This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

- --part0_886861041_boundary
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Hey folks;

Here's my first draft of the Imperial Heralds' history. Your comments &
opinions are desired and welcome! You can either reply here or leave a post
for me on the Online City message board. Or email me personally if you
prefer. More to come...


Kevin M.

P.S. Darkstar, feel free to add this to the Netbook, though I may revise it
based on any comments I receive.

"The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."

- --part0_886861041_boundary
Content-type: application/rtf;
Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable
Content-disposition: inline

{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\uc1 \deff0\deflang1033\deflangfe1033{\fonttbl{\f0=
\froman\fcharset0\fprq2{\*\panose 02020603050405020304}Times New Roman;}}=
{\colortbl;\red0\green0\blue0;\red0\green0\blue255 ;\red0\green255\blue255=
\red255\green0\blue255;\red255\green0\blue0;\red25 5\green255\blue0;\red25=
5\green255\blue255;\red0\green0\blue128;\red0\gree n128\blue128;\red0\gree=
n128\blue0;\red128\green0\blue128;\red128\green0\b lue0;\red128\green128\b=
\red192\green192\blue192;}{\stylesheet{\nowidctlpa r\widctlpar\adjustright=
\fs20\cgrid \snext0 Normal;}{\*\cs10 \additive Default Paragraph Font;}}=
{\*\listtable{\list\listtemplateid529698640\listsi mple{\listlevel\levelnf=
\levelstartat0\levelspace0\levelindent0{\leveltext \'01-;}{\levelnumbers;}=
\fbias0 \fi-360\li360\jclisttab\tx360 }{\listname ;}\listid2003315691}}{\=
*\listoverridetable{\listoverride\listid2003315691 \listoverridecount0\ls1=
{\title IMPERIAL HERALDS - A Brief History}{\author Preferred Customer}{\=
operator Preferred Customer}{\creatim\yr1998\mo2\dy5\hr20\min18}{\rev tim\=
yr1998\mo2\dy5\hr20\min32}{\printim\yr1998\mo2\dy5 \hr20\min25}{\version4}=
{\nofwords1052}{\nofchars6000}{\*\company }{\nofcharsws0}{\vern71}}\marg=
l1440\margr1440 \widowctrl\ftnbj\aenddoc\hyphcaps0\formshade\viewk ind4\vi=
ewscale100\pgbrdrhead\pgbrdrfoot \fet0\sectd \linex0\endnhere\sectdefault=
cl {\*\pnseclvl1
\pnucrm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl2\pnucltr\pnst=
art1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl3\pndec\pnstart1\pnindent7=
20\pnhang{\pntxta .}}{\*\pnseclvl4\pnlcltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnha ng{\p=
ntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl5
\pndec\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl6\pn=
lcltr\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl7\pnl=
crm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhang{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl8\pnlcl=
{\pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}{\*\pnseclvl9\pnlcrm\pnstart1\pnindent720\pnhan g{\=
pntxtb (}{\pntxta )}}\pard\plain \qj\nowidctlpar\widctlpar\adjustright \f=
s20\cgrid {\b\fs24 IMPERIAL HERALDS - A Brief History
\par By Kevin Moss
\par }{\fs24 The Imperial Heralds of Anuire were founded in the year 62 H=
C by Oleandas Maranthyr, a famous half-elven bard. Oleandas, a widely re=
spected scholar, performer and teacher who had studied under the great e
lven master Celeban in the years before Deismaar, u
ncovered a plot by Brecht anarchists to kill Anuire's second Emperor (Roe=
le's successor). The plotters had hoped that their act, following so soo=
n on the death of Roele, would plunge the Empire into chaos, since the is=
sue of a second heir to the Iron Thr
one was at the time in doubt. Thanks to Oleandas, however, Roele's line =
survived and flourished, thus ensuring the survival of the Empire. The p=
olitical chaos predicted by the would-be assasins would not occur for ano=
ther thousand years.
\par In gratitude f
or saving his life, the new Emperor rewarded Oleandas with a position at =
Court, and gave him an important assignment: create an elite force of ski=
lled heralds who would be the eyes and ears of the Empire, working direct=
ly under the Imperial Chamberlain (t
hen Boeran Dosiere).
\par Initially, their main role would be to identify potential threats an=
d dangers to the Emperor, his family and his vassal Regents. The Emperor=
wisely recognized the truth of the axiom, "knowledge is power". If he =
were to rule well, h
e needed to be well-informed of events, factions and social trends throug=
ht the Empire's vast dominion. This would enable him to deal fairly and =
justly with all his diverse subjects --- as well as alert him to any risi=
ng enemies to the Iron Throne. Thus

the Heralds' job would be to gather information, with the ultimate aim of=
insuring the personal protection of the Emperor, his vassals, and the Re=
alm itself. They would do so by serving as ambassadors, advisors, messen=
gers, special investigators and cour
t heralds throughout the Empire, providing an unprecedented network of in=
formation and communication.
\par Oleandas knew that in order to carry out this ambitious mission the =
Heralds needed to be intelligent, wordly, tactful, resourceful and wise. =
He immediate
ly set about establishing a training program, and a year later his school=
was officially christened the Royal Heraldic Academy. A broad curriculu=
m was developed for the school, including the scholarly arts (history, la=
nguage, literature, music, philosoph
, etc.), political science, diplomacy, court etiquette, personal combat a=
nd stealth, and magery. A hierarchy of rank was put in place. At the to=
p was the Chamberlain, who oversaw the overall operation of the Heralds a=
nd was their liason to the Emperor.

