Adventuring Company of the Twin Foxes
Skyships of the Realms
Of all the wonders of the magical nation of Halruaa, the most famous is the skyship—a sailing vessel that floats on air instead of water. Halruaa’s elders guarded their methods of creating these devices for centuries, leaving others to experiment (and fail) with various methods. Circa 1357 DR a renegade Halruaan wizard let the secret out, and several wealthy governments have commissioned their own skyships from Halruaa, (notably Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate, Amn, Cormyr, Thay and Zhentil Keep). The elven kingdom of Evermeet is one exception, and are said to have begun developing similar vessels for wider trade with the Realms and the Feywild.
A skyship is much like a standard sailing vessel in appearance and crew needs, (in fact, while on water it is indistinguishable from any other sea going vessel). Skyships are typically built as caravels, cogs and carracks in order to retain their versatility as sea going vessels. The typical Halruaan skyship has three to four masts, square & lateen sails, two retractable sail panels that can be swung out on each side of the main sail for added speed, guidance, and a broad beam that allows it to land on flat surfaces without listing, (although it is advisable to land on water surfaces to reduce damage to the hull). Metal plates of Mithral ore are affixed to the inner hull, (in the underside cargo area) which are magically treated and reinforced with powerful transmutation magics, (Fly, Levitation and *Suspension spells).
The magic of a skyship comes in multiple parts. Essential is the control rod, an ornate narrow cylinder of silver with a tube of Mithral slipped over the rod, (about 3 feet in length) which is linked to the plates on the ship’s hull; it is activated by the helmsperson, when the rod is affixed to a special slot of the ship’s nautical wheel. These magically transmuted Mithral plates, (typically about ten) contain the magic that causes the vessel to rise into the air, (a larger ship requires more plates).
The control rod, (which requires attunement) amplifies the will of the ship’s helmsperson and thereby controls the vertical movement of the ship, allowing the vessel to rise and fall at a speed of 45 feet per turn, (but can never leave the terrestrial sphere) and supplemental magic from the plates allow it to turn with clumsy maneuverability, (10 feet per turn). Most of the ship’s horizontal movement and speed are at the mercy of the wind, propelled by its sails, and steering panels.
For the sky ship to remain aloft, the helms person must be controlling the rod, (which requires the helms person to be attuned to it.
A sky ship must land on a relatively flat surface, or preferably on water, if it wishes to dock/anchor, take on cargo or passengers; alternatively, it can be moored to a tower or other structure designed for such purpose. A skyship can also enter and sail on water and cannot be sunk so long as its magic remains intact.
Transmutation; Attunement (for control rod); Craft Wondrous Item, fly, levitation, suspension; Price 200,000 + gp; Weight 40 tons.
Azuth’s Chariot, (Caravel):
Speed: 2-3 mph (with favorable strong winds); 5 mph using the Pouch of Winds
Passengers:10 (can be modified for additional 5 passengers)
Cargo: 5 tons
Damage Threshold: 10
See Dungeon Master’s Guide, pg. 118-119