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“Though short, the History of Gatan is flled with greatness and
events signifcant to the rest of creation. Rising from the dust of
the Old Empire, Duke Sotan forged a nation based upon justice
and fairness for all its subjects. He instilled the rules of chivalry
amongst the Knights and brought the power of the Imperial Cults
to the masses, bringing them out of their bleak and poor barbarian
lives and into the warm glow of civilization. Although it looked like
the light of his vision would be snuffed out during The Ducal War
that raged after his death, his son, Ilmar, has picked up the torch
and driven away the darkness.” - Richjo the Sage
Gatan is a relatively new political entity. Through the
guidance of the Celestial Emperor Maximus, the Empire
is dragging itself out of its barbarian past towards a
golden age of chivalry and sorcery. It is still a long way
off. The dukes, given any excuse, and a weak Emperor,
will fght amongst themselves. There are many amongst
the knightly warrior class that pay lip service to the rules
of chivalry and the Imperial College of Magic is still
establishing itself as a centre of learning and excellence
amongst a blackened history of charlatanism and black
magic. The wilderness of the Darklands always threatens
the borders of the Empire in the form of the wild
worshipers of the Earth Mother and the evil destructive
Burning Heart Horde. Gatan is a nation that is fghting
to uphold noble ideals against enemies both at home and
beyond its borders.
The Old Empire
“No one remembers its true name. Even Maximus when he
appeared to Emperor Sotan would not reveal its name, for it fell
into wickedness and ignorance and was abandoned by the Celestial
Emperor. All that is left now is the vast stone ruins of its cities,
temples and forts. While we may marvel at the white fagged
Imperial roads and use them to travel quickly between our cities,
many of the old imperial cities and towns are long abandoned cursed
and haunted. Only the Sorcerers of the Imperial College speak Old
Imperial these days, for it is the language of their magic.” - Richjo
Very little is known about the Empire that predates
Like Gatan it was established and sponsored by the
Celestial Emperor Maximus . One theory is that Maximus
was originally mortal and the frst Emperor.
It was much bigger than Gatan, which were part of the
Old Empire’s western provinces.
It was deserted by the gods when it fell into wickedness
and its very institutions became corrupt and weak, making
it easy prey for the Burning Heart Horde that sacked it.
The Dark Age
“After the old empire fell it was overrun frst by the evil monster
horde that is the Burning Heart. After this loose alliance of evil
things had let all hell loose, barbarian tribes drove them out, and
took the humble survivors of the old empire away from their cursed
cities. This is how the foundations of our great empire were formed.
Our ancestors rough and crude, clad in furs and living off raiding
rival tribes, took over the western portion of the old empire. The
Gatan tribes soon formed power bases, which would develop into the
duchies of today, and the rudiments of trade and agriculture were
practice. It was still a dark and violent time, where disease and
famine were a regular part of life. Pagan gods and goddesses were
worshiped, and sorcery was unknown. Such uncivilized times can
barely hold a candle to our own age of plenty and enlightenment”
- Richjo the Sage
The Gatan were a collection of barbarian tribes who
settled in the western provinces of the old empire after
it fell three hundred years ago. Gradually the tribal
system developed into a feudal system, with the peasants
giving taxes to a noble class whose will was enforced by
their knights. These early knights were little more than
mercenary warriors on horseback, whose loyalty was
limited by the amount they could extort from the peasants.
During this period worship of the Earth Mother was
widespread, as were various war gods.
BU = Before Unity AU=Afer Unity
300 BU (300 Years ago) The Old Empire collapses. It
is overrun by monsters and barbarians. In its western
provinces a ferce warlike tribe called the Gatan settle.
0 AU ( 50 years ago ) The Duchies of Gatan is a wild and
unprincipled place, ruled by a class of knights who rule
by force, oppressing the peasants and fghting each other.
Duke Sontan, inspired by a vision of the Celestial Emperor
Maximus, unites the duchies and the Empire of Gatan is
formed. He brings peace to the Empire and the Imperial
Cult is established which becomes the cornerstone of the
new kingdom’s laws, philosophy and education.
24 AU ( 26 Years ago ). Emperor Sotan dies. The dukes
immediately start warring with each over who should
24-29 AU (26-21 Years ago). The Ducal War rages in Gatan.
Much land lost to the Dark Lands and with the invasion of
the Burning Heart Horde the light of civilization in Gatan
is almost extinguished.
30 AU (20 years ago) Sotan’s son Ilmar ascends to the
throne at the end of The Ducal War. He starts the hard
work of rebuilding the kingdom which is much diminished
from the glory of his father’s reign.
35 AU (15 years ago) Doctrine of Thenos. The High
Priest of the Imperial Cult reviews the Imperial Theology
and decides that worship of the Earth Mother should be
banned within the Empire.
50 AU The Present
The rise of the New Empire
“By shear struggle and hard labour the people of Gatan started to
fght their way out of darkness and despair. But still they lacked
understanding. The Dukes fought each other in a never ending
struggle. It was at this time that the Celestial Emperor Maximus
came to Sotan, Duke of Thanous, and laid before him the Imperial
Master Plan, taught him the magic of rulership and the secrets
of sorcery, and revealed to him the fve great Emperors and their
secret techniques. Armed with this knowledge and mighty magics the
Duke united our people and was crowned Emperor of Gatan.” -
Richjo the Sage
The rivalry between the dukes of Gatan was reaching
fever pitch when Duke Sotan was visited in a vision by
the Celestial Emperor Maximus. Maximus explained the
system of rulership that had driven the Old Empire, and
how Sotan could unite his people and create a new empire.
