Moon Reign was an innocent hobby that somehow – magically – became my life and my full-time job all in one. Somewhere in that transition, still writing my first draft, I realized I had a lot to do to make things a little more real in this paracosm I’d created for myself. I realized I had some world building to do. This three part series will string you between the lines of how I ironed out some world-details of “A Fallen Star.”
Part 3: Ships in the Sky
From afar, they had seen the approaching vessel, the airship that dominated the sky.“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 2
Moon Reign mentions three types of flying vessels: Airships, Skyships, and Starships. All are powered with magic. In the final draft of Moon Reign, the magic systems that propel these ships to the skies was somewhat difficult for me (?) Especially when the very, very first draft of this book sucked with vague explanations of these ships, so I knew I had to make up for it and actually write what I saw in my head and stop covering it up in fear.
Design was carved from the wood of chocolate oaks, smooth and aerodynamic. Above deck, the air-cavity’s ivory underside was aglow with viridian light from the stocked energy vats in the ship’s center. The crafted crystal orbs, cast with a stimulating come-to-life spell, gave power, air, and lift to the ship’s immense balloon.“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 2
And how could I not introduce these ships right from the beginning? If you’re holding my book in your hands, take a look at the spine and notice the little airship logo on the bottom. Or, if not, notice it enlarged on the top of this screen. That’s the airship described in chapter 2, the royal airship of Prince Liasar.
Derived from a bit of steampunk imagery, ideas formed with several books I’d read in the past that featured blimps or modern day airships. My mind immediately went to magic to empower this thing, Aledonia being an Elvish empire and the elves having magic themselves. These come-to-life spells encased in energy vats? Air magic, crafted with weather manipulation. Live magic, powerful enough to bend wind, expand air, shape the weather – My reasoning was that it can give lift and life to an airship’s immense air cavity, and so I rolled with the idea.
These airships, like my little ship logo, have what I call winghands,retractable wings that help slow and steer the ship in its descent. These ships don’t/can’t land on the ground or the water. These ships are dedicated to the sky, which is why Aledonia is known for its massive airship station. (Think airport, just not with landing strips lol)
‘“The Argonaut’s design is made to embrace an ocean landing, to anchor in cove and port, to withstand storms that all your mightiest war fleets have vanquished. It would be our honor to present to you a skyship for your coastal domain.’”“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 43
Unlike airships, skyships are meant to taste a water landing. The concept of skyships came about as I was thinking of transportation for some of the characters of nobility, the ones that live near bodies of water – All of ocean side Hardinggate; the Viceroy on the island of Ebonedge (book 2); and the Duchess of Pinespire, with a castle aside Chasm Lake. These people, I thought, would do better with a ship that could do both, water and air. So, I created skyships. Like the airships, they also have winghands, but these are different. These are soalr powered.
Winghands unfurled on port and starboard sides. Taught sails, stretched like Araxie’s wings, stretched like solar flares made from the atmosphere. Made for all things sky. (…) Sails wrinkled with a mirrored glow, as if threads had been dip-dyed in metallic sunlight.“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 43
I tried to create these gilded sails that absorbed the sun’s power for flight. More solar-powered magic skyships to come in Book 2. Here, take a teaser:
It felt all too familiar, watching those solar powered winghands unfurl like honeyed silk. This wasn’t Liasar’s airship, buoyant on a spring breeze and a wind-magic inflated balloon. This was just like Aledonia’s matrimonial Argonaut, the one that’d touched down in her harbor a mere two days ago with a triad of grand masts and a crew that sailed the skies like they’d been dragons in past lives.
This was Cambria’s skyship. And in her descent, began the final countdown for rehearsed formalities to be exchanged between a Queen and a Duchess.“Moon Reign” Book 2 chapter 17
“I ask because Aledonia is known for their extensive airship station. They have clearance for starships to enter from inter-planet routes.”Moon Reign – A Fallen Star chapter 7
Okay… No, I have not written anything where someone boards a star ship! But I have scenes in my head, and explanations to match, so patience with the starships please.
My idea with starships came with my love for sci-fi and the fact that Moon Reign has a spacey galactic theme to it. Also, because I have a few characters that aren’t from Arigae (the planet the story takes place on) and although only one of those few characters comes into the cast for book one, I’m aiming for book 3 to feature the rest of them. (These are just musings, guys, nothing’s written yet.)
But, let’s take that one character so far: Unidon. Dude, you had to get here somehow! I made you come to Arigae without an explanation to the reader in book one, but obviously, you had to have made it here somehow and that somehow was by a starship. Here, take another one-liner teaser:
And then came the talk of starships leaving Sailu City, lush atolls to compare with lively Aledonia.Moon Reign Book 2 chapter 17
Home town: Sailu City – Planet: Sceaobyss
New home: Hardinggate – Planet: Arigae
Starships will be a thing in the Moon Reign series, I can assure that *throws peace sign
I will be honest with this one: I’ll need to do some serious, serious research to get these ships through space. Yeah, I know, magic. But as I’ve mentioned in this mini-series, magic has its balances. If you have starship expertise and would like to toss around ideas with me, throw ‘em in the comments below! Just because the mini-series has concluded, doesn’t mean we stop world building.
We’re writers. We never stop world building.