Yellow -- Empire of the Isles (Overview) (7 posts)

thread created on 10/11/15 at 13:51

Empire of the Isles (Overview) - Empire overview and history - Religion - Government - Military - Technology - The Calender

John Smith, 10/11/15 13:51
Empire of the Isles (Overview)

Here you will find setting information.

Edited by: John Smith on 10/11/15

John Smith, 10/11/15 13:56
Empire overview and history

The Empire:

The Empire of the Isles is a constitutional monarchy that is ruled by an Emperor or Empress, with a Parliamentary government as its legislature. In the absence of an Imperial head of state, a Lord Regent may rule the Empire until a new Emperor or Empress is crowned.
The Empire encompasses four large islands and several small ones, which make up the Isles. The four main islands are Tyvia, Morley, Gristol, and Serkonos, with Gristol acting as the head state of the Empire.

The Empire of the Isles was founded after the end of the War of Four Crowns in 1625. On the 2nd day of the Month of Nets 1626, Finlay Morgengaard I was crowned emperor. In the same year, Parliament was formed in Gristol on the 26th day of the Month of Timber, making the Empire a constitutional monarchy. Morgengaard's dynasty lasted 43 years and was succeeded by the Rhydderch family who ruled the empire for 9 years. Hurien Morgengaard came to the throne in 1678 and was the last emperor of his name.


The Empire of the Isles was founded after the end of the War of Four Crowns in 1625. On the 2nd day of the Month of Nets 1626, Finlay Morgengaard I was crowned emperor. In the same year, Parliament was formed in Gristol on the 26th day of the Month of Timber, making the Empire a constitutional monarchy. Morgengaard's dynasty lasted 43 years and was succeeded by the Rhydderch family who ruled the empire for 9 years. Hurien Morgengaard came to the throne in 1678 and was the last emperor of his name.

The Morley Insurrection and the First Regency:

The Olaskir dysnasty was the longest in the Empire's history, spanning over 96 years. However, it was marked by major crisis. On the 1st day of the Month of High Cold, 1801, the Isle of Morley started a violent uprising against Gristol and the Empire. Warfare between the two nations was largely naval, which led to the fortification of Kingsparrow Island to protect Dunwall's maritime entrance. However, the city's poorly maintained sewers allowed rebels to access important locations, which led to the assassination of Empress Larisa Olaskir on the 8th day of the Month of Clans, 1801.
With no time to name a proper successor to the throne, a regent was elected by the Parliament ten days later to rule the Empire through the crisis. The war ended with Gristol's victory on the 15th day of the Month of Seeds, 1802. The victory was due in part due to the superiority of the nation's naval fleet, but also with the efforts of the acting Royal Spymaster. This position, held secret since the foundation of the Empire, became public knowledge after the insurrection.

The Regency lasted one more year and ended with the coronation of Euhorn Jacob Kaldwin I on the 3rd day of the Month of Seeds, 1803. A few months later, the Morley Famine was officially declared on the 13th of the Month of Winds, forcing some natives to settle in Karnaca, Serkonos.

Edited by: John Smith on 10/11/15

John Smith, 10/11/15 14:12

The Abbey of the Everyman:

The Empire's state religion is the Abbey of the Everyman, run by the High Overseer. Under Burrows, the Overseers have the judicial right to arrest and prosecute any citizen accused of participating in occult practices. Followers abide by seven core tenets, called the Seven Strictures, and draw teachings from their holy text, Litany on the White Cliff. The Abbey itself is located in Whitecliff, and the Office of the High Overseer stands in Holger Square in Dunwall.


The Abbey of the Everyman founded by Benjamin Holger gained influence during the reign of Hurien Morgengaard in the late 17th century. Holger's successor, John Clavering, ordered the construction of the Abbey in Dunwall in 1701, then initiated the Rectification War in 1705 in order to purge the region of those deemed followers of various cults. During that same year, the coronation of Yefim Olaskir took place. In 1708, the completion of the Abbey led to many Overseers gathering for the Siege of White Cliff, which marked the end of the war with their victory. Following these events, the Abbey of the Everyman was named State Religion in 1711.

The Seven Strictures:

1. Wandering Gaze

"Restrict the Wandering Gaze that looks hither and yonder for some flashing thing that easily catches a man's fancy in one moment, but brings calamity in the next. For the eyes are never tired of seeing, nor are they quick to spot illusion. A man whose gaze is corrupted is like a warped mirror that has traded beauty for ugliness and ugliness for beauty. Instead, fix your eyes to what is edifying and to what is pure, and then you will be able to recognize the profane monuments of the Occult."
-Overseer Chant.

