The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

Historical Background:

Since the year 1607 when the Atlantic coast of North America became colonized by English settlers, the British Empire was always closely watching and keeping a tight grip.

Then in 1775, the now 13 colonies in New England became so fed up with all the crazy rules and tax hikes they felt it was finally time to pull away from the empire so as to govern themselves, be free from the monarchy and to create states in their own country called America. As a first attempt, a unit of militiamen attacked British soldiers in a conflict that angered King George III. He threatened that if a war was to follow, he would make sure it would never end. Sure enough, a war did follow and keeping true on his word, King George did not let the war stop. At one point, the King sent a force to invade New England from the north (by way of Canada) and cut off potential rebel support. This plan succeeded and the war continued on for nearly a year until the American rebels could no longer support themselves in firearms and food supplies and men were being lost everyday seemingly to waves of Royal British soldiers.

The rebels progressively lost their hope resulting in a win for Great Britain.

A treaty was passed. Any English territory in North America shall officially be called British America and all citizens there shall be British.

1837. Queen Victoria takes the British throne at age 18 after her father and 3 uncles die (all of whom were King George III sons) and she being the only rightful heir. Marrying her cousin, Prince Albert, they had a good marriage with nine children. Then in 1861, Victoria's mother dies shortly followed by Albert's death from cancer later that year - striking Victoria with grief and her deepest depression. She avoids public appearances and parliament fears her popularity rate would drop of which it does by some.

Republicans  take this to their advantage in hopes to yet again overthrow the monarchy. Outlaws are being hired to form a new army. Trips back and forth to British America to recruit scientist on Penal Transportation to come up with a secret weapon, are underway.

Some say "Long Live The Queen." But what do you say?

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The day may have begun early for the majority of his countrymen, but for Benjamin Thrace it did not start until after noon....and after a hearty meal. If there was one thing the colonies got right it was that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. Tucking in to a large plate of bacon, eggs, porridge and a bracing tea was the ultimate expression of that. Dressed in his standard tweed jacket and matching pants, pressed shirt and tie, Benjamin sat down and reviewed his list of duties for the day while he ate. He had several patients to see, some business at the coroners office, and of course with the local apothecary. How many times he had tried to challenge Mr. Jilling's notions of his shop and to change the name to the more appropriate name of pharmacy, but so far his entreaties had been met with deaf ears.

Readying himself for the coming business of the day, Benjamin opened his newspaper and began to read. The rebels were once again up to their old tricks, shouting down Queen Victoria and rabble rousing for their independence. It was the same as what happened years ago when his father Augustus had helped quell one of their uprisings at a penal colony in a place called North Carolina.  Benjamin had never been interested in visiting such a place...the colonies were the last bastion of uncivilized life as far as he was concerned. But he didn't like that they were once again trying to upset the Queen. Victoria had done the best she could with the situation she suddenly found herself, without a husband and lacking any real guidance, and in Ben's mind she had performed admirably. How these colonists could suddenly wish to harp upon that...well, it was the ultimate disgrace. Sighing, he put the paper aside and readied himself for departure.

The city of London was a bustle of activity. As he stepped into the streets, Benjamin couldn't help but marvel at the advancements already evident in the new industrial age as it was being called by many.  The apothecary shop was closer, but Ben felt his talents could best be put to use at the city morgue. There were a rash of deaths lately that had gone uncatalogued and unsolved, and Benjamin wanted to ply his talents there first. Donning his cap he rushed off to the morgue, finally ready to begin his day.

When Emila had finished her business at the ticket counter, she picked her bags back up and made her way over to a bench.  She sat the bags down and sat beside them.  She opened one and began to dig through it, until she produced a small hand mirror.  She went to work trying to straighten her hair and pin it back up into place.  It had been a very difficult morning for her.  It wasn't easy sneaking out of the house, with bags in tow.  Then, there was the sad business of selling off her jewlery to the jewler.  She looked down at her right hand and the small diamond ring that rested there.  It was the only peice she had kept.  The simple gold loop with the tiny stone was her birth mother's wedding ring.  All of the fancy gems and pearls that the Blake family had given to her, gave her just enough money to pay for the carrage ride and the ticket for the ship. 

She worried now over what she would do for money in this new land.  Emila dreaded the thought of having to go back to working as maid, but if that was what she was forced to do than so be it.  She did, however, hope that the education she had received while living with the Blake's would be enough to keep that from happening.  She tucked the mirrior away, satisfied that was as good as her hair was going to get. 

Cyrus awoke with a start, he looked down himself and saw that his knife had slipped out of its sheath, for he had forgotten to strap it in.  He bent over and picked it up and when he looked up, he saw the Fae still there and the two women engaged in conversation, but he looked a bit farther and saw yet another person sitting at a bench near him.  This woman had a mirror in her hand and was trying to fix her hair.  Cyrus scratched his head looking at the woman with a raised eyebrow.  Getting up he dug inside his bag and pulled out a rather clean brush.  He then went over to her and said "I noticed that you did not have a brush, here you go Madam," and offered her his brush.

