Upon the glistening waves of the Jade Sea sits Issei, the City of Exiles, a radiant bastion, ever-glowing upon the moonless sea. An island metropolis, home to wanderers and vagabonds across the known world, never sleeping, never resting. Even though the sun has long since set, its streets still bustle with life and light.
Cheeks flushed red from a night of drinking, Andros stepped out into the humid nighttime air. Music and the sounds of drunken revelry stifled as the door closed behind him. Pushing through the crowds of the narrow street, he clumsily made his way back to the dusty attic he called home. Pockets filled with coin, and he was still living on the Spared’s charity, some sorcerer he was.
Still, soon enough he’d show those blowhards at the academy what fools they had been. He was on the cusp of a breakthrough! The first person to physically break into the cognitive realm, the place where Gods are born, where dreams reside, where the hearts and thoughts of mortalkind could be made manifest. And it would all begin within a dusty spider-filled attic.
The Sunflower Temple sat at the entrance of a small cramped alleyway, surrounded by dense apartment blocks and street hawkers. A packed crowd of the city’s poor and destitute gathered around the main entrance of the temple, forming an unorganized line, hoping to get a bowl of soup, and/or a bed for the night. There were scarce few places in Issei to find honest charity, and the missionaries of the Temple always seemed overwhelmed. Not enough hand to help, not enough resources to give, and not enough space to truly operate on the scale they desired.
Some of the temple’s missionaries resented Andros for taking up space in the attic, where more beds could be placed, but he had made a deal with the local chapter master. Room and board in exchange for occasionally “running errands.” The chapter master wasn’t above bending the law for the grater good, and Andros was the only willing adventurer that wouldn’t cost the Temple a fortune. After all, why work for charity, when any of the local gangs or guilds offered more lucrative work?
As Andros passed through the crowd, and made his way towards the attic, he felt a sudden pain in his head. It couldn’t be from his drinking, the pain came and went in barely half a second. No… somebody had tripped one of his security wards.
Composing himself, Andros darted upstairs, and climbed up the ladder that led to his attic. Pushing the trapdoor open, he saw a cloaked figure at the end of the room, about the abscond with a sack filled with… something of his. Andros didn’t know, but whatever it was he certainly wasn’t going to let some thief take it from him.
“Stop!” Andros shouted, reaching his palm outward to shoot crackling bolt of blue energy at the thief. Perhaps if he was sober he would’ve made the shot, because instead of striking its target, the bolt broke a decent chunk out of the window frame. Before Andros could let loose another, the thief leapt out of the windows, scrambling down to the streets below.
The sorcerer darted to the window, peering out at the crowd beyond. He could make out the thief’s outline in the distance as they quickly attempted to blend in with the crowd. Andros took in a deep breath, and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, he was suddenly on the streets below his attic, surrounded by a thin layer of blue mist.
And thus the chase began, which was, to Andros’ disappointment, a short and dismal affair. The thief was quick, nimble, and knew the city, darting into alleyways, climbing onto roofs, and knocking over and throwing anything and everything in Andros’ path. The sorcerer, though not as quick or nimble, tried to compensate by making quick and short teleportations, disappearing and reappearing into and out of blue mist as he did so. To make matters worse, it appeared that rapid teleporting while drunk tended to give one both whiplash, and motion sickness. A fact made all the more apparent after Andros teleported onto a nearby roof, and immediately vomited down onto the streets below.
Needless to say, Andros returned to his attic with a deathly headache, defeated, and absolutely exhausted. Hopefully the thief didn’t steal anything too important… He thought, collapsing onto his sleeping mat in the corner of the room.
When Andros awoke the next morning, tired and hungover, he discovered that the thief had only stolen one thing. Unfortunately for him, this particular things happened to be the very artifact that was central to his research.
“Not again…” He grumbled to himself. “Time to get the team back together."
Issei, the City of Exiles, home to all who find themselves without one. A lawless sanctuary where anyone can get a fresh start -- provided the city doesn't eat them whole first.
Blood often runs red through The City of Exiles, but when the young scion of a notorious crime syndicate is found dead in his bed, two unlikely allies find themselves embroiled in a strange conspiracy that threatens to shake the very fabric of the world. Together, they must unravel a web of murders, lies, and strange otherworldly anomalies as the chaos of war unfolds around them.