The Celestial Empire of California was once seen as a land of stability and harmony, but has since fallen into war and division. The great Empire of California, which once ruled almost all of the west coast, has been divided into six warring kingdoms. The Emperor is now a figurehead, with only the old imperial capital of Sacramento still listening to his demands. The six kingdoms each desire to control the emperor, and maybe one day restore the Empire to it's former glory.
The Empire of California was founded in the year 2421 by Elton 'the Lawgiver" Yudkow. The first Yudkow emperor was a political genius; he expanded the empire, established the authority of the empire, and managed to organize the many philosophies of the region into a religion centered around the imperial throne. The next few Yudkow kings expanded on the first emperor's work, and turned California into a sprawling empire that stretched from Baja to the fringes of Cascadia.
The Green Sash Uprising
In the twentieth year of the Brave and Sixth Filial Emperor, Hetch Yudkow the First, the Imperial Court ordered the grand coalition to pacify the northern Cascades. The heretic-Queen Ellen had defiantly refused Imperial commands, and she posed a direct threat to Imperial authority in the Northern Protectorate. This would be the climax of the Northern campaigns - the general Kirk Gable had been stationed awaiting imperial orders, and the Emperor personally took command of the campaign, leading the vanguard forward to the frontlines.
The campaign ended in disaster. Our Brave and Filial Emperor, while in the midst of a great battle, was struck by one of the tree-dwellers weapons - his leg caved in and his ability to fight on the front forever destroyed, the Emperor ordered the frontlines guarded and retreated to the eastern capital. The wound had come as a great shock to the great Emperor - for days he insisted it was a minor wound and would soon heal, but as time went on his attempts at walking grew more pained and his moods often turned darker and darker, until he found solace in gifts of Valleyan wines. After his impairment, he grew more interested in drink and idle fancy rather than governance, relegating many of his traditional tasks and responsibilities to courtiers and his Governatus. Thus began the many excesses of the Bureaucracy.
The Governatus, Jeff Madonna, had envisioned this as a chance to cement his authority, and he ordered his most loyal into positions of governance over the various prefectures of our Celestial Empire. In the following scores of years, courtiers abused their power, as the local despots levied exorbitant taxes, seized property, pillaged coffers, and violated the common folk. The Northern Protectorate was left isolated, as attacks from the followers of the Tree increased tenfold. The Governatus ruled that the Protectorate was less important than the empire itself, and eventually, Kirk Gable and his men abandoned their stations, fleeing southward to guard the northernmost border of the empire. Thus, the imperial roads in the north were abandoned, and Gaian pilgrimages to the Redwoods increased in intensity and in fervor, as many Druids began claiming of revelations from the Earth.
One of these visionaries, who called himself "The General of Gaia", claimed that the Brave and Sixth Filial Emperor would perish soon, from a fall caused by his wound. None believed him, and all were in shock when, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign, the Sixth Filial Emperor fell down the entrance to the Imperial Hall - a fall no doubt caused by his wound. Overnight, political squabble overtook the imperial court, as factions fought to push their favored prince to inherit. The Bear Throne sat empty for a week, as the struggle grew more intense. Finally, the Prefect of the Motherlode, Will Steely, crushed his opponents, including the former Governatus. With his rule secure, the new Governatus placed forth the prince Chad, the Steward of the Northern Palace and Emperor Hetch's fourth son, on the throne. Emperor Chad, now known to many as "the Boneless", ruled from behind a screen, as he delegated tasks to the Governatus and his ensemble while he immersed himself in indulgent amorous activities with his youthful consort, Empress Amanda.
As the realm slid further into chaos, disasters struck - the raids from the north increased, the ground shook asunder, and crops failed for five years on end. The citizenry struggled on the verge of starvation and death as the bellies of the officials grew wider. As the ability of the court decreased, the duties of the prefects and officials increased. One official in particular, James Gearhart, had been zealously promoting a tithe on the Gaian processions, which he felt had now overwhelmed the Redwoods. Many of those who conducted the pilgrimages refused to pay the tithe - dissidence turned into anger when pilgrims were seized at random by James' order, and the area grew unstable with contempt for the court. In the fourteenth year of Emperor Chad, James Gearhart, angered at the lack of tithes, decided to force the pilgrims to pay, and punish those who refused. Sources are unclear on what followed exactly afterward - but by the end of the day, thousands of pilgrims lay dead among the burning remains of the Great Redwood trees. The very symbol of the Celestial Empire was laid ablaze, and the empire itself was responsible.
