dragon War, the dragons were no more, and the world was torn asunder. Now free to seek their own destinies, the humans of the Empire of Gard are trying to reclaim their lost ancient glory.
The current Emperor of Gard is Emperor Rudovictus. He is 39 years old. Within the empire, he is known as a brave fighter, a wise and just leader, and a patron of the arts. Outside the empire, he is often called a tyrant. The Emperor is officially appointed by the Celestial Archbishop, the spiritual leader of Celestialism. So far, the Celestial Archbishop has only ever appointed the most obvious candidate or designated heir of the previous Emperor, however.
The Empire of Gard includes hundreds of islands of varying sizes. Each island is ruled by a governor appointed by the Emperor. In large or wealthy islands, these governors are given the title of “Prince”, and are treated like sub-royalty. Other governors do not get a special title.
Laws and prices are standardized throughout the empire. One Imperial Navy defends the entire empire, but each governor is expected to raise and maintain a militia for local defense and law enforcement.
The sea within the Empire of Gard is also claimed by the Empire, who call it “Imperial waters”. Many islands in imperial waters are claimed by Gard, but do not actually have any Gardish presence at all. They are either too small, or uninhabited.
On the other hand, Gard has claimed and conquered some islands, such as Morgan Island, that are not really within imperial waters. These islands are somewhat more isolated from the rest of the empire, though they are still controlled by it.
The Empire of Gard is expanding rapidly. Most of the islands that aren’t part of one of the major Orthonic powers have little of the trade goods and culture that the Gardish can offer, and some of them don’t even follow Celestialism. Plus, they don’t have strong militaries. The Gardish want all humans to join them in the new human renaissance.
When the Gardish navy arrives to claim an island, it offers the locals a chance to become part of the Empire willingly. If they agree, the Empire imposes its laws, its money, its taxes, its religion, and its culture. But if the locals do resist, the navy takes over by force. Those who try to fight back are punished most severely.
The empire is also very much a human civilization. The Gardish do not respect the ways of other races. When elven, dwarven, or other races are conquered by the empire, they suddenly find themselves relegated to second-class citizen status, and those who try to resist are simply killed on sight unless they escape.
The Empire of Gard finds itself in constant tension with the Holy Episcopate. Both powers are in competition for many of the same islands. They both compete for dominance in trade with the regions to the east. And they have religious differences, too. Although both nations follow Celestialism, the Empire of Gard is tolerant of the Ascendants, five new gods not officially part of Celestialism, while the Holy Episcopate is not.
Dragonfall has a peace treaty with the Empire of Gard. The conquest is supposed to bring other “uncivilized” islands into the empire, but Dragonfall is too powerful, too wealthy, and too cultured to pretend that it needs conquering. Besides, Dragonfall controls all trade with Nestron to the west, and has a substantial navy.
The Eustace Magocracy is strictly independent, although it has sided with the Empire of Gard in the past. Eustace has a near-monopoly on sugar, but that is not enough to make the Gardish want to go up against an entire nation of mages.