Airships of Khorvaire

One of the greatest innovations of the Last War was the elemental airship, developed by the Gnomes of Zilargo and House Cannith and operated by House Lyrandar. Experimental versions few in the late 970s, and the first production airships -- relying on bound fire elementals for lift and propulsion -- were deployed in 988 YK. Larger airships propelled by air elementals -- harder to capture and control -- first saw use in 992 (although a prototype, the Quiet Storm, was lost over the Eldeen Reaches in 990 YK).

Almost immediately, the warring factions clamored for access to these ships, or for airships of their own. It is roughly estimated that by the end of the War more than 150 airships had been built -- and that as many as 25 had crashed, both from battle damage and from "spontaneous elemental release."

Since the Thronehold Accords were signed in 996 YK, many more airships have been built, including larger vessels powered by two elementals (one for lift, one for thrust).

Specific Vessels Mentioned in "Mourning in Khorvaire"

  • Blue Yonder: One of three airships commandeered by the Regent of Breland to respond to the Bugbear threat to Sterngate. Later, Blue Yonder ferried members of the adventuring party back to Sharn, and was involved in a battle against teleporting cultists and an apparent Swords of Liberty cell.
  • Cloud's Destiny: Another of the airships commandeered to ferry troops and supplies to Sterngate in Olarune 998 YK. Later the ship returned to Sharn as part of its normal schedule, and was chartered on 17 Therendor to bring the adventuring party to eastern breland and possibly on to Darguun. On 19 Therendor she was involved in the Clash Over Mistmarsh.
  • Golden Dragon: A giant airship, initially intended to be a troop carrier/battleship, after the Thronehold Accords the half-finished vessel was mothballed. Then in 997 YK she was purchased by a partnership of Brelish and Zil merchants, to be retrofitted as a luxury passenger liner. She was attacked at her commissioning ceremony in early Olarune by terrorists reputedly from a coalition of groups -- House Tarkanan, Daask and the Swords of Liberty. Later, she was commandeered to serve her original purpose -- as a troopship bringing reinforcements to Sterngate. Soon after she flew to the Thrane border, and bore the body of King Boranel across Thrane airspace to Throneport in Scions' Sound.
  • Audacity: Privately-owned airship (sister vessel to the Cloud's Destiny), chartered by the outgoing Royal Steward, Prince Bortan ir'Wynarn, for his speaking tour of Breland in the aftermath of King Boranel's death.
  • Quiet Storm: The first airship to use a bound air elemental, Quiet Storm was launched at the Zalanberg Shipyard in early 990 YK. At the time it was the largest airship built to that date (surpassed several years later by the Golden Dragon), and was to be the prototype for a line of similar vessels. An unexpected benefit of using an air elemental was that she proved faster than the earlier fire-driven ships, and nearly silent in operation. House Lyrandar immediately put her into service, loading her with supplies and Valenar mercenaries for a mission into the Eldeen Reaches to assist besieged Elven villages under attack by Brelish forces.
    Her first mission a success, Quiet Storm made a second run later in 990 YK. Only this time it was met by flying Droaamish mercenaries -- Harpies and Gargoyles, led by an Ogre Mage. Severely damaged, she made a soft landing in the Eldeen forest. As the ventral strut broke free, the air elemental escaped, killing most of the crew before returning to the Elemental Chaos. Seizing the opportunity, the Ogre Mage secured the area around the vessel and arranged for more than a dozen artificers to attempt repairs. In so doing he broke his contract with Breland and angered his House Tharashk liaison.
    Quiet Storm unexpectedly turned up again on 19 Therendor 998 YK, when she appeared in southeast Breland and attacked the Audacity (bearing Prince Bortan ir'Wynarn and his half-sister Princess Audrina), with a crew composed almost entirely of monstrous humanoids native to Droaam. The ship can be seen at a long distance, appearing as a tiny soap bubble.

  • Update, 13-15 Eyre: The Quiet Storm appeared to be following the soarwood pinnace Jaesa as it flew over the Seawall Mountains towards the Seven Caves. Soldiers with the Daask emblem fought the PCs, while others made a deal with a flight of Wyverns to stop them. Undeterred, the PCs reached the mountain and made it to the First Cave near the summit. There they saw an eldritch machine maintaining a Manifest Zone to Shavarath that encompassed the entire First Cave complex, the rocky roof above at the peak, and a hundred feet or more into the sky above. As the PCs engaged the various enemies arrayed against them, the Quiet Storm arrived, which caused the mobile Manifest Zone to Syrania powering the ship to violently interact with the Shavarath Zone. Not more than 20 seconds later, the peak exploded upwards, exposing the first cave's floor and spraying hundreds of tons of rock in all directions. The Quiet Storm was crippled, but stayed airborne, which only made the clash of the two Manifest Zones worse. A small rift to Shavarath appeared, and the eldritch machine was soon destroyed. Only the timely intervention by one of the artificers that repaired the ship eight years before allowed the Quiet Storm to get away, ending the crisis and (mostly) closing the rift.