The General of Gaia, who had made himself untraceable since his prophecy regarding the Brave Emperor, appeared once more, urging the common masses of the North to rise in revolt. With the cry of the Redwoods, dissidents began turning to rebels, shouting out that "Old is the heaven and necessary are the changes". The General bided his time, growing his following from a few social outcasts to many thousands within a year. Finally, he announced to all his followers - "In the Fifteenth Year, all is auspicious".
Thus it was, that, at the beginning of the fifteenth year of the Emperor, 2611 AD (American Dating), large droves of people, who had long been abused and extorted, began to rise up in rebellion. Thousands upon thousands of the starved and disaffected began to take arms against the court, waving their green sashes high. The uprising seized and razed the offices and homes of local authorities, killed Imperial officials and captured city after city. The revolt spread like wildfire, and within five days the entirety of the Northern prefectures had fallen, as the court was shocked to the point of inaction. An emergency meeting of the court was declared, as the various armies of the empire were too scattered about to effectively respond. With urging of the Governatus Steely, the Emperor lifted one of the laws that the Emperor Lawgiver had laid down - that no prefect or governor may raise their own army. He ordered the prefects and governors of the realm to recruit from their citizenry and fight the rebellion, as more joined the cause of the rebels.
One of these new rebels, Yuk Kuan-Yin, had been a nobleman - he became increasingly convinced of zeal for his faith, and rose up with the followers of the Sacred Heart in Baja to overwhelm the province. Within six months, most of the empire had been conquered - but the rebels had a major weakness, as they no longer shared a common ideology or goal. Rebellion infighting became common, and the divided rebels were easily put to the sword by the might of the Empire. In an epic showdown outside of Reno, Kirk Gable slew The General of Gaia, who promised his followers before his death that he shall return as a champion of the Earth-Goddess. Yuk Kuan-Yin was slain by the Prefect Caballero, and the few remaining rebels ran to the hills.
With the rebellion crushed, the Empire should have experienced prosperity, but problems immediately arose. During the rebellion, Prefectures were permanently lost to barbarian forces - as the Eastern Protectorate was abandoned, Yimby soldiers took over the Grand City of Vegas, and in the north, the Paiute lord Tagotoka claimed his own revelation. What's more, the victorious Prefects began turning on one another. In these battles, the Governatus was slain - but his daughter, Ann Steely, quickly consolidated the rest of the Valley and had the Emperor proclaim her as Governatus of the realm.
Warlords and Rebels
Frederick Reisman was slain at the hands of the Governatus, Susan Ann. While Kirk Gable attempted to hold the northern prefectures together through the breakdown of Imperial authority, several prefects rose up led by Prefect Elias Gearheart, declaring "The empire has fallen and the people of Jefferson must not cling to its corpse." While most in the northern lands held this sentiment at least privately, Kirk Gable refused to abandon the Emperor. In truth many of his allies were more loyal to Kirk than the Emperor, but they followed him regardless. Kirk mustered an army to put down this rebellion as he did with the Green Sash. For some lords, the news of Kirk moving to stop them was enough to shatter their morale, but others, including Lord Gearheart, persisted either out of ambition or genuine belief in their cause. These men were eventually vanquished in the battle of the Ukiah, where Kirk caught the rebels marching south in an attempt to seek aid from Goldin Moore. Kirk's veteran army made short work of the prefect's hastily raised men. In yet another show of mercy, Kirk allowed the armies of the rebels to disperse and return home, so long as the rebel lords submitted. Lord Gearheart was amongst those who bowed, though a few did notably resist and were executed before Kirk returned to Reno. With the defeat of the last militant rebels and the death of the General of Gaia, Kirk Gable set about pacifying the northern prefectures, as there was still great discontent amongst the populace. While they no longer took up arms against Imperial forces, the common folk still held sympathies to the Green Sash. Kirk desired no more blood from the men and women of Jefferson, and so set out to peacefully pacify them. He personally declared his protection of Gaian pilgrims and even paid a large sum of his own wealth to help regrow the great forests that had been damaged in the violence. This greatly endeared him to the people of Jefferson, the man who had once been reviled throughout the Gaian community as the murderer of their savior over time became seen as not only a good and kind leader but one who respected the ways of the Gaian faithful. When he declared his intention to marry his young son to a daughter of the Duke of Willamette, Gaians across the realm rejoiced. Kirk Gable became the ruler of Jefferson in all but name, prefects looked to him to guide them, his soldiers patrolled the roads and cities, and many hoped the Emperor would name him Grand Prefect of Jefferson. Unfortunately, things did not progress so smoothly in the rest of the Empire...
