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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. Imaskari wizards, also known as Artificers,[2] were overwhelmingly powerful and just as haughty. The Emperor of the Imaskari bore the title of Lord Artificer.[1]

History

The earliest of all known records describe the great empire of Imaskar. Ruled by powerful godless human wizards, this empire was centered in what is now the Raurin Desert.[3] Its borders were vast: by the end of its Early Dynastic Period, in -6422 DR, they reached from the Golden Water to the Great Ice Sea and from the Alamber Sea to the Katakoro Plateau.[1]

Nemrut Period

In the year −8350 DR a splinter tribe of the ancient Durpari began to settle the then-fertile basin of the Raurin Plateau. This started the Nemrut period of the civilization, named after the civilization's first warlord.[4][5] Early Imaskari lived in tribal communities ruled by chiefs and the warrior aristocracy, which expanded as agriculture spread among them. About 230 years later the Imaskari Artificers created the first permanent extradimensional space. Their fascination with such magics soon transformed Imaskari city design. The years after −8130 DR saw the rise of many grand cities.[1]

Early Dynastic Period

The capital city of Inupras was founded in −7975 DR.[1] The first Emperor, Umyatin, rose to assume the title of Lord Artificer on that year, ending the Nemrut period.[5] Bukhara Spires were constructed during this period; circles of bronze spires which held two-way portals, allowing for rapid transportation of whole legions across vast distances. Those portals allowed Imaskar to rapidly expand across East Faerûn.[1]

In −7891 DR, the Imaskari annexed and enslaved the kobold kingdom of Zexthandrim in the Mountains of Copper, demanding tribute from the subjugated people in gold and gems.[6] The kobolds tried to game the required tribute by withholding the choicest gemstones.[7] In −7403 DR,[6] the Empire became determined to punish the demihumans' treachery, and expelled them from their tunnels using two new kinds of golems: slow-moving portal golems, carrying a portal in their chest, and smaller, shepherd golems, which would force the kobolds through those portals. The fate of the kobolds after this point was unknown.[7] The korobokuru dwarves of Shan Nala were also subjugated during this time.[1]

The empire also subjugated the Taangan, ancestors of the Tuigan and other tribes, in −7100 DR, demanding semi-annual tribute from these nomads.[6] Durpar, Ulgarth and Khati were also annexed at around that time. The Empire remained undefeated until −6788 DR, when its western outpost in Aerilpar was besieged by forest landwyrms. In −6779 DR, there was a peasant rebellion in Raudor, which was soon put down.[1]

Middle Kingdoms Period

In −6422 DR, rampaging krakentua razed the capital, Inupras. The anarchy that followed caused a split between the territories of Upper and Lower Imaskar, beginning the Middle Kingdoms period.[1] The natives of Lower Imaskar founded the city of Solon to serve as their capital, east of the Raurinshield Mountains.[8] Upper Imaskar's capital became Thakos, later Saikhoi.[1]

Sometime around −4370 DR a suspicious plague decimated Lower Imaskari cities. Mysteriously, a blight destroyed their crops at about the same time. Fifteen to twenty out of each hundred Imaskari citizens perished to the plague even in the most lightly affected areas, and the survivors were then subject to a famine. Lower Imaskar only survived this period because their enemies failed to capitalize on their weakness. The Lower Imaskari turned against their priests in response to their inability to cure the plague, and most priests were slain or driven into exile. The Silent Death did spread north into the later Endless Wastes, but Upper Imaskar remained safe and untouched.[1] This started the Shartra, or darkness, period of Imaskari history, which would last until the reunification of Imaskar.[9]

Four years later, desperate to rebuild but with a devastated population, Lord Artificer Khotan commissioned two more Bukhara spires, which would form a portal to a world with no knowledge of the Art. Through those portals, the Imaskari brought hundreds of thousands of people from to be enslaved.[1][9] The prisoners in turn brought their faith - 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.[10][9] The slaves prayed hard for salvation, but the prayers went unheard since the wizards had closed all portals and created a barrier cutting the slaves off from their gods.[10][9]

