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The Holy Empire


Comprising most of central Lacraya, the Empire dominates its continent and holds a surprising sway over global affairs. Though its lands are primarily dry and infertile badlands, hostile pine forests overtake the western regions. With a low population and lack of real natural resources, the Empire leans heavily on Flame to ensure its independence and the prosperity of its peoples.

Despite its lack of real military, its status as a safe haven for Flame has brought many powerful individuals to its borders, giving it a heavy hand in international politics.

Character List


Demonym: Empiras
Capital: the City Canthores
Largest City: the City Canthores

Languages: Common, Lacraeic
Religion: Ardor
Population: ~7mil

Important People

A pixel headshot of Peaches, a yellow character with light blue horns and silks.
, the Holy Emperor

A pixel headshot of Gosha, a white character with dark black markings and extra fluff.
, the Emperor's Guard

A pixel headshot of Lurifax, a teal character with a yellow-blue halo and a grumpy expression.
, Throne of Metal


A Brief History...

The Empire was founded on the back of Commander Remeyan, originally a Glory Flame living in Verebriva, who controlled most of Lacraya at the time. An ambitious member of Verebriva's army, he - like many other Flames of Verebriva - lived his life in secret, concealing his true nature. Witnessing his fellows be murdered or enslaved, though, he grew resentful.

Seemingly from nowhere, he emerged with the Blue Flame, Dominion of Victory, presumed having been gifted it or forged it himself in likeness of the god Xharde (though knowledge of this was limited at the time, as Verebriva prosecuted Ardor worship). He gathered his loyal men and staged a raid on a notorious prison-camp city, which enslaved and employed Flames for mining, producing, and refining rare minerals. The newly-freed Flame pledged their banner to him, and so began an exponential sweep across Verebriva.

The conquest ended in Verebriva's capital, the Fortress of Verglas. Remeyan challenged the legendary warrior Saen, hero of Verebriva, to one-on-one combat. Though the battle was fierce, it ended in Saen's favor - his eons of experience and battle against the Flame Marary proving victorious. Knowing, however, that Remeyan would only bide his time until a re-conquest was guaranteed to succeed, Saen agreed to sign a treaty affording Remeyan the land beyond the Canthores Mountains, to the borders of at-the-time Navaska Dukedom (in modern times, Levels-Acerca-River).

Remeyan ruled his newly-christened Holy Empire of Flame, in the city Canthores, nestled in the fertile valley south of the Canthores Mountains. After five-hundred years of leadership, he abdicated his throne and Flame, passing it onto his protege and adopted daughter, Jhalla. Such has been the way of the Empire for its life, passing on the holy Blue Flame to each new emperor.

Jhalla established the Candescent Court, a group of Flame tasked with guiding new Flame, distributing Flame's duties effectively, and advising the Emperor's position. She also set in systems for educating Flame, their expected contributions to the Empire, and helped establish a state religion.

The last Emperor was Nereen, who was assassinated at a mere 203, well before even the thought of a successor was entertained. The new Emperor, Peaches, was instilled two years afterwards.

In Modern Times...

The Empire remains close to its roots as a primarily agrarian society, mostly of subsistence farmers. Though swaths of the landscape are unfit for growing food, the fertile Savalla River Valley is capable of providing enough crops for the population.

Their friendly status towards Flames - and lack of questions asked to immigrants - has made them a beacon for Flamed refugees, much preferable over the harsh and cold Cadava. With wide expanses of untamed badlands, many a prosecuted Flame flees to the Empire's borders and disappears into the wilderness.

Though Emperor Nereen's assassination has caused ripples amongst its people, Emperor Peaches' dual Flames have soothed many worries. Many Ardor-worshipping nations have turned a questioning eye to him - seemingly, the reincarnation of Xharde, Dominion of Time. What could the resurgence of these sacred Flames mean...?

Geography & Climate

An orange, autumnal river valley with a city against the horizon.
Photo by Darby P.

General Climate

The populated areas of the Empire are temperate, wet, and pleasant, with moderate-to-heavy rains year-round. The Savalla regularly floods the surrounding banks, providing rich nutrient-filled mud to the farms dotting its sides, and nourishes plant life for miles. The winters are light, with minimal snowfall, as the temperatures never quite drop below freezing. The growing season is long.

