Although airships existed in other parts of Arbressian first, none were as advanced or as important as they are to Euhukoa Empire. The people on the floating islands really struggled with survival due to lack of resources before they were brought the initial airship technology that they would then expand upon. Though their airships are now more durable and faster than in other parts of the world, they still acknowledge that they were not first and without the help of people from other continents they would still be struggling on separate island with no way of shipping resources across the archipelago. However, some clans on the islands are unhappy with this change as it lessened their power over their homes and it made the creation of an empire possible.
Access & Availability
The availability of airships depends on where one lives in Arbressian. In Votrura and Euhukoa they are very common and have several different builds depending on the purpose they are used for. Passenger airships are relatively cheap to travel on and merchants can easily rent space on cargo airships.
Airships are incredibly complex, using a special blend of technology as well as powerful magic. There are a few different ways to get an airship to function but most commonly the magic comes from big gems infused with elemental powers of air. In Votrura it is seen as acceptable to trap actual air elementals in crystals and power the engines and flight ability that way but in Euhukoa that is forbidden; instead they use more costly magic gems.
The first functioning airship was built on the continent Votrura. With its mix of very tall mountains and deep and dangerous bodies of water, travelling across the continent was very difficult for most people. A group of gnomes used to tinkering with smaller projects were talking about expanding their business with shops located in other countries. The logistics of it all with shipping valuable and fragile clockwork and machines across such hazardous terrain made them decide that it would not be worth it as it would cost more than they would be able to earn. Then one of them said "if only we could make a ship that could cross both water and mountains". The other gnomes looked at her with a gleam in their eyes and after that they began making sketches and plans for how such a thing could be possible in their free time after work. It took them years to research and come up with an airship with the right mix of technology and magic that they believed could work. They reached out to people who could possibly be interested in investing in actually developing and building such a thing for real - other businessmen who wanted to expand as well as nobles with family in other parts of the world or simply eccentric people with a lot of money to spend on weird projects. About a year later they had funding and a space to start building the first airship and surprisingly enough the first attempt was able to fly, just not as smoothly or as high as they wanted. After that first experiment more people were intrigued and added to the funding, and other tinkerers and engineers wanted to join in building a second version.