Although a powerful alliance already existed among the Prust and the Grailwarden dwarves, it would be incorrect to refer to their creation as an “empire” until after the Pact of Brightfather’s Day, the building of Dalenguard, and, of course, the rise of Delian Von Tessel: first Emperor of Tarsis.

It is the genius of Delian Von Tessel (page 78) that he created the “Empire of Tarsis,” rather than the “Prustan Empire.” This subtle but important move appeased the noble families of Tarsis while still giving the conquering Prust what they wanted.

Unlike the previous chapters of history, the last seven centuries or so are extremely well documented and detailed. This is the history that schoolchildren know.

The Prust were humans who had originated in the southeast. Dark haired but fair skinned, from the earliest days they were ruled by authoritarian kings who organized them into an efficient, regimented society. Their traditional enemies were the peoples of the northern lands such as Nall or the tribes beyond the Grey Mountains to the east.

When the Prust and their Grailwarden allies took control of Tarsis, reputedly the oldest city in the world and certainly one of the largest, they developed a bond with the place. They called it the Eternal City and soon began to believe that it had always been theirs. From there, they would plant the seeds for their eternal Empire. After the Pact of Brightfather’s Day, they knew the time had come.

However, the Empire almost collapsed before it could really form, amid dissent from squabbling nobles and numerous powerful factions. It took the charisma and drive of one man—Delian Von Tessel, son of the human signer of the Pact of Brightfather’s Day—to unite the people of Tarsis. He was crowned Emperor.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Empire of Tarsis was that it was not born entirely of conquest. Resistance arose in some places, to be sure, but other lands had been so devastated by Ghul that they welcomed Imperial control—and the Imperial wealth, organization, and goods that came with it. Life was simply more stable and safe in the Empire, and so Imperial armies often were welcomed at city gates with open arms. (This was certainly true at first in Palastan, one of the most ravaged lands.) By 100 IA, the Empire had spread from the Grey Mountains in the east to Cherubar in the west. That done, the Emperor next annexed all the lands beyond ever known to exist, literally claiming rulership over the entire world. Of course it took years for the distant lands to the south to even know this had happened, and by the time they did, it was simpler to send a minor tribute and words of fealty than to argue. At its height, the Empire of Tarsis controlled lands so distant that no actual Imperial soldier ever set foot there. The rulers of Panogolan and Buneir in the far south were simply declared Imperial governors and left to rule as they had always done.

The spread of Empire brought with it the spread of innovation. Grailwarden firearms, clockworks, and steam-powered machines were as much a part of the Empire as Imperial laws, bureaucracy, and garrisons.

The Main Purveyors

The idea of the four Main Purveyors, each a single being charged with representing Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos, is a concept unknown to most people. The most famous of the known Main Purveyors, Emperor Rudolf Von Tessel, was the Main Purveyor of Law throughout his unnaturally long lifetime. These individuals, each a shining of example of the concept they embody, are said to be chosen by a conclave of the gods. They are always mortals, and obviously they are always enemies of each other. There is not always a Main Purveyor of every alignment at work in Praemal at all times; they arise only when worthy individuals answer the call.

With the mantle comes extra long life and special powers— mostly involving influence over like-minded creatures. Thus, the Main Purveyor of Chaos gains the power to command creatures of chaos.

The Decline of the Empire

Read about The Decline of the Empire.