Era of the Emperor Penultimate

(OA 718 - 2129)

Though he had ruled for half a year by this point, Klad Skathika was not technically crowned until the sunrise of the first day of the new year, as demnaded by Orodravian tradition.

Already the largest nation in Faengleis in 718, by OA 730 the Orodravian Empire had doubled in size and showed no signs of stopping its inexorable march across the surface of the world.  The end-point of a lineage of brilliant strategists and gifted statesmen, Klad Skathika beggared all his ancestors with his abilities, driving himself and those around him further than anyone thought possible.

In line with that, he began instituting radical changes in Orodravian policy, which had hitherto been similar to those of its neighbors (albeit carried out with greater skill and efficiency).  He favored the earth-magic of the druids over god-worship or arcanism, such that all government officials had at least a smattering of skill with it by the end of his first decade on the throne.  The common practice of large bodies of citizen-levies supporting small groups of knights were replaced by highly regimented armies full of professional soldiers and specialists, with full-time support staff; a first step on the road that would lead eventually to the specifically-bred Leaf Knights of future generations.

The insatiable rate of conquest funded ever-larger armies, while masterful political policies quickly integrated new territories into the empire, almost always resulting in higher standards of living and fairer laws for the populace.  With the aid of magical communication and transportation, the infrequent rebellions could be quashed with laughable ease.

No one doubted Klad Skathika could conquer the entire world, if only one man's lifespan were long enough...and yet, this golden scion of House Orodravos seemed eternal.  By OA 780, the emperor could not hide any longer that he did not age as other men did.  There were whispers that perhaps his blood was mingling with that of dragons or angels or even gods.  There were several tense decades as other branches of House Skathika were concerned that they might never claim the throne if Klad proved truly undying, but those branches of the family tree that pushed too hard found themselves inevitably pruned.

By OA 850, the only Skathika remaining was Klad Skathika, who christened himself the Emperor Penultimate and swore that the age of the Orodravian would never end.  After another 1,200 years, no one seemed inclined to argue with him...