At last, we come to the era that is closing, the time of our lives, the history we know the best. It begins on the first day of the fiftieth year of the New Empire. The day after the passing of the First Emperor of the new Empire, Arturia. We have journeyed through much history thus far. The thousand years before the God’s War, the War itself, the seven hundred fifty years that include the Bleak Journey and the Ages of Fable, Myth, and Legends. This is the Age of Heroes, and it draws to a close soon, but all of you will be known in the Age of Icons. I ask you if you will go forth and face that future with a weapon, or with hope? Ah, yes; yes, I suppose that both is a good answer. Very well, let us begin again…

Emperor Kalderan was Crowned as the Second Emperor of the new Empire, and his reign was marked by a few items of note and interest. First, he received, one day, a delegation from a land none had ever heard of, a people none had ever known. No records of them could be found, and they spoke a strange native language that was difficult on their ears of the Sibolan Court. But they had watched for many years, and they had learned the language, and so they came. They were the Many who are One, the children of the Spora, the Kahokian Tribes. They wore strange clothes fashioned of hides, and carried bows and axes, but not swords, though their knives where large, with heavy blades that had jagged back edges. They came to trade, and to make either war or peace, they did not care which, so it was up to him to decide. To celebrate new friends and to reunite those who had taken the road less traveled, they held competitions and feasts for three days.

This is why Kahokian Bows are used by all the Imperial Guards in Sibola.

Second, his most faithful Duke, who had served his parent with honor, dignity and renown, came and begged leave to found a new Kingdom in a desert where they had been discovered some needed materials. His name was Leto Eld. He had a thousand people who would travel with him, and then later bring their families, and he would tithe to the crown, but begged leave that it be his, for he had come to see a different way of leading and being a noble from the study of laws and letters.

And thus was Dorado born. Nor did that come too soon, for it was very soon after that it was discovered by his son the secret that makes the Guns of Dorado roar, and far too soon they were needed in battle.

The Emperor passed away naturally after a good life, and his reign was peaceful and healing. Some say that even Kybele wept at his funeral.

Emperor Comorant was his second son, and his reign began because his older brother was slain by Goblins before his crowning, and that marked the start of the second Goblin War. Now, some will argue that it is still going on, but I do not think of small bands poking and prodding, testing and tying as a continuation of war, but the Second goblin War lasted for fifty years, nearly every month featuring a battle among one or more of the many realms, and even as it went on there were overland attacks on Akadia by Thyrs and sea raids by Duat and Merow allies.

The Goblins learned much from the earlier wars, and they learned ever more again during this seemingly endless series of assaults, feints, and battle. And yet, as it went on, so too did life in the Bright Realms.

It was like a ramped of version of the way things are today, far more raids, focused efforts, diversions, and traps – it was like a game of Kress on a massive scale, with living people as the pieces.

It likely would have continued if it were not for what followed it: the last Skyfall.

Once again, the whole of the lands were crushed beneath the onslaught of the stones from the sky, and once again those thing changed many things – it was then that there came to be the many strange colors of hair and eyes, and it was then that we saw far more of the Fae, and the dimensional spaces were thinned somehow, making it slightly easier to move among them.

Unlike his predecessors, Cormorant immediately stopped fighting and began to aid his people during h year of the Skyfall, and it was his way of doing that which became held against him, for he tended to Sibola and left the others to fend for themselves. The effort of reconstruction, though, crippled and ultimately killed him from sewer rot.

From the third (sometimes called the second, because the first is buried beyond Myth) Skyfall, there arose a lot of discord as the new Emperor was crowned, and though the ruble and disaster had halted the Goblin attack, it sparked a long series of cruel and wicked wars among the different Cities, spanning the reign of two emperors. Heroes arose like the legends of old, from the Goblin Wars to the rebuilding to the internecine fighting that had an unintended side effect.

It took from the gods some of their worshippers. They did not react poorly, however. They did react, and it was something else.

The fourth Emperor, the father of today’s, tried to negotiate peace with all the other cities, to set forth a standard and way, and the fighting was intense. This was called the Great discord, and he had watched it tear down two prior Emperors who tried desperately to hold tight to an Empire of diverse people.

And then, he heard reports from sailors of an island raising in the seas south of Sibola. Crafted by the Gods. The other lords and nobles also heard of it. For six months it rose, and it built itself, and the fighting drew to a pause, and the schemes and plots were stopped, and then one day the entire retinues of all the rulers and the rulers themselves vanished.

They had been transported to Zefir. Many of the courtiers and staff spoke of the wonders of it, but also that within the great hall all the nobles faced fifteen of the Powers that Be who gave them quite exacting instructions.

That was the beginning of the Convocations. Held every year now, they are where those struggles and rivalries, petty feuds and the business of kingdoms are hammered out, and at that first one, no one was allowed to leave until they did. This increased resentment against the Powers That Be, especially as they hadn’t backed anyone in any of their particular righteous efforts, but thus it was, and so it still is: peace.

And, because of that, there as a sudden upstart that arose. You will surely hear about it – a city found by exiles, by wanderers, by criminals and explorers, and it was called Antilia, and it is not a part of the Empire. It became a rumor, and we still await the envoys in many of the great cities, thought they are a strange people with strange ways.

As he settled in, the last Emperor set the tithes and signed the Accords that ultimately united Kahokia and Hyboria, Islandia and Keris into the Bright League, and so doing set the world of the Seven Cities for the era we now are in and that draws to a close.

Well then, I do suppose that this concludes our little adventure in the wilds of time. Here, take a cookie. I baked them special for you. And don’t worry about the vase.

Ah, see, I said don’t worry about it. History is filled with much that we can wonder upon, and much of our world’s history is ever so dark, and ever so dreary, but worry not. By the time you finish that cookie you’ll feel right as rain.

Yes, Mistral Urton, even you. Be off with you all now, I am an old lady and haven’t the strength to keep up with such energetic sorts as yourselves.

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