In the Year of Our Lord 1347, a great plague descended upon the continent of Europe, claiming thousands upon thousands of lives. Heedless of the position the victim had in life, prince or pauper, peasant or merchant neither survived the ravages of this terrible event. The Black Plague took hold of whole families, entire villages and towns. It littered the landscape with the fetid stench of death and disease. Souls began to pass through the Shroud at an alarming rate which heralded the coming of the Second Great Maelstrom, brought on by the huge increase of suffering. Wraiths amassed in the Shadowlands, class and trades mixing one with another in a fashion that would have never been conceived of let alone be tolerated in the Skinlands. Many of them still bore the scars and lesions of the wasting disease that brought them hence.
This time, Stygia did not fall. Charon and the new Hierarchy appeared as familiar sights to the new wraiths, assuring them thus of their accustomed roles in the Shadowlands. The great sea wall held firm, the road did not crack and hiss, the Equitæs and wraith-Knights cut quickly and efficiently through the Spectres unleashed. With the new wraiths coming in numbers unheard of, Charon set himself to a census of all the subjects of Stygia, and took tithes there from to help the Empire grow to the demands of these new spirits.
Revolt and a BetrayalEdit
The tithe incensed the leader of the Fishers, call the Archbishop, who had audience with Charon. He demanded that the Emperor reduce the amount asked of the Fishers, who had grown to represent the largest single group of wraiths in Stygia, with their own Crusader-Knights and Death-bishops. Charon saw the power of the fishers, and knew that they could become a threat to the commerce of souls to the Far Shores, for the Fishers agents had employed dubious means and spoken half-truths to souls to swell their ranks. Charon refused to accede, ordering the disbanding of the Crusader-knights and doubling the Fisher's fee.
For many months the Fishers' Temple stood dark atop the outskirts of Stygia, patrolled by recalcitrant Crusaders openly defying the words of Charon. then it came to pass that Crusaders formed a division of solders and marched on the Onyx Tower, attacking the palace guard of Equitæs. Unbeknownst to the Crusaders, however, one of their own number was unwilling to go along with go arrogant comrades. He had stolen away and betrayed them their coming to the Equitæs, who fortified themselves against the approaching horde, and routed them, stripping them from the mounts and hanging them from burning chains, atop the high lighthouse, the heads of bishops where put on pikes and displayed in the center of the others. There the bodies of the traitors' bodies were displayed and burned for seven days.