Welcome to Galeblazers
The days are getting shorter and the gales are getting colder.
A dark misty eye greets you every morning from the southern horizon. It looms above the rime-encrusted crater of the Abyss. Beneath your feet, the land rumbles shakily atop a sea of clouds. If ever there were continents on Gahla's surface, you've never seen them. Only miles and miles of frothing seas, and the smoking scars of a shattered planet. The hungering call of the abyss draws the ayrlands ever southwards. There, at the farthest pole, a bottomless glacial pit spins an eternal storm whose gales are felt throughout the skies. Now, up here, an inexorable current of ash-black wind pulls this cursed clod of dirt closer to that maelstrom every year. In less than a decade, the ayrland you’ve called home will complete its final orbit. Then it, and everything on it, will finally sink into the black. That's if it doesn't freeze first. The gran'vultures circling above know it. So do the Skywolves - that cartel of unscrupulous corsayrs who prey on the desperate folk willing to pay or risk anything for a lifeline.
Any way off.
You can't go home again, but you can't stay here.
You'd made your home on an ayrland, a rugged heap of earth kept aloft by a brittle under-crust of steamy coral reefs. Their scalding, hissing, huffing vents exhale the spent life force of the myriad ecosystems above, and propel them up above the clouds. Precariously they float, up and out of the colossal swampy jungle that encircles the planet below the Kalyptian Discs. Once, perhaps, your ayrland was tethered to an anchorspire, a rare and coveted pillar of rock that stood tall and proud above the Saltsea. A massive meteorite-forged chain held your home steady and level, in the face of Gahla's ceaseless winds and waves. But all things wither and erode in time, and not even the lushest ayrland, nor the strongest spire, can resist the force of the abyssal gales forever. Most ayrlands don't last half a century before their tightening orbits finally bring them into the storm where all things end. Eventually, everything falls: the castles and the orphanages, the ports and the walls, the churches and the theaters, the prisons and the schools, the factories and the farms. It all goes drifting into to that icy chasm.
The Northward March is eternal, for the Abyss swallows everything.
Even a gahl's memories.
They said there would be a plan.
The Prospero Consortium and the trade houses of the Guildersligue said a new home would materialize from that shimmering wall of mist to the north. They flew daring pioneers out to the edges of the Kalyptian jungle to tame and chart the virgin ayrlands. But when new lands emerged from the Veil, they were too small, and too weak to hold up all the trappings and burdens of an ever-growing nation. Others got to them first, and soon they too began to sag under the weight. The Federation's ministers and assessors swore the chains would hold for a few more years, and the repairs were delayed. The noble spirelords promised relief vessels would come and airlift the citizens to a new home. No ships ever came for you. Even those that made it on a ship would be met with a bloody reception by the honorsworn soldiers of the Karathi drakkengard, reluctant to let outsiders desecrate the lands of their reptilian masters. As things got bleaker, the folk prayed that the Sayr'Rahan crane monks would descend from the the Loftwinds to bring mercy and salvation, but when the White Wings finally arrived, there just weren't enough. Not enough food. Not enough ships. And never enough time.
Choices had to be made.
Still, there is always hope.
Even at the rim of the Abyss, people sing and dance, and build, and plan. The Widow's Guild cares for the orphans of Gahla's fallen nations as children play hide-and-seek in the graves of civilizations. The Veteran's Union keeps people fed and drives back the ghasts that rise up from the deepshards, while the dauntless Mor'Rahan kiterayders patrol the coast on the lookout for deepsea leviathans. The Bannerless King plots revenge against the Federation, while the Crooked Queen oversees the salvage yards in the outlaw city of Brokenbow, where the Roseblade Syndicate lashes together skyrafts from the passing debris. Folks work, build, and scavenge what they can. And among the driftwood and the dregs, new heroes rise from the ashes.
Wild-eyed ayronauts and skyfarers begin to ask questions.
"Why were we the ones left behind?"
"Whence comes the Abyss?"
"What lies beyond that misty Veil?"
A ship is leaving soon...
There’s room aboard for a few more brave travelers, if you aren’t afraid of a little danger. But the trip back to the Clearsky won't be easy. Neither will running the Federation's blockade, or finding a place to call home after you do. The spirelords manage their duchies with meticulous rigor, and take only those who are willing to work at their pleasure. And as far as the law-abiding citizens of the Clear are concerned, why should they have to make room?
Maybe there's a good reason you were left adrift.
Can you even prove you're who you say you are? Where is your Mintmark? Why do you arrive in a clean city, clad in dirty rags, stinking of ash, begging for a handout, not knowing the customs? Aren't you just another deadweight? Another sinker? Another lazy mouth to feed?
Will you let fear and prejudice dictate your fate? Or will you blaze your own trail, and find a better way to survive on this broken world? Freedom awaits, somewhere beyond the horizon. Beyond the chains that hold the Federation together there’s an open sky waiting to be tamed. If you want to make it out, you'll have to be clever, bold, and relentless. You'll need to be ready to get knocked down, quick to get back up, and quicker to strike back.