- I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
- —Nelson Mandela
The Radiant wish to create a better world, standing in their way is everyone who benefits from the world being just as it is. The most obvious, and common, threats they face come from the Darkness: the Darkspawn, and the tainted areas they lurk in, where human evil has worn holes into the fabric of reality itself. In the same category are cults that feed the Darkness to gain temporal power. Most terrifying of all are the Dethroned, Nobles who have given in to the pain and despair that surrounds them. They are tragic, and monstrous.
Sitting half way between allies and enemies are the followers of the three Twilight Queens. The Queen of Tears rules Alhambra, the last city of the Kingdom, impossibly still standing as a bastion of light within the very heart of Darkness. Her followers harvest the hope and joy from the world, sucking away our dreams to buy another day of life for the Grand City - a life none of them pretend is happy or worthwhile, but one that must be maintained because the alternative is too terrifying to contemplate.
The Queen of Storms is a being utterly consumed by her rage at the depredations of the darkness, and all thought, mercy, and virtue is incinerated by her white-hot fury. Her Princesses and servants are living vessels of pure Fury, so single-minded in their pursuit of punishment and revenge that they are blind to the sorrow and ruined lives they leave in their wake. Leading the charge are the terrible Goalenu, fragments of the Queen given form to fight the Darkness.
The Queen of Mirrors is an enigma. Those who have seen her sometimes describe a silver-haired woman, with eyes as bright as the full moon and an infectious crescent-grin of a smile. But most often they say she looks like the one she meets, their chiral twin... apart from her grin and her eyes, which are always silver. They say she makes a body of mirrors from ancient manor houses, of glass from sky, of moonlight and water and silver, and walks among mankind, looking for Princesses of unusual talent and drive and skill and will. They say she’s looking for the True Heir to the Kingdom.
The Dreamlands lie beyond the wall of sleep. Nearly all the Princess were once trapped there, the Radiant Queens and mystic treasures may be found there; they reflect the hopes and very soul of humanity, but are not safe. The Wardens patrol for souls carrying the Light, hoping to return them to a blissful prison, while the Amanojaku steal mortals’ identities to taste of life on Earth.
And then there is mundane humanity in all their variety and legions - and while most of them are not enemies at all, too few are ready to be allies, and truly banishing the Darkness will be impossible without them. Finally there are those the Nobility work with or protect: the Beacons on whom the Light shines brightly, the Sworn who vow themselves to Noble service, the Shikigami who guide the newly Blossomed, and the Blessed Places that great deeds of virtue have sanctified.