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
by Nicodemus Mikhail Grimm