Deity: Lirai, The Turncoat
The Lands of Essence
Capital: The Azure Palace
Governing Body: Throne Ethereal (Prince Will-Yates)
The prince has elevated major families of the Ether Mining Guild to nobility, who, along with powerful celestials, act as an advisory council to the throne. .
Notable Locations: The War Memorial at the Palace of Eternity, the Golem Factory at Harvest Bluff, the Ether Fields and the Peak of the Gale, the Azure Palace
More than any other nation, and more than even the most learned historian realizes, the history of Essence stretches back before the rise of man. Lirai, once known as the Arcane Judge, was a powerful celestial that joined the five other gods in the First Great War. At the conclusion of that war, Lirai used her powers to infuse the Eastern Free Territories, what would become Silence and Essence, with wellsprings of arcane energy. These great ether fields were tapped by mortals, granting them arcane power to rival even the gods.
With the massive concentration of ether contained in the northeastern region of Terrene Gall, the war of ideals that drove the other gods into obscurity, did not sweep across the Eastern Free Territories. The reliance on ether to power the great war machines and magicks of the world were too precious to risk. Instead, the Warden Empire brokered truces and trade deals. The ether would flow from the great fields to Steelgate, where the traders would distribute the raw power to the rest of the lands.
The result was that Lirai, the Turncoat, remained active but hidden, working with the Azure Throne to maintain peace and magical development. Those few celestials not killed or driven from the world took refuge in these lands, further emphasizing the Free Territories’ ability to remain neutral and apart from the politics of the world.
This peace lasted until the Dragon Tyranny of Strife sent a strikeforce to the great floating Palace of Eternity, the first sky citadel. The resulting devastation and the loss of the trading capital of Steelgate forced the Free Territories, led by the Azure Throne, to cancel their ether shipments and change focus to the production of a standing army of magical constructs known as golems. The newly declared Nation of Essence did not ask for war, but it will work to end it.
The Champions of Essence
Wings of Ill Omen
Dual Faction Champion; Silence and Essence
Release: February 13, 2018 (20 of 21)
Long ago, a clockmaker of the Azure Palace named Anabel Goldwright fell in love with an elven priest of Steelgate. Though their love was true, the elf’s vows meant that he could not stay with her. When he returned to his homeland, she fell into a deep ennui, throwing herself into her work. Years later, when she died, her estate sent a bizarre, clockwork raven to the priest’s church, according to her will. With the destruction of the family after the fall of Steelgate, the souls of tortured lovers fly forth to visit doom upon all who see them.
Dual Faction Champion; Essence and Delirium
Release: January 9, 2018 (15 of 21)
Where science & insanity mix, the result is a spiral of arcane concepts and raving madness. The archmages of Essence sought to pull their entire realm into another plane of existence to escape the Great War. Unfortunately, as they pulled apart reality, something came through to them. The Infinite Recursion is a swirling mass of warped space-time, constantly folding in around itself in a tesseract motion and ringed in eldritch sigils and arcane diagrams that make no sense.
Mia's Seeding Contraption
Dual Faction Champion; Thorns and Essence
Release: December 12, 2017 (11 of 21)
Mia’s Seeding Contraption is a massive series of small mulching and seeding units that have been tangled together by the vine-like strength of Thorns. No one quite knows who Mia was, or if she still exists, but the great machine wanders Terrene Gall, killing anything in its path and seeding the ground with a particularly vicious and semi-sentient form of kudzu. Most who try to climb the machine to find the cockpit or innards are added to the fertilization routine, so most just flee.
The Baron and Cleo
Dual Faction Champion; Strife and Essence
Release: November 21, 2017 (8 of 21)
Long ago, Cleo, a celestial, and The Baron, a demon, fell in love. This love was roundly forbidden, and the two were pulled back to their respective lands, exchanging halos as a token of their eternal love. They both fled their prisons for Terrene Gall where they faced legions trying to divide them.
The Baron and Cleo know their love will mean death, but after centuries of waiting, they won't let anyone get in their way. They die together or not at all.
