The Shattered Spectrum: The Next Generation
The History, Politics, and Powers of the Imperium
History: The Blue Imperialium is the result of direct action by two divine beings, Karlstaff, currently the god of the largest religion in the Imperialium and Kraven, who is more popularly worshiped by the reds. In the early days both gods attempted to force the unification of the states via the establishment of academies for the common education of the young, the exchanges of children of the elites to be raised in the households of blue and red and the creation of a single Assembly to govern both nations. The attempt failed for many reasons that outside the scope of this limited document, there are many competing schools of thought as to why from the sheer differences of the warm blooded humans who dominate the blues to the raise of lizardmen and azers as the majority of the reds, to the inability of agreement on a single monarch, although the theory that the Purple Knights actively sabotaged the union is mostly rejected. Never the less the union fell apart some 3 generations after Kraven and Karlstaff were no long among us physically. The dissolution was peaceful, with a single vote the Over-Assembly was dissolved and everyone returned to their own homes. While the union experiment failed, it’s major goal was actually realized, before the New Gods, both Blue and Red had been locked into a major war that had devoured the majority of the nations resources and manpower. Such a war seems unthinkable now, what with the close alliance, intense economic ties and common organizations between the two nations.
Other changes made by Karlstaff would stick however. The dissolution of the monarchy and it’s replacement by the Assembly, the destruction of the inquisition and the splitting of the Magic Guild were all effected by Karlstaff within his life time. While he was repeatedly offered the crown, he would refuse it, instead leading the Assembly under the elected office of the Protector (the office was retired upon his physical disappearance). The Magic Guild had become titanic in it’s political and military power (it was a Red-Born Blue Mage who devised the now colorfully know Doom Gun). Karlstaff justified it’s division as a means of reducing it’s political power. The Magic Guild was divided into 4 parts each guild having it’s own weakness and strengths. A separate organization (the Mage Guard) was created to police the mages and answer only to the Assembly. In exchange for this, each of the new guilds would be allowed to elect representatives to the Assembly. This is seen today as perhaps Karlstaff’s grandest achievement, not only does the average citizen not need to worry about domination by magic users but they also reap the intense economic benefits of magic users being turned to benefit society as oppose to fighting to control it.
The Inquisition on the other hand was hounded into extinction. It had made enemies of both Karlstaff and Kraven and Karlstaff believed such an organization would become a magnet for dark sympathizers. The Inquisition did not go quietly but simply had no counter to the immense personal and political power Karlstaff had. Law Enforcement was handed over to the Assembly Guards and to the Justificars (who at the time were secular, over time they would become an arm of the Karlstaff cult) and Seekers. Massive reforms were introduced into the legal system and to society itself. This had a profound liberalizing effect on society and enhanced Karlstaff’s popularity. Introduced was a limited form of religious freedom, much great political and economic freedom (worship of the Dark One was banned and remains so to this day, worship of other gods is legal, but worship of foreign gods is heavily frowned upon and marks a citizen as perhaps untrustworthy). The rest of Karlstaff’s rule would pass peacefully, as both he and Kraven refused to involve themselves in the Green-Orange war, beyond preventing it’s spread to the Yellow lands. Additionally the Pink bands would be given safe passage provided they abide by the law. Once Karlstaff disappeared, the Assembly would attempt one more time to create a monarch offering the
crown to his eldest and then second born (grand?)son, both having been trained from birth by their divine father turned down the crown. Karlstaff’s eldest son would take up control of the Justificar order, his other sons and daughters would become wizards, Assemby-men and so on as they saw fit.
Today there are many citizens who can trace their ancestry to these men and women, they tend to be members of the wealthy classes and are known for their patriotism and devotion to duty. It wasn’t until the death of everyone who had seen Karlstaff in physical form that the visions and revelations started. While there had always been an air of religious devotion around Karlstaff, he had rejected direct worship of his person as unseemly. He was a faithful servant of his own god, the Lord of Falcons and the Blue State itself after all. However his divine spirit reached out and touched those who were worthy and soon a formal priesthood and church had been built. The church spread like wildfire and in a few generations would assume the majority of religious representation in the Assembly (4 out of 7 seats allotted to the churches of the Imperialium are given to the worshipers of Karlstaff as the Lord of Justice). Over 80% of the Blues worship Karlstaff exclusively with an remaining 12% worshiping Karlstaff and other gods.
