Monday, 16 September 2019

Frozen Skies: A Proposal

In what seems to now be part of an ongoing series, I now present the latest instalment in the Phantom Skyskip Saga. This week's entry is a communique from the commander of the Aero-Fleet's Alyeska Command to the High Lord of Alyeska, whom we covered last week. Here the Royal Aero-Fleet approaches the viceroy of Alyeska with a proposal regarding the mysterious airship.

Troop Carrier - Ian McQue
Your Grace,

I have the honour to refer to the so-called 'Phantom Skyship' that has been frequently sighted on the western fringes.

You have been forwarded the relevant reports concerning the matter, along with the conclusions of my staff. We strongly suspect that the aero-vessel belongs to a foreign power that is largely unknown to us, though further investigation is required to confirm this theory.

To this end I humbly submit a proposal to mount an expedition beyond the Mallett's Rift in order to determine the true origins of the craft in question. Such an expedition would require a sizeable amount of personnel and resources and potentially weaken our standing forces in Alyeska, but it is felt that the benefits would more than outweigh this cost.

An outpost would be required to be established in the Mallett's Rift region, a necessity to allow an expedition force to maintain contact with the civilised world. Even if the expedition proves to be fruitless, the outpost would allow us room for expansion and perhaps eve contain the Wulvers.

The area beyond the Mallett's Rift is largely uncharted, thus giving rise to the possibility of untapped resources that could be claimed by the Commonwealth. In conjunction with the aforementioned outpost, it could increase Alyeska's importance and make it extremely valuable in the Commonwealth's eyes.

Potential benefits aside, I must underline the danger that the unknown skyship poses to our position in Alyeska. If a foreign power is found to have established itself in the western reaches, our defences are extremely venerable if that power proves to be hostile. If anything, its important that we stake the flag in the west to show that the land belongs to us.

I have the honour to be,
Your Grace,
Your obedient servant,
Air Vice-Admiral,
Air Officer Commanding Alyeska Command,


T.D.H. Cunningham

Monday, 9 September 2019

The Man Who Would Be King

Already mentioned that part of the process of updating Frozen Skies to SWADE is making some changes and revisions to the setting, the intent to tighten up and make clearer the background lore. This has included giving the Commonwealth more of an Irish/Celtic feel by making some changes to how it is structured and providing Gaelic based names for different titles and organisations. This week we turn to Alyeska and a complete overhaul of the Lord-Governor.


Viktor Cathmore, Ard Tiarna of Alyeska


The biggest thing people will notice is that both the title and person holding it have been changed.

Ard Tiarna translates as 'high lord', in Frozen Skies it is a position held by a clsoe family member of the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth and is appointed to that role. The High Lord of Alyeska is effectively a viceroy, who runs the territory in the name of and as a representative of the Commonwealth monarch. As the monarch's representative, the High Lord performs the ceremonial and constitutional functions of a head of state and holds executive power over Alyeska's own parliament. The High Lord also serves as the commander-in-chief of Alyeska's armed forces, making the post as much a military appointment as a civil one.

The current High Lord of Alyeska is Viktor Cathmore, the uncle of the reigning Queen Lothwyn and was appointed to the position by her father during his own reign. The fact that the Queen lacks any siblings was a big influence in Viktor remaining in the role when Lothwyn ascended to the throne, thus giving raise to a situation where the de facto 'king' of Alyeska has ruled longer than the actual sovereign of the Commonwealth. The extra time Viktor has had in the role has allowed him to cement his position and many suspect that he will not easily step down if Lothwyn chooses to replace him.

As Lothwyn has yet to take a husband and bear any children, Viktor is currently the heir presumptive and stands to inherit the Commonwealth throne when Lothwyn passes unless she ends up having children. This potentially sets Viktor up as one of the most powerful men in the Commonwealth and somebody who has much to gain if anything...unfortunate happens to his niece.

Viktor is known to be a stern man and is widely suspected to have built up a circle of supporters in both Alyeska and the Home Isles. He is also a skilled fighter and practices with the blade daily.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Frozen Skies: A Classified Report

Last week's post of some in-setting fluff proved to be a big hit, so here is a sequel of a sorts. If this proves to be as popular I'll certainly see about doing some more along similar lines. There is potential to do newspaper articles, letters, extracts from books and other pieces.

So if you want to see more of this, then please let me and in particular the sort of stuff you want to see.






CLASSIFIED TOP SECRET

AIR MINISTRY EYES ONLY


RE: UNIDENTIFIED SKYSHIP

YOUR LORDSHIPS,

AS PER YOUR RECENT REQUEST I HAVE COMPILED TOGETHER THE VARIOUS REPORTS MADE OF AN UNIDENTIFIED SKYSHIP SIGHTED ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER OF ALYESKA IN RECENT MONTHS. I HAVE DRAWN UPON SOURCES RANGING FROM AERO-FLEET PERSONNEL THROUGH TO CIVILIAN FRONTIERSMEN, MAKING NOTE OF THE DETAILS THEY HAVE ALL PROVIDED IN ORDER TO WRITE MY REPORT ON THE MATTER.

I HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED IN POSITIVELY IDENTIFYING THE ORIGINS OF THE MYSTERIOUS SKYSHIP. INSTEAD I HAVE THREE THEORIES, THOUGH I FEAR THEY WILL RAISE MORE QUESTIONS THAN PROVIDE ANY ANSWERS. EACH THEORY HAS ITS PROS AND CONS THAT I SHALL ENDEAVOUR TO COVER, THOUGH I MUST STRESS THEY ARE ONLY THEORIES.

