Introduction to Empyrean Dreams

[This Introduction is an updated version of Ariana's first post on Empyrean Dreams.  The original Introduction can be found here. -NL]

Empyrean Dreams is both a science fiction setting and the blog where we post original stories based in that setting.  The site and stories started in August 2013, but the setting started a few years before that.

In 2010, we (Ariana Serpentine and Nathan Large) were complaining about a lack of science fiction based Live Action Roleplaying Games (LARPs).  We are both fans of LARPing, but had grown very tired of the Vampire scene and wanted something different.  We decided to work together on a game project, using "Space Station!" as a working title.
Nathan decided to work on the game rules, and Ariana decided to work on creating the universe.  For a couple of years we tossed ideas back and forth and wrote them down and shared them with friends, who provided a lot of invaluable input (special thanks to James Hodur, Justin Marino, and Tom Young).
At the same time we were throwing these ideas around and letting them grow and build, Nathan was going back to school to complete his doctorate.  This left him very little time for working on the game system.  We have since sketched out a viable rule set, but it needs play testing to check the details. 

The other thing we needed was more information on the Empyrean universe.  What would determine the types of characters players could choose (species, employment, social status, etc.)?  What was the cosmological geography of the Universe, its key planets and their relative locations?  What about politics, culture, technology, and all the other relationships across and within worlds? 
The idea of the universe we had forged for "Space Station!" never went away.  From our initial concepts, the setting lingered and grew and became more well-defined. Ariana decided to write fiction for it.  Eventually, after having lost a job and receiving some guidance from her partner, Ariana began to write out small vignettes set in the universe.  At first, this writing was done just to expose people to the ideas and concepts of the universe, but she began to expand afterwards.

Once Ariana had completed a couple of stories and started a couple more, Nathan picked up the bug and added a few short stories of his own.  The style and setting have proven fertile ground for training and testing both of us as writers.  We both since have started separate, non-fiction blogs and are writing other fiction in several modes.  Ariana actually gets paid for writing blog content, and we both have manuscripts ready for publishing (available if you're interested!).

Where is this project going?  Well, we would very much like to work on the game again at some point.  A lifelong dream of ours has been to become published authors, so we would also like to create a physical, paper copy of a book of stories or a full novel set in this universe.  We'd like to attract visual artists to create images of creatures and technology and characters from this universe and these stories as well.  Again, send either of us an email if you're interested.

It's an amazing universe.  We can say that without bragging because it's always been a collaboration.  The ideas of people we value and love have come to color and shape this world that we've been building together, and we're sure more ideas will come to shape it.

We'll keep posting new stories here as long as we have ideas and the time to write them... presuming other jobs or paid projects don't draw us away.  We have several different storylines, tagged and linked to their individually posted chapters through index Pages which introduce each story and its main characters.  
There are also pages for an ongoing glossary, a list of the major intelligent species of the Empyrean universe, and individual pages for each species as they are completed.  Many stories link to these pages (and to one another) to help new readers fill in gaps in their setting knowledge.  

Ariana created a blog because of her visions of a type of story structure that would be difficult to create without the use of the Web.  We've played with that technology somewhat, but would be interested in doing more with better software (or programming skill).

We hope all of you enjoy these stories and the universe that they are set in.  We are always open to comments, questions (questions spark some of our best ideas), insights, and possibly even additional authors and collaborations.  
-Ariana and Nathan

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