The Harkad Empire
The greatest of the kingdoms of the east, the Empire has for thousands of years dominated its neighbors. Its hold on the other kingdoms has seen many changes over the centuries, and at present its dominion is largely limited to nominal traditions and taxation, with the six provinces being mostly autonomous. When the Stone Prophets first arrived on the continent, the Harkad emperors received them gladly, and were eager to learn their ways. In time, the Men of the East came to regard them as gods.
To this day, the cult of the Stone Prophecy remains the official religion of the Empire, although it is no longer widely practiced in any meaningful way. Most of the Men of the east view it as mere superstition and fables, choosing instead to serve the Elder Gods of their ancestors, or to be without religion of any kind. While the Emperors once persecuted ‘heretics’ in the past, in recent centuries it was decided that these religious wars were too disruptive for trade, and, more importantly, for the efficient collection of taxes, and so the Empire has enjoyed a considerable degree of religious freedom for some time now.
That having been said, the Emperors themselves, as well as many of the highest officials, still worship the Stone Prophets and their demonic agents, the Tomach’nar. For this faithful service they have been rewarded with some of their arcane secrets, including a sort of steam technology, the making of minor firearms, and long life. It is believed that the current Emperor, Pelagius XVIII, is over two hundred years old.