Gnomish Dirigible Airships

Gnomish Dirigible Airships

Gnomish dirigible airships are some of the oldest types of flying vessels. They use pockets of gas that are lighter than the air around; one of the many variations of air motes. The construction of dirigible airships is expensive because of the amount of fabric needed to contain the gas, otherwise it will just escape into the atmosphere. This gas is not flammable and like all motes it cannot be fully destroyed, with it just breaking into smaller parts when "destroyed".

Callarduran invented the first dirigible airship. Many more were created in the Demon Spawn War as a way of escaping the onslaught of Jurusalax's demon armies. Those that left by air became known as the Forstneblin. Scattered on the winds, these flying vessels ended up all over the place.

Gnomish dirigible airships are not known for there offensive capability or defenses. They are primarily used as transport and when faced with a threat, they use their agility and speed in escape. Some of them are outfitted with devices that function like a wand with the spell gust of wind. This spell can give the pilot bursts of speed that are far greater than any other ship out there and for a trained crew, make the ship turn-about in one round.

A full turn-about is usually done when stationary, for if done while moving at high speed, everyone on-board must be lashed down or in crew compartments belted in.

- Grimrock, from his book Overland - "Gnomish Rapid Turn-About"

Hit Pointsvaries by size
Size30' - 150' long
Enginesteam - coal or oil
Liftair motes
Speed15 - 25 knots by size
Cost150,000 - 300,000 GP
Some gnomish dirigible airships use oil or coal to power an engine that moves propellers giving the ship speed even when weather is unfavorable. This change to fuel driven engines did not come about till the Third Epoch. Before that time there were some using steam engines for short journeys, but most relied solely on the wind.