"Unbroken Skies" takes place on Caelum, a world consumed by sky. The people make their homes on rock formations suspended above the dark cloud layer known as the Null. The cities are divided into three nations: Heimdurn, Ban Altia, and the Paragon Confederacy. At the edge of their realm floats the Drift, a shifting and storm-wracked belt of stones inhabited by strange creatures. The Drift marks the edge of the known world. Beyond that is open sky and myth.
Heimdurn has existed for hundreds of years, and its people take great pride in their long history. Their technological advances, like the armored airships called zeps, bound the world together by making long distance travel easier and safer. They forged the first real nation and turned hundreds of independent villages into a united people. But all greatness fades, and the Heimdurn Empire has been in decline for decades. The rule of Leopold III, whom many call “the Mad,” only hastened the deterioration and started the Horizon War. Five years after the Treaty of Nabrunay, the Heimdurins are still working to recover. Despite these hardships, the Heimdurins remain a proud and resolute people. Their new alliance with the Paragon Confederacy may be the first step in a return to greatness.
The Heimdurins have a saying about Ban Altia: it is a nation still crawling at its mother’s feet. True, Heimdurin kings built an empire when Ban Altia was just a handful of people huddling together for protection. But the Altians have grown into a powerful people in a relatively short time, a true rival for Heimdurn at the height of its power. At the heart of the nation lie the Bans, a closely knit group of cities that forms the seat of government. The Altians have spread out adding many of the outlying villages to Greater Altia. When the growing nation began to press upon the borders of Heimdurn, the empire sought to crush the it one decisive battle and launched a fleet of Behemoths. The Ban Altians proved their ingenuity was more than a match for Heimdurin strength at the Battle of Caern’s Rift. The smaller, faster Altian ships and their unparalleled pilots eviscerated the fleet and changed the course of history. A hundred years later, Ban Altia saw Heimdurn in chaos after a revolt against King Leopold and declared war against their old enemy. The Horizon War ended in a stalemate, but many in the Bans look forward to a day when the Altian flag flies over all of Caelum.
It may be premature to call the Paragon Confederacy a nation. Not so long ago, they were just unrelated villages spread across the space between two great nations. Ban Altia colonized the islands as they expanded the nation. Altian governors took over from local rulers, but the people’s lives remained mostly the same. Then the Horizon War began, and the Ban Altian Chancellor looked to his colonies as a source for raw materials and fresh recruits. Propaganda encouraged young colonists to join the fight against the Heimdurin threat. When that failed to provide enough pilots, “recruitment drives” bolstered the ranks. With their factories pumping out war machines and their children dragged off to war, the colonials began to plot against the Bans. Local leaders from across the islands met in secret to discuss their options and invited a representative from Heimdurn. The beleaguered empire could offer no troops but sent a handful of their best strategists to plan an uprising. In an impressive feat of tactical coordination, the colonials freed their islands from Ban Altian control in less than a month with a few well planned attacks. They declared themselves the Paragon Confederacy and allied with the Heimdurins. A quarter of Ban Altia’s military deserted and returned home. With the new nation in the sky, the Horizon War ground to a halt. The three nations agreed to a cease fire, and the Paragon Confederacy became a world power. Now they must learn what that means for their future.
Written by Paul Dodson
Art by Vince Medellin
Story by Paul and Vince