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The Empire is a mirror universe counterpart to the Alliance. Unlike the Alliance however, where Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, High Elves and Night Elves are seen as equal, the Empire is a realm of racism, where Humans dominate the political, military, and economic structure of the Empire at the expense of their "allies". The Human nations of the Alliance exist in one form or another under the dominance of Azeroth-Stormwind. From the mainstream view, unlike the Alliance of the main Warcraft universe, the Empire is a villanious power that seeks to expand its territories at other's expense.
The Convocation has the ability to enter different realities and discovered the disturbing existence of the Empire. They went through their vast archives of information of the history of the Empire and found that the difference in the timelines came from a result of meddling by the Infinite Dragonflight. The differences in the timeline indicate that the Infinite Dragonflight, impersonated or somehow created false forces of Dwarves, High Elves and Gnomes to attack the Stormwind and human lands. This bred a sense of hatred against the other races of the world. The other races such as the Gnolls, Troggs, Trolls and Murlocs were already seen as inferior by the humans so adding the High Elves, Gnomes and Dwarves to their lists seemed only an extension of thier racism.
The Convocation discovered that also within Silvermoon, Khaz Modan and Gnomeregan, the Infinite Dragonflight was also working to manipulate them against the human nations brewing racism in hopes of turning the realm of Azeroth into a war torn nation before the Horde would invade.
The plan worked, and the Humans of Stormwind were the first to invade the non human nations. The legacy of Arathor was the need for humans to reunite into a powerful single human nation.
The Empire is headed by Emperor Llane Wrynn I who is absolute dictator of his empire. From the capital, Stormwind, the Emperor rules with an iron fist. The Wrynn dynasty was the strongest of all the noble houses, and bears the title of the Heirs of Arathor. Through nobility and marriage, all the major houses of the Human nations that make up the Alliance of Lorderaon are also represented within the Empire.
The Emperor is also advised by a Council of Advisors which can expand or shrink depending on whoever the Emperor favors. There are some advisor's who don't even advise the Emperor at all, rather are appointed sheerly for prestige. Friends of the Emperor can exert enormous influence on the Empire's policies for sheer virtue of them being friends. Notable member of the Council of Advisors are the Archbishop of the Imperial Church, several collaborating mages from Dalaran, the heads of the noble houses of former nations are given nominal approval.
The geopolitical structure of the Empire is cunningly divided. In regions where opposition to the Empire was present, townships and villages were almost divided in half, where their traditional borders were entirely disregarded deliberately to create animosity amongst the people, and thus this cultural animosity would give legitimacy to the Empire's military rule. All towns have military garrisons and the people themselves are forbidden to form militias, rather they have to rely on the Empire's military for protection.
Villages are lead by Magistrates, larger towns are lead by mayors, and entire larger regions are governed by Governors. These were often appointments made from Stormwind. Some appointments are made from Gilneas and Stromgarde but these are usually "gift" appointments that Stormwind allows Gilneas and Stromgarde to make. Much of the Arathi Highlands, though Imperial Territory is given to Stromgarde to rule as a defacto lands to itself. To compromise Gilneas' loss of manpower due to their contribution of soldiers to the Imperial Army, Stormwind allowed them to rule Tirisfal which include the rebuilding of Lordaeron.
It is important to realize that despite the contributions of other nations, the Empire is still a single centralized body. The Emperor and Stormwind hold all the power to themselves, and can enforce this with the use of the Imperial Air Force, Army, and Navy at any time. Stromgarde and Gilneas have little reason to challenge Stormwind's supremacy over them since it is in their interest to keep Stormwind protected as it is the most powerful city in the south, which holds up against the Trolls as well as the Alliance.
Nations of the EmpireEdit
The Empire is seen as a single political, economic and military entity, though it has cultural differences within its borders. These "Nations" are not independent nation states but rather subjugated and assimilated regions that may still have some form of cultural or political identity.
