All Under Heaven

Third Year Goodbye 2018

The Ancient Empire of Humanity has stood forever unchanging and constant under the guidance of the Empresses and Emperors who have borne the power of the Mantle of Heaven.

The Mantle is a metaphor for the overwhelming power of Imperial unity as personified by the Empress. It keeps the populace in line with the national ideal, but even its power does not reach into the secret lives and private desires of the citizenry. As the Empire is threatened ever more by its neighbours, as territory is lost to pirates and invaders, the integrity of the Mantle begins to fray. Citizens find themselves with ever more freedom of thought and action, and many begin to whisper and plot.

Heroes and rebels from across the nation are coming together to organise, to plan - and soon, to set themselves against the Empress with the aim of deposing the Empress and seizing power. The Easterners have brought grand plans for civil works and great projects. The Northerners come with sharp blades and sharper words. Those from the South have come to organise the revolution, for what good would it be if the farmers tried to fight, and the soldiers to farm? There are some, too, from the Imperial Province, high-minded devotees of law and justice. Others have crossed the border from the Western Province, which is currently occupied by the hated dwarves of Byzantium; home to the schools of the Civil Service, its loss has been painful to the Ancient Empire. There are even a few monks from the Himalayan Protectorate, here with their strange philosophies and stranger ‘gods’. A smattering of foreign diplomat-spies, here to observe and meddle, round out this motley assemblage arrayed against the full might of the Revered Empress.

The first order of business, of course, will be the appointment of a Marshal to lead the forces of rebellion, and Generals to serve under them. In the manner prescribed by the ancient texts, therefore, the assorted noteworthies of the rebel forces have gathered to stage a tournament of martial arts. The Generals will be supported by Fatecrafters, students of the ancient lores of the Zodiac, whose powers alter the very strands of truth and reality. It is whispered, too, that for the first time in generations, the Heroes of old are returning. Those who wish to take up the role of the legendary figures of the past are clamouring for the attentions of the Fatecrafters and offering their services to those who would be Generals.