Pride Goes Before
The Dreamers sprung naturally from the intellectual curiosity of House Tepet. For centuries, scholars, inventors, and engineers have been favored and nurtured. These talents were often, but not always, turned to a military bent. One such scholar, a sorcerer named Tepet Lamass birthed the Dream in a moment of tragedy.
Lamass was a sorcerer-engineer in the Legions, assigned to a rare First Age airship. When a Realm tributary revolted, ambushing and killing several Dragons of irregular troops, the airship was deployed. Lamass and the crew found out first hand what gave the tributary the gall to challenge the Realm. They had discovered a cache of First Age weaponry. This became clear when the hull was torn asunder by a heavy implosion bow.
Falling through the sky amid the debris and bodies of his comrades, Lamass summoned an air elemental servant. Safe in its arms, he watched his few friends who survived the initial blast plunge to their deaths. in that moment, his rage and grief inspired him.
Generally, it is believed to be nigh-impossible to produce Artifacts of the potency of a First Age airship in this era. The stocks of strange reagents, magical materials, and specialized tools are just too drained by a millennium and a half of neglect and Solar absence.
Lamass, however, believes he can build an airship. Further, he believes using Sorcery and Realm industrial might, it is possible to construct fleets of airships. While these would not have the sophisticated systems and raw power of those left over from the First Age and Shogunate, they would be replaceable, and therefore usable.
He has sold this idea to several Sorcerers, Savants, and engineers. They have many working blueprints, and even a couple small functional models.
Views on the Opposition
Lamass and his associates are quite simply geeks, and don’t understand why the other blocs oppose them. Surely the Tepet Legions would be enhanced by the power of a fleet of flying vehicles, and would not commerce benefit from aerial freight?
They are naive, however, on the costs of such a project. While initially they sought to persuade the Palms and the Guard, at this point the Dreamers simply play the game as the others do. Woo the elders, weaken their enemies, and hope someone with enough pull will finally say yes.
The Dreamers are more or less a hacker collective. They all work on their own designs, swapping technology, spells, and anything else they feel will advance their goals. They are committed to creating a viable design, but not to a specific one. As such, ad hoc groups form around certain areas of the project, and then break up naturally. This approach has both aided and hindered their progress.
Nobody can demand time or assistance. Rather, the Dreamer must convince others of the possibilities and worth behind their ideas.
Joining the organization requires simply that one has some talent, and shows a willingness to help the others succeed. They only accept members of the House into their ranks, however, fearing the fallout should their designs find their way into the hands of others. Come to think of it, this would be a great way to destroy them…
With the Dreamers, nobody is anybody’s boss, but Lamass’ word carries the most weight. He rarely shoots down an idea, allowing people to work on what they please.
Due to his decidedly hands-off style, if Lamass were to criticize a member or an idea, the others would likely fall into lockstep behind him instantly.
An Aside: Will it Fly?
Consider the following OC knowledge
The short answer is maybe. The magic to sustain a ship in flight is quite within the bounds of Terrestrial Artifice and Sorcery, particularly with the weight of the Realm behind it. The Haslanti League, run primarily by mortals, has airships of their own, though those rely on gasbags and exploiting the frigid climes of the North.
The problem lies in politics. Assuming a working design was made, and proof of concept built, the possibilities would be enormous. Too enormous, in fact.
The existing military commanders who control the Shogunate-era airships would want to be granted exclusive dominion over the project, to increase and protect their portfolio. This would be opposed by the Legion officers, excited by the dreams of adding true aerial tactics and deployment to their commands.
House Tepet, of course, would want an exclusivity writ from the Empress. This would be vociferously countered by the other Houses. Cynis would want their own fleet to move slaves. Peleps would argue they are really ships, and should be classified as naval vessels. V’neef would say any commercial action using them should come under the purview of the merchant marine.
The only deciding voice in all this would be the Empress, and she would have many competing interests to consider. If she stripped the rights from Tepet, she would look the tyrant, and other Houses might stop innovating. On the other, if she allowed the Tepets to keep the technology, one of her strongest Houses would get stronger.
There is also security to consider. All of her defenses against rebellion account for naval and land forces. Countering an aerial invasion of the Imperial City, or the palace, would be difficult without large numbers of ships of her own.
Finally, there is a harder truth to face. The Empress stays in power by keeping her Houses maneuvering against each other, and against the Threshold. If suddenly her Legions become more effective, and casualty rates drop too fast, the power of the Houses might increase beyond her ability to manage. Being able to directly control more of the Threshold would be positive, but can she keep this technology out of the hands of their enemies?
While Her Redness almost certainly could manage all of this, the timeline would easily stretch into decades, assuming she thought it was worth the trouble. Would someone who watched the Shogunate burn see much value in investing so heavily to build a pale shadow of part of it?