|Terrain||Grassland, Coastland, Mountains|
|Head of State||Galbatorix|
The Empire was the name used by the inhabitants of Alagaësia to refer to the territory under the rule of Galbatorix. Although "The Empire" was officially a continuation of the Broddring Kingdom, most of those living under Galbatorix's scepter were unaware that such a kingdom ever existed.
The Empire extended over most of western Alagaësia. It spanned from the far reaches of the Hadarac Desert in the east to the mountains of the Spine in the west. In the south, it started at the city of Aroughs and continued all the way to Ceunon in the north. During Eldest and Brisingr the Varden and the elves conquered a large part of the Empire: Carvahall, Ceunon, Aroughs, Feinster, and Gil'ead, changing the borders of the Empire. By the end of the Rider War, the imperial structure of Galbatorix had ceased to exist as a political entity, although there were occasional rebellions in it's name after Galbatorix's death.
The Empire's authority was dogged by poverty, corruption, and dissension. Many of the people from more remote villages, such as Carvahall, resented Galbatorix's rule, as the Empire had never lifted a hand to aid them in fending off Urgals or other troubles. In addition, several of Galbatorix's minions were known embezzlers, even while their subjects lived in want. The Empire was despised by many of its citizens, though not all hated it, and a substantial number were resistant to the Varden's efforts to end Galbatorix's reign.
The Empire maintained a standing army. The army was used to enforce law and order, quelling rebellion and hunting down fugitives and outlaws. After the Battle under Farthen Dûr, a company of Imperial soldiers was sent to Carvahall, along with the Ra'zac, in search of Roran. A larger force was dispatched by Galbatorix to The Burning Plains to confront the Varden.
Galbatorix forged a temporary alliance between the Empire and the Urgal tribes. This alliance was broken when Eragon killed Durza in Farthen Dûr. Galbatorix's plan was to join forces with the Urgals for as long as he needed them, then wipe them out as soon as they outlived their usefulness.
The Empire also kept a strong navy. Made up of ships like the Dragon Wing, the navy was used to protect the Imperial coast from pirates and mercenary ships employed by the Varden. They were occasionally ordered to fight giant Sea snakes.
The Varden Edit
Dissatisfied with the state of events under Galbatorix's rule, Brom and a group of rebels established the Varden about a century before Eragon's discovery of Saphira's egg. Many people sympathized with the Varden's goals, but few were willing to admit it openly. Nevertheless, the Varden grew in number, and were able to defeat the Empire in three battles: the Battle under Farthen Dûr, Battle of The Burning Plains and the Battle of Feinster. In the last two, they were assisted by forces from Surda, as well as Roran's group of refugees from Carvahall.
Surda, on the southwestern border of the Empire, broke off from the Empire and became an independent nation. Its leader, King Orrin, openly supported the Varden. Galbatorix considered Surda a minor threat, and consequently did not devote the time or resources to bring it under his control.
The elven capital, Ellesméra, was located in Du Weldenvarden, far to the north. Though the elves developed an established civilization long before the creation of the Empire, they were nevertheless considered a rebellion in that they resisted Galbatorix's rule. They fought bitterly against Galbatorix, but they could not prevail. They retreated into the deepest corners of Du Weldenvarden. During the Rider War they again fought bitterly against Galbatorix, taking the cities of Ceunon and Gil'ead.
King Hrothgar, clan chief of Dûrgrimst Ingeitum and king of the dwarves, gave supplies and warriors to the Varden when they were based in Farthen Dûr; the Varden would not have endured if not for Hrothgar's generosity. After Hrothgars death, Orik was elected king by the clan chiefs and he chose to continue to help the Varden defeat the Empire.
While Eragon considered the Empire an evil institution, Murtagh maintained that the system was sound, even if the ruler was himself corrupt. When the Empire was created by Galbatorix, it was largely ungoverned: Galbatorix was busy gaining control of the Eldunarí. Forty years later, Galbatorix started regaining control over the shattered Empire, starting to govern it better and regain his control over the lands.