History of the Lilitai
Lilitu Archaic period
Lilitu Classical period
First Illera colony
Lilitu Nomadic period
Founding of Lilikoisa
First Thessian–Hogedepi War
Decline of Lilitic culture
Wanisin and LIYAL
History of the Empire
Wanisinese influence in Thet
Second Illera colony
Wanisin observes a variant of the glotshatko calendar used by the Ksreskézaians and Lilitai, adjusted to fit the planet's natural annual cycle of exactly 240 days. The calendar begins in 807 lilpo, and is generally denoted with wpo, wanpo, or simply PO. These years are 23410114.56 seconds in length, just under a third of the length of an Lyrisclensian long year. Dates important to the Lilitai and Thet correlate as follows:
|Event||Foreign Date||Wanisinese Date|
|Founding of Wanisin||807 lilpo||1 PO|
|Evacuation of Illera||829 lilpo||17 PO|
|Settlement of Thet||1044 lilpo||180 PO|
|Re-colonization of Illera||1924 iky (8873 lilpo)||6128 PO|
|The Shattering of Thet||3274 iky||10274 PO|
|First official contact between Thet and Wanisin||729 tgc||12303 PO|
|First Wanisin–Illeran Conflict||19372 lilpo to 20299 lilpo||14099 PO to 14803 PO|
|Illeran Occupation of Wanisin||20299 lilpo to 21875 lilpo||14803 PO to 16000 PO|
|First Wanisinese–Hogedepi War||16000 PO (21876 lilpo) to 16913 PO (23079 lilpo)|
|Fall of the Reed Administration||2500 tgc||16676 PO|
|Forging of the Iron Thrones||3000 tgc||17956 PO|
|The Consolidation||5015 tgc||23119 PO|
|Second Thessian–Hogedepi War||5017 tgc||23122 PO|
|Expulsion of the Lilitai and Lyrisclensiae from Thet||5021 tgc||23132 PO|
|Founding of the Quill Republic||5785 tgc||25088 PO|
|The Music Act (Second Quill Republic)||6002 tgc||25644 PO|
|The Wind Act (Third Quill Republic)||6920 tgc||27994 PO|
|Cataloguing efforts begin at the Memory of the City (present day)||8454 tgc||31923 PO|
The Empress of Wanisin, formally styled o Hakrodeklo il Mílitradzho Ksreskézon (i.e., the King of the Empire of Ksreskézo), rules from Sabta Palace at Surví Dashro. Throughout Wanisin's history to the present day, a single autarch has controlled the government, with one brief interruption in 8104 PO when Sarthians invaded the southern peninsula and installed their leader, Resea of the New Sarthians, who sought to abolish the Senate and institute a Council of High Priestesses consistent with the doctrines of the Darika.
Not every Empress has been solely loyal to the Empire, although aside from the incident in 8104, its customs have endured and been respected as a distinct institution. On three occasions, Wanisin has been subject to rule by the Lilitai for extended periods, most significantly when Venatsha Illera (sister of the famous Venakoa Illera Kedobía) took the throne from Ioya II in a bloody duel. There have also been two periods where ethnic Kelonrans ruled the Empire; in 11371–11800, when Setora I of the Kelonridi ruled, and in 16322–16704, when Methia IV of Tawny Bay ruled, although on both occasions they resided in Surví Dashro during their tenures.
|Berisampo (Sampo III)||2290–2304||Haidtuo|
|Resea||8104||Survi Sarthidi (Wanisinese Sarthian)|
|Setora I||11371–11800||Kelonridi (Kelonra)|
|Atvodslefa (Alestea V)||11800–12007||Alestidi|
|Moilea III||12012–12019||Survi Motani|
|Klito XIX||12020–12030||Kazarli Dashron|
|Klito XIX (second reign)||12062–12153||Kazarli Dashron|
|Ioya II||14092–14803||Lilikoisa (Thessian)|
|Setora II||15217–16000||Illera (Illeran)|
|Methia IV||16322–16704||asa Hakrodekli il Figestrimani Roventria (Kelonra)|
|Haplenya||17116–17402||Li'l Urava qu'Stulameka|
|Gegloko V||17403–17725||Kelateti Dashro|
|Ioya III||17725–17866||Li'l Urava qu'Stulameka|
|Nitora XI||17866–17893||il Figestrimani Roventria (Kelonra)|
|Klito XX||17893–18001||Kelateti Dashro|
|Zeyeta I||18001–20036||Dashri Uravidi|
|Gegloko VI||20036–20123||Kelateti Dashro|
|Zeyeta II||20360–21092||Dashri Uravidi|
|Alestea VII||21092–21764||Kelateti Dashro|
|Ioya IV||21764–22330||Naiti Efteti|
|Ioya V||22331–23133||Kelateti Dashro|
|Lokussa||23133–23298||Lilitai il Kunanoten (Thessian)|
|Iora (Ioya VI)||23298–24601||Lilitai il Tshelvani Doisseia (Thessian)|
|Tamaksia V||24601–24603||Kelateti Slefrellidi|
|Glemea||24603–25091||Survi Haidtuo (Illeran)|
|Sampo IV||25091–25434||Kelateti Dashro|
|Tamaksia VI||25434–25900||Kelateti Dashro|
|Zeyeta III||25900–27002||Naiti Dashri Uravidi|
|Berizeyeta (Zeyeta IV)||27002||Naiti Efteti|
|Zeyeta V||27002–27594||Naiti Dashri Uravidi|
|Gegloko VII||27594–28120||Naiti Haidtuo|
|Gegloko VIII||28819–28973||Naiti Efteti|
