As I continue my review of the extensive Shadow World Timeline, I’ve noted a number of prominent references that haven’t been developed in further SW books. I’ve created a list of these and will delve into them in further blogs, but today I wanted to deal with the “Empire of a Thousand Dawns”. There isn’t much to go on in the Master Atlas(s) , 11-12 mentions and 1 slight mention in Emer III, but it’s clear the the EoaTD has been around since the dawn of history and it exists in the timelines present day. 10,000 years is a very old civilization; even for Elves!
This is what the Master Atlas’s have:
Second Era c.300–471: Palia: Consolidation of much of Ran Tairi
by the Loar Elven Lord Jayled Kodorian. He names
his domain the Empire of a Thousand Dawns. (Master Atlas 4th Ed.)
Second Era c. 1000-2000 Palia: The Elven King Jayled Kodorian of Ran Tairi more-or less peacefully brings most of the city-states and rural communities
of Iylar and Erlin Elves of the archipelago under his reign.
He dubs his empire the Kingdom of a Thousand Dawns. (MA 3rd Ed.)
Second Era C.3000 – 4000 Emer: A group of Loar Elves, political refugees
from the Empire of a Thousand Dawns, sail
west from Palia. They are swept through the Shallow
Ocean and past Iyxia. Upon entering the Circular
Sea, they reach a cluster of lush islands, inhabited
only by a few scattered clans of Erlini. The
Loari settle here, naming it Námar-Tol (Iy. “verdant-
towers”). (Master Atlas 4th Ed.)
Second Era c. 4100: Palia: Many city-states in Dhuria (Iy: ‘East’) ally under
the Loari Duke Beyris Dalan and declare independence from
the Empire of a Thousand Dawns. After a number of skirmishes
and several negotiation sessions, Emperor Kodorian agrees to
allow Dhuria some autonomy in return for keeping it part of
the Empire. (MA 3rd Edition)
Third Era Winter 6049. Palia: Princess Maris Kodorian of the Empire of
a Thousand Dawns unwittingly befriends a Sister
of the Steel Rain. (Master Atlas 4th Ed.)
Third Era Fall 6049: Palia: The Vulth Horde consolidates its hold on
Vulth-torgu and—using ships seized from their
victims there—begin raiding along the northeast
shores of Dhuria in the Empire of a Thousand
Dawns. Loari nobles call for aid from the
So where exactly can we find The Empire?
Dhuria: [Tropical/Rainy–Humid] Erlini, Thesians,
Eritari (Mixed economies/Monarchy/TL:5-6).
Dhuria is heavily forested with scattered feudal
city-states mostly along the coast and major rivers.
It is part of the Empire of a Thousand Dawns.
Ran Tairi: [Tropical–Temperate/Rainy–Seasonal]
Erlini, Loari, Iylari (Mixed economies/Monarchy/
The heart of the Empire of a Thousand Dawns,
this island is a mix of forests and rolling hills
with many fertile fields. While there are few
true cities, there are many small towns huddled
around fortified castles. King Rænedor rules
from the ancient city of Ketharia.
Dalov Ram: [Tropical–Temperate/Humid–Seasonal] Loari, Erlini
(Mixed economies/Feudal Monarchy/TL: 5-6)
Part of the Empire of a Thousand Dawns, Dalov Ram is similar
in many ways, with many dense forests broken by Loari fortified
manors and villages.
Dalov Cor: [Tropical/Rainy–Humid] Erlini, Jineri,
Eritari, Sulini (Mixed economies/Clan/TL: 3).
Also part of the Empire of a Thousand Dawns,
Dalov Cor is almost entirely forested and inhabited
by the more rustic Elves and their half-
Ketharia: Capital of the Empire of a Thousand
Dawns, it is an ancient fortified city and trade port.
The Elven-king resides in a massive palace built
into the mountainside overlooking the city.
A Loremaster from the Empire of a Thousand Dawns:
Age: 150 (immortal; appears 20) Eyes: Dark Blue.
