Etuan, the land of the west, was once comprised of independent realms. an alliance was formed between halflings and elves, the halflings were afraid of the dwarves and their powerful armies who controlled most of the mountain lands. despite the strength of the two apposition forces neither entered into open war instead the races kept to their strongholds and occasionally entered into small battles in border regions. The humans entered the war as a 3rd faction, being both ambitious and foolish, they attempted to fight on 2 fronts against both forces and attacked strongholds directly. They eventually surrendered to both forces after a few short months of bloody conflict. The dwarven and halfling/elf alliance came together and decreed that the number of humans that were killed was catastrophic and barbaric and should never happen again. The races formed an alliance which became the empire of Etuan. The negotiations were lead by an elf called Rhovanion, who the people came to accept as their leader and became the first emperor.
When Rhovanion was very old he had no descendants so instead he elected Todina the halfling to be the next emperor. This custom became tradition and eventually law that the emperor could not pass ruler-ship to anyone who shared their bloodline or race.
The empire is ruled by emperor Vuraltis. He is a 400 year old elf who is a kind and fair ruler, there are very few who dislike him, he does what he can for the poor whilst also holding grand events for the rich and festivals for those in between. Under his rule there have been few wars and prosperity. In recent years the emperor has fallen victim to a rare disease which has caused his body to age rapidly and become very frail in the space of a few short months. The empire is beginning to strain under the uncertainty of things to come. Old rivalries are surfacing between the regions and the capital is filled with hopefuls, sons and daughters of lords, who are all drawn to discover who will be names successor and many are trying to put themselves forward for the role.