History of the Imperium
Nearly two thousand years before our story begins, two hundred settlers of the Ten Races arrived in the new, uninhabited continent, and named it Andaran, which means ‘Sanctuary’ in the ancient language. No one knows why they called it that, or where they came from. Although the settlers were at first unaware of it, a number of Sephs had also come secretly to Andaran.
Over the centuries, one kingdom followed another, until at last some of the kingdoms of Andaran banded together to form the First Imperium, which promptly began a campaign of conquest to unite all the kingdoms of Andaran. Meanwhile, unknown to the Ten, the Sephs multiplied and gained power. Eventually, by supporting those kingdoms that refused to submit to the First Imperium, the Sephs, using their Ability to influence the minds of the Ten, brought about the downfall of the First Imperium.
More centuries passed, and the individual kingdoms warred against each other, until once again an Imperium was formed, reuniting the kingdoms. In due course, again due to the influence of the Sephs, the Second Imperium, too, fell. This cycle was repeated time and time again, until five Imperia had come and gone, and Andaran descended once more into an era of darkness.
About three hundred years before the Fellstone Tales, a young Torph who later became known as Maghorn I, discovered that his Torph Ability not only protected himself from the Sephs’ mind control, but also protected all those of the Ten in his vicinity. He used his Ability to free those under the influence of the Sephs, drive the Sephs into exile, and reunite the kingdoms of Andaran into the Sixth Imperium.
It was Maghorn I who built the imperial city of Worldheart, then established the Six Regional Administrative Distrcts and their capitals. It was Maghorn I who implemented a scientific breeding program to enhance Torph abilities. It was Maghorn I who began the construction of the Andaran-wide system of transportation, including the Royal Highways, the expansion and integration of the Belowground, the railroad system, and the lighthouses and port cities.
After the death of Maghorn I, his son, Maghorn II, continued his father’s policies and projects. A succession of Torph emperors followed, all of whom were Maghorn’s descendants, their mates selected scientifically to enhance the natural Torph Ability of their offspring. Throughout the Maghorn dynasty, the scientists of the Imperium worked endlessly to further enhance the Torph Ability though chemical, mechanical, and eventually electrical means.
Around the year 230 of the Maghorn dynasty, Emperor Traador, with the best of intentions, foolishly began to restore the exiled Sephs into the Imperium. The Sephs, although they had sworn not to, used their Seph Ability to gain power and influence, and rose to the highest levels of government.
While the Sephs surreptitiously weakened the Imperium, lulling it into a climate of peace and prosperity, a young Seph named Pallador began to rise higher and higher in the ranks of the government. Secretly, however, Pallador and his closest friend, a Seph named Kahph, restored the forbidden Cult of Kallor. Together they uncovered secret knowledge of the ancient Sephs, then they, too, began developing chemicals and devices to enhance their natural Seph Ability.
As the Imperium weakened, the Cult of Kallor grew stronger, until, in the year 303 of the Maghorn Dynasty, Pallador seized control of Worldheart and the Sixth Imperium. However, just as victory was within his grasp, he was betrayed by Kahph, and a violent struggle ensued. It took two years for Pallador to prevail, but the victory was costly: Kahph was missing and presumed dead; Pallador barely escaped with his life; Andaran lay in ruins; Worldheart was destroyed and uninhabited; and the Regional Administrative Capitals lay in ruins. Barely a tenth of the population of Andaran survived the conflict, and many of those who remained were sick, injured or otherwise incapacitated.
The gravely wounded Pallador and what was left of his army made their way to the eastern port city of Tumberland, commandeered all the ships they could find, and sailed for Fellstone City in the southeast. There the last battle of The Fall of the Sixth Imperium was fought. Pallador won another costly victory, then landed his ships on an island in the bay. He had his Fessal attendants dismantle several of the giant ships, then used their thick hull plates to create the central keep of the Iron Fortress.
In time, the Iron Fortress was given an outer ring, and Sephs from all around Andaran came together there to support their new Emperor, Pallador. A causeway was built from the Iron Fortress to the mainland. Pallador built the Silver Palace on the top of a hill to the east, which became the core of the New City. All those who supported Pallador were invited to live the the beautiful New City; the rest were forced to live in the ruins of Old Fellstone, scratching out a living however they could.
The underground Fellstone Resistance Movement was formed to resist Pallador; Pallador in turn established the Imperial Intelligence Division to root out and destroy the FRM. All those suspected of involvement in the FRM were either killed outright or whisked away to the Iron Fortress, never to return, while their families were imprisoned in the grim Fellstone Labor Compound, built atop the ruins of Old Fellstone City.
No one knew the fate of those taken to the Iron Fortress, only that they were never seen or heard from again. Not even the intrepid FRM dared to mount a rescue, because there was no possible escape from the Iron Fortress.