This is a serialized story, Part 1 can be found here
The Empire now faced a crisis greater than the assassination of The Emperor: there was no appointed heir and all The Imperial Sons were far too young to rule. Only the lost youngest brother, named by The Emperor Past as worthy, and The Duchess’ son, his grandson, were of remotely suitable age and lineage. To promote continuity and stability across The Empire, now united by their collective abhorrence of the wicked actions of a lone assailant, the proud and noble scion of The Valley of the Sun and the Pristine Royal Line of Emperors was quickly crowned. He would for 5 years still require the support and service of a Regent, one that had no other affairs of State to occupy them and was of suitable status; at long last, it seemed, The Duchess would rule. The Golden Lady of Light, Duchess of The Valley of the Sun, Sister to the Saintly Imperial Martyr, Wise and Gracious Regent of the Realm, Daughter-Mother of Emperors lead an army of Vengeance from The City of Legend. Arrayed in the golden armor of her murdered brother, sat astride a coal black charger of towering height, cloaked in crimson velvet that spilled from jeweled suns atop each shoulder The Duchess processed pass her pale son who stood in public view beside the nervous figure of The Steward. She raised a white hand in farewell. The General turned and bellowed indecipherable orders to the mass of spears, horsemen, archers, standard bearers, and siege engines behind her as The Duchess spurred her charger forward to the cheering of citizens and blaring of trumpeters along the City walls. They would now have to follow her, every last one of them.