Urath Book 4 Chapter 9: Sailor's Freedom

Vue Fantasy posted on Apr 22, 2013
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It was late morning before the ship was ready to get underway. Everyone had a task to do, most of which was securing everything with ropes. Seafaring vessels had to be especially secure due to rolling waves, swells and potential storms. This was not as big a factor with the airships. When the skies got too angry it was wise to set down somewhere and ride out the storm. This was true for days with high winds too. The summer months in eastern Gotodonia were not prone to storms until the end of the season, so calm weather was expected for the journey ahead. But as a precaution, everything was made secure as if they were making a trip at sea. Eve took the wheel at the helm and Maelgwnn attended the large machine at the rear of the ship. Aelfwynn and Levi were down below at the prop mechanism. Fir stood by Eve and Ian, Thomas and Brigit watched Maelgwnn. The three gnomes from below had come top side and were helping them cast off. They undid the ropes and drew them in and then with a set of poles, they pushed at the ship. From on board Ian had a pole and was pushing too. Thomas held aloft his staff and a gentle wind blew in from the east giving the ship its final push. They were away floating free and Brigit watched Maelgwnn as he pulled some levers on the machine. He yelled in to a call tube to Aelfwynn and Levi below. "Awwlriiight ladies! Stoke it up!" Brigit felt and heard a low drone and then a hissing sound. White steam exhausted from the two pipes that were attached to the machine on the top deck. Next she saw the windmill, or propellar, begin to turn and they gently began moving forward slowly and then ever a bit faster. Maelgwnn let out a yip and did a little jig with a big smile on his face. He called into the tube again. "That's got it my fair lassies! Come up an enjoy the view!" Brigit couldn't help but smile. This was a new and exhilerating experience for her. She had flown and levitated with magic before, but an airship was a totally new experience. This could mean flight accessible to everyone, mage or not. All manner of questions came to mind now. She knew hot air was light, but the ship was floating before they were underway. Obviously fire was involved in making this work, she could sense and smell it. Her senses told her it was more than normal fire, so some sort of magic was involved. Curiosity overwhelming her, Brigit approached the smiling gnome "Maelgwnn, I wonder if you could tell me how all of this is working? What gas is in the balloon and what's turning that...pro-pell-lar?" His face took on a look like he was asked to talk about his best lover, or in this case, his greatest love. Grinning ear to ear he exclaimed "I'd love tah!" "A long time ago we found an air type, or gas as you call it, that was light, but did not burn. We discovered it among the volcanoes and other underground airs...er, gasses that burn. It is hard to separate, but we've found pockets of it by itself in the rock. But when we arrived here and revealed it to your elven kin they identified it and were able to help us separate it better from the other airs, or gasses. We simply fill the balloon and seal it with waxes and other substances. Ever since we've encountered some of the nasty flyers in this region, we modified the balloon with different chambers and an extra outer shell. Dat way we dun't fall t'our deaths." He winked. Continued Below...

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Comments (32)


adorety 12:15AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

"Doune' bellow we have the fire chamber and the steam piston. The fire boils the water, which is in most of those barrels we brought on board, an' makes white hot steam which we force into the piston drive which goes in and out, turns the gears which in turn, turns the prop." He said this all in one breath. "We can't contain all the steam so it is exhausted oute of these pipes. In fact we can even force the water and eject high amounts of steam oute dese here pipes and get a big jolt of speed, aye, but that uses up lots o' water. Good for a quick escape from nasty drakes, but dah wyverns seem to think it a challenge and they chases us. We ha' oder ways o' dealin' wid dem.' Brigit followed this all pretty well. She was not unfamilar with the "sciences" as they were called. It all crossed over into the realm of magic as well. She was curious about what was creating the fire. Just then Levi appeared and without being asked offered up an answer. "So, I'm assuming by now, you're wondering where the fire comes from." She directed this to Brigiit "No doubt." "The Gnomorgon are exceptional craftspeople when it comes to crystals and creating new metal alloys. Using this with our knowledge and the order's exceptional knowledge of fire and energy, a chamber was created that can hold a tiny fraction of the plane of fire." Both of Brigit's eyebrows went up at this. "How long has this chamber been tested?" In unison Maelgwwn and Levi said, "Fifteen years." With Maelgwnn finishing with "And with the final version, never a crack nor a meltdown. The chamber heats up and is lowered in to the water chamber, and steam is produced in no time with out any black rock, oil or wood to burn." Both he and Levi were smiling and the cleverness of all this. With a dubious look Brigit asked, "Might I see this chamber device myself?" "Ob-so-lutely good lady, but I dun't wont to in'trupt the cycle. When we arrive at our destination or if we are forced to stop, I'll be glaad ta shew ya den. I say it's time, nowew, for a bit o' Levi's whiskey and ta sit back and enjoy da vue! "Here, here." Came agreements from Eve and Fir, who just came up. "Ian and Thomas are at the helm for now, by their request." Said Eve. "So let's enjoy some down time while we can I say." She smiled broadly. "I agree with Eve." Added Fir "Of course you do." Said Levi giving Fir a wink. He scowled a bit then turned to follow and Eve was already walking off with Maelgwnn. "Where's Aelfwynn?" Asked Brigit. "Up top." Said Levi pointing up at the balloon above their heads. Brigit gave her a funny look and Levi followed up. "Don't worry. That's her favorite spot. She stays up there as look out and anyone who goes up or outside and below, wears a tether." Brigit curved her mouth and nodded in approval. "Shall we then?" Levi held out her hand offering the way for Brigit to lead. Brigit followed after Maelgwnn, Eve and Fir. The five of them sipped on Levi's strong but smooth spirit and watched the land pass below them. They watched forests, fields, creeks and rivers go below with no consequence to them. To Brigit this seemed to be the only way to go. How could one travel by horse or cart after doing this. Brigit had more to ask, but decided to let it go for now and leaned on the rail and watched the world go by. Thanks for stopping by. I have a few more chapters lined up and the action should finally pick up very soon.


