The Ankhanan Empire
History of the Empire
For many years, Ankhana was ruled by the Prince-Regent, Toa-Phelathon. Toa-Phelathon held the regency for the Child Queen; she was seven years old when she ascended to the throne, and was the last member of Ankhanan society with royal blood running through her veins. Before the King died, Toa-Phelathon had been merely one of many nobles in Ankhana, and a trusted advisor to the King. After the King died, Toa-Phelathon made a bid for the throne, as did many of the Dukes and Barons and other nobles of Ankhana. What won it for Toa-Phelathon was inevitably the backing of the Monastics.
The Monastics, having an enormous amount of political power and influence in Ankhana, were able to ensure that Toa-Phelathon controlled the throne. After making Toa-Phelathon regent, the Monastics gained even more power in Ankhana society, since they in return had the backing of the de-facto ruler of Ankhana.
Toa-Phelathon was a decent Regent. While he did more than his fair share of pissing off the Stonebenders in the Gods' Teeth, and he initiated several minor fights with Lipke, the Prince-Regent did a decent job of keeping things together without the full backing of the nobles. He was unpopular with the nobles, even more so because he circumvented the need for their support by instead getting it from the subs of Alientown. While he didn’t do anything to overtly support the Primals or the Stonebenders, it was fairly well known - if not official - that if the nobles were to ever try to push Toa-Phelathon off of the throne they'd have to defeat not only the loyal Ankhana Constabulary and Military, but also several of the Sub gangs, who prospered rather decently under his rule.
All of this changed as Toa-Phelathon began to chafe under the strictures imposed by his sponsors- the Monastics. He began to love his young charge as dearly as he did his own daughters. By extension, he began to care for, and develop a sense of duty towards her kingdom. It was not just a source of power to him any longer. He began to take steps to consolidate her kingdom, and to drive out the outside influence of the Monastics. He foolishly did not count on the fact that even as Regent, they could still reach into his life.
Toa-Phelathon was assassinated in his high tower, his killer able to somehow make it past the legions of guards that stood between him and any attempt on his life, and escape. Many say that this is impossible- that it was an inside job. However it was done, the Child Queen and Toa-Phelathon’s family did not survive him by more than a week. Ankhana was plunged into a 10 year civil war that affected not only their kingdom, but destabilized the nations that surrounded the great power. It was a bloody time, as the lack of a strong power in the area plunged the whole continent into war after war, with no end in sight.
Into this power vacuum stepped the great sorcerer Ma’elKoth. He wielded unprecedented magickal powers, but in addition to that was a gifted orator and diplomat, though none know if this was actually an addition or more likely an effect. In any case, over the course of the next five years, he not only stabilized the wreck that was now Ankhana, but succeeded in uniting the nations of the realm under his rule, creating the first Emperor of the region. His tactics could not be called benign, and at the very best he is a beneficial tyrant. Those that disagree with his policies too openly or too often many times disappear. But the senseless bloody wars are a thing of the past, and persecution of subs has been stopped. He has even stopped the superstitious slaying of those found to be Aktiri- instead incorporating the best of them in the royal security services. While it is true that many freedoms have been lost, most believe the stability and security that he brings to the Empire are well worth their loss.
Branches of Government
Imperial Constabulary: The Imperial Constabulary is essentially the police force of Ankhana. They man the garrisons with the Military, as well as the ten towers around Old Town including the bridge houses. They can frequently be seen all around Old Town and the South Bank, and there's usually a couple dozen patrolling around the Industrial Park, but you rarely see them in Alientown, and they almost never enter the Warrens. It just tends to be too dangerous to go into either of those districts, and while having a presence there would go a long way to cleaning up the city, the general policy is that the constabulary has more of a need protecting the rich and the nobles than they do the beggars, downtrodden, and other dregs of society.
In general, the Constabulary is the first line of defense against crime, and they are the men and (sometimes) women entrusted with keeping order in Ankhana. They inspect ships for contraband, make arrests, and do everything you'd expect police officers to do. They tend to wear chainmail hauberks painted in the colors of Ankhana, and frequently carry broadswords. Some choose to carry iron-tipped clubs, and when fully armed they can typically be seen bearing shields and spears as well. They always travel in pairs, and at least one always carries a crossbow.
The Grey Cats: The Grey Cats are the elite soldiers of the Empire. Armored only with dove grey jerkins and breeches reinforced with steel-wire, they Grey Cats rely entirely on their speed and skill to prevent themselves from getting hurt. They're armed either with a broadsword or a shortsword (or both) and they are feared throughout the Empire as being the most highly trained warriors in the world. Whenever there's a disturbance that affects the Empire as a whole, the Cats are sent to deal with the problem, rather than the Constabulary. Sometimes the Constabulary goes too, but they're typically led by the Grey Cats. They are considered to be the Imperial-Special Operations division of the Ankhana military.
The King's Eyes: The King's Eyes are the intelligence agency of the Empire. Some of them are soldiers trained in the art of espionage, others are powerful Thaumaturges, and some are simply people well versed in the art of procuring information. They come in all forms, but when it comes to politics, the Eyes are even more feared than the Grey Cats. Led by the Duke of Public Order, Toa-Sytell, nobody dare whisper treason in Ankhana, even to their own family in the comfort of their own homes, for it is said that the King's Eyes can hear through even the thickest of stone. They dress in blue and gold tunics when in their dress-livery, and often carry shortswords on their waists along with identical daggers. Sometimes they even carry small, compact crossbows.
The Donjon Guard: A branch of the Constabulary, the Donjon Guards are in charge of the Donjon.
The Ankhana Military: The Military itself is rarely seen in Ankhana. They hold a base attached to the Southwest Garrison on the South Bank, but otherwise not stationed in the city proper. They tend to be more prominent inside provinces and smaller cities where they need a bit more than just a simple constabulary presence. Frequently they wear chainmail hauberks with steel plates over easily hit areas such as the shoulders and the forearms. By and large they tend to be better trained than the Constabulary but somewhat less well funded, at least in the Capital.
The military frequently patrols outside of Ankhana (the city), protecting the city from bandits and Ogrillo tribes.
The Blackguard: The personal royal guards of Emperor Ma’elKoth, these highly trained men are hand-picked to work in the Colhari Palace and tasked with the personal protection of the Emperor himself. No expense has been spared in outfitting the guard, and they even sometimes have magickal gifts from the Emperor himself. As of late, the Blackguard has become populated mostly with Aktiri, to the consternation of the old guard and the nobles.