Pre-Space Flight Era of the Amarr Empire

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Amarr Empire (transparent).png
8000 AD - 20536 AD Pre-Space Flight Era
20536 AD - 23180 AD Unchallenged Era
23180 AD - YC105 Transitional Era
YC105 - Present Modern Era

The pre-space flight era of the Amarr Empire covers a time from the settlement of Athra in roughly 8000 AD to the advent of manned space flight in 20536 AD. During this time period, the Amarr people relocated to Amarr Island, founded a unified Empire, established the Holders class, began the Reclaiming, and started the practice of taking slaves.

Prehistory and antiquity

Settlement of Amarr Island

The ancestors of the modern Empire appeared on the planet Athra roughly 15,000 years ago, around 8000 AD.[1] They settled on the continent of Assimia, along with several other groups of colonists. They were led by a prophet known as Dano Gheinok, who collected and contributed greatly to the body of religious texts known as the Scriptures. Though it appears Gheinok built off established rituals and religions, today the Amarr consider him their first prophet and founder of their religion, and many of the settlers' religious beliefs are believed to be extant with the modern Amarr.

These beliefs apparently caused tensions with the other inhabitants, and though the exact nature of both the beliefs and resulting tensions are still debated, they eventually escalated into a full-fledged war. The proto-Amarr were ejected from Assimia entirely, eventually settling on a large island they called Amarr, roughly 500km off the coast of Assimia.

The proto-Amarr settled the island and gradually began to spread and multiply. In the beginning, they managed to remain unified. Over time, their technology degenerated and they lost both the ability to traverse the sea and maintain accurate records. Much like other civilizations across New Eden, they slipped into a dark age for several thousand years, reverting to a primitive level of technology and society.

Time of Contemplation

The Amarr themselves call this period the Time of Contemplation, and will publicly admit that rather little innovation and greatness were achieved during it.[2] The proto-Amarr split into several different city-states, urban centers with politically affiliated rural communities. These city-states had only limited contact with each other, primarily facilitated through traveling merchants and war bands.

Socially, it appears to have been dominated by two factors. The first was the church, which wielded enormous influence among the populace. However, the church was decentralized and individual parishes had little contact with each other. A governing body existed, but was relatively weak, unable to exert much power over its districts.

The second power was warlords. Originating among religious leaders, over the centuries these powerful individuals grew more and more secular. They ruled the various city-states as their own, small kingdoms, occasionally attacking each other in an effort to extend their power. These warlords ruled solely through their own might, rather than any hereditary or religious right. The majority had their kingdoms collapse upon their deaths, though a few managed to establish short dynasties that lasted a few generations.

Technologically, this era was characterized by early Iron Age technologies, with innovation slow and stifled by constant warfare and poor communication between city-states. The major developments during this period were agricultural in nature, producing larger crop yields and allowing more people to move to urban environments.

This state of existence continued for around 8,000 years, ending with the foundation of the Amarr Empire.

Early Empire


In 16450 AD, a highly religious warlord named Amash-Akura initiated a war of conquest across Amarr Island from his city-state of Dam-Torsad. Though the aspects of Amash-Akura's life have become entangled with numerous myths surrounding him, several details are agreed on by even the most secular historians. He was highly charismatic and was backed by the church, which earned him widespread popularity among the populace. He conquered through diplomacy as much as with the blade, often offering opponents the opportunity to capitulate without bloodshed or risk to their own standing. While many refused his offer, a large number willingly bent their knees and proclaimed loyalty to his cause.

By 16470 AD, Amash-Akura had conquered the entirety of Amarr Island, and was crowned Emperor by the church.[1] Those warlords who had willingly submitted, he named his Holders, firmly establishing a landed, hereditary nobility. He also merged the church and the government, placing his most religious Holders and loyal clergy on the new Empire's ruling council, which he named the Council of Apostles.

By centralizing the power of the church and so closely intertwining the religious and secular aspects of governance, Amash-Akura laid much of the foundation for the Empire as it exists today. He also eliminated the fractures in the Amarr, dismissing the old loyalties to individual city-states and instead unifying them as a single people. Freed from fears of conquest, Amarr society was able to once again expand and grow.

