"Even now, in Heaven there were Angels carrying strange weapons."
~St. Paul, The Prophecy (1995)
Deep in the bilge and putrescence of the wasted blights of Tayxis, a beacon stands, a light of hope to the the land. This incandescent wonder is Osteen, home of the Mother Church. Its proud spires stand, pristine amongst the filth and squalor of the surrounding lands, a bright white hole burned into the mottled rot.
The mighty walls which embrace the city offer sanctuary from the fallen world. Within, one may shake trail dust from worn boots, mend the broken-minded, straighten the crooked-souled. In tales told by drink-sodden drifters, Osteen is known as The Eye, through which the One True God keeps watch on His flock in the Last Lands of Tayxis.
Surely something protects this haven from the vulturous beasts that prowl at the edges of its light. Surely the Tayxis Rangers have something to do with this, as their Holy Order is based at Mission San José de los Nazonis nestled deep in the heart of Osteen. While they don't assume direct responsibility for the force which seems to keep out those of ill intent, they don't deny it either.
The All Father presides over his flock from the Central Mission, itself a true miracle. Shaped from the earth itself, it sweeps upwards organically, less piercing the sky than stroking it. Eyes are drawn, unbidden, to its heights, and observers swear they feel true peace as they caress its curves.
The All Father's personal security force, the Templuritans, maintain order within the borders of the city, and enjoy an understanding with the Rangers, whose authority goes unchallenged in the wilderness. Swords remain sheathed, pistols holstered - after all, who would want to spoil all of this beauty?
The city itself is divided among the Outer and Inner Rings. The Inner Ring is the exclusive province of the Church. Lay ministers may enter, but only on official business, all others not of the Mother Church are excluded. The Outer Ring is for those who reach upwards, but cannot quite grasp the majesty of the Faith.
All are welcome within Osteen's sanctified borders - rest and be well!
So that's the official story.
Truth be told, the Eye has grown milky with age, seeing less and less as time slips away. Shadows begin to creep into the corners of its vision, but whether it is actual Darkness remains to be seen. As the filigree on its wondrous spires cracks and falls to the earth, the All Father rants in his enclave, seeing enemies all around him. Even his closest confidants are beginning to wonder if stress and dementia haven't finally taken the final toll from their leader. Nonetheless, he weilds power, and uses his Templuritans to enforce his brand of order.
The Outer Ring is still relatively unaffected as of yet, but within the Inner Ring, a police state has emerged that puts a boot to the neck of all but the most orthodox of the faith. There are stories of Brothers of the Faith disappearing, snatched from their cells under the cover of darkness, and the sound of heavy construction coming from far beneath the Central Mission after last Vespers.
Most worrying of all, a tense standoff is at hand - a Brother has taken refuge within the Mission San José de los Nazonis, seeking sanctuary with the Rangers. He claims to be fleeing the Templuritans, and while no-one has officially requested that he be handed over to the All Father's forces, a squad of Templuritans is encamped outside of the entrance to their Mission.
Meanwhile the Protection from Evil spell which has guarded the Eye is beginning to fail. None can tell why it is failing, let alone how to restore it. In the dark hours of the morning, a baker, heading out to open his shop, was attacked in the main thoroughfare, drained of all his blood and dumped into the fountain. Fortunately, a squad of Templuritans discovered the body before daybreak and were able to erase the evidence before it was discovered, but patrols have been stepped up in the Outer Ring nonetheless, and the All Father begins to wonder if his enemies haven't finally chosen this time to strike.
Finally, reports of Antipostles working in the surrounding areas have increased as farmers take shelter and seek the Rangers help in ridding the land of their evil. Where once the Rangers might have ridden out in force and cleared the area, they find themselves caught up in the politics of the city.
And night draws ever closer....