Monday, 19 May 2014


Dustships are called so because the main element of the airships' workings is the famous floating dust. Rocks lift a hull like a naval vessel, sideway sails provide thrust, the dust is the main adjustment tool. Aside from those general workings, little is known; dustsailors are a secretive lot and guard their ship's secrets with their lives. Regiment aboard is liberal, but closed to outsiders; dustsailors not even have darlings on land. It's a great honour to be accepted into the crew of a dustship. While many sailors are skilled fighters, the ships follow a code on nonviolence and are all unarmed.
"We are proud to have played part in the construction of some of today's greatest structures. I could do without all the spying engineers we have to pluck from the dustworks before they've figured everything out, though."
— Appandanurast, captain of the Upwards
Dustships transport all kinds of things; easily spoiled goods or passengers, or they offer messenger services. The "grounders" regard them with a mixture of joy and wariness - exotic goods for moderate prices, but the feeling of still being conned somehow.
Widely known dustships include the strong Upwards, and the great Gral-én'tach.
"The trip would take us fifteen days, unless we travel by dustship. I'll rather pay to be behind lock and key in luxurious quarters than make my way through the Red Desert this time of year. The view's nicer, too."
— Gutria, traveler
Artists' notes
I like flying ships as much as the next fantasy artist, and I am very fond of this particular idea. It's fun to figure out the engineering, how the crew handles the ship, what the captain is like and so on. It also provides nice storytelling devices for fast transportation, secrecy, and power. I play in a roleplaying group with half-magical wooden spaceships that are just awesome, and which made me bold in my choices of airships.
I have invented several ships so far which I am eager to employ, their captains and specialties, and plot ideas to use them for.