The mountain ranges along the coasts have rendered the eastern reaches of the Empire inhospitable badland, however. Dry, cracked earth stretches as far as the eye can see, and there is no civilization for miles.

The North

Across the northern swath of the Empire are the mighty Canthores Mountains, cutting them off from Verebriva. Minerals and metals are extracted from the peaks, primarily by Flames hired for the work. Most of this bounty is used by the Empire itself, and not sold to other nations.

At the foot of the mountains is the City Canthores, constructed in marble and lapis, glistening with magic and Flame. On the top of the tallest spire is a shard of the holy Blue Flame, kept fed personally by the Emperor as a symbol of the country's power.

The River Savalla flows from just north of the City Canthores, down through the center of the Empire before quickly turning west.

The East

The Canthores Mountains extend down the eastern coast for quite a ways, creating almost a shell around the northern Empire. However, they block moist sea winds from reaching the soil, leaving the eastern reaches as almost solely cracked earth and rocky cliffs.

Many refugee Flame see this region as a blank canvas, able to be shaped by their powers.


The fertile valley of the Empire, situated around the Savalla River as it winds through the region. With most of the population living within the valley and utilizing it for drinking water and irrigation, the preservation of the Savalla is a goal both the Empire and Sendrean Kingdoms share.

Huge wheatfields cover acres of land here, along with the other staple crops of corn, potatoes, oats, and soybeans.

The South

Though the southern reaches of the Empire are close to sea level, their proximity to the Abyssal Ocean makes them unfit for most habitation. Regular hurricanes, leviathans, and sea-behemoths surge onto these coasts, destroying most would-be ports and cities.

Still, small settlements survive, far away from the rule of the Empire. Some villages trace their bloodlines to when Verebriva ruled all of Lacraya, and firmly refuse to leave their homelands.

In the southeast lie the Empire's two vassal states - Bonegrave and the Marbled Slopes.

The West

Though most of the northwest is overtaken by the Jasmine Pine Range, an enormous and frigid pine forest, the southwestern lands are perfect for livestock rearing.

The Pine Range extends down from the Canthores Mountains, stopping several miles short of the Savalla. Though it is occasionally logged for building material, many individuals are superstitious of the Range and rely on Flames to generate needed lumber.

Government & Religion


Though the Empire is largely not industrialized, they have imported some technology from other nations, including a train system from the Sendrean Kingdoms. Magic supplements the lack of technology, utilized mostly during harvest season and in production of refined goods.

Many people of the Empire live off the land around their villages, growing their own crops, tending their own livestock, and constructing their own family houses. Though most villages are small, the distance between each settlement is often merely within a day's walk.

Canthores enjoys its status as the capital, where most of the region's technology is gathered. The most unique of these are robots, which are blends of metal and magic crafted specifically by the Flame Lurifax. These robots service the city, performing menial tasks to keep it running.


The Candescent Court handles most, if not all of the law drafting process. Technically, the Court is to act as mere advisors to the Emperor, but the Emperor's cultural duty of handling civil disputes and receive visitors instead takes precedence. As such, law drafting falls to the Court.

They do not, however, vote on what laws will come to pass, or unilaterally enforce them. All bills can only be put into effect once the Emperor approves of them during Open Court, which occurs every Jarusday. Here, the Emperor listens to potential laws and regulations the Court members have debated over, and elects whether or not to instill them.

Court members serve the country in general, providing acts of civil service, visiting other nations as ambassadors, and working during disaster relief or festivities. When not busy with this work, they discuss new laws and revise drafts to present during Open Court.


The Empire relies heavily on its Flame to enforce these laws. As most of the laws of the Empire are loose or niche, many communities self-govern to an extent, which is encouraged by the Court. As Flames' opinions hold high sway in many communities due to their civil services, their disapproval of certain actions is oft seen as law.

A battalion of combat robots, managed by Lurifax, guards the City Canthores, several border regions, and important trade routes. These robots are often upgraded or swapped out for newer individuals, and communicate information and incidents between each other.