|Sampo V||28973–30726||Survi Dashridi|
|Klito XXI||30726–31000||Naiti Efteti|
|Zeyeta VI||31001–present||Naiti Dashri Uravidi|
Klíto XVII of House Dashro
Originally from Wemno, Keroa worked as a weaver for the Ksreskézaian House of Shentegdo. She had no ambition, but once in Kona's cult became loved by Kona and her successor, Súlevía Ekñedkh'lesa. Súlevía did not make the trip to Wanisin; she died of malnutrition with many of the other rebels during the two-year journey to the planet. It was only after Súlevía's death, when an upstart named Krizna Tsaklonía sought to replace her, that Keroa finally asserted her position in the line of succession. The idea of starting a new house, Dashro, was hers, as was the styling Klíto XVII. It was she who selected the locations for surveying for settlement once they reached the planet. Her control over the Wanisinese was never as adroit as her predecessors or successors, and many later Empresses have demonized her as the cause of the Sarthían rebels, who, most authorities agree, would never have achieved autonomy and destroyed/captured Kevrosampa if it were not for Klíto's weak leadership.
Despite her poor reputation with later generations, Klíto planned the creation of the great cities that still stand on Wanisin today, made first contact with Serena tel Moukarhím (although it would not be until the time of her daughter, Sampo I, when Serena's contributions to Wanisin became significant), and laid out the caste system, which initially consisted of labourers (slokdtabai), engineers (múnildai), and nobles (hakrodeklai). Later generations would see the partitioning of the slokdtabai into a second group, the íntshai, as the term 'slokdtaba' became more acutely associated with slavery, and the accumulation of a distinct warrior class comprised of múnildai and hakrodeklai. Periodically, throughout the thousands of years that followed, castes of dignified scholars and mystics (such as the stíldai and the haspidai) would form, but within a generation these would be folded back into the íntshai by nobles fearing the emergence of a new estate of the realm.
The Commonwealth ship Astroturfer arrived in 181, only a few decades after contact was made with Serena and she began furnishing the Wanisinese with new technology. It did not make contact with the planet, but was responsible for the Shade of Ossa, an event in 182 that caused most of the stars to disappear from the sky. This caused a panic in all of the major cities and led directly to rebellion in Kevrosampa, which eventually matured into a Sarthían takeover, although the city was believed to have been destroyed and all official record erased. The Shade would persist for millennia, until 12302, when it was sabotaged by a Hatel officer, Zem dam Schadros.
Klíto XVII died naturally, her lifespan shortened, like so many slokdtabasa, by the harsh environment of Ksreskézo.
Gegloko I of the Geglokids
Gegloko I was a geologist and surveyor, named Géa il Kotlat Búterko, who came to fame after discovering basna in what is now known as the Kelonran crater. This revelation made her famous, and in her later years Klíto XVII passed along an ever-increasing portfolio of responsibilities to the responsible, capable, and immensely popular scientist. When Klíto finally died, Géa sought to define the Empire through strong leadership. She made a mandate of stamping out Sarthíanism amongst the slokdtabai, many of whom had been brought from Illera against their will. She also sought to increase fertility and exploitation of the planet's natural resources, and envisioned a day when Wanisin would be terraformed from a chilly swamp into a warmer, drier land that would be much more inhabitable. Gegloko I was the last Empress to be born on Ksreskézo. During her reign, the population of Wanisin went from 5,000 to more than 60,000.
During the reign of Gegloko I, the Commonwealth made their initial attempts at first contact. It was Gegloko's aspiration to conquer Wanisin's climate that aroused concern, as this suggested a significant leap in technological progress was near, likely facilitated by Serena. A team of two dozen contact experts from Sensitive Affairs landed in Surví Dashro in 1053, and were received by the Empress; discourse initially proceeded smoothly, but the revelations that they a) wanted to bring Serena to justice and b) were responsible for the Shade of Ossa caused negotiations to disintegrate. The dead bodies of the 24 Hatel were sent back on their shuttle.
