The winds were with the airship Maria Bella and her crew as they sailed the open skies. The clouds were full and fluffy, flowing away in streams of soft mist as the bow of the ship pushed its way through them. The aether that filled their balloons allowed them to move silently over the Pacific, their sails only needing the occasional adjustment to keep the ship on her path. San Francisco was still a goods way off, but they were making good time. Damn good time, if Captain Nathaniel Harper said so himself. Again, he pulled out a pocket watch from his vest pocket, flipping the case open and glancing at the face, watching the second hand tick away. A quarter past the hour. Perfect.
“Everything seems to be in order, Captain.” Quincy Jenkins, first mate, reported as he joined the other man by the helm. Slowly, a grinned pulled across the Captain’s lips, the rust color of his goatee only enhancing the mischievous curl of his lips. Quincy echoed his captain’s devious expression as Nathaniel closed the pocket watch, stuffing it away and pulling out his spyglass. High into the clouds, they offered a blanket of cover for those below, but as they moved through them, the soft white puffs allowed Captain Harper to gaze down onto the unsuspecting world. More specifically, the unsuspecting ship.
“Right on schedule…” He purred, collapsing the lens then yelling to his crew, “Alright you lot! Time to really earn your keep! All hands on deck! Prepare to dive!” The men ran across the deck with an extra spring in their step as they all moved to their designated stations.Strapping themselves in, the men buckled into the safety harnesses that connected to the hulls. Diving was always a risk and the last thing a person wanted to was fall over the gunwale into the thousands of feet of air below. Men on both sides of the ship pulled at levers and a soft hissing began to slowly ease. The heat to the balloons was reducing, cooling the aether-bonded helium that kept the ship afloat and slowly the bow of the ship began to plunge.
The alarm sounded throughout the U.S.A.S Kearsarge as the vessel shook violently, the load thunder of cannons filling the air around them. Sailors ran to their posts in a hurried fashion as they finished putting themselves together, buttoning their uniforms and tying their boots, stumbling and sprawling across the deck floors as volley after volley bombarded their hulls. The captain of the Union cruiser emerged onto the bridge with a frown, almost taking a tumble as the port side was hit with another round of cannon fire. Donning his hat as he straightened himself out, he glared at his first mate. “What’s going on, Lieutenant? Whose firing on us!?”
The younger man’s expression was grim as he turned to his captain, filling the bridge with a sense of dread with his short explanation.
Welcome to our second phase of recruitment! The British Invasion of 1863 took the Americas by surprise and while the North and South pitted brother against brother and all eyes turned towards each other the British launched an unexpected invasion that battered the Union forces on the brink of victory. Union forces were pushed out of their traditional stronghold in the Northeast and forced West. Some of the Union forces were forced to ally with the Confederacy in the South when they were cut off from the Union. Ironically the south would have fallen if not for these soldiers. When confronted with a foreign invader they chose to stand side by side with their southern brethren and stall the British for a time on the southern front.
None of this would matter if Germany hadn’t chosen to attack British holdings in Europe in 1868. England was forced to pull troops back to Europe to defend their territories leaving the British advance stalled along the Colorado State lines. Now the Midwest is contested territory, a land dotted with homesteads and military encampments. The Union holds the West, England the Northeast and The Confederacy the South and all parties have agents in San Francisco where cloak and dagger activities have reached a fevered pitch as the war has moved into the shadows. It is a glorious time to be a pirate! Where others find strife others find profit. Merchant vessels, privateers, smugglers and pirates ply the skies about the mountains and plains of the Americas. The Aether Rush may be over but the Sky Race has just begun.San Francisco
Welcome to San Francisco 1869. Shanghai of the West and Gateway to California. The city has survived the Gold and Aether Rush of 1849, the Civil War, the British Invasion of 1863 and continues to prosper, even thrive in the shattered states of America. Much has changed for the port city of the West in the past twenty years. The population has increased ten-fold to nearly a million people if you count visitors that flood out meandering streets daily. The docks remain full of fishing vessels, but the skies are now filled with airships of all shapes and sizes and steam powered trollies chug up and down the steep city hills. The south of the city is a city in its own right, Chinatown. Filled with the masses of Chinese laborers that came looking for gold, coolies that worked the rails and the Manchurian dynasts that fled their homeland Chinatown is as exotic as the Orient with its own rules and politics.