When he was giving his brush to the lady with the mirror, Cyrus noticed another reading the paper, he saw her eyes grow wide with alarm and when she tried to walk back, he saw her stumble.  Cyrus jumped to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. "Hey milady you ok?" he asked, concerned

"Cyrus, dear lady, my name is Cyrus.  Are you sure you're ok?"  Cyrus asked as he sat her down on the bench.

"Do not worry about it, my dear lady, you owe me nothing.  I merely try to help everyone I can." Cyrus replied sincerely.

A modestly dressed man, in his late twenties limps to the ticket counter, dragging his luggage- a single trunk- behind him.

"The ship bound for the colonies- has it left yet?"  The attendant's eyes narrow slightly at his soft Scots lilt.  "Yes, yes, I've already purchased for my ticket... here it is."

Relieved that he hadn't missed the disembarking, James sighed, hauling his trunk to a nearby bench, to rest his aching right leg on it while he waits, discreetly looking around at what appeared to be two of his fellow travelers- a rather obviously well-armed young man, apparently named 'Cyrus' and a distraught lady of some high degree sitting close by.  Another woman sat on yet another bench, gazing thoughtfully at a diamond ring on her finger.

Lord Thoughtcraft impatiently was speaking into a Transportable Aetheric Communication Module ((Cell Phone)), an expensive and finicky contraption, dictating in the same manner of a wartime general, glancing at Thessalonica. After a moment, Heinz appeared, having been obviously summoned by the call. He was bearing a Self-Heated Teapot covered in ornate silver filigree depicting butterflies, and a trey of matching teacups.

"Thank you, Heinz." Lord Thoughtcraft said dismissively, pouring a cup of tea and offering it to Madame Jones. "For your nerves, madame? One always wants to bequite the thing when one is about to depart on a journey." The soft scent of jasmine rises from the steaming teacup, and Heinz is now offering the delicate silver teacups to all attendant.

"Are you also departing with us?" Lord Thoughtcraft asks, speaking to Thomas.

James looked up, aware he'd been lost in thought for a moment, meeting the eyes of what appeared to be yet another aristocrat embracing the recently revived interest in the stories of the Fey.  But then again, something about the stranger made him question that assessment almost as soon as he'd made it.  "That I am, sir.  Hamish Sinclair.  Call me James."   He smiles slightly, accepting the proffered tea from Heinz.  "My compliments on the tea..."

"A name of mine is Lord Nathanael Thoughtcraft, but you may call me Nassanu-Sama." He inclined his head in a bow, being extremely careful not to give anyone any form of libation, allowing Heinz to serve the strangers. Additionally, he acted as if Heinz were not doing so, not acknowledging the clockwork butler's existence in any way. Lord Thoughtcraft's inhumanly long eyelashes did not even flutter as the automaton clicked and whirred his way around the assembled group.

"And I thank you. The Jasmine is from my personal gardens, as well as the tea leaves. I am quite fond of this blend, and make it myself. I try to carry a small stash whenever I travel."

(I apparently deleted it by accident...  Thankfully I'm in the habit of copy-pasting forum RP's into word documents... ) James nods, his eyes flickering over Heinz in appraisal, before returning to Nathanael.  "Nassanu-Sama?  That's an Oriental title, specifically Japanese if I'm not mistaken..."  He smiles briefly, before sipping the tea, and lowering his no longer sore leg to the ground again.

A small child tugs at his sleeve, worriedly. "Have you seen my mum?"

Using his brass-headed beech cane to lever himself to a standing position, he spots a frantic looking woman on the other side of the waiting area, obviously looking for her child.  James waves to her, nodding toward the bench.

"She's on her way, little one.  Until she gets here, would you like to see a magic trick?"

He pulls out a copper penny, and smiles, doing the simple 'vanishing coin' trick, pulling it out from behind the child's ear.

"That's not magic.  You hads it th' whole time!" the child frowns, clearly wise to the trick. 

James sighs, "maybe you're right... Maybe I'm just a great big fake..."  He presses the coin into the little girl's hand, closing her fingers around it.  Her mother takes her other hand, sternly.  "Let's not trouble these nice men, Janey, your father's airship is going to be arriving soon." 

As they leave, the girl gives a gasp of surprise.  "Mum!  He did a trick wif a penny, an' he give it to me... Now it's a shillin'!  'E is magic!" 

James shakes his head, chuckling softly.

Cyrus looked at the woman thoughtfully, ignoring the fae and this newcomer.  "May I have your name, madam?  Or do you prefer I call you madam?"  He asked politely.

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