Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome Lords, Ladies and Gentlefolk.

This blog will be devoted to my literary and cosplay interests and stories set in my own alternative historical steampunk background. I hope people enjoy the stories, as much as I enjoy devising and writing them and that it stimulates their own artistic interests, entertains them or if nothing else fires their own imaginations.

A special note to new readers of this blog, the entries "Nation States" are gazetteers of the nations as they exist in the An Age of Steam, Steel and Iron background, each with a few remarks/observations about each nation as they exist within. Any post headed by the title containing the words "Story Snippet" or "Fragments" is a stand alone, snapshot of the background, they will be developed into fuller stories in future, but at present they serve to give the viewer/reader a measure of what this world is like, what is going on in it and who some of the players are. Full stories, will be headed by their title and a roman number, as they will generally be in several parts.

Comments, suggestions or remarks by readers are welcomed.

I would like to thank the following people:

Yaya Han, for getting me seriously interested in cosplay at a time when things were looking very glum for me back in 2006 with several extended stays in hospital due to illness, and motivating me to get actively involved.

Ashley Du aka UndeadDu, for her unfailing friendship and cheerful support since we first met in 2014 at the Hamilton Comic Con, and for being my Cosplay mentor and advisor.

Sara Marly, for her interest in and support for my writings, since we first met in 2016 at the Hamilton Comic Con and incidently helping me make up my mind to finally do this.

Stephen Thomson, my friend, for his advise and assistance with creating and setting up this blog.

Daniel Cote, my friend and co-worker for his advise and friendship over the years.

The People of the The Aegy's Gathering (particularly Jonathan Cresswell-Jones, Scott Washburn and Jenny Dolfen, all of whom I have kept in contact with over the years), who were brought together in friendship by a certain randomness of chance and a common interest in the Honor Harrington books and stayed together despite distance and the strains of life.

The People of the Wesworld Alternative History website, who gave me the opportunity to sharpen my writing and story telling skills while directing the affairs of Lithuania and briefly France during their 1930s timelines.

My parents Mary Ellen and Logan, my siblings Adam and Danika and various friends both online and at work and play for putting up with me, encouraging and supporting me both in the very good times and the very bad times.

I remain as always yours very sincerely, your obedient servant, Matthew Baird aka Sir Leopold Stanley Worthing-Topper

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Few Remarks on the Aether in A.A.S.S.I.

In An Age of Steam, Steel and Iron, at the dawn of 1889 just four nations: Great Britain, Germany, Russia and France dominate the international space race. It is estimated that there are some five hundred aether capable vessels within the inner system (Vulkan, Mercury, Venus, Terra, Mars and the Asteroid Belt) of the Sol Star System, the majority however are mercantile passenger or cargo vessels rather then warships. The largest Aether Fleet in military terms is the British Aether Fleet with some twenty-five military vessels.

Vulkan, is unclaimed by any nation, although several ill fated expeditions to the planet nearest the Sun, have been mounted, none to date have ever returned. Two colonies New Plymouth and New Roanoke were established on the planet, by the Anglo-American Aetheric Exploration & Colonial Society, but did not prosper and in fact failed in mysterious and horrific circumstances.  Amoungst aethernauts, Vulkan has acquired an evil and ominous reputation and few will willingly venture there.

Mercury, claimed by Great Britain, largely by default, as no one else found it worth the bother to have a permanent base there. Great Britain maintains a full time scientific/research station on the planet, which is frequented by scientists from many nations interested in the geology, flora and fauna that has developed on this small planet, under the burning gaze of the Sun.

Venus, shrouded by eternal clouds, rain storms and fogs, teeming with plant, animal and insect life is both a tropical paradise rich in resources of all sorts and a green hell for anyone who lives on the planet full time. Germany has the inside track in developing the planet as a colony and making working relations with the native Venusian inhabitants.

Terra, the birthplace of humanity, and so many of it's joys and troubles.

Mars, the red planet, mysterious, ancient and littered with the relics of several bygone civilizations may of which have risen and fallen before humanity even first walked upon Terra's surface much less began it's first steps towards civilization. Great Britain dominates the exploration and development of Mars as a new bastion of humanity and seeks to create a new Imperial India upon the red plains of Mars.

Asteroid Belt, rumoured to house tremendous mineral wealth and fragments of another lost civilization, few have yet staked a lasting claim amoungst these tumbling fragments of rock, although small pockets of independent humanity make their home here and scrap a living from the asteroids. The Asteroid Belt is the end of Human space as far as many are concerned, the Outer system beyond is virtually unknown and unexplored, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have only been observed from afar. No space vessel has ever journeyed out that far to examine them and bring back word of their topography and prospects for habitation or development.

In 1884, France built an exploratory long range aether ship to reach the Outer System, named the Bonaventure, it took some four years to build in an orbital yard above Paris. In 1888, the Bonaventure made it's maiden voyage, but disappeared reportedly somewhere between Mars and the Asteroid Belt never to be heard from again by anyone in the Inner System. At the time and since (particularly in the pages of the more sordid or Anglophobe or Germanphobe tabloids) France accused Great Britain or alternatively Germany of sabotaging the Bonaventure. This affair did nothing to assist France in maintaining or improving it's relations with either country.

Great Britain, it's own aetheric long range explorer ship, HMS Daedalus is scheduled to begin trials early this year and make it's maiden voyage into the Outer system sometime by the middle of 1889. Germany is believed to have several long range aether exploratory vessels, the most well known is the SMS Orakel, which was also launched in 1884 but was used and still is used exclusively for exploration and scientific research work amoung the planets of the Inner system only.       

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