Valeria of Crowns
Dual Faction Champion; Scales and Essence
Release: October 31, 2017 (5 of 21)
Lady Valeria, Dowager Duchess of Hereford and Ether Bluffs is formerly minor royalty of Essence Lands. Her marriage to the Duke of Hereford solidified the trade alliance between Scales and Essence for Ether supplies to keep the forges of Red Rock running. When her husband was killed during a zeppelin flight home, the Duchess inherited both lands. She has maintained the alliance between the two kingdoms, despite the trade deal being canceled by Essence.
Dual Faction Champion; Eclipse and Essence
Release: October 10, 2017 (2 of 21)
Thu and Balris, most often seen as a single entity, was once a dying bog dragon. In its quest for life eternal, it sought to immerse itself in the ether mines of Essence. Once inside, the soul of the dragon was pulled from its body, but forever bound to its flesh. This white, beautiful spirit is now forever entwined with the rotting and desiccated flesh. The result is Thu, the soaring serpent, and Balris, the corpse lizard. Together, as they must always be together, they create the form of Thu`Balris.
Conquest Story Mode Boss Champion
A mighty comet has streaked across the world of Terrene Gall, seeding huge deposits of ether throughout other nations. These powerful stores could spell disaster for the entire world if not handled carefully. Follow the call of Prince Will-Yates into battle as he seeks to protect us from the dangers of ether.
Combining the wisdom of celestials and mages, we might find a safe outlet for this power in the form of a new Champion!
West Wind Anima
Basic Deck Champion
The West Wind Anima is the result of the celestial power of the Archangel melded with arcane knowledge of the Azure Throne. The West Wind Anima is an elementally-infused celestial that had been beaten and tortured by mobs during the war of ideals. Through the workings of the Prince Will-Yates, the ancient being was preserved. Now, the West Wind Anima protects the former trade routes to and from Steelgate, watching for potential threats and using its power to keep the borders safe.
One of Lirai’s handmaidens, the Celestial Archangel was the first celestial to join the Turncoat in rebellion. Her power and capability is legendary, and her mere presence causes all who oppose her to recoil in fear. It is said that she refuses to touch mortal flesh for fear of what the result might be, but now that war has been declared, that vow must be set aside.
When the Prince bent his efforts toward creating life, itself, it is said that the guiding hand of Lirai helped empower his efforts. The Primordial Force is the first golem, and the most perfect. Since its creation, the Prince has refused to directly create another life, fearing that he would spoil the perfection of his first creation. The Primordial Force is so infused with life and power that it is said that it cannot truly be killed.
The Azure Throne, himself, Prince Will-Yates is a legend. He is an archmage of unsurpassed power, but it is said he disdains “magick” as mere theater and parlor tricks. He claims that “science and technology” are the true path to perfection, and he has sought to distinguish the two ideologies. Whatever term he uses to describe his knowledge and power, it is evident that he possesses perhaps more of it than any other living soul.
The Armies of Essence
The centuries of development has mixed science and magick into a unique whole. Constructs known as golems, mindless automatons of elements and magick, work the land. The close relationship with the rogue celestials that escaped the ancient purges help guide the people toward contemplation and innovation.
The various sects of the Azure Palace are varied and storied. From the monks who draw on ether currents to manifest their will as force, to the conjurers that dowse power from the land, all find their place amongst the learned guilds of the Azure Palace. Prince Will-Yates has decreed that the research of magick and ether is paramount to the advancement of all mortals, and he sponsors and houses those he feels can further this endeavor.
- Example Unit: Azure Monks
Those blessed by the ancient divine power driven from power in the First Great War, the Celestials are immortal powers that recall the first days of man. They are sheltered by the Azure Palace in secret, as the great purgings during the rise of man led to the near-extinction of their kind. Now that war has returned, however, these ancient beings stand ready to defend their adopted home.
- Example Unit: Celestial Guards
These creatures are born of raw elements and ether. They were originally intended to shoulder to heavy labor or dangerous mining operations of mortals, allowing the people of Essence to devote their efforts toward the advancement of magical sciences. Contrary to the true elementals of the world, these creatures are primordial force without intelligence. Similar to machines, these entities follow the commands that they were programmed with during their creation.
- Example Unit: Zephyr Golem