Formation of the Empire
The war with the Shadowfell old god came to be known as the War of Passage. It saw a great alliance of races that had once been uninvolved with each other at best, and blood-sworn enemies at worst. When the war ended, the leaders of the various races decided to try and hold on to the peace it had brought, and set about constructing a government for themselves. They hoped that formalized trade and intertwined economies might stave off the old blood feuds, and it worked, for a while. As the various agreements and treaties began to wobble and threaten the newfound security, the rising social unrest among humans paved the way for a man named Ezra Alhena to eventually seize control from the merchants, and gave birth to what would become the Empire of Alhena.
The change of government lit the fuse on a powderkeg situation between humans, orcs and goblins- many peaceful regions plunged back into open warfare over the next decade. The Emperor knew that magical skill, now growing rare in the world because of the cataclysm caused by magical experimentation, would be the thing to save the fledgling empire and cement the race of man as the strongest among its peers. He opened two schools, which continue to grow into powerhouses of magical study: The Arcane Court, for the study and teaching of arcane arts; and the Order of Alhena, for mastering healing arts and holy magic.
The Emperor’s logic proved to be sound, and the next several decades saw the empire expand from coast to coast of Collosa, the largest continent of known world. Conquering and re-unifying much of humankind, the empire that bears Ezra Alhena’s name finds itself now well into an age of expansion and education. The Arcane Court and the Order still stand as the principal benefactors of organized magical study in the empire.
The Empire now shares borders with numerous orcish and goblin settlements, some of which have even organized into small kingdoms. A number of city-states (mostly coastal trade powerhouses) still claim independence from the Empire, but most who are knowledgeable of the issues know that such status cannot last forever. The nation of Quolao presses on Alhena’s southern border from the peninsula it occurpies, causing conflict there that is expected to eventually erupt into war. Some city-states have made noise indicating they may side against the empire in that war, and the threat of orc and goblinoid raids is ever-present. A need for resources forever pushes the Empire’s borders outward as it prepares for inevitable war.