Humanity’s thousand-year-old interstellar empire has been rotting from the inside for over a century, thanks to venal, corrupt, and power-hungry sovereigns from a dynasty many consider illegitimate. The latest in that lineage, an increasingly psychotic empress, is pushing her realm toward catastrophic collapse as admirals and generals rebel against her rule. That rebellion quickly drags the once mighty Imperial Fleet into a devastating fratricidal conflict between factions.
With civil war raging across human space, a Navy torn asunder can no longer protect frontier colonies, and barbarians long confined to the galactic badlands see an opportunity. After generations of hard existence on worlds beyond the bounds of human civilization, they hold life cheap, especially that of others. The barbarians will gladly steal everything they find and condemn defenseless star systems to technological and demographic collapse. That is if they don’t wipe them out entirely from sheer bloodlust or by selling survivors on alien slave markets.
One man, Captain Jonas Morane of the cruiser Vanquish, saw the empire’s collapse coming years before the first admiral rebelled. When he finds himself the senior surviving officer of a loyalist Navy unit almost entirely annihilated by rebels, Morane puts in motion a plan he developed long ago. This plan was designed to not only save his ships and crews from certain death but keep humanity’s accumulated knowledge from being obliterated by the long night of barbarism. However, before his dream can become a reality, Morane must lead the remains of the 197th Imperial Battle Group through an intricate wormhole network across a shattered empire, dodging his former colleagues from both sides, to the sanctuary he selected. Along the way, he rescues an Imperial Marine Corps Pathfinder battalion and the survivors of a religious order known for its mysticism from certain death, and enlists them in his cause. But will Morane’s sanctuary survive both the flames of rebellion and the depredations of invading marauders before his rag-tag fleet can reach it?
Imperial Sunset is the first installment in Eric Thomson’s new saga Ashes of Empire. It tells the story of a desperate attempt to stave off the darkness threatening to smother humanity’s interstellar empire and send civilization back to the Stone Age.
Ashes of Empire is set in the Siobhan Dunmoore, Decker’s War, and Quis Custodiet universe, but a thousand years after Zack Decker and Caelin Morrow’s day, when they and Siobhan Dunmoore have become no more than minor footnotes in human history.
The most powerful empire in human history is rushing headlong toward destruction, ending our species’ supremacy in the known galaxy.
Two men with widely divergent visions are on a mission to save civilization in at least one sector, far from the imperial capital where a demented ruler holds sway. The first, Jonas Morane, wants to create an impregnable vault containing humanity’s accumulated knowledge so those who survive the coming darkness can rebuild in decades instead of millennia. The other, Devy Custis, seeks to fend off collapse by founding a new empire in the Coalsack Sector, one free of the madness that caused this civil war. But will either resist the ravages of a genocidal empress, blood-maddened barbarians, and scheming admirals?
Unfortunately, the vicissitudes of fate, abetted by greed and lust for power, could destroy both before they make their dreams a reality.
Imperial Twilight is the second installment in Eric Thomson’s saga Ashes of Empire, the story of a desperate attempt to to preserve one last spark of civilization so that humanity does not vanish from the galaxy.
Humanity’s interstellar empire died in fire and blood, leaving wrecked star systems to face the long night of barbarism. One tiny spark of civilization remains: the Republic of Lyonesse, tucked away at the end of a wormhole cul-de-sac. Yet that last bastion could suffer the same dire fate.
When the late empress unleashed the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on her crumbling realm, Lyonesse escaped War and Famine. However, the Pale Rider, carrying pestilence and death, still roams the wormhole network, seeking to finish off what the Imperial Retribution Fleet missed decades earlier, and he has finally found the entrance to the Lyonesse branch. What about the White Rider who brings deceit and the worship of false prophets? Perhaps he is already on Lyonesse, undermining what Jonas Morane so laboriously created.
Will the Navy’s tiny, decrepit fleet stop plague ships from reaching Lyonesse while Morane and his ally Sister Gwenneth keep the fledgling republic from turning on itself? Or will Lyonesse join the rest of humanity in a long imperial night, one which might never end?
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A companion guide to Ashes of Empire: the Wormhole Network Map
The collapse of humanity’s first interstellar empire is passing into legend, perhaps even myth, now that the ones who could remember those tumultuous years have merged with the Infinite Void. Tiny Lyonesse, the self-appointed guardian of all human knowledge tucked away in its wormhole cul-de-sac, has spent generations preparing to carry out Jonas Morane’s plan of reuniting humanity.
Unbeknown to citizens of a republic cut off from the rest of the galaxy, four star systems at the former empire’s core also survived to preserve that which existed before the Great Scouring. Yet they took a darker path after witnessing firsthand the empire’s demise in a bloodletting without precedent, which left them fearful about the future of what little remained.
An uncompromising, hidebound military dictatorship, the Wyvern Hegemony is everything Lyonesse avoided becoming. Backed by a State Security Commission that uses the Void Sisters’ abilities to root out the regime’s enemies, its rule is absolute. Yet the Hegemony also harbors ambitions of reuniting humanity under its own banner, though the government has done little to advance its cause.
Neither Lyonesse nor the Hegemony knows about each other. However, thanks to a twist of fate that leads State Security Colonel Crevan Torma and his assigned Void Sister on a voyage of discovery, this will soon change. But can the vanished empire’s heirs meet in peace or will they continue the civil war that almost eradicated humanity across the stars?
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