Hair: Pale blond/curly. Build: Slender. Height:
6’6″. Race/Sex: Linær/M. Skin: Fair. Demeanor:
Gentle, quiet. Dress: Simple black and grey traveling
clothes. True Attitude: Sensitive, intelligent.
Home: Dalov Ram, Empire of a Thousand Dawns.
The only mention in books other than Master Atlas’s in Emer III on page 6:
To the east across the Crystal Sea is the land of Dalov
Cor. While a part of the Elven Empire of a Thousand
Dawns, this region is heavily wooded and only sparsely
inhabited by Erlin Elves who have little interest in seafaring.
So what do we make of all this?
First, the Empire was founded in 200SE or basically the beginning of “known history” immediately after the Interregnum.
Fugitives from the Empire founded Namor-tol!
It’s a collection of islands and lands in Palia that are around tech level 5-6, led by a “Elven-King” (also referred to as an Emperor).
The society seems mostly rural with fortresses, fortified cities and villages with few “true cities”. Basically standard FRP stuff.
The current King is Rænedor, his daughter is Princess Maris Kodorian which implies that Raendor is a descendant of the Empire’s founder, Jayled Kodorian.
The country is currently under attack by the “Vulth Horde” and there appears to be an “Imperial Fleet” that has been called upon to help.
In my mind, there is a lot of mixed messaging going on. Despite it’s immense age and longevity, the Empire sounds rural and standard tech level (medieval to early renaissance), but there is an implication of a more Imperial nature to the country. In my own campaign, The Empire of a Thousand Dawns’ history is intertwined with Ulya Shek the Black Dragon. It’s unlikely that Palia will ever be fleshed out, but I wonder if more could be done with this Empire. Has anyone introduced The Empire of a Thousand Dawns in their campaigns?
5 thoughts on “Shadow World Timeline Dive: The “Empire of a Thousand Dawns”.”
One of my players created an elven Loar magician that hailed from here.
We didn’t use his origins much, but it was supposed to be some aggressive/slightly xenophobic continent wide reign of elves.
I think some adventure or other implied helping some lord or town from the empire, in exchange for help with the big bad in the campaign.
We decided that there is a local language called Tausen.
I have a new interest in them, regarding… Folenn
I can’t find it now, but I think something I read in the Bladestorm sourcebook made me decide that the shuluri on the northwest would be more fitting as Loar from the Empire.
I read through all of it to prepare for a short high level campaign, we did 1 adventure, then haven’t played in the last 5 months (insert your favorite complain-cry emoji-meme)
So I’m sure there was to be a connection, and from the text in Bladestorm it was perfect to have the Empire as technologically advanced enough to have sent some troops and establish a foothold on Folenn, without advertising it too much.
We just haven’t played in so long I can’t seem to have clear enough notes about that idea, but I’d be willing to know about your take on that seed.
I think I have a similar take as yours. I see Empire/Palia as a bit like Israel–a refuge for all types of Elves, a bit militant (every citizen has some training like Israel or Switzerland) with a competent naval fleet. I thought they needed some mcguffin to provide some overall protection, but a bit different than the standard artifact or Illsari Stone. If you have checked out my SW Channeling Handbook, the Elvish head of the Scions in Palia is in a “dispute” with the mortal head in Ediolon:
“The highest priest of Kuor is known as the Elder Scion, although that title is in dispute between two individuals: the Laan Elder Scion in Sel-Kai, and the Iylar Elder Scion in Palia.”
So being the head of the Church of Orhan provides the Empire with a lot of clout.
oh, and I’ve never really tackled the “bladestorm” problem in my campaign. I just see it as a different setting that doesn’t fit into SW.
I built my campaign to involve exploration of Folenn and so incorporated the Empire of a Thousand Dawns as the starting point and I made them a strongly imperialist power and the player characters were all forced conscripts in the military helping put down the rebellion of the Vulth Horde. I flipped some basic FRP stuff on it’s head and said all the PCs has to be of races considered “evil” in the world, and the “good” races were actually mostly imperial colonists with a bent towards destruction of non-“good” races.