Special Report: Black Airship Sighted over Eastern Breland
STARILASKUR -- Last Mol, dozens of people in the eastern Breland village of Atherton witnessed a midair battle between a House Lyrandar airship and a mysterious black-hulled airship. Reports from the various witnesses were in substantial agreement about the details.
Villagers reported that the Lyrandar airship chased the black-hulled ship, which then came about and rammed its pursuer. A series of lights flashed between the two ships for several minutes, then the black-hulled airship reversed away and headed east. The Lyrandar airship remained motionless for about 20 minutes before heading north.
Why the two airships were in that vicinity remains a mystery, since no scheduled airship service passes over Atherton. Ranking members of House Lyrandar in Sharn have refused comment on the altercation. They likewise refuse to discuss the disposition of House Lyrandar's airship fleet. But a Sharn Inquisitive correspondent in Stormhome, a Lyrandar enclave off the northern coast of Aundair, reported that the airship Aasterinian Rise arrived there on Far and has been under repair ever since. The four-day transit time would be consistent with its participation in the altercation over eastern Breland on Mol.
Reports of the black-hulled airship are sure to reignite speculation that House Lyrandar's dominance over airship travel may be less complete than it appears. Ever since the waning days of the Last War, sporadic reports of unusual airship behavior have fueled this speculation.
"It's patently obvious that House Lyrandar has many more airships in its fleet than it uses for its commercial ventures," said Denko ir'Fallon, a member of Parliament who has often been critical of House Lyrandar. "The unanswered question is why.
"The most likely explanation for this incident is that the black-hulled airship belongs to some rogue element within House Lyrandar," ir'Fallon said. "Its owner could just be a privateer who's spent too much time where the air is thin, if you know what I mean. However, this ship's appearance could represent a more serious schism among the Lyrandars," ir'Fallon continued. "At the end of the day, House Lyrandar is a family, and if it's like most families, its members spend a fair amount of time at each other's throats."
Ir'Fallon also noted that the black-hulled airship could be unconnected with House Lyrandar. "We take it as a given that only someone with the right dragonmark can pilot an airship, but I question that assumption. The gnomes of Zilargo who build the airships for Lyrandar may retain some ships of their own, as may some nations who developed them in secret near the end of the Last War," he said. "And given that Atherton is less than a dozen miles from the borders of the Mournland, you can't discount the possibility of some strangeness emerging from that area," he said.
Ir'Fallon stated that he plans to introduce a bill in Parliament to direct crown funds to the construction of airships that would fly under the Brelish flag.
About the Author
David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.