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Author Topic: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)  (Read 1911 times)

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Offline CrashTopic starter




Hollow Earth

The Hollow Earth looks much like the surface to outsiders; at first glance, they may not even know they are in another world. To the casual observer, a mountain looks pretty much like a mountain, and a lake looks pretty much like a lake. To the trained observer, however, the differences between the inner and outer worlds will be startling.

Everything in the Hollow Earth is more extreme than on the surface. This applies to plants and animals, as well as geology and geography. Mountains are taller, rivers deeper and faster, forests thicker and greener, jungles more varied and bewildering, swamps steamier and more tangled, deserts hotter and drier, wastelands rougher and more foreboding, etc. Likewise, animals are bigger, stronger, and more aggressive, birds are brighter and more flamboyant, and insects are more annoying.

The Hollow Earth is lit and warmed by its own sun, suspended at the geometrical center of the planet. Because it does not move or, more correctly, because the rotating inner surface of Earth never turns a face away from it the interior surface is subjected to perpetual noon. No matter where you are, the sun is always directly overhead. This makes it impossible to determine either direction or time from its unchanging position.  There are two moons in the sky as well.  One that offers twilight for an hour or two and one that offers a few hours of night when they pass in front of the sun.

Some unknown force completely disrupts the Earth’s magnetic field inside the planet.  Compasses spin wildly or point in random directions. In other words, they are useless for navigation. The magnetic disruption, combined with the unmoving sun, makes navigation inside the Earth a tricky prospect.  Possibly for the same reason that magnetic compasses don’t work, two-way radios are rendered useless inside the Hollow Earth. They will only pick up crack-ling static.

A traveler is not entirely without signposts, however.  One benefit to the Hollow Earth is the upward-curving horizon. Unlike the surface world, where the horizon curves landmarks out of view, the interior horizon brings landmarks into view sooner.

This has a subtle effect on what travelers can see. Haze obscures distant objects more than on the surface, so the horizon does disappear. Straight ahead in any direction the impression is similar to looking at rising ground leading to mountains. A casual observer may not even notice, but a trained observer will notice the difference.

Some property of the Hollow Earth endows it with remarkable restorative power. There may be an unknown mineral in the water, a strange gas in the atmosphere, or enhanced vitamins in the food chain. Whatever the reason, life flourishes in astounding ways.

Certain differences are immediately obvious. Plants grow to enormous sizes so that forests and swamps resemble the prehistoric world.  Animals grow much larger than their surface-world counterparts. Gigantic insects, spiders, arthropods, butterflies, beetles, caterpillars, and leeches abound. Some are a nuisance; most are dangerous; all are alarming when first encountered. A positive side effect is that all living things heal at twice the normal rate

What is this game?
 
This is a Guided Freeform Steampunk Hollow Earth game within the existing Aetherpunk world we have created!  You have been selected to accompany a grand expedition to be the first to fly the polar route from San Francisco to England.  You can be a airship pilot or crewman, an intrepid explorer or a rich dilettante along for the thrill of travel.  You might be a stowaway or a scientist or anyone else that might find themselves aboard the airships trying to be the first to successfully complete the polar flight.

The expedition suffered a number of setbacks along the way, seeing two of the three airships returning to port before even reaching the cold air of the Arctic Circle.  The last remained ship sojourned on and vanished into the misty white.  You are woken up in the middle of the night to someone sounding the ships alarm, surrounded by a strange mist with no way to tell what is up and what is down.  The rush of wind and scrambling crew are a sure sign that you are in danger. Something is very wrong. The mist about you is warm, uncomfortably so and a dim light begins to permeate the mist around you.  There is an explosion from the rear of the airship causing it to lose altitude quickly.  More alarms blare as the ship prepares for a crash landing.  The sound of screaming metal and smashing timbers is the last thing you remember before you lose consciousness.

The game starts with you and the surviving passengers and crew waking up in a strange world of verdant jungle and perpetual daylight amid the wreckage of your airship. Flora and fauna long extinct on the surface world grows hearty and strong around you.  It is a place thriving with life.  How could this be in the middle of the arctic and why does the sun never truly set?

One added bit of fun for the GM’s is that if a player drops or goes missing for a long period of time without informing us of their pending absence we reserve the right to kill your character off in the most interesting and horrific ways.  As much as this game will have a sense of humor and be a fun pulpy romp, Hollow Earth is a dangerous place and we will gladly show off how dangerous by lopping off dead character weight. >:)

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.  Could Hollow Earth be the source of all Aether?
 
