I’ve mentioned the Ashen King before, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone into detail about it.
When I start working on a setting, I write a short pitch for it. This isn’t necessarily final or binding, but it’s just a hook to get my ideas organized around:
When the war with the machines began, one man knew what had to be done. Sacrificing everything, he mounted a defense, and when the ash began to fall he crowned himself. That was too long ago for memory. Now Ignacius sits on his throne, watching the world return to the way it was, vibrant once more. But weeds have sprung up where there was was civilization, and his rule is fragile like his ancient frame.