Blades in the Darkness
Ruled by the Lord Regent, the City State fights in Elom to avenge their fallen King. The young Crown Princess spends her nights dancing and reveling in the many Celebrant clubs of the City. Drugs and intoxicants flow north from the steaming jungles of Elom. Returning soldiers bring addictions back with them. The young people of the City oppose the war and many are in favor of abolishing Monarchy and the old ways. They refuse Service.
The war in Elom grinds on. This is no ordinary war. The Anarchistic Slavers of Morvae are attempting to spread the corruption of their Republican ideas to the primitive land of Elom. The King of Elom petitions The City for help in stopping the Anarchists in the Eastern Highlands. Backed and “advised” by the slave holding land of Morvae, guerrilla fighters burn crops and destroy settlements before fading back in to the jungle. Many of the Elomi peasants give the guerrillas aid.
Cheles’Vaarian soldiers fall to ambushes and diabolical traps, just as their King was ambushed and killed at the Battle of Veldan’s Gap. One cannot tell friend from foe. Allied farmers during the day are burning and slaying by night. Death lurks everywhere with a smile to your face and a dagger to your back. Hidden crossbowmen snipe from the treeline. Secret agents of the East live among the primitive tribes of the deep jungles, squatting in the ruined temples and walls of a bygone age. Secret tunnels and caverns honeycomb the mountains and hills of Elom. Disease and addiction are rampant. Poisonous fauna and flora defend the jungles as well as any army could.
Many of the local plants are brewed in to mind altering substances by the locals. Fighting for a country that doesn’t want them there, the soldiers, mostly young men and women just want to go home…. and the drugs ease the panic, pain, and tension of the war.
Back home in the City, Celebrant clubs hold the Rites of Spring nightly, a perverted worship of the Earth Mother. Drugs, debauchery, frenzied dancing, nudity and promiscuity are rampant, set to the uproarious beating of the drums. Students at the Great University march in the streets, protesting the war, refusing to Serve the Throne. Riots are common. As the King’s Hounds attempt to pacify the protests, rocks are thrown, veterans and citizens are beaten, and property is destroyed.
The most visible “Celebrant” is the young Crown Princess. Orphaned at fifteen by the Queen’s suicide, she passes her nights in revel, spending the City’s silver like water. Rarely sober, she is thought of as a disgrace by many. The ladies of the City speculate how many times the royal virtue has been sullied in the clubs….
As her eighteenth birthday approaches, the Lord regent should be preparing her for the reigns of power, yet he shows no signs of doing so. Could one blame him? She is so irresponsible and not ready to be Queen. What decent young Noble would want a Celebrant for a wife?