The Phoenixes, the highest echelons of human achievement. A legend, to some, but very real. Some people have wondered why the greats never seem to actually be buried in their great tombs, why sometimes the flame-robed followers of the Immortal Matthias seem just a little too familiar. Everyone knows Matthias as the Immortal patron of civilization- of arts and culture and love and peace, of all those good things that make a kingdom great. What few know of is his followers, the Phoenixes. After all, the world is too vast and too corrupt for Matthias to deal with on his own. So when a great person lays on their deathbed, they often find themselves approached by a glowing man with his red-gold hair down to his shoulders and brown eyes filled with love, and if they take his hand, they find themselves suddenly in the great bonfire at the Cathedral of Matthias. The burning does not last long- just long enough to burn away all marks of their previous lives. Resurrection by fire; a return to the bodies they held at their prime, a gift of fire to use when they need it. Phoenixes are semi-immortal; any wound, poison, or age can be healed by the sacred fires. On the other hand, this new life is not given freely. They are the light fighting back the dark, the helping hand pulling humanity up from the abyss, the words of calm amidst the chaos. For over a thousand years, they have served Matthias and their race. The Elven slave trade was toppled with the help of Phoenixes; the invasion forces from Namir were halted by the Gates of Hadreom which were built by Phoenixes; countless cults met their end at Phoenix hands. Of course, not all can always be well in the world. There is one... exception. One Phoenix who deserted the cause six months ago. One Phoenix who claims that those with powers have an obligation not to serve the rest of humanity, but to rule over them. Though he was persecuted, he escaped and went into hiding... and now his ideas have begun to poison the rest of the Phoenixes. My gratitude to the artist: http://exsporkaber.deviantart.com SETTING Viil a Lamdre, the headquarters of the Phoenixes, located on the river Lamdre, in almost the exact center of the continent of Damre. It is a large continent, home to nearly seven dozen countries of varying sizes. Along the Western coast, human technology flourishes, and the dawn of the age of steam is on the horizon. In the East, though, artifacts of the long-gone Elven empire remain, and magic rules above science. Gunpowder does not exist, and notion like feminism and nationalism are just getting their feet under them. As for the Viil itself, it is a spacious compound covering several acres, containing most of the amenities of a castle and a temple complex. Bedrooms, bathing chambers, a forge, a stable, a ballroom, meeting chambers, training facilities... nearly everything imaginable, most of it carved out of marble in shades of grey and white.