Despite the great acclaim of Amash-Akura, the newly founded Holder class foresaw a day when the Emperor would some day grow too powerful for them. They founded the Speakers of Truth as adjucators of injustice and hid a clause that made their word greater than the Emperor's should they be called to resolve a dispute against him. While their worries were unfounded (at least within their lifetimes), the Speakers went on to become a vital part of the Empire.[2]

First Golden Age

Under the reign of Amash-Akura, the Amarr Empire entered a period of peace and prosperity. At the Emperor's order, the Amarr undertook several major public works programs. They built flagstone paved roads that stretched from one end of Amarr Island to the other, connecting every major city and several smaller villages in the Empire to each other. Trade flourished, bringing wealth to all echelons of society.

The Emperor also mandated a census to be taken every five years. This census would lead to the establishment of the Book of Records, the largest part of the Scriptures and most complete genealogical record in New Eden.

As the burdens of living eased, artistic expression blossomed. Many of the Empire's greatest sculptors, composers, poets, and painters lived during this time. Several were eventually sainted, with their works canonized into Scripture. The epic poem was the most widespread form of literature, while the orchestra began to gain traction in music. In art, the period is remembered for its transitions from crude amateurism to recognizable styles.

Science and technology also underwent a revolution. A codified set of herbal remedies spread through the Amarr, allowing for the treatment of many previously debilitating conditions. Improvements in building materials and architecture allowed for the construction of aqueducts. The first sewer systems on Amarr Island were built during this time in the city of Dam-Torsad, improving sanitation.

The Amarr record that the sefrim first visited during this time. It was their influence that supposedly helped maintain the peace. The Ametat and Avetat were bestowed to Amash-Akura, which reputedly kept him in perfect health and from aging.[3]

However, this golden age could not continue forever. Amash-Akura reputedly ruled in peace for a hundred years, though the exact truth of this is disputed by outsiders. The prosperous age was ended by the rise of an usurper named Molok.

Molok's Rebellion

Molok the Deceiver was a member of the Council of Apostles who managed to gain great sway with the Holders. Molok greatly denigrated the Emperor, spreading rumors repudiating his supposed immortality and divine connection to God. He spoke out against the sefrim, saying they were false beings, mere tricks of the church to confound and placate the commoners.

Through his concentrated efforts, Molok eventually managed to raise a popular rebellion against the Emperor. He was immensely successful, and conquered nearly half of Amarr Island before Emperor Amash-Akura managed to stall his advance. The sefrim left at this time, after refusing to assist in the war. With the departure of the sefrim, the apparent blessings of eternal youth and wisdom departed the Emperor, and legend has it he aged all his years in a single night.[3]

Despite his sudden frailty, Amash-Akura successfully turned the tide against Molok. The forces of the Empire battled the usurper for five years, finally routing Molok and capturing him at the Battle of Edras. Molok was brought before the Emperor in chains and sacrificed on the altar of God. Amash-Akura reportedly passed away that night, passing the crown to a successor chosen by the Council of Apostles.[3]

The Amarr contend that the events of their golden age and Molok's uprising occurred as recorded in the Scriptures. Outsider historians often contend that, while an Amash-Akura did originally found the Empire, he did not live the length of time attributed to him. Instead, they say, when the Emperor died, one of the Apostles assumed his identity in a great ruse against the populace. Molok, they say, exposed the falsehood of the Emperor and the oppression of the church, though upon his defeat he was denounced as a heretic and enemy of God. Some even claim that Molok never existed, and instead was simply a metaphor in Amarr history for secularism and unchecked pride, during a time when the empire's religion stood on tottering feet.

The Amarr, of course, say such notions are completely unfounded.

Time of Quiet

After the end of Amash-Akura's reign, a number of other emperors took the throne in succession. They were drawn from the ranks of the Council of Apostles and, unlike Amash-Akura, were considered simply first among equals. They led meetings and had some extra measure of influence, but practically they were unable to disagree with the majority rule of the Council.

Molok's Rebellion had left much of the Empire devastated and depopulated. The Amarr people were at their weakest point since they had first settled the island. Rebuilding was slow, but peaceful, carried mostly on the backs of the peasantry. Holders and priests, meanwhile, concentrated their power and eventually grew to become almost interchangeable. Many Holders were extensively versed in the Scriptures and used their piety to further their influence over the lower classes. Peasants became concentrated in fiefs, working their Holders' land in exchange for theoretical protection from violence. However, as the entire island was united under a single ruler, the peasants had little to fear.

In theory, the peasants were free to relocate as they pleased. In practice, this option was rarely exercised. Commoners had little money of their own, and finding a new place to live and relocating to an area where the family had no connections, no roots, and no influence was little more than a ticket to starvation. Even those who could move often found themselves in a situation no better than the one they left, still under the yoke of a Holder who provided little aside from religious guidance.