Socal survived the Green Sash Rebellion particularly intact - the Imam Yassir ordered his men to safeguard the various passes and roads leading to the urban centers. In the battle of Descanso, where a Green Sash battalion under the orders of Yuk Kuan-Yin attempted to cross into Socal, a commander distinguished himself by laying an ambush for the rebels. David Carmine, as he was named, was recognized by the Imam for this deed, and Imam Yassir made him the commander of Socal's armies. David Carmine marched forth and shattered Green Sash rebels at Tejon, using the pass to rain hellfire on the rebels who crossed below. With the borders of Socal secured, Imam Yassir named David the Prefect of Pendleton and Protector of San Diego - the most prestigious title under the Governor of the province. Tragedy struck the Imam - his wife, and the mother of his son Yunus, had died following a sudden illness. After the mourning period passed, David arranged a marriage between his daughter, Seneca, and the Imam. While the celebrations occurred, David Carmine marched forth with the armies of Socal once more, this time ending the ambitions of the warlord Wilford Burnett, who had attempted to invade Obispo. David's campaigns earned him much loyalty from the soldiers of Socal. Later, David died a natural death - but his son, William, inherited his title and rank, and the loyalty of all of David's followers. Seneca soon gave birth to a son, Salim.
With the rebellion largely put down in the Valley, The Governatus, Will Steely, made attempts to quell the ambitions of the various victorious prefects. He sent messengers in the name of the emperor, awarding them with rank and wealth, and for those who did not lay down their arms, he sent threats. When the Count of Yolo, Jacob Ryder, refused to submit to him, an assassin was dispatched, and Jacob's head was presented to The Governatus. The Prefect of the North, Malthus Hartfeld, rose up in revolt against The Governatus. He propagated that Will Steely had used the powers of his office to curtail the Emperor, abuse the common folk, and seize the wealth of the land urging the other lords of the land to join him in his quest. His decisions had remained controversial - many had blamed the revolt on him and his decisions as Governatus, and now, with his rank more secure at the cost of the peace of the realm, he had made many enemies. They too joined Malthus Hartfeld in his war to restore Imperial Authority. The Governatus marched forth with his troops, restoring order. After quick campaigns around the North Valley, including a fierce battle at Colusa, the Governatus was once more secure in his position, having slain Malthus and exiling his son. He placed the son of a loyal retainer, Richard Winkler, as the Prefect of the North Valley. However, the Central and Southern Valley remained out of his grasp, as did the rest of California. He amassed his forces and marched into Mariposa, where he was laid upon in ambush by Amber Colbart, the Countess of the area. Here, despite his attempts at facing off the enemy, the Governatus was slain, and with him, most of his loyal retainers. The Imperial Court was thrown into disarray, as the Valley dissolved into chaos. Will Steely's sole child, Susan Ann, was quickly raised by her father's remaining supporters as his heir, and she set out from her base in the Motherlode to crush the remaining dissidents. Richard Winkler submitted peacefully - the others, including Amber Colbart, were met with the fury of the Fist, and none remained who opposed her hegemony in the Valley. When she entered the Imperial Palace, armed and flanked by soldiers, the Emperor Chad willingly granted her the rank and prestige of Governatus, ensuring her domain over the realm.
In the court of Gran Francisco, Prefect Chen Daoming did what he could to stem the tide of the rebellion, but he was a lanky and near-sighted scholar who had spent his time working to improve the lands he governed, he had no experience in leading soldiers, and knew he would be unsuitable for the task. He had hoped to appoint a competent prefect to lead in his stead but internal squabbles kept arising, the prefects were too busy arguing who would lead the armies to actually quell the rebellion, and Chen's attempts to broker some semblance of peace with the rebels continually failed to bear fruit. " A solution was proposed by Chen's Seneschal, Goldin Moore, who suggested that the position be put to a vote amongst the leading prefectures of the area. Through a campaign of bribery and Blackmail, Goldin himself was elected nigh-unanimously to be placed in charge of the Bayfolk armies. Despite his lack of military experience, Goldin proved to be an adept administrator (and very good at delegating command to minor lords who were good commanders with little influence) and successfully put down the rebels in Wineland and Salinas. This led to the prefects of the Bay to see Goldin Moore as the leader who led them through the crisis, and Chen's influence at court gradually diminished as Goldin refused to relinquish command of his new armies. Shortly after the death of David Carmine, Goldin called a grand council of San Francisco where he asked the prefects to name him "Lord Protector of the Bay" and the new prefect of Goldengate. Chen was powerless to oppose the united force of Goldin's loyalists and was removed from power. As Chen and those loyal to him sped away to Sacramento to warn the Emperor, the Governatus, Susan Ann Steely, seized Yolo county from Goldin's domains. Goldin began amassing his forces for war.
