The History of the Sarpadian Empires

Posted in Arcana on October 5, 2006

By Wizards of the Coast

Sarpadian Empires Vol VII
UntilTime Spiral, the story of the Sarpadian Empires (also known as the Fallen Empires set) had only six volumes. But with the introduction of the long-awaited Volume VII, it seems like a good time to go back and look at the story of the previous volumes, as far as we can tell from the fragments that appear on flavor text:

Volume I

Volume I of Sarpadian Empires sets the scene for the set: Orcs and Goblins are attacking the Dwarves and the Order of Leitbur while the Elves are dealing with climate changes by breeding Thallids.

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
Dwarven Soldier"Although the Dwarves staunchly defended their walled city-states against the Orcs, their civilization was the first to fall, and its name was sadly lost." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Feral Thallid"Born and bred of fungus, Thallids were nearly impossible to kill." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Orcish Spy"Orcish armies often employed the smaller, swifter, and less intelligent Goblins as spies." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Order of Leitbur"Trained to battle the followers of Tourach, the Order of Leitbur was not as successful in later conflicts with Orcish and Goblin raiders." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Thorn Thallid"The cooling climate forced the Elves to experiment with new food sources." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Aeolipile"Although fragile, the Aeolipile could be quite destructive." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I
Balm of Restoration"Not all armies enjoyed the services of a medic. For them, Balm of Restoration was that much more valuable." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. I

Volume II

In Volume II, which deals with the black cards, Endrek Sahr's Thrulls rebel against the Order of the Ebon Hand.

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
Basal ThrullInitially bred for sacrifice, the Thrulls eventually turned on their masters, the Order of the Ebon Hand, with gruesome results. —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Thrull Retainer"Until the Rebellion, Thrulls served their masters faithfully—even at the cost of their own lives." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Thrull Wizard"In crafting intelligent Thrulls to assist in sacrifices, Sahr inadvertantly set the stage for the Thrull Rebellion." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Derelor"The derelor's greatest contribution to the Ebon Hand was the inspirational effect its creator's execution had upon the other thrull breeders." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Hymn to Tourach"The eerie, wailing Hymn caused insanity even in hardened warriors." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Hymn to Tourach"Tourach's power was such that his followers deified him after his death." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II
Initiates of the Ebon Hand"Many Initiates sacrificed a hand to become full members of the Order." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. II

Volume III

Volume III addresses the fall of the Elves. Looking for a new food source, the Elves encouraged the Thallids, which created Saprolings, which drove the Elves out.

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
Thorn Thallid"Scholars still debate whether the Thallids were truly sentient." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Elvish Hunter"As the climate cooled, many Elves turned to Thallid farming for food, while the Hunters honed their skills on what little game remained." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Fungal Bloom"Thallids could absorb energy from the forest itself. Even Elves were at a disadvantage in fighting them." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Night Soil"There were often more Thallids after a battle than before." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Thorn Thallid"The danger in cultivating massive plants caught the elves by surprise." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Elven Fortress"The size of the obvious Fortress walls often misled foes. Actually, the Elves enchanted the forest itself to provide the first line of defense with tangling vines and stinging thorns." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Elvish Hunter"Elves often tipped their arrows with a drug that caused a deep but harmless sleep." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III
Thelonite Monk"As the climate worsened, some Thelonites turned to fertilizing with fresh blood in an attempt to keep Havenwood alive and growing." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. III

Volume IV

In Volume IV, the Orcs and Goblins attack and eventually destroy the Dwarves and Icatia.

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
Brassclaw Orcs"Brassclaws were typical Orcs—quick to laud their own prowess in battle, quick to jeer at their opponents, and quicker still to run away when things started to look slightly dangerous." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Brassclaw Orcs"The large brass claws worn by some Sarpadian Orc tribes were among the least feared weapons ever known." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Brassclaw Orcs"The Brassclaws delighted in lightning raids on Icatian and Dwarven towns; an unprepared enemy is easier to defeat." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Dwarven Armorer"The few remaining pieces from this period suggest the Dwarves eventually made weapons and armor out of everything, even children's toys." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Dwarven Catapult"Often greatly outnumbered in battle, Dwarves relied on catapults as one means of damaging a large army." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Dwarven Lieutenant"Dwarven officers were tireless in battle, moving up and down the lines to rally their troops and boost morale." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Empty the Warrens"They'd pour out of the warrens to make war (and to make room for the littering matrons)." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Goblin Grenade"According to accepted theory, the Grenade held some kind of flammable mixture and was carried to its target by a hapless Goblin." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Goblin War Drums"The Goblins' dreaded War Drums struck terror into the hearts of even their bravest foes." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV
Goblin Warrens"Goblins bred underground, their numbers hidden from the enemy until it was too late." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. IV

Volume V

Even though the Vodalians were able to adapt to the changing climate, a new threat was able to usurp their place; Volume V describes the coming of the Homarids

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
High Tide"By the time their enemies noticed the sea's changing mood, the Vodalians had often shifted formation and were ready to attack." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. V
Vodalian Soldiers"Vodalian Soldiers had some unique advantages. Often they would ride into battle on war machines rumored to have come from the far northern oceans." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. V
Vodalian Soldiers"The cooling climate introduced a new threat to Vodalia: the Homarids. Once a minor nuisance, they thrived in the changing environment. Their ceaseless attacks strained Vodalia's defenses to their limit, eventually overwhelming the empire." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. V
River Merfolk"Dwelling in icy mountain streams near Goblin and Orcish foes, the River Merfolk were known for their stoicism." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. V
Svyelunite Priest"Early Vodalians worshipped Svyelun, goddess of the Pearl Moon. Later she became a more abstract figure." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. V

Volume VI

And Volume VI (until Time Spiral, the final volume) concerns the doom that came to Icatia.

CardSarpadian Empires Fragment
Goblin Grenade"Without their massive numbers, the Goblins could never have launched such a successful offensive." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Combat Medic"Without Combat Medics, Icatia would probably not have withstood the forces of chaos as long as it did." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Icatian Infantry"Valiant Icatia was the last of the Sarpadian empires to fall. Its faithful soldiers defended their cities to the very end." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Combat Medic"Although Icatia's Combat Medics borrowed much of their knowledge from other societies, their skills were their own." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Icatian Scout"Because the Orc hordes attacked along the entire border, Scouts were essential to Icatia's defense." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Orcish Veteran"Orcs often greeted promotions to Icatian battle with anguished wails and pleas for mercy." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI
Order of the Ebon Hand"There are intriguing similarities between the Order and Icatia's Leitbur religion, suggesting the two had a common origin." —Sarpadian Empires, vol. VI

Volume VII

Of course, Time Spiral brings us the previously-unknown Sarpadian Empires, Vol. VII. And what does it do? By itself, it replicates five cards that are central to the story of the Sarpadian Empires: it lets you create a white Citizen (like the Icatian Town!), blue Camarid (Homarid Spawning Bed!), black Thrull (Breeding Pit), red Goblin (Goblin Warrens), or green Saproling (Night Soil).

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