The Empyrean See is a massive conglomerate of worlds unified under the Empyrean Church and a pseudo-vassal state of the Kingdom of Eirangard. Located to the galactic northeast, it dominates the expanse of space from the Alliance’s eastern border up to the verge region. With a strong unification between the church and state, the Abiram – the religious head of the church – guides the social direction of the state while the Candelario – the church elected head of the government – directs the military, political, and financial direction of the church. This unique dichotomy often puts the Empyreans at odds with other, more conventional states – particularly the Intersystem Alliance. Comprised of 217 worlds, the Empyrean state has a fairly substantial income gap between its patricians and plebeians though most enjoy relative comfort and security.
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The Empyrean See derives its name from both its modern religious background and historic religious traditions. The word “Empyrean” is derived from the Holy Empyrean Church – the governing religious body of the star nation. See is rooted in ancient earth traditions. Derived from the latin “sedes” meaning “seat”, See describes the literal holy seat of the church though often with a dichotomy that is lost to outsiders. In Empyrean religious doctrine, the see of the church describes both the seat of the religious arm of the church as well as the secular arm of the church, both equally weighted.
The Empyrean See – despite a wide range of cultural heritages – is dominated by the presence of the Holy Empyrean Church and its influence on the life of its people. With hundreds of worlds under its control – some peacefully incorporated while others less so – the Empyrean See tends to dominate the culture of worlds close to the termini while the church takes on a more fluid form on the fringes of the massive star nation. With human colonies from almost every group and nation from old earth, much of the Empyrean See’s secular culture is a mix of backgrounds blended together under the governance of the church itself.
THE CATHEDRAL WORLDS
At the center of the Empyrean See are the great cathedral worlds and the heart of the “old” church. These old planets form the backbone of the star nation and are home to some of the most powerful royal houses. The central world of the region is Petram. From the Latin word meaning stone, Petram was settled in 2587 by the founding members of the Astrum Ecclesia – or the Immortal Church. By 3405, Petram is the monolithic capital of the Empyrean See. With towering shrines, cavernous cathedrals, and the great Voce Solium – the seat of power of the Church – Petram is the spiritual centerpiece of the Empyrean See. Its influence is seen in other worlds in the region such as Askaria, Adyta, and Iter. These worlds – ruled by some of the oldest and greatest of the royal houses – hold close ties to the Voce and Petram itself, enjoying a great deal of influence on the religious councils.
While the majority of the wealth and power of the Cathedral Worlds comes from the influences of the church, these worlds are not without their practical side. Petram iteslf is home to magnificent artisans and craftsman renowed throughout the galaxy for their architectural wonders and priceless works. Worlds like Askaria and Adyta host some of the finest philosophy schools in the galaxy while Iter is home to some of the most powerful auramancy guilds in the galaxy. This unique combination of intellectual, artistic, and spiritual pursuits gives way to a people whose nature are sometimes at odds with one another. One the one hand they are a very intellectual and creative group who at the same time are pious and dutiful as their religion demands. This duality is something entirely unique and somewhat different from the capital regions of other star nations in the galaxy.
THE LEONIAN VALE
Outside of the Cathedral Worlds, the Leonian Vale is the single most powerful region in the Empyrean See. Ruled by the current Candelario, the Archduke of Leon – Travin Alliers – Leon stands as an example of the power held by the secular arm of the Church. With a huge merchant fleet, a powerful navy, and a near unmatched army, the Leonians are a terrifying military force. As the Candelario, Archduke Alliers often finds himself wielding that military to help reign in lesser lords, rebel worlds, or in new conquests; and in more recent times he’s been known to take action without going through the formal channels of the church council.
Like with the Cathedral Worlds, the Leonian Vale is more than just its military. Leon itself is a popular tourist destination with its island dotted waterscape, pristine beaches, and towering cliff face, Leon offers all sorts of diversions for guests. Other worlds like Castille and Rouen boast powerful industrial sectors – fueling the finances behind House Alliers’ wealth. The resource-rich Cor Leonis – “Heart of the Lion” – nebula features an abnormally high titanium and lithium concentration adding to the wealth of the Alliers family. These unique combinations fuel the power of the Leonian aristocracy while giving them the resources to afford and enjoy their lesiure, creating a region with a decidedly apparent societal hierarchy.
The Umbrae Aquilae- The Shadow of the Eagle – is the breadbasket heart of the Empyrean See. Named for the giant Eagle Nebula that shelters the region from the Verge, the Umbrae Aquilae – coloquially the Aquilae – has become a growing powerhouse among the royal houses of the Empyrean States. Ruled by Archduke Antonio Ragno, the region has seen a huge uptake in investments from the Ecclesia. As Travin Alliers ages, there is increasing sentiment among the heads of the church to cast off the Alliers – the Candelarios for the last five centuries – in favor of Archduke Ragno and his protege. As such, the slow build up of Ragno’s forces are in direct response to the growing strength of the the Leonian military, and while Ragno and the Aquilae military answer to the Candelario, rumors of a private pact with the Ecclesia have sent waves through the Empyrean See.
Despite the political intrigue and upheval, the Ubraqe Aquilae is still known mostly for its agricultural heritage. With an inordinate amount of garden worlds, the region thrives on trade with the other Empyrean states as a source of income. Terrestrial and orbital farms churn out over sixty percent of the entire Empyrean See’s food supply.