Maximus also taught Sotan the magic of rulers and how
to draw upon the magic of previous empires. This is the
foundation of the Imperial Cult as it is practiced in Gatan
today. Sotan took this knowledge and swiftly defeated his
rival dukes and united Gatan. He established a system of
tithes that kept the nobles happy without over burdening
the peasants. A code of chivalry was introduced amongst
the knights, who became a highly profcient army at the
disposal of the empire, rewarded with land and prestige
for their martial prowess. After uniting Gatan, Sotan
used his armies to drive back the borders of the Dark
Lands, establishing settlements and castles to expand his
empire. One of his last acts before his death was to create
the Imperial College of Sorcery and the University Of
Sorcery in the capital city.
The Ducal War
“Terrible and ferce was the violence that erupted on our beloved
emperor’s death. The dukes only took the military might of what
Sotan had taught them and forgot their duty to the Empire as a
whole. It was every man for himself. Many of the border provinces
were lost to the Dark Lands during this bloody war.” - Richjo the
Upon the death of Sotan, there was a bitter struggle
between the dukes over the succession. Despite what Richjo
says above, two factions formed. One that supported the
dukes’ thirteen year old heir Ilmar, hereditary claimant
to the throne and another that supported Tarskas Duke
of Nozmel, who believed that merit and the vote of the
dukes should determining who was emperor. Ilmar was
quickly, secretly, moved out of the country and went into
hiding in the Darklands. The Ducal War tore the country
apart and severely weakened it enough for the Burning
Heart Horde to invade the Empire.
Return of the Emperor’s son and
restoration of order
“Dark was the hour of our need. Ravaged by the war between the
Dukes and now annihilated at the monstrous hands of the Burning
Heart, people truly felt that they had broken their convenant with the
Celestial Emperor and had been deserted by him. But by Maximus
they were wrong! Out of the darkness bearing the holy sword of his
father rode Ilmar the Saviour! He gathered his loyal subjects and
with the young dukes drove out the Burning Heart.
Crowned Emperor Ilmar I, this young lad employed wisdom beyond
his years and started to return the empire to the glory it had enjoyed
under its father.” – Richjo the Sage.
A much older and wiser eighteen year old Ilmar returned
from the Darklands in his people’s time of need. He was
fortunate that Tarskas had fallen in battle with the Horde,
as had much of his hard-line supporters, so uniting the
remaining dukes was easy. Many of the remaining dukes
where youths like himself who had just inherited their
lands from fathers fallen in war. The empire’s armies, now
united and lead by an emperor who wielded the full might
of the Celestial Emperor, resoundly defeated the Burning
Heart and drove them back to the established borders.
The Doctrine of Thenos
“Five years into the reign of Ilmar, after law and order had been
returned to the Empire, Thenos chief cleric of the Imperial Cult
called a conference to resolve the differences in theology that were
beginning to form within his order. After long and ferce debate, he
made his fateful declaration.
That the Earth Mother was a false god, worshipped by feeble and
That her worship was a gateway to the vile practices of the Burning
The Gatan Code of Chivalry
Duty to fellow Gatans
Courtesy and civility is the mark of a gentleman and shall
be extended to all members of society.
You will maintain the rule of Imperial Law and ensure that
justice is available to all.
You shall uphold and defend the Empires borders and its
Duty to the Celestial Emperor
Thou shalt not worship pagan war gods and their lusty
Instead you shall temper your steel and train your hand
only to make war on the behest of the Emperor.
You will fght bravely and unendingly against the darkness
and the heretic.
You will believe, uphold and defend the doctrines of the
Duty to women
You will respect and love all women, for they are the source
of our people’s strength.
Pre-doctrine of Thenos.
You will respect the Earth Mother, for she is the source of
all our comfort and fertility.
The assumption that she was the mother of the Celestial Emperor
was wholly without basis in fact.
Therefore that all Earth Mother worship within the Empire would
be banned and made punishable by death! ” - Richjo the Sage
Thenos’ Doctrine initially led to mass conversions and
expulsions of Earth Mother worshipers. Now the hysteria
died down more zealous and self appointed witch hunters
have taken to fnding the remaining worshippers of Earth
Mother who meet in secret.
The present day Empire
Twenty years after his ascendancy to the throne, Ilmar still
securely rules the Empire. Backed by the ‘Young Dukes’
with all opposition removed during the Ducal War, his
rule has brought stability to his lands. He now looks to
reclaim the borderlands lost to the Dark Lands after his
father’s death. Rather than launch a vigorous crusade
against the Darklanders, which would leave his armies
stretched thin and empty his coffers, he promises titles
and gold to adventurous souls to reclaim the lost imperial
Beyond the borders of the Empire, the wildness of the
Darklands seeks vengeance for the hurt done to the Earth
Mother and her cult by the Doctrine of Thenos and the
Burning Heart Horde gathers its forces to cause mayhem
in imperial lands once more.
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