Ends of Empire is the final book written and published for Wraith: The Oblivion. It serves the same purpose as Gehenna, Apocalypse, and the other end-times books did for the other World of Darkness lines, just five years earlier.
As a result of Wraith's poor sales, White Wolf decided to end the line early, and go out with a bang – literally, as the book chronicles the Sixth Great Maelstrom's destruction of the Underworld. In addition to the final scenario, player characters were given opportunities to find out the real fate of Charon and who attempted to betray Stygia to Oblivion, the Dark Kingdom of Jade, and other adversaries. There were also answers to some of the great mysteries from Wraith's history, including the identity of the Lady of Fate and the truth about the Mourners.
The events leading up to and following the Sixth Great Maelstrom are of particular interest as the Maelstrom had a great effect on all the other World of Darkness games (most notably Hunter: The Reckoning, Mummy: The Resurrection, and Demon: The Fallen) and played a role in the endings of many of the lines during the Time of Judgment.
Despite the end of Wraith, this was not White Wolf's last foray into the world of the restless dead: several of the events in Ends of Empire became backstory for the ghost-based Orpheus a few years later.
From the White Wolf catalog:
- This Is the Way the Underworld Ends
- Charon returns. The Smiling Lord unleashes his ultimate weapon – and his ultimate treachery. The Ferrymen fulfill an ancient promise. Necropoli are besieged by the Jade Empire. Stygia faces its greatest threat ever as chaos shakes the Labyrinth to its foundations and unleashes the Sixth Great Maelstrom. It is the Empire of the Dead's darkest hour - and may well be its last.
- It Is Time to Reap the Whirlwind
- Ends of Empire is the stunning Year of the Reckoning conclusion to the epic Wraith: The Oblivion storyline. It contains a four-part adventure that takes characters from the streets of Necropolis: London to the councils of Charon himself. Also included is the complete "Guildbook: Mnemoi," plus an in-depth look at Ferrymen, a last glance at the Jade Empire and the conclusion of the continuing Wraith fiction storyline. The events of this book have direct impact on Hunter: The Reckoning, the sixth of the modern Storyteller games.
The End of All Things: An Introduction Edit
This section tells of the book's purpose and summarises the contents.
The Last Hour of Jade Edit
The Last Danse Macabre Edit
This section is the epic final chronicle for Wraith that starts with the invasion of the Dark Kingdom of Jade and ends with the destruction of Stygia. It ties up many of the loose ends from previous Wraith mysteries and tales, but also leaves things nicely open-ended so the characters that will experience these things will be able to decide their fates.
By Charon's Oar: The History of the Ferrymen Edit
This section finally breaks the silence on the most mysterious and elusive beings in the Shadowlands, the Ferrymen. Along with the promised history, the chapter also details Ferryman culture, tools, specialty Arcanoi, and how to make a playable Ferryman character.
Prologue to Remembrance: Guildbook Mnemoi Edit
This section is not only the last Guildbook, but also the one that blows the lid off of the most Forbidden of Guilds. As it turns out, the Mnemoi's secret is bigger than anyone can imagine, and includes the surprising fact that many of them have been persecuted by choice. It also includes the requisite alternate Arcanos abilities, artifacts, Merits and Flaws, and character templates.
Appendix: Epilogues and Final Fates Edit
This section tells the final tales of the individuals and places of the Shadowlands, as well as suggesting post-Maelstrom chronicles and a note of thanks from Wraith's creators.
In-between each chapter is the story of how Erik attempts to survive the Maelstrom, finds the girl of his dreams, and gets offered a job by his old mentor.
Thanks as well are due to all of you out there who have played Wraith, read Wraith and just generally given enough of a damn to check it out. This is, as it has always been, is for you.
— Richard E. Dansky, Afterword
There's only one thing more I can say. I take a deep breath and quickly, before I can change my mind, I say it.
"Hi, my name's Erik. What's yours?"
— Last words of Ends of Empire
Most of the characters who have appeared in Wraith have a brief note on them in the Appendix of Ends of Empire; listing them all would make this section long indeed. Listed below are those who have major roles in each chapter.
- Charon - He reappears, but is it enough to save Stygia?
- Lady of Fate - She at last prepares for her own fate.
- Yu Huang - How can his plan to invade Stygia possibly fail?
- Xerxes Jones - Um, oops?
- Smiling Lord - Deathlord and traitor most foul.
- Coldheart - At last, Stygia will fall!
- Minos - His loyalty makes the Skeletal Lord look like a brown-noser.
- Phaedra - She did her best to save the Mnemoi. Was it enough?
- Erik - He finally finds his path, chooses his final destiny, and meets his true love (?) at last.
- Datian Severus - Will his pupil choose the path that has been laid out before him?
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