Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is for the love of all that glistens that men fall prey to wickedness and deceit. For some, the means is the end.

Much of what I have shared with you so far may present a fairly rosy picture of Nobles caring for their people, seeking to help them, having little thought for themselves, a near utopian ideal that I am assured by my Patron is not only improbable, but so long as people are people will not come to pass.

I speak, of course, of the corruption that lies within the many realms, within the nobility, and within the very structures that govern us.

The Emperor has retreated to Zefir, treating it as his personal demesne, The rulers deeply resent their being forced to attend the Convocation. Power struggles among the Houses, power struggles within the houses, the deft use of poison here or a sharp blade there, the angling and positioning that happens to be named an heir, the schemes of heirs, the gambits of Syndics, the machinations of courtiers, the decadent and wanton disregard of people as people, seeing them instead as tools or things.

These are all here.

While much of it no doubt falls to the ambition, greed, and gluttony of the elite, there is also a darker truth and threat that exists.

Wyrlde is a place where the dead can walk again. They are empowered by miasmas who have slipped through the planes and possessed the corpse. Some of those same beings can possess the living, and their goals are to sow despair, depression, angst, grief, and terror.

There is a Hell, there is an Abyss that stares back and laughs, there is a place of Dread where those with power seek to bind those without to them for simplest of purposes: to serve as their minions.

Devils may live off the flesh of Mortals, but they thrive on the corruption of them, the turning of them to acts of cruelty and malevolence, stripping away from them empathy and kindness. They seek to corrupt those they engage in the same way that their Celestial kin strive to lift people up and encourage the very things the Devils seek to bring forth.

Demons prey on souls and spirit, on emotion and regret, striving to inspire fear, terror, mistrust, and isolation as their victims become lifeless husks and shells of their former selves.

Hags make bargains and spin curses and twist the very essence of desire through ever expanding demands and needful things that disrupt and destroy lives, forcing their victims to turn to them for salvation, only to be enslaved to the Hag’s nefarious will.

Nightmares are real, and present, and they hunt their prey not only in their sleep, driving them to a point where what happens in a dream can kill with real world effects – or enabling them to come through and begin their wanton bloodletting.

There is enough lawlessness within Humanity as it is – prejudices, biases, and all the ills themselves – so it should be a wonder that there are any decent Nobles at all when you add in the forces of the Infernal, Nether, and Necrotic planes into the mix.

This should be known: the halls of all the Houses, all the Guilds, all the Circles, all the Noble Estates – the Halls of Power and Justice themselves – fester with corruption that centuries of pursuit by dogged Reeves and others has only made more devious, more cunning, more careful and meticulous in their planning and scheming.

The Seneschal of Sibola itself is said to be influenced by dark powers, The Shaga of Qivira took her place through the admitted murder of her spouse. The former Prince himself spends time in the deeps of a rancid prison for trying to arrange the death of his own sister. While the Empire may seek to see the blood of the line preserved, the House of Usher is not led by the Emperor, for he is too young, and there are those who think he and his daughter are not the best choice for the next just within that family.

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