PROLOG: In the late Fall of 2018, I decided to take on a big new project that I've been dreaming about for years. It's a fantasy airship, supported by balloons, with a Steampunk design, and pirate gnomes as a crew.
The origin of my fantasy airship idea dates all the way back to the early 1970's when I was a big fan of a folk singer, the late JOHN HARTFORD, and we attended one of his concerts in Charlottesville Virginia. One of my favorite songs of his was a fantasy story-song he sang called "The Steam-Powered Airplane". Ever since, that idea has been rattling around my brain, waiting for realization. Seeing the movie, Mortal Engines, was the clincher.
Research began in earnest. I searched the web for fantasy airships, and found the 3 examples below; the first one from a "Mortal Engines" book. I also decided that this ship would be a small, fast, explorer vessel, used to locate, map, and explore new territories. Larger cargo and passenger vessels would follow later.
Add to that my long-time fascination with gnomes, especially Italian Gnomes, and this airship began to come into focus. So, those are some of the motivations behind this project.
Oh, and the names of this ship (one on each side) will be ERIS and DISCORDIA, honoring the Greek and Roman Goddesses of Chaos, respectively. Yes, that's big list of fantasies, dreams, and expectations, but I was ready to begin construction.