No one would call themselves king today except for the dwarves in the West who mostly keep to themselves. The Elves and Giants in the Northern reaches are ruled by queens but are too busy warring amongst each other to be of any concern to humankind. The world is largely as it was before the fall of Emperor Helmund Torang VI. In that time Sirinaria’s main continent was divided into dozens of city states each with their own king.
King Helmund Torang IV ruled over Endlass which is now present day Greegate. In those days the kings – descendants of generals from the war between the true dragons, that lived when the Earth was still cooling and all magics were as yet untamed, against the Old Ones who created Sirinaria as nothing but an afterthought – held artifacts and magics of great power. While they warred against one another often in petty skirmishes no king was willing to truly test another for fear of arousing their true powers. In truth these artifacts and magics existed as forgotten dusty tomes and relics locked away in the deepest recesses of their respective strongholds, not lost, but forgotten as only a glimmer of fear, a threat, in the minds of those kings. Helmund IV was one of the more ambitious kings in that time, as skilled a general as his ancient forbearers who were created by either the dragons or old ones, no one really knows, for the purpose of directing armies. Helmund IV felt a strong bond with his ancestors and directed his lore masters to delve into his keep in search of lost knowledge about his heritage and to teach it to himself, his son and his grandson. In their search these lore masters, who were the first wizards of human stock for no man yet knew how to call upon magic and bend it to his will, found the ancient texts and lost artifacts that granted them this knowledge. While the other kings would have quivered in fear at the unearthing of this power, the Torang’s embraced it, as it was, so they believed, their birthright, and the will of the ancients.
Helmund IV was able to learn only the basest of magics, but his time was nearing its end. His mind held much in the way of statesmanship and war craft and held no more room for the arcane. Helmund IV taught his son and grandson all he knew and had his lore masters teach them of magic and it’s use. When the fifth and sixth Helmund were at the peak of their power their patriarch passed, commanding them with his dying breath to go to war against all the other kings and make all of Sirinaria a single empire under the rule of the Torangs. Declarations of war were drawn up and sent to all the nations. Allegiances were forged, some nations surrendered immediately, most were utterly crushed under the vastly superior might of the Torangs as their empire expanded with each victory. In two decades the Torangs ruled all the human lands East of the Norost Mountains. It was the Dwarven kingdom that gave the Torang empire it’s first real test. The dwarves had never forgotten their lineage, having crafted even the weapons of power the Torangs used to secure every victory they had tasted thus far, they were able to beat back the human armies from their walls but did not have the strength or will to pursue them, creating a stalemate between the two nations. Helmund V driven by the final commandment of his late father strode to the front line with his son, each of the Torangs were unmatched in both war craft and spell craft and showered the dwarven nation with spells of such destruction the world had not seen since the ancient war that the magics had been created for many eons ago. Still the dwarven walls would not crumble and after three moons of bombardment Helmund V was slain and the youngest of the Torangs crippled.
Helmund VI fled back to Endlass along with his favored general, Arito Greegate, perhaps the most powerful general in the empire now that only one crippled Torang remained, for while Greegate was also injured and taken out of the fight it was clear he would recover whereas the last Torang would not. Helmund VI raged as only a man in the prime of his youth can. He brought together his lore masters and wizards and scoured his library of magics, both those that had been handed down among the generations of his own family and those taken as spoils of conquest from his enemies. Together they found a spell that would create an invincible warrior, a deathless knight that would not tire, would shrug off even the most grievous of injuries, and would have the strength of a legion of men. The man bestowed with this power would also be cursed, never again would he see the rise of another sun. Such was the cost of victory and General Greegate paid it gladly for he loved and trusted his king and believed as did the Torangs that it was their birthright to rule all of Sirinaria.
The spell was cast and Greegate was transformed into one of the undead, a vampire who thirsted for blood. Of course Arito’s bloodlust was soon to be quelled as he left Endlass once again for the battlefront. The vampire Greegate met the front line like a mastodon trampling a straw hut. Victory would have been assured but for a defeat behind their own lines. Human defectors, tired of the cost decades of war had enacted upon them slipped into the Torang castle and slew the last of the Torang bloodline. Where the 3 Torangs slew millions in their pursuit of a global empire, only 3 assassins, equipped with only stealth and daggers brought it all to an end.
News of the fall reached Greegate and for the first time he felt not just his new power but also realized his curse for what it was. In a terrible rage he withdrew the army that answered now only to him in defeat and turned it upon Endlass. When he arrived he razed the city in a single night. No stone was left standing. Most of the army abandoned their cursed lord, their purpose dashed. The remaining wizards took the artifacts and spells they held and hid them throughout the continent, making their new abodes in out of the way places far from their fallen kingdom and Greegate’s wrath which they all feared.
When Arito’s wrath cooled he instructed those still loyal to him to construct a new city upon the spot where Endlass once stood. This new city he called Greegate, in the center of which he constructed a great manse with a tower that allowed him to look upon his city, while his thirst for war had been forever quenched he rules over his namesake city with an iron hand. Arito’s desire for war was spent though and he would never again leave his home.
Thus it is that there are no more kings or emperors among men. Mankind’s magics are lost and waiting to be found in the dark places all over Sirinaria, wizards tend to hide in studious solitude in their towers, and bards sing of the glory and fall of man. The dwarves, who, perhaps if they had pursued humanity back to where they fled upon the death of their emperor, could have wiped them out entirely, never did. Instead, keeping to themselves in their mountain keeps, their own purpose unknown and unknowable, except to their own king, who sits atop the highest tower in the greatest structure ever constructed above or below Sirinaria’s vast firmament. The elves and giants of the North, were vaguely aware of a war but remained unconcerned for they too have their purpose knowable only to these great races, and had their own war against one another to be waged, which persists in a seemingly endless stalemate to this day within the mountains and silver pine forests of the farthest North.
It was also after this time that mankind’s first gods were born, ascended from mortals, the favor granted them by other men in life seems to have elevated their souls to godhood when their mortal bodies perished. While their power can be felt by the most devout of their followers, these young gods remain nearly as aloof as Sirinaria’s original creators, the dragons and the old ones.