Late Period and Destruction

Lord Artificer Omanond reunified Upper and Lower Imaskar in −3920 DR, once more placing the capital in Inupras, ending the Shartra and beginning the Late Period of the Imaskari empire.[1] Under orders from Lord Artificer Omanond in -3891 DR, Imaskari artificers created the Imaskarcana – seven items in which the empire's immense magical lore is recorded for all eternity.[1] Also under his reign, in −3234 DR, the Imaskari created the outpost known as Metos in Methwood as its westernmost outpost.[11] At some point after this, the wizard Madryoch attempted to overthrow Omanond, only to be thwarted by the artificer Hilather, who banished him to the Demiplane of Imprisonment.[1]

In -2489 DR,[12] the manifestations of the Untheric and Mulhorandi pantheons 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.[13] 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. Thus bolstered, the slaves soon rebelled throughout the Imaskar empire.[12]

Many of the greatest wizard-lords of the realm battled to the last. The situation was truly desperate for Imaskar; in Jorhat Citadel, the artificer Mardava employed a spell that slew not only the slaves besieging it, but all of the defenders and herself as well.[14] Facing imminent defeat, the Elder Evil Pandorym was summoned and imprisoned in the Palace of the Purple Emperor while attempts were made to control it, so as to use it as a deterrent; they would not succeed in time to prevent the destruction of the Empire.[15]

The Imaskar Empire was completely destroyed in −2488 DR, when the emperor, Lord Yuvaraj, fell in battle with Horus in Inupras.[12] The energies unleashed during their ultimate fight leveled the city, and turned the fertile Raurin basin into a desert.[14] The rest of its armies were defeated by the incarnate gods of the rebellious Mulhorandi and Untheric slaves. 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.[16]

Successors

While the western Imaskari Empire was leveled by the Mulhorandi rebellion, the eastern holdings of the Empire endured. In −2487 DR, an artificer by the name of Kujawa, bearing Dhonas' Shroud, one of the seven False Imaskarcana, claimed the Dragon Throne at Thakos, founding thusly the Empire of Anok-Imaskar and declaring himself Emperor.[12] Likewise, a smaller empire sprang up around the city of Solon.[17]

The most direct descendant of the Imaskari Empire was the city of Deep Imaskar in the Underdark, founded by Lord Ilphemon.[18]

Most of the languages of the Hordelands were Imaskari languages, suggesting that the people of the Hordelands were descendants of the ancient empire.[19]

Ruins

A number of Imaskari ruins dot Raurin and the Plains of Purple Dust.[20]

Appendix

Further reading

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 266. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  3. David Cook (1990). The Horde (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 18. ISBN 978-0880388689.
  4. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Edward Bonny, Brian Cortijo, Laszlo Koller (November 2006). “The Horde: Barbarians of the Endless Waste”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #349 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 54.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Edward Bonny, Brian Cortijo, Laszlo Koller (November 2006). “The Horde: Barbarians of the Endless Waste”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #349 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 61.
  8. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  11. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  13. Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 94. ISBN 978-0786906574.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 64. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  15. Bruce R. Cordell (2006). Darkvision. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 23. ISBN 0-7869-4017-4.
  16. Monster sheets included in Scott Bennie (1990). Old Empires. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8821-8.
  17. David Cook (1990). The Horde (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 103. ISBN 978-0880388689.
  18. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  19. David Cook (1990). The Horde (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 978-0880388689.
  20. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 64–65. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  21. Bruce R. Cordell (2006). Darkvision. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 215–217, 253, 279–280, 284–285. ISBN 0-7869-4017-4.
  22. Obsidian Entertainment (September 2007). Designed by Kevin D. Saunders. Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Atari.
  23. Mark Sehestedt (July 2008). Sentinelspire. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 17. ISBN 978-0-7869-4937-3.
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