In 351 CY, Von Trap’s power increased though some strange means. Possibly with assistance from dark forces, he amassed an army and began laying waste to the lands south of Keoland. His clockwork machines were far too powerful for the other nations to withstand, and they fell like dominoes. It is around this time that he begot a son, and the attacks lessened for a few years. However, by the time his son had become an adult the entirety of the western world was under his father’s mechanical rule.
Another evil rose out of the east, using machines nearly identical to Von Trap’s, and the two armies battered each other for months across the center of the Flanaess. Smoke obscured the sun, and flying machines from one army rained death on the other. The common man, long since beaten into submission, was no longer a threat or a target for these nightmarish armies. It was as if two gods were pummeling away at each other, taking no notice of the mortals underfoot who could not begin to comprehend why the world had erupted around them.
No one is certain what happened, but the machines made their way south and west, leaving only bewildered and terrified masses in their wake. When the sun broke through the smoke-filled skies, people everywhere assumed that the war had ended. For the most part it had, but Von Trap and a small army had escaped, and continued fighting. Eventually the army was destroyed, and Von Trap was presumed killed.
Von Trap was seen and presumed slain by Gobal Stamth in 403 CY, but resurfaced in the Hool Marshes at the head of an elite battalion. He was once again slain, and his followers put to the sword, and his machines and weapons of war were destroyed. Von Trap’s body was sealed in a tomb in Dyvers along with his generals, and he was pretty much forgotten except in horror stories. Von Trap, self-proclaimed Emperor of the western world, passed into obscurity. The Von Trap name faded from memory while his corpse rotted and his soul burned.
Nearly 200 years had passed when the seals to the tomb were broken and the remains of Von Trap stolen away. All too soon, learned scholars were hearing rumors of a great evil presence, and someone eventually pieced together what had happened; Von Trap was alive once again. Despite the best efforts of the greatest spies and diviners, Von Trap’s location (even his existence) could not be confirmed for years.
Von Trap was last seen along the Hochlian coast north of Highport in 628 CY, where he and a contingent of over a thousand clockwork soldiers met his old adversary Gobal Stamth. What became of him (or anyone else) in that battle is unknown, as the very battlefield itself disappeared from existence. Scholars speculate he may be dead, but death seems to be only a minor setback to this force of evil. He was known to be travelling with the talmajir, and that artifact was in use up until a few months ago, so his disappearance may just be a ruse to lure his enemies into complacency.
If he still lives, the Emperor is an unmatched crafter of arcane magical items and likely the most powerful wizard in the entire world. His genocidal programs are the reason there are so few orcs in the western Flanaess today. His craftsmanship and unsurpassed knowledge of the fabric of magic created a multitude of artifacts as well as a race of sentient constructs. And if he rises again unchecked, the world will certainly become a darker place under his oppression and tyranny.