(("Liberty by Law"))
“Then there were will be a realm, a realm of Light.”
Illum, officially the Holy Empire of the Core (commonly known as the Core Empire) is the single nation at the Obvia'Atra's command. An incredibly vast monarchy comprising 25 provinces known as Greater and Minor Kingdoms and a single Capital Realm, the Empire is the latest reincarnation of the Core civilizations, with the Ravendetari as their main race and the Core Races at the helm. It rules over a stunning hundred billion star systems, in thousands of different galaxies.
The Empire's holdings radiate from the White Galaxies cluster in the central Artrus Territories, blanketing the entire multiverse. They surround a capital region, the Capitol, with the throneworld of Illumyon Rea at the Capitol itself's centre. The capital region is in turn flanked by twenty Kingdoms, roughly the equivalent of subordinate states in a federation, each with a throneworld of its own sworn to obey the Capitol and Imperial head of state. The remaining provinces, five Superkingdoms, constitute the rim of the Empire and contain the bulk of its systems.
Widely considered a modern superpower, Illum is one of the largest and richest nations in history. It is one of the G8 Nations, also represented in the Astral Union, the Milky Way Cooperative and the Seven Starr Alliance. With a culture built upon imperial authority and universal belief in the reign of Heaven, the Empire is also one of the most powerful nations of the known omniverse. It succeeded the now-defunct Federation of the Core Worlds as the Obvia'Atra's culture after the former's dissolution ten years ago.
Origins and True NatureEdit
The Ravenrii are a legendary race, obedient to one of the two Supreme Entities: Kkia'Sihm, King of the Realm of Heaven. They first appeared at the birth of reality, as his pieces in the ever-lasting Game of Existence against Kamik'Shi the Dark and his servants, the Xhodocto. The two races play opposite roles in reality, spreading death and destruction, life and peace throughout the universes. Little is known about how they view each other, though as a nation of the Atra, the Empire must reflect their views.
The Imperium was born after the dissolution of the Core Federation, its forerunner, some years ago. Its existence was kept secret as it expanded, leaving the universal community in the dark about the Federation’s whereabouts. Until recently, it was even thought that the Federation still existed.
The birth of the Empire was not a sudden event; it was preceded by countless events throughout the history of its predecessor. By its six-billionth year of existence, it was evident that the Federation could not please the Ravenrii any longer. It was nothing more than a copy of terrestrial governments, its power divided between the sham assemblies that were the Courts of the Core and a monarchy crippled by a Constitution that limited its power; it was, all in all, a fake government - too weak, too mortal-like to appeal to Ravenkind.
But change would soon arrive. The self-sacrifice of Alestra the Selfless, last Queen of the Federation, destroyed the last obstacle for Kkia'Sihm to intervene in The Game by removing the last link to the Federation's past: herself. Giving her life to ensure the success of her race, her daughter Illia inherited the throne upon her death. Illia's brother, Prince Alencon, became the new vessel for Kkia'Sihm's spirit, Host Alenzhon. With the Host back at Ravenkind's side, the ancient race regained much of its lost power. The Federation was finally dissolved, and the Imperium founded. And thus the Ravenrii emigrated silently, into the dark reaches of the Territories to form a new nation for themselves.
The very creation of the Empire's lands was an unprecedented event: the Ravenrii wrested control of the entire Artrus multiverse from its few native species. Twelve universes fell without resistance. Another nine were lost in the Unification Wars. At the centre of the Great Territories, Alenzhon tore the clusters of the Grey Galaxy Cluster and the Gedd Triad apart. Their stars were moved, extinguished and reborn to create an entirely new star cluster: the White Galaxies. Countless other galactic bodies in Artrus were also Ravenshaped to the race's liking until their original forms were unrecognizable. Once the realms were complete, the Empire was built in a single year- how this was done is not known. The world of Illumyon Rea was placed at the cluster's centre and made capital; Illia, crowned Holy Empress of the Ravenrii and ruler of Artrus. The Empire reverted to the Ravens’ old way of life, growing as large and strong as it once again could.
Appearance to MortalsEdit
The Empire soon solidified its reign, and then decided to contact its old allies in the First Gigaquadrant. It caused quite a crack in the Gigaquadrant's politics, until the Empire made it clear that it hadn’t come back to reclaim its power – in fact, it was never coming back. The Empress, still veiled, sent emissaries back to the Gigaquadrant with a surprise: a treaty of cession. It was a rare proposition, handing over millions of systems in the Gigaquadrant to anyone who would accept. It left the Empire without half its original colonies, an event now dubbed the Great Cession, and wiped what was left of the Federation from the Ravenrii's minds. Some say the Treaty of Galayru was the true end of the Federation’s Last Era It was only then that a new age had truly begun.
Later, the Ravenrii revealed that they were not the main race in the Core Empire as they had been within the CorFed. Instead, they are the guiding commanders of the civilization. It is in fact the Ravendetari and the Ravena, the two lesser-known of the Raven Races it was the Ravendetari who would run their newborn kingdom as the Atra regained their godly demeanor and their interest iin Reality's concerns began fading. The true place of the Ravenrii- and even their exact location- in the multiverse of Artrus and the Empire's hierarchy is thus now virtually unknown.
