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- "An airship, bring us that much closer to the Overworld and beyond."
- ―An airship engineer
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An Atalanteo hybrid-type airship, the S.S. Ouranos
Erudite and some surrounding planes have a variety of airships, vehicles used for aerial transport and combat. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and run off either magic, lighter-than-air gases, or a combination of both. History recorded that airships were first invented by the Mediuso to get around the Central Mountains during the early years of the Settlement Age. The discovery of the Moroitos ruins of Bahamu by Captain Vaian has been credited to one of the first airship expeditions.
Ekati is used to power many airships. These types of airships in run on glossair pipes, in which fuel produced from the ekati runs through glossair engines. These dull pipes of black and gold can be seen in many airborne vehicles, from the small air ferries to the large Atalanteo military fleets invading the skies. Some others use a envelope with lighter-than-air gases with a gondola underneath, though most modern airships use a combination of both.
Most airships in Erudite are usually named after legendary beasts or minor gods.
The airship provides a quicker, easier way to travel throughout the world, enabling the bypass of large expanses of land in short periods of time. Some areas are altogether unreachable without the use of an airship. They can also by outfitted with weapons and used for aerial combat. Most airships can land on certain terrain - they can land only on grassland and cannot land on most parts of a mountain or forests.
Appearance and Design
In terms of appearance and design, in earlier years airships appeared very much like carracks or galleons—wooden boats, but with primitive magic-powered propellers to give them lift, fashioned like helicopters. Nowadays, airships have three very distinct types:
Generally, hybrid-types have both an lighter-than-air gas-filled envelope and a set of propellers and sky-discs vertically along the sides provide lift while the bow or stern rotors and wings are used for maneuvering and propulsion. The craft may also possess wings on the sides to assist in lift. Hybrid-types are also able to exceed size limits that Vagrant and Renaisance-types have because of their reliance on only one power source, though even hybrid-types have size limits as well. Hybrid-types have become the most common type of airship seen in modern times.
Another type of airship seen is the Vagrant-type, which behaves like real-life dirigibles. These ships are large zeppelins, with a balloon-like cavity filled with air and the actual airship hanging from below, propellers on both the balloon and the craft providing thrust. As with real airships, they utilize moorings to "land", essentially remaining floating but tethered to the ground. Though not as common as hybrid-types, vagrant-types are still seen regularly.
In more recent years some airships have taken on more technologically advanced appearance, with elements of steampunk and redical design being reflected in the hull architecture. These ships are Renaissance-types, airships run entirely on magic. Whether it's through an ekati core and glossair pipes, ekati-formed engines, or even a massive levitation spell that has the energy powering the spell anchored on the ekati, the airship is run entirely on magic. Because of this, every single renaissance-type is a unique airship, and because of this almost all of them are privately owned. Also because of this, renaissance-types are the most uncommon types of airships seen.
A typical airship crew consists of the following people:
- Captain: The captain or master is the ship's highest responsible officer, acting on behalf of the ship's owner. Whether the captain is a member of the deck department or not is a matter of some controversy, and generally depends on the opinion of an individual captain. When a ship has a Third Mate, the Captain does not stand watch. The captain is legally responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the ship as he is in command. It is his responsibility to ensure that all the departments under him perform legally to the requirements of the ship's owner.
- Navigator: The navigator of a merchant vessel is usually in charge of navigation. The navigator typically stands the 12-4 navigation watch. That is, the second mate will stand watch from 1200 to 1600 at noon and again from 0000 to 0400 in the nights. The second mate is typically the second in command aboard a ship
- Boatswain: The boatswain, officially called the Secondary Navigator, of a merchant vessal is primarily charged the safety of the ship and crew. The Boatswain tends to take the 0800 to 1200 watch.
- Engineers: The engineers are the officers responsible for supervising the daily maintenance and operation of the engines, whether they be glossair, steam, vents, or any other engine equipment.
- Magic Engineer: The magic engineer is responsible for the upkeep of the Ekati core and any magic devices that draw power from it. They are responsible for maintenance of the connection, and to make sure no Majbreath is forming or that the ekati core will shatter.
- Crewhand: An crewhand performs a variety of duties concerned with the operation and upkeep of deck department areas and equipment. Upkeep duties include scaling, buffing, and painting decks and superstructure; as well as sweeping and washing the deck. They may also splice wire and rope; break out, rig, overhaul, and stow cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear. Additionally, the crewmen secures cargo, as well as launches and recovers boats. They may rig and operate specialty winches; handle and stow explosives and weapons; and stage and stow beach support equipment and check landing gear, possibly preparing it if needed.
Over time some airships have become legendary, either because of their power or special abilities. These ships include the following:
An airship apparently sent from the gods themselves, according to Moroitos writings. Apparently this ship crash-landed in a remote part of their empire. Top Moroitos engineers rebuilt it into the destroyer it is today. This renaissance-type ship is centered around a single massive cannon far beyond current technology in terms of firepower and damage. It is said this cannon has the power to destroy continents with a single hit. Fortunately, it was lost during the Demon-Moroitos War and most hope it stays lost.
The Lumeria Novus
A massive airship, this ship is known to be as large as an average sized island. This was built in ancient times by the people of a Moroitos town called Lumeria who wished to escape the war occurring. Thus this ship was built to be their new capital. The plan was a success and the ship lasted for many years after the Demon-Moroitos War. However; it is said it crash landed on a remote island, killing most of it's passengers. It is a legend to pirates and treasure-seekers as it is said the ship holds untold amounts of Moroitos riches.
The smallest out of the legendary airships, this ship is legendary for a very special ability: it can cross into any plane of existence in Erudite. It does this by a special "cannon" that opens up at the bottom. This cannon somehow creates a hole between the plane the ship is and the plane where it is going to, which the Impavidus can then fly through. The Impavidus is the single most sought after airship in Erudite, as it's ownership means inter-planar travel.