Airship Building II: Steam Powered Boogaloo

Photo by Wayne Minert photo by Wayne Minert

About a month ago I wrote an article about what people should expect when building an airship crew.  It included a list of considerations such as the purpose of the crew, the setting you’re placing yourself in, crew’s backstory, and any rules and regulations you want to have in place.  I also mentioned I’d write about my experiences in creating an airship crew with my wife as things went along.

To start, my interest in forming an airship sprang from my city getting its first pirate fest.  Talking to the organizers they very much encouraged the idea of Steampunk airship pirates being there.  While the city I live in already has several crews I wanted to create something for our Steampunk Society to work on together so we could control the creation as need be.  I also didn’t want to try to force the current crews to take on any new members, and would allow for people to sign on for a few days during the pirate fest then move on.

Pirate DJI also wanted to create an airship that would work with the local mythos created by another group in town.  The Slave of the Muse hosts a monthly Steampunk club night that comes complete with storyline and in-persona interactions.  While it’s not required for those attending to be part of an airship, it helps if you want to be fully immersed in some of the interplay.  The result was the A.S. Lion’s Head and my new persona as Captain A. Garrit.

I wanted to include my wife in the formation of the Lion’s Head.  I worked the backstory in such a way it would give her a chance to continue playing her current persona.  My dear wife, whom I love very much, would often punch holes in how I was going about things and even added a few snide comments from time to time.  While on occasion it was frustrating, she also brought up several valid points which affected my decision making process in a good way.

AirshipsEventually we were able to hammer out several details.  The purpose of us doing this would be primarily for role-play purposes, so we could go to in-persona events and have a common backstory to work from.  Secondary to this purpose, but no less important, it would give us more reason to look like we belonged together when we dressed up.

We decided on a relatively historic backstory as well.  My wife’s persona, Madeline Magpie, is the daughter of a timber tycoon out of Washington State who enjoys traveling the world for adventure and exploration.  My own would-be Captain, A. Garrit, was the son of sailors. Unfortunately, A. Garrit had a problem with getting sea sick so he took to the skies to continue the family tradition.

We also settled on not advertising for extra crew.  If someone presented themselves as a good addition then we would talk to them about the possibility of joining our crew.  We weren’t going to go out of our way to add members, however.  It was important to us to make sure we kept the crew small and intimate with a handle on where the backstory could go.

What’s next for our venture? First up will be more interaction at local events.  There is another one scheduled soon and we plan to work out some alliances in persona with other crews.  There’s also a trip to Salt City Steamfest coming up where we will hopefully be able to debut our new crew pins.  Details are still being worked out for those.  Lastly, we’re looking at taking our crew’s story online to add to the mythos, probably through Twitter.

Whatever we decide, I know I’ve enjoyed the creation process with my wife.  I look forward to more adventures as Captain Garrit, and hopefully sharing them all with you.