Hi there H58H!
Welcome along to the game and these forums
Empire is structured very much around the nations and the groups within it: it’s quite difficult to join as someone from no nation…
(unless you plan on joining the Monster Crew)
…however, pretty much every nation has groups forming, groups recruiting, and groups happy to have some loosely-associated friend turn up.
Asking here is a good start. There are also several facebook groups for new players.
But I advise that you have a look through the nations and pick which one strikes your fancy. You can certainly change for a different character from a different nation after one event (or during it!), you aren’t locked in.
But if you have one nation, you can ask about there who is recruiting, or who is willing to welcome a new player (hint: most of them).
If nothing else, I’m playing in Dawn. And my group would happily welcome a new player, show them around, introduce them as, for example, “This is my cousin Ectar, it’s his first time in Anvil, let us show him the sights of the capital!”
I suspect that you’ll get quite a few offers. And if naught else, you have plenty of time to decide!