Wars of the Black Alliance
There is always an Empire, isn’t there?
The Holy Empire of the Cassians, or just the Empire, is one of the largest states in the human world.
The Holy Empire is the successor state to the once mighty Cassian Empire. The largest entity in the Empire is the Kingdom of the Volcae (Regnum Volcarum).
The history of the Holy Empire began in 936, when Louis the Pious, the ruler of Neustrasia, was elected King of the Volcae. He subsequently carved a state out of the feuding tribal nations left in the wake of the Barbarian Kingdoms Period (609 to 936). This event is referred to as The Third Founding.
In 1024, one of his successors, King Sigismund, son of King Alaric, defeated King Gisulf, the ruler of Aleria, and marched into the city of Alba Regia, the sacred temple city of the old Cassian Empire. There, with the blessings of the Church of the Holy Synod, King Sigismund was declared Emperor of the Cassians and protector of the holy city.
Since then, the role of Holy Emperor of the Cassians have been reserved for the acting king of the Volcae.
The Empire of today does not resemble the Empire of Sigismund. Various Lords, Princelings, Barons and other members of the Royal Houses have consistently eroded Imperial power over the centuries. Dukes and Princes now have de facto sovereignty within their territories and the power of the Emperor has been severely limited.
Though the Lords are still officially subservient to the Emperor, the Empire itself has no real standing army, and is effectively powerless to sanction insubordinate nobles and vassals. The strongest single power within the Empire is the Church of the Holy Synod, the state church.
The number of territories in the Empire is considerable, however many of these covers no more than a few square miles. The territories are divided into the following three categories:
( Full article: Imperial Estates)
In the early days of the Holy Empire many provinces were directly owned by the Emperor. These were usually the wealthiest or most strategically important provinces. But as emperors began the process of allotting Imperial land to their own Royal Houses, the provinces were gradually broken up into smaller holding, each ruled by an appointed baron. Today the emperor is only in direct control of a few scattered estates and the Imperial Free Cities. The Free Cities are city-states that exist within the Holy Empire. These cities enjoy a privileged status of being free from the authority of any local lord and as such are nominally subordinate only to the Emperor. However most of the Free Cities are associated with the powerful Trade Guild, and have therefore slipped from the grasp of direct Imperial rule.
The largest land owner in the Empire is the Church of the Holy Synod. Despite not being in direct control of any cities, the Church still controls the largest portion of territory. Most of the church land is farmland or forests, used for sacred groves, and most of it is located around temples. However given that the church controls so much farmland they have a tremendous rural population, and their tax coffers are always full.
The Imperial duchies have emerged as strong states-within-the-state following the continuing decentralization of the Holy Empire. They are territories ruled by a hereditary nobleman with special authority. In theory this nobleman swears allegiance to the Emperor, and has to present himself, and his retinue if the Emperor makes a call to arms. In practice however, the Emperor no longer has any real authority over the dukes, and the dukes constantly war among themselves.
The Holy Empire has no standing army, but can call upon the dukes to supply knights and infantry in times of war.Imperial Army
Important events of the Late Empire
The War of Nervan Succession
Concordat of Aresbourg
The Peasant’s War
War of the Four Brothers