February 19th 1869, Richmond Dry-docks, Jonathan Rogers and Robert Brown have just fitted their airship with a new experimental technology, they both ascend the ship for the routine test run like no other...
Jon: "Are we ready to go yet? It's getting late!"
Rob: "Late?! It's just gone lunchtime!"
Jon: "Which means it's almost time for dinner! Let's go"
Rob: "Fine, hand me that cable..."
Jon: "Here, I'll go fire up the engine..."
*Jon leaps down from the canopied seat and picks up a shovel as he goes below decks to the living quarters and engine room of the ship*
Rob: "Ready! We're taking off!"
*Jon re-enters the cockpit and takes a seat on the worn bench beside the captains wheel*
Jon: "Remember to stick to the course, we don't want what happened last time... remember?"
Rob: "Alright, alright... In my defense, I never saw that damned East-India ship with all your blasted maps covering the portholes."
*After a half hour of flying it begins to rain, lightly at first but it quickly drew force, Jonathan decided to throw the rain covers over the deck and lock the outer trapdoor before leaving to check the ship's newest addition... It's a device, about a metre tall and two meters wide. Covered with gold, silver and brass pistons interlocking like parts of a human body, it fitted snugly behind the staircase outside of his quarters, behind it lay many cables and metal braces to hold it safely in position*
*Suddenly, the ship shook violently, twice to the left and once to the right with the final jolt, Jon dashed up the staircase to join Robert, fighting with the wheel to stay in a straight line in the air*
Rob: "Lightning! We've just landed slap-bang in the middle of a blasted lighting storm!"
Jon: "We can't do much about it, try and keep true, the clouds will end at some point..."
*With a second series of bone shaking jolts a deafening bang was heard from below decks*
Jon: "Keep it up, I'll check..."
*Below deck, Jonathan found the golden device was loose from the wall, it had broken free and slammed into his quarters, denting the door and chipping the blue paint off the wall... the golden device was not dormant however, the lightning storm had given it life, the pistons were spasmodically twisting, spinning, bobbing... from the base of the device sparks appeared, great green sparks that made the darkened deck look like some vibrant dream of luscious green forests with sunshine dotted everywhere the eye could see. Then it all stopped*
*But not just the device*
*The oil lamps on the wall went out simultaneously*
*The storm had also abruptly halted*
*All was silent, save for Robert's curious laughter from above deck...*
Rob: "Jon! Get up here!"
*Jon ascended the stairs once more and found, to his amazement, the sky was clear and blue and the air was still... The ground below them looked greener, he wasn't sure if he preferred it that way but he was happy to be out of the storm, he turned back to his friend but Robert was no longer smiling, he looked solemn and betrayed*
*Jon approached him and he pointed to a small dial on the ship, the hydrogen tank was punctured early on in the storm but he hadn't noticed due to the strong winds keeping them afloat*
*At first, the sinking feeling was barely noticeable, Jonathan merely thought it was sadness or panic, but they were actually sinking, the airship was going down... faster and faster and faster until, if they had not been holding on, their boots would separate from the deck*
*Quickly thinking, Jonathan pulled out a pocket knife and focused on a rope tied to the opposite end of the deck, with all his might, he threw it and it cut the line holding down the wind sails, they slowed down quicker than he expected...*
Rob: "We're still going down too fast, it looks like we're in the middle of nowhere and the ship will be shattered when it hits earth!"
Jon: "At least we aren't going to die... ...probably... ...maybe..."
*They didn't die... but the ship might of well had, it looked battered, like the ship in the bottle was used as a bottle for a bar room brawl, when they finally hit the ground the sails floated down and the ship let out a moan of anguish as it was not flyable for the foreseeable future. Jonathan and Robert had provisions to last them but no way of knowing where they were, where any sign of life was or how to choose where to set off too... then they appeared... then the knights appeared*
Knight: "Not again.."
Jon: "What do you mean "again"?"
Knight: "There was another vessel that has crashed not so long ago..."
Rob: "How many crashed airships do you get in these parts... ...where are these parts anyway?"
Knight: "You're in Morcia, just on the offskirts of Aldendan."
Rob: "Come again...? We can't be in Mercia! I's too far south! We were going north!"
Knight: "It's pronounced Morcia."
Jon: "I'm afraid I've never heard of Morcia... ...is it in Scotland?"
Knight: "Scotland? Never heard of it."
Rob: "He can't be Scottish, look at that puny excuse for a beard!"
Jon: "Oi! Shh!"
Rob: "What I mean to say is, where in hell are we? We came up from Richmond heading North-by-North-East"
Knight: "You're in the Kingdom of Morcia, in the land of Ashlar... Like I said, we're near the capitol, Aldendan."
Jon: "We must have gone about... say 60 miles... that would make us somewhere near Birmingham... Not in an 'Olderndan'"
Knight: "Olderndan? What did you just call Aldendan?"
