And so it was, in that benighted age, those few took ship along that hoary path, once consigned to oblivion. What did those wayward travelers find in that realm, and how then did they come to be but a spark among many, rekindling that primeval fire of man (as claimed, they are)? At rest, my lord, and prepare thine distinguished personage, for the unfolding of this tome will recollect all that is known of those riders, of The Twilight Shore.
-Yarwick von Ulmer
Journeyman in Good Standing of the Wordwrights’ Guild
Unto the Twilight Shore (The closing of Chapter 1: A Road So Dark)
The year is Five Thousand and Ten.
lingers at the edge of the Empyrean threshold on Holy Terra, age and a terrible wasting sickness draining his life away. As church leaders prepare their own bids for his holy seat, people throughout the Known Worlds are left without the focused and guiding hand of the church. Inquisitors roam about with reduced oversight, the flock begins to stray from the light of the Celestial Sun, and the creatures of the dark begin working their way into the Phoenix Empire.
brother of Emperor Alexius I, has wed Lady Penelope Hawkwood (long courted by the Emperor himself), and currently presses for taking control of House Hawkwood from their mother, Lady Victoria. He is supported in this by members of the house whom have grown frustrated at the Emperor’s lack of favor and ties to his original Royal House and the Imperial Throne’s diplomatic approach to the Vuldrok barbarians.
have brought survivors of House Chauki (their former lords) under their subjugation by oaths of fealty, making the formerly lost world of Iver indirectly part of their territory. While stamping out the remnants of Republicanism among the population of Iver, The Hazat continue to push for a crusade against the Kurgan Caliphate as renewed opposition threatens their shaky control of that border world.
House Li Halan
has become embroiled in the politicking of the Universal Church, with the House split along family lines for support of one potential candidate or another. Landless knights of the House have taken to reinforcing the church’s weak hand at this time, bringing their own faith to the masses. The House itself struggles to reorder itself following the recent abdication of its Prince Flavious, whom has left the courtly life for that of an Orthodox monk. His adopted son, Prince Akira, has taken over the position, but lacks experience and faces the ire of the former prince’s more natural relatives.
has grown ominously silent following their lost struggle with The Hazat for control of Iver. Duchess Salandra Decados continues her decade-long courtship with the Emperor. Rumors hold that there has been recent improvement to the environment on their world of Cadavus, which has been barely hospitable for centuries, but Decados nobility have limited outsider’s access to the planet mostly to their own palaces, making any confirmation impossible.
has been preparing its defenses in expectation of a symbiot breakthrough to their worlds following the recent quiet that has fallen across the Stigmata front. A sense of doom hangs over their populace as the military, fleets, and the Mutasih all prepare for open fighting. Reports of the loss of The Flower of Spring’s Radiant Morning, an al-Malik frigate in the outer Criticorum system have only worsened conditions.
has petitioned the Imperial Throne for promotion from Minor House to Royal House status upon returning the former lost world of Rimpoche to the jumpweb and revealing their possession of a Voting Scepter. The Emperor has yet to verify the House’s claim to this new world, or approve their request.
The Merchant League
has multiplied its wealth through the new trade routes and discoveries under Emperor Alexius, but been rocked by the sudden promotion of the Town Criers to a Major Guild. This has also weakened the Reeves Guild, the Criers’ former masters. Time will tell if the new freedom of news and information will sustain the Town Criers, or if they will be pulled back down to Minor Guild status.