The Gate


Military marines
Customs officers
Bar patrons


Effectively a great cliff, which reaches up to the canyon ceiling. It is divided by two great openings, one at the base and one about two hundred metres further up. The base gate allows the ground level traffic to pass between the territory of the Empire and the Cloud. It is policed, but only lightly defended, being too small to permit the passage of any significant military force. The aerial gate is a much greater construction, and is more heavily defended. A battery of cannons and rockets bracket any incoming ship, and a company of heavily armed marines wait for any excuse to undertake an ‘agressive inspection’. Whether aggressive or otherwise, any airship wishing to pass through the gate must undergo an inspection. The crew must wait and be processed in the customs office or loiter in the local bar, ‘The Roost’, until they are authorised to leave.


Constructed initially not as a military fortification, but instead as a gateway to the new canyon. The possibility that the canyon did not end at the cliff face was first raised when a heavy storm caused a thin trickle of water was observed to emerge from a small crack. Exploratory digging found additional fracture through which the occasional breath of wind or hint of sound could be felt or heard. Digging operations intensified and within a year or two, a full traversable opening was made. A flow of traffic passed through, and in time, the population of migrants became the residents of the Cloud. Tensions over the gate since its construction have been periodically high – before its fortification, it changed hands several times. However, the batteries of cannons and ordnance now protecting it make any frontal assault a costly endeavour.

The Gate

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