Jeffrey Bardwell


         dark epic fantasy author

The Iron Empire

The empire has a history of


The Kingdom of Corel

Corel is one along record of


The Northern Territories / Confederation

The People of the Northern Clans as they like to be called are factious, stubborn, and primitive in every concievable way.


pending . . . 

Glossary of Esoterica

Artificer's Guild: An association of talented techno artisan princes who are both literally and figuratively responsible for keeping the steam-powered Iron Empire running. They are the hands that grease the gears.


Black Guards: The province level, state administered police force of the Iron Empire. Trained at the Imperial Academy. Responsible for quelling domestic enemies.


Black Tower: The palace in the heavens that awaits mortal men and women after they die.


By the Gods' _____: Misappropriating the gods' holy body parts and excretions to manufacture crude epithets is the delight of the uncouth and lower classes everywhere. The bodies and bodily functions of the five major deities are sacrosanct and should not be used for verbal profanity.


Dragons: Ferocious, wild beasts with furnace breath, diamond scales, and razor claws. Tend to see large, armored forces as a territorial threat. Juveniles and adults exhibit different preferences for both dietary and habitat selections.


Golden Diplomats: The diplomatic corps of the Iron Empire. Trained at the Imperial Academy. Responsible for quelling foreign allies.


Healer's Guild: A rather loosely organized group dispersed throughout the empire to administer medicinal care to merchants, commoners, soldiers, the bureaucracy, and their fellow guilds without fear or favor.


Illuminator's Guild: The lowest of the low, but who serve a vital function in the empire's urban centers. They maintain both the sewer-fueled public street lamps and the pressurized methane gas network that provides light to private residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.


Iron Empire: The empire is a cosmopolitan polity forged by welding five kingdoms behind a single, enterprising nobleman. Technology is the power that greases the imperial machine and keeps society running. Magic is considered a violent crime.


Kingdom of Corel: A fairytale kingdom adjacent to the empire, which has managed to retain its independence due to their wizards' fearsome reputation, the mountains on the border, and the dragons infesting those mountains. Magic is considered a scholarly pursuit.


Lamper: (derogatory, Empire) A member of the Guild of Illuminators.


Lobsters: (derogatory, Empire) An epithet for the Red Army, who have largely been shunted to political irrelevance, debased their once noble traditions, and precipitously lowered their recruitment standards.


Mage: A wizard, a sorcerer, someone with the ability to manipulate and store ethereal energies. They are largely feared and reviled within the Iron Empire.


Metal Pounder: (derogatory, Empire) A member of the Guild of Artificers.


Magic: Ethereal energies, mysterious and dangerous.


Northern Road: The major trade route connecting the central hub of the Iron Empire with the Northern Territories. Merchant caravans travel south to peddle wares while missionaries travel north to peddle religion.


Northern Territories / Confederation: A loose confederation of barbarian tribes who united behind one goal: death to the invaders. After a brutal stalemate war during the founding of the Iron Empire, the tribes agreed to become a nominal protectorate on the fringes of the empire until they were granted their independence centuries later.


Quill Jockey: (derogatory, Empire) Sensu stricto – A member of the Guild of Scholars. Sensu lato – Someone whom through the whimsy of the five gods has been chained to a desk and had a nib glued to their fingers.


Red Army: The military arm of the Iron Empire. Trained at the Imperial Academy. Responsible for quelling foreign enemies.


Scholar's Guild: A collective of men and women who devote their lives to gathering, archiving, and interpreting written knowledge. They do not maintain the imperial libraries so much as infest them. What useful function, if any, these people serve within the empire is subject to debate.


Sign of the White Tower: The act of clasping one's hands and raising the index fingers to form an approximation of the White Tower while praying to the five gods. Otherwise known as steepling.


Tailor of the Flesh: (derogatory, Empire) A member of the Guild of Healers.


Tailor's Guild: A collective devoted to the manufacture and marketing of clothing products.


The Five: An abbreviated appellation for the collective five major deities.


White Tower: The palace in the heavens where the five gods and host of demigods watch over the world.

Wizard Rebellion(s): The violent uprising in the Iron Empire, Year 195, when the disenfranchised mage population sought to overthrow their emperor and smash his bureaucracy. This rebellion resulted in a draconian backlash as mages are not only still suppressed, but hunted and executed as traitors to the state until the second rebellion in Year 495.

(The Artifice Mage Saga, Circa Year 489 - 500)