*Knight gets his sword out, and puts it to Jon's neck*
Rob: "Why are you wearing those weird tunics? It's 1869 for gods' sakes!"
Knight: "You're currently in 1334, actually."
Jon: "By which calender?"
Knight: "The Orlan Calendar, the one everyone uses."
Rob: "Uurm, Jon? I don't think we're in Britannia any more..."
Knight: "So you must be some "later days" folk like the last man who came from the sky..."
Jon: "What was this guy's name?"
Knight: "Clone Gunner Commander Jedi, you have strange names in those "later days"...
Jon: "That doesn't sound like a name... It sounds like his job title..."
Rob: "He must be German"
Knight "You also have funny clothes..."
Jon: "Would you have any of your clothes to spare?"
Knight: "Well, not with me currently, but we can get some..."
Rob: "Are you kidding? I'm not dressing up like those loonies! If it's all the same, I'd prefer to keep my dignity. Besides, this was made in England!"
Jon: "Suit yourself, let's go..."
Jon: "I think I read about this in a history book somewhere, the 14th century... so your king must be...Edward third, right?"
Knight: "What? No! It's King William..."
Jon: "But.. the history books! It's pretty hard to make up history..."
Knight: "Do me a favour and fix the books of your times."
Jon: "Yes, I'll be sure to write a proper account of things here before leaving..."
Knight: "Well, anyways, if you're coming from the "later days" you probably want elven clothes, that's a souvenir."
Jon: "Ooh! This is nice!"
*He picks up a green hunting coat with golden buttons and brown leather straps*
Jon: "'14 Golden Crownes'... How much is that in pounds?"
Knight: "How should I know how much it weighs?"
Rob: "No, not pounds the weight, pounds the currency!"
Knight: "We don't have those..."
Rob: "Just use some of your pounds anyways, Jon. It would probably be worth a ton these days..."
*Jon shows knight a Victorian crown, he inspects the queens head with a look of confusion...*
Knight: "Who's that? Your mother?"
Rob: "I wish... Queen Victoria, she owns the entire Empire, East India company and pays for all the airships... like the one we crashed..."
Knight: "Ah. But yeah, just use that."
Jon: "It's probably worth enough, right?"
Rob: "Probably. This blazer I'm wearing now cost about the same"
*Jon hands the shopkeeper a pound for the elven garments before glancing at a chain mail tunic like knights and adds it and another pound*
Jon: "Might come in handy"
Shopkeeper: "Wait! This elven cloak comes with a bow..."
*Jon goes in the changing room and puts on the outfit.* Rob: "You look ridiculous"
Knight: "You look quite sophisticated... ...except you don't have a beard..."
Jon: "I shave!"
Knight: "Why bother?"
Robert: "Never mind, let's go talk to somebody who can fix our ship!"
Knight: "Well, I suggest you go to the blacksmith shop."
Jon: "Do you have any you'd recommend?"
Knight: "Well, there's Brom 'round the corner, he's great at his job..."
Rob: "Great. Let's go see... ...Brom... ...seriously? How do you come up with these names?"
Knight: "Better than your names... You must be lazy in the future after what I heard the names sound like... You must be called 'Barge Eater Man', or something!"
Rob: "My name is Robert"
Jon: "I'm Jonathan"
Knight "Is Robert the new word for runt?"
Rob: "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that..."
Jon: "What about you? What's your name?"
Knight: "I go by Sir Knight."
Jon: "What's your first name?"
Knight: "I prefer not to use it..."
Rob: "Pfft, you probably just got drunk off his head and forgot it all!"
Jon: "Shut up!"
Jon: "Is there somewhere we can meet you later? We'll meet this blacksmith then find you after"
Knight: "You can meet me at the Flaming Griffon, which is over there."
Jon: "Certainly! We'll see you there at sundown. Thanks, Knight."
*They approach the blacksmith, Brom stands outside*
Jon: "Are you Brom?"
Brom: "Yes! How may I help you?"
Rob: "Well, we have this machine... It was badly broken just outside of this city. We could take you to it and you could tell us if you could fix it..."
Jon: "Could you?"
Brom: "Well, let's just see the machine first."
Jon: "Come, follow us..."
*After about ten minutes walking they reach the wreckage of Ophelia.*
Brom: "What is a boat doing in the middle of the land?"
Jon: "It's an airship, actually."
Brom: "Ah. Did you get this from the dwarves? It looks like our work..."
Jon: "With what I learned in the events leading up to this today, I'm going to say it's possible we got this from the dwarves..."
Rob: "Loooong time ago."
Brom: "I don't quite understand..."
Rob: "We're from half a dozen hundreds of years in the future, it's a whole, long confusing story which I couldn't possibly recall... ...even if I wanted to..."
Jon: "Well, what do you think? Is there anything you can do?"
Brom: "Yes, but it will take a few days..."
Jon: "Can we trust you to look after it? There are a few personal belongings in there, but not many. It's mainly for testing purposes, really."
