High Adventure by the Saltless Sea
Empire of the Glory of Jost Steelarm
Founded nearly six hundred years ago by demi-god Jost Steelarm, the Empire, as its name indicates, existed primarily to glorify its leader. Every battle, building project and meal was dedicated to Steelarm, and every success was attributed to him.
His conquest of the island was aided by a lengthy war between three of the five kingdoms that then comprised it. Allying himself with the other two, Steelarm took the three by surprise once they had weakened themselves sufficiently, then turned on his allies and siezed control of all of Avertice.
Steelarm’s reign followed a fairly simple pattern of conquest and domestic improvement. When his forces were strong enough, he would set out to invade a nearby people. When circumstances forced him to abstain from empire-building, he turned his attention to the lands around him to stave of his restlessness and boredom. By his command the people of Avertice built the tiered capital city of Hake, constructed roadways and irrigation systems to enhance agricultural production, started colossal mining projects in the mountains of Skund and drove the non-human populations of the island into hiding (and occasionally extinction).
At its peak, the Empire of the Glory of Jost Steelarm included most of the Saltless Sea’s island chains and individual islands, the Trung Delta and token portions of the former Greater Mercantile Kingdom and Forgotten Kingdoms. Stymied by the naval power of the Fecund Peninsula and with few desirable conquests in the immediate vicinity, Steelarm was beginning to turn his eyes toward the lands to the West at the time of his death. With the loss of its god, army, capital city and almost half of its population in the destruction surrounding that death, the Empire swiftly dissolved, though some vestiges still remain in Port Ovkul and most prominently in Trung.