Captain Mad hated days like this. Despite his ships special nature he'd been forced into combat against a larger ship and lost nearly half his crew, including his XO. Kettle Journeyman lay far below him somewhere on the surface now. His chief engineer had been severely wounded by shrapnel from a long gun shot that had blown open the port side of the Hunter leaving Coble with an arm that would be useless for months, most of his crew skilled enough to use etheric sails had been killed or gone overboard, and he'd lost more than half his cannon crews. The dive into the mist from the mesosphere to escape had fractured his core lift crystal and pulling out of it had destroyed a third of Hunter's trim crystals. It had drained most of the ship accounts from ten years of successful privatering to manage the repairs and pay out his standard set of death benefits to the twenty families of his lost crewmen. He'd even managed to add a bit to XO Journeyman's family although as his liaison to them the Spire's fleet had already done so. Now he just needed to find a crew. While easily recognizable to those who knew him by his moderate stature, heavy build, short cropped black hair and his yellow cat eyes Madison Lyon Byrne was not a notable figure in the spire and most of his ships new recruits came from the fleet. Few people were willing to work under a warrior born like him due to a belief his increased abilities inclined him to a hot head and taste for violence. Being dubbed Mad Lion by the fleet for his often risky maneuvers and a play on his name didn't help. and so he was left sitting near the top of Spire Albion in the Habble Morning marketplace watching as a group of recruits for both the fleet and civic guard did their morning run and praying the latest batch of prospective crewmembers would be better than the last and at least show up on time. He flexed one hand worn to tough leather by the constant sun and exposure to the ether currents that were an aeronauts home adjusted his hand checking the reassuring weight of the weapons crystal in his palm. Not for the first time he regretted that without a crew he couldn't get the Hunter back into the air where it belonged and get himself out of the claustrophobia inducing confines of the spires. --------------------------------------------------- Welcome to the world of Carna, The people dwell in massive spires that are round from top to bottom created by the mysterious builders from nearly indestructible spirestone. Each spire is separated into communities called habbles that occupy a single 20ft tall floor and are squares placed inside the ring of the spire with the necessary support systems- sewage, cistern's and ventilation placed in the open spaces around the edges. The surface of carna is covered in dense forest and mist filled with dangerous creatures and is often considered a hell for most people. The few souls brave enough to venture unto the surface do so only in short trips long enough to fell a few trees and collect the valuable ethersilk used to make ship sails and protective clothing. Technology is based around the use of valuable crystals grown in enormous vats left by the builders. while simple crystals like those used for illumination can be produced in a few years more complex ones like those used to power and raise airships can take centuries to mature into readiness, even the volatile crystals used for weapons that respond to the users mind take as little as a decade to produce. While infrequent war between the 7 spires is not uncommon and every spire maintains a standing fleet in addition to employing a number of personal vessels as privateers offering a bounty for each head on a ship they bring down. The crystals used to power things gain their fuel from the ether- mysterious currents that move around the world, while many ships use steam engines or the new corkscrew propellers to move all of them have a set of ether silk sails that allow them to catch the currents. Do the the ethers influence on the sky it's rare to find an aeronaut without his goggles as the ether can cause the eyes to play tricks it comes into contact with and makes any source of light seem far brighter. Similarly all forms of metal are covered in bronze due to the rapid corrosion the ether causes in harder metals such as iron and steel. Cat's are a common resident of nearly all habbles preferring to hide away from humans but occasionally making agreements with houses or shop keepers for food in exchange for keeping away unwanted pest. While capable of understanding human speech it is uncommon to find a person fluent in the cats language though some can understand it without being able to speak. Whatever the relationship with a cat though they are slow to give their loyalty and can be violently and viciously protective of their people- and who doesn't want a arrogant and violent 50lb friend? So there you have it folks- jump right in as you want or feel free to poke me here or elsewhere if you have questions.