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?
 
What can’t you play?  Explorer, Big Game Hunter, Scientist, Stowaway, Dilettante, Writer, Genetic Experiment, Spiritualist, Voodoo Priest, Spy are all good concepts as are fish out of water passengers that were along for the experience.  Once the game gets going and as people explore I will open other concepts for people to play such as Amazons or other “Native” Hollow Worlders. 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. Take a look at the Character Sheet thread to see what face claims have already been taken.

Created and edited by consortium11


Sample Character

Name: Sir Reginald Carrington Blythe
Player: Crash
Concept:  Expedition Leader, Renowned Explorer
Trouble:  Overblown Ego
Sex: Male
Age: 50
Orientation: Heterosexual
On’s:  Player’s Ons
Off’s:  Player’s Offs
National Affiliation and Ancestry: For Queen and Country!

Appearance:
Hair: White
Eyes: Piercing Grey
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 200 lbs

Description: Sir Reginald is a hale and hearty man just entering his fifties.  He is showing the portliness of middle age and good drink, but beneath the indulgence of station he is still quite fit with a hearty grip, strong bad and impressive mustache.  Sir Reginald’s authoritative presence makes him appear taller and larger than he actually is.  When angry his mustache quivers, his eyes bulge and his face turns red enough for steam to be seen escaping.  His favorite clothing on expedition is one of his hunting suits and his pith helmet.

Personality: Bombastic and a complete braggart.  Sir Reginald is a world famous explorer and he is more than happy to let you know about it.  He was knighted by Her Majesty herself and fully expects to have any orders of his followed immediately and to the letter.  As puffed up and annoying as he can be Sir Reginald cares about the people on his expedition and he is an effective leader.  He is an accomplished survivalist, hunter and explorer after all.  He refuses to leave a man (or woman) behind and if one of his expedition members dies he will endeavor to bring the corpse home for burial at the very least and ensure that their sacrifice is remembered in grand detail.  Cross or disobey an order and Sir Reginald’s legendary temper will be on full display.  As loud and jovial as he can be at a societal affair is nothing compared to the thunderous voice of an angry Carrington.  He also likes the (more than) occasional nip from the bottle.

Background: Sir Reginald was a proud young man in Her Majesty’s army.  During his service he toured Northern Africa and the Middle East.  The love of travel and the test of man against nature ingrained in him a love of travel.  His first expedition was the discovery of the source of the Nile with his good friends and fellow Army Officers John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton in 1858.  While Speke and Burton continue to this day to fight over whom truly found the source of the Nile River, Sire Reginald continued to explore Africa and India and even into China. 

His explorations won favor with the Royal family and he was knighted in 1868 after a decade of travel.  One would think with his advancing age that he would tone down his travels, but he has not.  He is so enamored with his own celebrity and the addiction of discovery that he is little better than an absentee father and husband to his lovely wife and children who travel with him to his departure locations and wait in hopes that he will survive so they will not lose the privilege of his granted station.

Airship travel has placed somewhat of a dent in the grandeur of exploration and opened up exotic locals to the layman, which has forced an intrepid explorer like Sir Reginald to seek new and interesting challenges.  Locations had to be more dangerous or adverse to human life or have some sort of benefit to Queen and country.  When Sir Reginald was approached by representatives of Charles Cartwright, a fellow Englishman living in San Francisco, about a polar expedition from San Francisco to England via airship, he knew it was a challenge worthy of a grand explorer such as himself. 

Mr. Cartwright is funding the majority of the expedition.  How he could afford such an endeavor Sir Reginald does not know, but that is of little concern. He gathered his most trusted crew and Mr. Cartwright placed the requisite advertisement for the vessels and labor necessary.  Some of Mr. Cartwright’s people would be part of the expedition, but that was to be expected when a patron funded the operation.

Character Sheet Code
Code: [Select]
[floatright][img height=400 padding=8]<insert image>[/img][/floatright][b]Name:[/b]
[b]Player:[/b]
[b]Concept:[/b]  <A short description about who you are:  Captain of the Airship Dauntless, Conflicted Member of the Eugenics League, Stowaway, Writer>
[b]Trouble:[/b]  <Everyone has a trouble. It could be addiction, extreme curiosity, dark secret, whatever>
[b]Sex:[/b]
[b]Age:[/b]
[b]Orientation:[/b]
[b]On’s:[/b] <At minimum link to players ons>
[b]Off’s:[/b] <At minimum link to players offs>

[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]Appearance:[/b]
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Weight:

[b]Description:[/b] <Text, Images or Both>

[b]Personality:[/b]

[b]Background:[/b]




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.