2. Lying Tongue

"Restrict the lying tongue that is like a spark in a man's mouth. It is such a little thing, yet from one spark an entire city may burn to the ground. The father of a lie will suffer a punishment compounded by each person relayed it. Better to live a life of silence than unleash a stream of untruth. The echoes of lies come back as the voice of the Occult."
-Overseer Chant.

3. Restless Hands

"Restrict the Restless Hands, which quickly become the workmates of the Occult. Unfettered by honest labor, they rush to sordid gain, vain pursuits, and deeds of violence. Of what value are the hands that steal and kill and destroy? Instead, put your hands to the plow, the fork, and the spade. For even the lowliest labor that is rigorous squeezes the muscles as a sponge, rinsing impurities from the mind and body."
-Overseer Chant.

4. Roving Feet

"Restrict roving feet that love to trespass. They pay no heed to the boundary stones of other men's fields. They wander into foreign lands, only to return with their soles blackened by iniquity. Where have you strayed that destruction now comes behind you? Would you walk across burning coals or broken glass? Then why do you prowl into the homes of the honest, or into the dens of hidden things, for the result is the same. You will fall into the Void! Instead, rest your feet on a firm foundation so that when the winds of the Occult shriek against you, you will stand firm and not be overthrown."
-Overseer Chant.

5. Rampant Hunger

"Restrict the Rampant Hunger or the intemperate will rise up among you like a virulent swarm, devouring everything wherever they go, even filth. For what goes into your body, poisons you, and if you eat filth then filth is what you will vomit up. Surely the glutton will sell away birthright, family, and friends for a morsel of meat."
-Overseer Chant.

6. Wanton Flesh

"Restrict the Wanton Flesh. Truly, there is no quicker means by which a life can be upheaved and sifted than by the depredations of uncontrolled desire. What avail is the concourse of a prostitute? The attention of a loose companion? Nothing. And what of the fruit of such unions? Only sorrow is born, only misery is multiplied; within these things, the Occult dwells."
-Overseer Chant.

7. Errant Mind

"Restrict an errant mind before it becomes fractious and divided. Can two enemies occupy the same body? No, for the first will direct it one way, and the second another, until they stumble into a ditch and its neck is broken. Likewise, two contrary thoughts cannot long abide in a man's mind, or he will become weak-willed and subject to any heresy."
-Overseer Chant.

Edited by: John Smith on 1/21/18

John Smith, 10/11/15 14:27


While Gristol is the heart of the Empire, the remaining islands are mostly autonomous, with their own heads of state. A king reigns in Morley, while the title of marquis exists in some capacity within the Empire, and the nation of Serkonos is noted as having a duke.
Officially, the Emperor (or Empress) is the head of state and government of the Empire, holding a great amount of political power.

Each island in the Empire has its own lesser monarch, and diplomatic and trade relations between the nations vary. The Kaldwin family is the current ruling dynasty. In situations where a ruler is too young to assume the throne, or a proper successor cannot be determined, a Lord Regent chosen by Parliament may act as a temporary head of state.
The legislature of Gristol is the Parliament, headed by a Prime Minister, which the Emperor or Empress is dependent upon to pursue his or her government policies.

Parliament was formed in the year 1626, on the 20th day of the Month of Timber. It is a largely aristocratic body, as positions in Parliament pass to eligible family members in the event of a member's death, and the rest is made up of "important figures." Membership in Parliament is "based on holdings, inheritance, and special dispensation." As voter priority is determined by the size of members' holdings and land, important families in Parliament may establish voting blocks that can have a greater influence than those of individual members and lesser aristocrats.

Positions and Ranks:

There are a number of positions of note that serve in the royal court of the Emperor or Empress.

The Royal Protector acts as a bodyguard to the Imperial head of state and his/her family. The Royal Protector keeps constant company with the Emperor or Empress and as such acts as a court figure, given "enormous latitude" by the demands of their position

The Royal Physician serves as medical practitioner to the Emperor or Empress. While the specifics of the assignment are unknown, it appears to be tasked with matters of public health. Physician Anton Sokolov currently serves in this position.

The Royal Spymaster, a formerly secret position that became public knowledge following the Morley Insurrection, is in charge of espionage operations throughout the Empire. Although the Spymaster officially serves as an adviser to the Emperor or Empress and his position is of course under the authority of the monarch, in practice the position is highly autonomous and therefore not accountable to the head of state. This autonomy allows the Royal Spymaster to act without the ruler's approval or knowledge.

