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The Imaskar Empire (also known as the Raurin Empire) was an ancient human nation that ruled lands in the east that came to comprise the nations of Mulhorand, Thay, and Unther. Its citizens were the Imaskari.
Early History[edit | edit source]
The earliest of all known records (from the steppes, and Var the Golden) describe the great empire of Imaskar. Ruled by powerful godless human wizards, this empire was centered in what is now the Raurin Desert. Its borders were vast, reaching from the Endless Wastes to the Golden Water and from the Alamber Sea to the very frontiers of Kara-Tur.
In the year −8350 DR Imaskari tribes began to settle the then-fertile plain of the Raurin Desert. About 230 years later the Imaskari Artificers created the first permanent extradimensional space. Their fascination with such magics soon transformed Imaskari city design. The following years saw the rise of many grand cities, among them the capital city of Inupras around −7975 DR. About this time the first Emperor, Umyatin, rose to assume the title of Lord Artificer.
Sometime around −4370 DR a suspicious plague decimated Imaskari cities. In answer to the plague, four years later the wizard-rulers of the Raurin brought hundreds of thousands of people from another world to be their slaves. The prisoners in turn brought their faith, and their deities - the Mulhorandi and Untheric pantheons - with them. Although they came from the same plane, the prisoners came from different regions as well as different times. They soon intermarried with each other and the surviving Imaskari citizens to form the race now known as Mulan humans. The slaves prayed hard for salvation, but the prayers went unheard since the wizards had closed all portals and created a barrier preventing divine intervention. This barrier banned the gods from the sphere and made them effectively nonexistent as long as the barrier held.
As time passed, the slaves divided into two distinct cultural factions in service in the Imaskar Empire, which scholars name "Proto-Untheric" and "Proto-Mulhorandi". The Proto-Untheric culture was a more aggressive culture; it believed in achieving absolute supremacy over its dominions. The gods of Unther have, since their beginnings, been uncaring entities, as opposed to the gods of Mulhorand, who are merely neglectful. The philosophy of the Untherites has always been that life is hard and cruel (perhaps because of the hardships they suffered as slaves), and only through hard work and submission to one's deity can one survive.
Entry of the Gods[edit | edit source]
After some time, Ao heard the slaves' prayers and summoned the god Ptah, an ancient deity of Wildspace whose faith had originated in the homeworld of the Mulan. At the request of Ao, Ptah returned to his homeworld and assembled the two relevant pantheons of that sphere. He told them what had happened to their followers and of their prayers for salvation. Ao had offered to extend their influence to the sphere of Abeir-Toril.
The only way to gain access to the sphere of Realmspace was to send avatars through Wildspace under the guidance of Ptah. Ptah told them that their avatars had to be as powerful as possible to be able to battle the Imaskari wizards. Creating such avatars, known as manifestations, required them to sacrifice much of their divine power. Both Ra, head of the deities of the Mulhorandi pantheon, as well as Enlil, the leader of the Untheric pantheon, agreed to Ao's offer. Many, but not all of their fellow deities agreed upon this as well. Ptah led the gods as they rode in two different galleys. The followers of Re (as Ra's manifestation was called) rode on the galley named Matet (at night it changed into a barge called Semktet). The manifestations of Enlin and his children rode in the Galley of Gods.
On their journey through Wildspace Ptah guided them with the Beacon of Light, a 1-foot-square golden cube with silver cylinders extending from the top at the four corners. Each face of the cube is engraved with an ancient hieroglyphic rune of unknown origin or meaning.
The manifestations landed on the highest peaks in a range of mountains on the northeastern edge of the Imaskar Empire known today as the Teyla Shan, or Godswatch Mountains. There they split into more divine forms, such as mortal forms of avatars, known as incarnations. These descended into the fertile plain below amongst their long-lost people. The most talented they made into priests; the truly faithful were transformed into divine minions.
Before the Imaskari lords realized what was happening, their mulan slaves rose in rebellion. Many of the incarnations and divine minions were destroyed in the battles with the Imaskari artificers, and the rebellion began to falter. Then the manifestations joined the fray. Coming down from the mountains along a path that would become known as the Road of the Gods, they unleashed their divine fury upon the wizards.
By −2488 DR, the Imaskar Empire was tottering, its cities engulfed in flames. The current Lord Artificer, Yuvaraj, fell in battle with Horus in Inupras. The rest of its armies had been defeated by the incarnate gods of the rebellious Mulhorandi and Untheric slaves. Many of the greatest wizard-lords of the realm battled to the last. When the ancient wizard rulers were defeated by the manifestations who would later become the god-kings of Mulhorand and Unther, the manifestations summoned spirits of retribution that destroyed all that had not been slain in the war. When the god-kings fled Raurin, these spirits took the land as their own domain, with each pack stirring from slumber every century to wreak havoc on all that oppose them.
Rise of Deep Imaskar[edit | edit source]
A powerful lord named Ilphemon chose to abandon the falling empire. Leading a small number of his family members, apprentices and retainers, and taking with him the Third Imaskarcana, he descended into a wild and uncharted corner of the Underdark, hoping to escape the wrathful former slaves. Ilphemon and his retinue sought out a large cave imbued with powerful faerzress and discovered the vault that would become Deep Imaskar. After driving out the monsters that lived there, Ilphemon sealed the passage behind his people. The wizard-lord and his apprentices labored for many long years to lay the groundwork of the Great Seal and make their cavern home into a living garden, illuminated by the brilliantly radiant light.
Ilphemon's descendants ruled Deep Imaskar for many centuries as kings and queens. In the Year of Dwindling Darkness (−634 DR), a cabal of arrogant, evil necromancers overthrew Ilphemon's heir and slaughtered his family, bringing an end to the line of the ancient Imaskari lord. For more than a century, Deep Imaskar suffered at the hands of these ruthless necromancers, but in the Year of Dangerous Icicles (−511 DR) a charismatic champion by the name of Chaschara led a revolt against the necromancer-lords and freed Deep Imaskar. Chaschara refused to claim the throne, instead declaring herself Lady Protector of the Realm. She selected officers for the new posts of Planner, Apprehender and Enactor, and those offices have continued to the present day, despite the eventual abolition of the protectorate.
Deep Imaskar has flirted with expansion on several occasions, most notably into the more hospitable reaches of the Elemental Planes. The city's protectors conquered several small regions of the Elemental Planes of Air and Water and bound their empire together with great planar gates. However, in the Year of the Laughing Gull (799 DR) the Imaskari lost their holdings in the Plane of Air to an assault of chichimecs. These terrible abominations invaded Deep Imaskar itself through the planar portals and caused great destruction before they where driven off. In the aftermath of that conflict, the city's Lord Protector Stilofyr was exiled and the protectorate abolished, and the planar gates were dismantled.
In 1372 DR, the Year of Wild Magic, Deep Imaskar ended its millennia-long isolation by sending explorers to the surface. Settlers from Deep Imaskar later founded the empire of High Imaskar on the lands that formerly comprised Mulhorand after the Spellplague.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 60–82. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.