Prologue

“Everything changes, given time. The names of saints and sinners alike are lost to history, caught in the bloody machinations of nations and dynasties who are themselves adrift amid the turbulent tide of years. From a distant enough vantage point, even the gods become afterthoughts as the Mortal Realms grind like cogs in an unfathomably vast machine. Yet all history was once lived, and all wars fought for a reason. Each fleeting life so desperately spent had its own meaning, its own purpose. Legacy. Ambition. A way of life.”

The Age of Myth is over. The Age of Chaos has begun.

Hysh, the Realm of Light, crumbles beneath the weight of its people’s hubris. Believing themselves truly flawless, the Lumineth had climbed to dizzying heights, ignorant of just how far they would fall. Yet even as the aelves tore each other apart like rabid animals in their civil war, there was one who sought to turn aside the doom of his people. His name was Ceraph Eresiel, and he spoke to those who would listen of hope, refuge, and the vampire Mithridates Alti.

A refugee fleeing from the terrible wars wracking Shyish, Alti had confided in Eresiel knowledge of a secret sanctuary in Haixiah sheltered by the unstable nature of the realm’s edge. With Tyrion fighting a losing battle against Slaanesh’s daemonic hordes and Teclis absent entirely, many clung to Eresiel’s vision as their last chance for salvation and followed him in search of this promised land. They called it the Prime Dominion, a place where aelves could start anew.

Of course, the crisis passed, in time- Teclis returned with Celennar and began the Reinvention, restoring purpose, healing the land and tempering aelven pride with humility. Still, Eresiel’s nascent empire persisted in isolation, beyond the reach of all but the most determined. In this way, it prospered, and for a while the people of the Dominion lived in harmony and reaped the benefits of peace. This culminated with the construction of the mighty city of Iscarion, heart of the Dominion and a shining symbol of their  triumph. From nothing, they had forged a kingdom, and with it a new identity – they had become the Iscarneth, the People of Iscarion. Eresiel was named Ceraph en Iscar, or Guardian of Iscarion, who would lead them into the future. Thus, the Iscarneth Ceraphate was forged. 

Yet the Iscarneth were not the Realm-lords of Teclis, and never adopted aelementors as their culture of origin did. In the years that followed, their newfound prosperity turned the flaws that had once damned Hysh inwards, and intrigue at court mounted. Over the course of decades, rivalry grew into conflict, and rumours turned to accusations. Many bitter truths were revealed, yet one was darker and more damning than the rest. Eresiel, their saviour and Ceraph, was in truth a Soulblight vampire- and the pawn of Mithridates Alti.

In their last united act, the aelves who would become the Satraps ambushed their leader in the senate chambers and slew him upon its steps. In the aftermath, each retreated to their own chambers and domains, for none trusted the others not to be Soulblight as well, mistaking their ambitions for the damnation of vampirism. A brittle peace descended, as each satrapy saw to their own interests, and the throne in Iscarion sat empty. Yet the satraps knew in their hearts such a peace could not stand, and each made preparations for the war to come.

What became of Mithridates Alti, none could say with certainty. He disappeared years before, seemingly little more than a convenient means to a greater end. Now, with the truth revealed, his absence brings little comfort to the satraps, for the truth is laid bare before them: all they now possess was brought about by the machinations of a Soulblight vampire.

“Step back far enough, and it all becomes meaningless, a footnote in greater histories. And yet, here and now, nothing could be more important.”

– excerpt from “The Great Saga”, the Collected Tales of Hogrog ug Weirdklaw; Volume III


Ever since the vampire Eresiel was overthrown, the Prime Dominion has been a Ceraphate without a Ceraph – a kingdom without a king. The six remaining satraps, rulers of the provinces known as satrapies, have governed by way of uneasy council. Old grudges and ancient pride sit like embers beneath a paper throne, awaiting only a breath of air to burst a flame once more.

Each satrap believes they are the most deserving to rule. Atressa Redhand, Champion of Iscarion, believes the might that has kept the Prime Dominion safe these long centuries makes her the rightful choice. Darius the Resplendant, lord of the greatest of the satrapies, is a gilded mirror of the aelven kings of old. Renaya Oathsworn has endured hardships that would break any other a hundred times over, yet has never faltered in her dream of a better future. Caradryas Lightbringer stands upon the precipice of a new dawn for all Iscarneth, free of the anchors of the past. Elusedrod the Deathly has plumbed the secrets of the world and walks a shrouded path towards enlightenment. Iden the Auric learned best the lessons of the Spirefall, and only through his vast wealth can the Iscarneth survive the next catastrophe. 

Each considers themselves the master of their peers, unwilling to bow to any, and together, they are ready to shatter the Dominion if only to claim the largest shard. And thus, over the long years, the Ceraph’s seat has remained empty, while the satraps vie amongst themselves for territory and influence.

No longer. The veneer of peace, long cracking, has been shattered by the return of one man – Mithridates Alti.

It came first as a whispered name, echoing from the Lux Umbra to the highest reaches of power. A name from Iscarion’s past, shrouded in the desperation of the Spirefall. An undying legend returned to life. If the satraps held any doubts, they were soon cast aside, as Alti appeared before them all, rising from a crimson light on the Senate floor to deliver his message. 

“I, Mithridates Alti, once master of Ceraph Eresiel, have come to claim my rightful throne. The Dominion was my discovery, my creation, and its people my wayward children. I shall return to Iscarion the prosperity which I once promised, the very same prosperity you trample upon like squabbling siblings. You may stand at my side in this new era, or find yourselves forgotten by the pages of history. This choice, I leave in your hands.” His decree imparted, he disappeared once more- but the aftershocks had only just begun.

With this revelation, each satrap knows Iscarion must have a Ceraph again- and each satrap knows it must be them. The time has come to act. Messengers have been dispatched, armies paid for and oaths sworn by word, by ink, and by blood. Soldiers, champions, warlords, all are needed. Grudges long tended bear bloody fruit. Animosity is rising, and war follows with it.

– excerpt from “The Great Saga”, the Collected Tales of Hogrog ug Weirdklaw; Volume III