1. THE PREVAILING THEORY IS THAT THE CRAFT IS ANCIENT TERRAN IN ORIGIN, SOMETHING THAT WOULD ACCOUNT FOR ITS DESIGN. THOUGH MOST ANCIENT AERO-CRAFT ENCOUNTERED TO DATE HAVE BEEN HALF-BURIED, RUSTY HULKS THAT WOULD REQUIRE CONSIDERABLE RESOURCES TO MAKE AIRWORTHY. EVEN IF SUCH A FEAT WAS ACHIEVED, OUR KNOWLEDGE OF ANCIENT TECHNOLOGY IS STILL PITIFUL AND I DOUBT SUCH A CRAFT COULD BE MADE OPERATIONAL WITH OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING.

FURTHER MORE, DESCRIPTION OF THE CRAFT DOES NOT SUGGEST SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN SALVAGED AND PATCHED TOGETHER. THE CONDITION REPORTED APPEARS THE CRAFT IS A MUCH MORE RECENT BUILD, SO THIS IS A THEORY THAT I WOULD DISCOUNT.

2. THE IRON COLLECTIVE IS A STRONG CANDIDATE, THOUGH DUE TO ITS ISOLATIONIST NATURE WE ONLY HEAR RUMOURS OF ITS MILITARY AND TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITIES. THUS DUE TO OUR LIMITED KNOWLEDGE AND INTELLIGENCE, IT IS ENTIRELY PLAUSIBLE THAT THE COLLECTIVE HAS MANAGED TO DESIGN AND BUILD NEW DESIGNS OF AERO-VESSELS WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE.

WHERE THIS THEORY FALLS DOWN IS THAT AT THE END OF THE LAST WAR, WITH THE SKYWRIGHTS GUILD'S BLESSING, THE RAF LAUNCHED STRIKES AGAINST SKYSHIP FACILITIES WITHIN THE THEN FLEDGING COLLECTIVE. INTELLIGENCE REPORTS AT THE TIME ESTIMATED 5 TO 10 YEARS BEFORE THE COLLECTIVE'S FACILITIES TO MAINTAIN AND CONSTRUCT NEW SKYSHIPS WERE FULLY RESTORED. BASED ON CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES, IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE COLLECTIVE WOULD NOT INTRODUCE NEW DESIGNS FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS.

IF THE COLLECTIVE HAS MANAGED TO NOT ONLY MAKE FULLY OPERATIONAL ITS SKYSHIP FACILITIES BUT CONSTRUCT AND COMMISSION NEW DESIGNS, IT SHOWS THAT WE HAVE SEVERELY UNDERESTIMATED THE CAPABILITIES OF THAT STATE.

ADDITIONALLY, IF IRON COLLECTIVE VESSELS ARE NOW ROAMING THE WESTERN REACHES OF ALYESKA IT SHOWS THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO DANGEROUSLY OUTFLANK US. IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS FEAR WE HAVE TO PRESUME THAT THE COLLECTIVE HAS MANAGED TO NAVIGATE THE POLAR REGIONS, THUS GIVING THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO STRIKE AT THE TRADITIONALLY UNDER-DEFENDED NORTHERN AND WESTERN REGIONS OF THE HOME ISLES. THIS PROSPECT ALONE SHOULD BE THE RAF'S PRIMARY CONCERN GOING FORWARDS REGARDLESS OF OTHER FACTORS.

3. THE FINAL THEORY IS THAT AN UNKNOWN POWER FAR TO THE WEST OF ALYESKA HAS STARTED EXPANDING EASTWARD.

THIS THEORY HAS SOME CREDENCE AS ANOTHER EMPIRE IS BELIEVE TO EXIST BEYOND THE EASTERN FRONTIERS OF WHAT IS NOW THE IRON COLLECTIVE. BEFORE THE WAR THERE WERE REPORTS OF PERSONS WHO CLAIMED TO BE FROM THE DISTANT EAST AND SPOKE OF A VAST EMPIRE. OTHER DETAILS ARE SOMEWHAT SCARCE, THUS LEAVING US TO ONLY GUESS AT THIS UNKNOWN EMPIRE'S TECHNOLOGICAL PROWESS AND CAPABILITIES.

I CONSIDER THIS THEORY TO BE THE MOST LIKEST OF THE THREE, THOUGH IT IS HEAVILY RELIANT ON THE UNKNOWN. AS HIGHLIGHTED ABOVE, THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT SUGGESTS THAT SUCH AN EMPIRE EXIST BUT IT IS IN PART OF A WORLD THAT WE KNOW SO LITTLE ABOUT. LIKEWISE, THAT IS STILL SO MUCH OF ALYESKA BEYOND THE WULFLANDS THAT REMAIN UNEXPLORED.

IN CONCLUSION

AS STATED, THESE ARE JUST THEORIES AND ONLY OFFER POSSIBLE ANSWERS RATHER THAN ANYTHING CONCRETE. THOUGH IT IS UP TO THE AIR MINISTRY AS TO THE COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE, IT IS MY STRONG RECOMMENDATION THAT AN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IS DESPATCHED BEYOND THE MALLETT'S RIFT REGION WITH THE VIEW OF ESTABLISHING AN OUTPOST IN THAT AREA. SUCH AN OUTPOST WOULD ALLOW US TO HAVE A PRESENCE IN THE AREA IN QUESTION, INCREASE OUR CHANCES OF INTERCEPTION THE MYSTERIOUS SKYSHIP AND POSSIBLY EVEN AID WITH THE RECLAMATION OF THE WULFLANDS.


SQN LDR F. SCANLAN
R.A.F. INTELLIGENCE