The Empire of the White Tower is the largest and most influential government of the Lost in the world. Officaly headquartered out of Guildhall in London, the Empire claims to rule all Changelings from the vast territories once possessed by the British Empire.
The Empire is headed by the Imperator of Roses, currently the Empress Victoria. The Imperator has few powers other then to decide when the reigns of the various seasonal courts begin. The real power is held by the High Regent of the Season, the leader of the seasonal court that has power at that given time of the year. Day-to-day running of the empire, including matters of war, peace and budgeting. The four Seasonal Regents are selected by their own individual courts. When that regent is in power they have supreme authority, superseded only by that of the Imperator (who can "veto" any decision simply by declaring a change of the Seasons).
It was recently revealed that the Membership Committee, a influental beurcratic body in the Empire, also weilds an undue amount of influence rivaling the seasonal regents. This "shadow government" is said to be deeply connected to the mysteries of the empire.
- The Court of Spring, Led by Queen Edane
- The Court of Summer, Led by King Percival
- The Court of Autumn, Led by Queen Mary
- The Court of Winter, Led by King Albert
History of the Empire
“De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum Dicendum Est” -Motto of The Eccentric Club
The First Empire
What is agreed upon is this - in the generations before the Great Fire of 1666, the Lost of London banded together and created a great and powerful Empire. Led by a noble ruler called the Emperor of Roses, it is said that they possessed great magics and wealth, and they walked openly, fearing not the Arcadian or Mortal gods. This "First Empire" was vast and seemingly indefatigable, but was undone by its own foolish pride and hubris. When the Great Fire spread through London, it burned through the Hedge as well, killing the vast majority of The Empire.
Rumors continue to spread to this day of the exact nature of the Fire that killed the first empire, with some mystically minded Changeling claiming that it was no simple fire, but the embodiment of Summer itself that came marching through London. These claims are impossible to substantiate.
Rise of the Seasons
In the years following the Great Fire, the surviving Lost banded together not as a unified force, but in the four great seasonal courts, as a method of confounding and confusing the dread Arcadians who started to take advantage of the chaos in the wake of the First Empire's fall to attack their escaped slaves. For nearly 100 years the four courts ruled well until a series of disagreements arose over when winter truly ended and spring began. As the signs of the seasons changed and shortened, the tensions between the seasons grew greater until they culminated in a Seasonal Civil War. For 7 years the Lost fought among themselves, leaderless and powerless to maintain their territories.
The Second Empire
The War eventually ended with the signing of The Charter of the Land and the restoration of the position of Emperor. With an Emperor to adjudicate the disputes of the seasons and the rediscovery of the Imperial Palace, the "Second Empire" was born. This second great Empire presided over the expansion of Britain into the greatest power in the world and brought the power of the White Tower with them. By the end of the reign of The mortal Victoria it was said that every true freehold in the world paid homage and tribute to the Empire . During this time period the fortunes of the empire became entwined with The Eccentric Club. Modern changelings refer to the early days of the Second Empire as the Pax Imperia because of the great peace and prosperity of the times.
The Third Empire
The Second Empire prospered for many years until the London Blitz, which, like the Great Fire, destroyed large segments of the Hedge, including the great Imperial Palace, seat of the First and Second Empires. Most of the records, artistic works, and secrets of the old empires had been lost forever. The "Third Empire" was founded in the wake of the blitz and continues to today.
One of the more traumatic events in the known history of the empire occurred in 1997 when, following a series of negative encounters with the beings who live in The Hedge, the population of the Empire went to War with the collective forces of the Goblins. This conflict, known today as the Anglo-Goblin War, led to the deaths of several prominent members of imperial society, including several leaders of the Court of Summer and the Empress Anne leading to the rise of King George of Summer, and the promotions of the Queen of Spring to Empress and her ward to Queen of Spring. Sadly the end of the war did not end the conflicts within the empire as in the next year a coup d'etat overthrew the King of Autumn, Henry and replaced him with Queen Mary, formerly the Duchess of Pledges.
While the new millennium seemed to start a new era of peace, cracks formed quickly among the citizenry. In 2010, a conficlt flared between the Empire and refugees from various freeholds around the outer reaches of the Empire. Called King George's War by the general population, the War resolved with great difficutly and sacrifice, most notibly the sanity of George himself who, for his own good, was sent into Exile by the Empress and replaced by King Percival, the Young.