The Empire of Man

World of Storm and Fury: Lands of Oortesia: The Empire of Man
"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
---Ozymandias by P.B. Shelley

The story of the fall of man is for another time. Here is cataloged the state in which the Empire now lies.
In the aftermath of the civil war which tore the Empire asunder, the warchiefs of the many forces held a council standing in order to come to some measure of peace. It was decided that each would lay claim to what lands they controlled, though none would bend to the will of a single ruler, thus the warbands of the chiefs encamped their armies under arms in the ruins of the towns and castles which once stood testament to the might of the Empire.
These ruins litter the countryside and most have been fortified to some degree as an encampment for the armies which wage constant warfare over the scraps of the glory of their ancestors.
The warbands range in size from about 1000 to nearly 20000, and the captains of these bands call style themselves Baron, Duke, King, and even Emperor. Few work in any profession not associated with warfare or hostilities. Blacksmiths and armorers abound though few know how to make anything other than killing implements. Most finished goods are imported from outside the empire by armies of merchants who have made careers of the war.
While the noble youths of other lands practice falconry, riding, and the fine arts, youths in the Empire travel in packs along the boundary of their cantonment looking for enemy soldiers who have strayed too far from their patrol. A rusty sword is their toy, they are apprenticed to war.
The strongest of the Cantonments are thus: Tunaris, Decium, Tuncre, Icos, and Enops. The other cantonments have allied themselves to one of these five and their warchiefs are the principles in the eternal war.
The blasted lands of the old Empire have brought glory to bold men, where nobility can be won at dice, and more have died at the end of a spear then have died in their bed. In these same lands countless others have died nameless with naught but the battlefield scavengers to lament their passing.
It is said that everything that can be accomplished with a sword has been done in the Empire of Man.
---The observations Dinganee Dinwanno, Historian and Scribe



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