Bienvenidos a la era del aire

Trescientos años han pasado desde que la Gran Guerra consumio el planeta. Trescientos años desde que la raza humana devorase a la madre tierra, malgastando recursos que podrían haberles permitido seguir viviendo miles de años.

En el calor del sol, hay una verdad ineludible e inquietante: el hombre ha caído de su trono.

La humanidad vive entre las ruinas dejadas por un siglo de conflicto, pero con el acero destrozado del pasado forjaran su propio futuro. La tecnología más ligera que el aire ha inspirado intrépidos pioneros a surcar los cielos en busca de comercio y los recursos para apoyar a sus pueblos y familias. Máquinas elaboradas artesalmente con restos del pasado, tomaran de forma desesperada y despiadada lo que puedan por la fuerza.

A pesar de todo lo que se había perdido, ha surgido una renovada pasión por invención, junto con un profundo respeto por la fragilidad de la vida. Los exploradores y filósofos viajan en busca de conocimiento olvidado ahora disperso por debajo de los desechos.

Los supervivientes son los inventores, los pilotos, los capitanes, los artesanos, los aventureros, los combatientes, los corsarios, comerciantes, ingenieros, agricultores e investigadores. Ellos anuncian una nueva era para la humanidad: una época de renacimiento.

Las Páginas de Edgar LusseEditar

Much of Burren’s history is remembered by those old and passed down to those young through nighttime stories to children and the fireside gatherings of inns and taverns. Many of these stories are tall tales, embellished and have little to do with the truth.

Records are slowly being compiled into thick tomes by such travelling historians like Edgar Lusse. Where there is a story, Edgar is there listening and writing as fast as his hand can move. These stories are then scrutinized against older manuals and pages in an attempt to catch a glimpse of what was.

“To learn of the past is to learn of our future.” – Edgar Lusse

Tierra QuemadaEditar

I usually avoid street preachers and the like, they’re grifters and lunatics. Typically, they’ve been driven insane by poverty, sickness, or desperation—or they’re simply seeking to deceive and exploit those who would listen. However, I noticed one young woman as I exited the temple at the center of Bajad. She was lucid and coherent. Her words and figure appeared to resonate with the crowd that had gathered around her:

Do you ever ask yourself why we must live in this desert? This dead and barren place we call home? Where the dust coats our lungs and stops our crops from growing? It is because of our greed! The never-ending lust for power that was born from the first great war hundreds of years ago.

Cities a hundred times larger than Anvala smoldered the morning after iron vultures spewed fire upon their innocent inhabitants. We are the children of the dead! We are the seeds of destruction! Our blood is tainted and we are damned to live in these wastes.

We are doomed to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors with every zeppelin that takes to the sky. They are our dragons, and one day they will burn us where we stand. Our bodies will be charred shells, forever reminding those that come after of the price we paid for our avarice.

There is no escape, the Burren will be charred once more.

As recorded by Edgar Lusse

Un tiempo de ReyesEditar

Anvala, November 16th – Landfall

Anvala is a great city, famous for its trade and its art. While there I was able to attend a play about The First King. This is a summary of my favorite scene in the play, the coronation:

A woman kneels, holding a crown. In the play, she holds a simple copper prop but I imagine it to be gilded and studded with precious gems. The man she kneels in front of gently asks her to rise. She stands and places the golden crown atop his dark curls. The king places a large hand on the woman’s shoulder and stares into her eyes.

After a long moment the king extends his gaze to the hundreds gathered beyond, raising his hand against an orange setting sun. Green hills roll into the distant horizon behind him. The crowd cheers and they begin chanting for their new king as he leaves the stage.

The lights dim and when they rise again the king is back on stage, sitting on his throne in solitude. He ponders some weighty issue with furrowed brow, then turns toward the audience and squares his shoulders.

As recorded by Edgar Lusse

El compendio del PolvoEditar

Chang-ning, April 28th, 264 AB

For the first time I stand in the grand city of Chang-ning, City of Eternal Tranquility, steadfast capital of the Western Republic that lies beyond the Dunes and the Endless Salts. While the people of the Burren were scraping grains from the dust and huddling in ruins of the old world for shelter, the people of the Western Range were laying the foundations for new cities of stone and inscribing their history. It is in the hope of discovering these invaluable documents of our past that I have traveled across the Wastes to this distant republic.

After much pleading, persuasion, and patient waiting, my appeals have at last been answered and I have been granted access to the Archives of the Scholars’ Palace where the written records are kept. There I have been permitted to view the Chronicles of the Ending and Rebirth of the World, the great historical compendium compiled by the scholar Chen Ming in Anno Belli 125, not long after the founding of Chang-ning itself.

The five books of the Chronicles tell the path of humanity’s trajectory from shortly before the beginning of the Great War in 0 AB, that cataclysmic annum from which we count all other events, up to Chen Ming’s own time, which he counted the Age of Dust. The volumes are as follows:

Book I – The Last Days of Sumin the Prophet (10 AAB–0 AB) Book II – The Events of Year Zero (0 AB) Book III – The Decades of War (0 AB–50 AB) Book IV – The Years of Red Death (50 AB–100 AB) Book V – The Age of Dust (100 AB– )

These pages are attended by copious glosses and volumes of commentary written by generations of scholars in the intervening annums, but the source materials have not been preserved, nor has any new history been added since his time.

