Apotheotics Daknor Empire
The Daknor Empire is the earliest civilization for which records still exist in the great libraries of the Monks of Time. Although records from that time period hint at earlier civilizations that existed before the Daknor, little is known of them save their existence and the occasional wondrous artifact.
Although other civilizations have risen and fallen many times in the centuries since The Fall of Daknor, no civilization has had a more lasting impact on the known world than the Daknor.
The rise of the Daknor Empire
The Daknor Empire began, as it ended, in blood.
King Daknor was, according to records, the leader of a small nation of orcs, who were the majority race in the known world at the time. Unhappy with the size of his lands, Daknor waged war on a neighboring nation of elves, eventually subjugating the entire area and enslaving the survivors. This drew the attention of the dragon Kiven, a golden dragon who was friend to the subjugated elves. During a parley with Kiven, the consort of Daknor was slain. Kiven claimed it was an accident and fled the area, but Daknor vowed vengeance and launched what would eventually become known as the Great War Against Dragons.
During this war Daknor managed to unite a large portion of the known world, partly through political negotiation, party through conquest of those who stood in his way. The war raged for a decade, and many dragons were slain — often at the hands of Daknor himself, who had his wizards craft a powerful magical sword dedicated to the slaying of dragons. Although Daknor never got his revenge against Kiven, he eventually accepted a truce with the dragons, swayed by their powerful offer of the Crown of Power in exchange for Wyrmslayer. The empire he had forged was beginning to crumble, and the Crown of Power enabled him to maintain control.
Height of Power
The government of the Empire had several unique features that enabled Daknor and his progeny to rule for centuries. At first Daknor ruled despotically, wielding supreme power. As unrest grew within his empire, Daknor established the Assembly. Each region was allowed to be semi-autonomous, enacting their own local laws but beholden to Imperial law; each region was allowed to appoint or elect a single Assembler to join the Assembly, which was tasked with enacting and enforcing Empirical law. Daknor and his successors, as Emperor, maintained control over the military and the right to overrule any laws enacted by the Assembly, as well as the right to eject any or all Assemblers from the Assembly and require a new appointee.
Daknor and his line, like all orcs, gloried strength and cunning in battle. Over time, the empire expanded through conquest, with each conquered region being offered the chance to join the empire as an autonomous region, or to be enslaved. Only elves were never given the choice — all elves that survived the conquest were enslaved. Eventually the empire spanned the entire continent, with one exception: the dwarves in the Undermountain Empire never fell despite numerous invasions.
In addition to honor and glory in battle, the orcs of Daknor had a distrust of magic of any kind, including divine magic. The Orcan Inquisition was established in the early days of the empire to root out and destroy all magic use and artifacts, and it was extremely good at its job. Their chief weapon was fear, fear and surprise, and ruthless efficiency, and a fanatical devotion to the Emperor. Also, nice red uniforms.
Within a hundred years, magic and religion had all but ceased to exist within the empire.
Most scholars agree that the Daknor Empire first began to fall after the Crown of Power was lost. It is rumored that the Crown was stolen by an elven slave and subsequently hidden, regardless of how it was lost, the Crown has never since been found. Shortly after the Crown was lost, the cult of personality that surrounded the Orcan Inquisition fell apart, and the Inquisition eventually fell apart.
The dragon Kiven had been working actively against the Orcan Inquisition since its inception to preserve knowledge of magic, secretly teaching a few enslaved elves magic. After the Inquisition fell he increased his efforts, and magical ability spread rapidly among the enslaved elves. Numerous rebellions followed as elven magic flourished. Magic and religion began to spread across the land, local regions began to risk Imperial wrath and refuse to pay Imperial taxes, taking more autonomy. In many regions, elves walked free, owned by none.
And then came The Fall. A human mage, experimenting with an ancient magical artifact that had been discovered in the sewers under Carthis, accidentally unleashed a powerful explosion of magical energy that surged across the entire world. The energy did little physical damage, but within moments it had transformed every orcs, into brutish and monstrous creatures. The goblinoids had been born: brutish orcs, goblins, bugbears and hobgoblins. Half-orcs, already established as a separate race, were affected as well, albeit to a lesser extent.
The empire descended into chaos as the goblinoids, confused by the transformation, rampaged in riot after riot. Eventually calm was restored, but by local regions — what was known as the Daknor Empire was in ruins, a scant decade after the loss of the Crown of Power.