The Summer Heroes
The Empire's Status Quo
Empress Lyncea (later sometimes styled Lyncea the Mad, though this is generally considered disrespectful and more than a little unkind) died in 945 BR and was succeeded by her nephew, Polyxo. Polyxo is considered the first of the “Scholar Emperors” a series of three rulers of the Empire who have been well known for their education and attempts to rebuild the intellectual life of Soren and the Empire following the massive losses experienced during the wars. The Scholar Emperors have stuck closely to Lynceus’ pledge not to expand the Empire, and have instead diverted the revenues from the Fortification Taxes into the reconstruction and expansion of the Imperial Academy of Alchemy, the Imperial Library, the University of Soren, and a number of smaller schools, libraries, and other centers of learning through the realm.
Polyxo was succeeded by his son in 964 BR, who took the name Polyxo II. This represented a major breach of imperial tradition, as no emperors or empresses had ever taken the name of their predecessor before, but Polyxo expressed a desire to demonstrate his commitment to the continuity of his father’s policies and so took his name upon his accession. Polyxo II’s policies were essentially indistinguishable from those of his father— investment in education and a dedication to the maintenance of the Empire’s current borders— and he died in 993 BR.
Polyxo II was succeeded by his son Polyxo III, who desired not only to demonstrate an ongoing continuity of imperial policy, but also to help establish a new tradition regarding imperial name-taking, presumably to make his father’s decision seem less unusual. Polyxo III has reigned for the past five years and has, again, continued the policies of his father and grandfather, which has continued the flourishing of intellectual exploration in the Empire. Despite this, huge swathes of knowledge that were lost during the wars have not been recovered or re-discovered.
Polyxo III has maintained the Empire’s commitment to retaining and defending its current borders and resisted the faction in the Dycastery that desires a return to the “glory days” of the Empire under Krastus and Hyperia, when Soren ruled from one side of the continent to the other. This faction has diminished in importance over the years, as the Empire’s citizens have enjoyed the benefits of peace, economic revival, and security. The security enjoyed “behind the wall” (and in the provinces west of the capital) is said to be better even than that enjoyed in the elven kingdom of Hassuna, and monsters and other presences that plague “uncivilized” lands are all but absent in the Empire.
Next: Imperial Legacy