The Emperor's main duty is to oversee civil affairs, especially disagreements. When citizens cannot resolve their conflict via their villages' leaders or Flame, they travel to Canthores to have the Emperor preside over the case. There, the Emperor will listen to both sides of the conflict and make a moral decision over how it should be resolved, repaid, or settled.

Within communities, individuals seek their local Flame for advice and guidance. Most areas are highly spiritual and venerate generosity and peace, meaning that few conflicts escalate to needing Flame, let alone the Emperor.

Many visit Canthores regardless, seeking an audience merely to speak with or touch the Emperor's hands. As the Blue Flame is holy, akin to that of the Ardor god Xharde's, it is considered a pilgrimage of sorts.


The Emperor rules for roughly 500-700 years, and choses an heir around the 300th year of their reign. They tutor this heir in morality, politics, and law, instilling in them the wisdom and responsibility the position requires. When the Emperor elects to end their reign, they undergo an intensive ritual at death that transfers the Blue Flame of Victory to their heir. Within the month, the heir will officially become the new Emperor, to great fanfare (and a new wave of service robots).

The specifics of how heirs are selected is kept secret. Though it is typically solely the Emperor's choice, the Court can offer individuals they feel suit the position. Individuals ascending to Emperor must be Flameless, as tradition dictates. Emperor Peaches is a rare exception.

Candescent Court members can nominate individuals they feel should join their ranks, though the decision is ultimately the Emperor's, who approves all incoming members. There is no limit to the number of Court members at any given time.

Court members do not serve for life, but are expected to serve at least a century. Many serve for far longer.

Common Religions

The Empire strongly venerates the Ardor, believing fully that they created the world, died in the process, and are watching on through their Flames. Thus, the Empire has been blessed since its founding, as the holy Blue Flame has always been in their possession.

It is common belief that Aither killed Yerxes at the other's request, though Aither was stricken by regret and killed himself in equal measure.

Of the Ardor, Xharde and Navershin are the most commonly worshipped. Many villages have communal shrines to both, where small offerings are left, and arrange yearly to have small offerings sent up the river to the Emperor.

Fervor worship is almost nonexistent.

Flames & Fire Divinity

The Empire stokes a staggering number of new Flames, helped by their oversaturation of Magninium and Flame alike. These Flames, once their power is recognized, are ushered to Canthores, where they shadow under a member of the Candescent Court.

Here, they learn how to stoke their Flame, what their Flame is capable of, and their expected duties as a Flamed resident of the Empire. Once this tutorship ends, they return to their home village. Normally, their work revolves around the generation of material, purification of water, and ensuring harvests are bountiful.

High expectations are placed on Flames' behavior and work. They should serve as beacons for their community, and represent Canthores well to their fellow citizens. Embettering the lives of Flameless around them is a chief moral duty.

Flames alone are not considered divine, but those gifted the Flames of the Ardor are.

A building with a light blue dome on top.
Photo by Tony Dinh

Major Cities

☆ The City Canthores, Jewel of the Empire

The capital city, Canthores, lies at the foot of the Canthores Mountains, near the first waterfall of the River Savalla. Gleaming in marble and lapis, it is by far the richest city of the Empire and the seat of power on Lacraya as a whole. A bustling trade hub, it sees thousands of pilgrims a year, most travelling to bear sight of the Emperor's Blue Flame, akin to that of the Ardor god Xharde's. Shrines to each of the ten Ardor line the steps to the Emperor's palace, which is surrounded by elegant and beautiful public gardens.

Service robots tend to the city's upkeep and maintenance, as well as preparing food, caring for livestock, and processing shipments. Most homes can receive older robot models for free that assist with housekeeping, meal preparation, child-rearing, and guarding.

On the highest spire in the city, on top of the Emperor's place, lies a fleck of the holy Blue Flame. It remains bright and gleaming, even during rain or snow, and serves as a symbol of the Empire's power and prosperity.

First Passing, the wall to Sendrea

First Passing lies on the banks of the Savalla, at the border to the Sendrean Kingdoms. Initially an offshoot of Canheim City, it grew in size as more workers flocked to busy their hands at its dozen sawmills. Residences began construction soon after, assisted by Sendrean immigrants and traders seeking rest spots on their way to Canthores. Though most of the city is still millworkers and carpenters, several farmers, merchants, leatherworkers, and blacksmiths have set up permanent shop.

