The current Imperium is the reincarnation of its former self; back when the Old Imperium held power over almost the entire continent of Avanor. It was the first human nation in Avanor, having been founded a few centuries after the fall of the elven Sun Kingdoms during the Time of Suns, at the hands of the human tribes and orcish clans. The Old Imperium grew strong and expanded with ruthless intent; all in the service to the Golden Pantheon, the human gods that watched over them at the time. But after Andarien's rise to power, and her Divine Rebellion, the old Imperium was doomed to fall, and in its ashes were reborn the New Imperium; today simply referred to as the Imperium, or the Darion Imperium.
While the Old Imperium had ruled over most of Avanor, the New Imperium only holds a small fraction of its previous territories. Following the Anthavien Conquests in the Age of Seas, Emperor Julian Anthavien reclaimed the lands of Avinter and Danthivia, and reintegrated them back into the Imperium's fold.
Since then, the Imperium has been a true power amongst the nations of Avanor, and is only truly challenged in terms of its might and influence by the Valaísian Empire. The two nations have thus become active rivals in all things worth competing for, and in recent years the two have grown far more hostile as the threat of war has begun to linger in the air.
The Imperium consists of three provinces; Avinter in the north, Darion in the south, and Danthivia in the east. Each of these provinces offer a variety of benefits to the Imperium as a whole. Avinter's past as a seafaring nation, in the ages when it was independent, has given the Imperium capable fleets and power on the seas. Danthivia, with its many hills and plains, feeds the Imperium thanks to its rich agricultural lands, and its southern coastal cities serve well as trade hubs with the cities of the Ryumar continent. Darion, as the homeland to the true Imperials, grants the Imperium the might of the people, with its densely populated lands, and the wealth of its southern mines.
Among the current nations that rule in Arganorh, the Imperium is one of the few that still actively deal in slaves. A majority of these slaves are of elven origin. In the past, these slaves would be spoils of war, but since there hasn't been a true war in recent years, the Imperium depends on other sources. While slave-trade and slave-hunting is illegal in most nations, the Imperium's slave market pays good money for any captured slave outside of the Imperium's borders. Most of these slaves are brought in by ships from the Imperium's many colonies on the other continents.
The Imperium holds the largest and most colonial lands beyond the central continents. In fact, they have established colonies on most of the continents save for Northcrown, Kyndar and Aesudarh, though even so they still have a presence on the majority of mentioned continents, or they used to have colonies there but have lost them to wars or rebellion. As such there are few in the world who do not know of the Imperium, and of its might and power as a strong military empire. Generally, the people who live in the main provinces of the Imperium care little for its colonies save for traders who wish to import rare luxurious items. Even the ruling elite hold little concern for matters that are beyond their central borders. To the heartland Imperials the colonies are nothing else but a means to produce exotic goods, gather slaves or establish an influential dominance towards other nations on those continents.
As it is considered by some to be the birthplace of the modern Divine Faith, the Imperium is one of the leading nations in spreading the words of the Divine and the Teachings of Andarien. After the divide between the Sacellum (also known as the Divine Strife) in the Age of Strife, the Sacellum was split into two; the Anorian Sacellum and the Imperial Sacellum, of which the latter gained influence in the lands of the Imperium, and now finds its main home and followers there.
After the Mage War in the Age of Magic, following the events of the Spellstorm, several members of the Sanctum of Mages fled to the Imperium, where they had in the past been welcomed openly by its people, to escape from what they considered to be the enslavement of magical studies and practices, as was to be the Anorian Sacellum's following act against the mages that had decided to remain in eastern Avanor. Those who came to the Imperium formed the Imperial Sanctum, also known as the Corvinian Sanctum. Over the years, the Imperial Sanctum gained political influence, which allowed them to rival the Imperial Sacellum in the control of the Imperium. As such, the Imperium is perhaps one of the few nations in Arganorh that allows for the free study of all arts of magic for its society of mage elite.
In the past, the Imperium had always been a strong military nation, and while it has lost most of the lands it previously conquered as the Old Imperium, the New Imperium is still as militarily strong as it ever was. Legal, male citizens who come of age are obligated by duty, law and pride to join the Imperial Legions for two years, where they train to become soldiers for the time when war is upon the Imperium, and the Emperor calls his people to arms.
While not in open war, the Imperium faces several conflicts across several theatres of the world, the closest of which is the island of Cal'anor; a jungle island inhabited by savage human tribes. Over the many years since the Imperium began its first campaign on the island, there has been little progress in terms of conquering the island. Past attempts at conquering Samarauch and Ghorr (The Kirnwar) have also been met with failure, and the hatred between Imperials and Samarrine still linger to this day. As of far more recently, the Imperium has begun to prepare its military for what seems to be an inevitable confrontation with the Valaísian Empire.
The Imperium is mainly ruled by an Emperor and its vassal lords in the provinces of Avinter and Danthivia. The Emperor is the sole ruler of the Imperium as voted to ascension by the Imperistarium; the political body of the Imperium. When an Emperor dies, the Imperistarium elect a new Emperor. The candidates are usually the previous Emperor's heirs, though it is not unheard of a member of the Imperistarium of being elected to become Emperor.
