History of the Astonian Empire
Foundation and Re-awakening
Born into an age where all knowledge of the Origins has faded into the twilight of legend, Seyan,
young Lord of Aston, has a vision. He sets out to found the base necessary for endowing him with
the material power and security that will permit him to follow his ulterior dream, by raising
Aston above all other city-states in military, economical and technological might. Uniting
feuding warlords and their subjects alike, the fledgling Aston Empire thrives on its promise of
ubiquitous prosperity and peace with almost unnatural ease.
Yet Seyan is restless. His vision seems to have been given a solid foundation now; its essence,
however, remains elusive. None of the sages he gathers around him from every part of his Empire
knows how to satiate his hunger for knowledge that is but the more powerfully roused by their
tales of magic once known to the Ancient Ones and lost with their destruction of each other.
When news reaches him that one of these mythical ancestors has emerged from millennia of sleep,
Seyan knows that the time has come to give substance to his dream. He prepares himself for the
arrival of Ishtar, first and last of the Cristalím, who forged himself anew in the fires of
Elohíl from the spark of life that never expired during his long rest. Ishtar appears at the
Imperial capital, and Emperor Seyan, who knows no peer among men, bows before the sheer force
and energy exuding from this being like an otherworldly, superhuman, aura.
Cautioning Seyan that he, the Emperor, may not live to see the fruition of these labors, Ishtar
the Cristalím consents to sharing his knowledge of ancient magic if the Imperial House of Aston
pledges allegiance to him and his Work, notwithstanding, and ignorant of, its exact nature. In
spite of his advisers' initial misgivings and his own life-span limiting his personal gain in
the study of the Magical Arts, Seyan takes the vow. Henceforth, he and his line shall follow
Expansion and Challenge
Seyan dies conscious of having laid the groundwork to his empire that shall expand and prosper
for and through the mastery of the Magical Arts, as taught to Astonians by Ishtar, only known
survivor of the ancient Cristalím. Seyan's son ascends the throne. The young king and his
generation have been raised to aim for the completion of the tasks Ishtar deems necessary to
In order to train his Astonian followers to meet the challenges ahead, Ishtar retires from human
society for several decades to create the Labyrinth in whose intricacies they shall learn how to
overcome their fears and weaknesses - those who will succeed in the Labyrinth Quest, shall have
acquired the use of the arms of Magic. In the 50th year of Ishtar's re-awakening (AI 50),
he returns to Aston, capital of the ever-expanding Empire; the Labyrinth is complete. In his awe
before the immensity of Ishtar's feat, the ageing Emperor Seyan II. declares him God of the Aston
Ishtar divides His followers into two groups: Mages who focus on the mastery of Magic, and
Warriors ready for combat. Representatives of both groups undertake the Labyrinth Quest: those
who solve it find their powers greatly enhanced and may be called upon by Ishtar to form part of
His elite troop, the Seyan'Du.
At the ceremony honoring the first Seyan'Du, Ishtar announces the future rising of His Adversary
who will aspire to the destruction of Ishtar and the Empire. The Seyan'Du renew Seyan I.'s vow
to fight along Ishtar to resist His Adversary's forces.
Decline and Fall
By AI 250, the Aston Empire has become so powerful that complacency begins to undermine all
discipline and strife for the mastery of Magic. Few are those now who attempt the Labyrinth
Quest, but abuse of Magic abounds. Greed and decadence accelerate the decline of military and
civil structures; corrupt city governors turn their fiefs against each other in small-scale wars.
Only the Seyan'Du remain loyal to Ishtar and His cause. Ishtar leaves them in control of Aston
and retires from the capital in order to direct His energy towards the strengthening of the
Labyrinth Quest: those who solve it twice shall find their powers enhanced in the use of both
Magic and weaponry beyond the powers of any Mage or Warrior. In spite of the precarious situation
in which He has left the Empire behind, Ishtar deems it of greater importance to thus prepare his
elite for the imminent arrival of His Adversary whom He has felt awaking.
In Ishtar's absence, Aston is stormed by Demons of unknown provenance and intent. They enter the
Imperial palace, eliminate the Seyan'Du, and murder Emperor Seyan XI.
Ishtar returns from His labor to find the capital almost razed to the ground, but abandoned by
its attackers. He fears that the Demons' assault is but a prelude to total war His Adversary
seems ready to unleash. Ishtar of the Cristalím assures his followers of the existence within
them of a rest of Luctím, precious remnant of the Light that once filled every natural being.
Luctím shall give those fighting the Luctím-less Demons the strength to put up resistance against
their further advance.
Today Aston is still in ruins, the Empire has fallen apart. Occasional raids from Underground
have forced the cities to re-establish their armies. Ishtar is gathering his soldiers for the
ultimate confrontation with His Adversary; for the time being, offering training in the Arts to
anyone willing to contain and overcome the Demons from below - and the One whose spirit is