Savage_dragon 12:25AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Beautifully done. So peaceful looking.


adorety 12:25AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

One more comment. The original of this image is 4000 pixels wide and from that standpoint it looks rather grainy here. I have a slightly less comressed version over at my DeivantArt site. The 1600 image there looks better than the 2000 one here - Here The idea of Sailor's Freedom comes from some opportunities I had in the 90s of being on some research ships. when you go out to sea for a month or two with a group of people on a 290 foot boat, the world takes on a different perspective. Everyone is very dependent on one another even if they don't all relax in the same corner. An interesting experience. Thanks for taking a look and a read.


SidheRoseGraphics 12:30AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

This is a beautiful image, Art! I love the contrast of the earth-bound boat to the balloon saliing off to adventure. Very laconic and pretty scene. Fantastic explanation too of how the ship works. Love the gnomes :)


mikada 12:30AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

It's a very beautiful scene.


aeilkema 12:46AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Awesome image, lot's of very nice details to enjoy and very pleasing to the eye :-)


Paulienchen 1:25AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

ein wirklich tolles Bild hast du da gerendert


mgtcs 2:10AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Now this is a marvelous environment, splendid and very realistic work! 1o*


johndoop 3:09AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Excellent image Well done!!!


Darkwish 3:51AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Fantastic work! Great!


petemohr 4:27AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

a very beautiful and fantastic detailed scene! masterful use of vegetation and light. an excellent work!!!


icerian 4:39AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Very nice peaceful scenery! Well done!


SQS 6:05AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Now this is ART, amazing and beautiful details, Susan


Krid 6:28AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

beautiful scene with fantastic vegetation


eekdog 6:54AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

fabulous detail and realism.


grafikeer 8:21AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Excellent scene...the light and natural growth of vegetation are very well handled...great story too!


JohnDelaquiox 8:32AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Outstanding work!


flavia49 9:15AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

fabulous scene and setting! wonderful forest! great writing


barryjeffer 10:59AM | Mon, 22 April 2013

This is super Art. You create such awesome images and your storytelling is inspired. Excellent, thanks for sharing with us.


saphira1998 11:21AM | Mon, 22 April 2013



GrandmaT 1:29PM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Excellent work on both the art and the story.


Valeriya 2:20PM | Mon, 22 April 2013



Cyve 3:18PM | Mon, 22 April 2013

Wonderful work and fabulous image !!!


Tracesl 4:57PM | Mon, 22 April 2013



Ken _Gilliland 11:36AM | Tue, 23 April 2013

nicely done!


kftate 6:17PM | Tue, 23 April 2013

Beautiful image! Superbly done!


twelvemark21 10:14PM | Tue, 23 April 2013

A pair of stunning scenes. Hopefully I'll get some free time this weekend and can finally do a bit of reading. I seem to have quite a lot to catch up on...


1971s 12:15AM | Wed, 24 April 2013

Excellent job!


drifterlee 2:13PM | Wed, 24 April 2013

This is gorgeous!


RodS Online Now! 8:55PM | Wed, 24 April 2013

This just takes your breath away..... I'm truly a loss for words! This is just spectacular, Art! And of course the writing is most excellent as well. I'm not sure how I missed this one – I guess I was concentrating on dodging those funny brown things falling out of the sky... Wink

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