These subaquatic vehicles are a Tiomeran invention which allows divers to descend to the depths of the ocean. Depth bells are similar to the common diving bell, but they are much larger to accomodate up to ten divers as well as storage for materials that are collected from the ocean floor. Because of the depth they go to, they are reinforced to withstand the great pressure and forces of far deeper dives. The bells and their various chains and ropes are even enchanted to be able to pass through portals that lead into the elemental Plane of Water.
Depth bells are a type of closed diving bell that is mainly constructed of steel and brass. It features storage holds on the inside and several hooks on the outside to which harvests of Steel Wrack
can be attached. Several tubes that lead from the surface into the bell provide the crew with fresh breathable air. These tubes are reinforced and braided together so that a single tube breaking is not an immediate problem for the crew. Once lowered, the floor of the bell can open up to allow the crew to exit the bell. A heavy chain is connected to the tip of the bell on one end, and on a crane on the surface on the other end. This crane is operated by hand and it requires the effort of several (strong) people to pull a depth bell back up onto the surface.
Even though the range of movement of the depth bell is limited, several levers on the inside allow the crew to change the rudders on the side of the bell to steer it slightly in a horizontal direction on its way down. This is mainly done to steer away from the other bells that might be descending. The vehicle is extremely heavy by itself, making its descent pretty fast, but ascending back to the surface can take far longer. When the crew wants to return to the surface, they release a floatation device that runs along the air tubes and surfaces at the crane. In case of emergency, a second float is released. In such an event, an alarm is raised to gather arkmates
to help raise the bell as soon as possible.
The depth bell used to be a way of exploring the depths and uncovering treasures that were lost at sea. With the discovery of the many uses of Steel Wrack
, the depth bells became larger and better equipped to harvest this seaweed from the trenches of the Shimmering Depths
. The plane of water is not usually accessed by the crews themselves, but there have been several land dwelling adventurers or explorers who have bargained their way onto a depth bell to travel to this dimension through a portal deep under the waves. Besides the regular dangers of subaquatic exploration, traveling with a depth bell might induce Diver's Dread
, which is why divers usually consume Steel Wrack
soup before traveling with the bell to lower the risk of this affliction.