San Francisco is a bustling trade city that has profited through its designation as a free port on the west coast. While California became a state in 1850, San Francisco was able to remain independent do too much of the wealth already pouring into it. It sided with the rest of Californian and the Union during the Civil War, but its mercantile nature allowed for business as usual when it came to trade and currency of the North and South were accepted readily in the markets of San Francisco. While the West was far behind the Chinese and the British in harnessing Aether and the resulting steam technological boom that it produced San Francisco has made great strides in catching up and boasts some of the best airship factories in the world.
Underneath its prosperous exterior, trouble bubbles. Tensions are growing between the European California’s and the Manchurian led Chinese, both influential in business, politics and crime. The covert games between the North, South and Britain leak violence into the streets while agents of Mexico, Germany and mainland China stir the pot. Victorian Spiritualism, Chinese Daoism, American puritanism and other darker things clash in the shadows over the rights to human souls.What is this game?
This is a Freeform Steampunk game within the existing Aetherpunk world we have created! You and your crew will navigate skies about North America and the Machiavellian web of intrigue that the British Invasion has left in its wake. Are you a dread pirate, a daring merchant, patriotic privateer, a brave explorer or a speedy smuggler? Any of these are possible. There are some fantasy elements, but nothing over the top like wizards throwing fireballs, elves or dragons. It uses an alternate history of the United States and will combine Victorian and Chinese styling for the look and feel that I am going for. This game is a sandbox and very much what you the players make of it. I will be adding Threads to the Aetherpunk game representing your Airships so you have a place for your crew to interact and other threads if we find that we need them. You will be part of the main game as well and can post in any thread with Aetherpunk in the title. San Francisco is a huge port city and neutral to the political factions of the world with a thriving black market making it perfect for unscrupulous Captains looking to sell their ill-gotten gains. What is Aether and how does it work?
Aether is the fifth element, the thing that binds all other elements together. It often defies normal scientific conventions in all of its forms. It is difficult to extract, but incredibly useful in any of its states. As a gas it is remarkably stable and lighter than air making it perfect for airships. As a liquid it burns slow and hot and is used to light many large cities and propel the amazing Airship your crew uses to sail the skies. Aether had not been found in its solid state yet, but liquid Aether is often used to infuse other elements altering their chemical make-up. Aether infused coal has led to huge advancements in steam technology. Spiritualism
Victorian Spiritualism, Chinese Mysticism and Voodoo are real or so people think. The supernatural brushes against the skin of the world and many of the beliefs have incorporated the use of Aether in their practices to frightening effects. That said the supernatural is hidden in the shadows, hiding in the disbelief of the reasoned minds of this industrial age.What can I play?
Airship Captain, Aether Engineer, Pilot, Smuggler, Ships Mate, Swabby, Government Agent, Explorer, runaway slave….anyone who would have a reason to sail the skies over America be that money, glory, God or country. Submit Characters to Crash and Madame Professor.
1. Magic may be in this game but I want it to stay true to Taoism, Victorian Spirituality or Voodoo. This does actually leave a lot of room. If you want a strange creature in a plot try to give these things a steampunk flare if you can.
2. I am opening this game up to more dastardly characters than I have in the past. Remember the rules of this game however and if you think someone may not like to be the center of your evil intentions talk to them first and talk about what your are thinking.
3. We will start with two airships at first and as they fill we can make more. We would like four active characters on each ship so not everyone will be a captain. Sometimes you will work together, other times you will be at odds depending on where your political or mercantile views lie and who might have hired you for a job.
