Twilight of Alirium
The Alirian Empire
Over the span of most of a millennium, the city-state of Alirium expanded to rule more than half of the continent (see Alirian Empire History). This area was governed by an Emperor aided by a council of noble advisers. Provinces were managed by Lord Governors with a hierarchy of nobility beneath wielding power at the local level.
The Empire was known for its planning and organization. It extended a system of roads connecting even the most far flung provinces, which were rigorously maintained and guarded. It also oversaw the construction of temples, schools, and fortifications throughout its domains. At its height, Alirium oversaw a golden age of peace, learning, and innovation unrivaled in recorded history.
Though the Empire was ruled by Humans, members of every known race lived within its borders. Some were conquered, while others joined as client states of their own volition. It was not uncommon for non-humans, especially Dwarves and Eladrin, to rise to positions of authority.
After the fall of the Empire, most of its former territories have fallen into relative lawlessness. Those who have managed to gather power rule their lands in whatever way suits them. Some govern justly, trying their best to maintain the rule of law. Others are tyrants, taking whatever they want from a populace with no one to whom they can turn.
Most small communities are self-sufficient, for those that weren’t have long since faded away. Some larger cities have survived that have maintained a hold on trade routes and specialized craftsmen. Caravans travel the crumbling old roads, carrying on both the remnants of an economy and a post system.