84th Zentith, 63 RA (Imperial) or 120 FCE (Trade Union)
The Wilde Blue is a tricky thing to define. Literally, it is a system of small asteroids floating in a dense atmosphere, held aloft by a strange magic. On a less physical level, it is the home of many groups of people, and has been for several thousand years. No definition would be complete without Sorcery, the magic flowing the veins of the people of the Blue that allows wondrous feats of ability and technology. Some people include the Depths in their definition, the strange mixture of toxic gasses far beneath where most people go. It is uneasy of late; swirling clouds mirror the tension heavy in the air above. The ages-old Empire views it all as its rightful territory, only opposed by the newly-freed Trade Union of Sayles. Both powers have settled into an unsteady peace that will hopefully shape the next era, though it threatens to collapse back into open war. The Blue is nothing if not used to weathering storms, but the one brewing on the horizon is something new: an era of change.
On the island of Ilysium, the Emperor’s strength is waning. The Crown Princess has been able to keep the Noble Houses in line for now, but Nobles continue to spread their gossamer webs of influence via the dark alleys and back rooms of the city. Until recently, border skirmishes have kept the Imperial Navy occupied. Now, those in power wait to see where the might of the Empire is refocused: in the support of the Emperor, or to unseat him. Throughout the colonies, furtive groups discuss rebellion in hushed whispers. Some hope that they might attract the support of the Slaves that make up the backbone of both the Navy and imperial industry. Others pray that the Trade Union will free them all. Most folk, be they colonists or citizens, simply attempt to avoid power struggles and treasonous ideas, keeping their heads down and eking out whatever living they can manage.
The Trade Union is not faring much better. The war that freed them from the Empire’s control was only a short generation ago, but many people have already forgotten the sacrifices made. The Clans, once united, are now more divided than ever. The Major Clans--behemoths of guilds that come close to the Noble Houses of the Empire--squabble over minor disputes. They divide themselves based on their ideals, with the Old Clans trying to one-up each other in their hatred of the Empire, and the New Clans pushing towards a consolidation of power at the top, greedily snatching at anything they can reach. Underneath them both, the Minor Clans fight amongst themselves for scraps--tiny niches in the market that could barely support a family.
There are those who exist outside of the influence of the Empire and the Trade Union; namely the pirates of Nokte and the Sorcerous Academies. The pirates, and the black markets they control, flourished amidst the conflict, but are now facing major crackdowns. The Sorcerous Academies--who used their technology to balance between the two powers--are reopening their doors to all now that war is over, though detractors worry about the spread of dangerous magic, or worse, ideas.
Despite all this, hope remains in the hearts of average people. With any luck, they can enjoy it before the storm breaks.