Come to the lake. These gentle old harbours, this bustling port, docks, quays, and wharves, and from the stone boarding tower, younger land-based sibling of the lake-bound lighthouse, you can see all the town below with hills behind and water before.

No sky steamer passengers may embark before dawn. The tower's stairs are dark, unsafe for guests. The high waiting room's welcome board remains unread.

WELCOME BOARD : Home to over half a million souls across an area of under 140 square miles of former farmland, the county and city of Under Smoke is, of course, the historic heart of the industrial revolution due to, in no small part, its heavy investment in the textile trade. Those textiles, both cotton and wool, remain, for the most part, the principal, primary, important source of income for the inhabitants although there is strong activity in supporting sectors and a thriving engineering university, where the main studies are mechanical inventions powered by steam or mainspring, which, for example, benefit our steamer designs. For those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle, the clamour, the buildings, and the urban stimuli, the visitor may, if minded to explore the High Wolds and the historic Greenshire, find, with the help of hired vehicles or local trains, those undisturbed pastoral scenes, those hidden mountain footpaths and secret woodland glades, that the region the industrious Under Smoke City and County once formed part of and are still the gateway to is famed for. For those who choose to remain in the city, tours are available. Architecturally, of many gems present, the train station is the most beautiful.

Early spring morning defeats the late winter night, silvering the lake, ringing and singing and roaring into day.

And who is that striding past steamers and plain sails? John Lovell, his valet trailing behind like so much jetsam discarded in his wake. The gentleman steers for the boarding tower with determination, the day having begun, focussed on escape and his place on the Apollo.