Okay, woke back up earlier than expected (meaning I'll be going to bed earlier than intended later on), and typed up a short prologue and introduction to Chapter 1.
One year since the ominous dark storm passed over the Kingdom of Galatia, spreading across the continent and still foreboding in the far north, the duke of Silesia is dead. Loved by his peers for his temperance and revered by his people for his generosity, his passing was mourned far beyond the borders of his domain. In the long year since the omen first appeared, numerous kings and counts and elders succumbed to this intangible plague. More curse than contagion, the affliction had no taste for anything other than the noble blood of elder royals. What at first seemed a sigh of relief among the younger nobility quickly escalated into chaos and dark intrigue, and the old wisdom of old kings was lost among the squabbles of younger fools.
The old Silesian duke Alvis was thus, as many fearfully realized upon hearing of the civil wars of the north, west and east, the start of the next war within Galatia. The current assembly of dukes and duchesses, both the young and the handful of remaining old, have come to a silent agreement to not interfere - a lesson learned through too much shedding of blood in the recent year. So cautious are they that only a handful of dukes appeared at the reverent funeral of old Alvis. And those that did came wasted no time in escaping the moment his tomb was sealed. Immediately after the mayor of the ducal palace, along with other advisers of the regency, sealed themselves in the capital's citadel to await the heralds from each province and canton. As is tradition, the ducal throne is gifted by popular election, and in these times of doubt people cling to tradition at their own expense. The children of Alvis wasted no time and began the start of a civil war: the estates of Carim the younger brother versus the estates of Villene the eldest sister, and neither would recognize any attempt at neutrality. Both feared a third side as much as they feared each other.
Chapter 1: The Sparks of Chaos
[Laplace Manor, Duchy of Silesia]
The youngest daughter, Cecilia, had called for peace between her siblings. In their reply she received a marauding mercenary band. Exactly which of the two hired them is unknown, but the Lady of Laplace and her friends and retainers had no time to waste in contemplation. Cecilia fled the manor, her late mother's home and proof of her late father's love for both of them, and finding no one in pursuit turns back. The blackguards were hired assassins of the poorest quality, and after killing a young handmaiden they believed to be Cecilia they immediately lashed out against her home and nearby citizens of the estate. Certainly the army that would arrive later to officially seize Laplace Manor wouldn't mind a few thefts, murders, and rape if it meant paying them less.
Cecilia and her allies have returned and regrouped, however, and though outnumbered plan to retake the manor.