From The Hellfire Chronicles: Blood in the Skies by G. D. Falksen:
Steam engines working day and night fill the sky with their heavy gray smoke. Steam power has been developed to an incredible degree, providing power for factories, automobiles, and airships alike. The gray-tinged sky is a testament to human ingenuity and the inexorable march of progress.
Little is known about the mysterious substance called “aether”, but it is a cornerstone of civilization. It powers wireless telegraphs, aids aircraft in navigation, and, rumor has it, can even control the mind of others. Academics debate the nature of aether endlessly, but to no avail. It is the eternal mystery, a phenomenon of nature like the clouds in the sky.
The sheen on a raven’s wings. The patina that forms on weathered metal. Emerald eyes that stare from behind a steel mask. Burkhalter is all of these, and more. From the forests of his native St. Corbin to the tropical forests of the Badlands, Burkhalter stalks the world in search of revenge.
The nation of Tali sits at the center of the Known World, and at the crossroads of international trade. Well is she called “Gilded Tali”, for her coffers overflow with gold. Tali is the heart of world commerce, wealthy beyond imagination.