The world had changed in the two hundred and fifty years that the Company lay unconscious. Only a dozen awakened. Their immediate impulse was retribution – their blood thirst not subdued by their rest. Aeron managed to bring them to a restrained rationality: “lets understand what happened to us before we do anything else.”
The lands outside the Empire – where the Nomads were continually pushed back by King Statton’s anexation – have come to a peace, lead by Queen Samiya. Anyone who looks or speaks strangely is assumed to be a tollerated visitor from those distant lands, and so that’s the guise the Company fall into without realising it.
In this state, they can learn some information.
The Church is no longer a second column of the Monarchy. They’re a tool with few people involved. Religion is practised only to the extent that the new Royal family think is required to keep the gods happy. There are a few devout civilians, but they keep it quiet and meet in basements to worship. The Taleb family saw the power of the Church all that time ago, and worried it could rise again.
Curios like the “shadowhearts” disappeared with the Fourth Company, the Knight Watchmen made sure of that. Immediately following the seizure of the Eastern Barracks, there were two decades of stamping out any sign of mystism. Since then, the Knight Watchmen have shrunk in number and is largely a ceremonial title for royals. They still train to be rather good at their job though.
Aeron and the Fourth Company begin to understand their legacy: people-farmers of demonic stories. They’re no longer thought of as loyal soliders who built the Realm. They’re the villains who brought about decades of darkness.
Aeron takes his news differently from his followers. He sees the darkness they left behind, slowly learning where he went wrong. They feel robbed. And they’re ready to take back what was once theirs. The humans – a distinction the Fourth make readily now, but Aeron does not – have weapons against them. They need to find more of their number. They remember, although distantly, a man that was like them visiting once. There must be others out there. And they must feel the same way.
Aeron needs to decide how to fix this.