Narin was once the greatest empire in all of Gradia. The lands Narin claimed as its own stretched at one time from the Lorimar Sea in the south as far north as Thalarion, and from the sea to the east as far west as Illyria.
Narin has always been an enterprising and imperialistic country, and there have been several reigns of the Empire of Narin. The capital of Narin is Narinth, on the Anandies river, to the south of the forked tounge of the Griffonpeak Mountains.
The history of Narin streches back to the very dawn of human history during the Age of Light, when the forests began receding from the sea. Nestled between the Griffonpeak Mountains to the north, and the Anandies river to the south, the land of Narin was the fertile and rainy home of one of the very first nations of Man.
The First Empire
The first reign of the Empire of Narin is defined by historians to begin with reign of King Arlor II of Narin. At the age of 16, Arlor led the armies of Narin first against the human settlements south of the Anandies river, and then against other settlements north of the mountains. Arlor claimed that Narin was the original kingdom of Man, and that all men owed fealty to him. After a long and successful campaign, Arlor returned to Narinth for good 10 years later, and proclaimed himself Emperor. His empire comprised of everything west of the Griffonpeak Mountains, east to the Forest of Eindonallan, and north to Greade.
Arlor's coronation as Emperor marks year 0 of the Imperial Arlian Calendar.
The Age of War
The First Empire was relatively peaceful and prosporus for over 300 years. Financial pressure on the Empire began growing around the year 324 IA, and by 363 IA the newly-crowned Emperor Riran I caved in to pressure from the Senate to allow Narin nobles to keep their own standing defense forces against the growing number of Orc raids and settlers.
Being hit the hardest by the Orc insurgence, Narin focused much of its military might on defending central Narin when the main Orc assault came, leaving lands to the south and north to fend for themselves. Lands to the west were protected, as Narin successfully held back the Orc advances, but by 481 IA Narin had lost much ground, and Corin and Illyria had proclaimed their independance. Narin, still struggling to rid its lands of Orc control, was in no shape to stop the seceeding states.
The Second Empire
Unable to retake Corin, Narin instead turned its militry eyes north to Illyria and Greade once the damage done by the Orcs had faded. In the year 562 IA, Narin elite soldiers captured the fortress of Nyrdall on the north side of the Anandies Pass through the Griffonpeak Mountains. Using this fortress as a jumping-off point, Narin's armies began a five-year campaign to retake their former lands to the north.
After re-conquering Illyria and Greade, Narin did not attempt any firther expansion for well over 300 years. In 910 IA, against the opposition of the Narin Senate, Emperor Turest III launched an unexpected invasion of Corin. Mysteriously, Corin's military was unable to organize itself, and Narin easily overcame the defending forces. During the final days of the invasion, however, conflicts in Illyria and Greade gave way to open rebellion, and with its armies spread too thin, Narin lost control of both Corin as well as its northern territories.
Narin itself is ruled by the Emperor and the Imperial Senate. Which of these entities has wielded more political power in the Empire has changed a number of times throughout history.
Emperor of Narin
The Emperor of Narin nominally has absolute power over the empire. The office or institution of the Emperor of Narin is often referred to as "The Dahlia Throne", after the famed imperial flower gardens and their use decorating the emperor's throne. The flower has come to symbolize the office, and appears on the personal crest of the emperor.
Succession of the position of Emperor of Narin is not hereditary, rather, a new emperor is appointed by the Imperial Senate after the death or abdication of the previous emperor. The senate's choice of emperor then has to be approved by the Heirophant of the Church of Narin.
The Imperial Senate of Narin is comprised of nobles from all regions of central Narin, as well as representative nobles from select imperial provinces. Which provinces are granted seats in the senate, and how many they are given, is decided by the emperor and is often used as a reward for loyal provincial governments.
While the Emperor of Narin has absolute power, only the Imperial Senate can actually make permanent laws. In practice, however, the emperor's decrees are often indistinguishable from permanent laws, sometimes overturning decisions of the senate.
Church of Narin
The official church of the empire is the Imperial Orthodox Church of Narin. The church is basically an arm of the imperial government, often wielding more power than the Imperial Senate.
Despite having a powerful state religion, other religious views are tolerated within the empire - especially the individual worship of gods that are also members of the church pantheon. With the exception of foreign dignitaries, however, followers of other religions are not afforded most of the protections under the law that other imperial citizens enjoy.