…that once began as a minor insurrection in a farming town deep in the heartland of the Jagen Peninsula quickly ignited the Thirteen Sisters of Tempest..
The Athalan Empire rules from a central nest of islands and tradeways on Bastion. An unassailable naval power, they combine the best attributes of their assimilated foes, and continue to charge forth with unshakable zeal in the name of the Goddess Athala Divine and her anointed Empress.
Separating Myth from Fact
The origins of the Empire are shrouded in myth so fantastic that even the most astute historian such as myself has difficulty properly explaining the events that birthed this moon-spanning kingdom. Some claim that a God of War found young Athala and raised her to be a weapon against the apostates to the south. Others claim that the charismatic and cursed Goliath brought together the peninsula with sheer force of will to right the wrongs of the worlds.
What is known however, is that an era long ago, a young Goliath cursed with Tiefling blood rose to prominence in the northern end of Jagen. Through her own formidable power and an increasing army of disenfranchised non-humans and power-hungry merchants, she conquered to the edges of the land in only a handful of seasons.
Prosperity and War
For a time, the land enjoyed prosperity. With debts repaid, the new kingdom remained loyal to Athala, working tirelessly to her carry out her will. This remained true until the same seed of disobedience that once drove Athala to rise up, found root in her own people.
Civil war. An outbreak of rebellion and chaos. The fledgling kingdom very nearly shattered back into its original borders. And it may have fallen, were it not for the Battle of Moontower, where Athala herself strode into the battleground and slew the treacherous rebel leaders with her very own blade.
Outside influence had turned the precious citizens of her country against her - a spite Athala would never forgive. No more would outlanders - with their conniving plans and coups - run rampant through her people. The Empress sharpened the laid-aside blade of war as dromons carrying legions of soldiers bearing the imperial standard, set foot onto sovereign shores.
In the era to follow, the Empress Athala would gather to herself new lands and peoples for her Empire. She spread her reach against other moons, other kingdoms.
And when at last she took her rest, satisfied with the labor of her life, Athala appointed a successor who would carry the title Athala II. The Tiefling-Goliath Empress then stepped through a World Gate she herself had crafted.
Destination unknown - Athala has not been heard from since.
Ascension and Descent
The heretical view of course, is to imagine an aged woman taking her own life before the violence of her past could overtake her. The Empire however, discounts this notion. Their Empress has ascended, to lead them to glory unending. Hailed as the head of the Imperial Pantheon, Athala Divine's visage now adorns the shields of her warriors and banners of her legions, ever on the forefront of their perennial war.
In the ages following the Ascension of Athala, new wars of conquest and survival have broken throughout its boundaries. The Elf War in particular drew much blood from the loyal armies of the Empire, as the entirety of the Sisters of Tempest were enraptured in that grand war, culminating in the assassination of the standing Empress herself.
As the decades of warfare bled the lands dry, new heroes rose up to deal out defeat to the Elvish invaders. One in particular, was General Tabo Ironclaw, coming to the defense of the city of Evenfell itself, and finally driving the Elves to their knees.
This same man however, was to be the fulcrum that twisted the fate of the Empire towards unknown ends, when he gathered to himself the power of an ancient evil weapon, and stabbed at the heart of the Athalan Empire, striking down the Empress-Regent and demanding the throne for his own.
The Empire now stands before somber days. The unerring vision of its youth thrown into jeopardy by the treachery of it's most trusted defender. Athala Divine stands silent in her temple, unknowing or uncaring of the plight of her beloved. The Ocrary Campaign stagnates, and the flame of war gutters for the first time since the Empire's inception.
War, this beating heart of the Empire must not forgotten. For it is as Athala Divine said on her coronation day, “By Blood Be Born, By Blood Be Sustained.”
Excerpt from Heriburn Pebblesquabble’s pamphlet “So You’ve Been Invaded by The Athalans.” Originally handed out during the invasion of Celis-ward, two years post Gatefall.