Even so, the stability of the Empire allowed it to slowly grow. Innovation moved at a relatively leisurely pace, being limited mainly to agricultural achievements. Methods of growing, planting, and tilling allowed for bountiful harvests. Irrigation brought potable water across the Empire, helping to limit disease and prevent famine. Even for the lowest commoners life was hard, but not overly harsh or painful so long as they kept to their station.

Architecturally, the Empire entered a period characterized by massive, ostentatious buildings and gaudy flourishes. The spire was particularly popular in this period, particularly among the upper crust of the Holder class. Many of the oldest surviving buildings on Amarr Island possess towering spires, standing thirty or forty meters tall. The Imperial Palace possesses the tallest spire constructed during this period, standing at 43.5 meters in total height. It was originally topped with bands of gold and platinum and set with precious stones, though this was replaced with a relatively simple white gold top in later eras.

The arts grew in stature. Sculpture remained the most common form of expression, with intricately carved statues and figurines crafted from a variety of materials. Most sculpture during this time was religious in nature, often depicting Amash-Akura, the sefrim, the clergy and Holders, or even God. The most exquisite sculptures were set with gemstones and plated with precious metals, while even the most base were brightly colored.

Though previously denigrated, painting also began to gain a foothold as a noble art form. Colors were often bright and expressive, but images lacked perspective and are now considered very abstract in nature. Most works were icons of religious figures, though some Holders also had personal portraits made during this time.

Musically, the empire remained in much a state as it had before. Compositions were typically created with the church in mind, though several extant secularized songs survive to the modern day. Instruments continued to be relatively primitive plucked string and woodwind instruments.

Literature suffered during this period. While several pieces survive to the modern day, it is generally considered inferior to those that came before and after. Only a few pieces are placed into the great canon of Amarr literature; the majority of these are religious plays that appear to have been refinements of earlier concepts rather than wholly original works.


Udorian Contact

Eventually, the Empire began to reach a pressure point. The peace and agricultural progress led to a steadily increasing population. By 20000 AD, the island was suffering from overpopulation, a stagnating economy, and general unrest among the populace. Several peasant revolts broke out within the span of a decade, forcing the Holders to call up arms against the commoners. The church attempted to placate the common people, but tensions were reaching a breaking point.

It is theorized that the Empire's very survival during this period is in good deal thanks to the arrival of the Udorians in 20022 AD.[1] The Udorians had been colonists on Athra at the same time as the ancestors of the Amarr. While the Amarr had settled on the northern continent of Assimia, the Udorian ancestors had instead settled on the southern continents of Ves-Udor and Cas-Udor. A secular people, the Udorians had neither the religious fervor to bring them together nor the oppressive hand of the church to stifle innovation. Instead, they were primarily traders, merchants, and explorers, fractured among many different states.

The Udorians were the first outsiders to consistently visit Amarr Island in thousands of years. Though the Amarr had occasionally been visited by fishermen or travelers blown off course from Assimia, neither they nor their neighboring continent possessed the seafaring technology to make the journeys safely. The Udorians, on the other hand, were master seafarers, utilizing mutli-masted sailing ships to cross the treacherous seas in search of wealth.

The Amarr were naturally suspicious of the Udorians from the start. Many of its leaders and religious scholars misidentified the Udorians as the people who had first driven the Amarr's ancestors to Amarr Island. Additionally, the Udorians' secular ways clashed with the dogmatic Empire. The Udorians, however, saw the vast Empire as a new source of profit and managed to tread carefully enough to establish trade with the Amarr.

The Udorians began bringing in massive amounts of goods to the Empire, trading them for Amarr gold, works of art, foods and delicacies, and other valuables. The Holders benefited greatly and particularly enjoyed Udorian fabrics, spices, and wines. Several Amarr purchased exotic Udorian animals and set up great menageries for their own amusement. At first, despite the initial unease, it seemed as if the two sides would manage to coexist peacefully.

However, the Udorians also brought their ideals and the chance of social movement and freedom that the Empire lacked. Commoners, who had for centuries been bereft any way of escaping their lots in life, soon found Udorians eager to replace sailors and workers lost during voyages. Thousands of Amarr commoners began to fill Udorian trade ships, bound for greener pastures on foreign continents.

The Council of Apostles eventually realized the crippling effect this could have on the Empire and that they would have to put a stop to it. However, they knew that they could not simply cut off contact with the Udorians entirely. The Holders and people alike would reject losing access to foreign goods. Instead, more drastic measures were needed.