Brief Timeline

1823 – Aether refinement in China used mostly in religious practices and magical rituals.

1837 – Aether discovered in England, ushering in a technological revolution for the British Empire.

1840 – Refinement of Aether in England and the steam era explodes.  Airships invented in China and England. California Annexed

1849 - Aether rich coal and gold deposits found at Sutter Mill and the Aether rush is on in California.

1861 – Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the United States. American Civil War starts

1863 - England attacks during the middle of the Civil War pushing the North farther and farther west keeping the south pinned into Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. 

1865 – Abraham Lincoln survives a British assassination attempt and remains for a second term by an act of the remaining congress.

1866 – The remnants of the North moves its capital to Nevada as it continues to get pushed West by the British War Machine slowly losing ground to the technologically advanced forces. California succeeds from the Union.

1865 - Empress Dowager Cixi of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, after continued defeats to the Taiping Army’s appoints a Han General Zeng Guofan fighting back the rebellion only to have the General stage his own coup with the assistance of England.  Empress Dowager Cixi and the Manchu nobility along with the remaining military and supporters unable to defeat the combined might of the Han and British forces depart China for the West.

1865-1867 - Caught between the Superior equipped British Army and the quickly approaching Chinese exiles, the Empress Dowager Cixi and President Lincoln negotiated a truce between their forces or face mutual destruction fighting a war on multiple fronts.  The Manchu nobility settle in San Francisco and the city is divided between the two powers.  The Manchurian scholars assisted General Ulysses S. Grant in the use of the Manchu war machines to great effect.  The intellectuals of the North, given access to the advanced Aether-steam technology, began a new wave of steam inventions.  The Chinese population gains their own representation in congress which is surprisingly large do to the influx of Chinese.

1867 – General Grant killed at the Battle of Denver.

1868 - Germany attacks British territories in Europe while American and Chinese forces stall British forces in the Midwest.  Racial tensions remain high in San Francisco as many are displaced by the Manchurians and the Chinese that flock to their banners. 

1869 - The North continues to have significant influence on San Francisco as they are still the majority of the population.  The Empress however has family members in all aspects of the city government including a spot on the Council of Seven (the governing body of San Francisco).  She is not a foolish woman however and has done much to keep the status quo outside of the Manchurian district, known to westerners as Chinatown.

1869 (April) – The big Quake of 1869 destroys large sections of San Francisco killing thousands including one of the Council of Seven (the ruling body of San Francisco).

1869 (August) - 1870 – Gang violence erupts in the aftermath of the quake as some gangs and/or their territory have been wiped out.  The power void has yet to settle and many violence is not uncommon in any portion of the city not occupied by the ultra-rich.

1869 (October) – For the first time in San Francisco history the City Council and popular vote hold sway in determining a member of the Council of Seven.  Yuri Kozlovsky is offered a seat on the council after his humanitarian and rebuilding efforts force the Council’s hand.  Rumors swirl about back alley deals, blackmail and extortion, but nothing has been proven.

1869 (December)  - 1870 – Piracy is at an all-time high as treaties between the local pirates and San Francisco are ignored and the cities vital aether rock supplies are being targeted along with trade vessels heading to and from the trade city.

1870 (February) – Restart of game.  Amid the gang violence, pirate attacks and political instability rumors of supernatural and ghostly activity are on the rise. 

1870 (March) – Sir Reginald Carrington Blythe’s expedition leaves port attempting to achieve the first polar flight from San Francisco to London England.  The Expedition is lost a few weeks later and never reaches their destination.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 06:28:58 PM by Crash »

Offline DudelRok

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 12:35:32 PM »
*pulls eyeball out and places on thread* Keeping an eye on this.

Offline Dhi

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 06:54:55 PM »
I'm interested in playing a native character when you open that up. In between then and now, there isn't a concept that's speaking to me.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 09:13:35 PM »
Dhi - No worries.  Any particular type of native you might be thinking of?

