Skyships (A to Z Challenge, S)22 April, 2016
Skyships, or flying ships if you prefer, existed before the Sundering but they became so much more valuable in the shattered world.
Before the Sundering, the elves controlled most of the manufacturing of skyships with their knowledge of and access to magic woods and ancient enchantments, but the aftermath hit them hard and their ability to increase production was limited. Some of the elven techniques were acquired by humans but while the human made skyships do not have the grace or speed of their elven counterparts, they do fly though their manufacture is also limited by the availability of woods and magic worker.
The dwarves developed their gemforge powered skyships, but as they consumed gems to fly, they were only used in times of crisis. Their crystal ships were perfected later, they only require sunlight to fly but they take centuries to grow to a useful size and only a few of such exist due to their expense to manufacture.
Experimental alchemists found that treated bones of the giants of the sky could be bound into ships to provide lift, but such bones were rare and the available supply was quickly used up. The bones that empower such skyships have been carefully maintained and the ships they lift are still encountered even today.
The process of binding air elementals to ships is also used, but the elementals will often try to escape, requiring constant maintenance of the ward and bindings.
There are occasionally skyships build by suspending them from balloons, lifted either by alchemical processes or elementals, but they have not been overly successful but wizards and alchemists keep trying, hoping for a breakthrough.
Owning a skyship is a symbol of wealth and success, but very few of them are used as pleasure craft they are just too expensive to be allowed to sit idle, so most are working ships either transports, carrying both high value cargoes and passengers, or warships.
Notes: I just really like the idea of flying ships, it gives a nice magical feel and it is an exciting way to travel.
Art by Theo Evans and owned by me.