The Seer Council is one of the the "Three Pillars" of The Imperium, but is increasingly isolated from daily administration. Seats on the Council are not strictly hereditary, but several great families have contributed a very high number of Seers. As the power of the position has waned, however, the Diet has become an increasingly attractive position for dynastic jockeying.
The Seer Crisis Edit
At the Imperial level, the authority of the ruling Seer Council has been severely undermined by the increasingly widespread rumor that Seers across The Imperium have lost the ability to commune with Adalna, the patron goddess of The Imperium. Explanations are various and conflicting; some call it a trial of faith while others claim that Adalna has been destroyed, consumed from within by some elder horror hinted at in the oldest and most maddening texts. Others still take the matter as evidence that the Seers were frauds from the start and that the entire Imperium is built on a lie. The official line is that Adalna communes with the Seers as much as ever, and that any rumors to the contrary are seditious fabrications. Whatever the truth, the response from the Imperium has been inquisition and mass execution on Aeldrum, while on the frontier worlds where the Seer Council’s hold fades with every passing year, there is only silence and a polite fiction that all continues as before.
The Seer Crisis slowly germinated from the first seeds of rumor a decade ago, but the last few months have brought a more immediate threat to Imperial stability. Grand Admiral Horatio, the de-facto head of the Imperial Navy for the last half century and the architect of the Episurian Genocide, has died at the age of 112. As Horatio shared the title of Grand Admiral with several other appointees and governed the navy largely through informal channels, there is no official line of succession. The remaining Grand Admirals are largely men of Horatio’s generation; the youngest is 100 years old. With a hoary and decrepit elite echelon, the Imperial Navy has no clear leadership, and the Seer Council is now too weak to impose a central authority.
What remains is a large and disorganized Imperial Navy whose official command structure has been overtaken by a parallel system of obligations and hereditary loyalties. As the Imperium grew, frontier worlds increasingly supplied the ships and resources for warfare, and it became an expectation that hereditary governors would also provide captains and generals from their own families. Navy Careerists are perhaps even more tightly knit, loyal not to siblings, cousins and parents in the aristocracy but to the officer class as a distinctive social caste, one with interests that may run counter not only to the Seer Council but to the Mage Prince elite.
Locally, The Hybern Sector faces two emergent threats. The first is a mass uprising by the Episurian Dwarves. Whereas prior uprisings consisted of riots on the dwarvish reservations or the occasional pirate raid from the still unoccupied hinterlands of the former Episurian Empire, the two phenomena have become increasingly coordinated, with uprisings on occupied worlds coinciding with mass pirate actions -- the campaign begins with one of the Episurian core worlds heavily embattled by rebels and under blockade, an unacceptable sleight against Imperial grandeur.
The second major threat is the former Protectorate of Adarnum. Historically a fairly peaceful and cooperative neighbor, the Protectorate has undergone a violent internal reformation, leading to its renaming as the Kirvan Church-State. This more populist, theocratic regime is on the verge of a Crusade, and the decadent Imperium, with the Hybern Sector on the Kirvan-Imperial border, is a likely target.