While bulk trade is primarily handled by ships in the sea, airships control much of the exotic and perishable markets. They are able to transport goods faster over large distances and directly to places located far from the sea.
Airships have hulls made of balsa, indigenous to the Freehold rain forests until a hundred years ago when a merchant prince planted balsa trees in the Dragonlands. Gas bags are made from the intestines of mammoths (known as goldbeater’s skin). They were hunted to extinction in the Freehold but mammoths still roam free in the Shintah Empire.
Airships use a gas known as spirit of flight* or ‘droll wind’ because of its peculiar ability to change the pitch of one’s voice. The only known source of spirit of flight is within the Freehold. Ballonets are filled or emptied of air with bellows that control an airship’s altitude. Only the neutral cities of Arynhaar, on the far side of the Disc Sea, are supplied with reserve spirit.
Airships use wind for propulsion with sails on the top deck as well as below the keel for stabilization. When landing near the ground the lower sails are capable of being raised up towards the hull’s undercarriage.
*Authors note: spirit of flight is helium. It is harvested from geysers.
Propelled using sails on six masts, three on the top deck and three on the keel deck. Spirit of flight is used to keep the ship aloft and ballonets are filled with or emptied of air using bellows to change altitude.
- Airship Guild
- 600 feet
- 100 feet