“How vast is the Empire? Well, let me put it this way: if you’ve heard about it, then brother, you’re a part of it.”
— Nerancer Okir, tiefling bard of Ibis College
The Empire has existed for as long as anyone can remember.
The seat of power is in the very center of the Imperial City, a city so vast, so wide and so complex that the continent on which its sits has long been buried under centuries of architecture from all corners of the world.
Power is divided feudally, with each member of The Circle having a number of lords that report to them, and each of those lords having their own set of rulers beneath them. This power extends far outside the Imperial City and across vast oceans, reaching out across the wilderness all the way to small, outlying communities whose loyalty to the Empire and the Emperor is perfunctory at best.
The quality of life across the Empire varies tremendously. The Circle afford their subordinates a high degree of autonomy as long as certain conditions are met. This means that someone might find a small kingdom ruled by a tyrant with an iron fist or a peaceful forest dwelling where rulership is shared among a body of councillors, but in both cases each would still ultimately answer to a ruler from the Imperial City who, in turn, answers to The Circle who, in turn, answers to the Emperor.