Iteron Bolas Fleet

The Iteron Empire is estimated to have ruled about two fifths of the skies at its heyday, and to have lasted roughly six decades before it fell apart in a civil war. Historians estimate it fell apart roughly five centuries ago. One of the greatest factors in its success was its Bolas Fleet, which easily crippled and conquered enemy fleets. Sky Pirates too feared the fleet, because in a straight-up fight it was hard to escape from them.   Ever mindful of the loss of materials, which keeps most ships from using ranged ammunition, the Bolas Fleet was equipped with Cloudstone Bolas. These always were aimed at masts, to cripple enemy vessels without taking lives. After that, no matter the opponent, the fleet always gave them a single chance to surrender. On refusal, boarding parties would fight until no defenders were left alive. It wasn't uncommon for opponents to commit mutiny against an unyielding Captain.   The Iteron Empire fell apart when its Empress was assassinated, causing three of her five children to start a civil war that tore the Empire apart. The Iteron Bolas Fleet was ravaged in the war, and its ammunition has mostly disappeared, leaving only stories behind. Analysis of the few surviving Bolas suggest the Iteron Empire had advanced Cloudstone expertise, emulation attempts have failed ever since.



The Bolas fleet had three squadrons of eight ships each. A squadron would use four normal Sky Ships, two lightweights and two heavyweights. This allowed them to fight at various altitudes, preventing ambushes from clever pirates. It also let them infiltrate islands from below, or bombard them from above.   There is no clarity on how large the rest of the Iteron fleet was. Nor are tactics known, because asides from the weaponry, little information has survived. However, the stories speak of that the Bolas fleet was an elite one, suggesting to historians that the Iteron fleet was around two hundred ships.


The Bolas Fleet of course had its namesake weaponry, Cloudstone Bolas which were fired through spring-operated ballistas. Only a handful of Cloudstone Bolas have been found, research showed that both the weights and the connecting chains contain Cloudstone. These Bolas would cripple sails and sometimes even tear apart masts, and were easily recovered afterwards.   According to the stories passed on through the ages, the ballistas also used grappling hooks as ammunition. None of these have survived, but historians theorize that these too contained Cloudstone. Smashing through hulls, these hooks allowed for easy boarding of enemy vessels.
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