- "And whilst evil was nurtured in the bowels of the earth, in its absense came a new age. A new power. And thus began the reign of the Glorious Empire. Everyone was happy, and those who weren't were killed, enslaved or had other nasty things done to them." — Gnarl during the intro to Overlord II.
The Glorious Empire was the ruling body that controlled a large expanse of the World. The people of the Empire were Humans who were very anti-magic and they either enslaved magic creatures or drained the magical energy from them. They also developed weapons and war machines, such as catapults, ballistae and assault towers and had a large, well-equipped military. They also seemed to kill, torture or enslave anyone who did not agree with them.
Overlord Raising Hell
Shortly after the Third Overlord was trapped and the minions were forced to abandon him, his empire began crumbling. After the Great Cataclysm destroyed the dark tower and caused the Magical Plague, the scared citizens of the world were united by a man named Solarius. Solarius attempted to unite the scared and scattered human populations under one banner: The Glorious Empire. Solarius named himself Emperor of this growing, he seeked to get rid of the magic creatures and apparently restore order, but the true ideals of Solarius were not to protect the people, but so he could ascend into godhood, and for nearly 20 years they hunted down magic creatures and imprisoned them for the arena, forcing the remaining Magic creatures such as the fairies, elves and unicorns to form the hidden sanctuaries,and one figure united the magic creatures, the beautiful and good hearted Queen Fay.
The still-expanding Empire is first encountered during the Overlad Prologue. They besiege Nordberg Town and demand they hand over any magic users to be "cleansed". In response, the Nordbergians toss out the Overlad, who proceeds to escape with the aid of the minions and a Yeti. During the time the Overlad is being raised to become the Fourth Overlord, the Glorious Empire expands and takes over much of the World. Their ruler is Emperor Solarius, a ruthless and deluded tyrant, who wishes to eradicate all of the world's magic and collect it in the Magic Containment Room in the Imperial Palace.
Many years later when the Overlord was proving his value to be the reigning Overlord, he came across hunters that were authorized by the Glorious Empire to hunt, and attacked the Overlord, altough they were no match for him and destroyed their camp. The Overlord then proceeded, and found a area with cut down trees, and found that the Glorious Empire had found another sanctuary, and Gnarl suggested to go inside to take a magic relic to power the gates of the Netherworld Tower, which was still uncomplete, but when inside they've seen that the soldiers already taken the relic and Borius was there to oversee the operation. After going through the sanctuary, the Overlord found a stone from the abyss, but was inactive due of his unconfirmed Overlord status, and procedeed, after taking the stone and smashing the gnomes, he became the rightful Overlord fully, and the first Overlord plan was to take Nordberg, which was held by the Glorious Empire, but they had fire barriers to prevent the Overlord from entering the city. After rescuing the reds from the sanctuary, he destroyed the barriers, but the city was protected by an army of legionnares,armed with a ballista, and the Overlord took an alternate path and destroyed the legion, but the city had still armed doors, so he scavenged in a mine that the Glorious Empire was digging to reach the Netherworld, and took several explosives and destroyed the armed doors. He then assaulted the city, which was protected by the legion and some citizens that disliked the overlord, but he massacred them, pushed a stone statue over the Governor Borius and officially started a war with the Glorious Empire. After taking care of the Nordberg, the Overlord reached the shipyard to take a ship and reach Everlight, setting on fire several pites, and possibly destroying the nearby settlement.
Both the Overlord, Elves and the Empire had traveled to the Wastelands, a barren land ruined by the Great Cataclysm, and found its sanctuary. Here, he joined the elves and drained Fay, their queen as the Empire destroyed the last sanctuary.
The Overlord finally launched a major attack against the Empire, he proceeded to conquer the Empire Heartlands and conquer Empire City smashing through its anti-magic shield by catapulting the Tower Heart at the walls of the City, where he finds out Solarius has become corrupt and that the Overlord's Darkness is necessary. After finding Solarius and discovering that he is actually Florian Greenheart who has gone mad with power and must be stopped before he can destroy all traces of good in him. After fighting the newly formed Devourer, the Overlord realizes that in order for there to be evil, there must be good, and the only thing that could destroy a great evil is an even greater evil. The Overlord accepts that he is that greater evil and kills the Devourer, the Glorious Empire fell and the Fouth Overlord takes his rightful place as ruler of all the land as Overlord.
