Gods and Empires
The Imperium is a human institution and a powerful force to be reckoned with. Although there have been many kingdoms and self-proclaimed empires throughout the history of the Fourth Age, the Imperium is the only one that even begins to approach the scope of the greatest human Empire in all of history: Valoria. All else pales in comaprison to the might of the legendary Valinor, whose empire was said to have covered the entirety of the main continent of Faeregoth. Though its borders do not yet span the breadth of the continent, it seems likely that this will eventually come to pass.
The Imperium controls much of the northern half of the main continent of Faeregoth, which is divided into provinces that tend to follow the borders of the various kindgoms that once spread across the land. Although the Imperium boasts an impressive military, much of its expansion has been through diplomatic means. Whenever possible, the Imperium has sought to assimilate the various kingdoms and fiefdoms and tribes that once quarreled and fought with one another by working to resolve differences, offering incentives and rewards, or simply relying upon the threat of force.
The Imperium is divided into areas of governance known as provinces, and each province is governed according to local custom or tradition, often by a hereditary ruler or aristocrat who owes allegiance to the Imperator. Though local laws and customs may differ between the provinces, all provinces are sworn to uphold the laws of the Imperium, which supercede any local code. The Imperium is ruled by a single, hereditary ruler known as the Imperator, who resides in the city of Caer Modan. Aiding him is the High Council, which is responsible for most of the day-to-day governance of the land, and the Imperial Guard, which upholds the rule of law.
The human calendar is based upon ‘Imperial Reckoning’, which began on the day that the first Imperator officially consolidated the Western Provinces and assumed his title. The Imperium has endured for almost two hundred and fifty years, led by an unbroken line of firstborn male descendants of the founding Imperator.