Sampo I of House Dashro
Born Sampía Klítida il Dashro, the first Sampo was raised more by Gegloko I than by her actual mother, Keroa. This groomed her excellently for statecraft. When Sampo I came to power and Gegloko I chose to abdicate the throne to her, they devised the flame ritual of succession together to cement Sampo I's legitimacy, even though the court in Surví Dashro was opposed to the development of a dynasty born from the blood of Klíto XVII. Sampo I was wildly paranoid throughout her career and began wearing armour everywhere, using numerous poison-testers and reviving the Ksreskézaian tradition of preparing one's own food. She died under mysterious circumstances while walking alone in a palace garden late at night, lending legitimacy to her life of fear and prompting hakrodeklai all over Wanisin to adopt her attitudes of minimal trust.
Perhaps it was her unusually cagey nature that led to her easy and long-lasting friendship with Serena tel Moukarhím, who herself was far from mentally stable at this point in history, and lived in perpetual fear that the Commonwealth would return for her. During Sampo I's reign, Serena began to trade labour (mostly in the form of locating ancient Tletkettoyic ruins) for useful resources, like domesticable animals and the numerous Terran staple crops that were missing from the slokdtabaní diet, substantially facilitating continued population expansion. By the end of her reign, Wanisin was home to some 300,000 egrekelai.
Sampo II of House Dashro
Born Aiteké Klítida il Dashro, Sampo II was the younger sister of Sampo I. Largely raised by Sampía, her brief reign was marked by an emphasis on government reform and easing attitudes toward the nascent rebels in Kelonra, with an eye to opening trade negotiations and absorbing them into the Empire. Both policies met with broad disapproval among the nobles, who preferred to meet Kelonra on the field of battle rather than over a negotiating table. In the end she was murdered by Alestea I, the first death of an Empress by her direct successor, who proceeded to commence hostilities with Fígestrímaní Roventría.
Alestea I of the Alestids
Born Alestéa Wemnohida Antàn, Alestéa Murekída (the Blood-drinker) started wars on all fronts: against the semi-nomadic, somewhat independent miners and basna-harvesters in the Crater, against the Hatel Commonwealth when the second expedition arrived in 2194, and against dissent among her peers. A dozen nobles or more were killed in duels with Alestea I, greatly thinning out those few who survived from Illera. The effort to crush the rebels in Kelonra started in 2201 and continued to Alestea I's death in 2230, known today in Roventría as the War of Kelonran Independence; if anything, the agenda backfired catastrophically, cementing the state of Kelonra as a sovereign polity far into the future.
Alestea I regarded the importance of the Empire's integrity and continued expansion as above all else, and mandated exploitation of Wanisin's moons and the natural resources of other worlds within Kwarkë. This was the decision that prompted the Commonwealth to attempt to intervene again, and the Wanisinese Empire responded by enslaving the contact operatives and forcing them to mate. Wary, the Commonwealth would not land any more people on Wanisin during Alestea I's reign.
The legacy of Alestea I was unusually far-reaching for an empress who reigned for such a short time. In addition to defining Kelonra, taking the first alien slaves, and demonstrating nearly unparalleled skill in the duelling ring, Alestea also started the House Alestidi, which became synonymous with the ferocity of Sur'daran rule for generations. It would hold the throne again in the eleventh millennium, and many times thereafter, acquiring an important role in the War of Inheritance.
Gegloko II of the Kowakids
In the aftermath of Alestea I's death, the Empire was on the verge of economic collapse due to the costs of the failed conquest of Kelonra. Gegloka Kowakàn Moía il Khoselía Telíbis, former Minister of Fertility, came from an academic background and, unusually, won her position as Empress through the persuasiveness of her agenda and planning skills. Not especially charismatic nor competent with a knife, she was elected Empress because the Senate saw no worthy options among her small-minded, self-interested rivals, who would squander the opportunity to avert crisis.
Gegloko II followed in the footsteps of her namesake, and presided over Wanisin's first satellite launches, as well as its first mass breeding programmes for egrekeliní and hateliní slaves, and doubled agricultural productivity through the clever application of bioengineered crops acquired through trade with Serena. Gegloko's ambitions, though not military in nature, eventually came to be seen as threats by Serena, who was concerned that, should the throne on Wanisin continue to be occupied by competent technocrats, their technical progress might outstrip what she could offer, and she would ultimately lose her ability to control the Empire.
Berisampo (Sampo III) of House Haidtuo
Born Sabta Haidtúo Zethepàn in Zethepí Wabelapàn. Founded Zokipolla. Turned Sarthian. Reign ended with the war of 2304-2309, in which she and her successor both defected and held out in the mountain fortress until Alestea II, an old friend, betrayed them and was crowned Empress. Her mother, Slokdtaba Haidtúo Tkezgan, was a cousin of Gleméa Haidtúa il Lilitina.
Tevopina of House Chukoto
Rulership partially annulled in 2305 when she fled to Zokipolla, but not truly terminated until the coronation of Alestea II the following year. During this time the future of the Wanisinese state was uncertain, as several other high-profile nobles also fled, leaving the halls of Dashro House in disarray, and the Senate chamber almost half-empty.
