The Unification War was a travesty, an act of naked fascism against frontier worlds so diverse and destitute that their submission was not worth the cost in lives, material, and hostility garnered. We, gentlemen, have created generations of enemies.
L. C. Vallandigham
Charity out of spite, resistance in submission. Loosing everything can produce strange associations indeed.
On an outlying farm, the sick grandfather of a family was kidnapped. Can the kidnappers be stopped before they deliver him off-planet?
Ships, that have character, are the best means to get to the stars.
(Apologies to GRRM and HBO)
A group of northerners want to bring the Old Gods back to the south. They grow cuttings from the white trees seeking the blessings of the Old Gods on the project, and when the saplings are big enough, they carve faces in them and secretly plant them in forests all over the south, to extend the 'reach' of the Old Gods.
The plan works of course, but the trees are *baby gods*, and behave as such when invoked.