“Whatever little ideas you might have about god-races' governments, throw them out. Ravenrii politics are not about politics- they're about control.”
The new Raven government, often simply called The Authority, is indeed unlike any other. Since their disappearance, the Obvia'Atra's return to power has only pushed them toward the old ways: mortal inventions like democracy, debate and trade are inexistent. Instead, the new order has become a union of all Ravenrii in reality, giuded by none other than the word of Heaven itself. Its orders carry divine significance everywhere in Lumya, and its decrees- for good or bad- are to be followed without hesitation.
The absolute ruler of the Empire and indeed almost its sole leader is the Holy Empress of Illum, wearer and symbol of the holy Imperial Crown. The current Empress is the newly created Illia the First. Illum’s subdivisions each have a monarch of their own; the Imperial Crown presides over twenty-five minor crowns, giving the empire a solid system of control. Even lower than the royal crowns, which make up a great council known as the Council of Kings, lies the Imperial Raven Court, a largely symbolic assembly that the Empress can shape and reshape to her liking. It is a popular saying in Artus that not a single speck of dust is out of the Empress' direct control.
“From our ranks, we choose the holiest, we choose the sacred, we choose the one whose purity remains unsullied and whose tone never wavers. We do not partake in the mortal meaning of government, and yet we have a Holy Queen, we have an Empress.”
- - The Ravenrii
The highest potentate in the whole of the Artrian multiverse, the Holy Empress of Illum is tended to by countless others. Her link to the rule of Heaven is unquestioned, her title the ultimate statement of absolute power and her position of vital importance. Queens are said to be more powerful than most every other Ravenrii because of their closeness to Kkia'Sihm's Host, able to twist universal fabric effortlessly. Their beautiful appearance, unparalleled in any, only adds to their mental influence and their ability to Gild beings with ease. being at teh center of the Obvia'Atra's mindpool, they're considered as strong as they are commanding.
The Empress rules from the golden world of Illumyon Rea, in the centre of Empire, dubbed "The Capitol". The planet is the highest seat of Imperial power in the nation. It is surrounded by four worlds of almost equal importance, the Great Throneworlds (Garsai, King of the South; Rania, Queen of the North; Kery'on, Tsar of the West and Ra'edi, Empress of the East), the secondary capitals of the Empire. Their administrators, imperial Viceroys, are the Empress’ highest advisers despite not being monarchs themselves. Controlling those lands outside the Capitol is left to the royal crowns.
The Empire stretches across a hundred billion inhabited systems in over 6,000 galaxies. Thirteen of these galactic bodies are the most important, completely controlled by the Empire; this contiguous territory is called Illum Alta.
The Empire is divided into twenty-six divisions; twenty-five provinces called Kingdoms and Superkingdoms, overseen by the royal houses; and a single Capital Region, realm of the Imperial Crown. The thirteen Kingdoms that encompass the Capitol constitute most of Illum Alta, covering the White Galaxies cluster. The remaining five are Superkingdoms, the largest provinces, located in the rest of Artrus. The Empire is also divided radially: the Capitol and the two Kingdoms that surround it are known as the Inner Core; the second ring, 18 surrounding provinces, make up Greater Alta. Greater Alta is in turn encircled by a swath of client states that produce goods for the Empire, called the Fieldrings. And finally, in the outermost ring are located the vast Superkingdoms, nicknamed Greater Illum, by far the largest part of the Empire.
The Inner Core is at the very centre of the White Galaxies, in the galaxy of Lumya. It is composed of the Capital Region and the largest Kingdoms: the two four-and-a-half billion-system provinces of Amairil and Lurias. The Kingdoms are ruled by the First and Second Kings of Illum, respectively. Because of their status as the realms closest to the Capitol, both are extensively guarded and extraordinarily wealthy; the heavy stardust here, it is said, is nought but gold. Only when compared to the Capitol do they not look like the pinnacle of Raven civilization.
The “Crownworlds”, as they have been nicknamed, are the greatest show of wealth, glory and luxury that the Empire has ever achieved. The region is a billion systems strong, at the centre of the Inner Core itself. It is also a hub of Imperial authority: with stars so closely packed together, it is the most secure region in the very universe. At its head is the proud world of Illumyon Rea, home of the Holy Empress. The Crownworlds also include the four secondary throneworlds of the Empire - in total, its five capitals - and boast an exclusive population. Only the most important Ravenrii and the rarest of exceptions may enter.
This contiguous area, informally called High Illum, constitutes all Imperial holdings aside from the Capitol and the realms of Greater Illum. It is very diverse and has more than its share of monarchs, covering the entire galactic cluster of the White Galaxies. The region is also home to the bulk of the Empire's subdivisions, with a whopping 18 provinces and 35 billion inhabited systems.