Alestea II of House Gazdatto
Born Akhezría Gazdattía Saskarebezría, Alestea II was the last Empress born before the exodus to Wanisin. A general under Gegloko II, she was closely involved with Ministry of Power affairs. When Tevopina defected to Zokipolla, Akhezría went with her, only to betray Tevopina in early 2306, taking direct command of the military and waging war against Zokipolla for most of that year. She was crowned upon her return from the Zokipolla campaign and began the longest reign since Sampo I, wielding the betrayal of Sampo III and Tevopina as a blunt instrument to keep the ambition of others in line. When she finally passed away, her protege replaced her without contest.
The name 'Gazdattía' and the subsequent Wanisinese house of Gazdatto deserves some special mention. Akhezría was the founder of the Gazdatto house, although none of her ancestors had worked for the Ksreskézaian Gazdatto family. Instead the name was inherited from her mother Karina Gazdattía Neptaredía, one of the lost egrekelai, who had once been of a low house, but was welcomed into Atsha-Sithéa's family (some centuries before she became the third Matriarch) and thus took on the name. This was Atsha-Sithéa's way of paying forward the mercy of Regsabta Chúkotía (Sarthía) in the days before the Vendashro.
Gegloko III of the Wemnids
The niece of Klito XVII began her rule as a continuation of Alestea II's, but gradually turned toward more philosophical views, writing numerous books on the question of the purpose of the state and the extent to which it should interfere. Gegloko III's reign was the longest of all the empresses of classical Wanisin, including Kelonran queens.
After her coronation she declared the founding of a new house, the Wemnidi, which she felt was more suited to Keroa's legacy (being a Wemnian) than the House of Dashro. This sparked a division among the Wanisinese, who variously thought of themselves at this time as being of either Wemnian or Tevopian heritage.
Tensions were exacerbated by the emerging class of mystics, the Haspidi, who entertained broadly strange spiritual beliefs that deviated from established orthodoxy in numerous ways, and would offer phrenology, palm-reading, and other fortune-telling services with obscure origins inside the mystery and rites of Tshayéa. This wave of enthusiasm for astrology had benefits for the state—in that it broke down the barrier between fantasy and reality—but was mostly negative in its effects.
Toward the end of Gegloko III's reign, poisoned daggers became so popular in duels that heavy armour fell out of use, and lighter garb featuring patches of leather or even cloth became the norm in the more civilized (and especially the warm) cities, like Yevesha, Sur'daro, and Chekroba.
Wemnana of the Wemnids
Daughter of Gegloko III, the first time the throne had been directly inherited. Wemnana was the primary benefactor of her mother's writings and had studied them religiously before ascending to the throne in middle age. During her reign, she outlawed the Haspidi and fought against sectarianism, creating much of the iconic anti-Sarthian rhetoric that defines Wanisinese Orthodoxy in the minds of foreigners. She brought up the figures of Berisampo and Tevopina and vilified them aggressively, exploiting this theological schism to refocus the nation state so that the Wemno-Tévopío rivalry did not send the Empire into civil war. This was a role that the Hatelese Commonwealth could not fulfill due to its distance, and the perception of it already as being very 'other;' they were simply too alien, too foreign to occupy the role of a scapegoat.
Alestea III of House Dashro
Granddaughter of Klito XVII. Rulership fell to her because her first cousin once removed (Wemnana) had appointed no successor. Unlike the brief Wemnidi dynasty, she hadn't been groomed to rule. Little was accomplished during her reign other than enrichment of the realms of etiquette, custom, and honours; numerous new medals, titles, positions, and accolades were generated, sometimes hastily, to assuage Sur'daran nobles who seemed on the verge of mutiny. She also spent much of her family's fortune remodelling Dashro House, ultimately greatly diminishing and dishonouring House Dashro.
Alestea's changes to the Senate are a keen example of this decadency. Traditionally, the Senate was a modest group of fewer than 40 members, each a representative from a medium-sized or major settlement, most also cabinet members. Under Alestea III, the Senate's membership grew to over 300, becoming a sort of state pension for nobles that the Empress favoured. Later heads of state would face substantial difficulty in bringing this number down again, and it was not until the reign of Kowakida, some four millennia later, that the Senate again fulfilled a republican function.
Klito XVIII of the Geglokids
Defeated Alestea III in a fair duel after it became painfully clear she was not suited to the throne. Great grand-daughter of Gegloko I. Like Gegloko III before her, Klito XVIII also entered regal life as a heavy-fisted ruler, championing Wemnana's anti-Sarthian politics, but as the memories of the Zokipolla campaign and the Tévopío-Wemno rivalry faded, she grew lax.
The latter portions of the reign of Klito XVIII are remembered as something of a prelapsarian era, in which decadence and civility threatened the traditions of Wanisin. Explorations into the territory around northwestern Limefta prompted retributive guerilla warfare by Sarthian enclaves scattered throughout the Empire's lands, but as there were significant potential natural resource gains to be had from the mountains of northwestern Limefta (particularly in the form of TMF-activating minerals) interest groups among the Senate urged Klito XVIII to the treaty table. As she was suffering from prolonged illness, she was inclined to accede, and was perceived as generally weak in her later years. Public opinion began to see the Sarthians as maligned.
