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The early empire was not founded by the runelords who later grew to dominate it, but rather by the First King Xin, who was honored in the names of the empire’s seven capital cities. More than 11,000 years ago, Xin established lawful orders of knighthood and wizardry, endowed monastic traditions, and devoted donations of the kingdom’s wealth to charity and the end of hunger. Yet, more than a benevolent ruler, Xin was a visionary. In seeking to create a paradise of civilization within the span of his own lifetime, he called out to beings from beyond reality and bargained with ancient dragons. These mysterious accords granted Xin an understanding of rune magic—said by some to be the written language of creation—and brought the worship of the mysterious goddess Lissala to Thassilon. Inscribing his orders, contracts, and writs with these symbols of power, he regulated trade, established justice, and arranged his ever-growing lands into seven great domains with an efficiency inspired by magical aid and compulsion. Xin’s just, magic-suffused decrees became known as the Rune Law, and brought about incredible works, empowered the servants of the domain, and compelled the creation of wonders, all of which motivated Thassilon’s swift ascendance in power and influence. This was called the Celestial Age of the Empire.

Each runelord was a master of a school of magic, a specialist wizard of the deadliest caliber. In Thassilon, there were only seven recognized schools of magic (their wizards lumped divination magic into the universal school), and each school was associated with one of the seven virtues of rule.

Envy: The art of suppressing magic other than your own. Related School: abjuration. Prohibited Schools: evocation and necromancy.

Sloth: Calling agents and minions to perform your deeds for you, or creating what you needed as you need it. Related School: conjuration. Prohibited Schools: evocation and illusion.

Lust: Magically controlling and dominating others to satisfy your desires, and controlling other creatures’ minds, emotions, and wills. Related School: enchantment. Prohibited Schools: necromancy and transmutation.

Wrath: Mastery of the raw destructive powers of magic, and channeling those destructive forces. Related School: evocation.  Prohibited Schools: abjuration and conjuration.

Pride: Perfecting your own appearance and your domain through trickery and illusions. Related School: illusion. Prohibited Schools: transmutation and conjuration.

Gluttony: Magic that manipulates the physical body to provide an unending thirst for life. Related School: necromancy. Prohibited Schools: enchantment and abjuration.

Greed: Magically transforming things into objects of greater value or use, and enhancing the physical self. Related School: transmutation. Prohibited Schools: enchantment and illusion.