Were I to write a new Book VI to accompany this series, I believe I would entitle it The Age of Air — for surely that is the time that we live in, dating from 212 AB, the annum when Gabriel first took flight aboard the Icarus. In following his example and taking to the skies, I believe we have already begun to rise out of the dust of the war and look up into our future, though we do not yet know what it holds. But my task is not to tell the future but the past, and I will remain here in Chang-ning for as long as I may and learn what I can from these crumbling pages.

Written by Edgar Lusse, Historian

El vuelo del IcarusEditar

Though much of the history of Gabriel’s flight cannot be conclusively verified, recent travels across the Burren have uncovered new evidence confirming the existence of both his vessel, the Icarus, and his visage.

Almost all accounts have Gabriel departing Paritus en route to an encampment known as Nalm, in a decrepit sea-vessel held aloft by a magnificent aerostat. Further, all tales conclude with his defiant journey to the East, likely by way south of the Great Ruins, upon which time he met certain death at the hands of brigands and barbarians.

It is my belief, based on written records from Urhal, Virna, and Ramad, that Gabriel’s journey was not singular, and in fact, on many occasions, was not solitary. Rather, Gabriel and the Icarus were a beacon of hope for an annum or longer prior to the destruction of the Icarus.

The rest of Gabriel’s voyage is less certain. Between Nalm and the East, Gabriel (and his crew) are said to have traded goods, transported passengers, enlisted crewmen, defended towns, and raided pirate encampments. Regardless of the reality, he proved that there was once again a viable means of transport between the isolated villages of the Burren. Our very survival is quite probably due to the ingenuity and legacy of Gabriel.

And yet though many portray Gabriel as a mechanical genius who could build an airship from nothing more than scraps and a wrench, it required nearly two decades of exploration, invention, and research to reproduce a similar aeronautical device. To this day, nothing of comparable size to the Icarus has ever been lifted – therefore it is this author’s opinion that the aerostat (and much of the weaponry) used by Gabriel was made of pre-war technology he discovered hidden somewhere in the Burren. We are left to wonder if he intended to share his discoveries.

Most controversial was Gabriel’s decision to confront marauding pirates with no apparent aim other than slaughter. The poetic see this as heroic self sacrifice in the defense of freedom-loving people, while the prudent point to the loss of the Icarus as having stymied trade in the Burren for nearly 30 annums – though neither dispute the notion that his final voyage became a rallying cry for the industrious to unite in building a better future, even “until death.”

Written by Edgar Lusse, Historian - Icarus Myth and Gabriel Legend

Hora de acostarse gigantesEditar

Perrin, September 23rd – Dustbound

I stayed with a family in Perrin and listened to the grandmother weave stories about a time long ago to her grandchild, bundled tight against the night’s chill. The little boy asked for a scary story, and this is the one she told:

Beasts once roamed these lands. Terrible monstrosities, larger than anything you have ever seen, my child. Their teeth were bigger than your head. One would be a fool to challenge these creatures, but there were brave men and women who conquered them. Though we are small, we used our minds.

These warriors sharpened stones to a razor’s edge and strapped them to wooden shafts. They mixed water with the ashes from campfires and smeared themselves to darken their skin. Blending in with the shadows of the great pine forests, hidden in the brush, lit only by the glints of moon that pierced the thick canopy, our ancestors stalked danger.

Their hearts pounded, sweat collecting on their brows. Hands wrapped tight around their weapons. A sharp cry in the night as they revealed themselves to the creatures. Wind blowing in their faces as they ran with spears raised. Stone tips piercing the monster’s thick hide.

I’ve seen their remains, these abominations. I’ve stood inside their bellies like a prisoner in a cell of bone, as if eaten by a forgotten giant. Now, there are other giants that roam the skies. Mechanical giants built by men who steal and pillage. These monsters breathe fire and unleash warriors from their bellies to kidnap children.

That is why you must use your mind. To out think. To outsmart. To survive.

There are always terrible things larger than you lurking in the darkness. Be prepared, my child. The dust blows strong.

Now, go to sleep.

As recorded by Edgar Lusse

Engranajes y ruedas dentadasEditar

Bitter wind and snow make Kian an unlikely target for pirate raids. This small measure of protection draws some of the Burren’s greatest minds to the city. The technicians there are recovering and rebuilding the knowledge that was lost to us over the centuries. The town center is little more than an excavation site flanked by a series of laboratories. One of their engineers, Yorick, gave me his account of our shared technological history:

Hundreds of annums past, a group not unlike ourselves sought to master the world around them, discarding the preconceived notions of what was possible. Many thought these philosophers had lost their minds, mixing fire with dangerous solutions and substances, building machines capable of precise calculation, even defying the heavens by ascending into the atmosphere to advance their knowledge of natural history.

Through these experiments they realized how to harness tremendous powers: fire, lightning, metals, and the gas. With mastery of these powers came great technological advances. Only some of their texts remain, many are lost, some are simply written in languages we don’t understand.

There are those who insist this knowledge brought the apocalypse, I say it was the human soul—is the world truly better off now, without the wonders of technology? Already the steam engine has enabled trade and clean water to flow throughout the Burren. I suppose we tinkerers will always be looked upon with fear.

Some of what we find in the dig sites is difficult to disassemble and replicate. With our current understanding and technology, it’s clear we cannot work our metals to the level of precision achieved by our ancestors. Many of the techniques have been lost, but we’ve taken the basic concepts and shapes of these advanced engines and created simpler ones. Probably similar to the first that were ever created.

As recorded by Edgar Lusse