As the early Spring sun drops behind the horizon and the cool of the evening creeps in, guests begin to arrive at the large manor home of High Lord Fennix. Servants welcome them in the foyer, taking their coats, bags, and weapons, tucking the items away for the visit before directing the guests through the halls to the dining room. The tiled floors are polished smooth, echoing beneath footfalls, and stunning paintings of rolling landscapes adorn the walls. In contrast, over head, carved wooden beams decorate the ceilings and give everything a more rustic, homey feel. The space is both comfortable and expensive.
High Lord Fennix and his wife stand at the door of the dining hall, greeting each of their guests as he or she enters. They are both perhaps in their early fifties, draped in simple, though elegant, Southern Urbane evening wear, and they move with a sort of unrefined grace. The calluses felt on High Lord Fennix’s palm reflects the Southern Urbane values of hard work and leadership in equality.
"This isn't an audition is it?” Terrence asks sincerely with a dazzling smile as he shakes the High Lord’s hand a little too enthusiastically. “I was led to believe that I already got the part!" The confused look on the High Lord's face makes Terrence think it would be better to mingle rather than risk losing this job. Maybe the High Lord didn’t get the joke—or maybe there wasn’t a joke at all—and if Terrence didn’t get paid he wouldn't be able to afford the carriage back to Asphyxten. So, instead of babbling on, the actor excuses himself and sets about filling his pockets with little sandwiches.
There are somewhere around forty people present, including the Fennixs, and some look starkly out of place in such a high class setting. Others, however, are more suited to such an environment, easily moving about the room and selecting hors d’oeuvres and champagne from trays carried by soft-spoken waitstaff. Terrence looks about for someone to impress with his stage resume. He lifts a glass of champagne from a tray, downs it, then selects two more lightly fizzing flutes in his quest across the dining hall.
In the far corner of the room, a string quartet plays quietly. The hum of the instruments fill in the gaps of silence or simply provide background noise to the conversation.
In a dangerous political climate, several expeditions are made to the infamous Wilds in hopes of expanding the country, Urbane, and avoiding an all out civil war. But, when the lord in charge of the excursions is almost assassinated, tensions increase and put new pressures on the brave explorers.