But as the Empire softened, their policy of amnesty toward the Sarthians proved faulty. The long lives of ekeli make extremely long-term, duplicitous plans practical, and during this era in particular Kevrosampa's populace had adopted an anomalously warlike attitude in response to thousands of years of persecution and harsh rhetoric. The Sarthian Insurrection consisted of systematically replacing nobles in key positions of power over almost a thousand years, sowing the seeds for a hostile takeover of the Senate and ultimately the throne.
Seriously ill, Klito XVIII was forced to abdicate the throne to her Minister of Power, Kedoba Salkzida il Survi Dashro, who subsequently declared herself Empress Resea of the New Sarthians and began her coup in earnest. Klito herself would live through the catastrophe, but would be executed alongside Resea once control was reclaimed.
Resea of the New Sarthians
The majority of the military was loyal to their commander-in-chief, Kedoba Salkzida, as she marched outward from the capitol, determined to lay waste to the old regime and to restore the polytheistic worldview of the Ninth Empire—indeed, Resea even went so far as to declare her government the Eleventh Empire.
During the brief period of her reign, Resea seized numerous palaces and mansions in Sur'daro's down-town core and had them renovated or demolished to achieve her vision a new theocratic plaza, the Grand Pantheon, from which High Priestesses of each of the Lilitic goddesses would reign. It was her vision that these religious leaders would supplant the Senate seats of old, inheriting bureaucratic duties that aligned with their spheres of responsibility—so, for example, the successor to the Ministry of Discipline would be the Temple of Secrets. Like most Free Sarthians of Kevrosampa, Resea 'l a Survi Sarthidi believed in the Darika, a school of esoteric religious philosophy that encouraged aligning one's soul with the pantheon to obtain divine favour, spiritual enlightenment, and ascension of the self.
Moilea I of the Tevopids
The Sarthian Occupation lasted less than half a year, concluding with the shelling of Sur'daro by rebel forces under the command of Moilea Karumbea il Lenazza, the Minister of Discipline. Like other Uravids of her day, Moilea's commitment to the survival of the state was rooted in the belief that it was unstable unless a sober, second hand was ready to guide it along a pragmatic course. Consequently she and her followers were well-prepared for catastrophe long before Klito XVIII endangered the old order.
Once on the throne, Moilea's first actions were to execute both Resea and the infirm (but still living) Klito XVIII. Thereafter she continued her efforts to cement power in the hands of the interests that had traditionally led Wanisin: though she officially forsook her faith in Uravan ways as a condition of having her coronation recognised, she expanded the Uravidi immensely and established the Kowako's Gaze surveillance network, into a series of twenty-four outposts scattered throughout the wilderness, on all the continents, that could intercept any signal around the globe, as well as providing points of disembarkation for mobile task forces to put down any future rebellions before they became serious threats to the Empire.
The Kowako's Gaze network proved to be very active. No fewer than twenty revolts arose during Moilea I's rule, many of which were known only by local historians until Kowakida's reformations, centuries later.
Moilea's rule, from a new palace (the Bright Hall) and with much of the power the Senate had previously held stripped away, was no less disruptive to the Wanisinese way of life than Resea's had been. Later historians adopted the convention of calling it the Twelfth Empire, a pejorative that had been used during Moilea's reign (although note that later reigns, starting from Kowakida, are considered Tenth Empire again.) The emphasis on control of civilians extended to public thought much more aggressively than it had in earlier generations, and later scholars have often characterised this era as the Wanisinese equivalent of a police state. Within her iron grasp, many would-be rivals resigned themselves to admiration rather than dare challenge her, begrudgingly acknowledging her authoritarianism as compatible with the success of Imperial policy, if not always entirely commensurate with the heroic self-portrait of Alesteanism that had traditionally defined the Empire.
In documentation from the era of the Twelfth Empire, Moilea and her successors are usually referred to as Míteví Zelaisitheqía ("First Judge" or "Supreme Arbiter") rather than Hakrodeklo (literally "King," usually translated as "Empress.") Even as she groomed and designated her own successors, Moilea insisted in her official rhetoric that she was acting as a regent for the throne until such a time as a worthy bloodline made itself apparent to properly succeed the shamed Houses of Dashro and Geglokidi. However, no concrete criteria were ever established, and it is now believed unlikely that the Bright Hall would have ever voluntarily relinquished the control or power they had accrued.
Moilea suffered a serious injury in an assassination attempt in 9817 and gradually lost the ability to speak, which caused her to step down earlier than planned two years later. She eventually died of old age in 9830. Although technology was available to restore her speech, she seldom used it, thinking the artificial voice sounded too feeble. In preference she relied almost exclusively on handwritten notes to communicate to her staff, government officials, and when providing counsel to Deztra I. Many of these documents were later collected into a book of suras by the Ministry of Discipline.
