The Precepts of the Empire
Continuing where we left off in our last session, we will now take a closer look at the Precepts of the Empire, the divinely inspired foundation for the Empire. The Precepts are what convinced the four kingdoms to relinquish some of their sovereignty and form an Empire to rule over them. For sure there was an advantage to this, and we will discuss that in more detail as we look at the Precepts.
But, before we begin, I think it is worth a moment to address something that will sound contrary to one of the major themes of my early lectures. Let me take a moment to address…
The Paradox of the Empire
One of gifts of Humanis, as it is somewhat mockingly called, is our internal desire to rule over others; be it the land, animals, other races, or even ourselves. The Church of the All-Father has gone to great lengths to avoid ruling over anyone, and yet when faced with the threat of war throughout Elhal, First Mother Kinera’s solution was to create an empire to rule over the kingdoms.
Rather than speculate, the First Mother recorded her thoughts about the same topic in her personal notes just after the completion of the Precepts:
It was not so much about an Empire ruling over the kingdoms, but rather that the people of those kingdoms and their rulers considered themselves a part of something greater than themselves. In doing so, they would show concern for the greater whole. The lines that separated us would be rendered invisible, and the people would be one.
There is almost an irony that the gift of Humanis created greater unity among the people.
The actual Precepts were a large document that was originally written out on over one-hundred scrolls, and later transcribed into a book. During the latter part of the Imperial Age, the Precepts were required reading for all children. Today, original copies of the Precepts are quite rare, but King Arion has archived several copies in the hope that they can be used for the formation of a second Empire.
Rather than spend months reviewing the Precepts in their entirety, I will touch upon the more important ones and their impact on the Empire.
The Role of the Kingdoms
The four kingdoms shall willingly form an Empire. The rulers of each kingdom will recognize the authority of the Empire and will abide by it’s laws.
Land will be given to form an Imperial District, which will not be part of any kingdom, but shall be part of the Empire. This District shall be named Arelean. Arelean was created with land given by both Kotkala and Monatobe. This gave Arelean great ports, making it a trade hub. The lands that comprised Arelean are what we know as the Demon Lands today.
The kingdoms shall provide armies and navies for the defense of the Empire as a whole. Additional text describes how troops and boats will be re-distributed to other lands. Thus, troops from Vaasari may guard a port in Monatobe. This was done to enforce the ‘we are all in this as one’ tone.
The kingdoms shall retain their borders and shall continue to rule their lands, only deferring to the Empire. In essence the kingdoms can continue to rule, except in cases where the Empire’s law takes precedence, as we will see below.
The Role of the Empire
The Empire shall govern over all trade within and between the kingdoms. It shall create trade agreements and it shall be the arbitrator and enforcer of said agreements. This ensured that grain from Kotkala would be shared in Stammiglin, and that Stammiglin’s ores would make it to the other kingdoms.
The Empire shall be responsible for the protection of all the kingdoms. It shall command the armies and navies given to it, for the protection of all. This prevents the kingdoms from keeping their own armies to threaten other kingdoms.
The Empire shall be responsible for creating a system of education for all citizens. This would take considerable time to create, but in its time the Empire would make education available for all who desired to learn.
The Empire shall protect the citizens of the Empire from physical harm and oppression of any kind. This is the the most argued over Precept. Various Emperors have used this Precept to create different laws, most of which were for the betterment of the people.
The Role of the Citizen
A citizen is an equal in any kingdom of the Empire. No laws created in a kingdom can divide the citizens into smaller groups. No kingdom could marginalize any member of another kingdom. A citizen was in effect a member of all kingdoms.
A citizen is responsible to contribute to the Empire though the use of their talents. This Precept is one that has never been enforced and is one that is not well remembered, except by scholars. It was more symbolic, meaning that the Empire functioned by the contributions of its citizens.
The Imperial Bloodline
An Imperial Bloodline shall be formed through the marriages of the royal families of the kingdoms. The resulting children shall be married, and from their offspring shall come a ruler who possesses the bloodlines of all the kingdoms. To justify who could rule the Empire, the kingdoms agreed that two generations of marriage would yield a child who was royalty of all the kingdoms.
Once created, the Imperial bloodline shall be the line which produces all future leaders of the Empire.
The Role of the Emperor
The leader of the Empire shall be called Emperor, for a male ruler, and Empress for a female ruler. *Much like the Kings and Queens of the royal families and the First Father and First mother, the Empire could be ruled by either man or woman.
The Emperor’s duties are to enforce the laws of the Empire, protect its land and citizens, and to create laws which are just and fair to all. This duty was followed until the Fall of the Empire, when Emperor Ahskin, swayed by the Ebon Man, ushered in the destruction of the Empire. A topic for an upcoming lecture.
The Emperor’s second duty is to preserve the Imperial bloodline, and to provide a successor to the Imperial throne. For one-thousand years this remained unbroken. Today, there is much debate as to whether any members of the Imperial bloodline survived the Fall of the Empire, and if they did, could they be found.
The Role of the Church of the All-Father
The Church shall be an advisor and guardian to the Empire and Emperor, and shall represent the voice of the people. The Church with its churches and ties to all the communities in all the kingdoms would be best to hear the needs of the people and be able to communicate them to the Empire.
No Priest or Priestess or higher rank within the Church can ever hold the title Emperor. To avoid the temptation of rule, and to remain an impartial advisor, the members of the clergy cannot assume rule of the Empire.
The Empire will uphold the traditions of the All-Father and will know only one Church, that of the Church of the All-Father. This Precept relegated the Church of Humanis to that of a cult and outlawed its worship. Though even today, cults dedicated to Humanis continue to worship underground.
The Role of Arcana
Those who possess the gift of Arcana shall never hold the title of Emperor. This is our first mention of those who can wield arcane powers, the Mages. In a separate set of lectures we will discuss the history of Arcana, from the Eon War through today.
The Empire shall form a guild where the study of Arcana can be performed, and where its members can learn the proper and legal use of their powers. The establishment of the guild lead to the formalizing of Arcane education.
All practitioners of arcane powers shall be members of the guild, and abide by all of its rules and the laws of the Empire. This was meant to keep control over the Mages. While there was much harmony in the new Empire, we will see that it did not always apply to the Mages.
The Establishment of the Empire
The first step to forming the Empire was to start the Imperial Bloodline. The initial marriages occurred the first year, and both couples conceived children. The second marriage occurred 18 years later. That couple conceived two years later, and the first Emperor, Rakal, was born.
During the establishment of the bloodline, all the kingdoms agreed that the Church should govern the fledgling Empire. First Mother Kinera was gravely concerned about the Church as the head of the Empire, so to avoid the issue she stepped down as First Mother and assumed the role of Imperial Regent. She stepped down when Rakal reached the age of 20, and she was in her early eighties.
The Precepts of the Empire are the foundation of our civilization, and kept the peace among the four kingdoms for over a thousand years. During the time of the Empire every aspect of civilization flourished. In our next lecture I will highlight some of the advancements of the Empire.