As I have noted before, the world of the Airship Renegade is a steampunk/dieselpunk world of the near future and the classic pulp era.
The Renegade is a state of the art dirigible, capable of 300 km/hour at flank speed. It’s lighter than air, but manages that feat through the use of an experimental lighter than air composite material—the very structure of the Renegade is the lift material. This helps explain why the Renegade is so large—more structure actually yields more lifting capacity.
The Renegade was envisioned by its designers as a concept similar to a Star Destroyer in Star Wars—a platform capable of providing sustained dominance over an area. Its Tesla cannons—9 turrets total—are capable of both air to air and air to ground fire and are scalable. They can deliver everything from a taser like jolt to a lightning blast that will melt steel. The harpoon and grapple guns were modifications installed after Captain XO ‘borrowed’ the airship. The Renegade was built for multi-domain dominance, not optimized for piracy. That came later.
The Renegade other major systems include the four parasite fighters—small jet fighters optimized for air to air combat, but more than capable of serving as light couriers as well. We’re still looking at stealing a couple of old F-4 Phantoms. The Renegade can carry up to a company of infantry—currently organized into two platoons (the Bold Air Hussars and the Glider Zouaves). The Renegade has a pretty sizable cargo hold, capable of carrying well over 100 tons of cargo and equipped to manage airdrops. When the Renegade is hitting the max for its lighter than air lift, it can generate additional lift via thrust vectoring and deployment of canards. Not even Captain XO is sure of its maximum capacity, but she did wallow a bit on the beer run to Reykjavik.
Where did the Renegade come from? Captain XO keeps quiet on that one. He freely admits it wasn’t his to begin with and has been known to say that he may return it when he’s done. Maybe. Probably not. Best guess was that it was built by some high tech, Tesla/Space-X like company. How Captain XO got a hold of it is a mystery. All the labeling is in American Standard English, though. Spare parts are generally not too hard to come by, and there is a composite replacement manufacturing 3D printer at the base in Wick. Captain XO says it came with the Airship.
Who is Captain XO? Clearly, XO is a nom de guerre. He’s a retired US Army Reserve officer and former federal agent who looks more like a high school English teacher rather than the leader of a band of air pirates. Dab hand with a 9mm 1911 pistol and a boarding saber, though.
Why Wick? Well, Captain XO always wanted to be a Scottish Laird, and when the opportunity to buy a Scottish castle with his ill-gotten gains, he seized it. Apparently the Scots are very ok with a pirate airship homeported in their country (literally the only good thing that Captain XO can attribute to Brexit). The taxes we pay probably help. The base at Wick sports a castle that was converted to a hotel, so there is plenty of room for all, as well as maintenance facilities, weapons training facilities, and everything else a mid sized band of air pirates would need. The Zeppil Inn, our Ground Pub, is located there. Try the Stairway to Heaven. The bartenders won’t tell us what’s in it, but it’s good.
The world of the Renegade is a little less stable than the one we live in now (clearly...a pirate airship freely transits national borders). It’s a post Brexit, post-EU world. The United States is still there. The countries that we know are still there, just not as capable of enforcing their airspace sovereignty as much as they would like—that could be a factor of the Renegade being able to stomp on most countries’ air defense capabilities. Many localities actually welcome a visit from the Renegade as a boost to the local economy. The Renegade does bear a Letter of Marque from rising power Luxembourg, which gives us a thin veneer of respectability—as did our recent mission of mercy to Reykjavik—the good people of Iceland will never forget our emergency beer delivery.
The unnatural aspects? Well, the world is a mysterious place. So we have an airship ghost, and we give out warnings about werewolves of Paris. When we stop in Romania, no locals with pale skin and unnaturally sharp teeth will be invited aboard the airship. Captain XO is still curious as to who was the tall fellow with the scars at the Castle Frankenstein party.
How do you get involved? Crew is everybody who interacts with the official Airship twitter feed, run by the Ship’s Public Affairs Officer (yes, the Renegade has a PAO). There is very little gatekeeping involved, and I have only had to block a couple of people. If you want to write stories set in the world of the Airship Renegade, feel free, using this canon as a guide. I am the ultimate arbiter of what is canon or not, and will edit submissions as required. I'll publish them here on the Ship's Blog.
So, welcome to the Renegade. Keep your cutlass sharp, your boarding axe scoured, and your needle pistol at the ready.