The Imperial government is nearly identical to the Roman Dominate Period (the ruling System of the Roman Empire in the late Antiquity from 284-630AD) in which the Emperor is nearly an absolute monarch. He has the responsibility for the overall policy of the state and its diplomacy and has the final authority on most matters of state. However, substantial power also lie in the hands of the Imperial Senate. Like in the Late Antiquity Roman Empire, domestic affairs are still managed locally, by governors selected by the Emperor to administer domains on his behalf.
Despite the Empire claims to want to unite all of humanity and the world under one banner, it doesn't treat the conquered territories on a par with the Empire Heartlands but only as colonies useful only to be exploited. Everything produced by the colony is shipped back to the mother country for the mother's benefit alone.
Life in the Glorious Empire revolves around the metropolis of Empire City, its monumental architecture such as the Arena and the Emperor's palace and its extraordinary Anti-Magic Shield, which prevents the use of any magic within its perimeter. The city also has several theaters, gyms, and many taverns, baths, and brothels. Throughout the territory under the Empire's control, residential architecture ranges from crumbling stinking shacks built in the sewers to extremely sumptuous palaces able to satisfy even the most sought-after and decadent tastes. The main city is surrounded by great walls, guarded by thousands of legionaries ready to defend their home with extreme courage and determination.
This place embody all the defining characteristics of the Glorious Empire: the glorification of the emperor and his deeds, the exaltation of the human race above all the other races of the world, contempt for magical creatures and the practice of magic, the stark distinction between the social classes of the rich and the poor, the need to expand territorially through the subjugation of human populations they consider to be barbaric, the exploitation of slave labor and the constant search for new forms of pleasure to entertain a growingly decadent noble class.
Both the positive and negative things of the Empire are the by-products of the clumsy and often misguided efforts of the imperial citizens to realize the great dream that inspired the creation of their civilization: a peaceful and orderly world where all humans, united under one banner, reign supreme over all the other races and without any more threats to their existence.
Since the time of the Great Cataclysm, mankind has always identified magic as the greatest threat to its existance and it is for this reason that the Empire sees the extermination or enslavement of all the magical creatures of the world as their main mission. This inspired the creation of a vast arsenal of weapons and inventions especially designed to combat sorcery, as well as the formation of agents and soldiers specialized in the fight against enemy magic-users, such as the Sentinels and the Eradicators.
The cleansing of the world from all the sources of magic that taints it is considered by the Empire as a supreme act of justice, the rightful retribution for all the sufferings that humans have faced following the spread of the magical plague caused by the Great Cataclysm.
However, it is important to note that on more than one occasion the Empire has proved to be hypocritical and non-adherent even to its founding ideal of abhorring magic in all its forms. Magic, despite being despised and officially forbidden throughout the Glorious Empire, is widely used by the Sentinels and various high-ranking members of the imperial government to perform various jobs, while masking its true nature by simply calling it "Anti-Magic" and claiming it is some sort of esoteric art that completely differs from traditional magic. Sentinels use their so-called "anti-magic" to power the Anti-Magic Shield and locate magical creatures, while Marius and Rose use it primarily to teleport from one place to another.
The most important division in the Glorious Empire's society is between the nobles and the plebeians.
The Nobles are a small elite who monopolise political and economic power. To be born into such a class is to have been given the best that the Empire has to offer, raised apart from the struggling ranks of mankind and destined to take on positions of great import and power. This might be the finest pelts and widgeon meat of an imperial province, or the most potent of narcotics and exotic delights from distant lands. A peculiarity that distinguishes all the members of the nobility is their impressive obesity, in fact all the nobles with a big belly are seen as important and wealthy, for they has obviously eaten well to ensure such impressive girth (obviously this is not a rule that always applies, in fact the nobles Marius and Juno are very thin and nevertheless they play roles of great importance in imperial society).
The plebeians, also known as the common people, common man, commoners, or the masses, comprise the majority of imperial citizens. They are the ordinary people of the Empire, who lack any significant social status. They range from the richest merchant to the lowliest slave, from the prideful landowner to the humble house servant, from the mighty gladiator to the malnourished farmer. In imperial society all of them are considered equally inferior to nobility.
In the Glorious Empire, the cloth and the dress distinguish one class of people from the other class. The tunic worn by plebeians (common people) like shepherds is made from coarse and dark material, whereas the tunic worn by nobles is of linen or white wool. Military tunics are shorter than the ones worn by civilians and dyed with the colors associated with the various roles of soldiers in the army (Blue = Light Legionary; Green = Heavy Legionary; Black = Elite Legionary, etc).
