Nine Key Elements of the Celegian Empire
The first and perhaps mightiest of Tebs Great Gifts, the Celegian Empire has been using turning houses for over ninety thousand years. The secret to the turning house is the permanent region of reverse gravity at its core. Since the early days turning houses have been used to pump water. In the middle deca-millenia the use of wheels became widespread. The discovery of the turning house's ability to redirect the rising and plunging fundaments led to the modern turning house, where the fundaments themselves turn and writhe in the grip of gravity, driving the mighty industry of the Empire. The true key to the might of the turning house is the fact that it offers economic self-sufficiency to every province, every oblast, every hamlet, town, village and city in the Empire, even if all the other key elements fail. If all else has collapsed, the turning houses will power our mighty Empire to primacy again, as they have done many times before.
A single wizard is a potent force, but harmonies allow many wizards to pool their auras in harmonious companionship, and thus pooled, they can act together to perform deeds far beyond what any single mortal can accomplish. The simple Mage Circle trio is the smallest harmony, and the most common. The rare Mage Circle stanza consists of nine mages, and is the largest of the simple harmonies. Since it is permanent, the stanza is tremendously valuable even today, when their power is eclipsed by the far more powerful, but temporary, Chorus Majestica. The Mage Circle Chorus Majestica, 101 mages joined together in the Five Rings and Four Resonances, is quite simply the most powerful assemblage known upon the face of Erth. Nothing can stand before a Chorus Majestica, although there are recent disturbing reports from the Frontier....
Simple in concept but nearly impossibly difficult to put into practice, Gates have become as numerous as leaves on a mighty tree in the modern Empire. Where there are Gates, there are Imperial Fortresses, the firm hand of civilization. Vastly useful, properly built Gates allow for the erasure of distance within a realm. This simple but incredible ability is the key that allows the Empire to exist at all. Without the use of gates, the Empire would be far too vast to be governed by the Peacock Throne, no matter the economic might granted by the turning houses or the magical power granted by the harmonies and Wells, or even the speed of the Ley Trains and Sedans. The Gates move the Legions, the Shining Ranks of Steel, as they march in Imperial Service, driving back the frontiers and spreading the Emperor's blessings to all the world.
The great size of the Empire would be impossible without the establishment of Realms. Each Realm is ruled by an Imperial Vocat, a regent of enormous power and absolute trust and loyalty. Each Vocat is loyal, utterly and unshakably, to the Peacock Throne and the great Emperor who sits upon it. Each Realm is divided up into Provinces, each province is ruled by an ordinate, each Realm is required to raise Legions and Provincial Armies, each Realm has its own Imperial Council, indeed, every Realm is a microcosm of the Empire in every way. As long as even a single Realm survives, the Empire is assured of continuation.
Esoteric, terrifying, and ultimately powerful, the dimensional wells into the Realm of Power are the future of Celegian might, as well as part of the foundation the Empire stands upon today. The power of the wells drives the vast weaves of magic within each realm, tempering the weather, empowering the gates, enabling the ethernet, driving the currents of the roads and ley lines, providing impulse to the sedans and drays within the cities, sparking the light stones, nourishing the wolframith plantations, heating the firecloths, opening the sky windows in our homes, and a thousand other miraculous facets of life within the Empire.
The mighty veils, born of strife and terror, have been the greatest gift to the Empire of all. Today the veils divide the vast territory of the Empire into continent-sized realms, each administered by a fair and wise Vocat. The veils serve to render the Empire safe against our enemies. The Veils separate the realms from the fallow hinterlands, and most important, the veils separate the Empire from the Frontier. If you have ever journeyed the vast distance to the Frontier and experienced the wild, uncontrolled brutishness of the barbarians in the beyond, you will understand how comforting it is to have the gently protective but utterly invincible power of the Empire shimmering behind you as you return to civilization.
The Empire has built mighty roads from the very earliest days, and for deca-millenia, those roads served well to tie the Empire together. But the creation of artificial ley lines first pioneered by Regents and later perfected by Magical Harmonies, transformed the Imperial Highways from simple avenues for foot traffic and construct-drawn drays. Today, nearly every Imperial Highway is a Ley Line, and the extremely powerful and economical Ley Ships run above them, carrying people and goods in luxury and speed all over the Empire. Even better, Ley Lines extend into almost every city, allowing Sedans and Drays to carry people and goods right into the city streets. Today, the upper floors of covillas are as easily accessible as the ground floors, thanks to sedan ports on every floor.
Developed fifteen thousand years ago, manastones are the more fundamental and versatile cousins of the ubiquitous light crystals. These simple alchemical devices empower nearly every facet of our daily lives. Empowered tools build our Empire, empowered devices clean our homes and speed our missives through the ethernet, larger manastones provide power for our Sedans and our skywindows, and smaller manastones energize our amulets, manaclasps, and iouns. Manastones allow us to store the infinite power flowing from the wells and use it when we desire it, rather than being at the mercy of access to a ley line. Manastones weapons allow us to beat back the barbarians and keep the Imperial Legions marching forward, erecting the Veils and making the world a better place for us all.
The presence of scrying devices was seen for millennia as a problem within the Empire. Bead curtains in doors and windows, drapes over windows and mirrors, oil-cloth screens in nearly every room, the quest for privacy is deeply embedded in Imperial culture. It was only with the discovery of Fire Walls that the population began to accept the ubiquity of scrying devices as a positive. With personal firewalls and home firewalls in place, privacy could be assured against commonplace scrying, and people began to realize the tremendous capacity of the Ethereal plane as a place which could not only hold objects, but images, and ideas. Today, untold billions of Imperial and Provincial citizens use the ethernet every day to scry up news events, send each other messages in a myriad of ways, and to access the collected wisdom of the Empire. Indeed, most of the teeming billions of Imperial citizens, and the far larger number of Provincials, have today seen the face of Emperor Teramon XI. This blessing is only possible because of the Ethernet. It is possible that the use of Ether may become the most important element of Imperial life!