Shiro I of Ralgon

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Born 1650 AN, he died at the age of 55 AN years in the early days of 1705 AN of a rare, aggressive form of cancer that even his country's most advanced medicine was unable to remove. From 1673 AN to 1705 AN as the Ralgon Emperor, reigning since New Year's Day, 1673. He served for 32 AN years as the Ralgon Emperor, having taken that title upon his coronation. He is also the head of state (ex officio) of Adrestia as the King of that country, his title being made official in early 1675 AN. That title reverted to the Adrestians immediately on his death.

His full title was Shiro the First of That Name, Lord of the Ralgons1, King of Stormhold2, King of the Mountain3, King of Adrestia4, Emperor of Drag'os5, Defender of the Faith, and Liberator of the Senate and People of Drag'os.

The reign of Emperor Shiro saw a tumultuous history within the Empire. While, at the same time, the Empire reached its zenith and created affluent Ralgon populations all over Micras, he also presided over the worst crises to ever befall the Empire since before living memory. During the 1680's AN, he has seen his power wax and wane the most, with the Empire's greatest successes and defeats occurring simultaneously in those intervening years. However, it was the contraction of empire that occurred in 1686 during the Ralgon Civil War that most devastated the Empire. Although he managed to hold the Empire together against a series of rebellions and losses against natives in The Green, he only barely managed to emerge intact from the carnage. As the leader of the central Ralgonese state, by the close of his reign in 1705 AN, his government's effective authority ended beyond the island of Drag'os and some important settlements on northern Cibola, with the majority of the Empire now being under the rule of Adrestia, the other constituent half of the Empire.

While the Emperor's reign was, by and large, a partial success, his chief failure lay not with the receding power of the central government (which Adrestian sources claim he deliberately orchestrated), but instead with his failure to produce a direct heir to his crown. Instead, he bequeathed his throne to the infant Adrestian Prince, named Masamune (the fourth of that name to bear that title). While having a direct heir would normally avoid the generally bloody selection process, this unprecedented break with tradition, while made to save the Empire, ultimately destroyed the last of his authority after his death of cancer in 1705 AN.

Because of a lack of a native heir, and his supposed passage of a crown that was no longer his on death to an "outside" noble (despite said noble being in the Imperial Family himself), the gap in reality and ability for the central government to uphold its own law and produce a rival claimant threw the Empire into chaos. While the Emperor had, during life, promised the crown (notably in secret) to a specific heir, the royal title ceased to belong to the Emperor upon death. The extremely aged Emperor Emeritus, Nobunag'an IV of Ralgon, was unable to stop the chaos from spreading beyond the Senate halls due to each side refusing to give up a priceless possession each thought belonged to them: The Imperial Crown.

With the Adrestian heir being a child, the Emperor Shiro now freshly dead, and the Emperor Emeritus being (according to Valoran accounts) too weak from age-related illnesses to act decisively, the door was thrown wide open for the Ralgon War of Succession to begin. This second civil war would prove to be the death blow for the ability of Drag'os, the homeland of the Ralgon peoples of the world, to lay claim to any form of central authority in the future. Instead, the only legacy that Emperor Shiro would decisively leave behind outside of military tradition would be the firm solidification of the worldwide Holy Draconic Church.


1 Clan title only. Not used on official documents since 860, which saw the Kingdom of Stormhold's formation.
2 Since 1260, during the reign of Bael'ar IV.
3 "King of the Mountain" denotes Glacier City, SAR, used since 228 AN. Personal union maintained since 1178.
4 Never used by itself in official documents. Princely title held fully in right by Masamune II as of 1692.
5 Monarchs instead used the style "King of Kings of Drag'os" from c. 1330 to 1672.
6 Since 1687, in the aftermath of the Crisis of 1685.