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Articles & News

Why We Talk about Games


Some firsts are memorable. Others, less so. My first time was in 1979, and memorable. Over Winter Break from elementary school, my best friend Joe invited me over to his house for sledding and games. Joe’s older brother and his friends laughed and hooted in the basement, but they were in high school and didn’t want us mingling with them. They were playing some game that was apparently too old for Joe and me. And then...

The Fall of the Empire

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Nothing lasts forever. For the Empire, its reign of over one thousand years was about to come to an end. Not even the favor of the All-Father would stop its fall. Today we are going to focus on the major events which we refer to as the Fall of the Empire. In its duration, the Fall lasted about six months. Having lived during the Fall, it was not clear at the beginning that the Empire was...

The Prelude to the Fall

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It is hard for me to remain an objective educator for these next few lectures. Despite the years that have passed, the Fall of the Empire is a time which remains etched into my mind. It is a time when all we as Humans had built was toppled. There is a certain feeling of loss, when a foreign force conquers another: powerless and defeated. That feeling would be more bearable than what had happened. Rather...

The Twilight of the Empire

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Welcome again, faithful students. We are going to jump ahead now, skip over the bulk of the Imperial Age and look at the time before its Fall, referred to as the Twilight of the Empire. We are going to start by setting the stage, looking at the Empire and its Last Emperor. The State of the Empire The Twilight period of the Empire starts in the year 1000. The Empire has been in existence for a thousand...

Accomplishments of the Empire


Our last few lectures covered the formation of the Empire. In the thousand years that would follow, the Empire would see its good times and bad times. Overall, the age of the Empire was the best period in our recorded history. I could spend an entire lecture class covering the events of this period, but this class is only a high-level discussion. I want to use this time to talk about some of the accomplishments...

The Precepts of the Empire

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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,...

Four Days

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Let’s continue where we left off, and discuss the Four Days. These days would be some of the most critical days for humanity as we know it. Its success rested on one woman, First Mother Kinera. Her wisdom and insight was able to keep Elhal from sliding into war. Rather from the brink of war would come the greatest period in human history. Setting The Stage As a quick summary, a grain blight in Kotkala had prevented...

The Formation of the Empire


Greetings, students. In this lecture we continue our discussion about the Four Kingdoms and what lead to the formation of the Empire. It has been just short of 50 years since the Fall of the Empire, but it still remains one of the greatest achievements we humans have ever created. For over 1000 years the Empire ruled Elhal, and with it brought forth prosperity to all its citizens. It was just one of two paths...

The Four Kingdoms


Greetings fellow scholars. In the past several essay’s, we looked at the formation of the Church of the All Father, and how it spread throughout Elhal to form the predominant religion of the land. In this lecture, we are going to look at the formation of the four major kingdoms of Elhal, how they formed, and the influence the Church had upon them. The Four Kingdoms In the first lecture, I discussed the geography of Elhal, but...

Looking Back on 2014


Encoded Designs is just shy of its one year anniversary, but with it being the end of the year I thought it would be nice to look back at how we did in our first year. Wearing my project manager hat, I will write this update in the spirt of a Lessons Learned. So just what did we learn in 2014? What Went Well These are the things that we want to keep doing in 2015. We published...