The Ashes of the Ascendancy

Sometimes your mistakes come back to haunt you.

There are ghosts in this galaxy. These figures hang ominously in the void like some waiting specter. We can see them, staring back in the dark, strange structures from a golden age long since faded. We stare at them, sad and broken, with a hint of the malice which fueled their era. The empires of the previous age were children, fumbling in this darkness. They made their petty toys of science and war. They played at being gods while actual gods began to stir in displeasure. 

The galaxy’s collective arrogance was too much for the ancient ones, the so-called Ascendant Council. The Ascendancy gathered, discussed, and judged the fate of all creatures. No defense was called, no chance at redemption or restitution—just a cold verdict. The Ascendancy slated only a few empires for erasure for their crimes; most would merely be subject to the Great Culling. 

The Great Culling was a system by system campaign of guided destruction. Few had the power to stand against the Ascendancy. Fewer had the sense to stand together. Age-old hatred died in the void as the council did their work. And when finished, the galaxy knew peace again. At least, until now.

The Great Empires, changed from a millennia’s events, now reach for the void again. Some have questions, some desire redemption, others revenge. Each has goals that they will accomplish before the truth of their destiny unfolds before them. As for the Ascendancy themselves? They have now fallen into decline. Fat off their hubris and complacent in their arrogance, they drift aimlessly, waiting.

The Ashes of the Ascendancy is an exciting scenario-based play meant for more in-depth roleplay streams of Stellaris and eventually more interesting multiplayer games. Victory in the Ashes of the Ascendancy isn’t measured in the victory score. It is in achieving the goals laid out for your empire. These are asymmetrical goals. Some empires will have an easier time than others, depending on the player’s skill and preferred playstyle.

While in a single-player game, the other empires will be AI-controlled and thus not be actively pursuing their goals. However, their background story can allow the player to make some creative calls with the AI-controlled empires’ motives. Did two ancient enemies join a federation? Consider what could have happened to allow for that. What does a shift in ethics mean for these empires? And how will it impact the narrative of your journey through the Ashes of the Ascendancy? 

I’ve created this system as a campaign setting capable of supporting various ‘What if’ scenarios. It is all handled through documents, not mods, as I lack the know how to do so. The scenario will start with 13 custom empires with unique backstories, there will always be room for expansion and alteration to these rules. I will be posting the rules, empires, and some after action reports all here on my website. With luck, this will become the format for my Stellaris content going forward, and I am excited to bring you all many tales from the Ashes of the Ascendancy.  

The first playthrough will follow the revenge of an empire now known as the Shade of Hoon. It will correspond with the launch of Necroids and will of course make use of new mechanics and spooky pictures. More details on when the first stream of that, will be added soon. And keep checking this site for info on the different empires as we get closer to the date. Follow my adventures through the ashes over on my Twitch channel.

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