How The Navigatrix met the Aether Nomads and began the quest for
|'The Navigatrix' by Jennie Gyllblad|
"Where shall I begin my story? My childhood was spent in a small English town, gazing at stars and dreaming of adventure. I studied the art and craft of creating things to enhance one's outward beauty whilst also studying the mysteries of inner beauty.
I became a Navigatrix and first sailed the skies in The Starbreeze under the Lady Oona... I am a fellow at the School of Metaphysic and a Jeweller. I travel far, wide and deep searching for treasures, both of a physical and metaphysical nature.
Let me tell you about my first meeting with the Aether Nomads. Quite apt, as I have recently spent three months living among them, learning voraciously!
After I left The Starbreeze, I wished to know more of the mysteries of the Aether and sought a guide who could handle both technology and the complex fluctuations of the energetic matrix that binds the multiverse together. In my studies, I came across mention of a tribe of plane-wanderers who combined an impressive understanding of science with a profound spirituality. After some months of searching, I finally managed to locate a branch of this tribe, currently residing in northern Africa.
The Aether Nomads spoke of a very particular (or peculiar - they were a little unclear on this) man called Al Khemeti, a loner, who seemed to have a great deal of inner strength, never apparently needing outside help to fight (fight what, I wondered?). The nomads gave me a route to go and search for him in the desert and told me that I would never survive alone, so I took their advice and paid some young nomads as guides.
|The young men of the Aether Nomads enjoy jewellery as much as the women, I am pleased to say!|
After just over two weeks of travelling, I realised that I was just losing money looking for this purportedly old and lazy nomad although, at the same time, I began to feel nervous about finding him. Still I searched on, but there was still no sign of him. I became rather disheartened and was about to give up.
As I rested in camp one evening, one of the young men began to laugh out loud and came toward me. Initially, I took offense, assuming that he was laughing at me and my fruitless search. I recognised him as one of the first nomads that had mentioned this 'Al Khemeti'. I looked the young chap straight in the eye (the one uncovered by a monocular device) and expressed my deep disappointment about not finding him, as I had heard tales of a Gargantuan-class airship stuck in the Aether. It was my intention to claim this ship, gather a crew and to explore the deep truths of life through the study of the Aether. Oh, and to carry out my trade of crafting fine adornments, of beauty and meaning.
The act of surrender and the speaking of truth often opens doors that were previously unseen, not to mention locked.
He smiled and said, " As you have spoken with truth and sincerity, know this: I am Al Khemeti, one of the last Guardians of the Aether."
So it was that I made a firm new friend. The Aether Nomads are master Metaphysicians, Aethermaticians and Symbologists. They value artistic accomplishment highly; in fact, it is through their arts that they express their sciences. Even the beaded waist-chain of a dancing girl contains coded mathematical formulae and meaningful symbols.
|The young nomad laughed and said 'I am Al Khemeti!' I suspect he read me like a book...|
The Aether Nomads map their lives carefully. They are anchored in one reality, yet they travel the multiplanary realms of the Aether. They do have those that travel, not simply through dimensions but also through time, though these individuals are rare. Al Khemeti is one such.
He is also known as 'Al Khemet-Our' which means 'Light of the Black Earth. 'Khemet' is an ancient place, known to the Nomads as the origin of humankind. It is also a very dangerous place...
Al Khemeti is a 'Betweener', one stuck between light and shadow. He is a natural ambassador, knowing how to talk and trade with foreigners. He nurtures peaceful relations with all people and teaches others about the nature of the Aether and the ways of the Nomads. I am proud to be his student. "
An Out of Character aside:
I come from a Live Roleplay background and creating characters within the framework of a rulebook, where one can choose between fictitious cultures, is second nature to me. In discovering Steampunk, I also discovered that there is no rulebook and The Navigatrix emerged whilst chatting to a friend and to my brother Matt who, at the time, was just setting up ArcaneArmoury.
The Aether Nomads are a product of the stories that pop into my head whilst creating jewellery. However, my intention is to open this story up to any who wish to choose to be inspired by it. I have invited several talented artistic friends to create items in their own style, be it art dolls, costuming, pyrography, leatherwork...so hopefully, you may see the Aether Nomad style appear in other places than my own shop.
Because the nomads travel through dimensions and time, there is plenty of scope for people to create their own Aether Nomad characters - Metaphysicians, Aethermaticians, Symbologists, Aethernauts, CloudDancers etc. Take what I write as a starting place. A little cohesion would be nice, but you have the freedom to be individual!
Many thanks go to Heyk Al Khemeti of France (merci beaucoup, mon ami!) for co-writing this story with me and being the first Aether Nomad Steampunk character!
If you have been inspired and would like to join the Nomads, keep reading my blog, read the item descriptions in the Aether Nomad section of my shop and drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy 'International Steampunk month!'
Sally-Ann aka The Navigatrix