Created in the Year of God 892 through the marriage of Cayleb II of Charis and Sharleyan of Chisholm, it composed of the territories of the Kingdoms of Charis and Chisholm as well as the Princedom of Emerald. (BSRA)
After the Invasion of Corisande, the Grand Duchy of Zebediah and the Princedom of Corisande were added to the imperial territory as well. (BHD) The Kingdom of Tarot joined it in the Year of God 895. (HFAF)
As per the agreement between Cayleb II and Sharleyan, the Emperor and his wife remained king and queen of their respective realms while reigning over the Empire together with the help of First Councilors for each realm. The capitol cities of Old Charis and Chisholm, respectively Tellesberg and Cherayth, retained their status in the empire. Excepting the time necessary for travel between the two, and special circumstances such as military campaigns requiring Cayleb's personal command, half of the year was spent in each capitol.
The agreement mandated that should Cayleb or Sharleyan predecease one another, their crown would pass to their spouse. Upon the death of both monarchs, the crowns of Chisholm and Charis would cease to exist, and a new single Imperial crown would pass to their heir. At the time of the Empire's creation, this heir was Cayleb's younger brother Prince Zhan, as Queen Sharleyan had no surviving siblings. In the Year of God 894, Empress Sharleyan gave birth to a daughter, Alahnah, who was named for the Empress' mother and designated Crown Princess and Imperial heir apparent.
An Imperial Parliament was created and consisted of a House of Commons elected from constituencies in each kingdom and a House of Lords hosting a combination of Charisian and Chisholmian nobles. In keeping with Charisian tradition, Cayleb and Sharleyan ruled the Empire with Constitutional restrictions, with certain roles being reserved for Parliament. The monarchs ruled with Parliament's backing from the date of the Empire's creation and exercised virtually unlimited executive power with consistent, overwhelming popular support.
Secretly, governance of the Empire was considerably facilitated by the communications and information network provided by Merlin Athrawes. By the Year of God 895, multiple key Imperial figures had been briefed on humanity's true history and thus were integrated into this network, enabling councils of war and state to be held at any time, without regard to the physical location of the involved individuals. This enabled the Imperial government to address issues and challenges that concerned it with previously unheard of speed and coordination. (BSRA, BHD, AMF)
The seafaring military force of the Empire was the Imperial Charisian Navy, which was created through the merger of the Royal Charisian and Royal Chisholmian Navy, also including the surviving hardware of the Emeraldian and Corisandian Navy. (BHD) Late in the Year of God 893 the Imperial Charisian Navy included over 90 galleons, and was the largest single navy on Safehold. The Navy was challenged in the Year of God 894 by the massively built up Navy of God and other Temple forces, however after the decisive victory over the Temple at the Battle of the Gulf of Tarot, Charis once again possessed uncontested dominance of the seas in a situation where the Empire suddenly found itself with more ships than it was able to equip and man. A long tradition of superior tactics, strategy, professionalism, and technology contributed to the well-established Charisian control of the oceans.
The Imperial Charisian Army was created by merging the powerful Royal Chisholmian Army with large portions of the Royal Charisian Marine Corps. The seniority of Chisholmian officers had priority in the merging process, as they were considered more experienced where land operations were concerned. Charisian ground forces relied on superior tactics and technology to overcome consistent numerical disadvantages. The first Imperial land campaign in Corsiande was won decisively in the face of this sort of challenge. (AMF)