By far the most powerful nation. Stormwind invaded the other nations in a bitter long war to establish dominance over the human nations. It was also Stormwind that single handedly invaded the Dwarf lands and destroyed the city of Ironforge and Gnomeregan. It was the nation of Stormwind that was attacked by the other non-human forces which launched the War for Arathor Unification.
Much like its mirror universe counterpart, Alterac was the weakest nation of the human forces but it was a very peaceful land. The people there saw little need for military arms so they focused on other ventures such as economics and scholarly knowledge. The University of Alterac was one of the most respected areas of learning. It was the University that was one of the first buildings destroyed by the Imperial armies as they marched into Alterac, burning priceless collections of art, sciences and literature. The Alterac people were powerless to resist but to this day fester a hatred for the Imperial forces.
How Stormwind managed to invade Alterac which was located half a continent away, was the large support that Stormwind received from Southshore and Hillsbrad. The two neighboring cities that were near Alterac served as staging points for Stormwind's forces to invade Alterac.
The Kirin Tor of the mirror universe is similar to the Kirin Tor of true Azeroth. They were a powerful assembly of mages who were the most fierce opponents of Stormwind's imperialistic conquests. It was the Kirin Tor who held out the longest against the surrounding forces of Stormwind's armies as they conquered the other human nations. At long last after a siege lasting two years around the great Violet Citadel the mages of Dalaran surrendered. Their vast libraries were confiscated and much of it was destroyed. Only the most destructive magical forces were saved and used by the forces of the Empire
Gilneas and StromgardeEdit
The people of Gilneas were a warlike people due to their constant battles against the Trolls and especially from air raids from the Dwarves and Gnomes who, under manipulation from the Infinite Dragonflight bombed the human lands. The Gilneas people were vehement supporters of Stormwind and were some of the most fanatic.
Another fiercely militaristic nation that was the original land of the Arathi. The Empire and Stromgarde wanted to restore the legacy of Arathor and thus Stromgarde wanted in on the Empire right away. As a result of it and Gilneas' reputation for fierce fighters Stromgarde and Gilneas were left relatively untouched by the Empire. Their nobles and people were richly rewarded as a result of their loyalties.
The official birth of the Empire was when Gilneas, and Stromgarde joined Stormwind. This came after Alterac was conquered.
Kul Tiras Edit
Like its counterpart, Kul Tiras was a naval power. Stormwind knew that Kul Tiras naval supremacy was no doubt going to be a challenge to them. The Stormwinders, now functioning as the Empire after the conquest of Khaz Modan and Gnomeregan offered an ultimatum to Kul Tiras to side with them or face destruction. The rule of Kul Tiras, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore found himself in an impossible situation. To preserve the wealth of his nation he had to secure the fleets, but at the same time it was only a matter of time before the Empire would construct its own fleet to challenge that of Kul Tiras, and the Empire had far more resources than the island nation.
Daelin instead secretly prepared his entire armada to depart for the lands to the west. He brought with him, his three children, Jaina, Tandred and Derek with him and tens of thousands of people who sough refuge from the Empire. Secretly, he asked his most closest advisor, the High Elven Sorceror Kilnar Goldensword, to engineer a rebellion against him to provide an effective diversion so that the exodus could take place.
Lordaeron and MedivhEdit
One of the strongest and most powerful nations to exist alongside Stormwind. For a short period of five years, The Empire and Lordaeron existed side by side without hostility. However, Lordaeron Nobles harshly opposed the Empire because of its harsh racist activities and lack of freedoms within the Imperial lands. Much of the people immigrating from Lordaeron were refugees from the Empire. When the Empire demanded that Lordaeron surrender these people, the Lordaeronians refused, thus war broke out between The Empire and Lordaeron.
During the war between the Empire and Lordaeron, Medivh, the Guardian of Tirisfal was forced to use his powerful magics in an attempt to seek a refuge for the people of Lordaeron. He managed to contact the essence of an Orc Shaman named Ner'zhul as well as his apprentice another Shaman named Gul'dan. With their knowledge of magics, Medivh opened a portal to the lands of Draenor, where the Orcs lived. The Orcs were willing to take the human refugees into their realm, after the humans pleaded for assistance. When the capital of Lordaeron fell masses of people flocked to the portal in a long march where many of them came under attack. Thousands upon thousands of refugees treked to the Black Morass where they entered the portal to Draenor, seeking shelter with the Greenskins.
