Between Heaven and Earth
Technology and rumours
Levitech and the Airship
Created by gnome engineer a decade ago, Levitech was a military secret until the surprise attack during the Sky Invasion of 1356. It almost spelled the defeat of the entire Vladof navy when their Thracen opponents suddenly lifted into the air, and rained death from above. With their ballista unable to aim high enough, Vladof was only saved through the heroic sacrifice of the elite Royal Mage Corps. Since then Levitech devices have remained in the hands of the military, the very wealthy, and pirates for one reason: cost. Levitech devices are inherently evil, exclusively fuelling its own power through draining the magic from magical devices, and life force of sentient creatures. A magic device once, played in its cauldron shaped receptacle is instantly drained of power, while the unfortunate creatures placed in it die an agonizing death within the hour. The monstrous use of fuelling Levitech with sentient creatures has been outlawed by both nations, one of the three things they’ve agreed upon (the second being outlawing necromancy, and the third that dragons should not be trifled with). However, despite vocal protestations of half orcs protesters, orcs are conveniently not classified as “sentient”, despite all evidence to the contrary. Levitech devices generate an upward force, lifting enormous weights and can be operated by anyone, no longer requiring the services of a powerful mage.
Airships are converted or specially build naval ships of the galleon design that commonly have two Levitech devices located on either end of the ship. These vessels are both sea and air worthy, being controlled by sails and rudder while at sea, and sails and forward mounted windmill while in the air. The windmill is usually manually powered by men, animal, or magical constructs, although more elaborate versions utilize a coil spring that can be charged up for bursts of speed. Military airships, like their naval brothers are usually armed with numerous fixed and swivel ballista, mages, archers, and boarding crews. Merchant airships are considerably less armed and armoured, usually only carrying a single swivel ballista and bands of crossbowmen. Fire is a constant danger upon airships and hence it fire is usually banned when in flight and in combat.
Military gear is limited to what is found in books. Catapults, and ballista take the role of siege weapons with some specimens of gigantic proportions for static defence. Vladof has been at the forefront of siege technology and there are rumours they are on the breakthrough of a new weapon that will stop the Thracen attacks forever.