Ever since the first Materion based engines were given to the nations Emenis and Sahneth, there has been war. Either country will tell you that it was the other that started it, but the truth was lost in time. All we know is that the skirmishes take place far away from home, above the large mountain range that separates the two nations and that in the last hundred years, neither country has ever managed to achieve air supremacy.
And so the fighting continues, under the watchful eye of the Guild, the mysterious sky-bound organisation who makes sure that both nations uphold the rules set out by them. Those who do not follow their rules of war face terrible consequences, and entire airships have vanished after opposing them.
Genre: Steampunk Adventure
Ruled by the House of Lords.
Emenis is much like our United Kingdom was around the Victorian era; despite the war, there has been a long period of prosperity, which has lead to the development of a large well educated middle class. The tinkering with Materion has led to many new discoveries and applications, which has further stimulated the industrialisation of the country. All in, life is good for the average Emenisian.
Emenis is currently in it’s Golden Age of Aviation, and airship races are getting increasingly popular.
Ruled by High King Daenen
Sahneth is, like Emenis, going trough some good years, although the country is not as developed as Emenis. It’s industry is mostly centred around Sahneth’s larger cities, and hardly any effort is being put into any research that does not aid the military. Class distinction plays a far more prominent role here then in Emenis.
Little is known about the mysterious ‘Guild’, apart from their role in combat and the fact that those ships that oppose disappear. Contact between the two nations and the Guild is rare.
Materion based engines and airships
Very little is known about the porous salt that is commonly known as Materion, or Sky Salt, apart from the fact that it dissolves in water and that this water can then be used to fuel the large reactionless drives that make it possible to lift the large airships. The origin of these drives is a mystery in itself; both Emenis and Sahneth claim that they were the ones who invented the first drives.
The problem with these drives is not the amount of Materion they need to operate, but the fact that creating such a drive requires time and a large amount of funds. As such, the giant battle cruisers the army employs are rare. Smaller engines however are far more common, and affordable for those with money. The small ships that are powered by these specially designed steam engines are often used to transport goods or people, although they are also used to race in.
Airships come in many different sizes, as small as the single-person race crafts to as large as the Emenis’s capital ship, the ES Victoria. The large battle cruisers deployed by both nations are well equipped for combat; all ships are covered with armour plating and host a large number of high calibre cannons.
The Guild and the Rules of Conduct
Although Emenis and Sahneth often clash, and battles are frequent, the actual ‘sinking’ of an airship is quiet rare, thanks to a mysterious organisation known as the Guild. They have always been around, as quiet observers, and very little is known about them. They show up whenever the two nations clash, and see to it that the fight remains fair and honour full, to the annoyance of many captains.
Before all battles, the Guild sets the Rules of Conduct, also known as the Guild regulations. Two flares are lit, which determine the type of combat as well as how much damage can be done. The first flare is either grey, black or blue, the second is grey, red or green.
Gray – Everything is allowed
Black – Heavy weaponry only
Blue – Light weaponry only
Gray – No regulation, retreating allowed
Red – Till one of the airships is sunk, no retreating allowed
Green – The first to be breached has to retreat
The war has been going on for generations, and today’s population has grown up in a world where it is the norm. But in truth, the average citizen of Emenis has very little to do with the constant conflict. The news reports on the victories, occasionally the country mourns after the loss of a battleship, but that is where the interest in the war ends. Many see it as a necessary evil, and although not everyone supports it, no one truly opposes it either.
Very little is known about the war, apart from the fact that over the last century or so, the fighting has been contained to the skies above the nameless mountain range that separates the two nations. Emenis claims that they are merely protecting their lands from a hostile invasion, patrolling the border making sure no ships come trough. Little is known about Sahneth’s intentions.
Technology and transportation
If war is the engine of Emenis, technology is the fuel. The Materion engines are the crown jewels of the nation, and are used in many ways, from the battleships to the smaller aircrafts, but lately nobles have even started to request floating chairs and tables. The applications are seamlessly endless, and many engineers like to push the limits of the possibilities, creating things like the riflepack, which is basically a backpack sized Materion engine, that can be connected to a rifle, allowing the wearer fire it without the use of gunpowder. As a result, one can reload faster. The riflepack, however, never truly had it’s breakthrough; the military has little use for infantry weaponry like these. Instead, the packs are more commonly found in the form of drillpacks, which power pneumatic drills. But the technology doesn’t stop with the Materion engines; clockworks of any sort are popular, and every self respecting gentleman owns a watch of some sort.
Although the fastest and easiest way to travel is by airship, it is expensive to create ships big enough to transport goods or people. Instead, the citizens depend on steam powered boats or trains for long range transport. Although a trip in a privately owned airship is always available for those who can afford it.
Airships and people to know
ES Victory – Captained by Captain Franklin – The largest battleship known today, captained by the world famous Captain Edward Franklin. Capital ship of the Emenisian fleet.
