Generally, an emperor is a head of state who wields utmost governmental control over an empire. The theoretical female variant is empress, coined by Duke Orin Grandier in anticipation of the Catarine Dominion under Catarin deSangre's absolute rule, though in the end, she yielded to tradition through her marriage to the Shallamese consort Prince Evander Christin. Vertani emperors prefer the title of Ascendant to mark what they term their Overlord; the position ranks the same, though the means of gaining the title vary from those of a traditional emperor. Most emperors are traditionally also known as kings, and most assume the throne by way of monarchic succession.
The first known person to achieve the rank was Emperor Sulaiman of Shallam. (Although it is likely that Lorielan became empress of the Crystal Realm long before Sulaiman was born, this title was probably interpreted ex post facto during Kx'Khrah translation due to the fact that the Succession-era Orin Grandier coined the feminine form.) The position of emperor persisted in Shallam right up until the Seleucarian conquest of the city, after which it would have been a peerage faux pas – gauche at best, traitorous at worst – for the Shallamese leader to wear any rank above that of "king."
Some time during the span of Shallamese emperors, the kings of the Kasmarkin empire also opted to bear the title. Chiefly known among these was Rakmarkha III, last emperor of Kasmarkin. Given the numeral suffix "III," it is possible that at least two emperors came before Rakmarkha III – and likely, given his reign at the very downfall of the empire, that there were more predecessors still. With the sinking of Kasmarkin and the scattering of the Trollish people, this position all but dissipated into the annals of history.
Directly after the demotion of the last Shallamese emperor, the rise of the Seleucarian Empire lent nobility to the progenitor of the most famous of all royal bloodlines: Emperor Nicator, whose descendants, the deSangres, ruled the continent for nigh on 800 years. With the fall of the Empire by the hands and blades of the Sapient League, the position of emperor was again snuffed from the face of Sapience.
On a more minor note, declarations were made in 184 AF for the formation of the Kharon Empire. Never fully recognised by Sapience as a political entity in its own right, the self-proclaimed empire dissolved in 187 AF, reformed in 200 AF, and dissolved again in the same year due to an inability to be taken seriously.
Partial list of emperors and empresses
- Emperor Artaius (Seleucar)
- Empress Catarin deSangre (Seleucar)
- Overlord Drafaris (Vertan)
- Overlord Estan (Vertan)
- Chaos Emperor Jy'Barrak Golgotha (the Chaos Plane)
- Jade Empress Lorielan (the Crystal Plane)
- Overlord Mournria (Vertan)
- Emperor Nicator (Seleucar)
- Emperor Piraeus (Seleucar)
- Emperor Polymedes (Seleucar)
- Emperor Rakmarkha III (Kasmarkin)
- Emperor Sulaiman (Shallam)
- King Valerias deSangre (Seleucar)