The ground trembled sending cobblestones from the old bankside road askew. Sparks flew from cracks in the air as wizards rushed with counterspells. One suddenly started to shake, his face turning pale and his hand quivering too much to complete the spell. His eyes glazed over and with blood-curdling scream he simply started to run. A scribe looked down at the startled scribble on his half-finished scroll and cried out in anger. Throwing open the door, he grabbed the first mercenary passing by and started punching and kicking. A humble begger standing at the door noticed the scribe's pen laying on the floor. He picked it up and started to hand it back, but suddenly his hand shook and lurched out of sight under his tunic with a nervous giggle. Suddenly there was a rumble like thunder, that resonated like laughter. City guards clutched tight their antique halberds and looked around as the sky grew dark over the castle and a storm of lightning rained down upon the graveyard beyond. "It has begun", announced Lord Sergonar solemnly as the assembled membership of the Myth and Peace Lords surrounding the high council seated around the high council's stone table. "Long have we heard whispers of forces gathering in the deep and dark and wild corners of the land, long did the vanguard probe our defenses. Now, with the throne empty and rule uncertain, the cruel and corrupted have rallied in great numbers to the call of the crimson field marshals of darkness and their shadow lords." Lord Woodwalker set aside a small sprout he had been nurturing like a pet. "They are near to perfecting the magic to tear through astral fabric and recall en mass past all our defenses. The very core cities of Britannia are in danger of imminent assault. As the spaces thin, the dark whispers invade the minds of the innocents." Lord Salthook, in his ceremonial dragonscale smithing suit displayed a ragged blade upon the table. "I know not what dark crafts were employed to make such metals, or if they have plundered ancient tombs unknown to us, but the vanguard of the enemy was armed with weapons every bit the match of our finest smiths and I fear they have not yet even committed their finest crafts to the field." He looked around at the crafts and artifacts the warriors of the guild were armed with and heaved the heavy sigh of a craftsmen feeling unsatisfied with his efforts. Lord Tempest, his elf-ears sharp and his eyes aglow, leaned forward in his bloodwood battle suit of enchanted lightness, twin swords held a quiver upon his back. "I fear our enemies approach on many fronts. The ruins of Magincia are an open sore and the cursed souls that are bound to that place are a beacon for the darkness to establish a hold upon our shores. We much re-sanctify the city as soon as possible." Lord Eternos rose to his feet looked over at the fortified balcony where the great dragon Volcanus Rex stood loyally on guard watching out across the plains. "We must move quickly to repel any invasion", warned Eternos. "But we must not underestimate the Six. Though I have not seen them, I can sense them near. They call to dragonkind ... they are angry, resentful ... but their call has such power that they can turn any serpent of Destard into primal beast. They are unlike any wyrm that we have ever faced and we cannot allow any of allies we have made amongst the dragons to hear that call, no matter how loyal they have served alongside us." Before Lord Maplestone could stand to give the final address, there was an interruption from a dark-robed mage standing on the north wall. "My lords there are many factions in the war to come", began Voidwalker, a student of spiritual matters under Woodwalker's guidance. "Each faction has rallied followers to their side ... but I say it is not clear with whom we should stand. Old Britannia, in all its idealism, is fractured and leaderless with the high council destroyed. The surviving leaders of the Council of Mages from Magincia have risen to offer an alternative to the crippled government, yet although they are magics are mighty, they may lack the numbers to influence the outcome. The followers in Minax reach out to us and plead that we fight fire with fire and rally to the faction willing to do whatever is needed to survive. And finally, there are the shadowlords themselves. I hesitate to ask this question before a single battle has been fought, but what if we cannot win? What if we cannot defeat this army that masses against a faded and fractured kingdom? Is an old ideal worth defending to the death? If the invasion prevails, it is those who sided with it who will have be best position to influence the peace which follows. Perhaps we should not rule out any option?"