Prelude to Chapter 1 - Sora niThe Miasma
Earth is a wasteland. In a terrible accident that was meant to save a planet almost totally consumed by pollution and civilization, humankind creates the Miasma, a lethal cloud of poison. It spread slowly, rendering the once lush and verdant environment uninhabitable. Not even the greatest minds could find a solution, and the miasma was slowly killing everything. Mankind had created a fate they could neither withstand nor escape.
Save for one direction.
Those civilizations not yet consumed began desperately constructing airships. Several actually reached the layers of oxygen that had been forced up by the heavier, denser cloud, only to eventually descend into the poison from lack of fuel or food.
In the end, it was the miasma that provided the answer. Desperate to find an escape, it was discovered, quite accidentally, that the miasma could be used as an extremely efficient fuel source. However, the discovery was made at the brink of human extinction. A bare six ships were manufactured and sent aloft as the last civilization slipped under the poison’s shadow. Now these ships carry the last vestiges of the race of humans.
Aboard the Valhalla, Eden, Elysium, Nirvana, Atlantis, and Olympus, the survivors now rely on the Miasma for power. Food can be produced by similarly powered technology, and researchers still struggle to find some way of neutralizing the menace below.
They were not expecting the menace from above.
Massive, serpentine creatures mysteriously held aloft by no visible means bore down on the ships without mercy. Conventional weapons proved ineffective, as did any attempt to communicate. Escape was the only alternative in the face of what are now known as "Tods", or "Toddies". In German, this means simply "death".
For years survival meant running from the Tods and collecting the Miasma-- a highly dangerous process in itself. Communication was sparsely maintained between all ships save for one.
The clandestine nature of the Olympus drew the attention of many, and it was speculated that there were strange experiments being conducted aboard. It wasn’t until the Eden intercepted one of its small emergency ships that the secret was discovered. Inside, three pairs of man-made wings were found. Their use remained a mystery as the Olympus mysteriously disappeared soon after. It was assumed to be lost to the miasma, and with it all records of the strange devices.
As time passed trial and error revealed the wings’ true purpose. They were more than a means to travel. They were, in themselves, a weapon to combat the Tods. Where conventional means had failed, the agility and lethality of the wings proved quite effective. It was soon determined that the smaller, lighter female frame could use the wings to the fullest, deadliest potential. The women who bore the wings learned to become soldiers. People have come to call them "The Seraphic".
The airship Elysium resides at what has been, of late, the front line in the proclaimed war against the Tods. Military, a few scattered scientists, and the three current Seraphic were the main residence of the airship, up until about two months ago, when a terrible miscalculation brought the airship Atlantis to ruin. Atlantis was a ship mainly comprised of civilians, and in the few crucial remaining moments of the airships’ flight ability, the entire community took refuge in Elysium, which was the nearest ship at the time. Since then about half that number has drifted off to other ships, easing the crowded state, though several clusters of civilians have chosen to stay aboard by finding ways to be useful.
It is now the beginning of the third season, roughly three generations since the airships arose. The appearances of the Toddies have become more and more frequent, and more and more chaotic.
As always, the Seraphic are there to meet them.