Medivh himself managed to close the portal from the Draenor side with the assistance of Gul'dan and Ner'zhul. However, his apprentice, Khadgar would work years to attempt to open the portal again and seek to bring the Empire to Draenor.
Khaz Modan and GnomereganEdit
The Dwarves and Gnomes were the first to suffer at the hands of the Stormwinder's attempt at imperialism. The human armies were massive as they conscripted every single able man and even woman to fight in their army. Though the Dwarves and Gnomes were brilliant engineers and in the case of the dwarves, fierce fighters, they were no match for the fantasized humans as they trampled over their cities.
Like Dalaran, Silvermoon was seen as a great threat. However, Silvermoon was the very last to fall. When the Portal was opened it bought the High Elves enough time to attempt and escape back to the lands where they came, Kalimdor. Fleets of Elven ships left their long lands of Quel'Thalas for their ancestral homes. The Imperial Navy was in harsh pursuit of the High Elven fleets but unknown to the Imperial forces, a stalwart faction of the High Elves remained within Quel'Thalas, and even allied their long enemies, the Trolls to fight the Empire on their own terms, in the form of an underground resistance.
The Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes and other races do not enjoy equal status in the Empire and are delegated to second class citizens. Only the most promising of them are elevated to any status. The Emperor's council of advisor's does have representatives from the many facades of the Empire from all cultural groups but they have little say and are seen only as nominal appointments.
There are those who have betrayed their own peoples for the sake of their own selfish needs, these are collaborators. There are collaborators of all sorts who seek favor from the humans. However there are also humans who sympathize with the other races seeking a more equal standing. Racism is a constant problem within the Empire.
The Holy Light, is the most dominant force of the Empire's spirituality. There are two main factions, the Imperial Church and the True Light are the two most prominent religious factions. However only one is legally practiced, and that is the Imperial Church which is filled with Imperial Loyalists. Due to the Empire's corruption of using the Holy Light to use as a weapon of war, much of the Paladins of the Empire have less strength in the Holy Light than the True Light followers.
The True Light has gone underground. Originally the two had existed as one entity, but when more progressive Church Clergy began accepting Elves, Dwarves and even Gnomes into its heirarchy, the more racist of the Church opposed this. Since many regarded spirituality and the Holy Light as a blessing only to Humans to use, to have a lesser being use the Holy Light seemed sacriligious. The Emperor outlawed the True Light movement.
The Imperial Church does not follow the Holy Light's main tenets of Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion as how the mainstream Warcraft Universe's alliance believes in it. Rather the interpretation is that Respect, Tenactiy and Compassion must be shown to the Empire itself as well as the Imperial Nobility rather than together. The True Light rather, emphasized that the three virtues were to everyone regardless of race, and even more controversially, gender.
Archbishop Benedictus, the leader of the Imperial Church, is also a member of the Emperor's Council of Advisors. He is one of the more progressive of the Church Leaders. Though he has not appointed any non-human to the Church's upper echelons, in the more rural areas where other races are more dominant, his argument that Elves should preach to Elves where humans are not available has allowed some of them preach.
The Empire is powerful in a military sense. Its army is vast and well equipped. Its biggest advantage is that Humans far outnumber other races in every sector of society and the military is no exception. Regiments of High Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes are constantly surrounded by Humans so causing regimental revolts is very difficult. The Empire has encouraged its engineers to work with Dwarves and Gnomes, to engineer more inventions such as steam tanks, and long range rockets and fleets of Gnomish flying machines to conduct surgical strikes against Alliance bases and hideouts. The Empire also employs some of the most powerful magics from its mages.