Deztra the Elder of the Tevopids
Not related to Moilea or the Tevopids by blood, Deztra the Elder and her sister, Deztra the Younger, were inducted into Moilea's inner circle, and later family, on account of their fierce loyalty and devotion to the Ministry of Discipline. Sabta Deztrida Anoska saw that Moilea's consolidation of power was crumbling even before her death due to discontent with the narrow power structure the Empress imposed. Deztra I resolved to lead in a more charismatic way, without compromising the spy networks that her predecessor had worked so long to reform. This plan was not entirely successful, as the spy-mistress was unaccustomed to public speaking and came across to the public as narcissistic.
The Tevopidi retained their stature in the (much diminished) Senate and among the higher echelons of the nobility throughout Keli Deztra's reign, but the wide-scale perception that she was weaker than her predecessor prompted the other castes and most Hakri to push back against Moilea's legacy and Deztra's continuation of it, and by 9888 this had emerged into open civil strife in Sur'daro. In 9889 she was dragged from her palanquin and cut down in the street while her guards turned a blind eye, resulting in the execution and permanent dissolution of the royal guards, the Tovseri Geris (Vermillion Eyes).
Deztra the Younger of the Tevopids
Anta Deztrida Dominea, known during her reign as Deztra II, is little remembered aside from her decision to progress her sister's agenda. She hastened efforts to renew Sur'daro and appease the crowds without making any real concessions, aside from the symbolic gesture of building a new complex for the government, Sabta Palace, which would notionally recognize the importance of the Senate. Deztra II also punished the Tovseri Geris, a Ministry of Power unit that had been loyal to Moilea but not Deztra I, and replaced them with her own elite unit, the Tovseri Galis (Golden Eyes), which was drawn not from any ministerial pool but as a levy of scions, one from the family of each Senator. The Tovseri Galis did not last long in their original form, as it almost immediately became a microcosm of political tensions in Sur'daro rather than the elaborate web of mutually-assured destruction originally planned by Deztra.
Kowakida of the Geglokids
Anti-Tevopidi sentiment remained strong throughout the final years of the tenth millennium, and it was only a matter of time before they were ousted entirely in favour of a new set of allegiances among the Sur'daran elite, centred around Kowakida, a descendant of the ancient house of Wemno. When the elderly Kowakida assumed the throne in 9905, she curtailed the power of many of the Moilean-era institutions, but stopped short of abolishing any of them, to the great dismay of her supporters: a debt was owed to the Uravans for saving the Empire from Resea, though their influence would never again be as great as it had become. The Senate remained small, and the Bright Hall continued to house the hub of the sizeable information-gathering network Moilea I had constructed, wherein deca-millenarian prognostications of doom hung heavy, seeded in part by Tevopidi loyalists within the Ministry of Discipline who yearned for revenge.
Bolstering the credibility of these prophecies came a series of volcanic eruptions around 9948, which blanketed the world in thick clouds. This kept the Imperial airfleet grounded and plunged the climate into a small ice age for the next two centuries. It was during this period that much of Wanisin's oceans were explored for the first time by the Empire, who had for the first time built a substantial military navy. The most significant conflict of this age was the putting down of a rebellion on the Wandering Isle, where the governors of Dumal-Keta had declared that petty Sur'daran intrigue would no longer hold sway over the fate of their citizens' lives. Ket-Gegloko lasted from 9973 to 10060, ending in a brutal conquest.
Moilea II of the Alestids
Without question the only woman who could follow in the footsteps of Kowakida was her Minister of Power, Moilea Alsoinia il Alestidi. Two generations earlier, the Alestids had nearly been wiped out during the Sarthian Occupation of 8104, but the Chekroban branch of the family survived, and its greatest scion was Moilea the Massive, whose immense stature had gifted her with a unique reputation for winning knife duels with her bare hands. Indeed, Moilea was so popular after her conquest of Dumal-Keta that she had been courted more than once during Kowakida's reign by would-be insurrectionists. It would not be until her mentor's passing, however, before Moilea II accepted the touch of the Hand of Ekhessa and the throne.
Once in power, Moilea's reign proved to be an uncontroversial one. Determined not to share the reputational fate of the last Empress to share her name—both were named after the legendary Moiléa Tévopía, so the word itself had weathered Moilea I's souring legacy—she shuttered the Bright Hall and began a secret audit of the Ministry of Discipline in search of anyone who had divided loyalties. The audit's results were made public in 10324, soon after its completion. Few outside of the Ministry of Discipline were displeased with this outcome, although within the Ministry she was called Moilea Sofathea, meaning "the Dimmed," "the Darkened," or "the Unenlightenable."