Dramatic changes began to unfold quickly in Socal. Imam Yassir was struck with an illness the likes of which has never been seen before and died a sudden death. His grief-stricken widow, Seneca, was appointed regent over her stepson, Imam Yunus. Though she was not his biological mother, the two were very close, and Seneca treated Yunus like her own son, Salim. However, her brother, General William Carmine, Prefect of Pendleton and Protector of San Diego, rushed to the court, and in a dramatic turn of events, marched into Balboa, unseating the young Yunus, and placing his nephew Salim on the throne, claiming loudly that Salim was Yassir's desired heir. Though Salim was her own child, Seneca refused to submit to her brother's actions, and she was swept aside out of the political situation entirely. She organized Yunus' escape from her brother, and Yunus was first taken to Los Angeles, and then to Orange, where he regrouped with loyal retainers. Less than a year into Salim's reign, the infant died in his sleep, along with his mother, Seneca. General William Carmine loudly mourned the deaths of his sister and nephew, and then unveiled a will - the final order of Salim - which granted Socal and its domains to William. None protested, as William had taken steps to ensure loyal followers would be with him, and William, in the year 2622 AD (American Dating), in the 26th year of the Seventh Filial Emperor, Chad Yudkow, proclaimed himself King. This violated the law laid by the Lawgiver that there shall be no Kings in the realm, but the Governatus, Susan Ann Steely, declined to prosecute William for his offense, viewing the opportunity as a means to gain an advantage for her own ambitions.
To the far south of the empire, Prefect Esteban del Caballero reacted quickly to the uprising in his territory. Before rising to become a Prefect, he had been a military commander and while his days of defending Hoover Dam from barbarian raids were long gone, his skill at strategy remained. When the Green Sashes rose up in his lands, he was temporarily forced to retreat up to Socal, where he fought alongside the armies of Imam Yassir. Once Yuk Kuan-Yin was defeated in Tejon, Esteban pursued him southwards, liberating Baja as he went. Eventually Yuk was slain outside of Baja Sur and Esteban reclaimed the last of Baja. The losses were great but Baja had been saved. It was on his way back to Mexicali that Esteban received word of William Carmine proclaiming himself king, as well as the deaths of Yassir and Salim. Esteban knew that the empire could ill afford lords naming themselves kings, and that it would likely tear apart the Empire, but his losses were too great to force the Carmines to stand down, and he was isolated from any allies he could have sought. So Esteban relied not on the sword, but the pen. In a letter sent to the Emperor, Esteban acknowledged that he lacked the ability to save the empire, and offered to protect the Imperial court if they relocated to Ensenada, which would be given to Emperor Chad as his new Court. This offer enraged the Governatus who saw it to be a bare-faced power grab intending to place the Emperor at the mercy of a Warlord. It was ordered that all envoys and officials from Baja were to be expelled, and so Esteban received his reply not in words but in actions. The Emperor would remain isolated in Sacramento. Cut off from the north by the new Kingdom of Socal, and faced with Barbarians across the gulf, Esteban declared himself as King of Baja in order to consolidate his realm and defend the people he could reach.