ES Behemoth – Captained by Captain Hamlin – One of the oldest battleships of the fleet. Fearsome, despite of it’s outdated weaponry, home to some of the best pilots around.
HMS Humility – Captained by Desmond Monroe – When the true captain died in combat, the second in command, a young man named Desmond Monroe took control over this relative small battleship. Ever since, he has made quiet a name for itself.
The Four Lords of Emenis – Lord Hamlin, Lord Colfax, Lord Wilson and Lady Wheeler – The rulers of Emenis, if one was to use such terms.
You are a proud citizen of Emenis, born and raised in a time of prosperity and technological advancement. To you, airships are common, as are many of the other technological miracles of your time. You are currently in a town called Nemdée, which lies on the slopes of the mountains that separate your nation from Sahneth. The town is a well tourist spot, not only because it lies close to one of the nations largest military airbases, but also because of the Nemdée race, which is held three times a year. The first race ended a week or so, and the next one is scheduled to take place in another three weeks.
You either live in Nemdée, you have come to see the military base or are just very early for the next race.
Occupation: (Engineers, researcher, navigator, as well as any of the more common occupations; shopkeeper, teacher, carpenter etc.. Former military, or even military that is currently on leave, is allowed, elite-trained from youth-master-assassin is not)
Personality: (The way your character acts.)
Description: ( The way your character looks. Think about what type of clothing you are wearing. If your character is part of the upper class, dress him accordingly. Top hats and morning coats are popular for the gentleman, corsets and dresses for the ladies. Think “Early Edwardian, late Victorian”.)
Background: (A brief synopsis of the events that have shaped your character's life)
“Oy, sleepyhead, time to get up!” Nomio didn’t get the chance to even open before the cup of cold water was poured over his head. With a small yelp, he jumped up, nearly tumbling backwards over the low wooden couch he had been dozing on. But before he could complete his fall, four hands grabbed his arms and shoulders to keep him up. “Oy, no need to get all jumpy now!” Nomio looked around, somewhat bewildered. He was still in the Universities common room, and if the light coming trough the large white/orange stained glass windows was any indication, it was an hour or so after midday. Nomio shrugged and shot an accusing glance to one of the two young man holding his arms. “You couldn’t have woken me some hours ago? I was supposed to be in the kitchens to help with tonight’s feast.” The young man grinned and let go of Nomio’s arm, as did the other one. “Me and Robert figured you could use the sleep. You haven’t had a beauty sleep in three weeks now.” “Besides,” the other man said, “we already cleared it with Anitha. She will have some other water elemental cool the drinks t’night.” Nomio blinked, but decided not to ask how they had managed to make that arrangement. Anitha’s temper was legendary among the students, and although the Mistress of the Kitchen seemed to like Nomio, she was not one to make last minute changes in the work rosters. Especially not with a feast only hours away.
Instead, he stared at the two boys in front of him. William and Robert were fellow students, second termers, like himself. The difference was age; Nomio had only just turned fourteen, while both the boys in front of him were three years older. Nomio had joined the University at the age of twelve, making him one of the youngest students in the last twenty years. He shook his head. “Thank you, I guess. I haven’t been sleeping a lot lately.” William’s grin widened. “We know. According to some rumours, you’ve been stalking the Galleries. The again, there are also rumours that include you and lady Fiona…”
Nomio blushed. Mistress Fiona was one of the Masters of the University, and taught painting to the second year students. She had taken a liking to Nomio at the start of the year, praising him not only on his work, but on his looks as well. He had yet to sit trough a class given by her without blushing. “Nothing like that, I was just studying some of the paintings and sculptures. I want to be prepared for when we head to Remelon.” William shook his head, and Robert exhaled loudly. “The trip to Remelon isn’t for another six months. Besides, you are already better prepared then half of the other students that are going, myself included.” Nomio couldn’t help but to grin. It was true, off course. He had been studying his ass of ever since he got here, unlike most of his fellow students. But Nomio had plans, big plans, and so he was anxious to complete his education. After all, a painter with a degree from Tolvon’s University of Arts was welcomed into the homes of the rich and the wealthy, and in order to become rich, one should first do business with the rich.
“I just want to make sure I’m prepared. Master Denius assured me many of his former students would be present there, and I’m very interested in the works of some of them. He said one of his students made a three feet high painting, using his water elemental to direct the paint all over the canvas.” To create a painting with nothing but your elemental… Nomio prayed that one day, he would have that kind of control.
William shrugged. “Have it your way. Me and Robert are going over to the river. You should come along, watch the boats come in, maybe have a little swim. I heard several of the girls also went that way.” Nomio grinned. “I’ll come. Just let me fetch my pouch.” He would study some more tonight. For now, he would spend time with his friends.
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