Flintlocks & Fireballs
The rise of Emperor Leder
The Rebellion is arriving fast on the heels of another, far more successful, uprising. This was the overthrow of the Sigmund Dynasty by a consortium of trading houses and industrialists, as well as the Jottenar family and (of course) Leder himself.
The Sigmund Dynasty
For as long as history has been recorded, the seat of Emperor was held by the mighty Sigmund dynasty. Under the Sigmunds, the Empire expanded over the whole of the southern lands, forged powerful trade routes, conquered all the nonhuman races, and effectively brought the light of civilisation the world.
Day-to-day running of the Empire was handled through a parliament consisting of an upper class of nobles picked by the Emperor; democracy was effectively unheard-of (and largely, still is).
The Sigmund dynasty began to falter when they failed to recognise the potential of industrialisation. Economic power slipped out of their hands and into the possession of the factory-owners, the railway operators and the mages. As the upper classes found themselves less and less capable of imposing their will and increasingly squeezed, Emperor Sigmund took desperate action to cling to power and dissolved the corporations.
This proved to be the flashpoint for military action, with the middle classes and their supporters quickly deposing the Sigmund dynasty and its lackeys.
The hero of the revolution was then-General Leder, a popular war-hero who won fame taking Riverport from the Stellazzo, so it was inevitable that Leder be crowned the new Emperor. His supporters expected him to be a nicely pliable mouthpiece; Leder had other ideas, and wasted no time ensuring that those who expected him to toe their line were fingered as sympathisers to the old administration and removed from power, to be replaced by his supporters from the Jottenar noble house. These days, the Jottenar — after Leder himself — are the dominant power in the Empire.