While the Emperor rules and is the heart and pride of the Imperium, many of the important decisions are often decided upon by the Imperistarium, which consists of about two-hundred members, all of whom are divided into three major parties. There are the Corvinians, who are the mage members of the Imperistarium; often chosen from select politically inclined Imperial Sanctum mages with noble blood. There are the Danthians, who mainly support matters that involve military action or the heartland provinces. Danthians are typically high-standing members of the imperial elite who have little or no close relation to the Imperial Sanctum or the Imperial Sacellum. And then there are the Corinthians, who are the high-standing members of the Imperial Sacellum, who often speak for the purposes of religious matters. Together all of these members rule and supervise the various aspects of the Imperium, from simple things such as fishing policies to vital military tactics or movements.
Danthivia is a land of pleasant meadows and far-stretching plains in the south, where its flats end abruptly along the sharp, white cliffs of the southern coastlands. Northern Danthivia is considerably more rugged and mountainous, and it is there that the majority of the province's woodland grows. Tucked farthest north, just before the foot of the Arreath Peaks and Witchveil Mountains, lies the foreboding and hostile marshland of the Bogowaith Marshes. The majority of Danthivians inhabit the more prosperous and tranquil landscapes of the province's southern regions.
In its earlier days, before Danthivia became an Imperial province, it was a semi-united collection of city-states that had roots from the time of the Old Imperium. After the Old Imperium fell, Danthivia's cities declared independence and grew as a result of Imperials migrating from the Darion province to escape the turmoil caused by the Divine Rebellion. When the New Imperium rose to power, Danthivia was subjugated. However, unlike Avinter, Danthivia was not invaded, and instead its city-states slowly over time rejoined the New Imperium to gain political influence, status and protection. Many of Danthivia's city-states were, in a sense, bought as city-officials were bribed by Imperial ambassadors.
Danthivia is described as the Imperium's 'bread-basket', much because it is in Danthivia that the majority of the Imperium's grain and livestock is grown and cultivated or raised. Danthivia is a massive agricultural power-house, and is renowned for being the home of several outstanding and famous cooks throughout the ages. Danthivian cuisine is considered to be quite advanced, and is described as exceptionally tasting and refined by foreigners.
In addition to being a province of food-production, Danthivia's southern, coastal cities are the trade-gateways to other nations and cities from the continent of Ryumar. Most of the Imperium's imports arrive first in Danthivia, and most of the Imperium's exports leave from there as well. As such Danthivia holds stocks of wares that are in large variety, from luxurious commodities to everyday necessities.
While Danthivia's cities are inherently Imperial in nature and in law, each city has its own traditions, laws and conducts. Unlike in other Imperial provinces, Danthivian cities boast a greater freedom to rule themselves as they like, which has on several occasions throughout history led to some heated conflicts and potential separation of cities from the Imperium's rule. The major incidents were quickly put to rest, mainly by the encouragement of military actions, though some smaller groups of separtists still remain and maintain strong feelings of abandoning the Imperium to create an independent Danthivian nation. These separtists are not easily rooted out, as they mingle in all circles, from the lowly commoner to the high elite.
North of Darion, the lands of Avinter slope steadily at increased fashion from the Imperial heartland's lowland plains. Avinter consists of tall forests, treacherous hills and rough highlands that end only by the province's northern coastlines; which in turn stand purely as steep and seemingly endless cliff-walls. Avinter hosts the tallest cliffs in all of Arganorh; effectively making it the least likely victim of a naval invasion, as the waves clash so strongly against the sharp rocks below, that only the most skilled seafarers could hope to navigate and moor safely, which is why Avinter sailors take so much pride in their profession.
In ages past after the fall of the Old Imperium, Avinter was an independent kingdom that consisted of many clans and tribes that had originally come from the east. These eastern clans settled in Avinter after the Old Imperium officially fell, and laid claim to many of the province's most fertile lands. As Imperials began to abandon the heartlands, an official kingdom was founded in Avinter by southern refugees. Instead of escalating conflicts with the tribes and clans there, the kingdom created a somber peace that would last for centuries. Avinter grew as a nation of sea and trade, priding itself as one of the largest and greatest seafaring nations in Avanor.
Avinter as a kingdom would come to an end during the Anthavian Conquest, when Emperor Anthavian of the New Imperium declared a war of conquest against Avinter. The war ended in Imperial victory after the assassination of Avinter Queen Nadine Acosta, and at the surrender by the leading Avinter nobility. The people would accept the defeat, though the local tribes and clans remain a constant problem as they refuse to bend to Imperial rule.
Although there are many Avinter who would see their former nation freed from Imperial control, the greater nobility seem to prefer to remain a part of the Imperium, as the wealth and power that the Imperium brings to Avinter more than enough feeds the nobility's thirst for intrigue, politics, prosperity and modern culture.
While more or less imperially strong in its identity, Avinter hosts a stronger culture of its own, famed for its seafaring traditions and stories. Avinter's cities host buildings architecturally shaped in the form of ships, and everywhere one goes there are decorations influenced heavily by the maritime; with nets, hooks, fish and similar found in every inhabitant's house, even when nowhere near the coasts. Every year the Avinter celebrate "Festivida Acosta", which initially was introduced by the Imperial elite to remind the Avinter of their defeat during the Anthavian Conquest. Instead the celebration is better used to remember the old Avinter traditions that were strong during Queen Acosta's rule, as well as honour her name as the last ruler of free Avinter. Queen Acosta is often remembered by displaying blue roses; the symbol of her now fallen House.