As news of the chaos from the south reached Kirk Gable, he quickly set about raising armies to reassert Imperial authority, but one morning did not rise from his bed in Reno. The servants found his body cold and lifeless, and the physician who examined him concluded that the prospect of the empire he had fought so long for collapsing was too much for his heart. Regardless of the cause of his death, the lords of Jefferson were left leaderless, until Marilyn Thielsen, the Gaian lady that was to be married to young Quentin Gable took charge. She declared her betrothed King of Jefferson and herself the Queen and set about consolidating her reign. Marilyn was the daughter of the duke of Williamette and had spent years amongst the court of Kirk, where she established connections to many powerful nobles. While there were rumors she was tied to the infamous Bohemian club, such hearsay was dismissed out of hand once she came to power. The Gaians rallied to Marilyn's cause, and many common folks remembered Kirk fondly enough to accept his son as their King, but several lords remained loyal to the empire and declared Marilyn to be a traitor. She took the armies meant to save the empire and used them to crush those who would oppose her. Quentin (who would later come to be known as "The Unready") came of age shortly after she quelled the last loyalists and the two were married in a great ceremony in Reno. While Marilyn formally relinquished her power to her new husband, she was his leading advisor and the commander of his armies. Their union bore a son, Stanford, who had both the blood of Gaian lords and the beloved Kirk Gable. With their position strong, Jefferson established itself as yet another warlord state.
As changes occurred throughout the realm, the Goldengate was experiencing its own events. Goldin led his army and surprised all, marching southwards as opposed to Yolo, with the intention of "Bringing the traitorous 'king' of Socal to justice." Goldin's armies captured Obispo quickly, and Goldin received an envoy from the Carmine king shortly thereafter. It is unclear what the terms of peace exactly were, but the next day the Socalian armies ended their march to take back Obispo, ceding it to the Bayfolk. When Goldin returned to San Francisco he held a great ceremony which ended in him crowning himself king of Gran Francisco. Thus fell the lands of the Bay. Cut off from all sides, the Paiute lords of the Valley of Death declared themselves their own kingdom, though none around them regard them as significant enough to acknowledge. With all of the empire effectively contesting her rule, Governatus Susan Ann Steely proclaimed herself queen of the Valley, and, ten years later, in the forty-first year of his reign, the Seventh Filial Emperor, Chad Yudkow, died comatose in his sleep.
The Mad Prophet
Tavibo Tagötöka, as he is known, first entered the records as a minor Paiute tribal warrior in the lands of the Northern Protectorate, then under the control of the General Kirk Gable. Unlike most of the northern barbarians, Tavibo took great interest in the teachings of the Emperor. He was once sent by the chief of his tribe, Wovoka, to the eastern Imperial Capital, Sacramento, where he supposedly made acquaintance with the scholars of the realm. Later, he would become the chief of his tribe. He and his tribe would eventually cast away their old beliefs and embrace Enlightenment, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the Emperor. Tavibo proved to be quite passionate about Cetic thought, and began his earnest adoration regarding the legends of The First Emperor The Lawgiver. While his tribe was relatively minor amongst the many barbarians of the north, Tavibo's zeal earned him close connections with the northern Prefects. These ties allowed him to wield much more influence than his paltry tribe could have mustered militarily. Over time Tavibo would consolidate his power and expand his tribe to control much of the Northern Basin. Given his loyalty to the Empire, he was largely allowed to expand uncontested, quelling other more defiant barbarians. This decentralization of authority allowed Tavibo to gain his strength as chaos began to emerge in the land and traitors to the realm rebelled against the Imperial Court and its institutions. With the death of the General Kirk Gable and the collapse of Imperial Order, our fair Governatus, the Queen Susan Ann Steely, began to restore order across the Central lands, subjugating criminals and wrongdoers in the name of the Emperor. Here, an interesting anecdote arises - Tavibo, now lord of a large domain, which he called "The Great Northern Basin", offered a proposal of marriage to the then-unmarried Governatus. How arrogant of him to assume she would marry a barbarian, no matter how vast his realm? She's a Californian girl, unforgettable and undeniable, and she ignored his proposal completely. For his credit, Tavibo humbled his ambition in this regard and married one of his own, siring three children with her. As order restored and the Empire consolidated control over the Valley, the traitorous Prefects who had taken the mantle of Kingship lay at all corners of the realm, and the self-proclaimed King of the Valley of Death, who in fact was a Paiute lord, was approached by Tavibo for an offered alliance - Tavibo supposedly spoke about the Empire and protecting the Emperor, but the rebel-Prefect refused this offer, seemingly content with his lands, replying back about the threat to his south, ruled by the rebel-Carmine house. Tavibo disappears from records here for a period of time, despite the best efforts of our Governatus, who had been interested in monitoring this barbarian ever since this attempted contact.
