Stygia is sinking. Not quickly, but the island is slowly descending into the
Labyrinth and the Malfeans who might just fancy a nice midnight snack that's
high in fibre. There are still wraiths on the island, but it has no political
significance now. It is a symbol of the old administration, those that cannot
live with the new ways.
The Deathlords are gone. The old Lords transferred their power to a new group of Deathlords. (From my group, we got a new Smiling Lord, Ashen Lady, Beggar Lord and Laughing Lady.) In some cases, the new incumbents of power prefer to maintain their old identities. This is most true with Marcus Staveston, the new Quiet Lord who remains as he always was, blue half-mask and all. The new Deathlords relocated to Necropoli of their choosing that still had strong Hierarchy presence, arranging methods of keeping in contact.
Though London was hammered by the Jade Empire and the Sixth Great Maelstrom in quick succession, death for the London wraiths goes on. Many of them saw off the Fourth, and even more saw off the Fifth. A well organised set of defensive patrols by Legionnaires from almost every legion kept the city safe. It was chosen by the Skeletal Lord, Quiet Lord and the Emerald Lady to rule from, and crack teams of Legion Byway-builders started to link the city with the island of Eurydice. The other (PC) Deathlords made their abodes in various of the Hierarchy-held American Necropoli (Boston, Chicago, Seattle and New York). Though dispersed, they worked on a way of keeping in touch, and keeping the Deathlord Council the ruling force behind Stygia.
As it stands, the Sixth Great Maelstrom still blows, though weaker than at it's start. The Hierarchy has lost many Necropoli, and of those that remain, several are looking to be independent. Renegades and Heretics are moving into those cities, hoping to make them their own, but weakening them yet more with infighting. Many of the Legions banded together, and inter-Legion co-operation is at an all time high. It has to be, when someone stops a Spectre from burying claws in your back, who cares who he worked for? Legion strike teams, accompanied by more civilian Legionnaires, have headed out to bring the weaker, faltering Necropoli back to heel.
The new Deathlords make laws and policy for those Necropoli that understand that their rule was a mandate from Charon. Approximately 60 per cent of the old Hierarchy held Necropoli stand with the new Deathlords, the others striking out on their own. Of course, being alone in a Maelstrom can be a bad thing. Some of the changes in policy include a reinterpretation of the Code of Charon: As long as it does not allow humanity to discover the existence of the Restless, trafficking with the Living is allowed. In practice, this may sound nonsensical, but it has it's merits. Embodying to someone that already knows of the Dead can certainly be seen as being within the Code (but the courts are still arguing that one), Skinriding is within the Code as well. And of course, any action that stops a large number of the Quick from finding out is always good.
The Guilds have, in part, been reinstated. The Artificers and Masquers are seen as being some of the most needed Wraiths in the war against the Spectral hordes. Pardoners too are back from their supposed exile. The Deathlords sanctioned this step simply because their own Hierarchy troops were too thinly stretched. They needed organised groups that were able to concentrate on their duties, and so the Guilds returned. Well, some of them did... The Harbingers are needed as ever as messengers and scouts, but their forays into the Tempest have made them less
popular. Oracles are seen as the best and the worst companions to keep, as Fate plays dirty during the Maelstrom. Spooks and Monitors care not for the 'reinstatement of the Guilds', fighting their underground war and the Spectres at the same time. Some officials have approached about returning both to valid Guilds, but all parties have stopped the event. Puppeteers are seen by some as a necessary evil to track down all of these 'Walking Dead', and by others as yet more flagrant lawbreakers. The Hierarchy maintains that they are necessary. The Dream Union has lobbied for a return to prominence, but the need for their art is minimal with Spectres at the door. Usurers have returned to legality, even though many complain at their rates. A hit of Pathos or extra Corpus at the right time can make all of the difference between success or failure on the battlefield, even if it must be paid back later.
Of the other Guilds, the Chanteurs have disbanded after the role that their Guildmaster played in the fall of Stygia. Membership in their Guild has been made a criminal offence punishable by Forging upon discovery. Many Proctors and Haunters used the dissolution of the Shroud during the Maelstrom as a way to escape the Shadowlands. Some remained behind to guide the others, but their low numbers and questionable Arts mean that only a few have been sanctioned by the remains of the Hierarchy. The Alchemists now work closely with the Artificers, but also with Spook gangs and Monitors to locate the Fetters of Spectres and return them to dust. The Solicitors are still an underground Cabal. The damage that they can do to Spectres is immense, but the uses of their powers on other Wraiths makes them still feared. Perhaps the greatest about turn is that concerning the Mnemoi. once hated as the ultimate Renegades, stories of the part that they played in Charon's Transcendence have filtered through, and many Hierarchs are revising their opinions of the memorycrafters. That, and the part that they can play in combating Spectres makes them at least a tolerated group for now.
The focus of the Hierarchy has changed once more. Now that Transcendence is a provable fact, the Empire of Iron seeks to guard those seeking Transcendence and those willing to work with them. Let the Heretics espouse their religious bullshit and the Renegades attempt to tear down the system, they know that they have done the right thing. Of course, such a sense of purpose is not unanimous. Souls are as coveted as always, thralls that would have fallen to Oblivion need to be saved from strengthening the enemy. Those working towards Transcendence are accepted, but their cause is known to be personal. As long as they work with the Hierarchy, they are not persecuted. Officially, at least...
Recently, a giant Artefact computer has been unearthed. The Online Legion has been set to the task of working on it, working out what should be done about it. Some whisper that it might be a gateway to the non-place known as the Digital Web, but such rumours are frowned upon.
Also... though the masks of the other Deathlords are held, even just symbolically, by the new Deathlords, Marcus Staveston has a problem. The Quiet Lord's mask has yet to be found. Where is is, nobody knows.