4. It is highly unlikely that any captain could afford a ship on their own. Each ship should be at least nominally aligned with a faction be it a corporation, county or criminal group like the Gentlemen’s Marque. Take a look at the People, Places and Things Thread
to get an idea of the San Franciscan factions that might hire a ship. The North, South and British often hire Privateers to harass the other’s interest as well and Pirates are…well Pirates!
5. Take a look at the Character Sheet thread
to see what face claims have already been taken.
Created and edited by consortium11 Sample CharacterName:
Captain Nathaniel HarperPlayer:
Captain of the Airship Maria Bella, Swashbuckling Pirate of the open skies!Trouble:
Does rum count? He hardly thinks so! His gambling on the other hand… Sex:
Profit, snarky and strong women, bondage, aerial combat, brunettes… Profit.Off’s:
Being stolen from, being tied up or imprisoned, seemingly frail and dainty women. National Affiliation and Ancestry:
Where every pirate’s allegiances lay… with himself! Nationality and war be damned!Appearance:
Hair: Reddish brown
Eyes: Dark brown
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 175 lbsDescription:
Appearances are important, no matter what career you have chosen. Or what career has chosen you. For Nathan, he makes sure to maintain an air of confidence, or more correctly arrogance, about him at all times. He does so by keeping his facial hair tidy but scruffy, his short, curly locks in disarray, and a crooked smile on his lips. While not the tallest or thinnest of blokes, he is athletic and strong, as the free skies do not suffer the weak. Eyes chocolate and hair of rust, both of which hold a reckless abandonment for the world around them. Not usually visible are the tattoos that mark his body. Few have as much meaning to him, though, as the elegant name over his left shoulder, Anna Rose. Personality:
As one would expect of a swashbuckling pirate, Nathaniel is loud, rude, and crude. Snarky and arrogant, Captain Harper fancies himself the best in the business… which differs from day to day depending on what one might need done. But he has a silver tongue and knows how to use it well and had he not found himself in the life of piracy, he would have made an excellent salesmen. Charming to a T, it can often get him into trouble, but where his charms fail him, his skills do not, only fueling his arrogance more. For his clients and his crew, he puts on a strong and carefree face, but when alone in his cabin, he lets the truth show; that he rarely knows what he is doing, that his life style will catch up to him. Few have seen the serious side of Captain Nathaniel, usually only in the most dire of circumstances, and those that have often don’t live long enough to mention it, though rarely by his own hand. Background:
Born and raised in Boston, Nathaniel Harper was the third son of a third son. Which meant when visiting the grandparents, he had to suffer the treatment his wealthier and more ‘to-do’ cousins would put him through. He often found himself in the kitchens, playing with the baker’s son and daughter. They would often pretend to be on grand adventures, going anywhere they wished with no one telling them what they could and could not do. Michael and Anna Rose where is only friends and a shining light in his normal dull life. As they got older, his feelings towards Anna Rose changed and grew into something more than a childhood friend. He would never get to truly tell her how he felt though, as an unfortunate accident would steal her away from him. The runaway carriage trampled the young woman right before him and her brother and they were powerless to stop it. From that moment, Nathaniel decided life was too short not to do as he pleased and through a series of seemingly random events he found himself the captain of an airship, the ultimate symbol of freedom.First Adventure:
“She’s a fine vessel, sir. The best we ‘ave in the yard.” Nathaniel approached the hull of the ship, letting his strong fingers graze lightly against the polished surface. She certainly was beautiful, a fine craft fresh off the line. The price tag, though… dealing in imports and exports would require the best of the best, especially if he wanted to compete with some of the well established vessels in the industry. Well, haggling is what he did best!
With a nod and a grin, Nathaniel turned to the boy, “She’s a fine vessel, indeed, though grossly overpriced.” The boy balked at the accusation. “But… I think we can work out--”
“Grossly overpriced is an exaggeration, sir.” Called another voice. Nathaniel turned, his grin faltering only a moment as another gentleman, older but obviously wealthier, approached. “I’d say it’s a fair price indeed for such a ship, a bargain, even!” He turned to the boy, “Sell her to me, boy, and I’ll not cut into your earnings.”