During this, the Rain Guild of magic discovered various processes that would allow them to manufacture enchanted items quickly. While weapons are always in demand, the Rain Guild also produces potions, survival and travel magical goods and items of all types. The Assembly would craft trade agreements with various other nations for the sell and trade of these goods. The increased revenue was invested into the nation creating a wide variety of industry and infrastructure. This has caused the Blue Imperialium to be one of the most prosperous nations on the planet and given the average citizen a standard of life above what many others can boost. We have to this point avoided any wasteful ventures into empire, reminded that our duty to keep a watch on the darkness and be ready.
Today the Assemby governs over a wealthy, strong nation. With an expansive education and infrastructure system made possible by the cooperation of the Temples and the Guilds. With a peace maintained and watched by the Guard organizations, the rovers, justificars and mages and clerics who all work towards to the good of the nation and it’s people. We do not know how long it may last, but we are thankful to our Lord and the Nation he left us while it does.
Government: The power of the national government is invested in the Assembly, a 80 man
organization with representation divided between Guilds, Temples, Mages and those selected by the cities and regions of the Blue. Elections are every 6 years. The Assembly in turn elects a non-Assembly member as Speaker of the Assembly. He may vote in case of a tie and he decides what issues are heard by the Assembly during meetings. The Assembly traditionally sits in session for no less then 100 days and no more then 200 days of the year. In cases of grave emergency, the Speaker may recall the Assembly and refuse to release them until the crisis is over.
The Assembly also appoints judges. Judges are appointed to circles, the greater the circle, the more judges in it and the lower level of case they hear. Smaller circles hear higher level cases and appeals. 1st charges of treason against an Assembly member or cases of profound legal import. The Blue Imperialium lacks a written Constitution as such but does have a body of law that serves much the same purpose. Law Enforcement is handled by the Guards. There are the city and regional guards that answer to their local government and serve as local police forces. The Assembly Guard serves as a paramilitary peacekeeping force. The Justificars are individuals who have gone through a lengthy and intense training program from a young age and serve as roving agents of the 1st. Seekers are appointed by the agreement of the Assembly, Mages and Temples and are person with incredible legal powers, almost above the law to pursue cases of corruption and dark infiltration.
Seekers are rarely appointed. The last one was appointed 25 years ago and is the only active Seeker left. In all honesty the position of Seeker is a controversial one and many in the Assembly would like circle Judges rarely hear any cases expect those of national importance, such as to see it buried, feeling the Justificars are more then good enough to ensure peace, justice and freedom.
Military: The military is divided into several branches. There is the elite Sky Guard, a organization of shock troops mounted on flying creatures. The National Guard, which serves as the mainline military (both cavalry and infantry units are maintained here). The Sea Guard maintains the military ships and watches on the coast. The Storm Guild trains and maintains the Battle Mages of the Blue Imperialium, who are often attached to National Guard and Sky Guard units. Lastly there are the Hammers, the war clerics of Karlstaff’s Temple. Each Guard organization is lead by a Lord Marshal, the Marshal council serves as the head of the military and reports to the Assembly.
Because of the wealth and population of the Blue Imperialium, the military is large and well
equipped and trained. The core of the National Guard is heavy Infantry, with medium and light Calvary. Most Battle Mages and War Clerics are attached to National Guard units with a minority among the Sky Guard or Sea Guard. The Sky Guard often plays a role comparable to heavy cavalry or strike troops, often moving to the enemy rear and destroying supplies and reinforcements and then flying off. The Blue military prefers to force major battles to break, destroy or cripple opposing formations, preferably after the Sky Guard has weakened those formations.
Tactically light cavalry is used to scout, light infantry to engage enemy formations as they
move. Then the Heavy Infantry pins the enemy down, opening them to bombardment by the Mages as Calvary moves in the flanks and the Sky Guard from above and behind. The Mantra is “Find the Enemy, Pin down the Enemy, Bombard the Enemy, Flank the Enemy, Kill the Enemy.”
