one on the official site!
The dream is not dead, is in fact alive and well and waiting to get published. Some intriguing snippets from the upcoming edition include:
The Hazat teeter on edge of bankruptcy from their war effort against the Caliphate (and the Emperor Wars), though temporarily buoyed up by the vassalage of their former lords, House Chauki, and the acquisition of the world of Iver. But neither the Emperor nor the Universal Church are being seen to offer support in their war against the heretic Kurgans.
It's nice to see the Chauki plotline still alive and kicking in the 3rd edition.
With the impending death of the Patriarch, the Universal Church has turned inwards with thoughts of succession. Candidates now jockey against rivals in a bid for esteem in the eyes of the College of Ethicals. Some seek noble patronage in their quest to rise to the pinnacle of Church hierarchy, while others court the esteem of their fellows (and, some say, darker paths).
A good effort to weaken the overwhelming power of the Universal Church (though not too much, hopefully, as they provided a nice twist to the Dune-ish feel of the setting).
The Merchant League continues to scheme quietly. The recent granting of a new interstellar patent brings a sixth guild to interstellar recognition, and some cry foul. New worlds have opened on the jumpweb, but many are savage and dangerous places that threaten the flow of interstellar commerce. The dream of a Third Republic remains just a dream for now.
Looks like the new patent will add interest to playing groups from the Merchant League, though I feel that there should be time spent explaining how the League's influence counterbalances the Noble Houses and the Church.
Being based in the Philippines, I once remarked to a friend how similar the Fading Suns universe power structure was to our country. The Nobles were akin to our own wealthy families -- some long-time juggernauts with holdings in various key industries, some withering on the vine, and some (buoyed by celebrity status and bolstered by solid business or political sense) establishing themselves as new players in the field. The Church covered not just the dominant Catholic church, but also the various denominations and religious organizations that have great influence on the populace. The League: lawyers, accountants, and other professions that make the machinery work...