The Imperial League of Minotaurs is the vast empire of the minotaur race that is located in the northern reaches of Southern Hosk on Taladas. Several settlements of the League also dot the southern coastline of Northern Hosk, however the majority of their great cities and towns are located across five large provinces in Southern Hosk. The League is governed by the Imperial Senate, but is ultimately ruled by the Emperor of the Imperial League.
Foundation of the League
The region that is now known as New Styrllia was first inhabited by refugees from the Aurim Empire following the Great Destruction. These humans under the leadership of Kristophus founded the city of Kristophan in the hopes of rebuilding their lost empire. They built a series of defenses facing inland to protect against potential foes, but never thought to guard against incursions from the sea...
Following the Cataclysm on Ansalon, the minotaur race found themselves freed from the yoke of slavery that the empire of Istar had placed on them and sailed abroad with dreams of forming new empires in their horned heads. Being strong sailors and fearsome pirates, the minotaurs sailed further afield until finally some of them crossed the Western Ocean and found the shores of Taladas. They came across the human settlement of Kristophan and soon subjugated the people, allowing the humans to remain within the city if they swore fealty to the minotaur leader Eragas the Brutish. Eragas installed himself as the new Emperor and set about conquering the nearby lands. His son Ambeoutin (named after a heroic Ansalonian minotaur) continued his father's work and crushed all human opposition in the surrounding lands, bringing the provinces of Eragala, Okami and Highvale under the sway of the minotaurs. Thus was the League of Minotaurs born.
Age of Mortals
Following the Godless Night, a series of natural disasters began occurring throughout the League. Earthquakes, mudslides and emerging volcanos became more common throughout the realm. A massive earthquake rocked the capital of Kristophan, devastating half of the city and killing the emperor and his family. The suddenly leaderless League then faced a civil war, as several candidates vied for the throne. Eventually the throne would be claimed by Rekhaz Am-Thurn, however his rule was short-lived and the empire again went through a series of succession wars, until finally another ruler emerged.
The constant in-fighting has weakened the League somewhat, so it remains to be seen whether they will flourish under their new emperor, Ambeoutin XIII, or whether the empire will diminish even further.
Whilst there are a vast number of settlements within the League, the Five Great Cities of Kristophan, Vinlans, Morgad, Thera and Trilloman are the heart of the empire, and where all the money and power lay. The capital and jewel of the entire empire is the Imperial City of Kristophan.
The League is very much centred on a class-based system. Every member of the League has their role and place in the social structure, with protection allotted for all, even the lowliest slave of the League. The Imperial Family are at the top of structure, most of which are placed in meaningless government jobs that allow them to have status, but no actual power, thus they can’t pose any kind of actual threat to the Emperor himself. Beneath the Imperial Family are the Horned Houses, which are the various clans and families of the minotaurs themselves. The humans that are part of the Loyal Families are placed directly below the minotaurs in social standing, being those wealthy families that were the loyalists of Kristophus, who wisely switched allegiance to the minotaurs when they arrived at the gates of Kristophan. All other regular citizens fall beneath this standing, whether they be dwarves, elves, humans or otherwise. Beneath the full-fledged citizens are apprentices, servants and the like, effectively those who are free citizens that are unfranchised. Finally at the bottom of the social structure are the slaves. Many of these are descendants of the original rebels that fought against the minotaurs when they first came to Taladas, whilst others are peasants who have committed crimes, and some others are prisoners of war taken in the various expansions that the League has made.
The Imperial League has a set of laws that to outsiders seem chaotic, and that favors brute strength over the truth, however it is a system that actually works rather well. The judicial system operates under two basic principles, that of due process and the Arena.
The principle of due process means that no legal action can be taken without legal sanction. Which means that if a minotaur strikes down a human in the street, they cannot claim they are free by defeating their opponent, instead they face a charge of murder. Since they acted without any regard for the law. In short, due process separates lawful violence (Arena combat) from unlawful violence, in order to prevent anarchy and wanton violence throughout the League.
The formal courtroom of the League is the Arena, in which all disputes between the defendant and their opponent are meted out through combat. The winner is allowed to walk free, and the only time anyone steps in is the Praetor, if he views someone has been in contempt of the Conditions of Trial or the Conditions of Combat.
At the end of all arena contests, announcements are made about the various outcomes, and a legal writ is given to the victor. The loser (assuming they had a champion stand in their place) is punished severely for their crimes, as a means of ensuring claims are only lodged in the most serious of cases.
The League is ruled by the Emperor, however he does not govern the empire alone. Whilst the word of the Emperor is absolute, he does need to operate within the confines of the approval of Imperial Senate in many ways. The Emperor is served by a host of chancellors, scribes, secretaries, treasurers and stewards. However the ruler of the League does not have time to theorise and go over every single law or administrative task, and therefore has both the Senate and appointed officials to handle most matters.
The Senate is comprised of a single senator from each Horned House, a single senator from each Loyal Family, and a single Publican from each of the Five Great Cities. The Imperial Senate has three core functions:
- To preside over high court cases
- To create new Edicts for the empire, which the Emperor must approve
- To censure any Edict that the Emperor raises (although this is rarely done)
Beyond the Senate are the appointed officials, which are the individuals the implement all the policies, edicts and enforce rule across the empire. They can be in roles such as provincial governors or garrison commanders, or even just lowly bureaucrats.
The Military of the League
One of the biggest features of the Imperial League is their impressive army, which has made them the most dominant force in all of Taladas. The army is commonly referred to as the Legions of Eragas. The army itself is split between the legionnaires and the cavalry, who combined form up the vast bulk of the Imperial Legions. _Main article: Legions of Eragas_
Separate to the army is the Minotaur Fleet, pride of the seafaring nation of minotaurs. Where the Legions of Eragas dominate and conquer the land of Taladas, the Minotaur Fleet commands a good part of the waters around the continent. _Main article: Minotaur Fleet_
Whilst not a military unit, the League of Merchants is an important faction that has great influence and power throughout the empire. They control the distribution and shipping of goods in the entire empire, and also monitor and regulate all trade activities. They have also been known to supply ambassadors and spies for the empire, as they often travel beyond the empire into the lands of Northern Hosk, as well as into the other nations of Southern Hosk.
Provinces of the League
Cities of the League
- Fortress Drungar
- High Pass Keep
- Axeman's Tor
- Chald River
- Cletan Hills
- Darcika Woods
- Drungar Frontier
- Highvale Range
- Karpathos Bay
- Kert River
- Konim Spur
- Lenika River
- Letus River
- Lycan River
- Nicodie Forest
- Pathar Frontier
- River Sava
- River Struma
- Samos River
- Sedron's Ridge
- Sikoni Mountains
- Sitron River
- The Great Way
- Theos Hills
- Theran Hills
- Therani Forest
- Traben Mountains
- Trumas Woods
- Twin Watchers
- Vinid Frontier
- Vinid Way
- Xipus River
- Blades of the Tiger, p.3-4, 7, 37-41, 45-46, 69, 75, 236-237, 403-406
- Trail of the Black Wyrm, p.81, 85, 112, 397, 400
- Shadow of the Flame, p.24, 93
- Time of the Dragon, p.44-60
- Taladas: The Minotaurs, p.2-59