A Brief History
It started, as many fantasy worlds do, with the creation of the realm by forces beyond the comprehension of mortal minds. In this case it was less of a premeditated act and more happy coincidence as the gods and primordials moved through the multiverse.
So, now they had this realm. And like so many children with a new toy, they began to fight over who could play with it. Creation was fast and furious. Agents of various interests entered the new realm from their homes in the various planes. As you can imagine, it got to be pretty crowded pretty quickly. And of course the bickering and overpopulation soon blew up into a full fledged war between the gods and the primordials, with various other forces working for their own interests. This was called the Beginning War In the end, the gods were victorious and locked the primordials away in various otherplanar prisons. But even though the gods were victorious over the chaotic natures and desires of the primordials, the damage was done. The world was hurting. Innocents had been caught in the crossfire or attacked as targets of opportunity by third party interests and the land had been completely reshaped.
And so, in their infinite wisdom, the gods did the only thing they could think of to do. They left, distancing themselves from the world they had created and the mess they had helped to make of it, working through less powerful agents into the realm to deliver messages or intervene on their behalf. Over time, some of the wounds healed and the surviving people picked up the pieces and moved on to live and thrive in a world without direct divine intervention and began ruling themselves. Kingdoms rose and fell and various people held sway over the realm.
But it was the humans that first learned of the Nexus, the convergence of all of the ley lines at the center of the realm. They learned that by influencing the nexus, they were able to influence the land, and they began to fortify the area around the Nexus, building a keep that would eventually become the city of Alesia. After consolidating their power, they began to slowly expand outward, claiming more and more territory under their banner, growing into the first Alesian Empire. But like many firsts, especially perpetrated by the more short sighted humans, this Empire was not meant to last, and was laid low by a combination of internal intrigues and outside pressures from attacks by the monstrous races as well as other people that resisted the advance of the Empire in favor of their own sovereignty.
The First Empire fell and contracted back on itself as the remnants turned inwards to further study the Nexus. The realm fell to the rule of various smaller kingdoms and warlords over the next few centuries before the Alesians came back on the scene. Possessing a deeper understanding of the Nexus given to them by the accumulated knowledge of several generations of study, they were able to better wield its power and use it to help them expand faster and further than they did previously, not to mention more successfully, and once again the ruler of the city proclaimed himself the Emperor of Alesia.
The city of Alesia grew by leaps and bounds as people flocked to it to be closer to the heart of the Empire. They began to bring the realm to heel, bringing down warlords and absorbing kingdoms into their Empire as they knelt to the will of the Emperor, but like the first one, this one was not meant to last either. It lasted a good sight longer than the first attempt, but it was laid low by treachery. One of the warlords that bent the knee instead of being eradicated did his damndest to get close to the Emperor, wheedling and grovelling and eventually getting into the inner circle of advisors. Then he was able to strike, assassinating the Emperor and taking control of the Nexus, so he could realize his dreams of ultimate power in a way that he couldn’t before. He used the Alesians’ accumulated knowledge of the Nexus to not only extend his influence, but also to extend his own natural life, something that the previous Emperor’s had dared not do. For a century this warlord ruled as a tyrant Emperor until those that were able to resist the influence of the Nexus were able to band together and defeat him. The rebellion culminated with a battle between the Alliance of Free Peoples clashing with his army on the field of battle while a small team of heroes infiltrated his central keep and slew him upon the throne. His body was interred somewhere secret and the remnants of his loyalists and personal guard shattered, and a new Emperor was installed at the head of the Third Alesian Empire.
This one proved to be the strongest Empire yet, having the good will of many of the Alliance of Free Peoples. They were also the smartest. Instead of expanding further and further, they moved their borders to where they could be sustained, tamed the lands and grew the infrastructure until they could again be moved. But they also respected those that did not want to fall under their borders. Expansive frontier lands exist outside of their borders that fall under different types of rules. Small kingdoms, warlords, and other types of leadership rule outside of the borders. But the Empire won’t intervene in these affairs without being asked, and if they do, it is usually under the agreement that the people asking for assistance submit to rule by the Empire.
It has been seven hundred years since the fall of the Tyrant Emperor, and while those that study history still know of his existence, most other people of the Empire have put him out of their collective mind. Times have never been better for people of the Empire, and while there will always be problems from roving bands of orcs that get too far into the borders of the Empire or small problems with the land, they have no reason to believe that anything like what their ancestors had to deal with will happen anytime in their life times.