The Empire of Weißerberg, also simply known as the Empire or Weißerberg, is the most powerful human empire in the history of the known world. It is located in the southern part of the Continent and boasts both a thriving economy and a strong, well-trained army with talented commanders. It has expanded mostly through the conquest of foreign countries, which were then turned into provinces of the Empire.
The imperial thaler is one of the most used currencies in the world. It also remains a land with highly developed agriculture, animal husbandry, and food industry. As White Mountain is officially part of the realm, the Empire has considerable interests in the extraction of precious metals and production of high quality weapons.
When the Great Migration began after the Avatar of darkness' influence was reduced, the people known as humans traveled through the continent looking for a new beginning. They were organized into tribes and claimed the islands and territory surrounding the mouth of the Kleinen Fluss as their home. A strong tribe with close familial ties, they did not expand far from their capital city, founded on the rocky islands until they change of paradigm. Wave after wave of new settlers came, but humans remained constantly victorious as the main influence. While they grew in numbers and strength, so did the City of Weißerberg. Initially only a few of the rocky islands that didn't suffer periodic flooding were settled, but over time other islands were colonized. In the time of Joachim von Fröhlichberg, grandfather to Ludwig, the islands were densely populated enough to require bridges to maintain commerce and security. Islands previously untouched were settled, with large amounts of stone and soil brought in to raise them above flood level. Eventually all the islands were linked. The first ferries, to what is now the Kleinen shore, began at this time, starting from one of the rocky islands to a point of land opposite on the shore.
When Demian raiders began moving against the humans, the tribes realized they must put aside their differences or be swept away. As Lord of the largest and most powerful tribe, Ludwig von Fröhlichberg along with his brother Rudolf, was selected to lead the human war host. They were both skilled in the arts of war and diplomacy, creating a host of the allied peoples. But even as gifted as the brothers were, their armies suffered defeat after defeat by the overwhelming numbers of demian. Retreating slowly, they led the allies to the foot of the white mountain, guided by their god. There the allies won the day only by taking advantage of the mountain defensive position.
After White Mountain, Weißerberg experienced a massive influx of people. Soldiers who were too tired to return home settled there and along the river shore, burgeoning its numbers. However, before long Ludwig, guided by his brother, began his campaign to unite humans into an Empire. The greatly increased numbers of his city greatly helped in his dream.
Ludwig's first battle was diplomatic. In return for the allegiance of the wood elves, Wilhem surrendered most of the lands he controlled to the east of the Kleinen River, keeping only those lands within the palisade. However, he expanded his personal territories to the west with the aid of the wood elves who agreed to unite in one nation with the humans whose sexual attraction to the elven beauty was remarkable. After future battles, Fröhlichberg brought back great treasures to his capital city. Using these treasures he had built great structures, especially the Imperial Cairn which became an entire island of monuments to the greatness of the Empire.
Upon his coronation, Emperor Wilhem I, fourth Emperor of Weißerberg, began a great plan of construction for the Imperial City. This plan consisted of paving all roads, and especially of constructing the Imperial Causeway. The Causeway is a series of bridges spanning from the Capital, through a number of islands, to the Imperial Cairn. The roads and bridges which make up The Causeway are wide enough to allow an Imperial Army to march in full order, and are paved with basalt tiles from end to end. No expense was spared in the building of the Causeway, as buildings were purchased and demolished to make room for the roadway and bridges. Mages hired from the fledgling College of Sorcery used elementals to place gigantic granite blocks in the riverbed upon secure ground to prevent settling, and only the best stone craftsmen were hired to shape the smaller construction blocks. Dwarven architects supervised every step of construction, and nearly a tenth of the population of the city was put to work building the monument. The granite blocks required for fabrication were cut and transported down the river.
Using dwarven techniques, vast arched bridges were raised up from foundations laid underwater. Each block was carefully cut, fitted to its neighbors and secured by a mortis and tenon carved into the stone. Even blocks on the interior of the arches were mortise and tenoned into the surrounding blocks, adding great strenght the structure. The columns have extensions added to them underwater that come to a point to allow for easier water flow past them. These extensions extend from the low tide line to the foundations. After the granite bridges were completed, the roadway surface of the bridges was smoothed and rough-faced basalt tiles fitted to the granite blocks. The rough basalt tiles were fitted so closely that a knife could not fit between them. Finally, marble blocks were cut and fitted to the exterior of the granite blocks to add aesthetic value. The marble blocks began at the low tide level and covered both exterior faces of the bridges, as well as the interior sidewalls. On larger bridges, statues were erected on both sides of the bridge at the centre of the support columns. The marble was left unadorned except for the statues, allowing future generations to carve the stone as desired. Over the centuries, every square meter of this marble has been carved to depict Imperial history. Extra marble blocks were used to build fountains and statues in small parks along The Causeway on the larger islands.
