Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Skyships of Alyeska

A sort of follow-on from a couple of weeks ago, this week we're taking a look at Skyships in Alyeska itself.

With Alyeska being a frontier land you can imagine that Skyships aren't exactly common here, there are few trade consortiums active in Alyeska mainly due to the storms that near-constantly wrack the Mhór Farraige (or Great Ocean) and the Continent's more local problems. The Skywrights Guild are presently the only ones to successfully and regularly operate a Skyship between Alyeska and the rest of Darmonica, thus providing the only reliable lifeline to the Continent. However many accusing the Guild of greed and hiding a secret route through the storms the Guild's Skyships do still suffer damage during the crossing, so at the moment the Guild crossing is only twice a week and their Skyships can regularly be seen docked for repairs. The Guild also owns and operates much of the facilities for handling Skyships in Alyeska, save for the one owned by the Commonwealth's military for its Skyship Squadron and one or two independents.

The Guild, in effect, has a monopoly.

This is due to the Guild keeping much of the knowledge of the technology behind Skyships a secret and the stranglehold they have on Liftorium or 'Lift Gas' as its known. Not only is Lift Gas needed in order to make the Skyships work, its effectiveness as a lifting agent gradually deceases each time it is charged and de-charged. It comes to a point where it ceases to work altogether after steadily requiring more and electricity in order to produce viable lift, ideally Lift Gas needs to be replaced before this point. The Guild has ensured that it is virtually the sole supplier of Lift Gas, chiefly by buying out the various mines and refineries needed for its production. There is a black market in Lift Gas, usually whats been siphoned from someplace and often of dubious quality.

At present there are only a handful of Skyships active in Alyeska, most of these are cargo ones operated by the Guild on behalf of the Aerial Corps. There are one or two operated by pirates or independents, though these aren't seen that often due to the resources required to keep these Skyships in the air. Finally there are the three frigates operated by the Commonwealth military named, Battleaxe, Brilliant and Broadsword respectfully. These Skyships form the Alyeskan Skyship Squadron and one can be seen on any of the following duties at any one time such as patrolling the Wulflands, patrolling the Alyeskan coastline and on station over Gravenberg.

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