He reappears a few years later, proclaiming himself "The High Chief" and claiming to be the loyal vassal of the Emperor. He began preaching a philosophy that contained radical and rebellious sentiments. In truth it is difficult to fully ascertain Tavibo's intentions, there are many tales of how he wished to emulate The Lawgiver and unite the faiths of the Pacific. Some say he intended to go even farther and pervert the teachings of the Emperor to justify some new faith of his own creation, a grave accusation that borders on the unthinkable. Others call him a misguided barbarian who wished to create a new way under his Guruship. It is only the second of these theories which makes any sort of sense, for how could one hope to build a more perfect philosophy than what has already been laid out by the Gurus and protected by our Empire! The truest question is whether this attempt was born of some misguided zeal or a more cynical desire. After the collapse of the Imperial Authority, Tavibo's connections with the Prefects he had met meant very little, and he found himself surrounded by barbarians who wanted nothing more than to further the death of the Empire. His tribe was undoubtedly in a poor position, and he needed some way to unite them in order to survive. Did he attempt to inspire his people with zeal or was it an attempt to establish himself as a spiritual leader in order to further his ambitions? For all of Tavibo's writings, he left no indication of why he embarked on the path he did. It, however, is safe to assume that Tavibo thought of himself as some sort of successor to House Yudkow, despite his claims otherwise. In one of his speeches, overheard by an agent dispatched by our Governatus, he all declares himself as such. "Elton's empire has fallen, and chaotic traitors tear Heaven asunder. It will soon be time for one more worthy to reclaim the Empire in the name of The Lawgiver." Tavibo made overtures to the rebels around him to join him on his Holy Quest - for he viewed it as nothing else - and to "rid the Empire of Falsehood." Brave and true Californians, no matter how treacherous, all ignored his proposals - but many barbarian lords rallied to Tavibo and joined him in his ambitions. A fatal mistake occurs here - rather than take him for the threat he was, the various lords and ladies of the Empire ignored the Mad Paiute, who was climbing his way through the intrigues of the Cowl. A clenched Fist should have been the immediate response, or maybe that of the Shrewd Cowl, but certainly not that of the Dove, which was extended to him until his ambition knew no boundaries. Tavibo's Rebellion At It's Height
With his position at home reinforced by his new teachings, Tavibo launched a campaign southwards in what he called "A war of liberation against the warlords who hold the Emperor captive" (though it is much more likely Tavibo wanted the Emperor under his control to acknowledge his new teachings and to solidify his rule.) This act caught the rebel-Kingdom of Jefferson off guard. As the Northernmost warlord state, they were the first line of defense against the northern barbarians, but Tavibo had been long considered an ally and so when his army marched into Black Rock not even the shrewd rebel-Queen Marilyn Thielsen was prepared. Despite their inferior training and equipment, Tavibo's men fought with unnatural zeal and overran the sparse garrisons of Nevada. Queen Marilyn raised an army in Reno to personally crush Tavibo. While she was successful in pushing Tavibo back from Black Rock, his barbarians continued to strike at the Jeffersonian army, bleeding it slowly while the barbarians seemingly only grew in numbers. King Quentin grew tired of the stalemate and sent overtures to Tavibo, inviting him to join Quentin in a host southwards to spread their rebellion and capture the Emperor, but the rebel Quentin suddenly perished before an envoy could be sent, leaving his son Stanford king. Marilyn once again assumed regency, and sent a letter to the Governatus, Susan Ann Steely, acknowledging her rule as Governatus and asking for her assistance in crushing Tavibo as he was a threat to not only Jefferson but the Valley as well.
That month, seven thousand Valleyan soldiers marched across the Sierra Nevadas to reinforce the Jeffersonian army, and together they beat Tavibo's hoard back, striking his camp in the dead of the night. In the Battle of the Shattered Elk, the barbarians were cut down and slaughtered. No mercy was given for their transgression was so great. The Mad Tagötöka himself was caputred and executed by the rebel-Queen Marilyn. With their Prophet slain, the Governatus, may she reign for five thousand years, split his nascent state into three, giving each portion to one of his children. She ensured that the Tagötöka clan would never rise again, and that the Mad Barbarian's heretic faith would die with him. Very few continued to follow Tavibo's teachings, instead returning whatever faith they held before. His own children could not agree on any one central doctrine and so schismed as well. Tavibo's dream died with him and the victorious Californians returned home knowing that they had not only won a great victory over barbarians but also protected the Emperor and the entire Cetic philosophy from the whims of a mad radical.