Though First Passing has dammed the Savalla, the gates are usually kept open, as per the alliance with Sendrea. It is also notable for being one of the major stops on the Empiras Train Line.

Demolica, gate to the heartlands

Demolica sits at the fork of the Savalla, as it turns from south to westernly. Its construction was commissioned by the Candescent Court about eight-hundred years ago, to serve as both a checkpoint for dangerous goods storage and as a proper line of defense for the inner villages along the Savalla valley. Flamed and Flameless alike serve side-by-side in the Watchers, who oversee all goods coming up or down the Savalla and have final say on who gains passage. Their word is given weight by the small militia of guard robots under their command.

Canheim City, the edges of the Jasmine Range

Canheim provides most of the villages and cities in the Empire with lumber, utilizing the many overgrown pine trees of the Jasmine Pine Range. Despite its low population, many young Flames enjoy internships there, as mages are in constant demand to regrow trees or produce lumber from imported varieties.

Living in Canheim requires a certain constitution, though, as many people believe it to be cursed or haunted. The strange apparitions that appear at night and noises during the day can certainly unnerve the more superstitious of the workers. Many pray to the shrine of Ceerie in the town square.

Pedian, of the Southern Fisheries

Pedian is the southernmost city of the Empire, on the banks of the Pedian Sea. A small community, it subsists primarily on saltwater fishing, of which it also sells to the other major cities. Though occasionally battered by heavy storms, its tight control of the local population ensures sea-behemoths are not attracted to it as a source for feeding. Parts of the Pedian Sea are used as fish nurseries.

Foreign Relations

On Lacraya...

Though initially little more than a tiny country, vying for its independence and power, the Empire has risen to become Lacraya's undisputed hegemon. With its ample Flames dedicated to the country and its policies, their destructive potential protects the region from would-be invaders or antagonistic forces.

But, these threats are rarely needed. The Empire has traditionally looked to peaceful alliances, even with the begrudging Verebriva. Though the two nations do not trade much with each other or agree with each other's policies, they have agreed to assist one another should outside aggressors invade Lacraya.

On the other hand, The Sendrean Kingdoms, to the west of the Empire, have a vested interest in maintaining good relations with the Empire: the Savalla River. As the Kingdoms use the River to send goods up and down their cities, its preservation is the basis of their alliance. In return for occasionally utilizing the Empire's Flames and ensuring they tend to the river, the Kingdoms send imported goods and supplies up to Canthores.


The Empire hosts two vassal states: the Bonegrave and the Marbled Slopes, both in the southeast. Of the two, only Bonegrave is populated.

The Bonegrave is the home of the Cult of Marrow, which venerate the Flame Tempo. They allied themselves with the Empire early in Remeyan's reign, and remain largely independent, disinterested in international affairs.

The Marbled Slopes are uninhabited, and are remarkable for being grassy hills in the otherwise infertile east of Lacraya. Enormous statues litter the landscape, varying between grotesque, evocative, and beautiful. It is the home of the Flame Procaralshaiph. Though people are warned against venturing into the Slopes, many desperate or foolhardy attempt the journey regardless.

Globally Elsewhere

The Empire represents Lacraya during any global summits, though representatives from the Sendrean Kingdoms attend at their side. Though they advocate for peaceful and humanitarian policies, the Empire is careful not to step on other nation's autonomy.

Like most nations, they consider the Isle of Shattered Stars to be their ally, and willingly pay the taxes required to ship goods across the ocean. Due to Lacraya's proximity to Chellabra, the Empire also communicates regularly with Maweth.

Welcoming to refugees, they accept all manner of immigrants. Most settle in Canthores or the eastern badlands, though some integrate into the Savalla villages and Empiras society as a whole.

Exports & Imports

The lack of industrialization in the Empire means they have little material good to offer to other nations, even on their own continent. Instead, they 'rent' out Flamed individuals to other countries, who fulfill certain tasks before returning home.

As some of their Flames have highly-in-demand powers, this is usually more than enough to supply the Empire with the goods it requires.