I added a pole asking if people would be interested in having Native characters available at the start.  It is conceivable that a couple of groups could have noticed the crash.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 09:16:58 PM by Crash »

Offline Dhi

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 11:44:27 PM »
A stone age hunter-gatherer is what comes to mind. I had an idea for a tool the primitive people might use to navigate the Hollow Earth, which is within the realm of real world science.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 11:49:13 PM »
Dhi - Should be easy enough.  Hopefully we will get some more interest.  Go ahead and make the character, she could easily have seen the crash and come to investigate.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 09:59:38 PM by Crash »

Offline Sargepepper

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Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2016, 06:12:28 PM »
I'm also pretty interested in this! I'd love to play an Irish or Scottish Engineer/Tinkerer who's assigned to the Ship for maintenance. Maybe Chief Engineer. Aether powered arm to repalced one he'd lost in an accident similar to this one...

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Interest Check)
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2016, 06:15:01 PM »
Certainly would work.

I am going to open this up to recruiting.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 06:29:33 PM by Crash »

Offline DudelRok

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 09:21:00 PM »
Where to put character sheet for approval? Here? Or in the thread titled "Characters?" (Though I thought would be for approved characters only...)

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2016, 09:29:04 PM »
PM them to Madame Professor and myself.

Offline DudelRok

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 09:36:02 PM »
PM them to Madame Professor and myself.

...I thought that's what I was supposed to do but I couldn't remember where I read that a few days ago. Alrighty, getting something in the works!

Offline Madame Professor

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Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 10:08:56 PM »
Looking forward to seeing the new characters!

Online HannibalBarca

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Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 10:27:19 PM »
I'm interested.  Thinking of an expatriate Japanophile Englishman, possibly with an Egyptian body servant/sidekick.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 10:29:25 PM »
I'm interested.  Thinking of an expatriate Japanophile Englishman, possibly with an Egyptian body servant/sidekick.

Completely doable.  Probably knows either Sir Reginald or Charles Cartwright.

Online HannibalBarca

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Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2016, 10:35:59 PM »
That sounds good, and would establish some contacts immediately.  I was thinking of making him more a mystic.  I've only written one steampunk character before, and he was the stereotypical tinker/inventor.  This one would be more a mysterious brooder or schemer, neither in the light or darkness, adept with a sword, and while outwardly friendly, have a lot of hidden baggage.

Offline Chrystal

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2016, 03:59:30 AM »
OOOH! OOOH! ME! ME!

Hey Crash, baby! *hugs*

Yeah, I want to play a wealthy débutante heiress, on her first trip away from home, she is a spoiled brat, and is going to be a real problem to the survivors, simply because she is going to insist that everything be done for her...

... Well at first, anyway!

If permitted, I might also play her rather more down-to-earth maid (unless I can persuade someone else to play her).

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2016, 07:30:00 AM »
Hey Chystal!

Yes you can certainly play both.

Offline Chrystal

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2016, 03:36:02 PM »
Okay, I will probably not get a character sheet done before the weekend, but I will try.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2016, 03:37:53 PM »
No hurry.  We will be happy to see any characters you have when you can get them to us!

Offline subboi

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2016, 09:24:16 PM »
This looks interesting! Could I play a Southerner who has been ousted from his home and is now looking for any type of job?

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2016, 09:30:59 PM »
I would want you to flesh out that concept some but a southerner wouldn't be an issue.

Offline subboi

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2016, 09:53:42 PM »
I would want you to flesh out that concept some but a southerner wouldn't be an issue.

Alright, was thinking about playing young gentleman who is hired as a guard or mercenary on the ship... Problem is, he lied about his combat experience to get the job.

Offline CrashTopic starter

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 10:23:40 PM »
That is fine.  Go ahead and write up a a character.

Offline Madame Professor

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Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2016, 10:34:59 PM »
Alright, was thinking about playing young gentleman who is hired as a guard or mercenary on the ship... Problem is, he lied about his combat experience to get the job.


Offline Mister Ugly

Re: Hollow Earth - Pulp Steampunk Adventure (Recruiting LGBT friendly)
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2016, 06:16:24 PM »


I have an idea for a union Captain bent on getting revenge on some English Lord and his retainers and has taken passage on the skyship as a way to get to England. He is skilled and normally has a code and honor but the English lord and his force murdered his family in Kanas. He will have a lot of guns with him since he planned on fighting a small war if needed.

MU