A series of incompetent rulers have shattered the Empire’s prosperity into disarray. Once the dust settled, 5 independent kingdoms - Gran Francsisco, Baja, Socal, The Valley, and Jefferson - had emerged in California and left the emperor effectively powerless outside the palace walls in Sacramento. As a "figurehead emperor", the emperor lacks any real physical power while remaining the head of the Cetic religion. There is little he can do.
In this situation, would it be possible for a Yudkow emperor to restore the empire to its former glory? Or has the Mandate of Heaven already spoken?
Tales of Pre Imperial California
By: Abraham “Ludacris” Johnson
Accounts taken from various tales, local stories, documents, accounts and documents analyzed at Halls of San Francisco and published in 3300 AD
Pre Imperial California….20??-2055 to 2430
Throughout recent history California was to only have been under one hegemony that being the Celestial Californian Empire, but as it’s true that “The Lawgiver” united the Realm under one banner, California had already had the tools necessary and the sense of unity needed to come together. For years California was a disorganized realm of multiple City states, Counties, and even Duchies that matched old borders from the past. Before Jeffersonian culture arose it was simply part of the Valleyan culture. Bayfolk is probably the oldest having resembled more of the older culture of the “Bay Area” as it was called by Californians in the past. Socal to the south had always been seen by their northern neighbors as an infusion of warped valleyan culture and the high life and urban rush and love of the arts shared by the Bayfolk. In fact Socal or “Angelenos” in fact see themselves as the most influential part of the Californian Nobility being that the estates inhabitants in “Hollywood,” and “Palm Springs” had relics of what people perceived to be Pre-Event legends, scholars, and heroes. Though the big one was that the most prestigious of these people held this relic called: “Oscar.” Now the Bayfolk unlike the rest of California and beyond up north were known not only to be: 10x more populous, Higher level of intelligence, higher literacy within the common population on at times a near mythical level, as well as dominating the Commercial life along the entire West Coast, but in fact the Bayfolk using their extensive knowledge and wealth was able to rediscover a key fact: All the original Capitals with the exception of Sacramento was in the Bay Area or on the Coast. They spread this news like wildfire and by 2100AD they were gearing up to unite a coalition and claim the throne the Throne of the Bear Republic. Except the Bay area fell into Conflict with one another before they could mount what would’ve been the largest and most advanced army seen in all of America up to that date. However they did the only plausible thing that all Californian realms did for years now: Go to Sacramento and hold a meeting with all of the leaders, scholars, and religious heads in the Bear Republic Palace in Sacramento and settle the issue. Which comes to the next interesting facets of Pre-Imperial California: the “Alliance of the Bear Flag Republic.”
Bear (not so much) Republic?
What was the Bear Flag Republic? Was it even a Republic? Not really, but there were three dominating cities of this more or less a hodgepodge of a League/Alliance (depending on who we asked), what is known is that this essentially kept the Entire realm from descending into complete anarchy. In fact this really was to keep not only the Bay Folk cultures, Angeleno/Socal Cultures, and Valleyan Cultures from wiping each or themselves into ashes, but also the Religions of California from imploding on one another. It also was in response to the Zakkariya Dynasty that the Valleyans had watched in the wars of Gran Fransisco. Being mostly Christian and Mormon the Valleyans tended to be on a 50/50 coin flip when it came to Tolerance. The old saying went, “the higher you went up into the Sierra Nevadas, the lower your tolerance drops.” The BayFolk though known for their tolerance were not excited with new dynasties that had for almost 100 years turned their Plutocratic (Oligarchic), and Demorcratic Republic into a collection of Petty Merchant Kings and their Feudal Republics. The only Authority the “Republic” had was that if there was an invasion of some distant horde or tribe of the Oreganians, and Wild “Savages” of Deseret. Indeed it was really just a place for Consuls, First Speakers, Mayors, Kings, Sultans, what have you to go and negotiate all sorts of issues. It wasn’t until the Lawgiver came that the Old Palace was put to use than just being a negotiations/trade treaty room, museum, university, and really a place where the Christian Denominations of the past, Muslims, and other Pagans would debate about who had the right to migrate and preach where.
Great Californian War (Prelude).
Now history is very wild itself in this regard, but there was a record Mormon/Giaian invasion that caused California to band together and drive off the Mormon/Giaian invaders out, but this led to the Gran Fransiscan League (or Hegemony) and American League to fight what is called the Great Californian War. It would pull in much of the Western regions including an area that was debated on whether it was even a true branch of the Great Realm of California. This place was known at the time as Baja California or Lower California, but the Lawgiver was said to have always considered them Californian.