Nathaniel almost cursed out loud. No way was he going to lose his chance for freedom from some hoity toity entrepreneur. So like with any situation, the young man put his grin back on and addressed the other gentleman. “You seem the sort to find opportunity… Care for a wager…?”
[floatright][img height=400 padding=8]<insert image>[/img][/floatright][b]Name:[/b]
[b]Concept:[/b] <A short description about who you are: Captain of the Airship Vixen, Conflicted Member of the Eugenics League, Coolie with a Secret, Tenacious Street Urchin>
[b]Trouble:[/b] <Everyone has a trouble. It could be addiction, troublesome family, owing money to the wrong people, arranged marriage, whatever>
[b]National Affiliation and Ancestry:[/b] <What is your nationality and what Nation are you currently a part of? How do you feel about your country?>
[b]Description:[/b] <Text, Images or Both>
Rules and Regulations
The following are the rules and regulations set for Aetherpunk
. Please read these thoroughly and understand that by applying it is implied that you understand what you have read and commit to it. While we attempt to keep these rules stagnant throughout the course of the game, if something begins to pose a problem we will
make a rule about it and enforce it.Disclaimer : We reserve the right to add rules as necessary.
- Be excellent to one another. Do not fight. Do not squabble. If an altercation between players occurs, please bring the matter to myself or your residential Co-GM who will periodically patrol the thread for me when I cannot. We will be perfectly happy to sort out the discrepancy between the players and arrive to the most fair and just solution allowed. Do not turn us into a broken family.
- Do not God Mod another player's character! Due to the nature of the characters it is easy to accidentally cross into this territory. Please do not control their actions. YOU control YOUR character. On that same tangent please do not make yourself invulnerable to everything. Nothing more boring than a “perfect” character.
- NO PLAYER CHARACTER MAY BE KILLED WITHOUT PLAYER'S EXPLICIT PERMISSION TO DO SO. There is no leeway to this rule. Don't do it.
- Never, EVER do something to a player's character they do not like. Consult with the player before making a decision that you think might be a bother to them, even if they list it as okay in their Ons and Offs. Communication is paramount between players! Please use it.
- Communication is important. If you are going to be gone longer than a day or two, please try to notify the GMs. We are very understanding about outside life – Trust me. I, myself, am a Full-Time Worker, Husband and Dad and I go to school part time. I am busy and sometimes it gets hectic. Everyone has lives. That is okay. But let us know so we're not missing you.
- You are not expected to post once a day. While it isn't expected of you, more posts are undoubtedly appreciated by your fellow players. However, if you know you are getting ready to leave for a week, we ask that you try not to get your character wound up in a plot that is going to change things drastically. That will bog all players and prove to be quite a pain. We ask that all players post, minimum, once a week. A single post within seven days isn't so bad, is it? Quicker is always better and preferred, though.
- Please have a good grasp of the English Language and Grammar Structure before applying. We fancy individuals that use complete sentences, full thought, and detail their posts with enough for another character to react to. I am not tying certain post lengths to this game, but I beg you not to use one to three line posts. That would be VERY difficult for another player to react to. Use your best judgment, but give enough for the players to respond to. Multi-Paragraph is best. Remember, a paragraph is a construction of thought usually ranging between three to five sentences.
- Please use tags in the header of your post.All posts should have tags noting who your character is talking too, about or noticing. This will help people find conversations that involve their characters in threads that may hold multiple conversations. Acceptable tags are: another character’s name, OPEN or CLOSED. Open means anyone can join the conversation or scene. CLOSED means that player does not want the scene interrupted by other players.
- Players are responsible for not creating Paradoxes. Players are allowed to create multiple scenes for their characters at different times of the day or week simultaneously. It is the players responsibility of they choose to do this to not create paradoxes by playing multiple scenes that occur at the same time.
Thank you Faustus
and Broken Bonds
for letting me pilfer much of their rules.