For the last twenty years, Aergyre has claimed the entire continent of Enjon as part of their empire. The Imperial Navy and Army have maintained a strong, consistent presence there, and the people of Enjon are understood to be subjects of the Empire. The major cities in Enjon pay taxes and fealty to the Empress, and are overseen by Imperial governors who make sure that Imperial law is kept in the world’s far north.
Or at least that’s the story they tell in the Empire.
In reality, the Empire maintains strong control over only a small part of continental Enjon, nearest Yassar and opposite the Yakkin Mountains from the nation of Enjon. The territory they claimed was unclaimed by either Enjon or Yassar and easily became the Imperial province of Dahae a year into the occupation. The Imperial military has consistently failed to conquer the rest of Yassar, and in reality has not seriously tried after one brief series of skirmishes nineteen years ago. They now trade and have strong diplomatic ties with Yassar and are hoping to absorb the world’s northernmost nation through intermarriage and economic pressure rather than military might.
The reality is that Aergyre’s military forces are not equipped or trained to fight in extreme cold, and they find themselves outclassed by the military forces in Enjon for that reason. Their ships aren’t designed to sail through icy waters, their troops aren’t outfitted with warm enough gear, and they haven’t been trained to move or fight in snow. The colonization of Enjon was heralded with military power and promises of a sweeping military victory with huge amounts of resources—including slaves—brought back to the mainland Empire within five years, but this never transpired. In addition to the lack of adaptation, training and equipment hindering the military effort, the Empire has never committed sufficient military resources to the occupation as is necessary to fully conquer the northern continent.
Military officials in the Empire have projected time and again that the empress would need to commit twice the military resources—equipment, soldiers, ships, supplies and money—than they currently have to even establish a full hold on the rest of Enjon, let alone force it to become an official Imperial province. Because this has not happened and does not seem likely at any point in the near future, the Empire has unofficially adopted the same strategy in the nation of Enjon as they have with Yassar, though their insistence on their ownership of certain parts of Enjon, particularly the largest city in the nation, Narwhal Junction, is much stronger.
Narwhal Junction and Neptar, the province in which the city exists, are the most heavily colonized parts of Enjon. Narwhal Junction, or Qonvel Redda as it is known in the Empire, has heavy imperial presence; a governor appointed by the empress and a group of other Imperial nobles who answer to that governor. Narwhal Junction was colonized with a combination military and financial power; warships fill Hörin Harbour and the Imperial Navy patrols the waters. Imperial nobles and merchants invested heavily in Narwhal Junction’s economy, and now own a large stake in the city’s mercantile guilds, as well as tithing rights on the harbour.
Steadily, Imperial presence in the city has been increasing over the last twenty years. The installation of the Imperial governor was met with considerable resistance at first, but has became accepted when it was made clear to Neptar’s hereditary governor that continued Imperial participation in Narwhal Junction’s economy would be dependant on allowing the installation. Taking over the city guard went in much the same way. In Narwhal Junction, magically-gifted children are removed and taken to the enclave in Dahae, and talks are in place to set up an enclave in Neptar, though this has not happened yet. This happens only unofficially and is not law, and most magic-users are hidden, with varying degrees of success, from the Empire, at least at first. The werewolf population of Narwhal Junction has been some of the most outspokenly resistant to colonization, as they have the most experience with being colonized already.
Part of why the Empire hasn’t been able to take stronger hold of the city is that the nobility sent to govern it are typically those who aren’t wanted in the Imperial capital, who are considered to have names too important not to give them important tasks, but who aren’t considered useful enough to give useful places to run. Alternately, Qonvel Redda serves as a training ground for imperial nobles who are working up to a more important posting. Either way, the city ends up being administrated by an Imperial who isn’t quite up to the task. Narwhal Junction has had eleven Imperial governors in seventeen years, which has very much diminished the Empire’s credibility with the people of the city. That said, more and more Imperial citizens have been moving to the city of late, and there is a growing number of native Enjoni citizens who are sympathetic to the Empire—either because they genuinely believe its propaganda of about civilizing and uniting the world, or because they have economic or social gains thanks to Imperial presence.
Outside of Narwhal Junction and Neptar Province, the Empire has had far less success penetrating. Imperial traders and nobles are present in all other major Enjoni ports, but they aren’t in command of them and have few footholds to become so with so much of the Empire’s resources focused on Narwhal Junction and Dahae, as well as on the efforts to colonize Yassar.
Neptar Province is the only province in Enjon that is governed by a hereditary leader, and many cite this as the reason why the Empire has had more success in Narwhal Junction than elsewhere—convincing governors of the Nuorn bloodline that, under Imperial oversight, they could govern all of Enjon rather than just one province. The Nuorn family has maintained that they have no formal alliance with the Empire outside of the economic, but whispers tend to persist, especially outside of the city.
The Empire’s presence and power in Enjon, for all that it is limited by a lack of resources and frankly investment from people in mainland Aergyre, has grown steadily over the last twenty years. Resistance to their presence has grown just as steadily, and tensions continue to mount, especially in Narwhal Junction. If the Empire doesn’t devote more resources to the region soon, they may have a more violent occupation on their hands than they planned for. They’ve given the natives of Enjon far more time to simmer in their anger at being colonized than they do most places, and rather than eventually coming around to their way of thinking as planned, the majority of people have used that time to decide that they really don’t appreciate Imperial presence at all. What that will mean for the Empire’s presence in Narwhal Junction and therefore the rest of Enjon remains to be seen, but the situation is ever-evolving.
From “The Definitive Atlas of the World, Vol. 2: Peoples and Cultures,” by Pascal Tiberius Naoton Quimbell Haeverine anNatalie, published in White Cape in DN 1997.
2 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Empire in Enjon”
One imagines that Cal’s presence and the inevitable chaos that ensues in his search for the Map will only accelerate the collapse of the Imperial presence in Neptune. ¡Viva la revolución!
Seems likely, and we know Cal would approve of that! He’s certainly no pro-Imperial. 😀