The Duke and the Emperor

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The heroes are summoned to Byzantium Secundus by Duke Jose Alfoso Louis Eduardo de Aragon, where Don Dario embarks upon a grand new adventure - but not before all are embroiled in throneworld politics.

The Ducal Yacht

Father Domingo, Don Dario and Aurelia arrive at the Port Authority to be met by Captain Ridek and Don Alejandro, who take them via motorboat to Duke Jose's magnificent yacht, a protected sea cruiser turned into a floating palace. There, they meet with Duke Jose, who tells them that Don Dario has been selected to be one of the first fifty members of a new Company of the Phoenix created by the Emperor to quest among the stars and right wrongs.

Aurelia discovers that a beautiful woman is the only other guest on the yacht; after a rendezvous with the Duke, she takes off in a black flitter.

An Invitation; An Uncomfortable Party

Returning to the Hazat embassy, the heroes receive an invitation to a party being hosted by Count Faustus Hawkwood. The party is very uncomfortable - it's clear these people are Hawkwood veterans who do not much like the Hazat - but Count Faustus gives the heroes an access pass to visit Jericho, where Father Domingo and Don Dario's brother was killed. Aurelia also makes friends with a young man at the party.

The Moon of Jericho

Traveling to Jericho aboard Captain Ridek's ship, the heroes land near the atmosphere generator Rodrigo Castro Salazar was assigned to guard. Trekking in space suits to the generator, they search the wreckage, finding the ruins of Rodrigo's sword as well as a body: a Hawkwood commando in pristine condition, a blonde woman preserved in space. Imperial Eye troopers swarm the location shortly after, though the party keeps the commando's weapons as proof.

Enter the Dwarf

Investigation will reveal that the sword belonged to a Dame Alice Hawkwood, a Hawkwood commando officer who officially died a year before Jericho. The investigation brings the Imperial Eye down on the heroes, however, where they are interviewed by Chamon Mazarin.

Mazarin tells them that the woman was planted on Jericho - she did not die there - and asks for her sword, as she was close to the Emperor. Dario asks permission to return the sword himself and it is granted, with a meeting to take place after the Questing Knight ceremony.

A Company From The Ashes

Dario and his companions go to the Imperial Palace, where he is raised a Questing Knight amongst 49 others. Speaking with them, it is clear that they are almost all die-hard idealists, many of whom have little political sensibility - but they believe passionately in the Emperor's vision for a peaceful future.

The Emperor

The heroes then meet privately with the Emperor, who confides that Dame Alice was dear to him and that she died in the Holy Terra system in 4993. He asks the companions to keep their ears open for the matter, as it is clear that whatever went on extends past the end of the war.

Dramatis Personae

  • Duke Jose Alfoso Louis Eduardo de Aragon -- The heroes' patron and relative, he is the Hazat ambassador and the most respected diplomat on Byzantium Secundus.
  • Count Faustus Hawkwood -- A Hawkwood general, he is the leader of the anti-Alexius faction.
  • Sir Chamon Mazarin -- The Emperor's spymaster, a cunning dwarf.
  • Sir Roger Winterbroom -- A young man Aurelia befriended at Faustus' party.
  • Sergeant Arcturus Fawkes -- A Phoenix guardsman the players got information about Dame Alice from; he served with her during the Wars.