The Founding

The City was founded–and the modern calendar begins–in 1 CD. Sejan, the de facto leader of the refugees, established a settlement overlooking the bay. The ships were stripped and scuttled offshore to prevent the invaders from easily identifying the site, and a fortified citadel was constructed of hewn stone to protect the citizens. This construction used up the limited resources that the refugees had brought, and they soon found themselves at the same technological level as the surrounding Outsiders.

While the expected attack by the invaders never came—indeed, they vanish from the historical record altogether—the nascent City soon had to contend with Outsider attacks. While poorly organized, the lack of a technological edge meant that these early battles were hard-fought, and the Outsiders—as has been the case in every subsequent conflict—outnumbered the defenders.

In the face of this onslaught, Sejan and the surviving Sepulcher clergy devised the foundations for their new society—renewed technological emphasis and territorial expansion to secure a buffer zone against the Outsiders. By allying with several loose groups of Outsiders, Sejan was able to take a considerable area of fertile land surrounding the city. Once the frontiers had been established, the Citizens turned on their Outsider allies and expelled most of them, while others were kept as slaves to work the new land.

By the time of his death in 44 CD, Sejan had conquered the core area of the modern City and Farmlands. He had overseen the establishment of all the trappings of a new society, invigorated research with the aim of re-establishing the technology of the Precursor City, re-founded the Sepulcher and laid the cornerstone for its basilica, and created the ancestor of the modern Citizens Armed Forces. For these achievements, Sejan was the only ruler of the City ever to receive the moniker of “the Great.”

The Imperial City

Though Sejan himself had not used a title, his son Valer was awarded the title of king by the leading citizens upon his father’s death; this began what later became known as the Imperial Period. Though initially intended as a temporary measure, Valer and his successors rapidly consolidated their power, and within a century the City’s government had become a hereditary monarchy. The early kings were generally able rulers who continued Sejan’s focus on technology (though the people had regressed to an Iron Age level since their arrival) and built a powerful military to expand and protect the Farmlands’ frontiers.

In 592 CE, King Aurel V proclaimed that the City would henceforth be ruled as an empire. Declaring himself Emperor Aurel I, the monarch moved swiftly against the City’s nobility in a brief but sharp civil war. Many of the City’s nobles were executed, and those that remained were reduced to landowners with hollow titles. Aurel oversaw the creation of a unitary state in which nearly all power was centralized in the hands of the emperor. While this led to short-term stability for Aurel and his successors, it had dire consequences for the rest of the population.

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