How it all started.
Let's dive in the atmosphere of Lords of Discord and take a look at the Empire’s state in the very beginning of the game.
“You are nothing but dust in the wind, a raindrop in the ocean, grains in the sand. Our whole world is a fragile toy in the hands of powers beyond our imagination. Still, try to picture the swirling primeval force, the boundless Chaos where the four inseparable Elements, air, fire, water and earth, are entangled in an endless fight, eternally devouring each other.”
The Empire is at the peak of its might. Its lands cover the good half of the continent: from the Elven woods in the South to the snowy Dwarven mountains in the North, from the immense ocean in the West to the wild steppes in the East, behind the Great Crest. In all that magnificence and glory, a careful gaze cannot miss the sprouting seeds of corruption. The capital wallowed in luxury and idleness, was isolating itself in endless revelries, the Imperial courtyard paid less and less attention to the world behind the High Walls surrounding the city.
The Empire gained its natural borders and couldn’t survive on its spoils of war alone. A great part of the fertile land fell into the hands of several dozen noble families, the population was growing, the arable plots were not enough for everybody, the farmers, having gone broke and into debt became slaves of lords, though slavery was nominally forbidden by the Divine Law. The deputies of remote provinces, located many miles from the Capital, the praetors, gradually became sovereign masters of the lands in their charge. Due to the rapidly growing frequency of peasants’ revolts, special decree allowed many of the praetors to gather their own forces, albeit temporarily.
The legions, except the boundary ones, reminiscent of a sword tarnishing in its sheath, were losing their value as combatants, with no business except drills, parades and drunkenness. Many decent regiments were disbanded and sent home. Frequently the veterans who were not used to keep house instantly gone broke and got trapped by the new-rich. The ordinary people and former legionaries went to the frontiers. Whole groups of migrants were invading the secret Elven forests, disturbing The Everlasting Peace with children of Elutar, cutting down trees and breaking ground on the released fields. Others were settling in the mountain meadows and valleys, fighting dwarves, and the rest made attempts to reconquer pastures from orcs’ clans.
That's how the the story beguins and that's how the development process started.
Lords of Discord. Level 1. Sketch.