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Landfall, a Nation's Hope

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Tazarek was a crowded city, even by dwarven standards. Everyday there seemed to be more and more dwarves, migrating from all over the world. Many of them, an alarming amount actually, were orphans, their parents and families killed by bandits or monsters or some other hazard before they came here. 

This world is truly cruel for ripping apart so many families. 

Fortunately for them, Tazarek was always hungry for able bodies willing to risk life and limb for her advancement. From the drakkon menace in our tunnels, to the orcish hordes that roam topside. The world has no end of challenges for the dwarves of Tazarek to overcome. Even with all that would see us destroyed though, there seemed to be more dwarves in the halls than the day before. It was like they were just popping out of the ground or something.

So it was decided that Tazarek would expand, and to do so meant a bloody offensive against their foes the Drakkons.  At first they had been able to add another level or two to the city, but the growing population required even more space. While their brethren expanded underground, the land above was claimed in the name of the burgeoning kingdom. Fierce opposition from the orc natives meant more bloodshed, but Tazarek was ready to answer it with valor and firepower. Now there was a second city in the works, but still the population continued to rise in numbers.

In order to avert disaster, it was decided that a colonial expedition was required. An airship was built, dubbed Thundermar's Blessing, and sent off to find a new land for its passengers to settle. It was a merchant class vessel, holding a thousand souls, with a small retinue of personal airships to help protect her. If it found new land, then the dwarves would immediately begin sending more and more people to help settle it. The hope of a nation raided upon the decks of this well built craft.

Acting as captain was Commander Drenchbeard, an ambitious dwarf yet untested in his bid for glory. There was not yet an official navy of the dwarves, as all the airships Tazarek held were used more as a merchant fleet, since keeping Tazarek's coffers full was a challenged deepened with every new mouth that arrived. Many of the merchant class vessels were outfitted as airborne caravans, whereas Thundermar's Blessing was built for war.

Metal plating gave an extra layer of protection to the hull should the shield generator fail. Eight runic canons were outfitted upon the ship, three on each side with one at the prow and back. Mithril lined canvas protected the balloon from any attempts to rupture them, the sides painted in the multicolored flag of the dwarves, the top black, the bottom white and six stripes of green, red, blue, purple, orange and yellow form diagonal stripes separating the opposing colors.

They had been sailing the skies for days on end now, unsure is they were going the right direction. Navigation instruments told them they were close, but land was not within sight just yet. Rumor had it that this land, known as Alterion, was as dangerous as it was strange. It made no difference how large the challenge was to the dwarves, they would overcome it just like the rest of the challenges they had faced.

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