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Things you will need to know if you wish any of this story to make sense:
About one hundred and forty ago, an extremist quasi-government group known as the Black Dragon Kingdom assassinated the king of Acheron and used an artifact stolen therefrom to set upon the world what they believed would be their ultimate weapon.
This “weapon” was a group of beings, ancient and powerful almost beyond measure—the Battle Titans. The Titans had been imprisoned throughout the continent since the era following the war against the gods. The Black Dragon cabalists thought hey could control the titans through powerful magic they had uncovered. They were disastrously incorrect.
The titans, once free, raged across the continent, destroying all they surveyed. Over the following decades, the Battle Titans used their gift of prophesy to mete out those who would end their terrible reign and eliminate them. This often meant the leveling of cities or genocide to erase the threat one member of a tribe or race may have presented. Examples of this genocide included the near-extinction of true dragons.
After over forty years of tyranny, the Battle Titans were eventually defeated with the help of an army of storm giants from across the ocean and from a colossal adamantine golem retrieved from another plane to kill the last Titan. Their population decimated, the people of Acheron began the recovery of their civilization with haste.
There were, however, differing opinions on how this should be accomplished. Among the survivors, the natural leaders emerged and brought within their influence those who shared their views. Four factions were created, and each grew more and more different from the others as years passed. Eventually it became necessary to establish a true government and ruling class for the people of Acheron. It was agreed that each faction would legitimize itself as a kingdom within the Acher territory and the four would collaborate for the greater good as an empire.
So it is that each of the four regents takes a 20-year turn on the imperial throne, ruling for the duration of one of the preternaturally long two-decade seasons now the norm in the world.