You can make me sail across the raging storms of the Crescent Sea, but you don't get me in that flying death coffin!
Across the multiverse, transportation is considered crucial for large-scale movement across the planes. Some prefer the safety of a ship to cross the seas, others by horse and wagon across land. But nowadays, some regions revel in conquering the skies.
The airship is one of the most common forms of aerial transportation. Designed for long travel across the sky, many new-age nations seek to build upon this idea. Over the course of the last decades, its technology has grown exponentially. And nowadays, a few regions already use its potential in daily life.
Ship Soaring Across the Heavens
Most airships maintain the same core elements: a hull, a cockpit, an engine and a method of propulsion. Beyond that, their designs are rarely the same with each model. Since it is very much new technology, most end up personalised for the user.
The ship's functionality also relies heavily on the design. Smaller ships might be quicker, but larger ones can last longer in the air. Being aerodynamic also reduces wind resistance, reducing fuel costs as well. Though optimising utility with speed has a far way to go.
Components of an Airship
Engine & Propulsion
All airships rely on some sort of engine to power all on-board tools and propulsion. Depending on the size of the ship, the engine's size and power varies a lot. Some smaller airships might require manpower from the pilot itself in the form of pedals.
The fuel depends on local resources. While some might resort to steam or coal, others rely on things like crystals or Elementals. Some even have hybrid power sources used as a booster for specific occasions.
Propulsion often relies on said engines, turning the power into movement for the ship. While propellers are the most common, some ships might use sails instead. Faster ones even move.
Cockpit & Living Quarters
Of course, each airship has a cockpit that gives room for the pilot to control the entire ship. While some only allow room for the pilot itself, others need entire crews to be operational.
The main control always consist of a centre stick, allowing all-around 3-dimensional movement. Some models do use a boat's wheel, with only the ability to tilt it forwards or backwards. These tend to be used for ex-sailors who need to get used to flight controls. Any additional controls are dependent on the model itself.
For larger airships, many have a living quarters for crewmate to live during long flights. Though many would not call these quarters comfortable: tight spaces, restricted movement and much more. If lucky, the captain might get a private bedroom away from the crew.
Offense & Defense
To maintain the light weight to stay afloat, most airship keep their defenses minimal. At best, military ships only armour up the bottom of the shipt to ignore ground fire. Others resort to cage frames or plating meant to absorb the blows.
As for weaponry, most attacks resort to a classic bombardment from above. Should the enemy be other airships however, piercing weapons are used instead. Hence it's common for many airships to have at least one or two harpoons on board.
Airships across the Realms
Raucher falls behind with its airship technology but excels at its fuel sources. Thanks to the discovery of Draconic Fuel, the engines used by its airships are able to fly for longer. The downside, however, is that it's highly flammable and explosive.
Razvietsk's airships excel at handling most weather phenomena that it can encounter. Due to the region's temperatures, most are equipped with internal heating. As such, they don't struggle from ice weighting them down while flying.
Teutönn is where airships are commonplace. Thanks to the region's technological advances, the ships are optimised for everything. Whether that be long-distance travel, or direct combat. The only issue is their price tag and crews required to fly.
Plane of Air
Due to the Plane of Air's weird situation of gravity, Airships work different. Instead of trying to remain airborne, they manipulate their own gravitational pull. As such, it might appear that some ships are simply floating mid-air rather than flying.
With the lack of solid ground, airship designs have evolved drastically, coming in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to centuries worth of advances, they also are superior in almost every way. Whether that be enough firepower to level a city, or flying speeds that break the sound barrier with ease.
The Downside of Airships
While airships might be considered the future of travel in Fabulae, it isn't optimised yet. Even with the advances made throughout the years, costs are expensive and parts rare. As such, the few airships built are government-owned spare for a few.
A common problem with airships are the hazards regarding the engine or propulsion. Any decent blow to the propeller can keep a ship stuck mid-air. A direct hit to the engine room would lead to a chain reaction that results in the entire ship going down in flames.
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