20 years ago the Awakened of Chicago stood embroiled in a bloody, cruel war. The target of all research, the destination of every journey, and the spoils of each battle was to be one single item, the artifact known as the Celestial Flange.
This war had no victors.
The Flange, if it ever truly existed, remained elusive both in it’s material presence, and the veracity of any and all claims to its power.
All sides suffered such heavy losses, with so little to show in return, that an unspoken consensus was reached that the artifact had been lost and would not have itself found.
The temptation of some fruits is so sumptuous, that no prohibition can keep the mouth from watering. The legend of the Flange and its powers remained embedded in the minds of those wise ones who survived the war. No awakened mind who found itself in the second city after the fever of whispers began would fail to hear at least some of them.
Its pursuit had been abandoned however, as the common belief was any zealous or concerted effort to research or reclaim the artifact would ignite the war anew.
A mystagogue known as Ezra defied reason when he resumed the search with renewed vigor.
He died. His pursuit was cut short. But was he killed for his discoveries? Some advantage, real or imagined, in the search for the Flange? Or was it simply for the pride he showed?
The most important question his death begs is, has the war already begun anew?