Travel

Travel from oasis to oasis can be deadly, and is time consuming or expensive at best.

Roads between all but the closest oases would be nearly impossible to build, due to the shifting sands, craggy mountains, and burning heat. There are some desert roads in The Empire, but not many, even there.

For those who know the path, and the ways of surviving, it is sometimes possible to cross from the fringe of one oasis to another on foot, but this only works when the oases are fairly close, and those attempting the crossing are skilled, well supplied, and don’t run into any trouble. If anything at all goes wrong, such an attempt is a death sentence.

Many fringelanders from sandier areas use sand skiffs for transport. These are basically over-sized sleds with a sailing rig on them. They are difficult to handle, but can travel much faster than travelers on foot, and bring along more supplies than they could carry on their own. Much further distances are crossable with a sand skiff, if the area is sandy. Still the travelers must contend with the baking heat and any passing windstorms, which at ground level can whip up enough sand to eat through iron plates.

Travel was revolutionized by the invention of the airship. The invention also sparked the Airship Wars. These floating vehicles are held in the air by great bags of flammable gas, or by canopies of heated air. Heavy cargo vessels have no means of propulsion, and can only control their motion by rising and falling to catch the different trade winds. A few ships have propeller blades or air jets powered by workers to propel them. Some military ships are of this type. Many long distance ships (mostly military or packet) operate on a system of sails, involving a keel sail, a rudder sail, and a kite sail, to catch 2 different winds and go in almost any direction quickly.

Their is also another type of airship, faster and more reliable than those held aloft by gasses. These are exceedingly rare, and are held aloft and propelled by magical means. Smaller craft are a challenge for Spellcasters to make, and larger craft require several working together.

Travel

Skyships of the Wastes EpeeGnome