Hive, Queen and Country

What is Hive, Queen and Country? It is a vast and detailed setting based on Our Timeline’s Victorian history but with a number of “conceits”, things that are added to increase the excitement of an already facinating era.

*** NEW ***

Stars of Empire

by Terry Sofian

Stars of Empire is a role playing game in which the Victorian Powers have discovered space flight and are striking out across the vast darkness of interplanetary space. As they explore frontiers on Earth, Luna Mars and Venus they encounter transplanted populations of humans, ancient and terrible alien races and ferocious exotic beasts. Until 1892 each of these Earthly empires considered only the other Great Powers to be their equals and their rivals. It was in that year The Hive broke free in Devon and threatened more than just the balance of power on Earth. The Hive put the very existence of mankind at stake. Stars of Empire is a stand alone game book. It contains the core role playing rules, based on Black Pigeon Press’ Hacktastic system and a detailed and dangerous universe setting.

The Victorian era in Our Time Line was a period of exploration and scientific achievement, military conflict and colonial conquest and social upheaval. In Stars of Empire aerial and space travel have been cleverly grafted into this historical fabric. Players will be able to interact on not only Earth but other worlds as well. Mars is home to a race of ancient aliens, powerful dangerous and unpredictable to the minds of men. Their true powers and purposes are shrouded in mystery. It is know that for many thousands of years they have harvested humans from Earth for use as slaves. With this human workforce Mars has been transformed from a lifeless rock into a tropical greenhouse of a world. Venus, beneath its thick atmosphere is a strange mix of dark basalt plains and humid cloud forests. Rules include character generation, combat and detailed sections allowing characters to develop engineering projects, scientific theories or inventions.

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Stars of EmpireFlying Vessels of the Worlds

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Aerolyth Flyers

Aerolyth flyers are typically large vessels which can travel through the skies by means of propellors. They rely upon aerolyth organs for atmospheric flight.

Egalite Class High Altitute Bomber

The Egalite-class of high-altitude ship was designed in the waning days of the War of the Four Empires. They arrived too late to see action, and they were mothballed after the war. If not for the Anarchist Revolution, they would probably have been scrapped. Instead, they played a pivotal role in that conflict. Built with war-time expediency, they class was primitive in many respects. Space constraints reduced the crew size and left them terminally overworked. The single defensive Maxim turret, was not insulated and was uninhabitable outside of the atmosphere. Mass limits limited the amount of liquid oxygen that could be carried, meaning that the crew would only have three and a half hours to fix their position and align to their target. In spite of these limitations, a series of lucky hits during the Revolution changed the course of history. Officially, the Egalite-class ships were dismantled after the revolution. However, rumors persist that one or two ships were retained.

Nation: France
Dimensions: 17.08x2.2x4.88m
Mass: 135 tons 68 tons (empty)
Speed (Max/Cruise): 36 knots 67 kph 41 mph
Range: 800km (atmosphere)
Cargo Capacity: 500kg 10m3
Armor & Structure: 2cm Elm
Armaments: 2x Maxim; 20 tons Kinetic Lances

Crew: 8
Endurance: 12 hours (8.4 hours
Year: 1870
Cost: £35000
Notes: 6.9 hours liquid Oxygen supply; V. Large Celestial Nav system; 0.5m telescope; Liquid Rocket: 294m/s delta-V; Cold gas thruster: 3m/s delta-V
Ships In Class: Six Built

Egalite Class design by Terry Sofian and Arun Rodrigues.

Egalite ForeEgalite AftEgalite Fore Low


UK Flag Great Britain


Aerolyth Flyers

Aerolyth flyers are typically large vessels which can travel through the skies by means of propellors. They rely upon aerolyth organs for atmospheric flight.

Shakespeare Class Assault

In the wake of the failed relief attempt in the Soudan the British Army looked at construction of well armed and armored ships capable of carrying a company of infantry into a defended area (see the Hannibal class, Section 5.9 for a similar design goal). The basic requirements were for a vessel protected against small arms and light artillery and carrying a very heavy ordnance load including large rockets, howitzers and automatic weapons. Several firms provided designs. Due to budgetary restrictions the British Army chose a smaller carrier (see Section 5.13). However, Armstrong's design was selected by the Royal Navy. The Navy had been seeking a vessel capable of putting a landing party ashore and supporting them once they were outside the range of the guns of the fleet. The massed rocket batteries of design and its howitzer armament provided a huge volume of fire both before and during a landing operation. The intrinsic ability of Aerolyth flying craft to cross the shore at an almost unlimited number of points and put their landing party in any convenient location increased the tactical flexibility many fold. In addition the ships were capable of providing scouting for the fleet and their rocket armament was quite dangerous to opposing scouting cruisers and plans were developed to use them against torpedo attacks by enemy flotilla craft. The Shakespeare gets the vast majority of its lift from Aerolyth, but small wings contribute about 0.5% of its lift. A full group of these ships is currently assigned to HMS Bristol while several of the fleet's battleships have replaced some of their ship's boats with one or two of these vessels.