During the period in which it existed, the Glorious Empire was the dominant power in the world, with an economy large enough to deploy a full-time professional army, as well as completing massive construction projects such as many of the great buildings and statues of Empire City.
Since the Glorious Empire is in many ways similar to the real-world Roman Empire, it is presumed that is an agrarian and slave based economy whose main concern is feeding the vast number of citizens and legionaries who populates its vast domains. Agriculture and trade dominates imperial economic fortunes, only supplemented by small scale industrial production. The need to secure grain providing provinces is one important, of many factors that brought to the expansion and conquests of the Empire.
One particular element that should also be noted of the Empire's economy is one of its characteristics shared with ancient Rome: Slavery. It is not known whether the mechanics of slavery in the Glorious Empire are similar or not to those of ancient Rome but is known that in the Empire exists a market completely dedicated to the trade of slaves and that the slaves are used for forced labor and sexual exploitation in inhumane and life-threatening conditions.
- Emperor Solarius - The mysterious, masked emperor Solarius is the founder and supreme ruler of the Glorious Empire, revered by his people as the divinely sanctioned master of most of the known world and maximum exponent of the human race. From the point of view of his citizens he is a tough but essentially benevolent sovereign, capable to balance the interests of the imperial military, senate and people and maintain peace, security and prosperity throughout a wide and ethnically diverse empire. But he is also the bane of the magical creatures, slayer of elves, killer of gnomes and torturer of minions. He's the greatest enemy of all that is magic in the world.
- Marius - Emperor Solarius is a man of few words, for this reason he needs a man who speaks on his behalf to the people.That man is Marius, brother of Borius and aristocrat of the Empire. He's the spokesperson and most trusted advisor of the emperor, as well as the only man in the world, along with his wife Rose, to know the darkest secrets of their beloved ruler.
- Rose - The mysterious, hooded woman known as Rose is one of the most important leading figures of the Empire. She's the leader of the Sentinels and the wife of Marius, as well as one of the staunchest supporters of Solarius' vison of an ordered and peaceful world without magic (at least until she saw dark and all-consuming ambition grow in the emperor's heart and corrupt his soul as well as his mission, thus pushing her to defect). But there is also a dark truth about her, of which no citizen of the Empire is acquainted, not even her husband: she's the daughter of the fallen hero known as the Wizard, the former mistress of the late Third Overlord and the mother of the dreadful Fourth Overlord.
- Borius - Borious is the tyrannical, incompetent and self-serving governor of Nordberg, as well as the mayor of Nordberg Town during the period of the Glorious Empire's occupation. This gluttonous imperial aristocrat is also well known in the wider Empire as the brother of the Emperor's spokesperson, Marius. He was the master of Kelda before Nordberg was conquered by the Fourth Overlord.
- Everlight Governess - The Everlight Governess is an agent for the Glorious Empire, who has taken control of Everlight and turned it into a resort for the wealthy citizens of the Empire, when they get tired of city life. This ruthless noblewoman has enslaved almost all the elves left to live in her newly-acquired domain in order to exploit them as laborers in the service of her noble guests.
- Empire General - The Empire General is the gargantuan commander of the Empire Army. Possibly the most successful imperial officer of all time, the Empire General is the only one among the military leaders of the Empire to have actually reached the Fourth Overlord's hidden domain, the Netherworld, and laid siege to the Dark Tower. Despite his remarkable record of service and his unquestionable military prowess, his loyalty to the empire is quite controversial, since the main reason for which he waged war against the Fourth Overlord is not to avenge the wounded honor of his people but to "rescue" (i.e. kidnap) Juno, of which he is madly in love.
- Senator Drearius - Drearius is an important member of the imperial senate, respected by his peers and feared by those he see beneath him. He is also an extremely lustful and greedy person who often cheated on his wife behind her back with many other women. In the past he even tried to seduce Juno, but without success.
- Juno - Juno is an imperial noblewoman venerated throughout the Empire as the most beautiful girl in the world, even if her beauty masks a superficial and materialistic personality that makes her a skilful and ruthless manipulator of men. Her obvious beauty has made her very conceited about appearance, seeing everyone else below her worth. The only men she believes to be of value are for her only temporary tools to achieve her goals. She has been falsely accused of witchcraft by the wives of men she has seduced, forcing her to seek asylum to the Fourth Overlord, who gladly consented in return for her "attentions".
