Shards of Crystal
The Khamanaesh Empire
|The Khamanaesh Empire|
|Geography||Forest, Plain, Mountain, Lake|
|Natives||Race Mix, Human Controlled|
Just southeast of the ruins of Bael Turath, the Khamanaesh Empire stretches to fill the land, blocked only by natural borders. The Empire rose from the ashes of the Tiefling Empire of Bael Turath. As the Turathan power structures decayed, their human clients and subjects grew stronger until they dominated and subsumed their former masters. The situation today is much reversed from the heights of Bael Turath’s rule, where the Imperial house and the majority of the noble houses are human.
As the humans grew in power and influence, they leapfrogged their predecessors in several fields, taking what had been shrouded in mystery and mysticism and extending that knowledge into well-defined fields. In the space of two generations, the humans had cordoned off the most dangerous parts of the ruins, absorbed what was left of the Tieflings, and established dominant relationships with the dwarves, elves and eladrin within their sphere of influence.
As the empire grew, various families, related to the human vassals of Bael Turath, established themselves as vassals to the new imperial power. These families became the Great Houses of Man, accumulating a tangled web of industries and affiliations that supported the vigorous imperial expansion.
An early Emperor, Karim I Padishah, checked the rapidly growing power of the houses by consolidating their industries into Imperial Monopolies. These Monopolies represented contractual obligations and payments to the Great Houses from the Imperial treasury. The Monopolies can (and were) regularly re-assigned among the Houses so that no one house grew too comfortable with, say, its command of the army. Traditionally, an Emperor would reassign the Monopolies upon his ascension to the Imperial Throne, and at every twenty-year Jubilee he celebrates on the throne.
The Great Houses of Man (and their current monopolies) are listed below.