The Empire’s flying ships have been stepping up patrols since reports of a smuggling ship escaping from the Hand of Sorrow reached Ilysium. They’ve even pulled in ships from the Imperial Expansion to keep the peace on the capital. That was their first mistake.
The Crimson Sky finally have a chance to topple Ilysium, and maybe the entire Empire. The I.S.S. Hollis arrived at the capital yesterday. Her captain, Lieutenant Tomas Grzesczak, is a Crimson Sky sympathizer. With any luck by the end of the week we’ll have a sympathetic crew, a full armament, and enough information to hit the key targets, throw Ilysium into chaos, and begin the fall of the
That’s if the law and the Stone Judges don’t catch us first.
The Empire is officially rules by Empress Sadhana Serra, but the day-to-day governance is handled by the House of Lords. The Empire’s power comes from the Navy and the Blooded noble houses, as well as control of the small rocks of land that float throughout the Wild Blue.
Ilysium is the capital rock of the Empire, with smaller outposts spread throughout the Blue. The Empire lays claim to all stable rocks floating within it’s territory and regularly sends flying ships out to investigate new rocks that have dropped from the upper Blue or surfaced from the depths.
Law within the Empire is an artifact of an unknown, older civilization. The discovery of ancient, living stone figures that had complete knowledge of some long-lost law helped transform the early chaotic Empire into the stable government that now holds sway over half of the Blue. Adopting the ancient law, perfectly applied by the Stone Judges, gave the stability needed for the Empire to expand to it’s current boundaries. New stone judges are occasionally found when excavating older rocks, and their recovery always a matter of importance since each Judge has some specific knowledge of the Five Fold Law (as the Judges refer to it) that others do not.
MAGIC BELONGS IN THE HANDS OF THE FEW
“It is unlawful for any person not bestowed the dispensation of the Royal Head to wield, research, obtain, or claim to posses the powers of the blood (here after referred to as ‘magic’).” - Magincarnum Rex, part of the Five Fold Law, as recorded from the rulings of Judge Meritus
Imperial law holds that magic is the privilege of the nobility. Since magic is primarily passed down through bloodlines few have the opportunity to challenge the noble chokehold on magic. It is only the odd bastard or noble who has forsaken their title that even has potential to wield magic without royal dispensation.
PEACE COMES FROM THE CAPITAL
“Authority to rule, levy taxes, raise armies, and otherwise administer the Empire is granted to colonies and cities only by the grace of the Royal Head and their government. They serve at their Majesty’s whim.” - On Cities, part of the Five Fold Law, as recorded in the ruling of Judge Neblis
The outlying areas, from the smallest rock to Olympia, have self-governance only by the kindness of the royal government in Ilysium. Local laws and actions are always subject to review by anyone up to the Empress herself.
ALL WORLDS ARE BETTER OFF UNDER OUR RULE
“By the right and good power vested in the Royal Head, this law is set forth to make upon these lands a better civilization, such that those so ruled may prosper and pursue their just interests.” - Purported to be the first words spoken by the first Judge discovered.
The Empire’s rule is not deliberately or systematically cruel. Most officials act at least claim to be working for the best interest of those they rule, and many believe it.
NAVAL TECHNOLOGY IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF THE EMPIRE
“On the matter of ship hulls, fuel, and sails, and the design thereof: these items, being the product of knowledge held by the people in general, shall always be the property of the Royal Head, so that no man may falsely lay claim to devices that would benefit all.” - Judge Meritus, deciding the case of Ilysium Trading Co. v. The Royal Navy
Imperial ships are outfitted with the most advanced aeronautical technology of anything in the Wild Blue, at least as much as politics allows. A well-outfitted Imperial ship travels faster, cleaner, and safer than anything else in the air, and the Empire likes to keep it that way.
The Crimson Sky is a loosely organized rebellion with isolated cells on just about every rock this side of the Blue. Most rocks just have a handful of people in a bar, but Ilysium and Olympia have multiple, well-organized cells dedicated to bringing down the Empire.
The Illysium cell is nominally lead by Prof. Lee Perkins, but Perkins has no real control over the other members. Instead they meet fortnightly at a seedy bar in the dock district to plan actions against the Empire. Most recently, they’ve come into contact with Lieutenant Grzesczak, who has decided to defect his ship to the Crimson Sky.
JEFFERSON PICKETT, ANARCHIST
RHETORIC: NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO RULE ANYONE ELSE
Jefferson joined the Crimson Sky as a necessary evil. While he hates having anyone ruling over him, Jefferson respects the other Crimson Sky revolutionaries for the common goal of bringing down the Empire. He dreams of one day living in a world with no authority.
Suggested Skills: Mad Bomber (Physical), Raving Mad (Social), Sabotage (Mental), Rioting (Social)
PROFESSOR LEE PERKINS
RHETORIC: SELF RULE IS THE ONLY JUST RULE
As he gets older and more ornery, Professor Perkins has moved from yelling at the kids to get off his lawn to yelling at the Empire to get off his campus. A true academic, Lee is best at plotting the downfall of Imperial Rule, but less useful when the time comes to act. Acting as the leader of his cell of the Crimson Sky, he has arranged a meeting between the cell and Lieutenant Tomas to figure out how to best go about taking the I.S.S. Hollis from the Empire. Prof. Perkins dreams of a day when he can teach without the meddling of those who think they know better.
Suggested Skills: Lecture (Social), Academic (Mental), Professor (Social), Peaceful Resistance (Physical)
RHETORIC: MAGIC IS A GIFT TO EVERYONE
The bastard daughter of a rich noble, Hazel is a Wind Blood. Unlike her father’s Storm Blood, Hazel’s magic is more subdued, but she looks upon it as a gift: a gift she feels everyone should be allowed to have. Hazel dislikes the Empire only is so much as it stops her from sharing her love for magic and the world. She dreams of a world where she, her love, and her magic are all free.
Suggested Skills: Hugs (Social), Wind Blooded (Physical), Connected (Mental), Noble Blood (Social)
LIEUTENANT TOMAS GRZESCZAK
RHETORIC: NAVEL TECHNOLOGY CAN DO MORE GOOD IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE
Not being of noble birth, Tomas’s career in the navy has peaked. With little chance of promotion beyond his current rank and command, the Lieutenant has become disillusioned with his post, and with the Empire as a whole. After years of rescuing travelers from Sky Squids and pirates, Tomas is ready to see the technology that keeps his men safe spread to everyone, and he plans to
do that by defecting his ship, the I.S.S. Hollis, to the Crimson Sky. He dreams of flying the Wild Blue without orders for ever.
Suggested Skills: Combat Training (Physical), Naval Tactics (Mental), Command (Social), Decorated Serviceman (Social), Combat Flying (Physical)