The Rovers: Are a paramilitary group that operates outside the borders of the Blue Imperialium. They are mostly an intelligence gathering organization, in part to keep an eye on the other nations and partly to maintain a watch for the Dark. They are to ensure that no nation is being inflirated by Dark agents or is seeking to become a threat to the peace and prosperity of the Blue Imperialium. Offically they do not exist.
Society: The Blue Imperialium has attracted people from all over the world because of their peace, wealth and good governance. As such the populace is a diverse and interesting lot, with a wide latitude in dress and manner tolerated. That said, there is a strong expectation towards loyalty and patriotism that runs through the Blue Culture. It is taken for granted that Blue Culture and Ways are the best in the world and that foreigners both appreciate and envy that culture. The genders are more or less equal, although there are stereotypes.
There is nothing strange in a woman owning property or running a business or so on and so forth. The military remains male dominated.
Music: Blues prefer fast music with simple but strong beats and rousing choruses. Think Queen or ACDC songs for examples (Although rock music hasn’t been invented yet). Dances tend to be energetic and not very complex with dancing in couples or as individuals preferred over group dances.
Arts: Blue Culture has not produced a lot of good poetry for some reason, although it has
produced a number of good songs. Visually Blue Artists produce lifelike sculpture and realist and surrealist painting. Abstract art has been firmly rejected. (TRANSLATION! They paint stuff that exists or they do a mix of fantastical stuff mixed with real stuff, they do not paint cubes or the more trippy stuff that modern artist do) In Literature the invention of the printing press and universal school has led to an explosion of books. Most of them aren’t very good with the most popular being cheap short novels of patriotic heroes going on far flung adventures to fight dark infiltrators or save foreigners from strange foreign threats. They often romance exotic women or have foreign sidekicks. That said, there is good literature being produced, mostly historical fiction or dramas. There is a new genre of books of stories taking place in the future but at the moment it’s a niche market.
Family and sex: The ideal family is a husband and wife with their kids usually living close by their parents. You are expected to get married and have children at some point. Divorce is uncommon, although accepted in cases of abuse and adultery. Both are taken as serious moral failings and signs of a untrustworthy and deviant character. Homosexuality is seen as odd and different from the norm, but not necessarily bad per say. Sex is mostly expect to take place within marriage, although sex outside of marriage is meet with a wink and a nudge as long as you are discreet about it (and are both unmarried). Marriage is seen as a religious rite mostly administered by the Karlstaff Temples, although there are other religions with the right to administer marriage. Currently marriage has no official legal standing other then acknowledging your spouse as your legal next of kin. Birth control is widely available although it is considered extremely crude to discuss it in mixed company and is widely used. As such family sizes are rather small, leveling off at about 2 to 3 children
per family. People choose their spouses traditionally through a matchmaker, who arranges for meetings of clients until they find someone they like. Matchmakers are traditionally older women, stereotypical widows.
Education: Universal education exists, with Blues attending government schools from the ages of 7 to 15. They are taught reading, writing, Blue History and Math. Afterwards lower class children tend to be apprenticed out to trades while upper class children are sent to private academies for further education. Traditionalist academies are single sex only, but today the new movement of “Modernist” academies are co-ed. Children who test as magical are provided magical education via the Guilds.
The Magic Guilds: There are 4 guilds and the Mage Guard.
The Storm Guild: Is the military guild, the mages here study combat spells like buffs or direct
damage and so on. They also maintain the magical defenses of the Blue Imperialium. Incredibly respected, many of the heroes of the popular stories are Storm Guild Mages.
The Rain Guild: The enchanters and alchemists. They focus on building and crafting items, potions and more. The Rain Guild is extremely wealthy.
The Flood Guild: Summoners. The Flood Guild deals with taming and summoning creatures of magic and other planes. They are bound by law not to summon demons without the express permission of Justificars or the Assembly. The Flood Guild is viewed as slightly shady by the average person.
The Mist Guild: The Mist Guild are generalist/academic mages. They train magical children, keep the records and do the cutting edge research to push magical theory forward.
The Mage Guard: Selected by the Justificars, their role is to maintain a watch on the mages for corruption, straying into darkness, etc. They are all magic users. They train to track, watch and kill mages. Each member of the Mage Guard is accompanied by his own pack of troops also trained to fight and kill mages. In times of war they are sent out in teams to find and kill enemy mages before they arrive on the battlefield. The Mage Guards are unpopular with other mages.