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Death By Mage

D&D Resources, Ideas, Inspiration

The Empire of Azuroth (Azurian Empire)

Across the Alramosi countryside, along the desert coasts of Zon, above the Burianos Archapelago, and hidden with the scattered islands of Helios; the Empire of Azuroth flourished and thrived at the height of their arcane supremacy. Mage lords that ruled castles on floating mountains or fortresses made of metal and crystal hovered never far from their great cities made of the strongest metals and stones with towers that pierced the skies. It was the Second Age in the world of Soladis, nearly five hundred years after the Avatar Wars. The Azurian Empire had grown in their magecraft and influence, acquiring lands across the continents and even claiming the wild floating islands from Helios. When the War of Sorrow broke, the Azurians were one of the many great powers that fought against an enemy that threatened the entire realm itself, making great sacrifices to defeat their enemy. Their sacrifice led to the end of the Second Age and the defeat of their enemy at the cost of their civilization. The people were gone, the royal bloodlines lost, and their greatest minds seemingly vanished or exiled from the world. In the Third Age, often referred to as the Heroic Age, more than a thousand years have passed and their relics continue to astonish and amaze even the most seasoned mage and artificer. Weapons, armors, and crafts that carried a sophistication that continued to rival even the elves and dwarves of modern-day, such objects of power have even been considered powerful enough to shake the very foundations of the land itself. 


The Azurian Empire was ruled by the magical oligarchy through bloodlines, the empire consisted of large city centers with high towers and keeps along with floating mountains used from Helios to house their great fortresses ruled by their mage lords. As a magocracy, the people of the empire were all trained in the practice of the arcane arts known as the Craft. Children of mild aptitude were given basic training, those who possessed worthy skills were granted citizenship to higher and respectable positions of authority. The Heavenly and Earthly kingdoms divided the citizenry of the empire into the nobles and lords that managed processing of agriculture, ores, and mercantile to the mage kings that ruled above in their fortresses of arcane stone.

Basic Information/Demographics

Population: estimated 180 million
Racial Demographics: 75% Humans, 10% Half-elves, 8% Dragonborn, 3% Dwarf, 2% Halfling, 2% Other
Government: Royalty/Magocracy
Religions: Nexus, the Watcher, Alderron, Farl Chronos, Abu-Jagal, Delenne, the Librarian, Tohcien, Uras
Alignments: LN, LE, N

Geography
The Azurian Empire possessed cities across the Alramos and Zon continent along with several islands within the Burianos Archapelago. Additionally, the imperial mages managed to lure and control hundreds of floating islands from the Helios region which were repurposed as additional cities or fortresses for the defense of the empire. Unlike many kingdoms or nations that rose during the Second Age, the empire was considered the largest congregation of humanoids under a single sovereignty besides the large elven nation that dominated most of Alramos and the few Dwarven kingdoms that made their homes along various mountain ranges and valleys.

Many earthly cities of the empire were scattered across grasslands, sea coasts, and mountain settlements. Their tasks were primarily to extract the natural resources needed to feed and fuel the economy of the empire. Many of the floating islands were repurposed as keeps and fortresses which were used for the defense of the empire, but additionally they acted as repositories of arcane weaponry and artifacts.

History
The Empire was founded by mages who were taught magic from the elves and dwarves, the elves provided the tutelage of nature and energy while the dwarves taught the lessons of artifice and smithing. The human mages took their lessons and expanded further than either race had expected. Eventually the mages sought out the knowledge and wisdom of dragons and other primordial beings, unlocking the greater mysteries of creation itself. The mages wanted to aid and teach the people they had come to care for across their time wandering place to place until they settled along a sea-coast at the edge of Zon. The people came to the mages who reportedly could perform wonders and crafts that transcended even the elves and dwarves, as more numbers grew so did the mission of these mages. The mages formed a society for themselves along with their followers, in order to preserve their legacies, they taught their skills and knowledge to those they deemed skilled enough to endure. Their legacy endured and over time settlements they owned became cities and temples.

The descendants of these mages were highly regarded and respected by the people, eventually the need to organize and establish a sovereignty became essential. Seven lords of magic and the royal family became into power, the royal family consisted of descendants of the first mage who mastered the techniques and skills that became the mainstays of the magecraft of Azuroth. The seven mage lords consisted of descendents of the early mages along with the few who had managed to display arcane aptitudes that rivaled the royal family.

For several hundred years the Azurian Empire thrived and expanded, annexing and adding more regions under their dominion. Eventually the growth and expansion of the empire led to conflict and animosity with other nations and cultures but those events were subsided once the War of Sorrow began.

The War of Sorrow was the greatest conflict for the inhabitants of Soladis, hundreds of millions perished on the conflict that lasted nearly a century. The Azurian Empire had some of the largest resources to spend on the war front, using their expertise and manpower to contribute nearly a fourth of the allied fighting strength. The Azurians implemented new magic and technologies which resulted in powerful weapons that carried the essence of souls and further implemented the creation of a sentient race that referred to as “the Forged” but were later referred as “Warforged”. The Warforged proved to be a valuable asset in the war against the enemy, while their origin was full of controversy between the races and nations, their need for them was undeniable. Unfortunately the war was a slow attrition to an inevitable defeat from a vastly greater force, the allied forces were faced with difficult choices for the fate of the world.

At the twilight years of the war, the Azurians formulated a ritual that would aid in defeating the enemy. The ritual was largely a success but the arcane backlash was something none foresaw. The magical influx caused a terrifying cascade of events that obliterated both sides of the war, magic became unstable in the realm which caused many of the floating fortresses and islands to collapse down onto the world. The world turned molten and the skies were covered in ash for several years. Many of the survivors from Azuroth had nowhere to go, some integrated with other nations and some found refuge with some of the races. Ultimately the Azurian Empire faded into legend, its people became refugees and their magical expertise were lost to memory.

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