Since its existence, the Glorious Empire has always been a nation born and bred for war, fighting and crushing uncountable enemies with the will, the steel, and the faith of their patriotic soldiers. Fully dedicated to a seemingly endless military campaign of territorial expansion, the armies of the Empire are brimmed with grizzled veterans of many battles, each one lead by an even greater man of strength, valor and heroic leaderships. As their nation progress throughout the years, innovations and inventions were created for the use of warfare, with the armies of the Empire now stockpiled with large quantities of devastating war machines that no one else has ever seen before in the history of the world, such as catapults and ballistae.
The Imperial Army is similar in appearance and structure to the real-world Roman Army during its Imperial period, being made up primarily of formations of infantry armed with swords and large rectangular shields. Also present in the military are archers, siege engines such as ballistae and trebuchets, and auxiliary troops mainly recruited from the Empire's free provincial subjects, such as the Nordbergians.
Much like the Roman army, the largest division of troops is referred to as a legion. Other divisions of the army are not known and it is not clear how the size of an Imperial legion is comparable to that of a Roman legion from the Early Principate Period (2.000-5.000 man per Legion and 1.000-2.000 man auxillaries). It is also not clear whether auxiliaries are integrated into the legions or they exist separately. Auxilliariy forces are structured and fashioned in their own native ways like the foederati (regional recruited barbarian forces, lead by their own rulers) in Roman Armies of the late Antiquity.
Almost everything that happened in the Overlord II's storyline took place on land, so there was no contact with anything that resembles an Imperial Navy. Yet, more than once on the background of the game levels you can see galley-like warships that have been patently manufactured and used by the Empire. This suggests that the Glorious Empire possesses some form of naval forces.
- Light Empire Legionary - Light Empire Legionaries are amongst the three most common infantry types fielded by the armies of the Glorious Empire. Equipped with a sword, oval shield, helmet and blue tunic, these brave soldiers often engage the enemy in small formations. Due to their light equipment and their general lack of formation flexibility, the Light Legionaries of the Empire are used to fight the enemies considered too weak to require the intervention of the heavy infantry.
- Heavy Empire Legionary - Heavy Empire Legionaries are amongst the three most common infantry types fielded by the armies of the Glorious Empire. Equipped with a sword, rectangular shield, helmet, plate armor and green tunic, these brave soldiers often engage the best enemy with both valor and courage in huge formations. Due to their expertise with the sword and their flexible formation, these groups of line infantry are a powerful force on the battlefield, providing the Empire with both offensive and defensive capability with bone-crushing force.
- Elite Empire Legionary - Elite Empire Legionaries are amongst the three most common infantry types fielded by the armies of the Glorious Empire. Equipped with a sword, rectangular shield, crested helmet, heavy plate armor and black tunic, these elite soldiers are hardy fighters well-accustomed to the rigours of war and ready to fight the most dreadful enemies for the glory of the Empire. Operating as a crack fighting force, their main duty is the protection of individuals or places of greater importance during the heat of battle, and to provide the Empire with dedicated shock infantry, often attacking the Empire's foes at their flanks, where their swordsmanship puts even the most battle-hardened foes to their knee's. The greatest among them also hold the role of Praetorian guard, the bodyguard of emperor Solarius.
- Empire Archer - The Empire Archers are disciplined, keen-eyed legionaries armed with bows and fire arrows. These adaptable troops fight in a loose skirmish screen to help support their armies on the field of battle. They usually band together to form their own formations of scouts and support units.
- Empire Bomber - The Empire Bombers are legionaries trained in the uses of explosives. On the battlefield, small teams of these soldiers would lurk behind allied formations or appropriate fortifications and platforms before awaiting the perfect time to let loose their cargo. The Bombers are used in battle to decimate tight and heavily-defended enemy formations. When the opportunity arises, these soldiers would dash forward and let loose their weapons before darting back behind the safety of their comrades.
- Imperial Guard - The Imperial Guards form an elite corps of heavily-armored infantrymen armed with sword and crossbow who are promoted from the ranks of the Imperial army for their exceptional skill, bravery, and courage on the battlefield. They are the designated defenders of the Empire Heartlands and protectors of all law-abiding imperial citizens. They stand resolute, barring danger from advancing beyond their post, regardless of the form it takes. It is an honour to be selected to join the Guard, for they are trusted to protect the Empire's most vital assets and locations.
