The Summer Heroes
The Sorian Empire’s legacy is complicated, at best. Its most long-lasting contribution to the societies across Orem is the widespread use of Imperial Common as the standard language across diverse lands, from Soren to Brightwater. Less civilized areas have seen the devolution of Imperial Common into more local dialects, but magical communication between kingdoms, realms, and empires has helped to maintain a relative unity of speech, such that it is possible to travel across the continent and be understood. Soren’s long trading relationship with the Hassunai, as well as the expansion of Imperial Common to other areas of the world that also traded with the Hassunai, led to the proliferation of the language across the elven realm as well, though Hassunai Elven is still the primary language there.
Other Imperial cultural introductions have been less resilient in their maintenance— for example, Imperial currency has all but fallen out of use outside the Empire proper, and the fashions of Soren no longer spread to other cities as they once did. More permanent, physical reminders of the Empire still exist in some cities, like Darrova, but the largest area of new Imperial construction was in the eastern half of the Empire, which was devastated in the wars. The cities of the Penwith archipelago and Ystria managed to retain most if not all of their distinctive cultural character during their time under Imperial domination, partially because they were so far away from Soren itself, and also because they did not see a large influx of Imperial citizens (unlike Darrova and the newly-constructed cities of the east).
The Empire’s population is now mostly human by a wide margin, partially because the largest communities of non-humans in the Empire lived in territories that it no longer controls. Racism has almost entirely disappeared since the time of Krastus the Reformer, though the government of the Empire is almost completely human. This is due largely to the extremely low percentage of permanent non-human residents in the Empire, as well as by the disinclination of Halflings and gnomes to get involved in Imperial administration, despite now being the two largest minority races living within the Empire’s borders.
Alchemy has never achieved the kind of distinction and honor elsewhere that it did in the Empire, and the spread of institutionalized Imperial alchemy has proven to be essentially flimsy, as alchemical practices in places like Penwith, Darrova, and Ystria are fairly limited. Alchemy has similarly never achieved the kind of prominence it had and has in Soren in Hassuna, as the elves are far more interested in arcane magic, and there is a much heavier emphasis in the Penwith Islands on divine magic than on alchemy. In fact, the only groups that can claim a similar kind of alchemical tradition as the Empire are the wandering gnomish tribes of the Aljudah Desert, but their practice of alchemy is very different from the rigid instruction found in Soren.