An entire generation has been raised without knowledge of the Empire’s Golden Age, when their ancestors lived peacefully alongside the Mountain Clans, and there was harmony in every far-flung corner of the land. The Golden Age reached back long into the past, but for this generation, fed on fear, and lulled to an anxious sleep by the dire prophecies of the Elders, it is a mythical time.
“The accursed angel, riding his fiery steed, will curse the land, and the poisoned soil shall harvest beasts and demons.”
For this generation, these words mark the beginning of the Empire’s history. Everything before is a fantasy. Shortly after the Elders pronounced that the time of the prophecy was nigh, an infernal rift ripped through the length of the Empire. The “beasts and demons” of the prophecy poured forth. The Great Wars had begun. No strategies or tactics, no heroes, no glorious tales of battle have come down to us. Perhaps there were none. As the survivors tell it, it was only be sheer force of the Soul and Arm that the Empire succeeded in sealing the gate to Hell.
N o w, ten long years have passed. Famine and plague ravage the once fastidiously tilled lands of the Empire. While the young people fashion new scabbards for their gleaming swords, the Elders merely look skyward, to the Highfather. Surely he would never allow such horrors to once again plague his favored land? But this favored land is now torn apart by internal strife. Petty nobles and brigand lords have established their own empires. Thousands of years in the making, the once proud and united Empire is but a distant memory. The King, having lost his consort and only son during the wars, languishes in self-imposed isolation in his castle’s highest tower.
What did the Highfather demand of his subjects? Blood, it seemed. For it is in these dire times that the unholy enemies of the Empire struck anew…