Chronicles of Neverael
The Atlaneian Empire might have been the single most important cultural and political force to ever exist in Antegaea. At it’s height, the Atlaneian Empire claimed everything from Domremi in the west to the Blacklands in the east, it’s borders running as far north as the edge of what is today the Frostblight and as far south as the Druagynlurk Sands. Existing for more than seven millenia, the Atlaneian Empire has been gone for a mere 1200 years now but it’s effects on the landscape of Antegaea are still omnipresent.
Exact records detailing the rise of the Atlaneian tribe and the foundation of it’s Empire are sketchy at best – the Atlaneians are believed to have gained considerable knowledge from the Sidhe – whom they served during the great Exodus of the Beast Gods from Antegaea- and, using this knowledge, took advantage of the sudden power shift in Antegaea to begin to conquer and assimilate their neighbors in rapid succession. Interbreeding with and and the cultural integration of the mysterious Sidhe only strengthened the tribe further until, in short order, they were a full blown expansionist nation with more advanced technologies than any other on the continent.
Initially led by a council of Elders, Atlaneian culture changed considerably with the adoption of the Sidhe into their civilization. The Sidhe lived much longer than humans did and their powerful blood made the Atlaneians live longer as well. Overtime, the council of Elders became composed of nothing but so-called “true” Atlaneians and Sidhe. With the wisdom of ages at their beck and call, this council began to look outward to the other races of man – seeking to help uplift their primitive cousins. This was, initially, their reasoning behind the creation of the Empire – an empire of mankind built to better all. Soon thereafter, however, an ambitious young man named Titus Asherath (the most feared Atlaneian general of the era) would take control of the government via military strength and popularity…and declare himself Emperor. He kept the council of Elders around as personal advisors even as he pushed onwards with the grand vision of a united humanity.
It is widely believed that the Atlaneians relied heavily upon sorcery to aid them in their day to day lives and, while this is true, magick was just as rare then as it is now – if much better understood. Using scientific understanding derived from and enhanced by magickal prowess, the Empire began to employ magick in the building of cities, the production of weapons, the growing of crops, and all sorts of other things to benefit the growing Atlaneian domain. Witchborn were considered servants of the all – servants of the people – first and foremost. An Atlaneian witchborn could be approached on the street by the meanest low life and, if asked to perform a favor, would do so almost without reservation or compunction – save where such a favor would conflict with the law or cause harm or ill will toward the servants of the Empire. In it’s prime, the Empire boasted medicine which could cure most diseases, transportation which made crossing the continent a journey of a few minutes as opposed to months, a seemingly endless surplus of food, and all sorts of other wonders created using the powers of the witchborn in conjunction with the arcane sciences of alkhemy and runetech.
The entire history of the Atlaneian Empire is far too convoluted and long to review here, but, like all empires, the Atlaneians eventually fell into corruption and decadence – becoming convinced of their own superiority and god-like power over the world. The upperclass grew increasingly focused on hedonistic pleasures in a futile attempt to relieve them of their ennui. The lowerclass were afforded many different forms of entertainment in order to distract and lull them into a false sense of contentment. It was during these times that the accident which led to the outbreak of the Blackgate War happened and the Empire’s death knell was sounded. Even after the war, the Empire managed to hold on for a couple of decades but was eventually completely subsumed by anarchic uprisings, religious upheaval, and political infighting and jockeying for power in the aftermath of the huge shifts in power that resulted from the war.
An Empire requires three things to function properly – a common currency, an extensive network of roads, and a common form of communication. The Atlaneian language employed the Sidhe alphabet and was a mixture of the Sidhe’s language and the ancient tongue originally taught to the humans by the departed Beast Gods. It quickly became spoken throughout the Empire as the standard for trade and official communication. The so-called “Low Tongue” spoken today is a bastardized form of High Atlaneian (as spoken through the old Empire) peppered with regional colloquialisms and rent through with elements of now-extinct local languages. The road system created by the Atlaneians using sorcery is still functional, even to this day. The currency used back then is, however, no longer anything but a curiosity and is no longer in anything like circulation.