Mars is dying...

Mars is dying...

Not through fault or neglect or wicked reason, not even because of the Gods; though some would say this is so. Mars is dying because it is old.

For time beyond count, our world has floated with the orb of the sun god, basking in the everwarmth that it provides, the Martian brothers sailing around giving constant company.

The Ancients warned the death of Mars might be so. Long, long ago; before the Storm. It is said the Storm lasted for an age or more: I for one, do not believe this to be true even though the clan elders warn me against foolish words.

There are still some Ancient writings in the deep deserts for those who wish to learn and are willing to brave sandstorms and the creatures that live there. Most of our knowledge from before the Storm comes from stories told around the clan fires, told again and again, embellished ever so lightly with each clan teller so who knows what is true and what is not.

With each storm season, the Ancient houses and temples disappear and reappear so fast that is easy to loose them completely, Gods know how large their cites were or what final secrets they contain. Three whole clans have been lost searching for the chief city with no sign or call from them these long years past.

But now we have new troubles and concerns. The Earthers have come to Mars: to steal and pillage what they can and to take it away to their blue world. Curse them to the Gods! They have no right, no honour and no need to be here. Like parasites they come here destroying whatever they touch and leaving mayhem in their wake.

They must be sent back across the sky ocean to their blue world.

They must be stopped.

It must happen now!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Skiff Merchants and Their Trade Routes.

Most trade between the City Martians is conducted by the land caravans but there are a few merchants that prefer to use skiffs to transport goods across the deserts. This or course has it's risks but more often than not they are bettered by the profits. The travel time is quicker than the land caravans but the chance of meeting Sky Martin raiding parties is increased tenfold.

The skiff convoys consist of two or three tug-neffs attached to several tenders that carry the cargo. As many as five tenders can be attached to the biggest tug-neffs but this is traded off for a slower speed. The tug-neff can be armed with several ballistas and usually the rear tender will have a ballista along with a crew that are ready to fight for their cargo.

The skiffs are made in a similar way to the Sky Martian skiffs and have a more bloated appearance than the elegant Sky Martian skiffs. There is some rumour that construction methods for the tugs have been traded for rare goods and information about the land caravans with certain Sky Martian clans but this, is as of yet, unfounded... If it is to be found that trade and information is being passed between the Skiff Merchants and the Sky Martians then there will be retribution from the City Martians for the betrayal.

The tenders are basically large hulls with a main deck and a small cargo hold below this deck. The tug-neff has a similar appearance to the Sky Martian skiffs albeit shorter and rounder with an upper deck at the rear which the trimsman will use and the captain of the convoy will have his place under this upper deck. The tugs and tenders usually aren't decorated but occasionally an affluent Skiff Merchant will adorn his tug with geometric patterns and these pattens can be used as an identification of the Skiff Merchant from a distance.

Using the trade winds that traverse the planet the Skiff Merchants ply their trade between as many cities as possible using well known routes through the lowland canyons; most trying their best to avoid the Sky Martians. During the night the tugs will preferably anchor against the cliffs of the canyons with a watch posted throughout the night. If the convoy finds itself in the open then they will reduce their height and anchor to the desert floor.

The crew themselves are made up of the braver City Martians and some of them can become somewhat of a legend to the more domestic City Martians. But, there is some resentment from many of the leading families as the Skiff Merchants become arrogant the longer they are in the sky. This arrogance is increasingly likened to the attitude of the Sky Martians and if it continues then the cities elders will have to make a decision as to what to do.


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