The Sea of Shadows
The Stolen Sun
On 16th of October in 1871, London woke up to a sight most strange. There was no dawn’s light falling on the Empire. Only fog and darkness. The sun was gone.
That was at least thirty years ago.
The event was later named the Stolen Dawn, after things had calmed down a little after weeks of chaos and despair. During that time, certain facts about the new situation became clear to everyone on the isles.
Fact 1: There was no more sunlight
Fact 2: Ireland was gone. Nobody knows where it is now. There are some odd islands there now.
Fact 3: Scotland, Wales and England are mostly intact. Some of the smaller British isles vanished, some didn’t, some were replaced.
Fact 4: There are strange, bale lights on the horizon occasionally.
Fact 5: Despite the sun’s disappearance, there is still starlight and moonlight. Albeit from three moons. And from stars no astrologer recognizes. Technically speaking, it would seem that Britain was stolen instead of the sun, but people commonly talk of the ‘Stolen Sun’ instead. It makes people feel slightly better about their situation, for some reason. ‘Stolen Empire’ has also become semi-official way of referring to the British Empire. Yes, these two notions are contradictory. People do not like it when you point that out.
Fact 6: There are others on the sea. Atlantis is real. Its inhabitants are gone.
Fact 7: There are beings that can only be described as Devils, and where they live in could be described as hell. They call it the Final Bastion, and they are not quite the same as devils of myth – although, to the common man on the street there is no real difference. They also recently had a revolution. None know where their aristocracy ran to.
Fact 8: There are sentient beings that are not humans. Some are peaceful. Some are dangerous. Some are a threat to all that is not them.
Fact 9: The only way to survive is to sail these dark seas, for resources, for answers. So the seas must be sailed.
Fact 10: Void Storms should be avoided at all costs.
In the thirty years since, much has happened. The Stolen Empire endures, despite all odds. Odd crops grow under the light of alien stars. Belief in the Gods of the Seas has appeared. Revolutionary devils have made an uneasy trading partnership with the Empire. Time has started to work in odd ways. Technology has transformed to accommodate survival in the darkness. Academics are delighted at a chance to try to understand the mysteries of this sea of darkness. Some islands have been colonized by the Empire. Some islands and even small continents, already have human habitation from others, taken before the Stolen Isles. The pound has lost almost all worth. Tiny specks of glowing of crystals, found on the islands where Ireland used to be, work as currency – because in them, there is permanent light.
Nothing is more valuable than light in the endless darkness.