“Darling, have you heard the buzz about the Tempest Wall?”, says a nice enough woman from behind a newspaper.
“Yes, yes, it’s all anyone is talking about. It won’t come to pass, of course, one simply can’t go beyond the Wall. Fact of life, law of nature, that sort of thing.”, her partner replies.
She lights a pipe and snatched up the newspaper playfully.
Obviously crestfallen, the nice enough woman continues, “Of course. But it is a lovely idea, don’t you agree? Three fleets ejecting their most brutal weapons of war into the eternal storm, all in the hopes that three— what are they calling them?
“Isleships”, a chuckle, “Tiny islands rigged with engines and unsavoury magic to let them chug along like a clumsy galleon.”
“That’s right. Isleships. Then when a break in the Tempest Wall is made three isleships of three separate nations working in unison sail off to an unknown sky. Ever so romantic.”
“Perhaps dear, perhaps. But it’s simply impossible, they’re doomed to fail.”
“We’re doomed!”, Quartermaster Adair hollers as he grips the wheel of Aurlancea, the ceiling of the bridge tearing off a moment after.
Even so he’s grinning as he banks an entire island away from Pang’s Wish, which has risen to avoid some danger.
Lightning rips and forks but will never strike, for there is no ground here, only bruised black clouds and bullet fast rock the size of fists. If he lives that long, Kani is going to reveal in being the old man that says, “You’ve not experienced a storm ‘til it's been all around you with no way to go but through!”
Kani is a lookout on Maykupuni, but right now he’s hiding below, and no one will hold that against him. Not as one of their own galleons is torn from its chains and blown to shrapnel in seconds against the storm.
Luckily for you, some enterprising logistics officer from Nijico got every crewman, mercenary and scholar aboard the isleships ear-muffs to drown out the thunder. Unfortunately you still feel like your soul is being vibrated out of your body by the incessant roll of angry clouds. No matter who you are, you’re being thrown about, suffering madalies you never knew existed, and overall you feel one thing: Doomed
But time passes, and you arrive. Shaken yet renewed, baptised by the Tempest Wall herself, each pioneer tentatively looks over the damage to the three isleships, this new Steading, and is awestruck by a new sky full of untamed islands that lies beyond it.
None know who coined it, and it’s the first argument of many around the Steading, but before you by dawn’s golden light is the Storm March. No one’s islands, a free sky, a new world, yours for the taking.
Far from you courageous explorers and storied exiles, a nice enough woman looks out from her balcony, and sighs.