The original creation of skyships dated back to Netheril and were a secret of Halruaa for centuries. However, in the early 1370s DR, a renegade wizard spread the secret of Halruaan skyships to others.
Form and function
Like any ships that sailed on water, skyships required three masts, with square sails in order to navigate laterally with the wind currents. However they also had two or more steering panels that swung out on either side for guidance and a broad, beam for even landing on flat ground. At least ten magical plates, usually made of the shells of Halruaan sea turtles were added to the underside. More plates were needed for larger skyships.
These plates were imbued with the magic that granted the ship flight and were connected to a control rod, made of silver and capped at the ends with gold. These magical components gave the helmsman control of the skyship's of vertical movement, allowing it to ascend and, with the help of the steering panels, guiding it's horizontal navigation.
Skyships could sail on water as well as any sea-faring craft and could not be sunk, as long as their underlying magic was intact.
Although a rare and genius invention, a Halruaan skyship was no more than an expensive magical item. If a spellcaster was proficient with the required magical knowledge and able to find the materials, creating one only took a matter of months. Crafting such an item required:
- Knowledge of how to craft magical items;
- Knowledge of the fly and suspension spells; and
- 400,000 gold pieces worth of materials, including a ship vessel.
Notable Halruaan Skyships
- The Star Goddess, a Halruaan skyship that flew with the aid of a lighter-than-air gas bag. The ship crashed into the Chultan jungle following an attack by pterafolk in the late 15th century DR.
- The Realms Master, a Halruaan skyship piloted by Dwalimar Omen and equipped with the Astrolabe of Nimbral in order to search for artifacts on behalf of the Netyarch Zalathorm Kirkson.
- Video Games
- Referenced only
- Baldur's Gate
- Ed Greenwood (August 1987). “Sailors on the Sea of Air”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #124 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 18–20.
- Tom Prusa (1993). The Shining South. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 1-56076-595-X.
- Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.
- Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
- Thomas Reid (October 2004). Shining South. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 58. ISBN 0-7869-3492-1.