- Gargantuan - The Gargantuans are the jewel in the crown of the Glorious Empire, the largest and most fearsome warriors of the Empire Army. Larger then any human, these brutish gorilla-like soldiers stand taller then two man and has enough strenght and muscle to fight a whole enemy company. Although the members of the higher echelons of the Empire say that the gargantuans come from a 100% natural breeding program, they are actually subjects, who, either willingly or unwillingly, undergo extensive physical manipulation at the hands of the Sentinels through the use of dark magic. Twisted in body and mind, these enhanced warriors exhibit strength and reactions many times greater than standard humans, yet their intelligence and eyesight are rather poor.
- Eradicator Agents - Eradicator Agents are mighty warriors and slayers of magical creatures who work in tandem with the inquisitive Sentinels. The protectors of all that is sacred for the Empire, the Eradicator Agents battle tirelessly to prevent the desecration of their homes by the creatures and human traitors who dare to mess with magic. These mighty warriors are unparalleled in their fighting capability, where their small numbers are often compensated with full suits of high-quality weapons and armor. Their main weapon of choice is an arcane vacuum cleaner-like machine, probably produced by the Sentinels, that sucks up any creatures of magic ability and kills them instantly.
- Ballista - The Imperial ballista is a repeating missile weapon that rapidly launches a set of large projectiles at a distant target. This mighty war machine is similar to a catapult that almost like a modern machine gun could fire again and again against the enemy formations thanks to its revolver-like charging mechanism composed of a cylinder that houses the projectiles.
- Fire Ballista - The fire ballista is a rare version of the imperial ballista that fires deadly flaming projectiles that inflict additional fire damage to the enemy. This weapon is available only during the duel against the Empire General in the Battle Rock arena.
- Catapult - An Imperial catapult is a trebuchet-like battle machine used by the Empire armies to throw heavy payloads at enemies. The payload could be thrown a far distance and do considerable damage, either by smashing down buildings or striking the enemies while inside their strongholds. The most commonly used ammunition is stones, while the most effective ones involves fire, such as deadly explosive shells.
Empire War Machines
- Siege Tower - A siege tower or breaching tower is a specialized siege engine, constructed to approach the defensive walls of a fortification and transport troops. The tower is rectangular with four wheels with its height roughly equal to that of the walls to allow archers to stand on top of the tower and shoot arrows into the fortification. Because the towers were wooden and armored with metal lion statues and thus rather resistant to the regular sword attacks of the infantry, only the catapult is capable of destroying them.
- Centurion - A Centurion is a warrior and leader of unparalleled valour, amongst the highest commanding officers within a Imperial army, second only in command to a general or the Emperor himself. These tested veterans with many years of experience in soldiering have spent most of their lives practicing the arts of war for the glory and expansion of the Empire. Their military prowess is beyond question and their mere presence on the battlefield is enough to bolster the morale of all the neighboring troops.
- Sentinel - Sentinels are strange figures to the people of the Empire, who wield arcane powers and are privy to secrets beyond the ken of normal folk. Having been trained in the art of anti-magic by the sorceress Rose for many long years, arcane power courses through the Sentinels' veins and lurks behind their hooded eyes. They are mainly known to be the sacred keepers of the Anti-Magic Shield, but their main job is to eradicate and kill any if not all magical creatures that dare to defile the lands of the Glorious Empire. If one of these creatures is discovered, then it is sucked up into the machine of the Eradicator Agents.
All empire-builders have to justify what they do - to themselves, to their own people, and to those they dominate. Just like the Roman Empire, the Glorious Empire has also developed a sophisticated view of the universe projected successfully through literature, inscriptions, architecture, art, and elaborate public ceremonial. The Glorious Empire is always depicted as a utopia characterized by peace, good government, and the rule of law. All places beyond the Empire's frontiers are instead depicted as barbaric, lawless and dangerous lands, territories that the imperial citizens have the divine right and duty to civilize through war and colonization. All the people who inhabit these foreign lands are caricatured as weird savages with even weirder customs and traditions, people that worship false deities, glorify a degenerate culture and practice vile magical arts. Clearly, the implication seems to be, such people could not but benefit from the Glorious Empire's rule. As a logical consequence of this way of thinking the Empire recognizes no other state except its own and declares war on all human and non-human nations that exist beyond its borders. Diplomacy is almost impossible and the alliances are not at all lasting, for the simple reason that the Glorious Empire recognizes no other nation or organization as its equal.
All the civilizations and non-human species of the world consider the Glorious Empire a threat to their very existence and treat it accordingly, especially since the beginning of their genocidal campaign against all the magical creatures of the world. The Elven Resistance and the Fourth Overlord's minion horde are universally recognized as the sworn enemies of the Empire.
Behind the Scenes
- The Empire is heavily inspired by the Roman Empire.