Proposed Canon
An Empire is a very large conventional side, owning or controlling many dozens of cities either directly or through colonies. Typically they also have great wealth and military power, but this isn't always the case. Haffaton never called itself an empire, but was consistently referred to as such by Jillian Zamussels because of its size of 70 cities (including 15 Capitals). This even after she discovered that it was in fact a "Paper Doll Empire", with an incredibly small number of units used to defend and expand it.
Considering Haffaton was called an empire despite being ruled by an Overlady, the term may be used indistinctly to describe Royal and non-Royal sides. The term is also used by inland, jungle, and maritime powers.
An empire can be more than just a title for large sides. Sides can create and run empires as a strategy to become large and successful. Though Seaworld has only 5 coastal cities it is considered an empire because it has 9 Colonies with 29 colony cities. The colonies are loyal to it and tithe it Shmuckers, and Seaworld protects them. This is an expensive arrangement that requires a large navy for protection and a vast bureaucracy to manage all the colonies and cities, but the tithes are enough to make Seaworld a wealthy side.
 Known Empires
- Dystokyo - Royal. Ruled by Emperor Scup and later Empress Saltina.
- Follywood - Royal maritime empire.
- Haffaton - Overladyship.
- Margarine Empire
- Seaworld - Royal maritime Empire.
- Tar Zhay - An inscrutable jungle empire.
Since Emperor and Empress are titles reserved for Royals, it is possible that an empire in the traditional sense is a Royal side that has grown powerful enough to establish colonies, while exceptionally large sides ruled by non-royals are simply honorary "empires" by an extended definition of the word, much like how the real life word is sometimes used.