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The Ashalan

"The burden of our guilt is nearly past. Soon we shall be able to rest again." - Katani

For almost a thousand years the Ashalan have hidden from the might of Shilah, the Lady Sun, fearing another Day of Wrath and preparing for a time when they would have to pass the secrets of the Fallen Star to a new age of heroes. Now, with the last fading moments of history rapidly slipping away, they scramble to ensure that all of the pieces are set and that the world is braced for a new beginning. If they fail in this, the world will share the awful price for their ancient arrogance.

The Assassins

"I may not share his blood, but I cannot foresake his mission." - Adina

The Old Man on the Mountain is dead. his passing at the hands of his first-born daughter Fatima has sparked a bitter fued between his children of the Royal line. Their hidden keep has become a battleground, which has spread throughout the city and beyond, adding to the tension within her walls. Only one among the Assassins refuses to abandon their centuries-old task and has the determination to see them home.

The Celestial Alliance

"The sheperds have vanished, and the flock has gone astray. We shall lead them back from the abatoir." - Lurza

There is a gentle time between the ages when the future of humankind is unset and darkness roams the world with impunity. This is that time. There are those who gather as guardians during these times of uncertainty; they surrender their lives to the void between the moments. The Celestial Alliance are those courageous few. Born of a pact made in the First War of the Stars, the Celestial Alliance has been the first and last line of defense against the legions of Kaleel since before the Day of Wrath.

The Dahab

"Real power can only be gained through guile and finance." - The Silver Tongue

The Merchant Guilds of Medinaat al Salaam have the final word in all things monetary within her walls. They barter and trade lives with callous disregard, drawing wealth from every transaction within the city. But within their power-mongering circles there lies another, deeper threat - one held in silent conspiracy for almost a thousand years and protected by an imprenetrable shield of secrecy since the Guilds' arrival. Seeking an ancient, enemy whose goal is nothing less than complete annihilation of all that Shilah and the Moon have created, the Houses of Dahab have infiltrated this, the most influential group of the sands.

The Ebonites

"We stand at the twilight of humanity with only the staff of justice to light the way." - Judgement

Stretched thin between the needs of a city under siege and the will of their enigmatic Ashalan benefactors, the Ebonite Order of the Black Hand and it's members' motley collection of followers look to preserve the unsteady balance around them. As the self-appointed defenders of the Jewel, they must organize the thin line of protection against the combined forces of the Moto, Yodatai, Ra'Shari, and Hanif and represent the single point of sanity in a world gone mad. Should they fail, the city will fall and all hope of a brighter futur will be lost to the sands of time.

The Ivory Kingdoms

"Death has returned, and is she is not appeased, all will fall away." - Giya

Guided by a monstrous being that they believe is the reincarnation of their ancient goddess of death, members of the cult of Ruhmal have renewed their campaign of terror. They hide among caravans, slowly growing like a cancer, until in a flurry of bloodshed all are sacrificed in the name of their angry ruler. But their exploits within the Ivory Kingdoms are legendary, and they are hunted fort heir faith. They have come across the desert in the guise of merchants and diplomats, hoping to find new prey to sate their goddess's vicious appetite.

The Jackal

"There is danger in relying on prophecy, but there is more in fulfilling it." - Enala

Following the mandates of their alien masters beyond the Black Stone, the Jackals strive to prevent the prophecy's coming fulfillment. Their targets are the Avatars, the beings whose blood is the key to the Awakening and whom the soul-stealers believe are harbingers of a dark age for humankind. Should the Jackals fail, the world will be plunged into a perilous period of history in which the souls of humanity will be forfeit to a terrifying lord of madness and eternal night.

The Moto

"We protect the Jewel of the Desert, as she once protected us." - Subotai

They have wandered the wastes for a thousand years, living on the outskirts of the Jewel of the Desert, preying upon the weak and dying. But now, the Moto have become the prey. The armies of the Senpet Pharaoh hunt down the nomads, leaving their bleeding corpses where they lie. Now, the Ki-Rin raiders fight to protect the Jewel of the Desert from the death-worshipping Senpet and the Rakshasa of the Ivory Kingdoms.

The Qabal

"The hidden powers of the Avatars lies in discovering the identity of the fourth." - Zenaida

With their leader Hekau in chains awaiting the final punishment for his betrayal of the Senpet, the Qabal continue his quest to find the four Avatars of the prophecy. Said to possess unlimited power and the key to awakening a fallen god, the Avatars represent the renegades' best hope to win their war with the heartless mages of the Caliph and free the City of One Thousand Stories from the shackles of her tyranny. But something is brewing within them for which they could not have prepared: the fruition of a centuries-old bargain that will transform their lives - and their very flesh - forever.

The Rashari

OThe hidden truth of history was buried for a reason. - The Living Memory

Returning from three hundred years of self-imposed exile. the gypsies of the Burning Sands, keepers of the Old Tongues and the Great Chronicle of Man, walk again amongst the betrayers of their faith. They bring with them secrets lost decades ago when the Caliph ordered all of the JewelOs libraries and universities razed, the memories of the days before ShilahOs wrath scorched the world. They conspire with the last of the Ancients to prepare for the Awakening and shelter the rest from what may very well be the end of the world.

The Senpet

"To restore the fire of the Great Eye, we must capture the fire of the Jewel of the Desert." - Hensatti

Their civilization is as old as the world itself, but now the flame in the Great Eye has faded as the desert winds carve away at their mighty monuments and pyramids. In order to circumvent an ancient prophecy, the Pharaoh has turned to the Jewel of the Desert to make certain her mighty civilization does not fall victim to the unforgiving desert winds and the wrath of Lady Sun.

The Yodatai

"Conquest is a living, breathing thing and must be nurtured like a callow child." - Octavius

Fresh from their newly independent Empire beyond the western mountains, this Yodatai exploratory force has arrived in the Jewel of the Desert despite insurmountable odds and the efforts of the children of the smokeless fire. They have traveled across the barren peaks and acrid dunes for a reason only they know, fueled by the bloody victories of their greatest warlords. They will succeed, even if it is over the broken bodies of every man, woman, and child in their path.

Kaze no Shiro Return

Togashi will return!