The Western Borderlands
A great and mighty empire that lasted in many forms for 3000 years and at its peak, encompassed most of the known world, the Devonian Empire still casts a long shadow over modern peoples.
Little is known of the peoples who populated the lands prior to the empire, but what is known is that a warlord by the name of Devon Karn managed to unite several tribes and became the first leader of power. Karn was a strict adherent of Law and worshipper of the three White Lords. He wrote the first book of laws for his land, referred to originally as Devon’s Law, and eventually just The Law.
Karn made strong succession plans, and after his passing became known as Devon I, while one of his sons took his place on the throne. Within 80 years, all neighboring lands had been conquered and it was now an empire, united under Emperor Devon the Third.
The empire suffered at least one civil war, with a new leader rising to power who called himself the Grand Magistrate. Claiming to be a prophet of the White Lords, he expanded upon The Law and granted broad legal powers to the governors of province. These powers would grow over time, until they became known as Judges, and the power of the royalty waned. A great purge was undertaken, and all descendants of Karn were executed to remove threats to the judges.
Under the rulership of the judges, the empire grew powerful, expanding to its greatest extent but also festering from within. Sects within the empire advanced in secret, blurring the lines between magic and technology. Rumors speak of glass towers reaching into the skies, flying chariots, and other strange powers among the common folk. Growing comfortable and complacent, the descent of the empire was barely noticed at first – happening so gradually as to be invisible to this who lived through it. As the empire became rotten throughout, the people began to oppose the rule of the judges and emperor. The lands of Salamandra were the first to secede, uniting under the priest-king Sallah Ibn Gal and declaring a theocracy.
Tyr was one of the judges, and unique in seeing how law had been corrupted and misused. His rise to power and influence threatened Emperor Matmoros’s grasp on the judges, and a conspiracy was formed to dispose of Tyr.
One hundred years after his death, his cult rose to power – believing he had ascended to Godhood they gradually attracted more and more followers, until Emperor Valle converted to his worship. This did little to postpone the further decline and fall of the empire, and two-hundred years after Tyr’s death, the empire ceased to be.
The lands fell into anarchy, as the forces of Chaos came out from hiding. Orcs once again roamed the land unchecked, giants battled openly, the Seven Golden Cities were razed to the ground by dragons, and the advancements and abilities of the empire’s peak were long forgotten and relegated to myth.
It has been one-thousand years since the fall of the Devonian Empire, and chaos still rules the lands. The Church of Tyr has been a bulwark against Chaos, but survival has taken precedence over order. Unaware of the lost legacy of their ancestors, people eke out a suffering existence in the face of a harsh, uncaring world – one in which Chaos has become the dominant power.
- 4000 y.a. Devon Karn unites the warring tribes of the lands, and becomes the most powerful leader in the region.
- 3900 y.a. The Devonian Empire is officially founded, under Emperor Devon Lant, now referring to himself as Devon the Third.
- 3500 y.a. The first Devonian Empire becomes the Second Devonian Empire. Little is known of this transition, .
- 3000 y.a. A civil war results in the influence of the royalty diminishing, and the judges gaining great power over the empire.
- 2500 y.a. The height of the golden age of the Devonian Empire. Science, arts, and magics unfathomable by modern people are commonplace in the empire.
- 1800 y.a. The eastern territories successfully secede, and form the Divine Kingdom of Salamandra. Other lands follow in rising up.
- 1700 y.a. The empire has shrunk to one-half its extent at the height of its power. The judges and emperor become insular, seeking only to tighten their grasp on power. The first Dark Age begins.
- 1300 y.a. The demon Bane brings the forces of Chaos against the empire and the judges. Tyr is blamed for Bane’s appearance, and branded a heretic. He is killed shortly afterwards.
- 1200 y.a. The cult of Tyr begins operating openly.
- 1100 y.a. Emperor Valle declares himself a follower of Tyr and the church is formed.
- 1000 y.a. The reign of the forgotten emperors and the great fall. Chaos overtakes the land. The empire is no more. It is now the second Dark Age, and there is little hope of light.