"The past is always a rebuke to the present." - Robert Penn Warren
The beginning of the world is a thing much debated across the continent. The Imarathi regime, now more widely spread than ever, posits that the world and sky was carefully crafted by the one true God, while Asharians believe that the world was born and cleansed in a wash of fire and ice. Being that this is such a controversial and illusory subject, we shall skip it, and move on to the parts that matter.Empire.
The word itself is a mouth-filling, greedy thing. Since the beginning of time, kingdoms have risen and fallen, but none with so much pomp and circumstance as those that ruled all the others.
Centuries ago, Imarath rose on religious wings to spread the word of their one God and their divine civilization across the continent. They relied not on the (dubious) strength of their numbers, but on their cunning and their subversive social tactics. In short order, Feragh had succumbed to them, and with the added strength of Feragh's massive population, it was only a matter of time before the Imarathi Empire spread.
Ashar, weakened by a foolhardy king and an ordinary lack of natural resources, fought hard against the coming invasion, but could not hold it off indefinitely. After Ashar, it was easy to conquer the relatively peaceful neighboring countries.
The fallen King of Ashar was exiled to Kahan Island, left to rot as the caravans in the desert -- determined to bow down to no man -- banded together to protect themselves. Unbeknownst to his keepers, the ex-king formed connections with the sailors and the pirates, men who by their very nature and career held little in the way of national loyalty, and was spirited away to the main continent in disguise. He fled to the desert with those few who were still loyal to him, and for the first time in history, the caravan people allowed themselves to ally with the Asharian rebels.
Using trade routes, spies and messengers passed through to Kanaa to seek help. Using Kanaan resources and the rapidly growing rebellious base in Ashar, the fallen King reclaimed the capital city, and in short order, the rest of his country.
With the Asharians making such a nuisance of themselves, Imarath's hold on the western countries grew tenuous and then impossible, and the Empire was forced to recede to its northern island, eventually pulling out of Feragh as well when the displaced Feraghi king took E'rah back.
While Imarath seethed, Feragh's infrastructure fell to pieces. Long tired of kingship, the people would no longer bow down to the King of Feragh. In time, the Baronies formed, cementing the Feraghi throne's impotence.
Ashar, ravaged by their war against Imarath, went to work slowly rebuilding itself. The Asharian King's hold on the country was weak as the populace began to die from starvation, but by the time his son took the crown, the country had largely stabilized. Determined to keep further invasions at bay, every king after spent more time and energy on building defenses and a massive army than any other king prior, an effort that required a lot of tax money, forcing the king to instate a Senate into the government to check his powers and represent the people.
The "Golden Age" of the Senate was brief. Shortly, their power was largely stripped away, so that they did not have the lawful ability to properly check the King. However, they did retain a lot of social power, and could bring ruin to their enemies if they were of one mind about it.
The Asharian kingship was already weakened by the time Hamur Druab, a power-hungry advisor to the Asharian king, brought to court his adopted son. Jerin Druab was rumored to have been born to a sinful whore, his birth ripping her apart from the inside, his naked body bathed in a ring of holy fire. The people were already restless, years of famine and drought ravaging the populace as the king struggled to maintain his power. It did not take much for Hamur Druab to undermine the King's authority and spread rumors of Jerin's holy birth. People whispered of the boy called Jerin, whom they had heard was Tor Himself reborn. Before long, they were all saying that it was Jerin who should rule Ashar, despite his common heritage.
Jerin was fifteen when the rightful king of Ashar was executed, and was made ruler of the nation before the blood had dried. Shortly after, Hamur Druab was found mysteriously dead, giving Jerin, the Av'Tor, the power to do as He pleased.
And He did precisely as He pleased.
Under his reign, the city of Al'Tor has expanded and become a monolithic testament to Ashar's power. Other cities have grown and prospered under His divine rule, but He is not content with building up the power and greatness of His country anymore. His eyes have strayed to the fraying Feraghi border, and beyond to the self-contained Fallen Empire of Imarath.
It is His time.