War of Emperium

History of the War of Emperium

Since the beginning of the Dynasty of Tristian, the Kingdom of Rune has been plagued with money issues. Tristian I's daughters were spoiled rotten by their father; they pulled daily from the family budget to finance their flings and trysts. The Tristian Dynasty stood poised on the brink of financial ruin within months of taking power.

But Tristian I was a crafty old soul. He knew that those same power-hungry guilds, waiting outside his doors like ravening wolves, could solve all his problems easily. All they had to do was be properly persuaded… and Tristian I knew just how to do it.

Fliers went up in every town the Tristian Dynasty owned excess property in. In order to properly train the warriors of his nation, the fliers read, Tristian I was going to open his spare castles up for what he called Wars of Emperium. Any guild that could destroy the Emperium control-crystal in the deepest part of a castle and replace it with one of their own, would earn full access to the castle and its manufacturing facilities. They could make use of all its production capacity - provided of course they continued to pay the production taxes, a measly 10%. They could continue to make use of the castle for as long as they held it, and could invest in it all they liked - but caveat emptor, for anyone could take the castle back from you by next War of Emperium.

The king knew he was killing multiple birds with one stone with this move. He had never been able to run even two of his castles at maximum productivity - he simply hadn't the funds for it. When the greedy guilds snatched up the castles and ran them for all they were worth, he was taking 10% off of sixteen full-production castles - 160% of one castle's worth of productivity. And he hadn't even had to invest in materials! That was 160% pure profit for the wily old king. Plus, it kept his potential rivals pointing their blades at each other and not at him.

Within two weeks of beginning the War of Emperium program, Tristian I went from nearly-bankrupt to enjoying record profits. Marrying off his six daughters to aspiring nobles (and foreign leaders) simply bolstered his financial success.

War of Emperium in Schwartzvald and Arunafeltz

By the time of Tristian II, the various guilds in Rune were battle-hardened and strong. They too had made out well from Tristian I's gambit - they could turn much of their castles' productivity inward, manufacturing new and better arms and armor for themselves. Plus, the constant infighting continually weeded out the weak.

It wasn't long until the Republic of Schwartzvald caught wind of Tristian I's gambit and its many benefits for the kingdom. Not one to be left out, the Republic Senate set aside funds to build similar castle-structures for "government use".

The Senate was unable to commission a huge amount of funds - unlike Tristian I, their government was a Republic, and had to answer to the people at the end of the day. Moreover, the Republic's budget had been balanced for quite some time - they had no justification for huge investments to "balance" an already-positive budget. Only five castles could be built.

What the Senate's castles lacked in quantity, however, they more than made up for in quality. Their defenses were second-to-none, trading the single Emperium system for a tripartite control structure. In addition, their production facilities were second-to-none, producing some of the most powerful weapons and defensive armors anyone had ever seen. Their taxes were a little higher - 15% of production capacity - but one look at the value of the property quieted any complaints.

It was not long before the other major empire of Midgard, Arunafeltz, followed suit. They too created only five castles - it was an exploratory venture, not one the aristocracy wanted to invest too much funding in. But they too enjoyed similar success with their project - harnessing the nearly unlimited wallets of adventurer guilds does tend to have a wonderfully-profitable effect.