Fall of the Warlock Kings
Half a millennium ago, the alfar of Sylea waged war against the kobolds of Ek Acail. In this long, bitter struggle, the Syleans drew more and more of the alfar cities and settlements of the west into alliances, and building from those alliances, into a federation that opposed the strength of the Inner Sea kobold kingdoms. After the burning of Rhodain, the Syleans were able to transform this federation into something different, a more proper Empire, though one that was unlike all the others of the world. The Sylean Empire was elective, with the former rulers of the various member states, which included amond other lesser sites Sylea, Rhodain, Gerne, Ghudan, Suzaine, Lucent and for a time Ek Acail itself, gathering to elect an Imperator. This leader served as commander of their overall strength for so long as the Electors retained confidence. The first Imperator was Sylean, as was the second, but the third and many of the subsequent ones came from the various member states. Each served for a variable period: some died in office, some were killed on the battlefield or by assassins, and some were simply supplanted by a newly voted leader. A few struggled to hold onto power, or to establish a dynasty, but the Electors prevented any such efforts for so long as the Empire persisted. United in their new strength, the alfar were able to hand defeat after defeat to the kobolds; yet the Empire did not ever conquer the kobolds, only taking and holding Ek Acail for some decades, for the Electors feared to give any Emperor the power of a complete victory over their foes. The Sylean Empire continued for some three centuriesuntil the rise of the Warlock Kings began, and as Rhodain and Sylea found themselves held by the Vicars of different Far powers, their alliance broke apart. The Electors attempted to continue the Empire, but the two largest cities having become hostile to one another made this very difficult, and within a generation, though there was still an Imperator (and there remains one to the present, with no actual power), the Empire was a dead letter. Lucent drifted completely out of the orbit of the Empire in these closing days, and Ek Acail was lost forever.