A civil war has torn through an empire. Worlds suffered, innocents were lost, and difficult choices brought little comfort.
Two years after the end those who wear the uniform remain on edge: The ghosts of the war still linger. Knowing the horrors seen can be used as platforms the new military commander in insistent on being prepared. While armed with loyal subordinates the now High Commander Thomas suffers from two problems: Infighting between army and navy, and his former commander the empress's top adviser. Able to see clouds still on the horizon leaves the last man many expected to lead juggling military issues and the troubled waters at the top of the empire.
Among those troubled waters is Empress Lin. The war horrifying to her, the destruction sickening. Realizing far too late she needed to be more active in her role Empress Lin enters this period in conflict. Her dreams are troubled, visions of a great calamity approaching. Yet, the empire doesn't simply stop, even for her. Much like her new commander she finds herself growing reliant on her inner circle to help keep her path true. Her guardian's and adviser understand her value even more so: Her fall would leave the empire weaken, easily lost when the next storm hits.