No one living knows where the Haen came from. The extensive libraries of Uxai only make mention of them at the rise of the empire. A man named Jaephus-later Emperor Jaephus I-helped the Amani raise the Five Pillars of Salt. He claimed to be from an island previously unknown named Roanisa. He and the other Haen that later traveled with him were pale skinned like the Skivendian northmen, but they had powers akin to the fey slavers. They saw without seeing, they spoke without speaking. They were otherworldly, it seemed.

In a historical irony, the Amani allegiance with the Haen started a domino effect across Circadia (the world as they called it), uniting almost all the human tribes under a single Haen banner. The Great Empire ruled for 10,000 years, building great palaces, statues, and monuments to mark their glory. Even the minor palaces of the Roanisa’s port cities were larger than any building built on any of Circadia’s three continents.

The last 1000 years of the empire saw marked decline. Art dwindled. Construction slowed. And political infighting among the Haen aristocracy used the other human clans as pawns in a grand Machiavellian game. 10,000 years to the day that Jaephus I declared himself emperor, Jaephus XX disappeared into a well some claimed bored all the way to the other side of the world (cartographers had scientifically confirmed that Circadia was the shape of a convex lens and to attempt to sail around the world would cause the ship to plummet into the nothingness of space, so to reach the other side required a tunnel of some sort). This tunnel was called the Well of Infidelity.

With the disappearance of Jaephus XX, the Amani reasserted their independence. The empire shattered like glass. The magistrates of the four city-states of Naissan all declared themselves the new emperor and immediately went to war with the throne. Brinland declared its independence, and so forth. Over the next millennium, the empire irrevocably collapsed so that even the most stalwart vassals, Uxai and Ylel, assumed their independence.

Now 2000 years after the collapse of the empire, there are few Haen left on Circadia. Many died in the various human clan uprisings. Many others died warring with one another. As the world receded farther and farther back to its primitive human roots, Haen magic was seen as dangerous and they were burned as witches and sorcerers. Those that remain live a hermit’s life, often consumed by a mad lust of power with delusions of reforming the empire. Isolated towers, shacks, or even caves might be home, but never in cities, never in groups. The crazed oracle living in the woods who was supposedly old in one’s grandfather’s day could be Haen, but rare would it be that she would admit as much.

It is rumored that when the last Haen dies, the Well of Infidelity will open and the souls of the dead will bear Jaephus XX back to his palace followed by the end of the world.


Empire Rising NHWriter