The Empire was born out of the Old Kingdoms, a series of feudal states ruled by various petty kings and queens. Unified under the first Emperor, Taranis Kuhl, the Empire was formed and began to prosper. At the height of its powers, the Empire encompassed the continent, then known as Exekia, southern Dardanos, and the western half of Zantium.
The Empire reigned from their capital seat, Carthmere. Each emperor ruled for an era, the approximate equivalent of 480 human years. At the end of every era, an order of princes, one from each city, would come together to decide which of them would be the next emperor. The princes held their titles for life; if one was killed, another was chosen out of the people of their city by the current emperor.
Due to the destruction of most imperial buildings, including libraries, schools, and temples, very little of the Empire's culture and architecture remains intact. The most notable surviving construct is the emperor's palace. After Erasmus razed Carthmere, he took up residence in the imperial palace. The palace was decorated with ancient Exekian artworks; Erasmus' son Cassius ordered that these be destroyed. Nearby was an underground necropolis, where numerous Exekian national heroes were buried; the tombs were robbed and the bodies were burned.