It is the fourteenth day of Bloom, the last month of summer. Across Nova Primus the fields are green with ripening crops and flowers bloom to their full. Under an intensely blue sky the summer heat has begun to fade, and afternoon thunderstorms have begun to give way to gentler showers. But all is not well beneath the Emperor’s sun.
For the seventh time in fourteen years, the greenskin orks mass in the jungles south of Skullbreaker. Each of the aliens’ six prior invasions have been turned back by the lords and knights of House Darry, led by the mighty Greenslayer, Lord Hugh Darry. But Lord Hugh is no longer a young man, and his eldest son has never before commanded an army. Now House Darry rides south, there to discover if Sir Hubert Darry can fill his father’s shoes.
With him ride Connor and Philippa Darry, struggling to repair their marriage after the death of their newborn son. Among the camp followers and the baggage train, Dimitri Ralston peddles his wares, following his livelihood even as it inches closer to mortal peril. In the Umbran Jungle, the wandering confessor Valon Sarqhardt travels from farm to farm tending the spiritual needs of the poor—all unaware of the monsters from his past that will soon boil forth from the Green Cape. And in Fairbanks Town, on the River Thread, young Olive Mollin dares the wrath of the law for love of her only remaining family—even as marriage and a new pregnancy threaten to tear that family away from her.
At the end of summer, in the Age of Steel, heartache and danger walk the south. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Nova. Look to your faith and the ones you hold dear—and pray that Emperor protects.
- Andrew Marsden, 15-year old House Darry messenger, currently taking Valon Sarqhardt back to Lord Darry.
- Miriam, a woman of Fairbanks.
- Davan, her cousin, who claims he saw an ork outside of Fairbanks.
- Carol, an older woman of Fairbanks.
- Matthew, a 17-year old soldier in love with a washer woman.
- Bennet Mollin, Olive’s older brother.
- Reyna Mollin, his wife.
- Umbran Jungle
- House Darry column
Olive Mollin overheard Miriam telling a group of women at the Fairbanks ovens that her cousin, Davan, had seen an ork in the jungles outside of town. The women were mutely hostile to Olive. That night, she met her smuggling contacts Cyrian Dylan and Denisot Carter to smuggle the first of the season’s cotton through the sewer. Though she went to the sewer armed and wary, no orks appeared. Reyna Mollin discovered Olive returning from her smuggling and offered to help her find a man.
Dimitri Ralston, traveling with the House Darry column, sold a hummingbird figurine to young Matthew, a soldier traveling with the army. The same day he encountered a twelve-year old squire looking to buy a gift for a girl beneath his social station. Dimitri recommended that the squire find out what would be significant to the girl, and he returned during Interlude to purchase a lozenge-shaped brooch faced with mica.
Valon Sarqhardt was traveling to Fairbanks when Andrew Marsden happened upon him. Upon learning that Valon was the famous confessor who had “saved” Jonbri, Andrew reversed course to bring Valon to Lord Hugh. That night, Andrew confessed to Valon his fear of the coming campaign. Valon revealed that the stories about him were exaggerated, and offered Andrew some somber words of wisdom.
Philippa Darry took Cameron Traver and Kirin Masters riding, having confined Valerica Daroline to a litter as punishment for being impertinent towards Philippa’s maid, Vhetin Cooper. Kirin rode far afield before Philippa could stop her, and during their return trip, something spooked all three of their horses. Cammy’s horse reared and threw her, causing no lasting injury but breaking Cammy’s brooch. That night, Connor Darry returned to his pavilion after a long night working, tired and frustrated that his brother Sir Hubert would not listen to his advice. Connor told Philippa that Valerica had been abusing the servants from her litter and, in light of the horses’ strange behavior, asked Philippa to ride with him the next day.