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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A lovely spring day in London. The air felt and breathed clear from the morning rain that has since cleared to let the sun shine brilliantly. The city is in full swing with daily business; market is busy with fresh foods for sale, wares are in brilliant display, and men are making their way to work. Above, the sky route patterns are easy going and well organised today unlike that day last week when all of the airships were in a confusion from a drunk Air Traffic Control man! But that man has since been sacked.

At the permission of the ATC man, Airship vessels cast away from their dock towers - zooming off into the Aether, headed for a far off destination in record timing. Slow going dirigibles have their root above the faster Airships, keeping patrol on them and of the city below for crime or distress. But no trouble seems to be apparent this morning.

The inside of cavernous airport terminal glows from the early rays of the sun and of oil lamps that are being snuffed out for the day until early evening when they shall be relit again by the maintenance boys. Foot traffic is steady; passengers come and go from the steam-hydrolic elevators that take them up or down the dock towers. Some travelers even make a stop at the bar counter for a drink or two before leaving on their trip to steady their nerves of high, fast flying.

Ms Saelia Bacon is in no way a licensed doctor but she likes to think so and there's no way she'll say otherwise! Dressed in a mostly black dress in mourning of her recently deceased mentor, she waits at a red velvet round-a-bout bench, her luggage already sent to be loaded on to the airship that she's taking out West. She watches the patrons in the terminal as they pass - their business she'll never know but can make them up. Like that couple over there, dressed finely but seemingly in distress. Perhaps they tried to purchase for a joy ride in a dirigible but found that only degenerates can ride after being arrested for something. So she suggests they rob someone, get arrested and then they can ride in one! Then he's surprised she didn't want to go with his idea of insulting someone!

Bacon kept herself amused in this manner as she kept waiting for the boarding call.

The sound of clanging metal filled the small room as Cyrus David Cole II hammered away at some iron when he heard a bird cawing through the window.  He looked at it, noting it was a raven,  he threw his hammer at it to shoo it away, it didn't budge.  He looked closer at the unfased bird and noticed a small ringlet of parchment tied to it's leg.  Curious, he thought, ravens are not messenger birds.  The raven cawed again, stretching it's leg out.  Cyrus moved heavily toward it, "Well ain't you a fearless bird?" he chuckled, wiping sweat from his brow.  He took the parchment from it and unrolled it, as he did, the raven squawked again and flew away.  He read the parchment:

              Dearest brother,

I have come to realize that you did nothing to ensure fathers death, I am in the british colonies and stuck in some town, I've not the name but it looks pretty deserted, but I do not possess a passport or the money to buy one to return, please, please help me, brother.

                                                                    your dearest little brother, Theon.

Cyrus's eyes grew wide with alarm, it'd been eight years since they had last seen each other.  Eight long years of searching for any traces of him after he ran away.  After those eight years, nothing.  Now he must go to the colonies to save his beloved brother from certain death.  Cyrus quickly changed into his travel clothes, he took his engineer's cap and thick shirt off and put a white wool shirt on, took his smithing boots off and slipped out of his burnt smithing trousers and put his light trousers on, he followed that up with sliding his feet into his well worn boots and then put his traveling long coat over his shirt.  He packed his smithing clothes into his brown leather hip bag, the letter in his hem pocket, and, after looking around his area, he took the ornate sabre his father had given him for his 10th year, fastened it to his belt, and doused the forge and put his frontier hat on.  Cyrus walked outside to his horse, Haluphis, and after petting Haluphis, Cyrus put his hip bag onto the saddle and stepped onto the great beast.  Steering him to the road, Cyrus said, "London." and with a loud "YAH" He was off to join his brother in the mysterious west, wondering what dangers were lurking in every corner.

An hour later, he arrives at the terminal and, after bidding Heluphis farewell,  Cyrus goes to the kiosk and asks the attendant, "going to the colonies."  The attendant writes on a peice of paper "Trip To Colonies, From London, England: price; forty gold coins" Cyrus dug into his bag and produced a handful of coins.  The attendant counted them and nodded, she then took the slip of paper and wrote "Paid in Full" underneath the Price.  "Have a nice trip" she said, Cyrus acknowledged her and walked off to go to the flight.

Bacon grinned to herself imagining another person's fowled up plans when she sensed a presence on the other side of the bench. Looking around the turn, a paper flitted and drifted to the marble floor. The woman sitting there sighs as she rests on the bench in a relieved state. Bacon reaches for the paper and steps up to the lady.

"Excuse me, I believe this may be yours." She said, handing back the paper.

