When Galax raised into the air, not everyone was allowed safety and security. Throughout the Years of Wandering, only one group of people prospered, criminals. With no government to prevent crime, groups of ruffians and profiteering pirates ran rampant across the wasteland, making no place safe for the refugees. Ultimately, this is what led to the founding of the town of New Serath by the Kalnuur and the many outlying villages including the disparate Saurian Shennates. Groups of wanderers huddled together behind make-shift walls and ruins in order to provide a collective system of protection against the harsh elements and ravenous bandits. Anarchy was in turn the pressure that stimulated the rebuilding of government and the social contract.
As the years went on, the pirates began to form a sort of government of their own in order to maximize the efficiency of their raids. Several large guilds and syndicates formed during the Years of Wandering, the largest of which were The Black Brigade (one of the oldest groups, formed before the Decimation), The Black Sheep (A gang of savage, bloodthirsty, barbarous pillagers named after an infamous demon), The Ku'ponese Yakuza (Created by the remnants of the Tānlán Dynasty of Ku'pon, the wealthiest group), The Dustriders (A group of brigands who took almost exclusively to horseback and raided trade-routes between towns), and the Skifhrafn (A group of nautical pirates and raiders from the frozen isles of Ishdaar.) These groups operated separately throughout the Years of Wandering, slowly growing in power and influence upon the wastes.
When New Serath was founded, the groups quickly established a presence in the area surrounding the town, and even within the walls of the town itself. The New Serath Militia (Precursor to the Marine Corps and Navy) worked tirelessly to keep the criminals out of the city leading to fairly strict immigration policies and entrance screenings, setting the standard for times to come. When the mad scientist Dao Vin'shi perfected the steam engine and New Serath took off into the safety of the sky and renamed Galax, the pirates were robbed of their livelihood. Over the next century, their lives became a struggle upon the wastes and they fought amongst themselves for a while. Some groups went off to profiteer from the destruction caused by the Saurian conflicts. Finally, they resolved to collaborate in a plan to take to the skies and create a new source of income. The leadership of the five major syndicates came together in the historic landsmeet that led to the formation of the Dustmen with the treaty known as the Dustman Pact.
Together, they sent small teams disguised as refugees through the immigration procedures required to enter the shining island in the sky, Galax. These teams assimilated into the populace of the city and infiltrated the labs of the steam engineers, stealing their blueprints for airships and other new technologies. Before they left the city with these stolen schematics, they sewed the seeds of dissent in the poor of the outer ring creating a state of civil disobedience and support for the Dustmen, masquerading as a group of freedom-fighters and rebels. They then went back to the ground, where the Dustmen cobbled together the first gliders and airships outside of the Kalnuur Navy. The Dustmen took to the skies in their new airships and picked up where they left of nearly a century before, raiding and pillaging. Taken completely unaware by the sudden appearance of the pirates in the skies, the relatively small Galaxian Navy scrambled to meet the threat. The war known now as the First Dustman War ensued between the Dustmen and the Galaxian Naval Armada.
The fighting went on for ten years on and off. Protests and riots in favor of the Dustmen were common on the outer ring of Galax, leading the inner ring to seal itself off. The Navy of Galax was able to hold the blockade against the pirate forces, having better equipment, training, and discipline, but trouble on the homefront intensified nearly to the point of Civil War. The Marine Corps struggled to put down the violent riots and protests in the outer ring without harming the civilians and causing further unrest. They tried tirelessly to track down the leaders of the movement spreading the lies amongst the people, whom they knew to be Dustman agents. The conflict came to a climax when four Aranjite Vasil mages in league with the Dustmen infiltrated the central ring of Galax and set off an Arcane bomb. The explosion shook the foundations of the city, killed dozens of Kalnuur nobles, and damaged one of the steam engines keeping the city aloft. The entire city nearly crashed to the ground, which would have killed all of its inhabitants. This act of terrorism caused the Kalnuur government to ban the use of all magic within the limits of Galax, expel a vast number of people from the outer ring, and intensify their war effort against the Dustmen. The newfound strength of the Galaxian Navy hit the Dustmen like a brick wall. They called for a ceasefire and went back to the surface to regain their strength.
Another hundred years passed in which the Dustmen continued to raid trade barges and convoys in the air, in the sea, and upon land. Their forces had been damaged enough during the war and enough of their agents were driven from the outer ring of Galax that they did not dare to engage the Galaxian forces again. Pro-Dustman riots and protests continued throughout the century, but began to die down gradually with the loss of leadership. It was during this time that the Saurian wars of conquest ended and the Aranjite Crusaders led by Shen Safrath swept across the wastes spreading the message of Aranji to all they could find. The Dustman leadership saw a great opportunity in this to get revenge upon the Galaxian Navy, and offered the Shen their ships and services. They grew annoyed when Shen Safrath refused to attack Galax because of the traditional relationship between the Saurians and Kalnuur and the might of the Galaxian Navy. They did, however, see great promise in his Lieutenant, Roseth, and they got to work on deceiving him into thinking that attacking Galax was the divine will of Aranji.
Roseth challenged Safrath to a fierce duel in which Roseth came out on top. Declaring himself the new Shen, Roseth took to the skies and declared a holy war upon Galax under the banner of Aranji, leading to the Second Dustman War. This conflict led to seven years of heated combat in the skies, but Shen Roseth began to slowly lose confidence in his agreement with the Dustmen. The vast majority of the Dustmen had no interest in spreading the good word of the holy lady of light, they just yearned for plunder and revenge; Safrath began to catch on to this. The straw that broke the camels back was the bombing of the outer ring of Galax by The Black Sheep pirates, leading to the deaths of many innocent civilians and severe damage to the infrastructure of Galax. Shen Roseth immediately broke his alliance with the Dustmen and drove them back to the surface with the help of the still-hostile Galaxian Armada. The Second Dustman war drew to a close.
That day, Shen Roseth declared war upon the Dustmen and still hunts them wherever they hide. Now the Dustmen lay scattered across the wasteland continuing to cause trouble. They have become outlaws on the run from just about everyone, but their bases are secure and well-hidden. It is even suggested by some that they still have a presence somewhere on Galax right under the nose of the Navy and Marines.