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The previously titled 'T____?' is now veering towards Toatl/Tirros as a working title.

It is titled after the ancient (and mostly disused) name of the dominant 'Blackland' Empire on the 'Reaching' continent. In the past, the Blackland Empire (then called the T____ empire) controlled the whole of the north. It receded, then increased and vice versa over time, until a supervolcanic explosion brought it to an end. A new tribe eventually came to dominance, giving rise to the Blackland Empire.

My basic idea for the Empire is that it's based on the civilisation that built the Great Zimbabwe. Of course the land is home to many smaller nations but the main ones dealt with will be based on the Xhosa (occupying the west), the Shona and perhaps the Lemba(occupying the central region) and lastly the Warozwi in the east. I doubt there will be an opportunity for this note to be included in the narrative, but the southernmost tribes (living along the mountain ridges the Egbajum border) will have a language based on Akoose. This will only make sense to me, but mostly because it is one of the Bantu languages with some possible/very distant relation to Igbo (on which the Egbajum are based).

This means that the entire 'Northern tongue' is essentially based on Bantu, with the dialects varying according to the region. I hear Crisselti 'Northern' as being the equivalent of pidgin medieval Italian as spoken by a central/east African, and so on as you go further east: the Eastern Kingdoms resembling the countries of Eastern Europe around the time of the Renaissance, hence their language, though slavic in origin will have a Bantu twist to them, though less the further east you go (until you get to the islands where all hell breaks loose. Yes, where would I be without my UK equivalent?)

[They probably deserve a story of their own, but I must attend to this one first!]

The ruler of the Empire is elected from a selection of royal children suggested by the previous ruler. They hold a position higher than the minor gods as well as some of the Great Ones in the Imperial pantheon (the nature of deity is slightly different - most of the minor gods are the great figures of antiquity, venerated by their descendants. The Great Ones are the usual anthropomorphic natural forces. According to their beliefs, some humans are capable of greater feats than the gods and such humans include the Emperor/Empress - immortality is not seen as a requisite for a deity (the beliefs of the people concerning the soul are similar to Ancient Egyptian beliefs - the soul is not a single entity and some parts are mortal {the flesh} and others have longer/infinite lifespans. The longer the lifespan, the more abstract the part becomes) - principally for his intelligence, knowledge and power).

The Emperor/Empress rules with several advisors that specialise in certain fields/areas. They reside in the 'Heart', the capital city of the Empire.

The role of the Emperor/Empress is to safeguard the Empire, rather than to expand it. Expansion/development/etc are seen as the perogative of the people, particularly the chiefs/warriors/priests/merchants as tribute to the ruler. In peacetime, however, part of the nobles' tribute includes that of obediance, which is one of the reasons the current Emperor was able to amass a huge army with which to take over the North again.
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