After a week long lightning rail ride from the Port City of New Harpernia you arrive at The Gateway, the rail hub that facilitates passage into the great Danite Desert. Originating as nothing more than a small trading outpost in the shadow of the Jaggedspine Mountains, Danite began to flourish after it won the bid for the ArcRail, the growing train network built around the transport of arcanite. While ArcRails are generally less effective than the Royal Airships of the Eraltirn Empire, the arcanite-infused winds of Dantine make airship travel in the desert perilous and expernsive. As a result, the more reliable and cost-effect ArcRail has become the workhorse of the arcanite trade in the area, and routes are based around bids for newly constructed railways.
Funded by the Mana Barons, influential entrepreneurs who control the flow of arcanite on Eraltir, the ArcRail has grown rapidly. However, the perilous ecology of the Danite Desert and surrounding frontier have stymied the railways growth. These barons search for new ways to secure their control over the frontier and promote continued acquisition of precious arcanite.
The rumors of arcanite deposits that would make even the great Mana Barons salivate has proven irresistible to many. Prospectors, frontiersman, and bandits alike pass through the bustling Gateway seeking fame, fortune and escape from the crowded steam-cities to the East.
During your journey you heard hushed whispers of a mysterious malady that has spread to the town, though your curiosity is cut short. As you exit the ArcRail amongst the throng of travellers, you are met by a half-dozen armed and mounted men who encircle the passengers exiting the train.
Theses riders, local law-enforcement by the looks of their dress and demeanor, are led by a tall, venerable man with curled white moustache. The man holds a fine hunting rifle which rests over his shoulder, and his chest bears a golden star tipped with distinctly purple arcanite shards.