Nation: UK
Dimensions: 26.5x3.7x13.5
Mass: 531 tons (full) 462 (empty)
Max Speed: 62 knots 114 kph 71 mph
Cruise Speed: 54 knots 102 kph 63 mph
Range: 570 / 790km
Cargo Capacity: 5300kg 26.6m3
Armor & Structure: top: 2cm; bottom & front: 5.5cm; back & sides: 4.5cm
Armaments: 8x Maxims; 2x 3-inch BLR guns; 48x 9.2-inch rockets

Crew: 192 (inc. 100 soldiers, 4 officers)
Endurance: 5 hours max, 8 hours cruise, 22.5 hours hover, 15 min. battery; 6 days food & water
Year: 1890
Cost: £62000
Notes: Strengthened Hull, Fire Sprinklers, Shoring Kit, Structural Repair Kit, Refueling Port, 2x simple sick bay, 100x Crew armor, 2x 2m CRF,

Ships In Class: 23 built. Ariel, Prospero, Miranda, Oberon, Titania, Puck, Rosalind, Celia, Touchstone, Prince Hal, Falstaff, MacBeth, MacDuff, Banquo, Valentine, Proteus, Antonio, Portia, Romeo, Juliet, Polonius, Ophelia and Hamlet


Shakespeare Class design by Terry Sofian and Arun Rodrigues.

Shakespeare ForeShakespeare AftShakespeare Fore Low


US Flag 1887 United States of America


Aerolyth Flyers

Aerolyth flyers are typically large vessels which can travel through the skies by means of propellors. They rely upon aerolyth organs for atmospheric flight.

Mustang Class Torpedo Flyer

The Mustang class torpedo was conceived in 1884 as an inexpensive craft capable of patrolling and defending America's Eastern Coast. An Army project, it was also an attempt to demonstrate that the US Army should "own" the skies, not the "New Navy." Senior generals reasoned that if flyers like the Mustang class could effectively prevent foreign fleets from approaching the coast, and harass enemy shipping, it would ensure that the Army would be the nation's first line of defense (and ensure ample funding).

Mustang Class design by Terry Sofian and Arun Rodrigues.


Mustang class Aerolyth Torpedo Flyer: built by x xxx and Sons, St. Louis, Mi.

Armament of Mustang ClassClass

Mustang ClassTorpedo Run

Mustang Class Flyby Moving Pictures

The attached moving pictograph file was made by the U.S. Army to illustrate the high altitude flight characteristics of the Mustang Class Flyers.


Buchanan Motor Works Model L (Personal Transport)

In 1889, Sears, Roebuck and Co. commissioned the Buchanan Motor Works to develop a small Aerolyth vehicle to be sold through their new catalog.  In spite of some design delays, and poor reliability with the directional propeller steering system, the Model L became a highly coveted vehicle. Its two ton cargo capacity and lifting capabilities made it the choice for the growing farms of the American West. Its cost, £440 + shipping, was high, but not unattainable, and ownership became a status symbol for wealthy ranchers and farmers.
The novel catalog based sales method opened up sales to a new, larger market. Shipped by rail, they soon appeared across the continent. By 1892, many had been resold around the world. Several dozen appeared in the Dungan revolt in China in 1895. Equipped with machine guns and mortars, the surprise ad hoc armor almost turned the tide of the revolt. These converted vehicles, called punts or carts, became the weapon of choice for warlords from Shanxi to Hardap.


Buchanan Motor Works Model L design by Terry Sofian and Arun Rodrigues.

Buchanan ForeBuchanan AftBuchanan Fore Red



The Hive



Sea Hive


Sea Hive Moving Pictures

The attached moving pictograph file was made of a Mustang Class Aerolyth Flyer passing close by a Sea Hive. The film is uploaded to illustrate the immense size that a Hive can attain.