The Academy itself was governed by a council of Elder Heralds, led by Ole=
andas, who were based in the Imperial City and reported directly to the C=
hamberlain. Beneath the Elders were the Master Heralds, each with their =
own jurisdiction within the Empire.

Each Master Herald had a staff of Senior Heralds, who supervised the main=
force of field operatives known simply as Heralds. These ranks were lar=
gely a matter of internal distinction, as any member could be referred to=
by the generic term "Imperial Heral
\par For a guiding philosophy to unify his people, Oleandas borrowed a mu=
sical metaphor: if all the individuals who made up the Imperial Heralds c=
ould be seen as "tones", then their unification of purpose was a "chord".=
Thus, each individual was seen as wo
rking in harmony with the whole, forever bound together in joint service =
to a single cause. In Heraldic parlance, one's actions were considered "=
harmonious" if they served the overall mission, and "discordant" if they =
did not. Around this basic principl
, Oleandas developed the "Covenant of the Chord", a body of sacred oaths =
and traditions which still stands today as one of the world's finest poli=
tical treatises. First, all Heralds were required to swear unswerving, e=
ternal loyalty to the Iron Throne an
the honor of the Empire. In addition, because of the potential power th=
e Heralds possessed, all were required to swear that they would never see=
k political office or the regency of any domains or holdings for themselv=
es, on pain of death. Nor were they

permitted to influence a domain for purposes of personal gain. This assu=
red that they would never abuse their power in the service of greed or se=
lfish ambition, and never be corrupted to act against the Throne. The Cov=
enant of the Chord remains the corne
rstone of the Imperial Heralds' reputation for personal integrity, honest=
y and neutrality, even giving rise to the colloquial expression, "a heral=
d's promise", to signify a true and binding oath or agreement.
\par As time passed, Roele's line became more secure
and the Empire grew in strength. The Imperial Heralds flourished as wel=
l, and their role expanded accordingly. Although they continued their or=
iginal mission of protecting the Emperor, they found themselves more and =
more serving in the roles of arbiter
advisor, translator, chronicler, newsbringer, entertainer and teacher. =
They were widely sought by regents of all types for their knowledge and w=
isdom, but also for their charm, talent and wit. By accumulating vast st=
ores of information, they soon becam
e the valued keepers of the Empire's cultural heritage -- its history, ar=
t, literature, music, and more. Their work helped to unify the Anuirean =
society, creating a lasting sense of cultural identity for a vast and dis=
parate populace.
\par During the Empire's
heyday, the Royal Academy expanded its mission as well, opening its doors=
to a broader student body and becoming a respected university. Almost a=
ll of the teachers were Senior or Master level Heralds. All citizens of =
the Imperium who could pay the tuiti
n fees and pass an initial entry examination were admitted. At its core,=
the school for those destined to become Imperial Heralds remained, but t=
he Academy now also served the people of Anuire directly, as a center of =
learning and culture. The Imperial
Library and Museum, the repository of all the knowledge compiled by the H=
eralds, became the largest such facility in all of Cerilia, and its resou=
rces were made equally available to all citizens. It was truly a golden =
\par After Michael Roele's untimely d
eath and the bloody dissolution of the Empire, the Heralds' influence wan=
ed. Many were unjustly imprisoned and executed as spies by selfish regen=
ts in their mad grab for power. Oleandas' carefully built network collap=
sed amid the chaos of civil strife.

Retreating to the relative safety of the Imperial City, the Heralds conti=
nued to serve the Imperial Chamberlains in a desperate attempt to keep al=
ive the culture and glory of the Empire. With the truce that ended the b=
loody civil wars 70 years after Mich
ael Roele's death, the Heralds slowly began to rebuild what they had lost=
, but the devastation to their organization wrought by generations of war=
had been almost total.
\par Today, the Imperial Heralds' information and communication network i=
s but a shadow o
f what it once was. Nonetheless, the Royal Academy still trains Heralds =
for Imperial service, and Heralds are once again a sign of prestige in th=
e courts of Anuirean regents. And they still serve the current Imperial =
Chamberlain as gatherers of knowledg
e and stewards of Anuire's heritage, with fervent hopes that the Empire m=
ight one day be reborn.
\par }}

- --part0_886861041_boundary--