As Winter Comes
As the new year turns, the weather takes a sudden chill turn, and the sky darkens as the grip of winter intensifies. Worry rises as regular channels of communication between nations cease like a candle suddenly snuffed. Slowly, throughout the lands claimed by the Ragesian Empire, rumors spread between isolated villages, traveling by foot and horse and word of mouth — rumors that Drakus Coaltongue, the immortal emperor whose armies conquered every land he set his gaze upon, has fallen in a distant land to the west. How the tyrant was defeated is unknown, but if it is true, everyone knows that a war is coming. The generals of Emperor Coaltongue will strike for control, oppressed peoples will rise up in rebellion, and dangers once held in check only by fear of the mighty warlord will bring doom to the world.
Those in power are preparing for the coming conflict, readying fervent armies and powerful weapons and subtle, deceptive plots, but two questions burn in their minds: who killed the seemingly-immortal Emperor Coaltongue; and what has become of the artifact that would let a man rule the world? Who has the Torch of the Burning Sky?