Technology: Airships

Airships have revolutionized travel and trade on Saroth. They have even resulted in the development of a common language, Tradespeak. Many goods can be had anywhere on the globe, and military applications have just begun.

Airships were developed by the Eridoran Republic 1287 SE (about 100 years ago), and they have retained a trade monopoly on eolith, a lighter than air substance that can be worked like metal, harvested from Shikai, the elemental plane of Air. Recent advances in propulsion, namely the steam engine and spirit engine, have led to reasonably fast travel to anywhere in the world.

Airships range greatly in size and capability, from small single or double vessels, only about ten feet in length, to massive cargo and war airships, some of which are over a thousand feet long. Typical merchant and passenger vessels range from 30 to 100 feet in length.

Airships are piloted differently depending on how they are powered. An airship powered by a spirit engine requires a Spellcraft check to fly, as the pilot must be able to monitor the output of the engines and moderate it. An airship powered by steam requires either a Knowledge(Arcana) or Craft(Alchemy) check to fly, as the core of these engines is an alchemical process. Neither type of engine requires any check to fly outside of combat.

A typical airship ride along an established route costs 1 cp per mile, and to hire a ship for private passage can be up to 1gp per mile, depending on the destination, cargo, and size of the ship.

With the large amount cargo in the air, some less scrupulous merchants have begun smuggling, often of goods stolen by Sky Pirates, who are becoming distressingly common in the Ayanil Isles. Sky Pirate ships tend to be small and fast, capable of overtaking large passenger and cargo ships. Airroutes are policed only by the country over which they pass, and this leads to piracy over those nations which are too poor, or uncaring, too afford a decent armada.

Airships vary greatly between cultures. Iridian and Eridoran airships are fast, and utilize spirit engines as their propulsion. Both Iridians and Eridorans trade eolith(Eridor) and manalith(Iridia), the two materials vital for airship manufacture and propulsion. Drohenian airships tend to be massive, as supporting their steam engines requires strong materials. Most other countries tend to purchase their ships from Eridor.

Airships can possess a great deal of varying armaments. The details of the installation and use of armaments can be found under Airship Armaments.

Airships can be modified. These modifications can alter an airship’s maximum speed, acceleration, cargo tonnage, armor class, hit points, hardness, or hardpoints . More details can be found under Airship Modifications.

Airships by Class

Classification Description
Cutter Usually a single seat craft, these small airships are the fastest and most maneuverable. They are no more than 15 feet in length, and are at best lightly armored. Most fighter craft are cutters. Cutters can only be powered by spirit engines.
Frigate The frigate class is the workhorse of airships. They are small general purpose ships, and can be manned by a single crew member. They are the most common class of airship, and are used for cargo or passenger-craft. Frigates are between 20 and 40 feet in length.
Destroyer The smallest and fastest truly battle capable airship, destroyers are used in every major armada in the world. They are essentially large armed and armored frigates. This class is favored by the sky pirates. Destroyers are 40 feet in length.
Cruiser Cruisers are the largest commercial vessels, capable of carrying passengers or many tons of cargo. A cruiser is between 50 and 100 feet in length.
Corvette The Corvette class is an armed and armored cruiser, outfitted for war. Corvettes are 100 feet in length.
Battleship Battleships are colossal craft, between 250 and 500 feet in length, capable of intense levels of destruction.
Capital These ships are the most massive craft, usually thousand feet or more in length. They are generally carrier craft, capable of hosting many smaller airships. Only Eridor, Iridia, and Drohen possess capital ships.
Eridoran Commercial Ships Eridoran ships are always sold without any armaments, and tend to be smaller, faster craft. Airships that are commercially available are cutters, frigates, and cruisers.
Hull Classification Crew Passengers Cargo Hardpoints Engine Cost
Swallow Cutter 1 2 Spirit 19,000 gp
Raven Frigate 1 8 8 tons 3 Spirit 44,200 gp
Heron Cruiser 3 30 25 tons 4 Spirit 76,000 gp
Eridoran Military Airships Eridor uses these ships in its armada, and will also sell cutters, destroyers and corvettes to other nations.
Hull Classification Crew Passengers Cargo Hardpoints Engine Cost
Echidna Cutter 1 3 Spirit 30,000 gp
Siren Destroyer 1 5 5 tons 6 Spirit 65,000 gp
Pheonix Corvette 3 20 20 tons 12 Spirit 140,000 gp
Sphynx Battleship 20 200 50 tons 25 Spirit 300,000 gp*
Typhon Capital 100 2,000 500 tons 50 Spirit 1,000,000 gp*
* prices listed with an asterisk are not actually available for purchase.
Iridian Commercial Ships Iridia makes no cutter class ships, preferring to use drakes. These ships are available for general purchase.
Hull Classification Crew Passengers Cargo Hardpoints Engine Cost
Aria Frigate 1 8 5 tons 5 Spirit 55,000 gp
Hymn Cruiser 2 30 30 tons 10 Spirit 130,000gp
Iridian Military Ships Iridia doesn’t sell its military ships, but does provide armaments to most other nations.
Hull Classification Crew Passengers Cargo Hardpoints Engine Cost
Dirge Destroyer 1 4 4 tons 8 Spirit 84,000 gp*
Threnody Corvette 4 16 16 tons 16 Spirit 176,000 gp*
Elegy Battleship 30 120 40 tons 32 Spirit 360,000 gp*
Lament Capital 120 1,000 400 tons 64 Spirit 1,040,000 gp*
* prices listed with an asterisk are not actually available for purchase.
Drohenian Commercial Ships Drohen also makes no cutter class ships, but this is a limitation of their steam engine technology. Drohen’s airships tend to be slower, and carry fewer passengers and cargo, as well as requiring a larger crew. They are however, superior in terms of armor.
Hull Classification Crew Passengers Cargo Hardpoints Engine Cost
Tiuhan Frigate 2 5 4 tons 2 Steam 24,000 gp
Bairan Cruiser 4 10 16 tons 4 Steam 56,000 gp
Drohenian Military Ships
Thaurnus Destroyer 3 6 2 tons 4 Steam 46,000 gp*
Skaidan Corvette 6 12 8 tons 8 Steam 108.000 gp*
Mekeis Battleship 40 80 32 tons 16 Steam 232,000 gp*
Wrekei Capital 200 500 128 tons 32 Steam 448,000 gp*
* prices listed with an asterisk are not actually available for purchase.


Saroth Pretakor Pretakor