The peoples of New Elysium are fairly divided when it comes to opinions on the Gregory and the Magister dynasties, and heated discussions over community versus progress can be overheard in every bar, tearoom and guild hall in the town. These two families have controlled the governance of the town for forty years, but until ten years ago never together. Then, in order to bring a sense of cooperation to New Elysium, Chancellor Gregory invited rival family patriarch Magister to become his Vice Chancellor, and an uneasy entente has prevailed for almost a decade.

Some argue that Gregory is an altruist and idealist, and is, with his reputation as an honourable man, the only man to oversee the town's fortunes. Others will cite those values as obvious reasons why he shouldn't be in charge, rendering him unwilling and unable to make the unpopular decisions necessary to facilitate New Elysium's continued renaissance. To these, the obvious leader is Magister, but he remains unpopular among the masses and has failed to unseat Gregory in the twenty years he's been in opposition.

Six months ago, Chancellor Gregory left to go north on unspoken business and did not return two weeks later as expected. A number of scouts have been dispatched in the intervening period, but have either not returned, or come back with scant information. In the six months since his absence concern has continued to grow in the hearts and minds of the good peoples of New Elysium, and it appears to many that Vice Chancellor Magister may have been manoeuvring to seize control all along.