Moilea II's remarkable physique did not, unfortunately, make her literally invincible. While camping in the mountains south of Kelonra, an assassin (thought to be of Uravan affiliation) fell upon her. Though she was able to repel the attack and defeated her assailant, she went without proper treatment for her injuries for nearly a month in the cold Spring rains, and would ultimate die of pneumonia. Without an appointed heir, the Senate fell into chaos, and only after two years of rioting and infighting would the throne be properly reoccupied. This brief crisis, sometimes called the Raiyeshega affair (after the city nearest to where Moilea II was camping) or the Linzimi Letemidto ("Chill Crisis," because candidates alleged in their braggadocio that they could have weathered the same predicament that had killed her), saw the deaths of more than a dozen worthy contenders with credible primogenitary claims in a brief but chaotic exchange of vendettas. Many insults and injuries from this period would be remembered in the War of Inheritance.
Alestea IV of House Dashro–Tevopidi
Several families, including the first-born bloodlines of the issue of the Deztras (House of the Tevopids), most of the Geglokids, the Wemnids, and what remained of the venerable House Dashro were officially extinct after the Raiyeshega affair. Some of these bloodlines still existed de facto, particularly the highly fructiferous House Dashro, but the survivors had married into less important clans and abandoned their former names in favour of better titles. Alfossa Shouthimia Dashro–Tevopidi was a very unlikely Empress, pushed into the position by more powerful relatives who did not have the cachet to stake a claim on the throne except by right of conquest. Most importantly, she was considered inoffensive by all the major factions that had suffered in the affair, and it was expected her reign would be one easily puppeteered by the coalition in the Senate, which was now occupied by low-level bureaucrats from little-known families who had risen through the ranks as the vendettas thinned the aristocratic canopy. This was known as the Senate of Successors.
On the throne, Alestea IV ruled much as expected, largely allowing the Senate to conduct the business of government without interference, as she had not been raised for statecraft and preferred to spend her days in leisure. An accomplished pilot and skydiver, whispers that she would probably die in an accident "soon" persisted throughout her reign. Her actual contributions to government consisted mainly of ratifying legislation and giving speeches that she had no hand in writing, and historians sometimes call her Wanisin's first constitutional monarch as a result of the power the Senate held during this era. Indeed, frustrated with having to frequently attend to government business to assist her Minister of Power in breaking deadlocks, Alestea IV enacted several laws of her own design that forced the Senate to behave like a true legislature when she was uninterested in it. Her successor would repeal this aberrant bill with extreme prejudice, but it set a precedent that the Senate would sometimes informally follow during future crises.
As it happened, Alestea IV never did have a fatal accident, arranged or otherwise; once the legislative project she had been elected to supervise was complete, she happily abdicated and was still alive as late as the coronation of Alestea V, some nine centuries later.
Gegloko IV of House Slefrella
In the final constitution of Alestea IV were several new means by which claims to the throne could be made legitimately. In the old ways, claimants needed to be either designated successors, conquerors (in war or duel), or heirs via primogeniture. The Senate had previously used a simple majority to elect Gegloko II and Alestea III (who also had a strong claim by blood), but as neither of these rulers had been paragons of Wanisinese virtue, their confirmations were retroactively deemed illegal by the Reform of 10902. Instead of allowing future Empresses to be chosen merely by majority vote (which was felt to be too corruptible), candidates first had to be vetted through one of several processes designed to ensure the next ruler would be of sound character.
Geiloa Yehathezra (the Patient) il Slefrella was born into the ruling family of Chekroba during the reign of Kowakida and married into the Alestidi Chekrobain. She was selected by the new rules on the advice of the Ministry of Wisdom, which had recognized her for her contributions to philosophy and military theory, as well as her management skills. This intelligent but resolute woman appealed to the Senate of Successors, and so she was approved with little deliberation.
Gegloko IV was the first empress not to exclusively hold court in Sur'daro. Fond of travel, she would return to Chekroba when the southern hemisphere was experiencing winter, and receive audiences at the venerable estate of Apeshutha, which had been home to several famous second-echelon families including the Slefrelli and the Kevrolli that had figured significantly in local politics and in the lower Ministries. Although her reign would be quite short at only eleven years, the first-ever appointment of a Wanisinese northerner quickly seemed to demonstrate that the Succession Act of 10902 was sound legislation.
It was not without its detractors, however. As soon as Gegloko began rebuilding the Senate, misfortune began haunting the Slefrelli. Children fell ill, crops failed, racing animals were mortally wounded, and formerly sound business contacts withdrew support. The Kevrolli, who had been instrumental in securing the nomination of Geiloa, fared even worse, losing a crucial asset—the book-keeping patent for the Chekroban Games—along with their entire fortune, and no matter where either family looked for aid, it seemed everyone refused to assist them. Aggrieved, Gegloko IV abdicated in a speech made to an empty Senate of her own appointees.
Ioya I of the Koraktids
A liberal believer in the wisdom of her Senate peers, Ioya I relaxed oversight of the Ministry of Power, and indeed lightened the portfolio of the Ministry itself. Died of old age. Her reign is remembered as something of a gilded age, during which commerce and relations with Kelonra were at an all-time high, and basna was widely available throughout the Empire. Ioya I was already quite old when she ascended the throne and felt her life was at a natural close, so she did not use basna.
