The following takes place in 2023 CE, one month before the events of To The Victor.
In the year 2023, the land which had been called Archunadia in ages past was now the domain of the democratic republic of Arcadia, a primarily human country. Many technological advancements had caused poltical climates to change drastically over the course of centuries, the greatest being the introduction of a supposedly worldwide layer of low-level magical energy (called The Layer). This energy allowed for individuals to channel magical energy through it to cross distances not capable by normal magicians, resulting in technology that utilized the layer in teh formation of a global information network. This network was used for everything from communcation to transporting material goods, though transference of living matter through the Layer was still impossible.
Arcadia’s sizable army and advanced technology allowed them to expand greatly, though many Arcadians believed the government’s recent trend of expansion was a sign of corruption and greed. Many decisions made in the interest of the state were considered to be a devolution into aristocracy. In response to these changes, an organized resistance movement was formed, called NOVA.
One of the primary leaders of this movement, Kethik Ul’Zerth, led a small group of members in stealth missions of so-called terrorism against the Arcadian state in an effort to destabilize the efforts to invade the western country of Lymuzhra (the borders of which were already begin to recede). Kethik’s talents included a genius-level understanding of technology and its combination with magical abilities, called “Arts.” A near-graduate of one of the most prestigious Artist Universities, he had learned to mix arts and standard technology that would allow him to circumvent surveilence through the Layer.
His best friend, Aiden Novakri, a talented psychiatrist and notable psychic with empathic abilities, joined Kethik’s movement for personal reasons, though he was forced to maintain that position after Arcadia declared all psychic individuals to be registered and moved to designated regions for close supervision, unless willing to join the State’s causes.
Those who mastered the use of divine arts (using the power of the gods to fuel arts) were often mocked and ignored, but Mordrin Stone, the illegitimate son of an important corporate official with ties to the State, was a formidible warrior that used Divine arts. He aimed to overthrow his father’s estate and cut off funding to the Arcadian warplan.
A member of a race from the far eastern continent of Verge (previously referred to as “the Verge”), Maren Zerehod was a talented shadowsmith, able to use frequencies of flux that are normally inaccessible to artists to use in ways that were both deadly and intimidating. He had previously used these skills as an assassin, and joined NOVA to repay a debt to Mordrin.
The final member of Kethik’s team, Ryan Nimbus, was an Arcadian soldier-turned-rebel at the sight of the lack of respect for the laws that had founded Arcadia. His disillusion to the situation remained a constant burden for him, but followed NOVA out of faith to the deeper meaning of the laws he swore to uphold.
These five individuals narrowly escaped being apprehended at a small outpost near the border of Besquevanna, where they had just reentered Arcadia from. They planned to return to the capital of Arcadia, Arcadia Central, to reunite with the majority of NOVA and plan a new course of action, as their most recent efforts had been unsuccessful.