Built from the frames of the First Fleet ships that landed at this rocky shoreline, Astera has stood tall against the threats and challenges of the New World.
The bustling settlement-headquarters hybrid of Astera was, like on any other hot summer day, alive with activity. Hunters, citizens, and merchants gathered at the city's lowest level, where the voices of commerce blended with the soft crashing of waves below the scaffolding. Above them, workshops on the eastern cliffsides worked tirelessly to keep this well-oiled machine in motion, especially to build more homes within the Waterfall District, in accommodation to the newly arrived Sixth Fleet. Further reaching towards the sky sat the Commission's Gathering Hall, a colossal sea vessel perched upon the top of the cliffs. There, hunters and guild officials met with each other and clientele to maintain the Research Commission's modus operandi: to research and protect the ecosystem of the New World.
High above Astera, sailing across the blue was a shining star, bright enough to see even on this sunny cloudless day. Known as Prismata's Comet, the rainbow-colored beacon of light soared majestically across the sky. The great dome of blue above was decorated with tiny streaks of light, all different colors cascading down towards the earth. Truly it was a beautiful sight, one that the people across the Old World celebrated once every one hundred years, and that tradition lived on with vigor here in the New World. All of Astera was adorned with prismatic lanterns, ribbons, confetti, and music in reverence of the comet's arrival. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event and nightly stargazing parties were the normal for the past two weeks. Not being immune to such jubilation, the Gathering Hall granted the best view of the Starfall in all of Astera, and as such was outfitted to accommodate larger occupancies.
It is here in the Gathering Hall that our story begins, hunters both new and old eating, conversing, celebrating, and last but not least, registering for missions. Today, one such urgent quest has been found occupying the center of the main board, ensuring it wouldn't be missed:
Urgent: Prismatic Meteor Investigation!
It has been a century since the comet's last visit, and this time, the Prismatic Starfall has left us with more than a light show. Reports from our field scouts verify that a meteor has crashed somewhere north of the Everstream, deeper into the New World than we've dared to travel...
Until now, get out there hunters!
Calling a small reconnaissance group of hunters to head to the suspected landing site of the meteor. Triangulation has placed it somewhere far north, beyond the Elder's Recess and the Guiding Lands. We know there is more to the New World than we have explored thus far: and you will also be tasked with mapping any previously uncharted land.
Speak to Dr. Paeris Daelen of the Geological Research Department for a mission briefing before departure.
-New World Research Commission
At the bottom of the parchment, was the listings of the standard legal jargon, as well as the written promise of a handsome sum of zenny. Beneath that laid a few blank spaces upon which for hunters to sign themselves up.