Setora I of the Kelonrids
Widely popular ambassador from Yevesha who was close to Ioya I. Rose to power against a backdrop of civil unrest born from the deathbed confession of Ioya I, that the Koneftidi had played a part in the downfall of Gegloko IV, and she had been complicit in it to maintain stability. This was a key reason why she had relaxed the Ministry of Power, so that it would not uncover evidence of this betrayal.
Atvodslefa (Alestea V) of the Alestids
Died under mysterious circumstances; her wagon driver was tried and convicted as an assassin in the pay of the Dekozi (Deklorebezi), a minor house later discovered to be aligned with the Koneftidi.
Tuktangida of the Koneftids
Murdered in her sleep after revelations by the Uravidi that the Dekozi had ties to the Koneftidi. This sparked the War of Inheritance, open combat between the Koneftidi-aligned houses and Alestidi/Koraktidi-aligned houses.
Moilea III of House Survi Motani
Killed at the climax of the War of Inheritance when the Koneftidi forces stormed the parliament hall at Sabta Palace. Survi Motani was a short-lived faction of the Alestidi concerned with making amends to end the war, but once enthroned Moilea found herself powerless to control the divided Senate.
Klito XIX of the Loyalists of House Dashro
Had been a stable voice of reason in the Senate since the days of Ioya I. Would have ascended the throne earlier were it not for the feud with the Daughters of Kona. House Kazarla (also spelled Kazarlya) was founded from the Koraktidi, Alestidi, and even some Koneftidi-aligned houses to oppose the growing power of the Koneftidi. The Koneftidi were banned from holding power in the Senate, and Klito XIX re-strengthened the Ministry of Power.
Alestea VI of the Koneftids
Took the throne from Klito. Intended to destroy Al-Regwa, Klito's home town. Military turned on her, unwilling to spill the blood of their own. Charisma led to a cult that persisted after her death, operating out of her huge mausoleum complex outside of Lenazza.
Klito XIX (second reign) of the Loyalists of House Dashro
Reinstated by Marshal Ekhessa Famea (last of the Koneftidi, later of the Geglokidi) after Alestea VI's very public execution. Died of insect bite (or possibly poison) while on campaign quelling rebellion in Dumal-Keta. Her death was long and drawn out, lasting some 20 days, during which time she was able to appoint Tamaksia I as her successor.
Tamaksia I of the Rotomids
Considered the last Empress of Classical Wanisin, as well as the first Empress of Modern Wanisin, Tamaksia I's reign at first appeared to be a return to norms, as it was unfettered by the trappings of the vendettas that had characterised politics in Sur'daro for the last eight centuries. This calm did not last as long as expected, however, as a series of events in 12302 resulted in a change of allegiances by the secretive Serena tel Moukarhim to favour Sarthian rebels over her previous long-standing alliance with the Empire, followed by the collapse of the Shade of Ossa, desegregating Wanisin from the rest of the K–H–T Expanse. In one night, a billion stars lit up the night sky, and all of the rules of politics and governance were up-ended, never to be the same again.
The suspicious nature of the Wanisinese politician acclimates well to new environments, where more naïve and insulated leaders may have stumbled, and it is thanks to this paranoia that Tamaksia was able to remain an effective ruler while emissaries, humanitarians, journalists, and worse—tourists—hammered on her door, patiently demanding for Wanisin to divulge the secrets of its protracted and private existence to a universe where transparency was the mode, and media permeated virtually every facet of life. Aided by a newfound contriteness from Serena, the Empress successfully appealed to cultural relativism to justify slavery, civil war, duelling, and other such barbarities on Wanisin, while simultaneously also ascribing the majority of the blame to the insulation imposed on them by the Hatel Commonwealth.
Serena was formally granted Wanisinese citizenship (before any other hadali), and she was immediately pardoned of all charges by the Imperial government. While the court of public opinion was never so sympathetic, the Hatel eventually accepted most of this amnesty as penance for their own misconduct in the Wanisin cover-up, and the millennia of solitude from her own kind—the "longest prison sentence ever served"—was moving testimony for many. Ultimately, she returned to seclusion and a life of piracy in parts unknown, having never officially stood face to face with any Commonwealth representatives.
Tamaksia presided over the decline of innumerable Wanisinese institutions, including the aforementioned barbarities, but most importantly the forced alienation of Kevrosampo and other Sarthians that had sustained the myth of the state-designated enemy for so long. By her reckoning this struggle had fundamentally changed: it would no longer be to crush the Sarthians, but to assimilate them into a new institution of pan-ekeli nationalism. To that end she reached out to the Lilitai of Thet, who were directionless and fractured, having gone centuries without leadership following the abdication and disappearance of Venakoa Illera. She promised them something they could never hope to obtain for themselves: revenge against the crown family of Illera for their derelict scion.