Early War

Quoting then-obscure bits of Scripture that placed the Amarr as the people chosen by God to convert non-believers, the Emperor launched the Reclaiming in 20078 AD and ordered an entire merchant fleet seized by his soldiers. The Udorians, unprepared for hostilities after fifty years of peace, were overwhelmed and captured by the Empire.

Knowing that his people were unskilled in sailing, the Emperor had the Udorian sailors impressed into the newly christened Amarr Navy. These sailors were the Empire's first slaves, forced to man their own ships against their fellow Udorians. When the Amarr captured further Udorian ships, those crews were likewise forced into slavery.

The early years of the Reclaiming did not go well for the Amarr, as they were unused to warfare and sailing. However, the Udorians were comprised of many rival states as opposed to the unified Empire of the Amarr. Additionally, the Udorians were mostly uninterested in conquering the Amarr, content to simply defeat them at sea and hope the Empire would eventually capitulate.

This only gave the Amarr time to learn and grow stronger. Within a decade, their fleet had massively increased in size and the Empire had its own sailors, well versed in seafaring and naval warfare. The Empire began winning more and more of its engagements at sea, until the Udorian states were forced to take the Empire seriously as a threat. Unfortunately for them, they remained disunited, caught up more with old squabbles and grudges than they were in preventing their own conquest.

The Amarr began making territorial gains on Ves-Udor, the nearer of the two Udorian continents. They initially pressed the conquered Udorian citizens into service, much as they had with the sailors before. Many of the conquered were unfit for combat, however, and the sheer numbers of people made it impossible for every able-bodied individual to be pressed into service. Instead, the Amarr enslaved the people, first shipping them back to Amarr Island, but eventually leaving them where they lived and simply forcing them to continue working their own lands as slaves for the Empire.

The slaves were given to the most powerful and loyal Holders in the Empire, as well as to the church and religious officials. Through this, the taking and ownership of slaves was firmly encoded in the Scriptures, setting down laws and regulations that continue mostly unchanged to the present day.

Sani Sabik Outbreak

During these early stages of the war, the Empire also had to deal with internal crises. The most noteworthy of these was the rise of the Sani Sabik cult. It began rather innocently as a typical sect of the orthodoxy that followed the Scriptures to the letter, adding only a few unconventional but (then) acceptable rituals and interpretations of obscure passages.

As the cult grew, however, it began adopting the grisly practice of utilizing blood in its rituals. People from all levels of society were engaged in these blood rituals, as the cult's promise of eternal life and a rise in status drew many to its ranks. In time, it became widespread and began to threaten the church's hold over the people.

Eventually, the Emperor declared all Sani Sabik to be heretics and unleashed the church's inquisitors upon them. The majority of the cult was snuffed out within a decade, with the few survivors fleeing to Udorian lands and beyond.

The Khanid

Despite the gains made by the Amarr on Ves-Udor, the Reclaiming eventually became bogged down. The Udorian states finally banded together to combat a common foe and began to fight back ferociously against the Amarr, stalling their advance and forcing them into a stalemate. The Udorians were unable to push the Amarr back, but the Amarr were similarly unable to make any additional gains for quite some time.

With their path across Ves-Udor blocked, the Amarr looked back to Assimia. By now fully in the fervor of the Reclaiming, the Amarr viewed any who did not worship the same as they did to be heretics and the enemy of the Empire and God Himself. Several different groups lived on Assimia, including several tribes of related nomadic warriors[4] who had skirmished with the Udorians even before the Amarr. The Udorians considered them uncivilized barbarians, and they in turn considered the Udorians weak and unwelcome outsiders.

Naturally, the Amarr and the nomads initially clashed. The Amarr Reclaimed several of the tribes, pressing them into slavery much as they had the Udorians. However, these slaves were both eager for combat and fascinated with the Amarr religion. The Empire soon realized it had a potential ally on its hands and approached the remaining tribes with open arms.

Playing off their mutual hate for the Udorians, the Amarr promised them equality in Amarr society and offered their leaders positions as Holders if they would willingly convert to the Amarr religion. A large number of nomads agreed, becoming eager soldiers on the front lines of the Reclaiming.[5] Those few who refused were subsequently conquered by their former fellows and enslaved. The Amarr, finding kindred spirits in the nomads, nicknamed them Khanid, a term meaning “little lord”, which eventually became the peoples' official name.[6]

Udorian Conquest

With their forces bolstered by the Khanid, the Amarr broke the stalemate with the Udorians. Slowly but surely, they began grinding the Udorian states to dust, eventually conquering the entirety of Ves-Udor in 20185 AD. The Udorians on Cas-Udor desperately sought to halt the Amarr expansion, often offering generous terms of surrender and tribute in return for peace.

