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The Reach is an untamed region that Albion has begun to colonize. Long ago, it was ruled and carefully cultivated by a Judgement known as The Garden-King, but upon his death, it grew wild and dangerous. Despite the lack of a sun, The Reach still remains lit thanks to an abundance of luminous plants and fungi.
After London's conquest of Albion, it looked to The Reach to expand its frontiers. The Parzifal, the first locomotive to pass through the Avid Horizon, was sent on an expedition to chart The Reach, but was never seen again. This did not deter the British, however, and after the establishment of Port Prosper and its Transit Relay, the region was soon awash with agents of the Empire-backed Windward Company, settlers seeking a fresh start, and miners in search of new sources of hours. The early settlement of New Winchester at The Reach's core rapidly grew into the region's de facto capital, and additional Transit Relays transformed it into a hub linking Albion to Eleutheria and The Blue Kingdom.
Unfortunately, the euphoria of claiming a new land eventually gave way to political frictions as the settlers began to disagree about The Reach's future. The Windward Company and supporters of Her Enduring Majesty, the Stovepipes, wanted The Reach to remain part of the New British Empire, while numerous independence-minded settlers, the Tacketies, wanted to establish a new, egalitarian state, free of Albion's dreaded workworlds and the crushing apathy of its bureaucracy. These tensions exploded into open conflict over control of New Winchester and The Reach that became known as the Winchester War. Following a series of bloody, large-scale locomotive battles, both sides fell into a stalemate. With the outcome of the war unclear, skirmishes between the Stovepipes and Tacketies continue throughout the region apart from New Winchester, which serves as a neutral ground that, for the time being, hosts both the headquarters of Windward Company and the Tacketies' Colonial Assembly.
The Reach consists of six segments. The central Port of New Winchester is always in a fixed direction in the middle, the other five are randomly placed around it. 120 different combinations are therefore possible, however disregarding the relativ orientation to New Winchester there are only 24 different map compositions.
The outer segments are:
- Port Avon and Traitors Wood; A Signalbox (Cudllescomb); The Wreck of the Parzifal; Regent's Tears and Regent's Grave
- Magdalene's and Port Prosper; A Signalbox (Addison Wick); The Albion Transit Relay; The Memorial of the unknown Rat and Braley Rock
- Carillon and Lustrum; A Signalbox (Whelping Rest); The Desolation of Saliba and the Grave of the Silent Saint
- Polmeare & Plenty's and Hybras; The Eleutheria Transit Relay and Faith's Fall
- Titania and Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature Reserve; A Signalbox (Elinor Green); Old Tom's Well; The Apoidean Gardens and Tiggelaar's Haunt
The edges of the segments are not consistently out of Rock/Obstacles and therefore allow passage between adjacent segments where two open spaces meet. However this can also lead to the creation of cul-de-sacks, most commonly around Hybras, wich is mostly closed of by itself.
|Name||Circle in the Reach||Log Entries|
A distant clamour of engine-yards. An accretion of smog on the windows.
A carmine glow burns in the dark: Magdalene's, where you can buy comforting lies.
|Polmear & Plenty's Inconceivable Circus||Outer||
A cluster of islands lie in the mists. Strings of bunting flutter, optimistically, between them.
A new smell, behind the coal and the oil: the green, unlikely scent of apples.
A heady pollen-scent permeates the bridge, fierce as blooming lilies.
How quiet it is. And what's that smell? Eggs? Sulphur?
Drifting spores clog your engine's chimney. It splutters, then coughs, exunging them with a belch of steam.
|Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature Reserve||Outer||
Golden lights dance in the distance, bright and brief as dandelion seeds passing through a sunbeam.
A flurry of snow blows past the window. A crewman curses the cold.
A rumble of far-off refineries. Distant searchlights rake the sky.
A forest of towering bronzewoods. The wind is full of fallen leaves. They rattle at your engine's windows.
Discoveries and Spectacles
|Name||Circle in the Reach||Spectacle Type||Explorable?||Log Entries||Notes|
|Old Tom's Well||Outer||Horror||Yes||
"Careful, Captain," a signaller whispers. "Lest the well-winds take us."
|Shows on the map as a large vortex.|
|Wreck of the Parzifal||Outer||-||Yes||A once-proud engine drifts here, riven by a destructive growth of fungus.||Found near the forest of Traitor's Wood.|
|Apoidean Gardens||Outer||Wonder||Yes||Your navigator is entranced by the wash of flowers. '...and soon arrived in fields of asphodel,' they recite, 'the home of shadows who have been worn to weariness'.||Found near Leadbeater & Stainrod's Nature Reserve.|
|Braley Rock||Outer||Horror||Yes||Miners dug too deep into this worldlet, disturbing a disgruntlement of Cantankeri.||Found near Port Prosper|
|Desolation of Saliba||Outer||Horror||No||Sigils crawl on these ancient ruins like marching ants.|
|Faith's Fall||Outer||Horror||Yes||Behold. The remains of a celestial behemoth, rotting gently.
"A Messenger of the Heavens", breathes a member of your crew. There are tears in his eyes.
|Found near Hybras|
|Grave of the Silent Saint||Outer||Horror||Yes||How deeply do the dead sleep? Fly softly.
HIC SVNT DRACONES.
|Found near Lustrum|
|Memorial to the Unknown Rat||Outer||Wonder||No||You approach the Memorial to the Unknown Rat. One by one, your crew remove their hats.||Found near Port Prosper|
|Regent's Grave||Outer||Horror||Yes||You near the heart of the wood, silent and solemn.||Found near Traitor's Wood.|
|Regent's Tears||Outer||Wonder||Yes||A tremble in the air, which swells to a thunder.
The falls cascade through the sky, alight with all the hues of heaven.
|Found near Traitor's Wood.|
|Schwartz's Oath||Outer||Horror||No||The ruins of an ancient structure, once kissed by a long-dead sun.|
|Tiggelaar's Haunt||Outer||Horror||No||Sigils glow on these ruins, lambent in the mist.|