Weißerberg's sea walls were begun under the regency of Empress Charlotte, and finished under her son Emperor Konrad von Fröhlichberg. These greatly improved the condition of the City by protecting it from waves and storms. Cleverly constructed entrances forced waves back upon themselves, allowing the main river to remain calm in all but the fiercest weather. It was at this time that the Imperial Shipyards were built, and the naval power of humanity started.
For over six hundred years the Empire of Weißerberg prospered, and with it the Imperial City. As great events occurred, such as the defeat of a goblin army or putting down of a revolution in a subject state, monuments were erected to commemorate the event. Slowly the Imperial City took on the look of a museum, with plazas being built to honour the greatness of Emperors and Empresses. Neither rebellions nor wars among the provinces, short lived as they were, could truly soil the greatness of the Imperial City.
Goverment and AdministrationEdit
The government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining ministers. The prime minister and the other most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet. The government ministers all sit in the Senate, and are accountable to it. The government is dependant in the Senate to make primary legislation, and General Elections are held every five years to elect the new members of the Parliament or Senate. After an election, the Monarch (currently Empress Charlotte II) selects as prime minister the leader of the party most likely to command a majority of MPs in the Senate.
Under the imperial constitution, executive authority lies with the monarch, although this authority is exercised only by, or on the advice of, the prime minister and the cabinet. The Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. They also exercise power directly as leaders of the Goverment Departments.
During debates on legislation proposed by the government, ministers—usually with departmental responsibility for the bill—will lead the debate for the government and respond to points made by MPs.
The monarch takes little direct part in governing the country, and remains neutral in political affairs. However, the legal authority of the state that is vested in the sovereign and known as the Crowns remains the source of the executive power exercised by the government.
In addition to explicit statutory authority, in many areas the Crown also possesses a body of powers known as the Royal Prerogative, which can be used for many purposes, from the issue or withdrawal of passports to declaration of war. By long-standing custom, most of these powers are delegated from the sovereign to various ministers or other officers of the Crown, who may use them without having to obtain the consent of the Senate.
The current prime minister is an elven woman called Rolim Zumroris.
The Imperial Armed Forces are the federal armed forces of the Empire. They consist of the Army, the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The Empress is the military's overall head, and helps form military policy with the Department of Defence (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy is carried out.
From the time of its inception, the military played a decisive role in the rise of the Empire as a superpower. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First and Second Barbary War. Even so, the Founders were suspicious of a permanent military force. It played an important role in the Imperial expansionist campaings, where leading generals on both sides were picked from members of the Imperial military. Not until the outbreak of the third Barbary War did a large standing army become officially established.
The Imperial military is largest militaries in terms of number of personnel. It draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers; although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since the last war.
Life in the EmpireEdit
Although the empire was not always welcomed by the other races, nor was it truly despised by even those who opposed it. The stability of the empire and its ruthless actions against the Demian and Beast-men tribes that had fled the battle of White Mountain made life far better for the common folk than the chaos of the first few post-war years when ancient nobles lines fell like domino's in the royal intrigue.
The empire was notable for its adherence to the sacred law and equality for all subjects of the empire (in the eyes of the law) was rigorously enforced. It is noteworthy that for all the pious talk of equal treatment for all loyal subjects of the empire in the distant 'provinces' of the empire the local humans routinely treated their native countrymen (often born outside the historic lands for several generations but nevertheless humans in thought, word and deed) far better than they did the local population.
The Empire did however demand at least lip service to recognition of the rights of natives - the Empire was formed more by assimilation than conquest and iron-handed domination would have torn it asunder, those governors who mistreated their charges and were caught doing so - were punished heavily, even executed in extreme cases.
The Empire banned all trade tariffs save for those of the empire enshrined property rights in the laws of all nations, heavily punished corruption and operated a remarkably corruption free rule. These aspects of the Empire, often overlooked by later scholars (both supporters and detractors of the empire) brought great wealth to the Empire and ensured that by the time peace was taken for granted, the idea of the empire was deeply imbedded in each nation.
The Empire did destroy the nobility of other realms where it resisted imperial influence, outlawed the ownership of slaves across the continent and spread knowledge of building, farming and fishing techniques throughout other human races.