At times, the Amarr accepted these terms. When the Empire became war-weary, or had overextended itself and needed time to fortify and rebuild its new territories, it accepted peace treaties from the Udorian states. These treaties rarely lasted more than a few dozen years before the Amarr went on the march again, conquering as they became hungry for new slaves and territory.

Spurred by the war, technological innovation was great during this time period. The Amarr assimilated much from the conquered Udorians, but they also made several great discoveries on their own. The Amarr discovered gunpowder in 20236 AD, precipitating the development of the cannon. The Empire also invented the mechanical clock and compass, among other less martial technologies.

While gunpowder eventually spread to the Udorians, the Amarr mastery of it gave them an unparalleled advantage in warfare for nearly a century. This pushed them well into Cas-Udor; by the time the Udorians caught up, the Amarr already controlled half of the continent, spelling the eventual doom of the Udorians. They held out for another fifty years, but the last of the Udorian states fell in 20371 AD.[1]

Time of Short Calm

After conquering Cas-Udor, the Amarr controlled both Udorian continents, all of Amarr Island, and large parts of Assimia. The Empire was massive, covering a third of the planet. With the level of technology available at the time, holding the Empire together became a notable logistical challenge. The Council of Apostles still ruled from Dam-Torsad on Amarr Island, but its reach was limited.

The first great Holder families began to truly emerge during this time. Families were given vast territories to rule over, each with their own subservient Holders who in turn commanded many other lesser Holders in a labyrinthine system of vassalage. One such family, given command over the Khanid people, eventually adopted their name and became the Khanid Family.[6] Similarly, the Ardishapur Family rose to control all of Ves-Udor. Their rule was almost independent of the Council of Apostles, though they all owed fealty to the Council in theory, and ruled only by their pleasure. As many were members of the Council themselves, it served them to maintain this state of affairs, so outright rebellions were exceedingly rare.

Unlike previous transitional periods, this age was not one of stagnation by the Empire. Instead, it utilized its peace and the talents of its conquered slaves to the fullest degree. Many great achievements were attained by the Empire during this time, such as the discovery of electricity, the developments of the steam and combustion engines, advances in medicine and germ theory, along with scores of others.

The Empire laid down rail lines, roads, and communications cables, strengthening it logistically and connecting its most distant points. The Empire was the strongest it had ever been and was ready to return to conquest.

Athra Becomes Amarr

By 20445 AD, the Empire was hungry for new conquests. During the calm period, the gradual freeing of slaves had become fashionable among the Holders. Many enslaved Udorian and Khanid who had proven their piety and loyalty to the Empire and the church were released by their Holders and made free commoners. While there was initially some disagreement between Holders about the rightness of this, eventually the Emperor ruled that any slave freed by his Holder could not be re-enslaved except as punishment for crimes.

This gradually led to a dip in slave populations, while also giving the Empire many new potential recruits for its military. The Empire controlled the continents of Assimia, Ves-Udor, and Cas-Udor, all in Athra's western hemisphere. However, the eastern hemisphere remained unconquered and mostly uncontacted. Only a few brave traders and explorers had made the journey across the turbulent Athran oceans, but they had returned with stories of primitive and Godless peoples.

The Emperor decided it was time to recommence the Reclaiming and ordered a fleet of Amarr Navy vessels to cross the ocean. The journey was long and treacherous, with a third of the fleet being lost at sea. The force that reached land found themselves on a continent they named Kathis. Kathis was neither as primitive nor as rich as the stories had made it out to be, but the force established a beachhead and conquered the natives they had discovered.

Over the following ninety years, the Amarr slowly subjugated Kathis and the other eastern lands. By 20544 AD, the Amarr had conquered the entirety of Athra. In a show of dominance, the Emperor decreed that the planet would now be known as Amarr Prime.[3] With the planet fully under one rule, the Amarr turned their eyes to the stars.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Timeline: Amarr:
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chronicle: Speakers of Truth: Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "speakers" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Chronicle: Ametat and Avetat:
  4. Bloodline Description: Khanid
  5. Bloodline Description: Ni-Kunni
  6. 6.0 6.1 Character Creation: Khanid Bloodline