The Ravenrii have held unimaginable influence over universal affairs since the founding of the first Raven kingdom. Even now, the Imperium is surrounded by swaths of alien worlds under control of the Empire, which despite claiming independence are swayed to compliance in every respect. These client states are what make up The Ringworlds or, as locals call them, the Fieldrings. The former ruling races of Artrus, decimated during the Unification Wars, were rumouredly reduced to working species in the Fieldrings after the fall of the multiverse to the Ravenrii, all under Gilded control. The region is a fertile breadbasket of the Empire, growing foodstuffs and other unnecessary goods for Illum's affluent citizens. In return, the satellite states get a taste of the Empire’s overflowing stability and wealth.
The titanic mass of land that is Greater Illum would stun any mortal being; in it are the largest provinces of Illum; its Superkingdoms, all larger than 10 billion star systems in size. The Superkingdoms are the outermost ring of Obvia'Atra civilization in Artrus, with an extent greater than most any Empire in history has ever reached. But Imperial word is still law even in Greater Illum, no matter how far it is from its source in the Capitol.
During the ages of the Core Federation and other modern Ravenrii civilizations, Ravenkind thrived through trading with their mortal neighbours. With so much space under the Empire's control and the Atra back in their place of power, however, trade is no longer necessary- nor existent. Illum's post-scarcity economy, with every wish a hairsbreadth away, is nevertheless celebrated as the largest in its multiverse, large enough to sustain itself on internal movements alone. Discarding currencies and trade contracts as mortal inventions after their reappearance, both have been abandoned as Ravenkind has become less and less wordly.
Nevertheless, stories of the Atra's legendary treasures have remained in place, a testament to the fabulous wealth that the they have reportedly accumulated over the aeons. Tired of gold, it is said they have instead set out to gather as many objects of beauty as they can to remind them of Heaven, culminating in their possession of everything from statues of gleaming diamond to growing nacre trees. These treasures often lure unsuspecting mortals into the Empire's domains, who have more than once wandered a star too near and found their minds Gilded for the rest of their lives.
As the only empire in the Artrus Territories on speaking terms with the nations of the First Square, it also serves as the only point of access to the Raven East: all ingress in the multiverse of Artrus is handled by Illum. Those few lucky enough to visit speak of heavenly agriworlds, lavish golden cities, gleaming endless shipyards and vast treasure vaults. And the legends are, for the most part, true.
“We fight as little as we can, but when we do, we fight swiftly, and we fight lethally. We fight for the sake of peace.”
- - The Ravenrii
Illum possesses a substantial array of armed forces, boasting one of the largest fleets ever built. It consists of more than 30 trillion capital ships, the grandest of its multiverse and a force to be reckoned with.
Immediately after The Founding, Empress Illia and Host Alenzhon charged Illum's enlightened shipwrights with an important task: the creation of the greatest, largest army that the universe had ever seen; a new, a radiant Grand Army of Light to find and destroy the Xhodocto and secure light's victory once and for all. With all interference out of the way and the Crownworlds bathed in glory from the fruits of the new conquest of Artrus, creating this new armada was no impossible feat. Ores and alloys, imbued with Celestial Energy newly abundant in the cluster, became the fuel that fed innumerable foundry worlds across the White Sisters. While the Empire amassed new ships designed to improve on those of the defunct Federation, what remained of the Territories quailed under the prospect of another war with the Illyans. The Raven armies have never fought to kill, but when they choose a battle they allow no compromise. There are no retreats.
The entire Army is composed of 6 five-billion ship Legions. The Host, key religious and political leader of the Illyan nation, is the official leader of the Armies, though the Holy Empress can give orders of her own. Each Legion, led by a Grand General, is divided into five Armadas of a billion warships each. But the Army, vast and trained as it may be, has rarely been known to leave the cluster, instead keeping the mainland of Illum swarming with ships. Despite seeing little action, however, every ship is kept in top condition. The role of the Empire's forces has often been to enforce Imperial law rather than carry out attacks, keeping Illum's borders closed to everything from spy incursions to benign explorers.
As with all Raven ships before them, the current warships of the Imperial army were built with the Obvia'Atra's physiology in mind, making them near on impossible to use by other species. They can only be powered by pure Celestial Energy cores, essentially self-regenerating miniature suns with enough power to tear a ship apart. These cores can power ships as large as the Army's dreadnoughts, but their origins and nature remain a mystery.
Additional Stats Edit
- Full Military Forces; Army of Light, 30 trillion capital ships.
- Active Military; 20 billion capital ships.
- Galactic Trade State; Complete control of Artrus, multiversal monopoly
- Ruling Body; An Imperial Crown presiding over 25 Royal houses and their respective Kingdom provinces.
- Gross National Product; Unknown
- Official Currency; Unknown
- Trade Exchange Rate; Unknown
- Colonial Extent (Inhabited); Capitol-1 billion, Inner Core-9 billion, Illum Alta-35 billion, Greater Illum-55 billion
- Total Number of Colony Systems: 100,000,000,000 systems