Brom: "Yes, maybe, unless you're trolls in disguise! You rotten creatures, why do you have to steal all this machinery from us?!"
Rob: "I'm assuming there are trolls somewhere around here... I don't really care, it can't get much more strange than it already is..."
Jon: "I think so too... But we're not trolls, look at us! We're humans and the technology was designed by your dwarves, but made by us."
Brom: "I'll fix it, but if you are--or are working for--trolls, I'll crush the living pulp out of you!"
Jon: "I wouldn't blame you. I'll check up on you tomorrow morning; I've got a meeting with a knight."
*They travel to the Flaming Griffon, where they meet Knight at the first floor, drinking.*
Knight: "Hello, my friends!"
*The two sit next to him.*
Knight: "Now, I haven't paid a room for the two of you yet..."
Jon: "How come?"
Knight: "I wasn't sure whether you would like separate rooms or not."
Rob: "Why the hell would we not want them separate?!?"
Knight: "Well, the days of later, as I have learnt from experience, is backwards..."
Jon: "We'd like them separate, thanks."
Knight: "Alright, then."
*He turns to the bartender.*
Knight: "Two rooms for a night, please."
*He hands him a bag of coins.*
Bartender: "Thanks. Before I go get the keys, is there anything else you'll need?"
Jon: "Well, I guess I'll have some beer. How about you, Rob?"
Rob: "If it will help this go by faster..."
*Knight gives him more coins.*
Bartender: "That'll be right up soon!"
*He comes back with the keys and the drinks.*
*Knight raises his mug.*
*They all bump their cups.*
*After a night of drinking, Jonathan goes to his room for sleep.*
Rob: "Damn, that was a pretty good night, actually."
Jon: "Yeah, but it's time for me to rest... I'll go see Brom in the morning."
*Jon goes in his room and gets in bed.*
*When the sun rises, he rides to where his ship has landed.*
Jon: "How's the ship looking?"
Brom: "Well, I fixed most of the impact damage, but there's still an issue."
Jon: "What is it?"
Brom: "The engine's jammed, which is what I believe caused your fall."
Jon: "Crap! Are you going to be able to un-jam it?"
Brom: "No. I've shipped in some replacement parts from my boys at Orkosan. You'll have to pay for them, though..."
Jon: "Well, thanks for telling me. I'll be off now."
*He rides back to the Flaming Griffon.*
Knight: "Good morning, Jonathan!"
Jon: "Good morning to you as well..."
*He sits next to Knight.*
Jon: "Would you mind if I ask you questions about Morcia?"
Jon: "Thanks. I need to make notes of this wonderful land..."
Jon: "Anyways, you said Morcia was a kingdom in somewhere... What's it called again?"
*He writes it in his notes.*
Jon: "What other kingdoms are there in Ashlar?"
Knight: "There's the Dwarven City of Orkosan..."
Jon: "Is their kingdom only a city?"
Knight: "Yeah. There's a few smaller settlements around their mountain, though."
Jon: "Interesting... What are some other kingdoms?"
Knight: "There's the Badlands, ruled by the evil wizard Mallock."
Jon: "Sounds terrible."
Knight: "Yes, we're currently in a war against him and his undead army..."
Jon: "Anyways, go on.."
Knight: "There's the Troll Kingdom of Mount Drake."
Jon: "They're enemies to Morcia and Orkosan, right? Brom was telling me about them."
Knight: "Yeah. They're also allies to Mallock."
Jon: "Where else is there?"
Knight: "There's the unsettled mystic holy lands of the Moorlands, the fallen Kingdom of Ankoria, and.."
Jon: "...and what?"
Knight: "The Great Forests of the Elflands."
Knight: "They are splendid people and are ruled by the magnificent Queen Ophelia."
Jon: "That's a beautiful name."
Knight: "Aye, it is.."
Jon: "In fact, my ship has not been named yet... I think I'll name it that, the Ophelia."
Knight: "Good choice."
*Rob enters the room.*
Rob: "Ugh, I feel sick."
Jon: "Too much beer?"
Rob: "Yeah, probably.."
*He takes a seat.*
Rob: "Is the ship fixed yet? I want to go home.."
Jon: "Brom's supposed to send in replacement parts. They could be there by now. Let's check."
*The three ride off.*
*Once there, they notice a group of dwarves carrying motor parts to the Ophelia.*
Jon: "Is it going to be fixed soon?"
Brom: "Yeah. You can wait here now."
Jon: "Well, I guess this is goodbye, Sir Knight."
Knight: "Yeah... Will you be able to return?"
Jon: "Hopefully. Only if I figure out how to control the Ophelia..."
Knight: "Well, I guess this is goodbye, then."
Rob: "Yes. GOODBYE."
*The dwarves finish installing the replacement parts.*
Brom: "It's ready for you now."
*Jon waves to Knight before he boars the ship.*
*Knight waves back.*
*The Ophelia flies away and disappears.*
Knight: "I hope we meet again, my good friend..."