One of the weakest aspects of the Empire's military is its reliance on large battlefields and large armies. The Elves of Quel'thalas have noticed that they have great advantage in guerilla warfare. Due to the Trolls native to the vast forests and the Murlocs being adept at marsh and water warfare, the Alliance has some advantage. Gnomish and Dwarven engineering as well as Dalaranian sorcery help the Empire with their conquests as well as maintaining order.
Due to the totalitarian style of government that the Empire is ruled by, it relies on several forms of enforcement to maintain order. The Knights of the Iron Fist are the most visible loyalty enforcers of the Emperor, but amongst the more sinister Elements is the Loyalty Ministry. Most of the population of the Empire is human and thus most loyalty enforcement is not required that often. However to show weakness is never permitted for the Empire's internal security forces.
Knights of the Iron FistEdit
A large cadre of knights, loyal to the Emperor. These knights are unique as they are considered "Dark Knights" who are trained in the use of mage magics, as well as skilled hand to hand combat. They form the bodyguards of the Emperor and function as elite guards who look after the royal family.
Perhaps the most feared of the ministries of government, is the Ministry of Loyalty. They ensure that loyalty to the throne is always present. Where the Knights of the Iron Fist are a more visible militaristic force that shows off the Emperor's might with brute force, the Loyalty Ministry prefers to work in more quiet subtle ways. Dressed in their trademark crimson robes and hoods, they are a very secretive order with vast authority. Without warrents they can confiscate property in the name of loyalty to the Empire.
The Loyalty Ministry is also known for its effective use of torture to get information out of anyone. The Ministers of Loyalty themselves are usually magically trained. Many of them were former members of the Kirin Tor but who sought power more than freedom and were collaborators. Their acolytes form the vast majority of the Ministry and work actively to seek out any traitors in the Empire. They are also highly active in rural non-human areas to assure that the Gnomes, Dwarves, and High Elves are kept in line.
A sub-group of the Loyalty Ministry is the Loyalty Guard. These guards are not as superbly trained as the Knights of the Iron Hand but they are effective in protecting the Loyalty Ministry. Where the Knights of the Iron Hand are well recognized with their dark armor, the Loyalty Guard wear crimson red armor and matching swords and shields.
The Empire is a vast territorial entity. From the north in Quel'Thalas all the way to the prairies of Westfall and to the east, the Black Morass (in the main Warcraft Universe, the Blasted Lands). The powerful Troll cities of Zul'Gurub, Zul'Aman and Jintha'Alor are not in the Empire's control but the Empire has built fortresses to counter the expansion of the trolls.
Aerie Peak, the former Wildhammer Dwarf Stronghold is now also an Imperial Fortress that acts as powerful buffer zone from the trolls of Jintha'Alor. Though the Vilebranch Trolls are a dangerous force to battle, they have kept mainly to themselves.
Silvermoon was rebuilt by the Empire in a chaotic mesh of Human and Elven architecture to stand as a powerful statement of Imperial power in that area. Ironically such an action has alienated many of the High Elves. Silvermoon acts as the Empire's largest city-fortress in the far northern sections of the Empire where they counterbalance the presence of the Zul'Amani Trolls.
The Empire's most powerful forces oddly are placed in the center of its lands, at Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes. These areas are rampant with the renegade elementals of Ragnaros. As such most of the Empire's forces have been located there to maintain order. The subjugated Dark Iron Dwarves are also a meddlesome problem as they are constantly underminding the efforts of the Empire within that region. Many of them are expert mountaineers which have forced them into a guerilla war against the Empire's armies in the area.
A notable exception to Imperial Power is Stranglethorn Vale. The Goblin city of Booty Bay sits there as a free city. To accommodate Imperial demands, the Goblins have enforced their neutrality by handing over criminals of the Empire who they find within their cities. The Zul'Gurub Trolls, heavily entrenched in their ancestral lands. The Empire however is massing a powerful army and air force to attack Zul'Gurub to send a powerful message to the other Troll kingdoms that their opposition to the Empire shall not be tolerated. The Emperor's advisor are planning the attack with more force than ever to raze Zul'Gurub to the ground.