Existing in the time of the old gods, the Imperium lasted for almost a millennia until its fall in 1ND (Neo Domini).
The Imperium worshipped the old pantheon known as the Mag-Tir. The spirits of the Mag-Tir permeated all things, and are eternal, however, their longevity made them mostly indifferent to the sufferings of mortals. The worship of the old gods was more personal and less structured than other religions, and few were tied to a specific spirit. Instead of priestly hierarchies and prophetic dogma, followers of the old gods practiced quiet contemplation and meditation.
Most scholars believe that the Imperium was so successful because its citizens had to rely on the government since their gods often refused to act, and because of Imperium policies of allowing non-humans to hold office.
Before the formation of the Imperium, and out of memory from all but the oldest of elves, the north was full of tribal clans and nomadic hunter-gatherers. Remvus, the chief of the Centran clan, formed the Centran Imperium in 987 Vetus Domini and expanded its territory to cover almost all of modern day Orrista.
At first, the Imperium was ruled by a senate of elders. Many tribes and factions were represented in the capital. As the conquests of the Imperium continued, administrating outlying provinces became more difficult and in 442VD, the senate elects Cantius Berennius as Quaestor to bolster administrative effectiveness.
As a result of this, senatorial influence decresed considerably over the years, and the Quaestor became known as Emperor.
In the year 53VD, Jaevor Marcius revoked all non-humans’ claim to land. The very next year, he ordered the army to relocate all non-humans outside of Imperial borders. Over the following years, the dwarves retreated to their old homes in the mountains, and the elves left for the South.
Not many written accounts exist from the following period, but it is generally understood that a rebellion of dwarves and elves led to the eventual collapse of the Imperium government, destruction of Imperium art, authority, and religion, culminating in the execution of the Marcius family in 1ND.
The last vestige of the imperium and home to the Imperial capital, Orrista lays claim to the land between the Glowspire Mountains and the Ghael Plains. The upper echelons of Orristan society long for the return of the Imperium and still consider themselves the rightful rulers of the Northern Marches. It’s citizens are stubborn, and distrustful of non-humans, and they still openly worship the old gods.
When the elves and the dwarves rose up, a human general, John, rose up with them. At the end of the rebellion, John became the first king of Johnna. Generally, Johnnan citizens are the most accepting of non-humans in the northlands, and most citizens are small farmers or shopkeepers.
The northernmost country, Tuon spends most of the year locked in bitter cold. The lands north of the Mountainsong river are mostly uninhabited. People of Tuon definitely hold a frontier attitude, and form close-knit communities. Howevever, they are more likely to accept you if you have a strong sword arm. Their unfortunate location pits them against constant barbarian threats from both both land and sea. The King of Tuon is also known as the Warden of the North.
Situated between the Gulf of Ghoria and the Glowspire Mountains is the land of Ghoria. Many men in Ghoria make their living from the sea, whether their take be fish or the exotic products of far away lands. Seizing the opportunity provided by the chaos of the rebellion, the wealthy classes seized control of the government and created the council of merchants. As a result, Ghoria tends to have mercantilistic foreign policy.
The land of the dwarves is not well known to humans. The secret paths and cities exist almost entirely under the peaks of the Sannatant Mountains. Their 4 principal cities are connected by enormous underground highways. The dwarves of Tayreir value honor and dynastic loyalties, and they appreciate fine craftsmanship.
The Far North
Everything beyond Tuon and north of the Mountainsong River are absolute wilderness occupied only by barbarian tribes.
In 210ND, the court wizard of Tuon, Vizimir, cursed the king and led a coup against him. He rapidly consolidated his power and marched his army into Johnna and Tayreir. His conquest of Johnna proceded rapidly despite some assistance from Orrista. The conquest of Teyreir was slower, and some reports have said much more brutal.
His conquest was halted in 230ND at the battle of Harlan Hill when the Council of Ten combined their power and destroyed Vizimir along with themselves. Vizimir’s forces surrendered and his thralls disintegrated. His corpse was split in to seven pieces and stored in Ustengrav, a tomb so deep and so dark, that no sunlight would ever touch it.
Orristan Reconquest of Assulah
Lacking access to a port since the fracturing of the imperium, Orrista turned to the Johnnan city of Assulah. This escalated in to a full blown war.