Another position of recognition, though not as notable as the others, is the Royal Interrogator, who interrogates and executes criminals in Dunwall Tower and Coldridge Prison.

Edited by: John Smith on 1/21/18

John Smith, 10/11/15 14:34


The Fleet, which is led by the Grand Admiral of the Fleet, is the Empire's naval force, and it protects the port city of Dunwall, as well as seafaring vessels from pirate incursions. It has much prestige among the population of Gristol, and some families continue the tradition of enlisting at least one boy from each generation. The Fleet is best known for its substantial role in claiming victory for the Empire over Morley during the Morley Insurrection.

The Empire also maintains an army, which is commanded by the Supreme Commander of the Combined Armies of the Empire and his generals, and its soldiers guard high-profile locations in Dunwall alongside the City Watch. The Overseers of the Abbey of the Everyman also serve in a military capacity, but are a separate group, and neither the City Watch nor the Overseers cooperate professionally.


Currently, Dunwall is ruled over by martial law: curfews are strictly enforced, nearly all supplies are rationed on pain of death, and the City Watch acts with impunity when enforcing the Lord Regent's decrees.
In addition to secular law, the citizenry must abide by the state-sanctioned religious laws of the Abbey.

John Smith, 10/11/15 14:37

The Industrial Age:

Euhorn's reign was marked by industrial advancement for the city of Dunwall. Under his rule, the City Planning Department reinforced and expanded the sewers beneath the city to prevent deterioriation. The Emperor also commissioned the construction of a large bridge spanning the Wrenhaven River, Kaldwin's Bridge. It was also during his reign that the City Watch was formed to protect Dunwall, the 1st day of the Month of Timber, 1809. Finally, the work of the Natural Philosopher Esmond Roseburrow led to the creation of new whale oil-powered technologies, such as electric lampposts. In 1820, Roseburrow came into acquaintance with Anton Sokolov, who brought new ideas to the production and exploitation of whale oil. Sokolov was named Royal Physician and Head of the Academy of Natural Philosophy in 1822, and his new technologies initiated an industrial and economical boom across the Empire in 1825.

Euhorn died the 19th day of the Month of Darkness, 1825, and was succeeded by his daughter, Jessamine Kaldwin I, crowned the 1st day of the Month of High Cold. During Jessamine's time on the throne, "...political intrigue and minor conflicts created cracks in the Empire, undermining unity across the Isles."
In 1830, Hiram Burrows was appointed to the position of Royal Spymaster and sponsored the development of new technologies for the City Watch, such as the Arc Pylon and the Wall of Light in 1833, and Tallboys later in 1836. Burrows also developed a network of informants called the Responsible Citizens Group, dedicated to reporting on any suspicious activities, particularly in regard to criminal organizations, cult activity and foreign spies.

These new means of protection became lethal tools of repression, focused particularly on impoverished areas.

John Smith, 10/11/15 14:56
The Calender

The calendar year for the people of the Isles consists of thirteen months of 28 days each, in total 364 days, as well as an indeterminate period which follows it, named the Fugue Feast. A new year only begins once the astronomical clock is officially reset by the High Overseer of the Abbey of the Everyman.

The months of the year are as follows:
1. The Month of Earth
2. The Month of Seeds
3. The Month of Nets
4. The Month of Rain
5. The Month of Wind
6. The Month of Darkness
7. The Month of High Cold
8. The Month of Ice
9. The Month of Hearths
10. The Month of Harvest
11. The Month of Timber
12. The Month of Clans
13. The Month of Songs

The Fugue Feast is an indeterminate period of sanctioned anarchy, which follows the end of the set calendar year.

After the 28th day of the Month of Songs,the new year does not immediately begin; instead, a period "outside the calendar" takes place. A decree from the standing High Overseer of the Abbey of the Everyman both initiates the Feast and concludes it in "a day or two" when specific cosmological signs are observed.

During the Fugue Feast, people can act as they wish without fear of prosecution, as the time which passes "does not exist and is not recorded" in any official capacity. Acts which defy the Seven Strictures, such as intoxication and adultery, are common during this period. Even criminal behavior is overlooked, as individuals cannot be held accountable for their actions by official bodies. Nevertheless, people often wear masks or paint their faces in order to hide their identities during the Feast, so that they may "pursue their passions without reservation."

Once the appropriate celestial signs are detected, the High Overseer signals for the hymn of atonement, which ends the Fugue Feast, along with all associated impunity.

Edited by: John Smith on 1/21/18

Empire of the Isles (Overview) - Empire overview and history - Religion - Government - Military - Technology - The Calender