Cyrus sat down at an empty bench, got out his dagger and a cloth and proceeded to polish it.  He reached into his bag and produced a small corked vial of solution and uncorked it, pouring a little dab onto the center of the blade and wiped gently, the ornate engravings shining in the light.  He sang softly as he wiped.  "Oh whyyyyyyy did yooooouuuuu run awaaaaayyyyyy dear brooootherrrrr, you kneeeew I neveeeeer wanted thiiiiiis to happeeeeeeeen.... Oh whyyyyyyyyy??? Oh whyyyyyyyyyy???  Oh whyyyyy....?" As he sang, he raised the dagger in the air to inspect it better and out the corner of his good eye, he noticed two women; one standing, giving what looked like paper to the other, while the other sat nervously apparently trying to engage the standee in a conversation.

Since the death of his sisters and his mother's suicide brooding had default emotion. He would have prefered to be working on a case but his superiors insisted he take time off. Unable to think of any activity worth of his time he sat in his study and stared at his clock. With nothing but time before him he decided to go for a walk. As he put on his frock coat his cane flew to his side. Over the last several year he had become very skilled in using his telekinesis, he didn't like to use it openly but it came in handy when pursuing criminals. As Alexander walked down the street he could see a crowd of people boarding an airship to Bristish America. He had traveld europe extensively and had spent some time in India during his tine in the military but he had never traveled been overseas. With his intrest peaked he walked back to his home and packed his bag. While he was packing he decided to take his service revolver. He had always been cautious if not overly so. When he arrived to the kiosk he paid his fair begrudgingly, he felt fourty pieces of gold was a bit high, and boarded the ship with his usual scowl.

Men in workman's clothing bustle about, carrying matching luggage boxes to a steam-driven Mechanical Octopodal Carriage, gently carrying the white-and-silver striped boxes and setting them on the back of the cabin. They were paid a great deal to do this as quickly as possible, and they were paid even more to tell nobody that they had done so. Their employer was a strange, somewhat frightening man, and they were content to take their payment and leave as soon as they had finished strapping in the last of the parcels.

Lord Thoughtcraft sat patiently in the darkened interior of his carriage, which bustled it's way along twenty feet in the air, scuttling smoothly on eight large brass legs controlled by an automaton driver. They hissed and clicked, but moved well, moving above the tops of the other vehicles on the crowded London thoroughfare. He pondered the vacation he was about to take, and the reasons he had to do so. He was sipping his tea when a tinny, artificial voice came through the speaking-tube: "Milord, we have arrived at the station."

"Marvelous, Heinz. Lower us down." Lord Thoughtcraft replied, pulling on his fingerless gloves and picking up his parasol.

The moment the carriage settled, Heinz leapt from the front seat, his movements clicking and whirring, to open the door for the aristocrat, who gracefully lit from the interior, snapping open the parasol before any light could touch his flawless alabaster skin, and swept swiftly through the station, people clearing a pathway without really noticing what they were doing, while Heinz explained to the porters where to carry the bags. As he walked, his unnatural eyes took in every detail, from the singing man to the two women exchanging paper. Walking towards the latter, people suddenly got up and left the benches, leaving a space for him to sit down comfortably, a mere couple of feet from the two ladies.

Spying a final sheet of parchment at his feet, unnoticed by the two, he picks it up in a fluid motion and folds it into a tiny paper butterfly of extreme realism, before offering it to Madame Jones. "Paper and ink are precious things, madame. I would hate for you to lose them."

After shining the blade up, Cyrus sheathed it and unsheathed his sabre, also ornate.  He spied the golden lettering on the hilt, "To My Beloved Son, Cyrus"  He grabbed the vial and dabbed two drops on the sword, one on the blade, the other on the emblazoned hilt.  Cyrus proceeded wiping it thoroughly, behind him a child tried to sneak up on him, "Best be more quiet than that, child." he said without turning.  He evidentally scared the kid off because he heard retreating footsteps.  Laughing quietly,  He looked over to the two ladies and noticed there was someone new, a Fae.  A Fae? thought Cyrus,  if he goes onto the airship I will be on, then this is going to be an interesting journey

Thess had sensed his presence from the moment he stepped into the terminal, it was the dragon inside her. But, she was so intent on focusing on the young woman before her, shutting out all the miriad of thoughts of the other people in the terminal from bombarding her mind, and just getting on the airship, she had failed to acknowledge his presence. Smiling shyly up at the tall ethereal figure she reached out with an open hand and allowed him to place the beautiful paper butterfly in the palm of her hand.

"Why thank-you My Lord, you are very kind to return them to me."

(Awwww, love Nellie!)


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