The Empire had several active branches of their military. The Imperial Army in particular was known as the Vanguard, and they were instrumental to the Empire’s rise. When the empire fell, the remaining units away from the event’s epicenter banded together and retained their name. Setting up camp in a fortress they dubbed Magnaturrim, they initially held the line against the wave of abominations that initially came forth from the expanse. Centuries later, they have been lax in that duty, and are spread throughout civilization as mercenaries and “protectors” – specifically, the kind that demands protection money. Their leader, Dux Magnus, is of the opinion that they should aspire to more – including becoming a house in their own right, or at least effectively owning one.
They took a major step in that direction a few years ago when they entered a formal partnership with House Laenas – an uneasy step, but a major one. Laenas soldiers now train with them, which has vastly improved their combat prowess, especially the elite among them. They’ve withdrawn from House Adranos and House Varro territory, which has lead to unease especially from Adranos, who is unhappy about losing more influence.
The Imperial Sorcerous Legion was a true terror in its day, enforcing the Empire’s will and maintaining powerful wards across the empire. The Legion was almost entirely torn to shreds when the empire fell, but the few that were stationed in backwaters and at Altumschola banded together to create the Legio Arcanum. They’re mostly interested in regaining the knowledge they lost in the fall and especially poking into the ruins of the Empire for more. Commander Octavian in particular has a keen interest in the Commercium’s occasional trade of ancient trinkets, and they’ve butted heads over the years over this.
House Varro’s actions in Compitum weakened them greatly, as they lost out on an opportunity to gain more influence – especially in the now-burgeoning artifact trade. As such they’re far more open to dealing with the other houses and engaging in deals negative to Varro.
The general consensus is that the empire fell because something was done to greatly displease the Gods. Years after the empire’s fall, the Ecclesium was born – a church devoted, in theory, to pleasing the Gods again so that the Empire may rise anew. In practice, the holy men of the Ecclesium often vary what they define as “pleasing the gods” based upon their wants and desires. Still, many in the citizenry and nobility alike believe that their words ring truly, so they hold considerable influence.
The Ecclesium and House Varro are far more intertwined now than they were, as Lord Corbulo granted them considerable land and favor after the taking of Compitum. Major Varro officials and praetors are also ordained as Ecclesia. This partnership has lead to talks of Varro researchers having split loyalties and teaching secret magic solely to those who are pure in their devotion.
End of the empire or no end of the empire, everyone has to get paid – and as soon as contact was re-established between cities, the Commercium was formed. It’s a union of traders, dedicated to maintaining market supremacy across the known world through sheer numbers and the ability to shut independent traders out via political pressure.
The Commercium is very interested in maintaining the artifact trade, especially now that it’s been increased – which now more often than not puts them at odds with House Varro, who wants more control over that. There’s talk of their money being slipped into even more palms than usual to keep things “competitive”.