Cloudwalkers

Written by Voxol Tetra

Cloudwalkers are a form of intercontinental mass transit that has grown very popular in the recent centuries on Vernelis. They are designed, constructed, and distributed by Adeus Transport, though there are various smaller companies that produce their own versions. They were initially designed with personal transportation in mind, though as they became more widely available, widespread and commercial models were soon manufactured.

Origin

The original Cloudwalker was designed by Dolvet Adeus in 240 ZA, who originally called it the Skytamer. It was to be an aircraft powered completely powered by magic; a small vessel carried by balloon. It was a little cumbersome, at the time requiring a team of two; ideally one to provide heat into the balloon, while the other directed air currents around the vessel. In 245 ZA, Adeus stopped refining his design and began the construction of his first vessel.

On the 9th of Pluvur, 245 ZA, Adeus' first model of the Skytamer, nicknamed Puppy-Paw by his then-lover Hestrel Vorn, was completed and tested by the two across a large field just outside Alvur Castle with special permission. Adeus rose the vessel higher than initially planned once he noticed the crowd forming to watch their test-flight, though Vorn convinced him to take them down following a gentle scolding.

The field was used to minimize the possibility of damage to buildings or more densely-populated areas, but it also allowed many to watch as the test took place, and among the onlookers was Talmares Alvur himself, along with his wife and daughter. They were all impressed by the couple's achievement, so much so that Talmares and Kaze agreed to fund another vessel to see its potential realized.

Mercury's Claw

The biggest revolution in these vessels came shortly after the advent of magic-facilitated steampower. Implementation of this technology was reserved to several prototypes over multiple years. In the beginning, it was thought to be too dangerous to operate a small balloon with such an engine, and much more difficult to slow once momentum was gained compared to the older models. In 840 ZA, Anþedris Adeus II had designers begin experimenting with larger ships, assuring that such models could be afforded despite the new technology, and increase in materials. Her plan was to use this new technology for the first intercontinental journey by aircraft.

This vision led to the construction of Mercury's Claw, a massive vessel over a hundred meters in length. It was completely constructed of metal and had a relatively luxurious interior compared to the older models; Anþedris wished for this vehicle to provide an experience as if passengers were visiting a hotel. Instead of a small open vessel, the Claw had a full interior cabin with multiple rooms and levels. The higher levels opened into the engine chambers, while the lower provided windows and barriered observation decks.

The steam engines were used to power massive propellers at the back and mid-section of the vessel, drastically increasing the top speeds it could reach, while also allowing the vehicle's direction to be mostly controlled by a single operator. Magic was still used to provide heated air inside the metal balloon, as it greatly reduced the fuel requirements. However, this also meant a larger crew was required.

Impact

The Mercury's Claw design became the most popular of any predecessor, and it was the first of the line of vessels to be named a Cloudwalker- coined by a reporter covering its first test-flight over the Edge. On the 36th of Jiniþivur, 852, Mercury's Claw had its first journey across the ocean to the neighboring continent, Römtellis. Ten passengers were aboard, some critics of the older models of flight, some designers of the ship itself, along with the ships fourty-person crew.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!