We played several rounds of Lamarckian Poker to represent the many tasks of designing, building, and mystically awakening the the airship being custom built for the Quiet Men. The odds turned in their favor, and they unlocked a lot of the ship’s potential with a relatively small amount of its own quirks.
During the weeks and months that passed while the ship was being constructed, the Quiet Men heard news of many portentous events:
- The rail line to Nantyr was completed, connecting it to the network of quick travel and trade with the rest of the Empire.
- Shifter tribes have begun driving out settlers from the edges of Tillianus (the province of Tillith), and seizing their land and goods.
- The cannibal tribes were put down or converted, and the ‘cursed’ islands have been cleared of tribal settlements. There is a small force of the Forged in place to keep the islands from being resettled.
- The Forged arrive in Nantyr, and begin construction on new military buildings.
- After visits with dignitaries from Draji who came for the Exposition, a formal trade partnership has begun. For the first time, merchant ships from the Empire have been shown safe routes to Tenopec, a port city in their Kingdom. Their people provide exotic spices and crystals for the food, minerals, and objects of artifice that the Empire produces.
- Piracy and naval attacks on the western coast have begun to increase dramatically, but the Empire hasn’t been able to track down their base of operations.
- A troop of Forged were dispatched to the fringes of Tillianus in order to pacify the Shifter tribes, but they vanished.
- Adonia is invited to a private ceremony held by Dario Gilan, a local priest of Satet. Among other things, she learns that the Devotee Harshit Fordial spends about half the year in Nantyr (he is currently nearing the end of his typical stay), and they have noted a number of clandestine meetings both in and outside of the city. Some of the meetings were with Dragonborn in strange, foreign dress. They have also noted that Petros Denn, another Devotee, has been spending more time in the city than usual. Denn and Fordial often work together on public projects, and occasionally have secret meetings together, but Denn has also had people in his employ quietly following Harshit. About 2 weeks ago, Harshit met with a single Dragonborn in the poorer part of the city. After the meeting, a group they know to have been working for Petros jumped the Dragonborn and took him captive.
- Valentine has occasional dreams of a blighted forest at night. Animals and savage shifter tribes rut and kill in a wild frenzy. In the distance is an ancient hill, and the stones atop it are shuddering. The hill twists and rises to reveal a bear like beast of tremendous size. It claws the sky, tearing down the moon and stars, and devouring them. He awakes as the beast roars, blackness pouring from its mouth. He has a foul, gummy taste in his mouth, which reminds him of the flavor of Night Ivy.
- The goblin tribes have begun to migrate south, which has military strategists fearful that they are amassing under a new leadership in preparation for another cycle of war. The Erathin Counsel and Emperor Menes are debating whether to increase production of the Forged to support a push south into the desert, rather than waiting for the inevitable attacks from the savages.
- A team of Quiet Men in Tillith have gone off the radar.
- Oz’s brother sends a letter to him.
- Trade and cultural exchange with the Ngati Maru has revealed that they once lived on the plains of a temperate continent, but were driven to abandon their homes and seek to settle in islands because of the spread of the Drow, foul elves who corrupted the land as they conquered it. They fear that the pirates are scouting forces that seek the weaknesses they need to expand.
- The Dirigible company is doing well, as they are providing craft for both reconnaissance and battle.
- Nantyr is building a military school in Nantyr, with a focus on airship command.
- Word comes that one of the Quiet Men is being held in jail, awaiting transport to the capitol to confess selling out the Forged forces that vanished.
After completing the ship, the Quiet Men gather at the top of the Dirigible Company’s docking tower to meet the ship as it rises from the workshops in its first flight. As it approaches, white dragons sweep down from the clouds and attack. During the battle, Grouse is knocked from the tower and plummets to his death, and the Dragons seem to be on the verge of sending the others after him when Grouse begins to wake the others from sleep- it seems that some vestige of Sin’s psyche lashed out at them before being absorbed into their ship, The White Wyrm.