Day 5 of #RPGaDay2021 is a peculiar primary word, "THRONE"
The rules of Leif III and Leif IV are considered the heyday of the empire, and are the exact timelines in regards to anyone longing for the days of Ferasean supremacy. Oddly enough, the people are absolutely correct. From 528 through 617, Feraso was at its peak, politically, militarily, spirtually, and technologically. Artisans and magical craftsmen from all over the world flocked to Feraso City to help build artifacts, many of whom are only mentioned in hushed tones today.
With the ascension of Leif V to the throne historical texts become sketchy as to specifics. Leif V immediately recalled most of the military adventures. Subsequent emperors (and an empress) oversaw a general decline. Outposts were recalled, treaties renegotiated on unfavorable terms.
In the end the mighty Ferasean Empire was betrayed by the races of demi-kind to the Galmar barbarians, there was little anyone could do but watch it burn. Leif VII was the last recognized Emperor and the direct bloodline apparently died out.
After years of chaos, in 846, a Galmar Warlord named Liufried, used a number of wars, treaties, and marriages to name himself Krugraf of a region known as Ras-Prythax. Except that Ras-Prythax is never used in old Ferasean documents.
The core lands form a very old, low valley of the Argivian name for the River Wultha: Prythax. Liufried's initial claim of Ras-Prythax stretches through that river valley. The nobility and rulers of Ras-Prythax are somehow unaware that the country's name is Argivian in nature. "Ras" meaning across, and Prythax for the river wandering north
For 160 years these "Barbarian Pretenders" to the true throne of Feraso claimed various skewed claims, but consolidated their power with the vestige of this eternal Ras-Prythax with the eclectic assortment of dominions.
Almost 75 years from this writing, Krugraf Theuderic I married Princess Jolana Timbertrees of Nitrava, a 5th cousin of the Emperor's extended family, forming possibly a faint claim to the throne, Thus begins the line of "True Pretenders" who appear to enjoy the lineage, but can not garner the power to make a true claim.
After the marriage, Theuderic arrested the entire Timbertrees family, threw them in a dungeon to rot, and bequeathed Nitrava to the Church of Akana as a religious Bishopric.
With only the most minor claims to the Imperial Crown, the rulers of Ras-Prythax continue to use "Krugraf" to denote the ruler of the Kingdom of Ras-Prythax and nothing more.
For a short time, the empire was reestablished with the discovery of a rightful heir in possession of Taragarth, otherwise known as "The Blood Brand." It was Leif I's sword, a dark blade with blood red glowing runes. Leif IV did use it on his adventures, and all later rulers had it in their possession up to Leif VII. Finding the burial site of Leif VII might answer many questions. A short, cataclysmic war enough for many of the core nations to fall under the sway of Emperor Rurik IV and Empress Fiame II, but without a recognized heir for succession, things quickly disintegrated again.
The First Ferasean Empire was carved out of the wilderness by ancient sorcerer-kings and warlords who appeared to be blessed by the gods for wading into battle shirtless. They defended the pristine landscape from the corrupting influences of the Argivians Artificers, the Pharaohs of Khemmet, and the Ancient Parthian tribes.
The names of these larger-than-life heroes has somehow disappeared from the written record, or even oral tradition. We are blessed with some scholarly work many years later, which listed many of their patron gods and spirits who allowed them to conquer everything
In no particular order:
Farmesk - The God of War
Surku - The God of Death, Lord of the Worms
Yotia - The God of Magic and Wizards
Kanar - The God of Chaos, The Dark One
.... and a host of others
Another field of debate is exactly where this empire was founded, and expanded to. Unreliable sources state this nation's influence from Senzar all the way through Parthia and into deeper Azir, but it's political influence was more likely the great Mer Med region. Based on archeological studies, the core region was possibly dominated by Argivia, Danaan, Barthey, and even the region known as the inhospitable lands of Milosic, none of whom are the lands claimed by Ras-Prythax, nor any of the original territory expanded upon by Leif I.
Despite what the bard of the Krugraf want all of us to know, the bloodlines were never fully determined after the fall of the empire, so Leif I could be related the original Ancien Emperors as much as you or I.
The Ferasean Emprie is a dream, a legend, a quest, but it is also dozens of different ages, actions, and evolutions. It is quite unlikely a fourth iteration of a united continent will come about, unless a non-reliance on monarchial government and the possession of a particular sword to approve the ruler are agreed upon.
GM Notes: I have been referring to Leif Bloodblade and Empire of Feraso for over thirty years. My homebrewed World of Georic has been a a hodge-podge collection of old D&D characters done good, a volatile kingdom, and ultimately, an unrefined background for a number of my games. As I'm slowly compiling data for Georic Gazetteer, to satiate a personal dream, I've been trying to write a guide, in the voice of an intelligent third-party, that is still trying to figure out how to explain this messed up world to the casual reader looking for a travel guide.
Yota I 0-112
Farmesk I 112-140
Farmesk II 140-162
Rowand I 162-182
Rowand II 203-208
Leif Bloodblade I 487-515
Leif II 518-528
Leif III 528-559
Leif IV 559-617
Leif V 617-643
Rurik I 643-652
Leif VI 652-678
Rowand II 678-707
Fiame I 707-744
Rurik II 744-762
Mackay I 762-804
Rurik III 804-809
Leif VII 809-819
**Barbarian Invasion 819-846**
Ras-Prythax Barbarian Pretenders
Werner I (945-975)
Theuderic I (975-1012 Last Barbarian Pretender, Married into True Pretender Bloodline
Theuderic II (1012-1018)
Mykul I (1018-1023)
Arnulf I (1023-1045)
Theuderic III (1045-1056)
Konrad I (1056-1063)
Henrik the Follower (1063-1080)
Kingdom of Feraso Pretenders
Rurik IV 1073-1105 Ernest I 1080-1105 (King of Ras-Prythax)
Fiame II 1105-1115 Ernest II 1105-1145 (King of Ras-Prythax)
Werner II 1115-1145
Adalbert II 1145 - Present- Married Princess Adalade of Weissmach, 1148