The Hake Empire was an ancient Hake Dark elven empire centered in Mahra and its surrounding region in central Ushaenor. As it began, the empire first united all the indigenous Mahrrian-speaking Hake and part M'adhayya speakers under one rule, before expanding to control most of Ushaenor, controlling southern, central and parts of northern Ushaenor. The Hake Empire is sometimes regarded as the first empire in Aiers history, though there are earlier Drow claimants.
When studying the history of the Hake Empire, researchers distinguish five successive phases, depending of their core regions: The Mahra Empire, the Mahra-M'adhaya Empire, the M'adhaya Empire, Hake Empire and finally the low or Asbari Empire.
The Mahra Empire, which will become the core of the later Hake Empire, surged around the 13.000 b.a.H. The Mahra Empire expanded in the following two millenia to the south, becoming the Mahra-M'adhaya Empire around the the 10.000 b.a.H.
By the 9.000 b.a.H, there developed a very intimate cultural symbiosis between the Mahhrrian and M'adhayya Hakes, which included widespread bilingualism. M'adhayyan gradually replaced Mahrran as the spoken language between the 9.000 and 8.000 b.a.H (the exact dating being a matter of debate).
The M'adhaya Empire extended then over the asbari hakes of the south, conquering, coercing or making the asbari kingdoms and cities joining the Empire, and by the 7.000 b.a.H they controlled all southern Ushaenor. Once they had secured the lands of the Asbari, integrating them in the empire, they advanced to the north, over the Skabli Hakes.
The Hake Empire reached its political peak around the 5.000 b.a.H, following the conquests of the Skabli by its founder Sul'mien of Hake, as it had become an empire of all the Hake. Under Sul'Mien and her successors, M'adhaya was imposed as the standard Hake language, and was as well briefly imposed on neighboring conquered states and vassals of the High Elves.
Faced with the demographic and economic expansion of their high elven vassals, the Hake, seeing their golden age of hegemony endangered by the high elven expansion, they sought to make them unstable and divided, throwing them into petty wars against each other while heavily taxing them, but eventually confrontation became inevitable, and around the year 1.000 b.a.H began the Elf Wars. While initially successful, the imperial legions will be defeated in northern Ushaenor by the newly founded High Elven Empire of the Whide Axis, and by the 850 b.a.H the tides of war had changed.
The core regions of the Empire will fall, and much of their more powerful states, beginning the last phase of the Hake Empire, the diminished Asbari Empire, which tried to hold the southern provinces against the advancing High Elves, will finally fall at the 228 b.a.H, after the battle of Dreädleg, in which the Empress Shu-Sharri was killed without heirs, and while there was already a political crisis between the asbari and the hake refugees of high elven conquered territories, no continuation to the Asbari Hake Empire was found.
After the fall of the Asbari Empire, the Hake people of southern Ushaenor eventually coalesced into two major Hake nations: Slägol and Ärkan, who will seize centuries later the opportunity during the Age of Invasions of the weakened High Elven state to reconquer and refound Asbaran, Alesdale and Däl-Häron.
Development of the EmpireEdit
Pre-Sul'mien Hake empires Before Sul'mien of Hake, the Hake elves were still divided in several different nations, and the empire took its name from the regions of their respective cores, being impulsed the imperial expansion in the general area between the Mahra desert and the M'adhai rainforests. Under the Mahrran, and later, M'adhaya, their empires saw continual expansion
Sul'mien of HakeEdit
Sul'Mien of Hake (Sulah-mi-Hiiel = Legitimate Empress, possibly a title she took on gaining power) defeated and conquered the Skabli hakes, reuniting under her rule all of the Hake nations. Sul'Mien was claimed to be the daughter of a potter, and possibly a priestess. Later claims on behalf of Sul'Mien, said that she was daughter of a High Priestess, claims that might have been made to ensure a descendancy of nobility, considering that only a high placed family can achieve such position.
Originally a scribe to a king of the Asbari, Sul'Mien thus became a librarian, responsible for the task of keeping the royal records, until the fall of the Asbari kingdoms to the M'ahaya Empire, when she was forced to leave with all the material of the library to the Imperial Capitol. There, she will be able to become the Great Librarian, tasked with keeping all the knowledge produced by the Hakes -though some later interpretations suggest that being a Great Librarian was to be some sort of minister of secret affairs, as she organized an extensive system to collect information, and her librarians will become her first soldiers-.
Displacing Emperor Shar-Nassil, Sul'mien was crowned Empress, and she entered upon a career of foreign conquest, invading the Skabli Hakes kingdoms and four times raiding the High elven southernmost nations, being the one who united all the Hakes "into a single empire", renaming the empire as the Hake Empire or alternatively, Empire of Hake.
However,Sul'Mien took this process further, conquering many of the surrounding regions and the closer High Elven nations, aiming to create a continental empire that reached northward.
She consolidated her dominion over her territories by replacing the earlier opposing rulers with noble citizens of the Asbari, her native region where loyalty would thus be ensured. Trade extended, and this consolidation of the Hake refleccted the growing economic and political power of the Hake Empire, being built a chain of fortresses to control the borders and conflicting areas of the empire.
Images of Sul'Mien were erected north to the Skable sea, in token of her victories, and cities and palaces were built at home with the spoils of the conquered lands. The southern High Elves and beastpeoples were also subjugated, and rebelions in M'adhaya were put tdown.
Sul'Mien, throughhout her life, showed a special deference to the Mahran Hake deities. However, troubles multipied toward the end of her reign, as the Hakes nobles revolted against her, and while she will finally be able to defeat the rebel armies, the destructions and political unstability hindered the growth of the Hake Empire, which stagnated, while the High Elves to the north began entering in a more dinamic process.
Sul'mien had crushed opposition even at old age. These difficulties broke out again in the reign of her sons, the twins Mailiel and Alaish, where revolts broke out. Alaish, son of Sul'mien, who fought hard to retain the empire, and was successful until he was assassinated by some of his own courtiers. Alaish sister, Mailiel succeeded and reigned. Despite the success, similarly to her brother, she seems to have been assassinated in a palace conspiracy.
As the sucessors of Sul'Mien struggled to retain the Empires unity, the then more dinamic high elven societies to the north expanded, the Empire, fearful of this, plotted and conspired to ensure the division and weakness of the High Elves states, making them as well vassals and forcing them to pay grievous taxes.
To better police their reign, the succesors of Mailiel instated garrisons to protect the main roads, and the rebelions were supressed, and economy again florished. This newfound Hake wealth may have been based upon benign climatic conditions, huge agricultural surpluses and the confiscation of the wealth of other peoples, as the High Elves of the North
The economy was highly planned. Grain was cleaned, and rations of grain and oil were distributed in standardized vessels made by the Empire's potters. Taxes were paid in produce and labour on public walls, including city walls, temples, irrigation canals and waterways, producing huge agricultural surpluses.
During the Hake Empire period, the Hake M'adhayan language became the lingua franca of Ushaenor, and was officially used for administration, although the other Hake languages remained as a spoken and literary language. The spread of Hake stretched all over central and southern Ushaenor, and even the Silver High elven language was temporary written in Hake letters.