"Alone, Bael Turath represents civilization. The rule of law. We united all as one people, under one banner. If Bael Turath falls, thousands of years of history and progress fall with us." -Emperor Incerion Pelaios
Titled Ruler: Emperor/Empress Pelaios
Governance: Constitutional Monarchy
Cities: Amgarrak, Ansalon, Batiri, Bhaerynden, Bownammar, Cadash, Delzoun, Durotar, Fallcrest, Hammerfast, Harrack Unath, Heidrun, Hoelbrak, Ironforge, Kal Hirol, Kal Repartha, Karaz Ankor, Khaz Modan, Maelbrathyr, Monadhan, Ortan, Rathir, Sarthel, Sutulak, Vor Kragal, Vor Rukoth (Capitol)
Common Folk: Mankind
The Empire of Bael Turath was a living work of art. From the vibrant skies to the twisting trees to the creatures themselves that thrummed with power, Bael Turath owed its bright existence to the presence of a mystical blue substance known as aether, physical mana. In Bael Turath mana had a more tangible presence: it could be seen, touched, and even harnessed.Most aether on Bael Turath existed in its raw form high in the upper reaches of the aethersphere. Under the right conditions, the brilliant blue substance made its way down to the empire below. When touched by aether, nature reacts. Trunks of trees form horizontal spirals to leach as much power as possible from the gusting winds. Flowers bloom in bucket-shaped blossoms to collect falling aether rain. Mountains are pockmarked with dazzling, luminescent aether gems pounded into their sides by the squalls. And waterways carve paths through the land to reflect the seasonal ebb and flow of aether tides in the skies above.The wildlife of Bael Turath was affected too, attracted by the magnetic pull of aether. Flocks of birds migrate with it, schools of fish swarm around it, wild beasts battle over the richest deposits, and gremlins consume condensed, nonreactive aether geodes. Creatures such as skywhales, drakes, and high-flying birds have evolved to live in the volatile, energy-rich aethersphere itself, spending their lives basking in its radiance and amassing its magical power. It was always clear to the people of Bael Turath that aether was powerful, but they found reliable ways to collect and use that power. The refinement process they developed separated the charged, energy-rich component of aether from its volatile, reactive mana component. This allows people to harness the power of aether without risking life and limb.Mere months after the first successful refinement, Bael Turath's Imperial Senate saw the opportunity to ensure that the power of aether was made accessible to all. The Empire developed methods for mass production and distribution of refined aether. Safe collection techniques were established, airships were commissioned for transportation, and aether pipelines were constructed to carry the refined energy directly to homes. Much to the fortune of the Empire, the availability of aether spurred what came to be known as the Golden Boom. The Imperials of Bael Turath, many of whom were inventors and craftspeople, now had access to power beyond their dreams. It was a time of frenzied invention, boundless hope, and wondrous celebration. The Empire continued to encourage the optimistic and creative environment that the Golden Boom helped to foster. Bael Turath was a civilization where anything was possible, everything was buildable, and any problem could be solved by the power of mystical aether.But even in the seemingly perfect Empire of Bael Turath, there were those who were dissatisfied. A faction known as the rebels believed that the Empire was concealing information and innovation from the public. They thought that by enacting safety regulations and aether distribution quotas, the Empire was infringing on their freedoms. And they saw the centralized authority of the Imperial Senate as a tool for oppression. These rebels defied the Empire as they attempted to restore the independence they believed they deserved. Since the Golden Boom began, artisans, engineers, and architects in Bael Turath had been on a ceaseless spree of invention. This had led to a civilization where cogwork automatons walked the streets, ornate whirling thopters flitted over the marketplaces, animal constructs acted as humble companions, and dramatic airships soared through the highest reaches of the aethersphere.The aethersphere of Bael Turath was saturated with aether due to a weaker Veil and greater proximity to the boundaries of the other planes. The influence and cyclical passage of aether through the Empire was the driving force of the civilization. The aethersphere could be observed as twisting swirls in the sky. From time to time, this aether came down in rain or similar weather events. The entire ecosystem was influenced by it and grew with it in similar swirling and twisting patterns. Refined aether was the primary power source for most of Bael Turath. In Vor Rukoth, the raw aether was harvested from the sky via large aetherspires placed on mountaintops or thopters, refined, and then pumped through large pipelines all over the city.
After flourishing for an era as isolated neighbors, Nerath and the Dwarven Empire united into the Empire of Bael Turath under Emperor Aethax Pelaios following the War of Nerath. The Pelaios family became the Imperial bloodline, and ruled through the Imperial Senate without fail until the Cataclysm. The Wizard of the Spire Garel-Kai, with the aid of the Spire, united Vor Rukoth, Vor Kragal, Harrack Unath, Maelbrathyr, Monadhan, Sarthel, and Sutulak, the great cities of Nerath, and then all the realms of the Empire, with arcane portals called Cullis Gates; artifacts which remained functional even into the fourth era.
Bael Turath was an ethnically-diverse empire where work that would be done with magic in other realms was instead accomplished through machines. The automatons, thopters and other artifacts of the empire were all fueled by aether, physical mana. These artifacts were built as much for beauty as for function, and inventors were among the most valued members of society.
Bael Turath was ruled by an Emperor of the Pelaios bloodline, and the Imperial Senate. Its forces and works were nearly omnipresent. Since the discovery of harnessing mana into aether, the Empire had reportedly worked to ensure that it was accessible to all, leading to an era known at the time as the Golden Boom. The Empire promoted and patronized new studies and discoveries, rewarding the most impressive. The Empire also heavily regulated the use of aether, assigning its use among the citizenry. They were opposed by rebels, who believed the Empire corrupt.
The Imperial Legion was relegated to peace-keeping duty for the majority of the second era. Until the War of Ruin, the Imperial Legion had little cause to mobilize for battle. Their numbers dwindled as the need for such a force dwindled. When the Empire of Arkhosia began the first invasion of the War of Ruin, the matter of reforming the Imperial Legion became a significant difficulty, and it was only by the support of the Order and the Steel Vanguard that the empire had time to form a force to fight the Arkhosians. The Imperial Legion made up most of the Turathi forces, which were led by the Knight Protectors of Nerath.